You are invited to participate in a community exhibit
about perspectives and empathy:


ShoeCairn4blogHow do our shoes tell our story?

What does it mean to walk
in someone else’s shoes?

Whose shoes do I choose to walk in?

How do we walk in shoeless lives?

Can we really view the world
from multiple perspectives?

Where is the intersection between

How does my compassion
deepen and broaden my humanity
and my response to other beings?

If these shoes are killing me,
how I do take them off?

Do our souls direct our soles?

We hope you will be inspired
to explore these questions
(and the many more that the title
and themes of this exhibit
may prompt in you.)

Make art!

Explore your ideas
in whatever form makes sense for you,
and share your work
by being a part of this exhibit!

Participation is free
and open to all ages and experience.

All work that relates to the theme[s]
will be included. Some size restrictions may apply. Please call if your work exceeds 3’ in any direction.


Community exhibits at The Art Garden are hung salon-style in our working studio, inspiring conversation and creative responses from visitors and art-makers of all ages. Each individual piece functions within the context of the whole exhibit (much like our lives within our communities.) Our hope is that each individual piece can shine at the same time that relationships between works are explored.

Performative work happens during our

OPENING RECEPTION on Saturday, November 7 (6-8pm)

Performances are at 7pm.
Please call or email by the submission deadline
if you would like to be part of the performance schedule:

This exhibit is supported by the following Local Cultural Councils:

Ashfield, Buckland, Charlemont/Hawley, Colrain, Conway, Heath, Leyden,
Plainfield, and Shelburne.


Thank you! 

Thank you! 

Thank you!

Thank you!

Thank you Cheryl L. Dukes for inspiring this exhibit
and for your collaboration in making it happen!


The Art Garden will be at The Green River Festival again



for our third year of providing a 40’x40′ tent

FULL of free art-making activities



for all ages.


Last year, over a thousand people made art with us in two days:


painting, inventing, learning, and having fun together!


Many volunteers help make it possible with hundreds of hours preparing re-purposed materials (cardboard, fabric, bottle caps, telephone wire, canvas scraps, etc.)


The results are magical!




The creativity is inspiring!



Join us on Saturday, July 11thSunday, July 12th

from noon to 6pm each day.

For more details about the Green River Festival (tickets, directions, line-up, &&&): click here.


A community parade (with Bella’s Bartok) will start at our tent

at 5:15pm on Saturday. 


Please join us!


FunAtGRF4blogThank you











Julie Orfirer,

Janice Sorensen,

Kate Snyder,


Doris Schload.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!






Our 2015 Community Teen Art Exhibit opened on June 13th with teens, families, friends, neighbors and community members gathering together to celebrate an exciting exhibit of over 40 works by 22 teen artists (from five regional schools and homeschooling.)

The exhibit reveals some of what is on teen minds: a diversity of ideas and images in a wide range of media and style including vibrant abstract works, detailed representational drawings and paintings, playful engineering, mixed media collage and assemblage, & & &!

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Our Spring ARTeens did the invitation and poster drawings, helped organize and curate the exhibit, made artistic food and buttons for the reception, and hosted the intergenerational crowd that spilled out onto The Art Garden’s porches. The event culminated with teen performances and video, and a slideshow of the 2014-2015 ARTeens program.

The exhibit runs until July 9th, and can be viewed during The Art Garden’s open hours: Mondays through Saturdays 1pm – 5pm.

This exhibition is part of a series of Community Art Exhibits supported by the following Local Cultural Councils:


Thank you! 
Thank you! 
Thank you!




Art Garden board member Laura Iveson
(who co-directs all of The Art Garden’s festival and parade work)
organized and coordinated a HUGE-ly successful community art event
at the Cowell Gym in Shelburne Falls on April 11th, 2015.


Here is a beautiful reflection about the Fabulous Hilltown Draw-Around,
written by Laura’s partner, James Smith
(who was also a tireless volunteer and shameless promoter.)

From left to right: Mark, Kate, James, Jane, Laura, Robin…still smiling the next day!

From left to right: Mark, Kate, James, Jane, Laura, Robin…still smiling the next day!

“This new regional event is a seedling carried by Laura Iveson
from the New Orleans annual 24-hour Drawathon.

MandalaBeginnings4blogLaura’s vision is to nurture a uniquely Hilltown version
of the lively arts, magic, and most of all community
that planted New Orleans so indelibly in our hearts and imaginations
during our 20-year residence there.

photo credit: John Snyder

photo credit: John Snyder

Where better to grow a vision like that than The Art Garden,
which has already done so much to establish
a welcoming, supportive arts community
in this corner of the world?


