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19th Annual Fall Reception

If You Want to Be Happy, Be Grateful: The Life and Teachings of Brother David Steindl-Rast

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Please Join Us!

If You Want to be Happy, Be Grateful:
The Life and Teachings of Brother David Steindl-Rast 

Sunday, October 1, 2017

3 – 6 p.m.
Old Chapel, University of Massachusetts Amherst

The 2017 Friends of the Library Fall Reception celebrates the life and work of Brother David Steindl-Rast, whose archives are an important part of the Libraries’ Special Collections.

A scholar, writer, activist, and Benedictine monk, Brother David has shared a worldwide message of peace, interfaith dialog, social justice, and environmental stewardship for more than 50 years, and he is co-founder of the interactive online community, A Network for Grateful Living.

This year’s program features three speakers from A Network for Grateful Living: Anthony Chavez (Brother David’s longtime travel assistant and grandson of Cesar Chavez); Kristi Nelson ’03, Executive Director; and Margaret Wakeley, Program & Community Development Coordinator.

Special Collections will curate an exhibit in the W. E. B. Du Bois Library of original items from Brother David’s archives.

The event is free and open to the public. 

Reservations are appreciated by September 22, 2017: or 413-545-3974.

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Book Talk and Dinner SOLD OUT!

May 18, 2017

You’re invited BACK TO 1914

Join us to hear Ed Klekowski, Professor Emeritus, give a talk about his first book of fiction, The Kaiser’s American, set during the first year of WWI, then enjoy a gourmet dinner, all while supporting the Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives.

Thursday, May 18, 2017
6:00 p.m., Floor 26, Room 2601

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Cocktails and Exhibit of WWI Archival Collections followed by Dinner, Dessert, and Book Presentation.

Please indicate your choice of entrée:

Herb Roasted Beef Tenderloin, Portuguese Local Seafood Stew, or Vegetarian Seared Parmesan Semolina.

Tickets are $125 per person 
(of which $75 is tax-deductible).

Space is limited, please reserve early.

To pay by credit card, please phone 413-545-3974

To pay by check, please mail to:

Kim D. Fill
W. E. B. Du Bois Library
154 Hicks Way, Room 415
Amherst, MA 01003-9275

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A Climate for Change: Research, Reflection, and Action Around Climate Change

Saturday, April 1, 2017 4-7 p.m.


The UMass Amherst Libraries host an interactive sustainability event, “A Climate for Change: Research, Reflection and Action Around Climate Change,” on Saturday, April 1, 2017, from 4 – 7 p.m. on the Lower Level of the W. E. B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. Seating is limited. The Library will remain open to the public during the event.

The event includes a Sustainability Showcase featuring a variety of UMass Amherst campus-based sustainability initiatives, talks by UMass Amherst geosciences professors Julie Brigham-Grette and Robert DeConto, as well as the presentation of the Libraries’ 2017 Sustainability Hero Award to Massachusetts State Representative Solomon Goldstein-Rose, and the awarding of first place prize for the Undergraduate Sustainability Research Award.

The interactive Sustainability Showcase includes Divest UMass, UMass Climateers, Sustainable UMass, Eco-Reps, Sustainable Food and Farming and Student Farm Enterprise, Sustainability Curriculum Fellowship, Libraries’ Sustainability Fund, the Talking Truth project, Sustainability Projects Abroad, Northeast Climate Center, and the Wind Energy Center.  The Libraries’ Special Collections & University Archives will share information about their environmental, anti-nuke, and alternative energy collections. Additionally, the public is invited to take part in a reflective writing exercise where they can share their thoughts on climate change. These reflections will be added to the Libraries’ archives.

Dr. Julie Brigham-Grette is a  professor of Quaternary/glacial geology, arctic paleoenvironments, and Department Head of Geosciences at UMass Amherst. Julie is also chair of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences’ Polar Research Board, and was named a 2016 Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, an honor given to individual members “who have made exceptional scientific contributions and gained prominence in their respective fields of Earth and space sciences.”

