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Our 2019 Winter HooPla was a magical event thanks to many artists, community volunteers and ARTeen interns.

Work bees at The Art Garden are often intergenerational.

Together we imagined, built, glued, painted, tied, taped, hauled, constructed and lit up our railyard home with numerous ephemeral art installations.

One of Samantha Crawford’s Frozen Pond installations

Wind gusts and icy conditions made it particularly challenging this year as many installations could not be completed until the last moment. Each year, the HooPla is a testament to creative problem-solving and resilience born through collaboration.

And then there is the absolute heart-strengthening wonder of people coming out in the dark and cold…to a raw February rail yard landscape…to experience and celebrate this particular place, our particular community…through art, LIGHT and the unexpected.

Many community artists helped Laura Iveson paint her installation of lit houses that reflected some of what we love about home.

The houses were made from re-purposed corrugated plastic, tissue paper and cheesecloth.

Samantha Crawford, Mia Radysh, Kate Hennessey and John Hoffman built four stick structures in the rail yard and covered them with re-purposed and upcycled materials: tissue paper glued onto used plastic bags and an “udder house” made from overstock shirts.

The plastic bags (each individually-wrapped shirt came in) were also re-purposed into giant pompoms.

We honored the life and work of Mary Oliver with a few installations inspired by her poetry.

The opening reception for our community exhibit Small Kindnesses took place inside The Art Garden where people also enjoyed hot cocoa generously donated by Deans Beans.

There are 48 works by 33 artists in the exhibit, which runs through April 6.

You can view the exhibit during our March drop-in art-making hours:

Fridays & Saturdays, 1-5pm or
during our Adult Open Studio hours on Wednesdays, 10am-1pm.

 

If freezing temperatures in March are getting you down, use the cold to make these beautiful ice bowl candle holders:

Fill medium sized round balloons with water and put them outside over night in below-freezing temperatures. In the morning, test whether they are done by puncturing one. The water in the center will not have frozen, leaving a delicate ice bowl. If freezing temps persist, you can leave them unpunctured longer, to make the bowl stronger.

 

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Here are some of the gifts we get to see through The Art Garden’s work:

 

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These images are making their way (in a physical form) to many of our supporters through our annual appeal mailing*.

* If you are not on our snail mail list and would like to be,
please email Jane at csartgarden@gmail.com.

If you would like to support The Art Garden’s work, please click on our DONATE button (above right) which is a secure PayPal link.

Thank you!   Thank you!   Thank you!

 

 

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The Art Garden is sending a big

THANK YOU

to Phyllis Labanowski for all of her hard work and dedication in co-creating our ARTeens program. We wish Phyllis the best as she moves on from ARTeens to pursue new opportunities and challenges. Phyllis’ work, including her grant writing skills, will now help sustain the program, since ARTeens was recently awarded a Mass Cultural Council YouthReach grant!

Stepping in to co-direct the program starting this fall, is Laura Iveson. Laura is a long time Art Garden board member, director of The Hilltown Draw-Around, and set designer with Hilltown Youth Theater where she works with children and teens to create large artworks.

 

Check out this video about ARTeens created by graduating ARTeen Micah Goldstein last spring. Micah credits ARTeens with helping her realize that being an artist is possible, and ART is what she wants to do with her life. She is now studying Animation in Montreal.

 

 

Our 2018-2019 Pay-What-You-Can ARTeens after school program is now accepting APPLICATIONS! In our 7-week Fall 2018 session, there are two ARTeens’ groups that meet on Tuesdays OR Thursdays starting the week of October 23rd and ending the week of December 13th.

Applications are due on October 10, 2018. Downloadable application below.

ARTeensFALL2018Application

Questions? Please email csartgarden@gmail.com or call 413-625-2782

 

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Our Draw-Around was so fabulous,
parents had to drag their children home!

 

From noon to midnight on April 28th, children, teens and adults filled 5000 square feet of paper
with intricate, whimsical, tender, poetic, hilarious, and exquisite drawings, scribbles, stories, patterns and marks.

