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You Are Here: A Juried Community Art Exhibit at Great Falls Discovery Center

Exploded View Turners Falls Art ExhibitFrom now through the end of February, check out a community art exhibit at the Great Falls Discovery Center, curated by Exploded View. The exhibit includes work by regional artists in multiple media exploring maps, the significance of place, and movement across boundaries. It asks questions such as: Where do you live? Where are you from? Where do you dream? How do you find your way? Where are your borders? Do maps lie? 

During these two months, you may also come upon members of Exploded View working in various corners of the building. Exploded View is a dynamic group of women artists and writers working together to create original performance and exhibition. 

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Montague Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.

The Great Falls Discovery Center is located at 2 Avenue A in Turners Falls. For directions, hours, and more information about the Discovery Center, visit greatfallsdiscoverycenter.org.

Community Highlight: The Buzz in Greenfield, Mass

With the announcement of the closing of Wilson’s Department Store in downtown Greenfield, it feels like the end of an era for the town. Wilson’s has been a landmark business for about a century and in recent times has drawn in customers to shop at one of the last old-time department stores in the region. While the closing of the store is a sad loss to the community, it also represents a shift in the downtown businesses and the opportunity for something new in this space.

Business West recently published an article about the “Distinct Buzz in Downtown Greenfield.” The article highlights the following list of positive things happening in Greenfield: 

Downtown Greenfield Massachusetts“• New businesses such as the Rise Above coffee shop, and established businesses under new ownership, such as the Greenfield Garden Cinema, another downtown anchor;

• A refocused Greenfield Business Assoc. (GBA), now under the leadership of coordinator Rachel Roberts;

• A burgeoning cultural economy headlined by the Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center in the heart of downtown, but also a growing number of arts-related ventures;

• Co-working spaces — such as Greenspace, located above Hawks and Reed, as well as Another Castle, a facility that has attracted a number of video-game-related businesses — that are attracting young professionals and bringing more vibrancy to the downtown;

GCET, the municipal provider of reliable high-speed internet, a service that that has made those co-work spaces possible;

The Hive, a makers space now under development on Main Street, just a block or so down from Wilson’s;

• Rail service, specifically in the form of the Yankee Flyer, which brings two trains a day to the city, and enables one to travel to New York and back the same day;

A new town library, which is expected to bring more vibrancy — and another co-working space — to downtown; and

• A noticeable tightening of the housing market, a tell-tale sign of progress.”

What all of these points amount to is that Greenfield is growing even more so into a community where people have access to important resources. The reliable internet, arts and culture, learning and career opportunities, and a thriving downtown area create environments where people love going to work and can own their own successful businesses. Several companies have already moved their office spaces to Greenspace, above Hawks and Reed because they wanted their employees to be happy in their workspace and enjoy coming to work. 

The housing market in Greenfield is also moving fast these days. Inventory is moving so fast that some report looking at homes which are sold before they even have an opportunity to place an offer. 

As a celebration of the collaboration happening now in Greenfield and the noticeable buzz in the community, the downtown area will soon be populated with giant bees. Many local artists are decorating these bees which will comprise this collaborative art installation and draw even more visitors to the area. The bees are expected to be installed in May or June. 

To read the entire Business West article about the buzz in Greenfield, click here.

And check out current homes for sale by Wanda in Greenfield, like the one pictured below here

Home for sale Greenfield Massachusetts





 

November 2019 Sales Report of Single Family Homes in the Pioneer Valley

Single family homes western MassachusettsSales of single family homes in Franklin County remained the same and median price increased 8.9% in November 2019 compared to November 2018. The sales were down 1.4% in Hampden County and 24.1% in Hampshire County. Median price was up in both Hampden and Hampshire Counties.

The average days on market was up 1.8% from 69 average number of days in November 2018 compared to 70 days in November 2019. Listings that are pending (under agreement to sell) were up 20.3% from 384 listings pending in November 2018 to 462 listings pending sale in November 2019.

November Sales Report Pioneer ValleyPioneer Valley Real Estate Sales MassachusettsLocal market update Pioneer Valley Real Estate

 

Vermont Glass Guild Comes to Salmon Falls Gallery in Shelburne Falls

Vermont glass guild salmon falls gallery Shelburne falls Now through December 31st, Salmon Falls Gallery in Shelburne Falls is hosting 16 different glass artists, all who are part of the Vermont Glass Guild. Their works fill the 2 featured exhibit spaces and cover an array of techniques including hot (furnace-worked), lamp (torch or flame-worked), warm (fused/slumped), as well as samples of cold-working.

Local glass artist, Josh Simpson is a member of the Vermont Glass Guild, which reaches exceptional artists even outside of Vermont. The Guild supports its members by providing excellent networking opportunities to the public and other artists. It also creates a great sense of community amongst the artists. 

