Poster by Laura Iveson (with help from her wildly creative family!)

Poster by Laura Iveson (with help from her wildly creative family!)


Please join us at the Cowell Gym

(54 Maple Street, Shelburne Falls, MA)


for a carnival of mark making!


From Noon to midnight on April 11th!



The historic Cowell gym is on the Shelburne side of the village, easily accessible from Rte 2

The historic Cowell gym is across the river from us and easily accessible from Rte 2


We’ll have a gym FULL of FUN drawing activities including:


Request-A-Sketch Draw-Machine!

A giant floor mandala!

Costumed Figure Drawing!

Draw-your-own Raffle Tickets!

Shadow Puppets!


A Drawing Game Show!

A Bridge of Flowers community mural (to encourage spring along, and remember our dear friend Tish!)

A wall of gratefulness!

Mini workshops by local artists every hour!

And so much more!

We’ll have thousands of square feet of paper to draw on!


On the walls!

On the floor!

On tables!

Even on the tables

you can eat

your lunch or dinner on!

On drawing boards!

On brown paper bags!

On tiny slips of paper!

On sheets of salvaged newsprint!

EVERYWHERE you look, someone will be drawing their heart out!


The Draw-Around

is a



for our

after school

ARTeens program!




eArtIsFoodWe will have

great food

for you

to purchase,

and eat!





You can come for half an hour,


OR all 12 hours,


OR any amount of time YOU want to.


Questions? Please call the Art Garden before Saturday: 413-625-2782

This first ever Hilltown Draw-Around
is organized by Art Garden board member, Laura Iveson.

It is inspired by the New Orleans Draw-A-Thon, an annual 24-hour drawing event that has attracted thousands of visitors since its launch in 2005.

Thank you Laura for all your work!  



photo by Elaine Boucher

photo by Elaine Boucher

The Art Garden invites you to come see the community exhibit Paradise [not yet] Lost; where the experience of a “whole” — of something that is more than just a collection of pieces by different people — is very powerful. The exhibit reflects on the effects of climate change while also holding onto hope. The possible message: what we do collectively does matter.

photos by Elaine Boucher

photos by Elaine Boucher

There are 51 artworks in the exhibit made by 42 artists and writers. Laura Iveson (who co-directs The Art Garden’s festival work) created a life-sized, interactive, cardboard tree sculpture: The Tree of Possibilities. Paper ‘leaves’ are provided so that you can write an ‘intention’ on them: something you plan to do (perhaps even in a specific time frame) that will connect you more with nature and/or help the planet in some way. Ten year-old Bruton Strange (who also has a piece in the exhibit) suggested we provide envelopes for people to put their names and addresses on, so that we can send random leaves out at the end of the exhibit: something to inspire or challenge us to action, contemplation, deeper connection.

photo by Elaine Boucher

photo by Elaine Boucher

We had eight performances
at the opening reception
on February 7,
a standing-room-only crowd
(in the middle of winter, wow!)
Our MC, David Arfa,
told a beautiful story
about monarchs,
echoed here in a piece created by Tish Murphy,
who also spent hours helping me hang the exhibit.


photo by Elaine Boucher

photo by Elaine Boucher

Phyllis Labanowski (who co-directs our ARTeens and Art For A Change programs) created a lively interactive performance with magically floating ping pong balls: What the World Needs Now. Written on the ping pong balls were words like: kindness, love, justice, courage, accountability, even more love… Children at The Art Garden have since added their ideas of what the world needs: peace, forgiveness, laughter, cake-powered cars…

photo by Elaine Boucher

photo by Elaine Boucher

You can visit the exhibit during the month of March during our regular open hours: Mondays through Saturdays, 1pm – 5pm. If you have never been to The Art Garden before, please look at our map. You must use Elm Street in the winter.


photo by Elaine Boucher

Thank you

to all the artists

who contributed work

for this exhibit

and to the local cultural councils

listed in the previous post

for their support!

Thank you

Elaine Boucher

for all the photos!

Thank you

Laura, Tish and David

for all your help!