 

Thank you Laura Iveson
and the many many volunteers
(including ARTeen Micah Goldstein, pictured here with Laura)
who made it all happen!

 

Bringing people together
to create and play and be community
is a BIG part of The Art Garden’s mission.

 

Please support our work
and creative community events like our Draw-Around
by making a donation
on Valley Gives Day   Today!   May 1st

Every donation, no matter the size, helps us qualify for random prizes
throughout this 24 hour Day of Giving!

Click HERE to go to our Valley Gives page!

Super Honey Bunny and other Art Garden friends
are matching donations to help make our intergenerational studio accessible to all!

 

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Photo by Anna Goldstein

Before summer’s abundance of creativity begins (in and outside The Art Garden),
I want to share some enchanting images from the third Fabulous Hilltown Draw-Around: our 12-hour creative community art-making extravaganza that local artist and Art Garden board member, Laura Iveson imagined, organized, coordinated and made happen with the help of over 50 volunteers.

First hour of the Draw-Around captured by James Smith

“Creativity is a force of Enchantment!”

                                                                    —from Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Photo by Emily Crehan

One of the most magical things about the Draw-Around, for me, is how it draws out (sorry for the pun) the creativity in everyone:

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Photo by Emily Crehan

The historic Cowell Gym (where the Draw-Around takes place) is big enough to get lost in; after 12 hours the floor and walls were covered with exquisite and humorous testaments to private musings and communal exchanges:

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Photo by Emily Crehan

This year, 400 people became a part of something ephemeral and enchanting and bigger than ourselves; something that encouraged us to be ourselves, which is essentially what it means to be IN community.

Photo of local artist Nancy Katz ‘having a blast’ by James Smith

ARTeen Micah drawing her dad while her sister Anna takes photos

Thank you! Thank you, LAURA IVESON!

Photo by Nancy Katz

Thank you to the core group of movers and shakers who met for weeks to help shape the event. Thank you to the volunteers who showed up to prepare the space and clean it up afterwards.

Photo by James Smith

Thank you to everyone who helped during the Draw-Around, the artists who led workshops and community members who donated healthy food. Thank you Janice Sorensen for organizing and managing our Cowell Café! Thank you Reed Arahood for creating the Draw-O-Saurus:

Photo by James Smith

Thank you Samantha Crawford for creating the elaborate drawings that we enlarged to become the walls of our 3D garden coloring book:

Photo by James Smith

We are so grateful and enchanted!

Thank you local businesses for your support and Suzanne Conway for your whimsical tribute to them (and 12-hour drawing performance!)

Thank you to the following Local Cultural Councils for your support: Ashfield, Buckland, Charlemont/Hawley, Colrain, Conway, Deerfield, Heath, Leyden, Plainfield, Rowe, and Shelburne!

Thank you Phyllis Labanowski and ARTeen volunteers for welcoming everyone!

Photo by Phyllis Labanowski

All proceeds from the Draw-Around help support our ARTeens program.

Here are our current spring session ARTeens after Valley Gives Day
(which also supported their program!)

All this is what community looks like!

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Photograph by Laura Iveson. Graphic design by Jane Beatrice Wegscheider.

Photograph by Laura Iveson. Graphic design by Jane Beatrice Wegscheider.

The Art Garden invites you to participate

in the Community Exhibit:

smallthingstitle4blog

Here’s how it works:

Reflect on the theme! winterwindow4blog

What are some

of the small things

in your life

that

make a difference

in the quality

of that life?

The pragmatic in me thinks:

paper clips,

twist ties,

buttons,

&

tape, staples and scissors

(all indispensable small things

to a group of self-directed

elementary-aged artists.)

hbsleepinginthelight4blog

What are some of the small things you care about?

lovesongdetail4blog

My list includes my friend Elisabeth’s beautiful, almost 70 year-old hands with their stubby thumbs, the fan of laugh lines that emanate from Bob’s eyes and the sound of John’s “How are you, Dearie?” on the phone.

