STOCKBRIDGE — Chesterwood kicks off its summer programming May 30 with the debut of Arts Alive!, a series of one-hour outdoor programs designed to be a resource for the community with low ticket prices and free admission for those under 18.

Chesterwood, the historic home, studio and formal gardens of sculptor Daniel Chester French, celebrates its 53rd season this year. The historic residence remains closed this year for renovations, but the grounds, studio, Barn Gallery collections and gardens are open for guided tours or self-guided visits, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday through Monday. Guided tours are available at 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Timed admissions tickets can be reserved at

The debut performance of the Arts Alive! series, at 5 p.m., Sunday, May 30, will feature an original dance by the Berkshire Pulse Young Choreographers Initiative; Haydn’s String Duo in D major by Ronald Feldman on cello and Victoria Wolf Lewis on violin with a poetry reading by Owen Lewis. Tickets are $20, members; $25, general; free for 18 and under. 

The series continues on June 5 and 26, with more performances to be announced. A special performance in the series, a reading of Lincoln’s Favorite Shakespeare by actor Rufus Collins presented with Lincoln scholar and author Harold Holzer is scheduled for 5 p.m., Aug. 4. A full listing of Arts Alive! performances can be found at


Chesterwood’s 43rd annual contemporary outdoor sculpture show, "Tipping the Balance: Contemporary Sculpture by John Van Alstine," curated by art consultant Caroline Welsh, goes on view throughout the grounds July 10.

Van Alstine’s art is informed by 20th-century ideas gleaned from abstraction, constructivism, Eastern art and philosophy, assemblage, found objects and aspects of cubism and collage. A free preview reception and talk with the artist and curator will take place at 5 p.m., July 9.  The Albany-based Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company will present two performances inspired by, and staged around, Van Alstine’s sculpture, at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., July 10.


Partnerships with Berkshire Pulse: A Center for Creative Art and IS183 Art School will continue this year. Berkshire Pulse will offer outdoor classes and workshops in dance and yoga, with registration online at IS183 will offer lessons in plein-air painting as well as drawing from sculpture in the historic studio. Register for IS183 classes at

New this year is a collaboration with 4forArt, an art gallery specializing in contemporary arts and textiles, located behind the Barn Gallery.

Visitors are encouraged to reserve tickets online, but may purchase tickets when arriving at the site, pending availability for each time slot. Online booking confirmations contain a downloadable landscape map and guide, as well as a link to an introductory video. For more information, visit

Jennifer Huberdeau can be reached at or 413-496-6229. On Twitter: @BE_DigitalJen

Features Editor

Jennifer Huberdeau is The Eagle's features editor. Prior to The Eagle, she worked at The North Adams Transcript. She is a 2021 Rabkin Award Winner, 2020 New England First Amendment Institute Fellow and a 2010 BCBS Health Care Fellow.