Berkshire Art Center opens second location in Pittsfield /

Berkshire Arts Center executive director Lucie Castaldo and board chairman Michael Zippel cut the ribbon for the new location on Friday.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Art Center — formerly IS183 Art School — cut the ribbon at its Pittsfield site on Friday, increasing accessibility for residents of central Berkshire and beyond.

“For us to be able to be in the heart of Berkshire County is amazing for our programming,” said general manager Lucie Castaldo.

The Brothership Building’s new space at 141 North St. was bustling with art makers and admirers during its grand opening reception.

The satellite studio will offer new classes and workshops for artists of all ages and will establish programming from the main Stockbridge site.

“It’s a huge opportunity to have our own space here in Pittsfield,” said program director Brielle Rizzotti.

“We will be able to serve a different clientele, people who may not have known us or weren’t willing to make the trip to Stockbridge, and that makes our courses so much more accessible than they have ever been before. and really just stretching across the county to reach more people.”

A series of Arts Night Out events will be available at the new location, allowing attendees to experience different artistic pursuits such as bead making, cyanotype, printmaking and ceramics.

To add to the fun, Methuselah Bar and Lounge will be offering a 15% food discount to everyone who dines there afterward.

Starting October 14, LAC will also be offering free monthly family tours that feature rotating projects that families can participate in at their own pace with guidance from a faculty artist.

These will take place the first Friday of each month from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and the third Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon.

Rizzotti explained that his starting point with the new location’s programming is to offer shorter-term programming, like one-day workshops and drop-in activities.

Many courses at Stockbridge are six weeks long and although they are offered in Pittsfield, the aim is to make it more accessible to people new to BAC or looking for a shorter commitment, she added.

“We’ve been running programs since 2007 at public schools in Pittsfield,” Castaldo explained.

“We also offer courses at the Liechtenstein Center and it’s amazing to have our own space so we can do more and have more control over what we offer. We will also have a free college program that kind of compliments what we do in schools.

Board chairman Michael Zippel said the space will provide visibility and he likes how it turned out.

“I think just being on North Street here will be amazing for us just to get the word out about what we’re doing,” he said.

“Especially children’s programming, which I think is a really amazing thing that we do, so I think North Street is a great fit as a satellite office.”

BAC will also showcase and sell works from local makers and sell second-hand and discounted art supplies in the new space.

The nonprofit organization changed its name to IS183 art school in June to better reflect its mission.

Castaldo explained that this has been discussed for a long time and a series of focus groups gave specific comments that the name should represent who they are and what they do.

“We aim to be and have been for 30 years the center of visual arts creation in Berkshire County,” she said.

“And we hope the change will bring some clarity to what we do and our kind of slogan of growing and supporting artists in the community.”

Key words: arts centre, makerspace, ribbon cutting,