Upon reflection, the first thing that comes to mind when North Adams, Massachusetts, is mentioned is Mass MoCA, the giant, wondrous, football field of a contemporary art museum. The second thing is the dreaded hairpin turn on Route 2. Having recently moved to the area, many people who have vowed to come and visit me have mentioned both the museum and the hairpin turn in the same breath, a fitting nod to this city’s denizens meeting challenges against all odds.
My own journey took a hairpin turn when I needed to find a “city to live in” (quoting David Byrne) after getting priced out of the North Shore of Boston. Long time good friends, Anna Salmeron (of the Biennial Project fame, and conceptual artist) and Bo Petran (visual artist working in installation, sculpture and painting) had moved to North Adams a few years ago and suggested (no, insisted!) that this here’s the place to be. With good reason — the real estate is still extremely affordable and the art community is quite lively and growing at light speed. So, I packed up and made my way West. In addition to the aforementioned benefits of living in North Adams, I might add that no matter where you are in this city, you are graced with exquisite mountain views — and it’s a 10-minute drive into the most beautiful mountain trails and rivers and waterfalls you can imagine.