The brainchild of local artist Eric Rudd, the Center for Robotic Arts (Historic Beaver Mill, 189 Beaver St., 413/664-9550, www.darkrideproject.org , 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Wed.–Sun. summer–fall, $10 adults, $7.50 seniors and students, children under 6 free) consists of a 15,000-square-foot immersive environment filled with robotic art creatures and moving sculptures for visitors to interact with.
Rudd has also constructed A Chapel for Humanity, an overwhelming, gigantic tableau of 54 ceiling panels and 150 life-sized figures in the tradition of Rodin’s Gates of Hell, installed in a former Baptist church at 82 Summer Street.
In addition to the Beaver Mill, where the Dark Ride is located, the Eclipse Mill (243 Union St., 413/664-9109, www.eclipsemill.com ) has also been converted into artists space, with 60 artists inhabiting 40 lofts, and eight galleries open to the public.
For a trip back in time, the North Adams Museum of History and Science (115 State St., Bldg. 5A, 413/664-4700, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Sat. and 1–4 p.m. Sun. Nov.–Apr.; 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Thurs.–Sat. and 1–4 p.m. Sun. May–Oct., free) is a wonderful evocation of small-town Americana, made more precious by the amateur quality of its exhibits. Three floors of old photos, clothing, Native American artifacts, and kitschy dioramas tell the story of the town from its founding.