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!
“This new regional event is a seedling carried by Laura Iveson
from the New Orleans annual 24-hour Drawathon.
Laura’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
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.
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
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.
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!
The list of
is longer than this
optical illusion drawing
made by teen artist,
You may want to start at the bottom and scroll up to see how it looked.
& Lauren Veaudry
from Greenfield Savings Bank
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!
Children and adults put sketch requests in a slot under the doors…
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
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!)