Friday, January 28, 2011

UMass Amherst to work with Springfield youth on photography exhibit.

The University Gallery will show the exhibition Intersections Intersected: The Photographs of David Goldblatt, and a series of events related to the works by David Goldblatt, the eminent South African photographer of our time. His photographs capture the social and moral value systems that governed the tumultuous history of his country’s segregationist policies and continue to influence its changing political landscape. As both citizen and photographer, he was witness to apartheid’s infiltration into every aspect of South African life. The exhibition includes 150 photographs by Goldblatt that focus on South Africa’s human landscape in the apartheid and post-apartheid eras. Very precise captions written by the artist accompany each photo in order to convey context and critical information about the image. His photos do not look at the large events or the public face of violence; rather they focus on the world of ordinary people and the minutiae of everyday life, illuminating the depth of injustice and the character of the people who imposed it and who struggled against it.

In the spirit of David Goldblatt's work, looking at the world of ordinary people and the everyday life, the University Gallery will engage Springfield youth to document their own world and their surroundings, investigating with open eyes the depth of injustice in their environment. Like Goldblatt, they would accompany their images with texts. The collective composition of images and texts will make a powerful statement of persistent racial inequality, the dignity of people, and will make tangible the effects of societal injustice on the individual. Furthermore, it will sharpen the eyes of participants to their surroundings and give them a new voice.

The students photographs will be displayed at an exhibit in the end of February.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sneaker Gallery Opens in downtown Springfield

The Springfield Business Improvement District (SBID) announced today that the popular 6-foot sneaker sculptures known as Art & Soles is moving indoors for the holidays. The 20 painted sneakers will be prominently displayed in the Art & Soles Gallery located at 1391 Main Street, at the corner of Main and Harrison. The space is being donated by the building owner Glenn Edwards to enhance visitors experiences in downtown Springfield and to increase awareness of the building.

The Art & Soles Gallery will be open to the public beginning November 17th and staffed by SBID employees and volunteers. Hours are Monday through Friday 10:00am to 4:00pm, Thursdays open until 8:00pm, Saturdays from 10:00am to 2:00pm. In addition to the 20 sneakers, artists will have additional merchandise available for purchase. Branded merchandise will always be available.
SBID Executive Director Don Courtemanche stated, “Our decision to postpone the auctioning of the sneakers was a great one. Now families who are visiting Springfield for the Balloon Parade, the Festival of Trees or a sporting event will be able to see all of the sneakers under one roof, meet our talented local artists, and perhaps attend a workshop or special event. This means one more chapter in a successful public art project.”

Art & Soles is a Public Art Project created by a team of volunteers including the Greater Springfield-UMass Amherst Partnership, TSM Design, and the Springfield Business Improvement District, all who share an understanding that public art can change people’s perceptions and understanding of public spaces.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Art & Soles Gala/Auction takes over Tower Square on October 23rd

COME PARTY in SPRINGFIELD. Art & Soles is taking over Tower Square for the party of the year celebrating the power of PUBLIC ART to change people's perceptions.

The Greater Springfield-UMass Amherst Partnership, The Springfield Business Improvement District and TSM Design have collaborated on Springfield's first ever coordinated public art project. With 6-foot sneakers as their canvas 19 talented PIONEER VALLEY ARTISTS worked their magic and created their own distinctive response to the question: What makes Springfield great?

The evening will feature abundant hors d'oeuvres from Adolfo's, Big Mamou, Cafe Lebanon, Sitar, Student Prince, Theodores' and desserts from Palazzo and a cash bar. We'll auction off 19 sneakers to the highest bidders and leave lots of time for dancing to the music of Brass Attack and partying.

Cities around the country have raised their public are profiles and created a lasting source of ARTS FUNDING by auctioning fiberglass art objects to the highest bidder. Auction proceeds will establish the Art & Soles Fund at the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts. Your high bid will buy more than a piece of art - it will pay forward art in Springfield.

Date: October 23rd, 2010
Time: 7pm to 12pm
Place: Tower Square, Center Court, ground floor
Attire: Black tie optional, sneakers preferred

Parking: Tower Square Garage, weekend rates apply or street parking. No valet service
Tickets: $75/person

To pay by credit card, call CityStage at 413-788-7033
To pay by check, make payable to CityStage. Memo line: Art & Soles Gala
For more information call the Springfield Business Improvement District at 413-781-1591

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Springfield Students Showcase Their Tech Creations

11 Springfield middle-school students who have built and programmed electronic music machines under the direction of UMass Amherst engineers will showcase their projects for the public and news media at a special showing on Friday, Aug. 13 from 2-4 p.m. Mayor Domenic J. Sarno is expected to arrive between 2-2:30 p.m.

The students have been taking part in "Circuits and Beats," a free, two-week summer tech workshop by the UMass Amherst College of Engineering, in collaboration with the Greater Springfield-UMass Amherst Partnership. The program was developed by UMass Amherst’s M5 open learning environment for techies, with major financial support coming from UMass Amherst, ProSensing, StandardAero and Bruce and Nancy Urbschat. The intensive program is taking place in the Parish House of the Old First Church on Court Square in downtown Springfield. Each young sound designer has learned how to read circuit schematics and modify computer programs for an 8-bt microcontroller, and will keep his or her creation. The participants did not have to have any particular technical background, but have been expected to have a genuine interest in learning more about computers, electronics and music.

DATE: Friday, Aug. 13, 2010
TIME: 2-4 p.m.
PLACE: Parish House, Old First Church, Court Square, Springfield

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

UMass Athletics to hold clinic at the Basketball Hall of Fame

As a part of the Basketball Hall of Fame 2010 Enshrinement festivities, UMass Amherst Women's Basketball head coach Sharon Dawley, her coaching staff and team will hold a free basketball clinic, August 11th at 11am at center court at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA

For more information on UMass Amherst Women's Basketball visit:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mayor Sarno welcomes Art & Soles artists, community and press to downtown studio

Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, along with Maryann Lombardi, director of creative economy for the University of Massachusetts Amherst; Don Courtemanche, executive director of the Springfield Business Improvement District and Nancy Urbschat of TSM Design welcomed artists, community and press to the Art & Soles Main Street Studio.

C&W Realty has donated the retail space at 1200 Main as the downtown studio space for the Art & Soles project. The space has been vacant for years, last used by a financial services firm. The reflective film has been removed from the large display windows to allow people to look in to see these magnificent sneakers being created.

“I can’t think of a better way to showcase this space to potential tenants. Hopefully, by bringing awareness to the space, energizing it, and bringing thousands of people into it, we will also be able to bring about a creative retail tenant to occupy the space long term.” – Don Courtemanche, Executive Director, Springfield Business Improvement District.

The artists who hail from Springfield, UMass Amherst and around the Pioneer Valley then posed for a picture with the Mayor.

Sneakers Arrive in Downtown Springfield

Patrick Keough, all the way from Nebraska, delivered the five-foot sneakers early in the morning July 8th. Patrick along with Don Courtemanche, executive Director of the SBID carried them into the Art & Soles Studio at 1200 Main Street.

Later that morning the studio was visited by a family who were just walking by and wanted to check out what was going on.