Art for the Soul Gallery: Alternative Realities. Exhibiting the paintings and sculpture of Dean Nimmer. Said to represent Nimmer’s ongoing quest to delve into the nature of abstraction itself, letting the creative process reveal what’s hidden beyond the surface of the blank canvas. Programming includes an artist talk, book signing, and workshop. Through Jan. 30. Free. 1500 Main St. at Tower Square, Springfield. (413) 231-4598, art4thesoul.org.
Brattleboro Museum and Art Center: Luscious. An exploration of the beauty of painting and the mastery of painterly technique. Featuring works by Michael Abrams, Tim Allen, Joseph Diggs, Emily Eveleth, Daniel Hill, Valerie Jaudon, James Lecce, Maureen McQuillan, Lauren Olitski, Holton Rower, Mia Scheffey, Rosalie Ripaldi Shane, Claire Sherman, and Darren Waterston. Through Feb. 6. Rust Work — Paul Bowen. Sculptor with 60 years of experience scavenges and beachcombs for materials along the rivers of Vermont and the shorelines of Cape Cod, working with simple carpentry using nails, screws, and wire. Through Feb. 6. Open Call NXNE 2017. Juried exhibit. Approximately 150 photographers and video artists from New England and New York submitted work for consideration by juror Bernard Yenelouis of L. Parker Stephenson Photographs NYC, who has selected 24 artists for inclusion. Through March 5. Change Your Mind. Immersive installation designed for BMAC’s Mary Sommer Room by Vermont artist Carolyn Enz Hack made of layers of mesh, screens, reflective surfaces, and translucent media. Through March 5. $4-$8. 10 Vernon St., Brattleboro. (802) 257-0124, brattleboromuseum.org.
Brechner Gallery, Yiddish Book Center: Balka’s Lower East Side. Visiting exhibit captures the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when hundreds of thousands of Jewish immigrants filled New York’s Lower East Side — a crowded neighborhood of pushcarts and open-air markets, tenement buildings and sweatshops, Yiddish theaters and street stickball games. The exhibit is culled from the Balka Collection at New York’s Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum. That collection of about 200 works was donated to the museum a decade ago by Sigmund Balka. Through March 13. 1021 West St., Amherst. (413) 256-4900, yiddishbookcenter.org.
Clark Art Institute: Photography and Discovery. 45 works by American and European artists. Through Feb. 5 in the Eugene V. Thaw Gallery. Japanese Impressions. Color woodblock prints from the Rodbell family collection. Through April 2. $20 general; free for members, ages 18 and under, and students with valid ID. 225 South St., Williamstown. (413) 458-2303, clarkart.edu.
Hampden Gallery: Stories — Past, Present, Future. Eight artists, all members of Zea Mays Printmaking, tell stories about cultural, personal, social, familial, sensory, memory, poetry and environmental issues. These stories take the form of prints, drawings, paintings ,installation and video. Through Feb. 17. Free. Fine Arts Center, 131 Southwest Circle, UMass Amherst. (413) 545-0680, fac.umass.edu.
Historic Deerfield: Natural Selections — Flora and the Arts. Explores, through more than 20 objects, how nature has inspired, impressed, and enlightened society long before the publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species in 1859. Through Feb. 12. $7. 84 Old Main St., Deerfield. (413) 774-5581, historic-deerfield.org.
Hope and Feathers Framing and Printing: Keeping Our Heads Above Water. Paintings by Leverett artist Susan Valentine. Through Feb. 25. Free. 319 Main St., Amherst. (413) 835-0197, hopeandfeathersframing.com.
Hosmer Gallery, Forbes Library: Paintings and drawings by Florence artist Patricia Dorr Parker; paintings by Turners Falls artist, carpenter, and historian Miriam Wells; bird sculptures by Janice Doppler. Through Jan. 30. Free. 20 West St., Northampton. forbeslibrary.org.
Invisible Fountain: Thirteen Years of Something. New showing of paintings by Luke J. Cavagnac. Through Feb. 10. Eastworks Suite 206, 116 Pleasant St., Easthampton. invisiblefountain.com,
Jewish Community of Amherst: Eclectic Perceptions. Fine art photography by Non Solosko. Through Jan. 31. Free. 742 Main St., Amherst. j-c-a.org.
Lyman Conservatory: Plant Adaptation Up Close — A Biological and Artistic Interpretation. The Earth’s diverse environments create many challenges for plant survival, and plants have evolved adaptations that allow them to thrive under hostile conditions. Through March 2017. Free. 16 College Lane, Northampton. (413) 585-2190, smith.edu/garden.
MASS MoCA: Sarah Crowner — Beetle in the Leaves. Crowner’s practice, which includes ceramics, tile floors, sculptures, and theater curtains, centers around sewn paintings that she makes by stitching together sections of raw or painted canvas or linen. The hybrid paintings borrow from the language of collage, as well as quilting, with visible stitching functioning as both line and surface. Through Feb. 12. Explode Every Day — An Inquiry into the Phenomena of Wonder. Exhibition features both existing and new works by 23 international artists, each touching on certain facets of wonder, including the perceptual/ visionary, the technological/ scientific, the philosophical/ meditative, time/ cosmos, and illusion/ fear. Through Mar. 19. Nick Cave — Until. Installation by the iconic fabric sculptor, dancer, and performance artist — best known for his wearable fabric sculptures called Soundsuits — plays on the phrase “innocent until proven guilty,” or in this case “guilty until proven innocent,” addressing issues of gun violence, gun control policy, race relations, and gender politics in America today. Through early September 2017. $18 adults; $16 seniors and veterans; $12 students with ID; $8 kids 6-16; free for museum members (including MCLA and Williams College students with ID) and kids 5 and younger. 1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams. (413) 662-2111, massmoca.org.
Springfield Museums: Icons of the Civil Rights Movement. Artist Pamela Chatterton-Purdy pays tribute to those who risked physical harm, imprisonment and death for the sake of freedom. Exhibit features 19 icons, including portraits of Martin Luther King Jr., Emmett Till, Rosa Parks, Ralph David Abernathy, Julian Bond, Fannie Lou Hamer, Harry Belafonte, Jeffrey Brace, and State Representative Benjamin Swan. Through Feb. 26. Cats in Hats. Illustrations by the Western Massachusetts Illustrators Guild, featuring over 40 original works centered around the common theme of “cats in hats,” in honor of the famous work by Dr. Seuss. Artists including Diane deGroat, Ruth Sanderson, and Jane Yolen employ styles ranging from children’s books to fantasy art to editorial pieces and beyond. Through Apr. 30. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Samurai. Original graphic art from the popular comics series meets colorful Japanese woodblock prints depicting samurai warriors and 19th-century armor and swords used by actual samurai. Through May 14. $9.50-$18. 21 Edwards St., Springfield. (413) 263-6800, springfieldmuseums.org.