Her research focuses on the chronology of geologic systems that record the climate evolution and sea level history of the Arctic over the past 3.5 million years and on documenting the global context of ancient environmental change across the Bering Land Bridge, that area of the western Arctic from Alaska and the Yukon into northeastern Russia and adjacent marginal seas.

Brigham-Grette has recently been named a Public Engagement Faculty Fellow by the Public Engagement Project, a UMass Amherst-based endeavor which supports and trains faculty members to use their research to contribute to social change, public policy, and to enrich public debate. During her fellowship, Brigham-Grette will help educate the public and policy makers on how to best manage investments in coastline development given the certainty of rising sea levels.

Dr. Robert DeConto, professor of climatology, department of Geosciences at UMass Amherst, is one of the world’s leading experts on polar climates, ice sheets, and sea-level rise. He is the winner of the 2016 Tinker-Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica. The recognition comes for his outstanding work on past and future Antarctic climate and for research integrating geological data with modeling to reveal likely consequences for future sea level rise from ice sheet melt. The prize includes a $100,000 award and is given to “an individual in the fields of Antarctic science and/or policy who has demonstrated potential for sustained and significant contributions that will enhance the understanding and/or preservation of Antarctica.”

DeConto and co-author Penn State climate scientist David Pollard’s March 2016 paper in Nature, “Contribution of Antarctica to past and future sea-level rise,” was named the most featured climate change paper in the media last year as reported by, a U.K.-based website covering the latest developments in climate science, climate policy and energy policy. The research paper was featured in 386 news stories and was covered by outlets such as the BBC, Guardian, Huffington Post, New York Times, Washington Post, and The New Yorker.

Massachusetts State Representative Solomon Goldstein-Rose, Third Hampshire District, will be presented with the Libraries’ 2017 Sustainability Hero Award. Golstein-Rose, who took over the seat vacated by retired State Representative Ellen Story, and is one of the youngest state legislators in the country, is an advocate for system change, particularly on education and clean energy, and a resource for constituent service, internship opportunities, and political activism.

The first place winner of the Undergraduate Sustainability Research Award will also be honored.  This annual scholarship promotes in-depth understanding of sustainability topics, research strategies, and the use of library resources, and is funded by the UMass Amherst Libraries’ Sustainability Fund.



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Talking Truth: Finding Your Voice Around the Climate Crisis

Events from January 30 - April 22, 2017


The UMass Amherst Libraries host a series of interactive climate change events which run from January 30 through May 8, 2017. All events are free and open to the public. Unless otherwise specified, the events take place in the W.E.B. Du Bois Library. Seating is limited, please arrive early.

The multi-event series, now in its second year, is organized by Talking Truth: Finding Your Voice Around the Climate Crisis, a collaborative community comprised of UMass Amherst students, faculty, and staff working together to integrate the intellectual, emotional and spiritual dimensions of climate change. The theme of the spring 2017 series is “Living and Working with Purpose in a Time of Climate Disruption.”

Holding Earth: Mindful Climate Action
Mondays, 1/30-5/8, 3:00-3:45 p.m., Room 1638

Weekly 30-minute mindfulness practice followed by sharing of resources, action-based opportunities, and ideas.

Finding Work with Meaning in the Anthropocene: Panel Discussion
Thursday, 4/19, 7:00-9:00 p.m., Room 2601

Gain insights into your personal journey toward forward-thinking work in sustainable living and community building within the fields of education, entrepreneurialism, and green building, with Ofer Sharone, assistant professor, Sociology, UMass Amherst; Sara Schley, co-founder of the sustainable consulting firm Seed Systems; Ezra Small, UMass Amherst Sustainability Manager; Sarah Hebert G’13, Trinity Solar employee; and John Fabel, building and construction technology adjunct faculty member, UMass Amherst. 

Meeting Our Ancestors: Exploring the Future Through the Present Moment
Friday, 2/24, 12:30-2:00 p.m., CAMPUS CENTER Room 917

A sacred “deep time” practice session, inspired by the work of activist and Buddhist scholar Joanna Macy. In this workshop we will consider how we might act like ancestors of future generations and reinvigorate our commitment to climate justice action. The group is facilitated by Tim Beaucage, graduate advisor/teaching associate at UMass Amherst.  

