September 18, 2019
Contact: Chris Watford
(413) 528-5485
Digital images available 

CATA AND MASS AUDUBON COLLABORATE ON ART EXHIBIT AT PLEASANT VALLEY WILDLIFE SANCTUARY— “Forces of Nature” features paintings and drawings by artists with disabilities inspired by Berkshire wildlife 

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 October 3. Please email [email protected] 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.

About Community Access to the Arts: Community Access to the Arts (CATA) nurtures and celebrates the creativity of people with disabilities. Through dynamic arts workshops and public events, CATA artists tap into their potential, explore new talents, and share their unique points of view with the wider community. CATA collaborates with 47 partner organizations to bring visual and performing arts programs to 800 people with disabilities across Berkshire County, Massachusetts and Columbia County, New York. Learn more at

About Mass Audubon’s Berkshire Wildlife Sanctuaries: The Berkshire Wildlife Sanctuaries are comprised of six sanctuaries—Pleasant Valley in Lenox, Canoe Meadows in Pittsfield, Tracy Brook in Richmond, Cold Brook in Sandisfield, Old Baldy in Otis, and Lime Kiln Farm in Sheffield. Combined, these offer more than 3,000 acres of varied habitats and twelve miles of trails that welcome over 20,000 visitors annually for nature education and recreation including hiking and snowshoeing. Our many programs – including our 73 year-old nature camp and in-school Berkshire Environmental Literacy Program – connect people to nature and inspire them to make personal choices to protect the environment. Learn more at

Mass Audubon protects more than 38,000 acres of land throughout Massachusetts, saving birds and other wildlife, and making nature accessible to all. As Massachusetts’ largest nature conservation nonprofit, we welcome more than a half million visitors a year to our wildlife sanctuaries and 20 nature centers. From inspiring hilltop views to breathtaking coastal landscapes, serene woods, and working farms, we believe in protecting our state’s natural treasures for wildlife and for all people—a vision shared in 1896 by our founders, two extraordinary Boston women.

Today, Mass Audubon is a nationally recognized environmental education leader, offering thousands of camp, school, and adult programs that get over 225,000 kids and adults outdoors every year. With more than 125,000 members and supporters, we advocate on Beacon Hill and beyond, and conduct conservation research to preserve the natural heritage of our beautiful state for today’s and future generations. We welcome you to explore a nearby sanctuary, find inspiration, and get involved. Learn how at