Bigger Thoughts
Mo Willems
March 2021

Abstractions have been a refuge and place to collect my thoughts over the last year. As we are forced to (and trying to) readjust fundamental elements of our national life, I am searching for connections between fundamental elements of line, shap, and color.  It is my hope that these BIGGER THOUGHTS can serve as inspiration, escape, and a jumping off point for exploration.

Proceeds from the sales of these works will be donated to the

TAKING CARE FUND – COVID-19 Emergency Relief, a fund that supports actors in the Washington D. C. area.  Mo has been artist in residence at the Kennedy Center




Blocked Construction II | 16×12.5 in. | Ink and Marker


31st Annual Children’s Illustration Celebration
November 2020-January 2021

R. Michelson Galleries invites you to celebrate Children’s Illustration with us, beginning November 18th. While we not be joining together for our usual author/illustrator reception “in person” opening, this year, we look forward to celebrating both online, and with masked and distanced gallery visits!

View new works on our illustration page.




















Marc Brown | Speak Truth to Power, Endpages | 6.5×11.5 in | Mixed media


Neil Waldman
Where I Live: New Watercolors
October 15-31, 2020

Living in the COVID era has affected everyone.  For Neil Waldman, it gave him a burst of energy and a drive to find a place to feel peaceful.  Throughout the last several months he has striven to depict his inner locale, a place brimming with a pregnant calm, teeming with life and hope.   See the new watercolors on our web site and in person at the gallery through the month of October.


View the exhibit here.

Shimmering Forest | Watercolor | 20.25 x 12.75 inches

Robert Masla
Gratitude: The Unrecognized Essential Worker Series
October 2020

Earlier this year, Robert Masla was hard at work on his upcoming exhibit, Catching the Light: Then and here- Here and Now, scheduled for October 2020. Then came COVID-19 and his attention shifted. This new collection of paintings depict the various unheralded but much needed essential workers that have come into the spotlight during the COVID era. Included in this group is the burgoening protest movement, essential now more than ever.

This exhibit will be on view in the gallery through the month of October.  Masks and appropriate social distancing is required.

Mr. Masla will be at the gallery Friday, October 2, from 3pm to 8pm and Saturday October 3rd, from 1pm to 8pm

View the Exhibit Here.

Immigrant Farm Workers I | 30 x 40 inches | Oil on Canvas

Forests, Farms, and Riverways:
50 Years of Kestrel Land Trust
Sept 10-Oct 31, 2020
Virtual Exhibit

Fifty years ago, a small group of Amherst residents who loved the town’s many natural spaces saw the local forests and farms being lost to a wave of rapid development. These passionate conservationists created The Kestrel Trust in December 1970 to support the Town’s efforts to protect its vital farms, forests, and riverways.

Over the past 50 years, thousands of dedicated volunteers and supporters have continued this work to save land for people and for wildlife throughout the Pioneer Valley. Caring for this special place we all call “home” has always been at the heart of what Kestrel Land Trust does: And, it will continue to be our mission for the next 50 years and beyond.

From the Mount Holyoke & Mount Tom Ranges, to the rich Valley farmlands, and the hilltown forests, support from people like you has enabled Kestrel to conserve more than 28,000 acres. We believe in connecting people to the land through the arts, history, and culture to ensure future generations care about the special places that make this region a great place to live.

For generations, artists have played a critical role in inspiring people to care about the future of our land with their artwork. The works in this exhibit celebrate this connection and our shared love of the land. Kestrel is grateful to the artists and R. Michelson Galleries for supporting our continued efforts to conserve the Pioneer Valley with proceeds from this exhibit. – Kari Blood, Kestrel Land Trust

View the exhibit here

Robert Brooks, View of Northampton from Mt. Holyoke. Oil on canvas 30×40 in


Dayenu – or The Eleventh Plague – an alternative reading for Passover 2020


i.                   If he had mocked only the differently-abled

And not also praised the “good people,” chanting Jew Will Not Replace Us

It would have been enough


ii.                 If he had dog-whistled hate-group-conspiracy-theorists suffering white-anxiety

And not also hyped birtherism, called black kids thugs, and their mothers “low-IQ”

It would have been enough


iii.                If he had pegged Warren- Pocahontas, Clinton- Nasty, Pelosi- a Sick Puppy

And not also dubbed immigrants ‘animals,” while separating families at the border, and putting

children in cages

It would have been enough


iv.                If he had stigmatized Mexicans as rapists

And not also molested Moriah, Mindy, Jill, Jessica, Cassandra, Jennifer, Natasha, Samantha,

