EASTHAMPTON — The colorful paintings of Holyoke artist Orlando Santos, whose artistic name is Izm Prizm, are on exhibit this month at 50 Arrow Gallery in Eastworks, in the gallery’s first solo show of the season.
His vibrant and often large-scale portraits, which blend elements of folk art and popular culture — check out his version of Dr. Seuss’ Grinch on his Instagram site — have been inspired by his years in Holyoke and also a time when he lived in New York City, Santos says.
“I was always artistically inspired by living in the city, seeing so many mixed cultures, fashion, cuisines and the natural beauty of living in Western MA,” he writes in explanatory notes for the show.
The Izm Prizm show at 50 Arrow runs through April 30.
AMHERST — In “Olvidados: A Mexican American Corrido,” a new musical at the University of Massachusetts, theater professor Elisa Gonzales explores both her own family’s history and that of a bleak chapter of US history, when more than a million Mexicans and Mexican Americans were illegally and unconstitutionally repatriated to Mexico during the Great Depression.
The production, which began Thursday and continues Friday, April 8, at 7:30 pm, and Saturday, April 9, at 2 pm and 7:30 pm in the Rand Theater, is a story Gonzales has wanted to tell in part because her own great-grandparents were swept up in the event — one that “never made it to our classrooms,” she says — but that nevertheless has reverberated through successive generations of her family.
“I owe so much of what I have been able to accomplish because of my family — my parents, my grandparents, my great-grandparents,” Gonzales says. “I wanted to find a way to honor their stories and their legacy. ‘Olvidados’ is my love letter to them.”
The musical is a workshop production that is likely to undergo further revision; it’s also a creative collaboration with members of the Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble, a California organization. The “corrido” form itself is defined as a verse narrative, a story sung to musical accompaniment that focuses on ordinary people and has been prominent in Mexican culture for over 200 years.
Tickets are $15 for general admission, $5 for youth, students, and seniors; they can be purchased at the door or ordered through fac.umass.edu/Online.
NORTHAMPTON — Classical pianist Richard Goode, known for his emotional and expressive performances of classical and romantic music, will present music by Schubert, Schumann and Bartók on April 10 at 3 pm at Sweeney Concert Hall at Smith College.
The concert is a production of Valley Classical Concerts and is presented in cooperation with the Smith College Department of Music.
The New York-based Goode, who performs with leading orchestras and as a soloist, plays nationally and records with Nonesuch Records. Gramophone Magazine has said of him, “Every time we hear him, he impresses us as better than we remembered, surprising us, surpassing our expectations and communicating perceptions that say in mind.”
Tickets are $35 for adults and $10 for students with a valid ID or children under 18. They can be ordered at valleyclassicalconcerts.org or by calling 413-586-0458; they can also be purchased at the door.
AMHERST — Storyteller, musician and Abenaki language teacher Jesse Bruchac will lead a workshop for children and families on Sunday, April 10 at the Farm Center at Hampshire College that will weave together traditional stories, flute music, and various language games to explore seasonal awareness and the natural gifts of the land.
The program, which takes place from 1 pm to 4:30 pm, is sponsored by the college’s Farm and Garden Camp and the Nolumbeka Project, the Valley nonprofit group that seeks to preserve the history and culture of Native people in the Northeast.
Jesse Bruchac, a Nulhegan Abenaki citizen, works to support Abenkai language and culture on several fronts, including as the director of the School of Abenaki at Middlebury College in Vermont.
A $20 donation is suggested. Register for the workshop at FarmandGardenCamp.org.
NORTHAMPTON — “Outta the Muck,” a film about a resilient Black family in a Florida town, which was recently acquired by PBS, will screen Saturday, April 9 at Northampton Open Media at 7 p.m.
Ira Brinkley, a co-producer/director/producer of the documentary, lived in Northampton in the late 2000s and was also homeless for a stretch. But during his time in the city, he learned to film and edit at Northampton Open Media (then Northampton Community Television).
His previous film, “The Throwaways,” a look at police violence and Black incarceration, screened in Northampton in 2015 and won a number of awards at film festivals; it also attracted the attention of “Democracy Now!” host Amy Goodman, who said the film “documents police shootings and the consequences of mass incarceration with searing detail.”
In “Outta the Muck,” Brinkley, a longtime social activist, and his co-producer and director, Bhawin Suchak, provide an intimate portrait of the Dean family in Pahokee, Florida, on the shore of Lake Okeechobee, an area with a long history of sugar cane production. In the film, Brinkley explores his own roots there, reconnecting with family members to examine a shared history spanning seven generations.
The film has been picked up by the PBS documentary anthology series “Independent Lens,” which is presented by ITVS, a San Francisco nonprofit organization. Brinkley says the documentary will likely be shown on PBS next year.
Tickets for the Northampton screening of “Outta the Muck” are $20 for general admission and $10 for students and those under 18. Brinkley and Suchak will take part in a Q&A after the film.
— Compiled by Steve Pfarrer