Summertime at The Art Garden was a full and vibrant time,
a time when accomplishment and pleasure were interwoven,
in part perhaps, because the season, with its long days,
seemed to give us more savoring time.
in our summer programs
spent a week
of full days
making and playing,
learning new skills,
and sharing wild ideas
that they came up with
in an atmosphere that cultivates
and a sense of agency.
6-8 year olds transformed recycled materials into miniature households.
became a peacock.
Children painted and drew and invariably mixed media.
They built elaborate constructions.
At The Art Garden,
the deeply personal enters the public realm
through a supportive community ethic.
and her 12 year old daughter,
Haley, came up from Florida
to experience The Art Garden
for the first time.
Jill facilitates a studio art
program in a school for
children with special needs.
She took away lots of ideas,
hundreds of photographs,
the beginnings of her own creative process in a mixed media art journal.
Haley was inspired to design and sew (for the first time!) her own dress.
The skirt had 8 panels made from different 70’s fabrics she found at The Art Garden.
a group of camping families dropped in
to make art together.
with the Charlemont Public Library summer reading program
to create a large paper-mache Frog Dream Girl sculpture.
I made the armature out of chicken wire and recycled wood,
with donated worn-out tennis balls for eyes.
while also creating gift scrolls to go in her lotus flower bowl,
with sayings written and stamped in them:
“Don’t let anyone keep you from your dream!”
“You can do it!” “Dream Big!”
Labor Day weekend coincided with our public art installation
“The River Within Us: Stories Inspired by the Waters Around Us”,
which you can read about in detail following this post.
The project raised many questions
about the nature and regulation of public spaces:
What is the role of artists working in public spaces in a community?
Who decides how public space can be used?
How do artists address safety concerns while also pushing at
the edges to create new thinking and new ways of being?
Do liability issues dominate the conversation?
How do we hold the “what if’s” at bay,
so that we can still take risks in public spaces.
to do a residency in my own residence,
to spend time in my home studio,
another place where I can dive into images, ideas, metaphors…
and the flux of knowing and not knowing
that are part of my creative process.
Thanks to Pam Snow!
I also had a magical day on Monhegan Island
with her and her daughter Ursula.
So, as suddenly and slowly as the leaves are changing,
The Art Garden has entered its second autumn season
as a 501c3 non-profit community art center.
Three years ago, The Art Garden was an idea.