LENOX, MA—Community Access to the Arts (CATA) and Mass Audubon present “Forces of Nature”, an exhibit of paintings and drawings by CATA artists with disabilities inspired by the wildlife and natural landscape of the Berkshires. The exhibit is the culmination of a year-long collaboration between CATA and Mass Audubon, where CATA artists worked with educators and naturalists from Berkshire Wildlife Sanctuaries to explore connections between art and nature. The exhibit opens October 3 with a free, public reception from 5-7pm in the historic barn at the Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary.

“Over the past year, CATA artists with disabilities have worked with naturalists from Berkshire Wildlife Sanctuaries to explore local flora and fauna through tactile nature walks and open air art-making,” says CATA Executive Director Margaret Keller. “From those encounters, CATA artists have created a stunning collection of artwork inspired by our native wildlife. We’re excited to partner with Mass Audubon to present this exhibit highlighting the creative perspectives of artists with disabilities and our beautiful Berkshire landscape.”

Mass Audubon Sanctuary Director, Becky Cushing adds, “We were enthusiastic about working together from the start and knew we would all learn from each other. It’s powerful to see the artistic representations of nature and wildlife by CATA artists inspired by their visits to Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary.”

“Forces of Nature” runs from October 3 through 31 in the barn at Mass Audubon’s Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary at 472 West Mountain Road in Lenox, MA. The works range widely in stylistic expression and scale of size, including botanical studies, landscapes and wildlife portraits, as well as abstract paintings and mixed-media works inspired by textures, colors, and patterns found in our local environment. All works in the exhibit are professionally matted, framed, and available for sale, with proceeds supporting commissions for the individual artists. This exhibit is part of CATA's "Art on Tour" program, where original works of art created by CATA artists travel throughout the year to museums, galleries, community centers, and other venues in Berkshire and Columbia counties.

RSVPs are requested for the free, opening reception on Oct. 3 Email RSVP@CATAarts.org or call CATA at 413-528-5485.

The exhibit is funded by October Mountain Financial Advisors, Frames on Wheels, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and other generous supporters.

(press release sent to WSBS from CATA for online and on-air use, featured image taken from CATA's Facebook page