Beyond Doom and Gloom: Including Solutions to Climate Change in Teaching
Wednesday, 3/1, 12:30-1:30 p.m., Room 2601

Live webinar for faculty presented by the Disciplinary Association Network for Sustainability. Learn to access expert guidance and curricular materials to engage your students in current and future solutions. This webinar is applicable to any course, in any discipline; discussion to follow.
Finding Your Life Purpose: Career Workshop
Thursday, 3/2, 7:00-8:30 p.m., Room 2601

Reflective writing, group discussion and practical steps to support career exploration. The group is led by contemplative career coach and mindfulness teacher Jennifer Earls, M.Ed., Dance with Life Consulting.

Poetry reading and creative writing workshop
Thursday, 3/23, 7:00-9:00 p.m., Room 2601

Featuring Don Ogden, author of Bad Atmosphere. A free copy of Ogden’s book will be given to the first 20 participants to arrive.

Green Building Tour
Thursday, 4/13, 4:00-5:30 p.m., Meet in the lobby of the W.E.B. Du Bois Library

Get the inside stories of the new Design Building, renovated Old Chapel, South College addition, Integrative Learning Center and others. Led by Ludmilla Pavlova, senior campus planner.

Other associated events:

A Climate for Change: Research, Reflection, and Action around Climate Change
Saturday, 4/1, 4:00-5:00 p.m., Lower Level, W.E.B. Du Bois Library.

Participate in our reflective writing exercise as part of the Libraries’ spring Climate Change event, which will also include a Sustainability Showcase, speakers, and refreshments. The full event is from 4-7 p.m.

Town of Amherst Sustainability Festival,
Saturday, 4/22, 10:00-4:00 p.m, Amherst Town Common 
Find representatives from Talking Truth in the Climate Transformer area.

For more information, contact Madeleine Charney, 413-577-0784 or visit: and

Talking Truth is co-sponsored by the Office of Civic Engagement and Service-Learning, UMass Amherst Libraries, Department of Environmental Conservation, and Psychology of Peace and Violence Program.

Talking Truth is endorsed by the following UMass Amherst entities, the Center for Counseling and Psychological Health, UMass Climateers, Eco-Rep Program, Biostead Initiative, Contemplative Pedagogy Working Group, Spiritual Ecology and Regenerative Systems Initiative, and Office of Religious and Spiritual Life.

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Second Annual Tower Run

November 17, 2016 7-10 PM

Tower Run

UMass Amherst students, faculty and staff are invited to register for the second annual Tower Run to be held on Thursday, November 17, 2016, from 7–10 p.m., at the W.E.B. Du Bois Library. The Tower Run offers the opportunity to run the 440 steps of the Du Bois Library, from the Lower Level to Floor 26.

Participants must register in advance by November 10. For more information and to register, visit:

The entry fee is $10 and registration is limited to the UMass Amherst community. Runners will be put into different time slots and allowed to run in intervals.  The first 100 registrants will receive a Tower Run t-shirt. The Tower Run is untimed; participants are encouraged to bring their own timing devices: the prize offered is bragging rights.

The event is sponsored by UMass Students of Recreation (USOR), UMass Campus Recreation, and the UMass Amherst Libraries.

“We are extremely excited for the second annual Tower Run,” says Bethany Welch of USOR. “Both Campus Recreation and the Library are a huge part of UMass students' lives and it is awesome to be able to combine the two in one great event. We hope that this fun activity will develop camaraderie in the UMass community in the following years.”

UMass Students of Recreation (USOR) is a registered student organization that is responsible for holding events on the UMass Amherst campus including a National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) Regional Basketball Tournament, Campus Recreation Olympic Games (CROG), and other athletic activities. The main goal of USOR is to advance the Campus Recreation program and offer fun experiences to people who want to get involved with different sorts of recreational activities.

