Art & Industrie Hosts Fundraiser for Future Neighbor Berkshire Pulse

Mid-May provided the first public glimpse into Housatonic’s newest gallery, Art et Industrie, which opens this summer. The occasion was hosting Berkshire Pulse, Housatonic and Southern Berkshire’s creative arts organization, now in its 17th year and in the midst of a move to the Waubeck Mill and the fundraising to pay for the build out the new dance studios require.

This premiere fundraising event, for Berkshire Pulse’s development campaign called Pulse on the Move, took place on May 18, in the newly renovated space of Art et Industrie, on the second floor of Rubin Mill. Berkshire Pulse is pursuing $252,000 in new funds for the studios and common areas build out needed to bring the new facility into service. The new home of Berkshire Pulse is located on the third floor of Rubin Mill, and establishes a firmer financial and facility foundation for the non-profit organization, including the security of a long-term lease.

Almost a hundred people attended the event held on Friday evening, and the community support for Berkshire Pulse remains strong and included donation of food and drink from many area businesses. “We are fortunate to have Art et Industrie’s Jordan Schlanger in our community,” said Bettina Montano, Founder and Artistic Director of Berkshire Pulse. “Even though Art & Industrie is our newest neighbor, their generosity and care for the future of Pulse is striking.”

The newly renovated space of Art et Industrie was perfect for the event, which included dance performances by some of Pulse’s advanced students and lieder and aria performance by Cardinale Montano, Bettina’s sister and noted local artist, accompanied on the gallery’s Steinway grand piano, by Lee Dixon. “We were pleasantly surprised by how good the acoustics are in the space,” notes Jordan Schlanger. “We’re still getting used to the space, and even though 100 people were in attendance—not counting the performers and the volunteers—the scale of the gallery is such that the event looked under-attended!”

The space will be getting its first direct use in the upcoming inaugural exhibition, slated for a July 21, 2012 opening. The exhibit, Reclaimed, Reused, Repurposed: Furniture and Furnishings from Found Material, will present a diverse collection of artwork and objects all sharing a focus on reclaimed wood and materials from prior use, including use of salvaged lumber from windfall and demolition, repurposed cast iron components, and recycled metals and fabrics. The exhibition will include a wide range of work, from sculpture, studio furniture, furnishings, home accessories, lighting, textiles, and jewelry.

“We’re in the midst of signing on terrific regional and national artists, and expect that over two-dozen artists will be participating,” says David R. Guenette, Producer for Art et Industrie. “We’re also working on our next two exhibitions, which will overlap in schedule with Reclaimed; these next shows are New England Assemblage and Art Lamps and Creative Lighting.” With the nature of the space Art & Industrie offers, notes Guenette, a whole new the scale and scope of art shows is now possible in the Berkshire/Hudson River Valley/Northwest Connecticut area.

(Photographs courtesy Diego Guttierrez)