You are invited to participate in Paradise [not yet] Lost,
a community exhibit about environmental issues, climate change,
and the places we love and want to take care of.

Are you passionate about renewable energy, recycling, preserving land or climate justice? Are there places (near and far) that you love that need care and protection? We invite you to be part of a community dialogue through art: visual, written, performed, etc. All work that relates to the theme will be included. (Some size restrictions possible. Please call if your piece is larger that 3′ in any direction.)

Participation is free and open to all ages and experience!
No prior art or exhibit experience necessary.

Deadline for submissions: January 31, 2015

Opening Reception:
Saturday, February 7, 6pm to 8pm

Performances at 7pm

Show runs through March 31, 2015. Pick up work on April 1, 2 or 3.

For this exhibit, we also invite you to consider

Art as Social Practice:

art as a series of intentional actions
that you do and document,
do and reflect on,
do and do and do,
for whatever transformation
it brings about in yourself
and the world around you.

You can share documentation, images and reflections related to your practice or action[s] in the exhibit, or as a performance at the opening reception. We will also have a Wall of Intentions that you can add to at the opening or during the exhibit.

You can incubate ideas for actions at our January 28 Art For A Change program!

Artists to inspire you: Dominique Mazeaud, Tattfoo Tan

Questions? or to schedule a performance: Please call (413) 625-2782.


This Exhibit is funded in part by the following Local Cultural Councils:










Thank you!

Thank you!

Thank you!

Five years ago, on the Winter Solstice of 2009, I officially launched The Art Garden and this website with a slightly sloppier version of this image. My The Art garden is open! email began with:

I’m sending this announcement out on the longest night of the year (or almost)…a bit of Light, I hope, in a season when light and dark do their undulating dance in each of us.


The Art Garden has done it’s own undulating dance over these five years; always holding to a core vision that integrates art-making, community-building, sustainable living, creative exploration, social practice, self-direction and the cultivation of a nurturing, non-judgmental environment.


Goethe’s words are no less applicable than they were in 2009. Every day is a beginning! This work of making and being…creating art…creating community…creating ourselves!      What a joy!      What a challenge!      What a dance!


Thanks to the collaboration, participation, enthusiasm, encouragement, financial support and hard work of so many, The Art Garden is now firmly rooted!



We wish you a very Happy Season of Light!




with love and gratitude,


Doll made at The Art Garden by Edite Cunha

Jane-doll made by Edite Cunha


The Art Garden is participating in Valley Gives Day again this year.

This 24-hour e-giving event happens on December 10th, THIS WEDNESDAY!!!!

Please check out our fund-raising page:


It tells the story of our mission, and the services we provide in our community, through images, testimonials, and the practical ways we use the resources entrusted to us.

We hope you will enjoy the page AND be inspired to support our work!

Quote from Sister Corita Kent

Quote from Sister Corita Kent

At this time of year, it seems like time is a balloon, stretching almost to bursting. And even if what we fill our shorter days and longer nights with is good…
it can often feel like too much.

This morning I am imagining my particular balloon NOT filled with a confetti of
to-do’s…but rather, the expansive breath of a quiet moment outside,
and the air of delight when I make something…
my lovely morning coffee,
and this little bit of reflection.

On November 22nd, The Art Garden was part of a community-service learning event coordinated by Hilltown Families in Northampton. Artist-board member Laura Iveson and I set up a L-O-N-G work station where children (and their adults!) could paint paper placemats to be donated to local senior centers.

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Even in the midst of what might be considered a hubbub,
creative focus slowed things down.

The magic of painting…
the act of brushing physical color around on a surface…
the do-and-respond…
the idea taking shape, or emerging in the process
(no matter what each person’s skill level)…
was calming,
and satisfying.

107 beautiful and wildly different placemats were made in 3 hours!
What a balloon!



Our 2014-2015 Art for a Change program will begin again on
Wednesday, November 19th, 6:30pm – 9:30pm.
Inspiration for the evening: Environmental Issues & Climate Justice

Click here for more info.