UMass Campus Recreation, an integral part of the educational mission of UMass Amherst and the Division of Student Affairs and Campus Life, provides comprehensive recreational and student development opportunities, as well as exceptional programs, services and facilities. Through positively reflecting the interests and values of the UMass community, Campus Recreation actively promotes and encourages a lifelong commitment to health and wellness.

All proceeds from the Tower Run will go towards the UMass Amherst Libraries’ Facilities Fund which enables the Libraries to continually upgrade, improve, and re-imagine learning spaces.

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The Souls of Black Folk Book Giveaway

Today: Wednesday, October 5, 10 a.m., Lower Level, until books are gone!

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Five hundred copies of the book The Souls of Black Folk, the seminal work of W.E.B. Du Bois, will be given away today on the Lower Level of the Du Bois Library by Whitney Battle-Baptiste, Director of the Du Bois Center. She will be joined by students and John Fitzgerald '63, G'78, who donated the books. 

Last year's event, also made possible through the generosity of John Fitzgerald, was extremely popular and all 500 copies were handed out in just under 2 hours.

First come, first served! Lower Level, Du Bois Library.

The event is sponsored by the W.E.B. Du Bois Center.

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Birds of Prey with Tom Ricardi

Friday, October 14, 2016 1-2:30 p.m. Lower Level, Du Bois Library

Birds of Prey

The UMass Amherst Libraries will host Tom Ricardi of the Massachusetts Birds of Prey Rehab Facility in Conway, Mass for an interactive presentation featuring live birds of prey. Among the raptors featured will be a Golden Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Red-Tailed Hawk, Harris Hawk, Kestrel, Screech Owl, Great Horned Owl, and Eurasian Eagle Owl. The event is free and open to the public.

A retired Fish and Wildlife game warden and licensed wildlife rehabilitator, Ricardi cares for injured birds, operates a successful captive-breeding program, and travels throughout New England and New York providing information aimed at helping people appreciate, respect, and assist in the conservation of these important raptors.

This event is a must for anyone who enjoys watching the Peregrine falcons atop the Du Bois Library.

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Talking Truth: Finding Your Voice Around the Climate Crisis

September 12, 2016 through November 4, 2016


The UMass Amherst Libraries host a series of interactive climate change events from Monday, September 12, through Friday, November 4, 2016, in the W.E.B. Du Bois Library. All events are free and open to the public. Seating is limited, please arrive early.

The multi-event series is organized by Talking Truth: Finding Your Voice Around the Climate Crisis, a collaborative community comprised of UMass Amherst students, faculty and staff working together to integrate the intellectual, emotional and spiritual dimensions of climate change.

Brian Lickel of the Psychology of Peace and Violence Program and a member of the planning team says, “The second year of Talking Truth activity is fueled by a growing awareness of the global urgency to address the complex issues of climate change and the importance of this issue for our campus community."

Mondays, 9/12-10/31, 3:00-3:45 p.m. “Holding Earth: Mindful Climate Action”
Weekly 30-minute mindfulness practice followed by sharing of resources, action-based opportunities and ideas. People can drop in for all or part of any session. Floor 16, room 1638.

Wednesday, 9/21, 12:30-2:00 p.m. Discussion group for students, faculty, and staff
Thought provoking prompts will guide a climate-related conversation. The session includes time for sharing resources, action-based opportunities, and ideas. Floor 26, room 2601.

Thursday, 9/29, 7:00 p.m. Book discussion with author Wen Stephenson
What We’re Fighting for Now Is Each Other: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Climate Justice.
Author and activist Wen Stephenson looks up-close look at individuals who are laying everything on the line to build and inspire the climate justice movement. The first 40 people to arrive will receive a free copy of Stephenson’s book. Floor 26, room 2601.

Thursday, 10/20, 7:00 p.m. Documentary film screening and discussion:
How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change. Directed by Josh Fox, producer of Gas Lands.  “Funny and tragic, inspiring and enlightening, the film examines the intricately woven forces that threaten the stability of the planet and the lives of its inhabitants.” Ronald Simmons, IMDB. Floor 26, room 2601.  

