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!


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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!


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.


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.


Good work = Light in the world!

Do good work!

Be the light our world needs in 2017!



The Art Garden invites you to participate

in a Community Exhibit

that explores the theme[s] of

Uncertainty, Transitions and Change:


How it works:


How does uncertainty affect you?
What are some daily transitions you [and your family or friends] experience?
What changes do you wrestle with and/or embrace?

Detail of an artwork created by ARTeen, Micah Goldstein, using her broken mobile phone.

Detail of an artwork created by ARTeen, Micah Goldstein, using her broken mobile phone.

Pema Chodron (sorry for the missing umlauts) begins her book,
Living Beautifully: with Uncertainty and Change,
with this quote from Agnes de Mille:

“Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how. The moment you know how, you begin to die a little. The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark.”

What role does ‘not knowing’ play in your creative process?
What images, stories, ideas and questions do you have about any or all of this?

Detail from a mixed media piece by Jane Beatrice Wegscheider; title: "The Spaces Between"

Detail from “The Spaces Between” by Jane Beatrice Wegscheider 





Finches peck

at the dead-looking

seed heads

in my yard




brilliant flowers.


Colorful and falling leaves here in Shelburne Falls
have an extraordinary beauty,
even as they herald colder weather to come.

Uneasiness, tension and deep anxiety are plaguing many
in these last weeks before our national election.

How do we weather all the

uncertainty4blogthat we face?




A painting, poem, drawing,

photograph, story, collage,

sculpture, performance, etc!

Participation is free and open to all ages and experience! All work* that relates to the theme[s] will be included. *Some size restrictions apply.

Please call ahead if your work is larger than 3′ in any direction.



Please deliver your work to The Art Garden

between November 3 – 5 (1pm – 5pm.)

Call if you need to arrange a different time: 413-625-2782


November 12, 6pm – 8pm

Our receptions are fun intergenerational events. Performances start at 7pm.

Please call before November 8 if you have a story, poem, performance, song, or other off-the-wall idea that relates to the theme[s].

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



You can view this Community Exhibit through December 10, 2016

Mondays through Saturdays, 1pm – 5pm

at The Art Garden, 14 Depot St, Shelburne Falls, MA

(in the same building as the Trolley Museum.)

Please use Elm Street to access our parking.

This Community Exhibit is supported in part

by the following Local Cultural Councils:














Come to The Art Garden to share your thoughts through art & conversation,
after the Shelburne Falls ArtWalk, September 24, 6pm-8pm.
Write, draw, and collage on a temporary interactive mural.
No prior art experience necessary. Light refreshments will be served.
The Art Garden is located in the Trolley Museum building.
Please access parking via Elm St.

This interactive mural will remain up at The Art Garden throughout the month of October. Please drop in during our open hours to add your thoughts to it.  

Questions: please call 413-625-2782


Celebrate local art and the award winning public art projects soon to be HATCHed in the hilltowns! Five artists, selected through a juried process, will be presented to the community and seed money will be awarded. Meet the artists, hear about their projects, and find out how you can be involved at 8pm.
Appetizers and cash bar. $10 at the door.

Where: Buckland Town Hall, 17 State St, Shelburne Falls

When: Saturday, June 25, 7pm – 10pm (artist presentations from 8pm – 9pm)

Questions: Call The Art Garden: 413-625-2782
or the GSFABA: 413-625-2526

photo by Elaine Boucher

“What the World Needs Now” performance by Phyllis Labanowski and a group of intrepid Art Garden volunteers, 2014. Photo by Elaine Boucher.

May 3, 2016 is The Art Garden’s 5-year 501c3 Anniversary!

WE made it!
WE painted, sculpted, sewed, drew and collaged it!
WE invented, designed, organized, coordinated, collaborated,
and fund-raised it!

WE = you + me + The Art Garden’s hard-working Board of Directors
+ hundreds of people supporting our work with so many GIFTS:
donations of supplies, money and time…
all of us coming together to make The Art Garden truly
a Community-Supported Art-making place!


As a happy coincidence,

May 3, 2016 is also Valley Gives Day here in western Massachusetts.

Our Valley Gives fund-raising this year is dedicated to supporting our
2016-2017 ARTeens program.


Your support will make a difference in the lives of rural creative teens!

Please help make another year of this amazing Teen Art program possible
by donating here on May 3rd:




A very special thank you goes to artist and non-profit attorney Peter Chadwick, who first suggested our becoming a non-profit in 2010. He all but held our hands as he shepherded us through the legal process with kindness, skill and lots of clarifying emails. We are so grateful, Peter!

One of over 30 Frida paintings by Ardath Garfield.

One of over 30 Frida Gladheart paintings by Ardath Garfield.

Please join us on Saturday, April 30th from 3pm – 5pm for the opening reception of an exhibition of watercolors by Ashfield artist, Ardath Garfield. Ardath’s whimsical and poignant paintings celebrate the life of her imaginary character, Frida Gladheart. Ardath will talk about her work at 4pm.


Please join us from noon to midnight at the Cowell Gym in Shelburne Falls!

Please join us from noon to midnight at the Cowell Gym in Shelburne Falls!

It’s a carnival of mark making!



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!

A community portrait wall!

A Drawing Game Show!

A wall of dreams!


Fun and unusual adaptive drawing devices made from re-purposed materials!

A life-sized 3D “coloring book”!

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.



To see some pictures from last year’s Draw-Around, please click here.

And if you are wondering where the Cowell Gym is:


This event is supported in part by the following Local Cultural Councils:




Thank you!

Thank you!

Thank you!

Thank you!

Questions? Please call the Art Garden before Saturday: 413-625-2782

The Fabulous Hilltown Draw-Around
is organized by artist and Art Garden board member, Laura Iveson.

THANK YOU LAURA for all your amazing work!

THANK YOU also to all the volunteers
who are helping to make this event soooooo