Our first stop was the Saint Francis Gallery in South Lee. The awesome owner of the joint, Philp Pryjma, opened just for us – he was originally scheduled to be closed that day. What a nice fella!
On view, in addition to my fave, Linda Baker-Cimini (Christ on Stonehenge Vellum, I want each and every one of her drawings!), Jen, Oni and I found watercolors and prints by the sculptor Tom Wood, sunflowers by Scott Taylor, Jim Singelis portraits, gorgeous figure photos by Ernie Kirk (like Mapplethorpe without the bullwhips) and Tina Van Der Water’s ethereal abstracts. More too but these are the ones who stood out the most.
From the Saint Francis, we drove into Lee, hoping to get lunch at the Starving Artist Cafe (and Good Purpose Gallery). Mega sadly, they were shut – July fourth being some kinda national holiday and shit. The nearby Alpamayo Peruvian Restaurant was open and looked interesting. It was.
We then stopped in at the wonderful Norman Rockwell Museum. They’re having a Warhol show including works by his nephew, the illustrator James Warhola.
I’d seen some of Warhola’s brill children’s book illustrations before but I had NO idea that he’d also done the cover art for William Gibson’s Neuromancer AND Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land. This last was a mind blowing and formative read when read at the tender age of 16. My re-read at the less fragile age of 55? Meh. DATED. Read like a Hefner wet dream.
There was one very funny painting of Andy Warhol’s – The Nosepicker. It put Basquiat in mind. I’ve read that Warhol and Basquiat were big buds and influenced each other equally. OH to have been there for a convo between these art heavyweights!
Next we drove to Chesterwood and The Mount to see their sculpture exhibits. In my very brief walkabouts I discovered that, though the art and natural beauty of the Berkshires was, yes, distractifying, I was easily exhausted from the not-too-far-in-the-background pain of loss. On a day where I had loads of big energy, I could, mebbe, find things to appreciate about the large, outdoor abstracts. As it was? MEH!
One gallery and one small museum and I was at, beyond, my limit. We drove into Lenox for our last stop – The Bookstore and Get Lit Wine Bar. A GREAT shop where I, naturally, parted with too much cabbage. The very small bar, by the by, was tremendously inviting BUT we had a three hour drive home ahead of us.
I gotta go back at a less freighted time, stay the weekend (maybe at the Shaker Mill Inn!) and do more exploring. Maybe even take some nice woodland walks. You know, appreciate nāchă and shit!
We got home just before the witching hour – the moment when my beloved cut outta this world. Yep, I had another glass or two 'o' the grape. Hell's bells, who wouldn't.