Friday, 11/4, 12:30-2:00 p.m. Experiential workshop
Mindfulness exercises, storytelling, and reflective writing.  Floor 26, room 2601.

For more information, contact: Madeleine Charney (413-577-0784) or visit: and 

Sponsored by UMass Amherst Libraries, Office of Civic Engagement and Service-Learning, Psychology of Peace and Violence Program, and Department of Environmental Conservation. Endorsed by Biostead Initiative, Contemplative Pedagogy Working Group, Eco-Rep Program, Office of Religious and Psychological Health, and UMass Climateers.

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Patent Basics Presentation

Tuesday, September 20, 2016, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m.

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The UMass Amherst Libraries invite the public to a Patent Basics program presented by Mindy B. Bickel from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Tuesday, September 20, 2016, from 3:30–5:00 p.m. on Floor 26 of the W.E.B. Du Bois Library. The event is free and open to the public. Seating is limited, reservations are required by September 16 to As space allows, walk-ins will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis.

Bickel will lead a discussion outlining patents and the patent process for inventors, entrepreneurs, small businesses, and start-ups. The presentation, made possible by the USPTO University Outreach Program, will provide an in-depth discussion relating to all aspects of the patenting process, including types of patents, parts of a patent application, the examination process, claims analysis with respect to novelty and obviousness, and the office action. The USPTO University Outreach Program offers the expertise to assist students and laypeople in their understanding of the importance of intellectual property in the world. 

The UMass Amherst Libraries became a Patent & Trademark Resource Center (PTRC) in November 1984. It is one of 85 such centers in the United States. The role of PTRC is to disseminate patent & trademark information as well as support the diverse intellectual property needs of the public. At the time the program was established in 1871 patent and trademark information was solely paper-based and therefore providing safe storage, organization, and access to materials was the main focus. Today PTRCs help users locate and navigate through information on the USPTO website, gain access to online filing systems, understand the patent and trademark processes, and teach users effective strategies for patent and trademark searching.

Mindy B. Bickel, USPTO Associate Commissioner for Innovation and Development, began her career at the USPTO in 1989 as a patent examiner in biotechnology, becoming a supervisory patent examiner in 1995. She was appointed Associate Commissioner for Innovation Development in December 2015. The Office of Innovation Development ensures independent inventors, small businesses, entrepreneurs, university inventors, and minority and underserved populations better understand, secure, and use intellectual property (IP), with a focus on patents. She has also coordinated and conducted university outreach and partnership efforts for the United States Patent and Trademark Office since 2007. Throughout her career, she has received numerous awards including the Department of Commerce Bronze Medal for examination and supervisory accomplishments; a Silver Medal for improvements in customer service, and the Vice Presidential Hammer Award. Her article about the Office of Innovation Development (OID) appears in the current issue of Inventor’s Eye.

To RSVP and for more information, contact Paulina Borrego 413-545-789,

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Binding Light: photography and its relationship to the book

Thursday, September 15, 2016 4-6 p.m.

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The UMass Amherst Libraries Special Collections and University Archives invite the public to a panel discussion Binding Light: photography and its relationship with the book, on Thursday, September 15, 2016, from 4–6 p.m. in the W.E.B. Du Bois Library, Lower Level, at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Five photographers from the Five Colleges and the Pioneer Valley will discuss photography’s relationship with the book. The topics will range from the overall historical context of the photo book to each individual artist’s inspirations and processes. 

From the earliest days of its history, photography has built a long standing relationship with the book. From William Henry Fox Talbot’s Pencil of Nature, published in 1844,to today’s print-on-demand technology, artists have experimented with visual language of the photograph. As words are arranged to create infinite meanings from authors, images are similarly sequenced and juxtaposed to create a different form of narrative. Five artists will share their perspective on the medium, discussing that which inspires them and their approach to book making, and how this fits into the larger perspective of the photo book.

