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YOUR WEEKEND: Global Voices & Local Choices

gw-29Beginning FRIDAY, OCT. 7 – Alison Wells Fine Art has brought just that to downtown New Bedford – and a whole lot more. The gallery inhabits a quintessential urban space on William Street – narrow storefront, long footprint. But it’s what Alison Wells has done in it that really counts. Of course, her own beautiful art is always on display. It’s sometimes joined by a carefully curated selection of other fine artist and the space is often used for special events – like one of the best poetry readings held recently during last winter’s Civil Rights Icons show. Amazingly, Alison Wells Fine Art is only beginning its third year downtown – and today a week-long second anniversary celebration begins. The special studio show and sale happens Friday 7th October from 11:00 am – 7:00 pm, continues Saturday 8th October, 11:00 am – 6:00 pm and concludes Thursday the 13th – October AHA Night – from 5:00 pm-9:00 pm, featuring Live Steel Pan Music beginning at 6:30 p.m. A personal note – this past summer, Alison was part of the Maps & Legends outdoor art installation and gallery show I curated at Haskell Public Gardens. After the show, I stored a couple of her paintings at my house for about a week – and must admit I loathed to let them go! On the day Alison came to collect what I began to think of as “MY Alison Wells’ originals” I was in up in the attic doing some housekeeping – and the artist spent an anxious 20 minutes on the street until I finally heard my phone ringing! Hmm, wonder what the sale price will be on MY Alison Wells’ originals…? I miss them!

Beginning FRIDAY, OCT. 7 – The New Bedford Art Museum opens an exciting new exhibition tonight with a reception from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. “GLOBAL VOICES FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE: ART AS ACTIVISM” puts “Art as Activism” on display. It’s selection of posters produced between the early 1960s and the1980s. “Many local activists during that period participated in the creation of local movements that paralleled what was going on in other parts of the country and the world, bringing their own experiences to bear on locally-based struggles,” the museum writes in a release -and also notes, “New Bedford has a rich history of political protests and calls for action rooted in a legacy of inequality and social and economic injustice. From the city’s antislavery history to the struggle for workers’ rights; from the era of Fredrick Douglass to the 20th century war on poverty, civil rights and antiwar movements, a host of movements combating social injustices at home and around the world, including the liberation of Cabo Verde are communicated via the art of the poster. Graphic artists and community activists have used art to inform communities and call attention to injustice. These bright, quickly produced images embodied the passionate voices of the people, ultimately serving as the wallpaper of public discontent.” Right on! The show will remain on view at the museum through Jan. 8, 2017. But their openings are always a lot of fun; stop by tonight!

Beginning FRIDAY, OCT. 7 – The Collective NB is a recent addition to the New Bedford theatrical scene. After some innovative programming, they jump into more traditional territory tonight – but no doubt will put their own spin on Neil Simon’s “Rumors.” Only their second full-length presentation, The Collective NB has chosen one of Simon’s lesser-known but no less impressive offerings. The playwright himself said, “This is completely different for me…It’s unlike anything I’ve ever written. It’s my first farce.” Sounds like fertile ground for this impressive new troupe. “Rumors” is being staged at Gallery X, 169 William Street, on Friday, Oct. 7 at 7:30 p.m. and Sat. Oct. 8 also at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are only $10 at the door; click here for more information.

SATURDAY, OCT. 8 – Seaport Art Walk joins the state-wide Boston ArtWeek event with special tours of the sculptures which transform the New Bedford working waterfront with original installations created by local artists. Ten to twenty sculptures are temporarily installed in the city’s Seaport Cultural District and tours will be led by artists featured in the Seaport Art Walk today. The first tour will begin at 1:00 p.m. and the second tour will begin at 3:00 p.m. Tours last about an hour. Please meet promptly at City Pier 3, Waterfront Visitor Center, 52 Fisherman’s Wharf, to meet your guide. This year’s theme – “Cultural Aspects” – encouraged artists’ unique interpretation and connection with the diversity of New Bedford – and they did just that. If you haven’t seen the work yet – or want to hear about the inspiration behind it – get yourself down to the docks this afternoon.

SUNDAY, OCT. 9 – Okay – after all that art, it’s time to get oiled up and get down with something different – and it doesn’t get more different than the annual Great Beer’d Fest in Wings Court, downtown New Bedford today from 1:00 – 7:00 p.m. – featuring music, a beard and mustache competition, and OUTDOOR WRESTLING! The free admission, all ages event goes to the mat with live music by Weld Square and The Black Kennedys; live pro wrestling courtesy of Top Rope promotions (including a TRP heavyweight championship bout between Teddy Goodz and “Pure Talent” Chris Escobar); the hirsute competition – and beer. Be there! All events will be held outside the Pour Farm Tavern – 21+ to drink with proper ID.

Steven Froias