Illustration of Yo Yo Ma by Sol Schwartz. ©Sol Schwartz. All rights reserved.

Illustration of Yo-Yo Ma by Sol Schwartz. ©Sol Schwartz. All rights reserved.

Extended through November 28, 2011

Catch the spirit of music and movement at the Norman Rockwell Museum this summer through the art of Sol Schwartz, whose vibrant drawings have captured the beauty and excitement of music, theater, and dance in the Berkshires for more than a decade.

As the curtain rises and the lights go down, the energy and emotion of live performance provides the inspiration for Schwartz’s art. Created on location from his place in the audience at Tanglewood Music Center, Shakespeare & Company, Berkshire Theater Festival, and Jacob’s Pillow, his artworks reflect the intensity and focus of his gifted subjects, providing a unique window onto their experience.

“It happened by accident,” the artist said. “I used to make little sketches in the corners of my programs when I attended concerts.” Eventually, he began bringing a sketchbook along to work in, and over the years, has completed thousands of studies, including likenesses of musical superstars as André Previn, Itzhak Perlman, Emanuel Ax, and Seiji Ozawa, among many others. “The novelty of my work is that I do it while a performance is underway, sometimes in the pitch dark,” Schwartz notes. The artist prefers not to adjust or complete an artwork after the fact, and enjoys the sense of immediacy that is conveyed by drawing on site. Working in pencil, ball point pen, and Japanese sumi brush, “I try to capture the spirit of the concert, that ineffable nature of a great performance.” The artist’s original drawings and sketchbooks will be on view.

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