Paola Ferrario received a BFA in Photography, San Francisco Art Institute ’86 and an MFA in Photography, Yale University ’88. Since then, she has completed projects in Italy, Guatemala, Turkey and the United States. She has received several awards and fellowships, including the Friends of Photography/Calumet Emerging Photographer award in 2000 and the Paul Taylor/Dorothea Lange Prize from Duke University in 2001, Puffin Foundation Grant in 2003, a Guggenheim Fellowship in Photography in 2004 and Harnish Visiting Fellowship at Smith College 2005–11 and 2016–17. Her work has been collected by several museums, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Smithsonian Museum of American History. Ferrario is the author of 19 Pictures, 22 Recipes (Emdash studio, St. Louis, Missouri 2012). She has published criticism in Art in America and Photograph magazines.

James Gehrt is a fine art photographer and imaging specialist residing in Western Mass. From 1999-2006 Gehrt was manager at the photo conservation lab, Chicago Albumen Works (CAW). While at CAW he worked with the negatives of some of photography's most important creators, including Walker Evans, Carlton Watkins, and Lazlo Maholy Nagy.  In 2007 Gehrt worked as the digitization coordinator at the Mount Holyoke College Library. He was a National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education Fellow in both 2009 and 2010. Gehrt received his MLIS from Simmons College in 2014, where he was also honored with the Dr. Estelle Jussim Award in Photographic Studies.  Gehrt was selected as digital project lead at Mount Holyoke College in 2015.

Gehrt continues to carry a camera with him, building a collection of thousands of images from everyday life that document the objects and locations he visits. He has produced seven self-published titles over the past eight years. In 2014, his artist book, Source, was acquired by the Smith College Library’s Mortimer Rare Book Room. Gehrt received the 2016 UMass Fine Arts Center Artist in Residency Grant, resulting in the current Hampden Gallery exhibition and book, The Weight of Air

Justin Kimball, has a B.F.A. in photography from the Rhode Island School of Design ’85; and an M.F.A. in photography at the Yale University School of Art and Architecture ’90, is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in Photography, the Aaron Siskind Individual Photographers Fellowship, and a grant from the John Anson Kittredge Educational Fund at Harvard University. His photographs have appeared in DoubleTake, Harpers, pdn (Photo District News), Photo Metro, and Picture magazines. He is the author of Where We Find Ourselves (Center for American Places, 2006) and Pieces of String (Radius Books 2012).

Kimball’s work can be found in numerous photographic collections, including the J. Paul Getty Museum, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Portland (Oregon) Museum of Art, and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Kimball has taught photography for more than twenty years at colleges and universities, including the Rhode Island School of Design, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Orange Coast College, and Amherst College, where he is currently an associate professor of art.

Anthony W. Lee is an art historian, critic, curator, and photographer. As a critic and scholar, he writes about American photography and modernist painting in the period between 1860 and 1960. As a photographer, he documents ethnic and immigrant communities. Lee teaches a series of lecture courses on art since the French Revolution and seminars on photography before and after World War II. Many of his seminars have resulted in exhibitions curated by students.

Lee is the recipient of the Charles C. Eldredge Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in American Art, given by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Art, and the Cultural Studies Book Prize, given by the Association of Asian American Studies. He is founder and editor of the acclaimed series Defining Moments in American Photography.

Stephen Petegorsky, artist and freelance photographer, was born in New York City, and has lived in the Northampton, Mass. area for almost 40 years.  His work has been exhibited in collections throughout the United States as well as in Denmark, Chile, Germany, and Montreal. 

He received his B.A. ’75 from Amherst College and an M.F.A. in Photography from Rhode Island School of Design ’80.  He has taught at Smith College, Hampshire College, the University of Connecticut and Amherst College. Petegorsky has won many awards, including the World Health Organization Photography Competition “Images of Health and Disability” award, 2002; the Polaroid International Photography Awards: Winner, Fine Arts/Americas, 2001; and a Northampton Arts Council Grant in 1998,1990,1984, and 1983. He is the author of The Meadows (Mawaga Press, 2015).

The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. For additonal information, contact James Gehrt: 413-695-5221,


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