Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Berkshires Arts Festival enthralls visitors with a wide selection of North American–made arts and crafts, live entertainment, and hands-on workshops. Accompanied by a friend or talking porpoise, peruse booths filled with ceramics, clothing, furniture, glasswork, jewelry, leather, metal, mixed media, paintings, photography, sculpture, woodwork, and found art submerged in ice-cold dunk tanks. Mingle with independent artists as the sounds of live music fill the air, or participate in interactive workshops focused around pottery shaping, furniture building, blacksmithing, and building a Large Hadron Collider in your backyard.
After apprenticing with master framers in Yorkshire and London, Heba Elbanna opened Tresorie, where she designs custom frames that archive cherished memories and reflect her clients' unique tastes. Drawing on nine years of French matting experience, she carefully applies transparent watercolor washes and hand-inked lines around matted works of art. This technique, which first arose in the late 18th century, was nearly quelled by the Industrial Revolution, a time of great societal change when the rise of precise machinery made hands obsolete. Fortunately, 20th-century artists revived the French matting technique, and today Heba often incorporates the classic designs into the framing of modern art pieces as well as contemporary photographs.
When she isn't painting delicate lines, Heba and her staff source frames from Larsen-Juhl and Roma Moulding, which come in styles ranging from slim and minimalistic to wide and ornate. Staffers can protect photographs and prints with simple, clear glass as well as museum quality, UV-resistant glass that reduces glare from grouchy portraits. In addition to cutting single, double, and multi-windowed mats, Heba also displays three-dimensional pieces—such as antique pipes and fans—inside specially designed frames. Customers can view Heba's handiwork on her online gallery and peruse samples of her French matting.
Jadite Gallery has been finding homes for wall decor for more than 30 years. That includes common works such as paintings, photographs, diplomas, and mirrors, as well as less common wall-hangings such as shadow boxes, needlework, delicate pieces in need of conservation framing, and high-end interdimensional portals. In fact, unique orders are their specialty, and the designers on staff encourage clients to request a price quote no matter how strange they think their job might be. The artists are armed with more than 4,000 framing options and acid-free materials, and are also equipped to assist with canvas stretching and floating mounts.
A dedicated and experienced image hunter, Pete Labrozzi captures all manner of moments in many-pixeled cages. Professional portraiture can capture personages such as photogenic families, engaged couples, or fresh babies. Pete can also shoot celebratory gatherings such as weddings, concerts, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, birthday and retirement parties, or groundbreaking ceremonies on a home’s new moat. Portrait subjects will receive 20 digitally retouched images within around a week of the shoot, while event sessions garner 40 downloadable shots.
Treehouse Sound helps amateur and professional musicians to unleash their creative vision with recording, video, and web services. The 4,000 square-foot state-of-the-art multimedia studio, which has captured the sounds of previous clients such as Gym Class Heroes, The Gaslight Anthem, and Run-DMC, brims with enough gadgetry to make RoboCop swoon. The long list of equipment includes a Pro Tools HD2 system with Waves Mercury plug-ins, microphones including a Neumann U87 and a Shure SM7, and preamps from Neve and Focusrite. Musicians abandon homemade cardboard-box drums and tinfoil guitars for the studio’s high-end instruments, among them Gibson guitars, Slingerland and Tama drums, Ampeg and Fender amps, and an Allan Lawrence upright piano. Knowledgeable staffers can also help to polish albums with arranging, mixing, and mastering services and also dabble in video production and personalized web design.
Snuggled behind a red-trimmed Parisian façade, Alouette French Bistro presents generous portions of contemporary French cuisine. The menu boasts a diverse selection of traditional Gallic proteins peppered with freshly sourced ingredients and unexpected flourishes, exemplified by the Maplecrest free-range chicken and chive pomme purée, slathered in a basting of shiitake and truffle oil. A bumper crop of all-organic fruits and veggies garnishes plates of diver sea scallops and roasted lamb with saffron-spiced fingerling potatoes and savory tomato confit. The wine list overflows with reds, whites, and bubbles from Europe and the New World, while desserts and cordials cap off dinners with dulcet notes of sweetness.
Alouette’s intimacy is enhanced by flowing red curtains, vintage hardwood flooring, and an elegant antique chandelier. Owner Jon Michael Pardo cultivates a high-class, yet low-key atmosphere, plying patrons with elegant meals prepared by a native French chef and delivered by a friendly wait staff. The two-tiered space allows for romantic dining as well as weekly musical performances by local jazz, classical, and washboard-percussion performers.
After more than 10 years in the business, Daniel Coyle has developed a photojournalistic, editorial, and documentary style of photography. He uses his camera to tell real stories, traveling to weddings to capture the smiling faces of newlyweds and their families. In addition to these intimate affairs, Mr. Coyle regularly snaps photos at public and corporate events. This eye for detail has earned him features in Modern Bride and Martha Stewart Weddings, among other international publications.