SummerIntheCellar

 What

small

things

do

you

do

to

nurture

yourself,

your

family,

your

friends,

your

community?

beautifuleggs4blog

Do you recycle?

shovel

your elderly neighbor’s

walkway?

volunteer at a

community

meal?

buy

locally

grown

food?

Skylar, Jen and Delia with mittens they made (from re-purposed sweaters) to give to families in transition.

Skylar, Jen and Delia with mittens they made to give to families in transition.

VermontProtest

Are you contributing

[something small]

to the larger battles

against poverty,

intolerance,

habitat loss,

injustice,

racism,

bullying,

species extinction,

pollution,

oppression,

hunger,

or hatred?

lotteriatime4blog

The small things we do add up.

Which is partially why we are doing this exhibit NOW.

makeart4blog

We invite you to make “small” art that reflects your ideas, feelings, and/or interpretation of the theme: “Small Things Matter”.

vegasbeelinocut4blog
Write a small

poem.

Create a tiny book

from a short story.

Make a small

painting,

collage, sculpture,

drawing, print,

assemblage,

photograph,

& & &

All work (even written pieces)

must have dimensions (height, width, depth)

under 5″

(that includes borders and frames!)

ursulasbird4blog

Because of this size restriction, you can also mail your submission[s] to us at:

The Art Garden
4 Union Street
Shelburne Falls, MA 01370

Please include a SASE for return of your work and an Artist Information Form
(see below to download) to be included in the exhibit folder.

Deadline for submissions is January 25, 2017
(if you would like your work to be part of our Winter HooPla event and the official opening on January 28.)

Participation is free and open to all ages and experience. Work will be accepted throughout February and added to the exhibit after the opening, until there is no space left on the walls. Show closes April 1.

Questions?

Email Jane Wegscheider at csartgarden@gmail.com or call 413-625-2782.

 

Downloadable form to complete for each submission:
artistsinfosmallthingsmatter

 

mccbirdsinging4blogThis exhibit is supported in part by
the following local cultural councils:

Ashfield,

Buckland,

Charlemont/Hawley,

Colrain,

Conway,

Heath,

Leyden,

Plainfield,

Rowe

& Shelburne!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Handmade paper with poem by Sappho, Jane Beatrice Wegscheider

Handmade paper by Jane Beatrice Wegscheider. Poem by Sappho.

 

 

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Seven years ago, I condensed all of my hopes and visions for The Art Garden into the following Mission Statement:

The Art Garden seeks to create a nurturing, non-judgmental and inspirational environment where people of all ages and experience can engage in the creative process and the exploration and exchange of ideas through individual and collaborative art-making.  Relationships between materials, images, ideas, self, and community are cultivated with questioning, poetic vision and social/ecological consciousness.

I am so delighted that this statement IS TRUE about our work AND that it can be seen in the tiny Art Garden Alphabet book that is part of our 2016 annual appeal mailing!

abccover4gt

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Every end-of-the-year we send out a visually embellished envelope, collaboratively written letter and small visual ‘gift’ that reflects on what we have accomplished in the past year, and who we are. Our hope is that the ‘who we are’  is conveyed not only in the words and images, but also in the physical form and sensual experience of a mostly hand-made gesture.

Thank you Laura, John, Elisabeth, Cheryl, Ardath, Kristen, Sam, Kate, Cosima and Reed for helping cut and glue art-stamps and fold, score and hand-bind over 500 tiny alphabet books!

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Thanks also to Honey Bunny for her patient supervising!

 

Thank you Art Garden board members Kate Bailey, Candace Bradbury-Carlin, John Hoffman, Laura Iveson and James Smith for your collaboration and commitment to The Art Garden and our good work.

Thank you also to all of our [over 200 and growing!] individual supporters!
We would not be here without you.

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If you would like to receive our 2016 mailing please email your name and address to csartgarden@gmail.com.
If you would like to support The Art Garden’s work, you can make a secure contribution using our donate button on this website.
You can also send a check (made out to The Art Garden) to our mailing address:
The Art Garden, 4 Union St, Shelburne Falls, MA 01370.

moonseller4blog

Good work = Light in the world!

Do good work!

Be the light our world needs in 2017!

 

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