STAFF PICKS: Incarcerated artists, Roxane Gay, and dinner and a show

Photomontage by R.B., 2017.

Photomontage by R.B., 2017.

Inside Art IV // FRIDAY

The Elm Street Think Tank is a group of incarcerated locals and community educators who meet weekly inside the jail to have discussions, raise awareness, and work on a collection of different projects. The fourth annual “Inside Art,” an art exhibit featuring art and writings by residents incarcerated at the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, is now available for public viewing. This year’s show focuses on the art and writings as well as images created in a class taught by Joan O’Beirne, professor of photography at Greenfield Community College. The art exhibit calls to attention the fact that approximately 7 million people in the U.S. who are under correctional supervision are parents to children under 18. It’s a sad reality that some children have to pay $1 per minute to speak on the phone with a parent inside. It might be difficult to put emotions aside when viewing the exhibit, but the greatest art is often about the difficult realities of neglected populations. Opening reception, Friday, November 3, 5 -7 p.m. On display until November 27. Artspace, 15 Mill St., Greenfield, http://www.artspacegreenfield.com.

— Dave Eisenstadter

Roxane Gay at Smith // THURSDAY

Even though I love the Valley music scene, this week my pick goes to something a bit more academic. Author and cultural critic Roxane Gay is speaking at Smith College on Thursday, Nov. 2, and I’m really excited. Her first essay collection, Bad Feminist, rocked my world. Her books and essays address modern feminism and culture with a critical eye, while maintaining a witty and relatable tone. If seeing her speak in person is anything like reading her work, this will not be one to miss out on. The speech is the keynote address at this year’s celebration of Otelia Cromwell Day at Smith, named after Otelia Cromwell who was Smith’s first African American graduate. The event will also include student read poetry and musical selections. Free to the public for those who can slip out of work on a Thursday afternoon. Smith College, John M. Greene Hall, 1- 2:30 p.m.

— Meg Bantle

The Russell Brooks Revue // SUNDAY

When I was younger, one of my favorite places for a family dinner night was Figaro’s in Enfield. Mmmmm, I can always remember ordering a slice of carrot cake after dinner. Well, Figaro’s is still around and recently renovated along with an updated Italian menu, and there’s yummy adult beverages. This Sunday evening, for a special treat with your dinner, order the carrot cake while enjoying live entertainment from the Russell Brooks Revue (aka Lord Russ). He’s a one man variety show, morphing his voice into classic artists such as Elvis, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, Neil Diamond, and more. He’s also pegged as a comedian, so maybe you can work off your chicken parm through laughter before you leave the restaurant. $20 per person, 5:30 p.m. seating for dinner. Show at 7 p.m. 5:30 – 8:30 p.m., Figaro Ristorante, 90 Elm St., Enfield.

— Jennifer Levesque

Author: Advocate Staff

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