Carri Skoczek is our October Artist.


Artist statement: My work has always been about portraiture. I am fascinated by personality and human behavior. My work is a reflection of the world around me: a world of fashionistas, posturing wannabes, empowered bimbos, drunk girls, lonely men and aging hipsters. Most recently I’ve culled my subject matter from fashion magazines, pulp fiction book covers, and vintage pin up posters. I’ve been exploring female sexuality as a power tool.


We are hosting an opening reception from 5-8 pm on Friday, October 2nd with refreshments and a meet and greet with the artist. At 7, we will be continuing our partnership with Bazaar Productions for Fringe Music, the free monthly music series. Our October performers are The Hands Free, an acoustic quartet comprised of James Moore, Nathan Koci, Eleonore Oppenheim, and Caroline Shaw. Their music draws from a twisted array of folk, jazz, and classical traditions to create lush sonic textures, intricate compositions, and wild improvisations.

Susan Pettee, Permaculture, & Fringe Music!

Postcard FrontOur September First Friday event was our most successful yet! Kicking off with our garden tour in the early evening with Matt Lamb and Jay Allard of Berkshire Earth Regenerators, the party then moved inside for Susan Pettee’s stunning watercolor illustrations. As the opening reception continued, The Berkshire Fringe then presented Fringe Music, a new collaborative effort to bring more free music to The Berkshires. This month featured bassist Eleonore Oppenheim, who’s from Manhattan. Her performance showcased works from new composers, and she was a delight to watch!

If you missed out on the festivities—don’t fret! Susan Pettee’s work is in our BINGO! Gallery through the end of the month! Stop on by: Tuesday through Saturday 11-7.

Susan Pettee will be our September Artist

Pittsfield, Mass. (August 21, 2015) – Shire City Sanctuary is pleased to announce that Susan Pettee of Great Barrington has been chosen as their featured artist for Pittsfield’s First Fridays Artswalk in September. Her work will be displayed in the BINGO! Gallery for the month of September.

Susan Pettee has created watercolor illustrations depicting different botanical subjects. She has lived in Paris, Munich, and Washington, D.C. She studied at Radcliffe College, Corcoran School of Art, the Washington College of Law, and with the Society of Botanical Artists in England. “I think botanical art is appealing to a wide audience because the subjects themselves are often beautiful and always fascinating and more intricate than they seem at first glance,” Pettee stated in an interview for her work in the 15th Annual International American Society of Botanical Artists in 2012. “Compared to, say, performance art or conceptual art, botanical art is approachable and yet appeals to our sense of wonder. You do not have to be any particular sort of person to appreciate or to make botanical art, nor does an artist have to feel he or she has a profound vision to disrupt how others perceive the world, as many contemporary artists feel it is their mission to do. Plants are intriguing enough by themselves.”

In addition to the opening reception, Shire City Sanctuary has other events occurring during the First Fridays Artswalk. At 4:30 PM, Matt Lamb of Berkshire Earth Regenerators will be leading garden tours through the new permaculture garden at the former Notre Dame church’s rectory. At 7:00 PM, Bazaar Productions will be premiering Fringe Music: a new monthly free music series. This month will feature Eleonore Oppenheim, who has new works for the double bass that were commissioned from some of today’s brightest young composers. Fringe Music will be a monthly free concert happening during the First Fridays Artswalk, and seeks to promote the cross-pollination of visual arts, music, and different kinds of audiences.

Shire City Sanctuary will host an opening reception and Meet the Artist session at the BINGO! Gallery on September 4, 2015 from 5:00 – 8:00. Refreshments will be served.

What’s Happening: Aug. 18!

