The Concord Museum hosts a history of beer talk and beer-tasting on July 19 at the historic Wright Tavern in Concord Center.
The Concord Museum hosts a history of beer talk and beer-tasting on July 19 at the historic Wright Tavern in Concord Center.

What's more refreshing than a cool brew on a steamy summer night? Not much -- unless a little history is thrown into the mix to enhance the imbibing.

The Concord Museum hosts a talk on the history of beer and a fun-filled beer-tasting Thursday, July 19, at 7 p.m., in the historic Wright Tavern near Concord Center at 2 Lexington Road.

The tavern started in business in 1747 and is the perfect spot to learn about beer's history and sample some brews. Cultural historian George Schwartz handles the talk, and BareWolf Brewing of Amesbury, which is co-owned by Concord native Stevie Bareford, presents the tasting.

The cost is $5 for members and $12 for non-members. Registration is required; register online at www.concordmuseum.org, or call 978-369-9763, ext. 216.

Nancye Tuttle's email address is nancyedt@verizon.net.

Art picks


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"Bowls" by Gary Parshley at the Chelmsford Center for the Arts
"Bowls" by Gary Parshley at the Chelmsford Center for the Arts

WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE: Water is essential to the survival of all living things. It covers much of the Earth's surface and comprises more than half of the human body. Throughout history, water has been a constant source of inspiration for poets, painters, musicians and philosophers. The exhibit "H2 Oh," on view July 11-Sept. 23, at the New England Quilt Museum, Shattuck St., Lowell, from Studio Art Quilt Associates, challenged artists to interpret one of the most vital, powerful, sacred and desired resources on Earth.

"Dancers Resting" pastel by Edgar Degas on view at the MFA Boston
"Dancers Resting" pastel by Edgar Degas on view at the MFA Boston
The result is 34 original art quilts, some abstract and others graphic or representational. Many are joyful and exuberant, while others are reverent and contemplative. Several of the selected works address water quality and environmental concerns. The variety of patterns, textures and layers in this exhibition draws us in and invites us to consider the importance of the subject matter to the world and ourselves. An opening reception and artist's talk on Saturday, July 14, at 11 a.m., features Nancy Crasco and Carol Anne Grotrian, two Massachusetts quilt artists featured in the show. They will discuss their inspiration, preparation, materials and techniques. Free to members and included in price of admission for non-members. Visit www.nequiltmuseum.org for info.

PASTEL TREASURES: The fragility of powdery pigment, and the light sensitivity of the paper on which it rests, mean that pastels can rarely be exhibited -- typically for only a few months every decade. "French Pastels: Treasures from the Vault," on view now through Jan. 6 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, is an opportunity for viewers to see nearly 40 masterworks by 10 avant-garde artists who reinvigorated the challenging medium in the 19th century. Included are depictions of rural life by Jean-Francois Millet and ballerinas by Edgar Degas. The exhibit is drawn primarily from MFA holdings and supplemented by key loans from a private collection. It is organized thematically and showcases the artists' use of the colorful sticks of ground pigment to capture the ephemeral. Besides Degas and Millet, the exhibition also features works by such contemporaries as Mary Cassatt, Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Visit www.mfa.org.

NEW AT CCA: The Chelmsford Center for the Arts has beautiful, hand-turned, wooden art bowls by Gary Parshley, "The Heirloom Turner," for sale in the gift shop. The one-of-a-kind pieces are made from a variety of woods, including Bradford pear, oak, ash and heart pine. Purchases help support the CCA. Visit www.chelmsfordarts.org for info.