Cultural District

Pottery class with Molly CantorPottery class with Molly CantorIn 2012, the Village of Shelburne Falls was designated as a Cultural District by the Massachusetts Cultural Council and received the Creative Community Award.

This rural pairing of two villages – Shelburne and Buckland – on either side of the Deerfield River joined by an historic iron bridge is a delightful surprise. Honored as one of the “100 Best Small Art Towns in America,” the towns are recognized as a nationally desirable cultural destination.

Ariadne's Dream by Jane Wegscheider"Ariadne's Dream" by local artist Jane WegscheiderShelburne Falls gets it all right – preserving its historic, small town character while being open to the best of modern life. It is a village with a thriving cultural community nestled in the heart of farms and country roads. Enjoy world class opera in Memorial Hall’s Met Live series; visit eclectic art and crafts galleries and studios throughout the village; enjoy the ambience of Mocha Maya’s Coffee House, offering live music year-round. The Bridge of Flowers, once a busy trolley bridge, is now a world famous garden. Visit the trolley museum, the candlepin bowling alley, or the curious geological potholes. Linger in local eateries, enjoy fun family-friendly fairs and festivals throughout the year celebrate the arts, culture, and nature of Shelburne Falls and the surrounding hilltowns.

The Shelburne Falls Mosaic Mural Project

The Shelburne Falls Mosaic Mural Project was a community wide endeavor to celebrate the beauty of our rural area. Together we created 10 3’ x 3’ mosaic panels that represent our hilltowns of West County as well as 2 larger panels, ‘The Deerfield River’ and ‘American Indian Portrait’.

In June 2009, mosaic artist Cynthia Fisher had an idea stemming from her desire to create public art that could be enjoyed where she lived. In laying the groundwork for the project, she enlisted the support and involvement of school officials, teachers, community leaders, and building owners. The venture first gained the support of town selectpersons and business leaders. The educational aspects of the project were very important to Fisher. She did extensive research on the history of our local area and involved third grade students in the local school district that had a curriculum unit on their local area, and in doing so the task of deciding content for the 10 hilltown mosaics was theirs.

Here are the 10 hilltown mosaics:

AshfieldBuckland Charlemont Colrain Conway Hawley Heath Plainfield Rowe Shelburne

Cultural District Events

Art Exhibit: Belinda Lyons Zucker: Women of Power
Friday, February 8th, 2019, 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Salmon Falls Gallery

Belinda Lyons Zucker
Women of Power
Fabric Figures
Exhibit: February 8 - April 28
Reception: March 2019

Doll Making Workshop: Mythical Women
February 10, 2-4pm
$40 includes materials
Call or email the gallery to preregister

​An exhibition of dolls and figures by Belinda Lyons Zucker. Inspired by the feminine impact In West African Mythology. These idealized female figures portray the mysteries and power of the stages of existence.

 
Remembrance of Our Past: Inspiration From The 1800s Women Abolitionists For Our Times
Sunday, February 24th, 2019, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Salmon Falls Gallery

This presentation was cancelled last winter due to weather; let's hope it's a fine day this year!

Fifteen years ago, fellow Librarians Mary Boehmer and Bambi Miller embarked upon a journey to illuminate the nineteenth century story of the Dorsey family, freedom seekers from Liberty, Maryland, and the Leavitt family, staunch abolitionists of Charlemont. Through the efforts of over two hundred community members, echoing the footsteps of the nineteenth century women and men and the work they contributed towards the cause, Charlemont was awarded two designations from the National Parks Service "Network to Freedom."

This retrospective exhibit reflects how we became inspired to present our collective history in a format that is illuminating and engaging. Through adapting nineteenth century documents into a chronological scrapbook, crafting a story of the Dorsey and Leavitt families' connections, we have been able to share through public presentations the abolitionist activities of Western Massachusetts. Inspired by the collected history and through books, part of the exhibit includes contemporary Underground Railroad quilts created during many quilting bee workshops, historical artifacts and facsimiles used for our "Remembrance of Our Past" reenactments, African sculptures and created fabric angels. Further inspiration presented itself in the Sankofa symbol's meaning "remembering our past, to protect our future.”

