Did you know that one of the world’s most renowned museums is right here in the Berkshires, just a short drive north of the Inn at Silver Maple Farm? Mass MOCA, located in North Adams, is a scant hour’s drive through the beautiful mountains and countryside. Once a complex of twenty-six old factory buildings, its thirteen acre campus has been transformed into a veritable mecca for contemporary art. Featuring sculptures and installations of all shapes, sizes, and mediums, the galleries are tactile and quirky. Film and audio media are well-represented, including the current One-Minute Film Festival.
The institution proudly boasts that, “[b]y coupling the versatility and size of its spaces with the latest digital, fiber optic, and new media technologies, MASS MoCA is able to present and catalyze the creation of works that can be shown nowhere else in the world. These facilities serve as a testing ground to expand and redefine the nature of contemporary art.” For example, the two birds of Xu Bing’s controversial Phoenix weigh twelve tons.
You can find numerous theater performances, dance parties, music festivals, artists talks, and other live events throughout the year. While no two visits will be ever be the same, there are some long-term installations, such as the Sol LeWitt exhibit, which will be on display for visitors to enjoy for the next twenty years. Our recent visit to the space was thought-provoking, at times mesmerizing, and ardently inspiring.