From a distance you might think that the Little Big House is a small, one-room cottage in the woods. But if you had a closer look, you would see that it is actually a large structure with proportionally-sized windows and a big front door -- hence the name Little Big House.
This humoristic and inventive structure, located on Patten Road in Shelburne Falls, was the idea of Glenn Ridler, artist and teacher. The Little Big House was Glenn's signature piece of work and his most consuming. The intention was to connect art and life and was inspired by conceptual artist Alan Kaprow's writings, Pop Art, environmental work and basic post and beam construction.
The Little Big House is a 3000 square-foot structure with three levels. The first floor is an art gallery, the second is a living space, and the top floor is a giant attic. The gardens surrounding the house are a continuation of Glenn's masterpiece, manifested by his wife, Christine Baronas. A variety of plants, trees, and shrubs create shapes and swatches of colors to compliment the house.
Glenn Ridler started work on Little Big House in 1972, which then also served as his family home. In addition to working on the house and his own art, Glenn also taught full time at Mohawk Trail Regional High School. After retirement in 2002, he returned to Mohawk to teach chess. Glenn passed away in 2020.
The Little Big House Gallery continues to display Glenn's art along with curated works of other artists. You can visit the gallery on July 7, 8, and 9, 2023 between noon and 5 pm or on July 16 and 17 from 3 to 6 pm. Additional times are by appointment only.
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