Hands & Hearts to Cloth will be Sunday, February 24 from 2-4 p.m. Charlemont librarians Mary Boehmer and Bambi Miller will trace the role local Abolitionist women played gathering petitions, public speaking and creating quilts to generate funds for the support of the Underground Railroad Movement. Inspired by the nineteenth century ladies' activities, and following in their footsteps, discussion will revolve around the efforts of one hundred contemporary women and their quilting participation, bringing to light our community's past.

 
Creating Together: Collaborations Between Mothers & Their Children
Friday, March 1st, 2019
Salmon Falls Gallery

This exhibit shows the creative partnership between moms and their children when making artwork together. Three moms and their children are the artists. Below are statements by the artist/moms about their artmaking process with their children:

"Travis and I love to hunt for stuff together. Rocks, sticks, but most of all pirate treasures. Travis started making me maps to find the treasure. They were so beautiful that I decided it would be fun to color them in. These works look like abstract art but really are Treasure Maps! We use markers and oil pastels. We have a lot of fun creating together."
Missy Ashton (mom)
Travis Sullivan (5 years)
 
"Paige and I like to get crazy with our art work. We make lots of beautiful pieces of art and cut them up afterwards. At first I was heartbroken by this, until we found a way to work together on Paige’s projects. Paige makes colorful and playful art using paint and watercolors. I then cut them up to make smaller images or use them as pieces to collage into a larger piece."
Missy Ashton (mom)
Paige Sullivan (3 years)

"Thomas and I have always satiated our creative hungers together. There is a shared eye for the potential in everything. From all around us we randomly find, recycle, borrow from nature, and salvage discarded items of inspiration to bring sleepy visions, day dreams, and what we see, read, or imagine to life. When it comes to design, I always let Thomas lead as far as his ability reaches. When his hands feel limited, I help with my words until his are guiding my hands and together we abandon our treasures to begin again."
Scarlet Kitchen (mom)
Thomas Kitchen (4 years)

"Lela was 3 months away from being two when we moved to Shelburne Falls in 2016. The move allowed me to stay home with her, filling our free time with coloring and painting. Our favorite materials are oil pastels and a small set of traveling watercolors. Pencil, pen, colored pencils, crayons, and markers are used sparingly. In the beginning I would paint something and Lela would add to the picture. I made sure to pull it away before the picture turned into a muddy mess. As Lela grew older she would take the initiative and draw a picture that would inspire me and I would finish it. The hand of a child creates movements on the page that as adults we have lost. There is a wildness in the work that painter Cy Twombly could only dream of. Making art with my child has provided me a freedom and confidence that I did not allow myself as an artist creating work alone."
Mia Radysh (mom)
Lela (4 1/2 years)

 
"Farmer of the Year:" feature film by local filmmakers with Q&A at Pothole Pictures
Friday, March 8th, 2019, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Memorial Hall, Shelburne Falls

Farmer of the Year, a feature film by former Plainfield filmmakers Vince O'Connell and Kathy Swanson, starring Barry Corbin (Northern Exposure) and Terry Kiser (Weekend at Bernie's), is showing March 8 and 9 at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls as part of the Pothole Pictures series. Drama with embedded comedy. 1h 43min. Regular admission. Q&A with the filmmakers following screenings.

Synopsis: After selling the farm he's worked for over 60 years, an aging farmer finds himself useless and adrift. Struggling to maintain his youth, he road-trips across the country in a ’73 Winnebago with his equally directionless and unreasonably self-confident granddaughter. Heading west, they find themselves in seemingly impossible situations with only each other for support. As the journey progresses, so does their relationship, and they begin to understand and appreciate each other as individuals while discovering that being young and being old aren’t all that different.

A deceptively simple look at aging, transitions, loss and family.

Trailer on YouTube

Top image: Barry Corbin and Mackinlee Waddell star in Farmer of the Year,' showing at Memorial Hall March 8 and 9.
Bottom image: Former Plainfield filmmakers Kathy Swanson and Vince O'Connell with be on hand for Q&A following the screenings.
 
10th Annual Syrup: One Sweet Performing Arts Festival
Saturday, March 9th, 2019, 11:00 AM -
Shelburne Buckland Community Center, 53 Main Street, Shelburne Falls

Syrup 2019 will feature another delicious potpourri of world class performance for all ages, syrup tasting, free Real Pickles, and more!

This year, Piti Theatre Company's much-loved sweet event will enjoy the flexibility of two stages and a working kitchen at Shelburne Buckland Community Center, 53 Main Street, Shelburne Falls.