Below are the statements from some of the artists whose works will be exhibited at Salmon Falls Gallery as part of the group exhibit:

Robert DuGrenier
Townshend, Vermont

OUT OF THE ASHES

This collection of Robert's work was born out of tragedy: the historic barn on his property burned to the ground in October 2015. He's been using the metal and cast iron pieces (missing, of course, their wooden handles and parts) from farm implements and antiques that were left behind in the debris, to create stunning sculptures. Many of the pieces in the Out of the Ashes series at first glance appear to be encased in ice; not until the viewer comes close is it revealed that the sculpture is made with glass.

Lori Pietropaoli
Williston, VT

Lori Pietropaoli took her first fused glass class the day after moving to Vermont. She quickly became hooked on the combination of color and construction, continuing to develop her skills at the Davis Studios. She studied under Alyssa Oxley, Micaela Wallace, Morgan Madison and Alicia Lomne. She is frequently inspired by the Vermont landscape and architecture. Ms. Pietropaoli explores variation – where the construction and finishing follows the same methods, yet the results are unique. She achieves distinctive outcomes through the specific choice of glass in each piece. Pieces shown are inspired by the light at different times of a single day.

Josh Simpson
Shelburne, MA

REFLECTIONS

Reflections represents Josh Simpson’s latest exploration of different ways to use murruni and latticino cane. In the Blue New Mexico pieces, he stretches straight cane into sweeping curved patterns that cast interesting shadows on the interior glass. In the clear pieces, he creates a multilayered “vase within vase” effect. These new works reveal Simpson’s decades-long interest in employing the traditional vessel form as a medium for playing with depth, reflection, transparency, and point of view.

Josh Simpson is a Western Massachusetts glass artist whose work includes vibrantly colored sculptural pieces often inspired by astrophysical or cosmological themes. Simpson has spent nearly half a century making glass objects that embody his fascination with color, form, pattern and complexity.

Participating Artists:

Mary Angus, Readsboro, VT

Chris Sherwin, Sherwin Art Glass, Bellows Falls, VT

Randi Solin, Solinglass, Brattleboro, VT

Dominique Caissie, Terrapin Glassblowing Studio, Jaffrey, NH

Dave & Melanie Leppla, Mad River Glass Gallery, Waitsfield, VT

Robert Burch, Brandywine Glassworks, Putney, VT

Zak Grace, Zak Grace Glass, Brattleboro, VT

Robert DuGrenier, Robert DuGrenier Associates, Inc., Townshend, VT

Monique LaJeunesse, Michael Trimpol, Little River Hotglass Studio, Stowe, VT

Lori Pietropaoli, Williston, VT

Matt Seasholtz, Seaholtz Glass Design, Johnson, VT

Josh Simpson, Josh Simpson Contemporary Glass, Shelburne, MA

Ann Conlin, Tewksbury, MA

Lucy Bergamini, Vitresse Glass, Brattleboro, VT

Wesley Fleming, Holyoke, MA

Exhibit runs through the end of the year. For more information, visit SalmonFallsGallery.com or call the gallery at 413.625.9833.

 

October 2019 Pioneer Valley Sales Report of Single Family Homes

Sales Report Real Estate Pioneer ValleySales of single family homes in Franklin County were down 4.8% and median price up 2.3% in October 2019 compared to October 2018. The sales were up 5.2% in Hampden County and 45.6% in Hampshire County. Median price was up in both Hampden and Hampshire Counties.

The average days on market was down 15.7% from 65 average number of days in October 2018 compared to 54 days in October 2019. Listings that are pending (under agreement to sell) were up 4.4% from 523 listings pending in October 2018 to 546 listings pending sale in October 2019.

October 2019 Pioneer Valley Real Estate Sales ReportReal Estate Western Massachusetts October 2019Realtor Association of Pioneer ValleyFranklin County Massachusetts Real Estate

Shop Small This Saturday

Shop Small Saturday Western Massachusetts This Thanksgiving, I feel especially grateful for my community and fellow businesses in the area. Tomorrow, 86% of Americans plan to hit the corporate stores for Black Friday shopping. I ask you to instead consider supporting local businesses in the area to do your holiday shopping. Tomorrow, Friday, November 29, Shelburne Falls is hosting Moonlight Magic, an annual holiday kick-off event. The downtown shops will remain open later and local vendors will set up tents on Bridge Street, displaying  beautiful hand-crafted items for sale. 

Then, Saturday, November 30, is Small Business Saturday. This national event which occurs the day after Black Friday, promotes shopping at your local small businesses. Help your local economy by spending your money at your neighborhood stores and other stores in Franklin County for your holiday shopping. You can find a list of local businesses at shelburnefalls.com and franklincc.org. We are so fortunate to live in an area of talented artisans and craftspeople. Take advantage and do your holiday shopping with them!

Happy Thanksgiving, Franklin County!

