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The Clark and BVB Invite You to Capture the Spirit of the Berkshires on Film

For Immediate Release

October 31, 2001

The Clark Art Institute and the Berkshire Visitors Bureau invite area residents of all ages to share their views of the Berkshires by participating in a photography contest and show. All entries will be displayed in a special showing at the Clark in December, and prizes will be awarded for the six photographs that best capture the spirit of the Berkshires today-its landscapes, towns, people, or wildlife. The contest is open to everyone. Winning photographs (three adult and three youth) will also be published in the Berkshire Visitors Bureau Official Guide and on the Clark's website. All entries must be received at the Clark by November 15.

The contest was inspired by the Clark's fall exhibition, Stockbridge Portfolio: Photographs by George Henry Seeley, which features 32 photographs taken in and around Stockbridge in about 1917. Seeley captured views of Berkshire meadows, streams, bridges, factories, and people.

"Having an exhibition by a Berkshire County artist, photographing local subjects, inspired us to involve the community in a fun and different way," said Michael Conforti, director of the Clark. "We hope that everyone, adults and children alike, who has taken a great photograph of our beautiful region-whether it's a snapshot or something more-will send it in. Not only are we going to put up every picture that is sent in, but we will have an opening reception for the participants, their families, and the community."

The photographs will be displayed in the special show "Berkshire Impressions" at the Clark, which will open with a reception on Friday, December 7, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The reception will include kid-friendly finger food and beverages as well as the "traditional" wine and cheese.

The contest is sponsored in part by Berkshire Broadcasting, The Advocate, and iBerkshires.com. Judges for the contest will be Lesley Beck, editor of Berkshires Week, Gillian Jones, chief photographer for the North Adams Transcript, photographer Lincoln Russell, Corydon Thurston of Berkshire Broadcasting, William R Wilson, Jr., president and CEO of the Berkshire Visitors Bureau, and James A. Ganz, curator of prints, drawings, and photographs at the Clark.

First prize in the Youth category (under 18) will be a one-day pass for two for cross-country skiing at Cranwell Resort and Golf Club in Lenox. Second prize is a one-week membership at Berkshire Community College's Aviation ACE Program. Third prize is a "cultural adventure" package including a four-person pass to MASS MoCA in North Adams, four free passes and a "Wally" T-shirt from the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, a family membership and gifts from Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, and two passes to the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge.

First prize in the adult category will be dinner for two in the Library at Wheatleigh, and one flex pass to Oldcastle Theatre. Second prize is brunch for two at the Williams Inn and one ten-pass to Images Cinema in Williamstown. Third prize is a cultural package including a four person pass to MASS MoCA, a family membership at Hancock Shaker Village, and two passes to the Norman Rockwell Museum.

Contestants may submit up to three entries, which must be unframed and between 5x7 and 16x20 inches. Photographs must have been taken in Berkshire Country, Massachusetts, but may have been taken at any time. The Clark and the Berkshire Visitors Bureau reserve the right to reject any photograph for any reason such as unsuitability of subject matter. For a complete list of rules and entry form, stop by the information desk at the Clark, 225 South Street, Williamstown, call 413-458-2303, extension 363.

All entries must be received at the Clark on or before Thursday, November 15. Entries may be mailed to Photo Contest, Clark Art Institute, 225 South Street, Williamstown MA 01267, or dropped off at the Clark between 1:00 and 7:00 p.m. on November 15.

Stockbridge Portfolio: Photographs by George Henry Seeley, is on view at the Clark through January 6. Photographer George Henry Seeley (1880-1955), an important artist of the American Pictorialist school, was a lifelong resident of Stockbridge. During the World War I era he created a portfolio of 32 platinum prints celebrating the rural simplicity of life in the Berkshires. The works were in a private collection until earlier this year, when the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute purchased the portfolio. The photographs are on public view for the first time.

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts.  The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free through May.  For more information call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu.

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