Malden Public Library’s Converse Building served as a stunning backdrop to the “Malden Reads” kick-off celebration on Thursday, February 20. Did you know that the awe-inspiring art collection was financed by shoe tycoon Elisha Slade Converse and his wife? Not only did Converse pay for the ornate building, he left $50,000 after his death in 1904.
The cross section between visual art and music, for classical pianist Yelena Beriyeva, is in many ways second nature. “What is in common between [visual] artists and musicians is they all get to create,” Beriyeva said. In the spring of 2016, visual artists came together to attend a performance of classical composer Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition.” From the artists present at the workshop, and many more, over 40 inspired pieces of visual art were born. On Nov. 5, 2016 at Jenkins Auditorium at Malden High School, Beriyeva performed the renowned “Pictures at an Exhibition” to the backdrop of all the work created from the artists using the music as inspiration. The interesting part is Mussorgsky’s piece, Beriyeva said, was first inspired by visual art. With the passing of an artist friend, Mussorgsky wrote “Pictures at an Exhibition” through the careful study of his late friend’s artwork. “[Mussorgsky] basically dedicated this piece to a friend he lost to a sickness,” Beriyeva said. “We did it in the reverse. We tried to paint based on music.” […]