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PanoramaJSmith4blog

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.

WelcomeTeensJSmith4blog

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?

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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.

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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,

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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.

Guidelines4blog

Our

ARTeens

(present, former and possible future)

participated

from

S

T

A

R

T

LittleMonsters4blog

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to F I N I S H !!!

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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

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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.

THANK YOU!
THANK YOU!
THANK YOU!

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

THANK YOU!  THANK YOU!  THANK YOU!

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!

And for HAVING FUN!

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

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Thank you to our community for your generosity!

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

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We are a Community Supported Art-making place!

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

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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:

Hand4blog2

Request-A-Sketch Draw-Machine!

A giant floor mandala!

Costumed Figure Drawing!

Draw-your-own Raffle Tickets!

Shadow Puppets!

Origami!

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!

Hand4blog1

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!

ArteensLOGO4blog2

The Draw-Around

is a

pay-what-you-can

fundraiser

for our

after school

ARTeens program!

 

&

 

eArtIsFoodWe will have

great food

for you

to purchase,

and eat!

while

watching

and

drawing!

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!  

WOW!!!!!

 

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,
with
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.

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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!

 

 

eParadiseInvite4blog

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:

Ashfield,MCCTree4blog

Buckland,

Charlemont/Hawley,

Colrain,

Conway,

Heath,

Leyden,

&

Shelburne.

Thank you!

Thank you!

Thank you!

NewBeginnings4blog
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.

 

SomeChanges4blog
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.

 

ArtIsCommunity4blog
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!

 

CommunityIsArt4blog
Thanks to the collaboration, participation, enthusiasm, encouragement, financial support and hard work of so many, The Art Garden is now firmly rooted!

 

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We wish you a very Happy Season of Light!

 

lightisfood4blog

 

with love and gratitude,

 

Doll made at The Art Garden by Edite Cunha

Jane-doll made by Edite Cunha

eValleyGives2014

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:

http://valleygives.razoo.com/story/Art-Garden

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,
energizing,
and satisfying.

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