Community

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





 

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.

 

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. 

Have a Great Time at the Great Falls Festival aka PumpkinFest

Great falls festival turners falls MassachusettsCelebrate a decade of fall fun at the Great Falls Festival aka PumpkinFest on Saturday, October 19. This fall-themed festival will be held on Avenue A in Turners Falls from 2-9 pm and is great for all ages. 

Bring your own carved pumpkin to display or decorate one there! Hang out at the beer garden and drink some local craft beers and pair it with food from various food vendors. You’ll also want to bring your dancing shoes because there will be musical bands and performances all event long. See the full lineup below:

More information on their Facebook page.

Crafts, Food, Pumpkingames and More at the Ashfield Fall Festival

It’s time for the wonderful annual Ashfield Fall Festival. This Saturday, October 12th and Sunday, October 13th, Ashfield’s Main Street will be filled with crafts, food, and music from 10 am to 5 pm on both days. 

Check out more than 50 local exhibitors including, Tom Kuklinski woodworking, Ed Branson hand-blown glass, and Walter Cudnohufsky watercolors. View the full list of arts and crafts vendors here. They will be stationed on the town common or the Upper Town Hall.

You’ll find lots of tasty autumn treats at the festival, such as home-made pumpkin donuts, apple pie, and applesauce sundae. Get your savory fix as well with warm chili, burgers, crawfish pasta, or vegetarian and kids options, too.

Bring the kids because there will be tons of entertainment and games, including the pumpkingames! Check out the full lineup of performances, as well, here. Don’t miss out on this amazing community event, with the backdrop of the beautiful fall foliage. 

For more information go to www.ashfieldfallfestival.org.

Ashfield Fall Festival Main Street Massachusetts

Crafts, Food, and Music at the Old Deerfield Fall Craft Fair

Old Deerfield Fall Craft Fair Massachusetts 2019This Saturday and Sunday, September 21 and 22, check out the Old Deerfield Fall Craft Fair. Held on the lush and beautiful grounds surrounding Memorial Hall Museum in Deerfield, MA, the Fall Craft Fair features 150 artisan craft booths from all over the area. You will find every kind of craft from fiber to pottery to jewelry and more! Plus, specialty food offerings, live music, and free craft activities for all ages, provided by Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association. You can also stop by the Yankee Candle booth, one of the festival’s long-time sponsors, to find beeswax candles, enter to win a raffle prize, and get a $20 off coupon. 

The craft fair hours are Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday 10 am to 4 pm. Admission is $7 for adults and children 12 and under are free. Visit www.deerfield-craft.org for more information and to view the list of crafters. 



 

Good Music and Good Vibes at the Charlemont Reggae Festival

charlemont reggae festival massachusettsFor the past 35 years, the Charlemont Reggae Festival has been bringing good music and good vibes to our beloved Charlemont in the hills of Western Franklin County. This Saturday, August 17th, spend the day at the Charlemont Fairgrounds and join the loving community of people who come out for the reggae festival. There will be food vendors selling delicious eats to choose from and Berkshire Brewing Company will be pouring their craft beer for those over 2. Browse the crafts under the local vendor tents and of course jam out to some awesome music! 

This year’s lineup includes Mykal Rose, Mighty Mystic, The Alchemystics, Big Takeover, Rhythm Incorporated, and more! Tickets are $35 in advance and $45 at the gate. Kids 12 and under enter for free. Doors open at 11 am and the festival starts at noon. The Charlemont Reggae Festival is dedicated to Ras Jahn Bullock, whose dedication and love for reggae and community has made this event possible for so many years. 

Click here for more information.

Follow them on Facebook!

charlemont reggae festival vendor boothsreggae festival western massachusetts live music

 

Come to the 102nd Heath Agricultural Fair This Weekend!

horse pull heath agricultural fairThe Heath Fair is one of the few country fairs still around that stays true to its agricultural roots. For over 100 years, it has offered events such as the ox draw, sheep shows, and various trade demonstrations to teach the community about agriculture in an engaging way. Every year the residents of Heath and visitors from surrounding towns look forward to this end of summer event. This year, the 102nd Heath Fair will take place this weekend, Friday evening, August 16th, and all day Saturday and Sunday, August 17th and 18th. 

It is truly incredible to see how a large event like this with a variety of activities comes together in such an organized way. It is because of the commitment of volunteers who run each of the events that the Heath Fair is so successful. This year’s lineup of events include the antique tractor pull, rabbit show, ADGA sanctioned senior goat show, ox draw, truck pull, and adult sheep show and more. Bring the kids because there will be so much for them to do too like the zucchini races, wagon rides, kids garden tractor pull, demonstrations, and the parade! 

Make sure you come hungry because there will be plenty to eat! Join the organized meals such as the Church Ladies Ham and Bean Supper at 5:30 pm on Friday, the Heath Firefighters Association BBQ on both Saturday and Sunday, or the Blueberry Pancake Breakfast on Sunday morning. There will also be a great group of vendors selling food at the lower food booth and upper food booth.

A country fair is not complete without music and this year’s artist lineup is spectacular. On Friday night, check out Mamma’s Marmalade, a Northampton-based newgrass band and then join in on the square dancing, called by Doug Wilkins. On Saturday at 10 am, Under the Tree Music Company will perform a kids show. Then throughout the day, there will be musical performances by Uncles of the Pioneers, Lonesome Brothers, Josh LeVangie and the Pistoleros, and Deadgrass. On Sunday, check out the Shelburne Falls Military Band at 11:30 am and the Gaslight Tinkers at 1:30 pm. At 3:30 pm, there will be a special performance, Amazing Magic Show for All Ages with Damian Odess Gillett.

For the full schedule of events, visit heathfair.org. The Heath Fair is presented by the Heath Agricultural Society. Admission is only $10 or $8 for seniors and free for children 10 and under. Parking is free. See you at the Heath Fair!

heath agricultural fair massachusetts

Photo credit: Heathfair.org