Lisa, Rachel, Kristin, Cathy, Karen, Ninni, Summer, Stormy, and Temple

It would have been enough


v.                  If he had boasted of grabbing women by their genitals

And not also nominated a sex offender to the Supreme Court

It would have been enough


vi.                If he had packed the Judiciary with unqualified, NRA Hand-Picked incompetents

and given them lifetime tenure

And not also played Wayne Lapierre’s lap dog, letting the gun lobby curb his pledge for “very meaningful background checks” after multiple mass mall, and school shootings

It would have been enough


vii.               If he had defrauded students at Trump University, and misused charitable funds

for his own political gain

And not also offered a quid pro quo to a Ukrainian foreign government against an American

citizen for his own political gain, and then perjured himself for his own political gain

It would have been enough


viii.              If he had labeled lies “alternative facts” and every criticism “fake news” and termed

the Press the Enemy of the People

And not also paraphrased Minister of Propaganda Goebbels, “if you repeat a lie often enough, it

becomes accepted as truth”

It would have been enough


ix.                If he had mimicked Hitler’s strategy that “broad masses of a nation … more readily

fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies

but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods”

And not also praised Putin’s “82 percent approval rating,” called Kim a “smart cookie,” cozied

up to Crown Prince Salman, “very friendly” Duterte, “Big Daddy” Xi, and “my favorite dictator”


It would have been enough


x.                  If he had turned his back on our traditional Canadian and South Korean friends

And not also threatened NATO’s 70-year alliance, and withdrawn from the Paris Climate Accord

It would have been enough


xi.                If he denied global warming while gutting the EPA

And not also rolled back Obama-era laws limiting toxic emissions; allowed drilling on Native

Sacred Lands, repealed policies protecting wetlands, and defanged the Endangered Species Act

It would have been enough


xii.              If he had thrown paper towels, “these beautiful, soft towels. Very good towels,” to

hurricane-ravaged Puerto Ricans while withholding disaster relief funds

And not also cut the budget for CDC and dismantled the global health security team in charge of

Pandemic Preparedness Response in spring 2018

It would have been enough


xiii.             If he had compared Covid-19 to the common flu and insisted social distancing was a

hoax while continuing to push for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act

And not also crossed out Corona and called it the Chinese-virus

It would have been enough


xiv.             If he had said on national television “I don’t take responsibility at all,” and “one day

it’s like a miracle, it will disappear”

And not also continued to encourage Church gatherings on Easter Sunday, before finally

admitting in the same press conference on April 4th 2020, as I was writing this, that “there will be

a lot of death”

It would have been enough

We should have said enough

We could have cried enough

We did not do enough—


You may now all drink your second cup of wine

Richard Michelson, April 6, 2020


RICHARD MICHELSON received the 2017 National Jewish Book Award, and the 2018 Sydney Taylor Gold Medal from the Association of Jewish Libraries. His many books for children and adults have been listed among the Ten Best of the Year by The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and The New Yorker. His most recent poetry collection More Money than God (Pitt Poetry Series) was a finalist for the Paterson Prize. Michelson served two terms as Poet Laureate of Northampton MA where he hosts Northampton Poetry Radio. 

Mo Willems | You Are a Gift / Fancy Hotel Magazines | March 2020

Mo Willems’ 4th Annual Benefit Exhibit.  A portion of the proceeds from this exhibit will benefit the Shelter Sunday Coalition which provides essential services to those who are homeless and families in the Hampshire County Community

March 1 to March 29, 2020.


The struggles of the last year, it’s unkindness and pettiness, can obscure an important fact: living a generous life is a gift. I am reminded how lucky I am to be surrounded by good people. And you are one of them.


Having spent a great deal of time in hotels this past year, I am acutely aware of the joys and comforts in knowing where I will spend the night. Consequently, proceeds to this 4th annual benefit exhibit will be donated to the Shelter Sunday Coalition.

View the exhibit here.

You Are a Gift, Marker, 6.75 x 4.5 in

Leonard Baskin, Sculptor:
A Retrospective
September-October 2019

Gallery talk Friday, September 13, 2019 6-8pm in conjunction with Northampton’s Arts Night Out.  Richard Michelson  and Hosea Baskin discuss Leonard Baskin’s sculpture and his career.  Talk begins at 7pm.


See the exhibit here

Idolatry, 24×14.5×14 in. wood, 1971-1972

Rebecca Leveille | Hugs & Kisses and the Room of Lies | June 1 – July 31, 2019

June 1 – July 31, 2019
Opening reception: June 14, 2019, 6-8pm
In conjunction with Northampton’s Arts Night Out

Rebecca Leveille’s new works examine the concept of the “narrative envelope” as it relates to both communal myths and to personal experience. Her small works and large painted environments (paintings in the round) delve into the the subjectivity of both escapism and determinations of objective reality. Employing a vast array of the visual tools of narrative, figuration, and abstraction, she asks the viewer to at once surrender to and be critical of her provocations.

See the upcoming show here.