There are so many fun and FREE events coming up here at Shire City Sanctuary. We hope to see you there!!
Shire City Sessions!
WOW! What an incredible night last night for our second Shire City Sessions! The night started off with Pittsfield’s own B.A. Dario, who got everyone pumped up and excited! Wild Adriatic then took the stage and kept the party going!
If you missed this one, don’t fret! The next Shire City Sessions is on Monday, September 14th from 5-9 PM, featuring Whiskey Treaty Roadshow with special guests The Novel Ideas!Visit Shire City Session’s website!
Kids Heading Back to School? Give the Gift of a Day Pass
If you know a creative stay-at-home parent who has some free time now that the kids are heading back to school, give them a gift of a day pass! This day pass will allow them a one-day membership to the space, which allows them to have time to create on their own terms! Purchase them here or give us a call at 413-236-9600.
Public Print
We will be continuing our efforts to bring you our public print! This is a chance for you to experience how screen printing works. Our Public Print will happen every 3rd Thursday of each month; while the city’s 3rd Thursdays are happening, you’ll find us out on North Street! Stop on by to grab a fabulous calendar printed right on the street for this upcoming 3rd Thursday!
Botanicals and Bass
Our First Fridays next month will be a ROCKIN’ time! Susan Pettee, a botanical artist from Great Barrington, will be showing off her beautiful illustrations, while Bazaar Productions will be premiering Fringe Music: a new monthly free music series hosted at Shire City Sanctuary! The September musician will be Eleonore Oppenheim, a double bassist who specializes in new works for the double bass! Come on down: Friday, Sept. 4 from 5-8 pm!
Become a Member
If you’re a maker, artist, or creative soul and you’re looking for a place to make your work, you’ve found it! Our memberships grant access to our commercial kitchen, our sewing studio, our screen-printing studio, and our common space. We also have studio spaces available, and storage! Explore the possibilities here!

June 1st Friday is Upon Us

“My work is about creating amalgams of the past, present and future. I’m interested in the tension between what we’ve inherited and what we’re going to leave behind, and in the plasticity of the interpretations of both.” – Luke Egan

On Friday, June 5, 2015, Shire City Sanctuary will be participating in Pittsfield’s First Friday Artswalk, featuring work of Pittsfield native Luke Egan! Luke, who has a studio in Easthampton, creates work focused in the concept of Anthropocene–the idea that humans are creating a new era in geological time through our use of nuclear weapons and other items that impact our ecosystems. He also explores space exploration and how it relates to colonialism. Luke received his BFA from UMASS Amherst and loves to travel. Learn more about his work by visiting our Facebook event and checking out his artist statement!

What: First Fridays Artswalk

Where: Shire City Sanctuary, 40 Melville Street, Pittsfield MA 01201

When: Friday, June 5, 2015 from 5-7

For more information visit, call 413.236.9600 OR


March 1st Friday – 10x10x10 print of the Shire City Sanctuary

From February 12th – 21st, 2015, in collaboration with Pittsfield’s 10×10 Festival, Shire City Sanctuary is printing a 10 day, 10 stencil, 10 colors screen printing demonstration. The culmination is a first ever, 10 color, 18×24 print of the Shire City Sanctuary. Local artists and operators of Shire City Sanctuary, Cate Crowley & Crispina ffrench, are creating the print. A limited edition of 50 prints are in process and will be unveiled, and for sale on March 6th, 2015 from 5:00-8:00PM with a short conversation with the makers.

we’ve only got 50 – RESERVE YOURS TODAY! email

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The first First Friday of 2015

Join us January 2nd from 5-8 pm for the first friday event featuring the paintings of Mark Wescott & from 6-8 the dulcet tones of jazz band, Redshift! meet the artist, hear some tunes and grab a snack! for more info call: 413.236.9600 or email us:


Shire City Sanctuary

40 Melville Street, Pittsfield MA

Tonight 5-8pm



Shire City Sanctuary is shiny and beautifully displaying the work of Judy Bates (, The Dolphin Studio and Crispina ffrench…come and check it out between 5-8pm tonight!

there will be music, by Wes Buckley and Eamon Barry too!