Join us on Saturday from 11 - 2:30 for a Pancake Brunch-Party! Enjoy pancakes with a wide selection of local maple syrup served by a very special costumed waitstaff (Piti's Youth Troupe).

Carrie Ferguson will perform some songs from our new album, Greatest Bits, Vol. 1, at noon, and Piti's Youth Troupe will perform "The Lion, the Lamb and the Wizard" at 1 pm. Piti Theatre's family audiences musical "Olde Coleraine"will return to our region after a three year hiatus at 2:30 AND award-winning Alex the Jester will perform his internationally acclaimed border-blurring gibberish-inspired clown performance for all ages at 3:30.

Alex the Jester has appeared on Showtime, America’s Got Talent, at Just for Laughs in Montreal, and off-Broadway in New York. While most comedy engages the language center of our brain, Alex’s visual humor, sight gags, and light-hearted music bypasses the head altogether and goes straight to the heart.

Events at a glance: Saturday, March 10, Shelburne-Buckland Community Center

  • 11:00: Pancake Brunch-Party starts featuring Piti's Youth Troupe, Carrie Ferguson, Raffle, syrup-tasting and more! (Free admission, reasonably priced organic buckwheat pancakes until 2:30 pm)
  • 12:00: Carrie Ferguson plays selections from Greatest Bits, Vol 1 (free performance, no ticket required)
  • 1:00: The Lion, the Lamb and the Wizard by Piti's Youth Troupe (free performance, no ticket required)
  • 2:30: Piti Theatre's Olde Coleraine
  • 3:30: Alex the Jester

Schedule for Sunday, March 11 TBA.

" . . . Syrup—subtitled One Sweet Performing Arts Festival—reflects the interests and variety embodied in Mirin and Richard's Piti Theatre Company. Their work embraces kids and adults, theater and movement . . ."- Chris Rohmann, Valley Advocate

  • Tickets are $12 for adults; $10 students/seniors, $5 for children age 12 and under.
  • Cash or check at the door
  • One ticket lets you see either or both performances (Olde Coleraine & Alex the Jester).
  • Tickets go on sale January 15.
 
Reception for Creating Together: Collaborations Between Mothers & Their Children
Saturday, March 9th, 2019, 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Salmon Falls Gallery

This exhibit shows the creative partnership between moms and their children when making artwork together. Three moms and their children are the artists. Below are statements by the artist/moms about their artmaking process with their children:

"Travis and I love to hunt for stuff together. Rocks, sticks, but most of all pirate treasures. Travis started making me maps to find the treasure. They were so beautiful that I decided it would be fun to color them in. These works look like abstract art but really are Treasure Maps! We use markers and oil pastels. We have a lot of fun creating together."
Missy Ashton (mom)
Travis Sullivan (5 years)
 
"Paige and I like to get crazy with our art work. We make lots of beautiful pieces of art and cut them up afterwards. At first I was heartbroken by this, until we found a way to work together on Paige’s projects. Paige makes colorful and playful art using paint and watercolors. I then cut them up to make smaller images or use them as pieces to collage into a larger piece."
Missy Ashton (mom)
Paige Sullivan (3 years)

"Thomas and I have always satiated our creative hungers together. There is a shared eye for the potential in everything. From all around us we randomly find, recycle, borrow from nature, and salvage discarded items of inspiration to bring sleepy visions, day dreams, and what we see, read, or imagine to life. When it comes to design, I always let Thomas lead as far as his ability reaches. When his hands feel limited, I help with my words until his are guiding my hands and together we abandon our treasures to begin again."
Scarlet Kitchen (mom)
Thomas Kitchen (4 years)

"Lela was 3 months away from being two when we moved to Shelburne Falls in 2016. The move allowed me to stay home with her, filling our free time with coloring and painting. Our favorite materials are oil pastels and a small set of traveling watercolors. Pencil, pen, colored pencils, crayons, and markers are used sparingly. In the beginning I would paint something and Lela would add to the picture. I made sure to pull it away before the picture turned into a muddy mess. As Lela grew older she would take the initiative and draw a picture that would inspire me and I would finish it. The hand of a child creates movements on the page that as adults we have lost. There is a wildness in the work that painter Cy Twombly could only dream of. Making art with my child has provided me a freedom and confidence that I did not allow myself as an artist creating work alone."
Mia Radysh (mom)
Lela (4 1/2 years)