Community Invited to Free Open House at the Clark June 22

For Immediate Release

May 30, 2008

Experience the excitement as Stone Hill Center debuts and two beautiful summer exhibitions open at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. On Sunday, June 22, tour Stone Hill Center, explore the new walking paths, and visit the galleries to see Like Breath on Glass: Whistler, Inness, and the Art of Painting Softly and Homer and Sargent from the Clark. Admission is free on this special, fun-filled community day.

A ribbon cutting ceremony for Stone Hill Center will kick off the day’s celebrations at 12 pm. During the afternoon, enjoy performances by Odaiko New England (ONE), a group that weaves the traditional elements of taiko (an artistic, powerful, and physically demanding discipline of Japanese ensemble drumming) with contemporary influences to create a constantly evolving and dynamic art form. Tours of the Williamstown Art Conservation Center begin at 12:30 pm, and continue every 20 minutes throughout the afternoon (sign up at Stone Hill Center beginning at 11 am; space is limited).

In addition to the new walking paths leading to Stone Hill Center, two trails are available from the building, exploring the far reaches of the Clark’s 140-acre campus. The Pasture Loop and longer Stone Bench Loop both have wonderful views of Williamstown and the surrounding mountains. The trails meander through woodland and meadow offering opportunities to see a variety of flora and fauna. Beginning at 11 am, a self-guided hike using topographical maps will introduce visitors to the new and existing paths. Pick up maps at Stone Hill Center.

Family-friendly barbeque fare will be available for purchase throughout the day at Stone Hill Center and at the picnic tent near the south lawn. Stone Hill Center’s terrace has table seating under umbrellas and offers fantastic views of the Green Mountains and Taconic Range. The Clark’s campus is dotted with picnic tables and inviting spaces to spread out picnic blankets.

Opening the exhibition Like Breath on Glass: Whistler, Inness, and the Art of Painting Softly, Clark curators Marc Simpson and Cody Hartley will discuss what they learned organizing the exhibition and describe the transformative experience they hope visitors to the exhibition will share. Admission to this 3 pm lecture, “Like Breath on Glass: The Hard Work of Painting Softly,” is free.

Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architect Tadao Ando, the 32,000-square-foot Stone Hill Center houses two intimately scaled gallery spaces and the Williamstown Art Conservation Center (WACC). Designed to blend gracefully into the hillside, Stone Hill Center is integrated into the surrounding 140-acre campus through a network of scenic trails and walking paths. The two-story, wood-and-glass building provides generous vistas of the countryside, with a terrace and outdoor café. The building’s design not only provides an abundance of natural light for the conservators, but also allows visitors on the terrace or in the courtyard the chance to see them at work in their studios.

Ando is a recognized master of views and natural light. Stone Hill Center is his first museum project set within a rural American landscape and only the third building he has completed in this country. Ando was selected because of his contemplative style and ability to weave architecture seamlessly into a natural environment. Ando’s other U.S. museum projects—the Pulitzer Foundation of the Arts in St. Louis, MO, and the Museum of Modern Art in Fort Worth, TX—opened to critical acclaim in 2002.

Funding for this project has been provided by the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund, a program of the state of Massachusetts, administered through a collaborative agreement between MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm (daily in July and August). Admission June 1 through October 31 is $12.50 for adults, free for children 18 and younger, members, and students with valid ID. Admission is free November 1 through May 31. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu.

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