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The Art Garden

The Art Garden in Shelburne Falls

There are all kinds of gardens, perennial gardens, cutting gardens, and vegetable gardens, but right now the only garden that is giving me special pleasure is Jane Wegscheider’s Art Garden in Shelburne Falls.

The Art Garden is a welcoming and well stocked studio space that is available to the public, including children, to express and develop their creativity. And we don’t have to do it alone. Jane is on  hand to teach and demonstrate and inspire – as she has been doing in local schools for years. Now she is sharing her skill and her passion with the whole community.

Jane Wegscheider

Last week I attended Jane’s workshop on book making. I am not ready to make books like this leather bound treasure, but I came away with a simple book, an accordion book and materials for a Japanese stab binding book. I can tell you I will never look at National Geographic photographs in the same way ever again. Jane is always using recycled and repurposed materials in her art; that’s another lesson to find beauty and utility in ‘trash’.

Jane had lots of samples to show us some of  the possibilities. Some were made with children, so it wasn’t intimidating to people like me who aren’t good with measuring or straight lines.

I returned last night to make a Valentine.  Three hours later and I’m not quite finished. Simplicity doesn’t seem to be my forte. I couldn’t show it to you yet, anyway.

Check out The Art Garden’s Open Studio hours and workshop schedule.

5 comments to The Art Garden

  • Lisa at Greenbow

    I would live there if I was anyplace close. What a wonderful source of inspiration.

  • Pat

    Lisa – Jane knows all about cultivating creativity in the community. Working on collaborative projects is one of the things she does when she isn’t helping us find our own individual way.

  • This looks like a wonderful project for these cold winter evenings! I don’t have an artistic bone in my body, but I’d love to learn how to make these books. I hope you’ll show us your Valentine when you get it finished.

    I just read your last post about building with mushrooms–very interesting! Locally, there is a house built with straw–no, the residents are not pigs:) There was a feature on it and the builders in our newspaper some time ago; apparently, using tightly compacted bales of straw for insulation is very energy-efficient, too. I don’t remember all the details, but I know they made it fire-retardant somehow, which would be the primary concern with such building materials.

  • Pat

    Rose – I don’t have any artistic bones either, but we can all create – as we gardeners know so well. The greensulate is fascinating. In my area we have several straw bale house experts. The straw gets stuccoed – or something like that. They can be beautiful as well as energy efficient.

  • Wow Pat! thank you for this reflection on The Art Garden! (And I also can’t wait to see your finished Valentine.) As The Art Garden begins to poke its head out of the ground of ideas and dreams, my ‘special pleasure’ is being in this privileged position of watching the creative process of you and others as it unfolds, flowers, leaps for joy around the room, etc etc. Thank you!

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