Pencil crowns go to Draw-Around Divas: Phyllis Labanowski (ARTeens co-director), Laura Iveson (our fabulous Draw-Around Organizer and all-around troubleshooter) and Jane Beatrice Wegscheider (Art Garden director)

The Art Garden family embraced Laura’s idea fully
and provided infrastructure, guidance, big hearts,
and capable hands to help make it happen.


After much hard work we remained worried until the last minute
that no one would risk a Saturday to see just what the heck a Draw-Around is,


but several hundred doodlebugs from all over the Hilltowns
showed healthy curiosity and an admirable sense of whimsy
by stopping in to draw on the walls
and lay on the papered floor for hours with friends, family, and strangers,
talking, dreaming, and creating
4000 square feet of gorgeous art. 

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The Draw-Around was solidly attended from noon til midnight.
Participants donated generously
enough to fund a large portion of The Art Garden’s ARTeens program this season.
The proceeds allow for even stronger programming in the next session,
and help The Art Garden ensure
that no ARTeens participant is prevented from participating for lack of funds.




(present, former and possible future)










to F I N I S H !!!


I was deeply moved by the way the aptly named Draw-Around
drew people together, head-to-head,
to engage in a novel and powerful collaboration.

photo credit: John Snyder

photo credit: John Snyder

The sheer audacity of the venture
– covering 12 hours and 4000 square feet of paper with imagination and dialogue –
disrupts the many routines of day-to-day life
in a way that provokes
fresh shared perspectives, bonding, and true community.

What a glorious way to welcome in the spring.

DApan4blog DotArtFamily4blog

Eleven-year-old emerging artist, Katie Martin (mother and older child drawing on right) was inspired by  Colrain artist, Suzanne Conway's mother and baby drawing above it!

Eleven-year-old emerging artist, Katie Martin (mother and older child drawing on right) was inspired by Colrain artist, Suzanne Conway’s mother and baby drawing above it!

People have told me the event’s magic sustained them days later,
and that like me, they are already dreaming about next year’s
Second Annual Art Garden Fabulous Hilltown Draw-Around.”   — James Smith


Thank you to everyone who made this event so amazing!

JadensIllusion4blogThe list of
thank you‘s

is longer than this

optical illusion drawing

made by teen artist,

Jaden Skelly.

You may want to start at the bottom and scroll up to see how it looked.


Angie Arahood

David Arfa

Brook Batteau

Candace Bradbury-Carlin

Molly Cantor

Valerie Caro

Sonny Crawford

Susannah Crolius

Laura Davis

Kelly Flaherty

Brendan Flannelly-King

& Eamon

Joanna Goodman

Emily Gopen

Katie Hennessey

Cosima Hewes

Cara Hochhalter

John Hoffman

Robin Huntley

Liz Jacobsen-Carroll

David Jensen

Phyllis Labanowski

Jen Martin

Cheli Mennella

Rick Miller

Diana Noble

Mark Ostroff

Colleen Rauch

Crisabeth Shearer
& Lauren Veaudry
from Greenfield Savings Bank

James Smith

Kate Snyder

Kristen Strange

Alethea Tschetterwood

Frances Whistler

Karen Willard

Betty Z-A & Tucker


Aubuchon, BJ’s, Brass Buckle, Buckland Pizza, Casey’s Pizza, Cowell Gym, Franklin Community Coop, Fosters, Hager Brothers, Home Depot, Mo’s Fudge Factory, Mother’s, Real Pickles, Shelburne Coffee Roasters, Staples, Trinity Church & Turley Publications!

Thank you Angie Arahood for creating this amazing Request-A-Sketch!

Thank you Angie Arahood for creating this amazing Request-A-Sketch!

Children and adults put a sketch request in a slot

Children and adults put sketch requests in a slot under the doors…

And within SECONDS or minutes, the doors sprung open, and a sketch was delivered…in a cuckoo's beak!

Within seconds, doors sprung open, & a sketch was delivered…in a cuckoo’s beak!

THANK YOU ARTeens (present, former and possible future):
Dylan, Erin, Jeff, Jennieke, Isabelle, Micah, Mikayla, Rhiannon & Tori
for WELCOMING everyone, explaining our pay-what-you-can model,
and for sharing what the ARTeens program means to you!


THANK YOU ARTeens co-director
and graphic messenger extraordinaire
Phyllis Labanowski
for creating such a great entry into the event!


Thank you to our community for your generosity!

Thank you Emmy for starting us off with such a generous and inspiring donation!


We are a Community Supported Art-making place!

And we are so glad to support our community with events like this!


Thank you! Laura Iveson!!!
for your creativity and perseverence, your vision and hard work,
your collaboration and willingness to dive into daunting projects.
YOU are fabulous (especially in that dashing hospital blue smock!)


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!