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

The Eclectic Eye of Jim Gambaro
Friday, July 6th, 2018, 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Salmon Falls Gallery

Belchertown, MA photographer Jim Gambaro takes the traditional ideas of photography, and digitally expands them into something absolutely unique in The Eclectic Eye of Jim Gambaro, his featured exhibit this summer at Salmon Falls Gallery. The exhibit is a retrospective of Gambaro’s inquiry into what digital photography can offer.

“I have always looked for subjects and lighting that stimulate the child's 'wow' factor in my mind's eye, zeroing in on details small and large, on landscapes both natural and constructed, and on places far and close to home. In other words, on anything and everything that catches my attention. This exhibit spans a dozen years of work, as I move further and further into abstract exploration. My inclination has always been to play with images, to have fun, initially employing minimal and, more recently, considerable computer-aided abstraction with a focus on eye- and mind-stimulating color and compositions.

“The advent of the digital medium as I reached retirement age, opened up whole new realms of exploration. It provided the tools (digital cameras and computers and software) to better communicate what I saw in my mind. Besides appealing to my inner child in search of instant photographic gratification, digital capture has enabled me to work my images ever more freely and fully. I can also revisit earlier work in film through digital scans, getting a second byte of the Apple, so to speak, and discovering new images inside the old. Good times!

“If the images in this exhibit manage to convey some of the pleasure I experienced in their creation, I consider them successful. If viewers enjoy seeing them, but fail to extract some deeper insights or questions regarding the “meaning of it all,” then they are properly tuned to my message.”

Gambaro’s background includes a BA in Art Education, followed by work as a junior high art instructor, journalist, commercial photographer, and news photographer. In his retirement, Jim travels as a fine art photographer with the intention to pass along what he calls, “the simple pleasures of seeing.” Come and check out the world through Jim’s viewfinder. The Eclectic Eye of Jim Gambaro: exhibit from July 6 – August 26; reception for the artist is Saturday, July 21, 3-5pm, with music by Chris Eriquezzo. For more information, or call the gallery at 413.625.9833.

Photo Captions:

Exterior Interior, Digital Photograph by Jim Gambaro

Times Square in Softly Harder Reds, Digital Photograph by Jim Gambaro

This event is Free
Water: Paintings by Gayle Kabaker
Friday, July 6th, 2018, 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Salmon Falls Gallery

Ashfield, MA painter Gayle Kabaker is inspired by warm summer days, beaches and bodies of water for this, her newest collection of work on exhibit at Salmon Falls Gallery. From an interview in the New Yorker magazine with Kabaker about Jump! her cover illustration for May 28, 2018:

“I love the lush green, rolling hills, the flowers, the lakes and the ponds [of the Berkshires]… I grew up in Hong Kong, where we spent our weekends either at the beach or out on our boat. Maybe that’s why I’m happiest near water and in eighty-degree temperatures. It just feels like my soul home…”

The unifying theme of this series is Water and Red Dresses. Think red reflections in blue, light-filled water. Take the time to see things from Kabaker’s point of view. Her paintings make for a joyful experience, where the viewer is made sensitive to the atmosphere of the subject, one vignette at a time.

Kabaker is a freelance illustrator whose work has been used for everything from fashion and general illustration, to animation, web design, logo and brand development. Exhibit is from July 6 – August 26, reception for the exhibit is Saturday, July 21, 3-5pm, with music by Chris Eriquezzo. For more information, visit or call the gallery at 413.625.9833.

Photo Captions:

  • Jump!, cover illustration for The New Yorker, 2018 by Gayle Kabaker
  • Hula Hooper, painting, 2018 by Gayle Kabaker
This event is free.
Moonlight Magic
Friday, November 23rd, 2018
Shelburne Falls

Moonlight Magic has become a traditional event across the region. It is the kick-off to the holiday season that includes Lighting of the Village, the Parade of Lights, Santa’s Workshop, carolers, and street performers.

Interested in vendor, sponsorship, or parade opportunities at Moonlight Magic?

Download the 2018 Moonlight Magic Vendor Form (not yet available) and return it to GSFABA with payment no later than Friday, November 9, 2018. Checks can be made payable to Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association.

The 2018 Moonlight Magic event will feature a parade of lights. Anyone can enter a float into the parade for free. Line up is at 4:45 pm at the Lamson property, and the parade will kick off at 5:15 pm. To participate in the parade of lights, complete this form (starting Summer 2018).

Visit the Moonlight Magic page to learn more!