(Source: finder.com)

Kick Off the Holiday Season at Moonlight Magic in Shelburne Falls

Moonlight Magic Shelburne falls 2019Thanksgiving isn’t far away, which here in Franklin County means it’s almost time for Moonlight Magic! Moonlight Magic is the annual kick-off event to the holiday season, which occurs every year in Shelburne Falls on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Bridge Street and Deerfield Ave close down to traffic, allowing pedestrians to wander freely through the town, browsing stores and pop-up vendor tents. This is a great opportunity to buy unique, hand-crafted gifts for the family from local vendors rather than spending hours at a chaotic mall.

Moonlight Magic is also about spreading holiday cheer. The village will be beautifully decorated with garlands and lights. Luminaria will line the streets, illuminating pathways towards significant places participating in Moonlight Magic events. Say hi to Santa and Mrs. Claus amongst other characters in the Parade of Lights, which starts on Conway Street and then continues down Bridge Street. Then enjoy other various local performers and musicians around the village. 

This year’s Moonlight Magic is happening Friday, November 29, 2019 from 4 to 9 pm.

For more information about Moonlight Magic, visit www.shelburnefalls.com. 

Why it's a Good Idea to List Your Home During the Winter

Listing Your Home in Winter MassachusettsYour home is still listed for sale. You might be thinking it is best to take it off the market and re-list in the spring. However if you are serious about selling, rethink removing it from the market for the following 4 reasons.

1.  If you remove your home from the market, you will have less competition on the market place, which means buyers will have less to pick from. You actually might sell at a higher price in the winter than if you wait until spring when you'll have greater competition.

2.   The winter months are the best time for buyers to make a purchase. They normally have more time to look around before the spring, when life gets busy with kids getting out of school and summer vacations being planned.

3.  Buyers want to already be in their new home in winter so they can enjoy the start of the spring and summer season.

4.  Bad weather is no longer an issue for buyers like it used to be in the past, traveling to view different homes. Nine out of ten homebuyers search for their homes online at their workplaces, on their smart phones, and from the comfort of their homes after dark.

I have sold many of my listings during the winter. My sellers were glad they listened to my advice about keeping their homes on the market. Don’t let the winter season discourage you from trying to sell your home.  

Happy Winter Selling!

Take a Tour of the Crafts of Colrain

Crafts of Colrain open studio tourColrain, Massachusetts is a beautiful town in northern Franklin County, just below the Vermont line. The town draws many artists who seek inspiration from its natural beauty. There are so many artists, in fact that each year they all come together to host Crafts of Colrain Open Studio Tour. Grab a map and a friend and take a tour around Colrain this Saturday and Sunday, November 9-10 from 10 am to 5 pm.

This year 19 artisans will open their doors to the public and show off their amazing hand-crafted items, ranging from furniture to jewelry to fiber art and more. At stop #1, check out Marilyn Beal’s one-of-a-kind silk scarves using carved stamps, hand-painting, Japanese shibori, and simple silk screening techniques. Also at Stop #1 is Al Ladd with custom hand-crafted jewelry boxes and other beautiful works of wood. Another wonderful participating artist is Lynn Fisher. Lynn has been working with fiber for over 30 years. Explore her variety of creations which she dyes, spins, knits, weaves, and felts.

To view the full list of artists, click here or go to craftsofcolrain.com for more information. 

Woodworking Colrain Massachusetts Basket weaving Colrain Massachusetts crafts

Celebrate 25 Years of CiderDays This Weekend

For 25 years, CiderDays has been a Franklin County staple event of all things apple. Every first weekend in November, events pop up all over the area to appreciate and learn more about ciders, cidermaking, and orchards. There are cider tastings, workshops, and tours, hosted by various orchards, cideries, and other cider professionals. This year, CiderDays will be held November 1-3. Some of the events are free; others require tickets purchased in advance, such as the Cider Salon. 

The Cider Salons will once again be held in the large tent in Unity Park, Turners Falls. Sponsored by the United States Association of Cider Makers, the Salons will feature over 130 ciders from a range of producers around North America and Europe. Buy your tickets in advance for either Round 1 or Round 2 and enjoy the opportunity to sample ciders from near and far.

Some events will be happening throughout the weekend and you can drop in anytime to check them out. Check out an art exhibit at the Great Falls Discovery Center in Turners Falls, 25 Years of CiderDays, which will display historic cider presses and images honoring cider producers. While you’re in Turners Falls, you can also stop by the official Cider Days Bookstore at Two Birds on Avenue for books about orchards and cider and even some author signings. Several tasting rooms will have their doors open to the public throughout the weekend, including West County Cider in Shelburne, Bear Swamp Orchard and Cidery in Ashfield, Headwater Cider in Hawley, and more. 

See the full list of tastings and other events happening throughout the weekend here and find everything you need to know about CiderDays at CiderDays.org

Happy CiderDays! 

Franklin County Cider Days November 2019 Massachusetts