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

E. Joseph McCarthy: Works on Paper
Friday, August 31st, 2018, 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Salmon Falls Gallery

Buckland, MA native Joe McCarthy has been a full-time painter since 1972. His work is all about color; big beautiful strokes of color, sometimes suggesting a land- or city-scape, sometimes just luxuriating in the joy of one color vibrant against another. 

For this exhibit, Joe has made the exciting discovery that he can take his oil paints from canvas to paper. All these pieces are oil paintings, but created on large sheets of rag paper. They are quite wonderful: luminous yellows, oranges, reds, and balanced with cool blues, greens and purples, all edged in softness.  The vertical structures of his earlier “Cityscape” series have been boiled down to their essential elements as they float in a sea of warm colors and movement.  Joe’s work displays a vibrancy and hope that reflect both his urban and rural backgrounds.

McCarthy’s’s exhibit can be seen Aug 31-Oct 28, with a reception on Saturday, Sept 1, 3-5pm, with classical guitar by Chris Eriquezzo. Please join us. For more information, or call the gallery at 413.625.9833.

Photo caption: Spring Day II, 28”x22” oil on paper, by E. Joseph McCarthy

Art Exhibit: One Size Fits All: Banners and Altered Cabinet Cards by Amy Johnquest
Friday, November 2nd, 2018, 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Salmon Falls Gallery

SHELBURNE FALLS, MA – Salmon Falls Gallery is delighted to exhibit the art of Easthampton artist Amy Johnquest November 2 through the end of the year. Her art is unmistakably hers, amusing, odd and riveting in its blend of vintage images overlaid by completely current adjustments. Definitely a fun carnival ride that does not omit the sideshow.

By using found objects, vintage photos, and textiles as her base, Johnquest (AKA the BannerQueen) alters and paints over these materials creating transcendent atmospheres. Ranging from the sublime to cosmic jokes, Johnquest likes to consider the big picture (life and death) in a reverent yet playful way. Johnquest obtained the moniker of BannerQueen in 1999 when she began painting sideshow banner themed art with a pop culture twist. Much of her work continues to evoke a carnivalesque feel and it often advertises things that are not for sale or perhaps may not even exist. 

During this exhibition signed copies of her book “Altered Ancestors” along with some of the original art featured in the book will be available and on view as well.

Johnquest’s exhibit can be seen November 2-December 31 at Salmon Falls Gallery, with a meet the artist reception on Saturday, December 1, 3-5pm. Please join us. For more information, or call the gallery at 413.625.9833.

Art Exhibit: Leaves to Landscapes: Abstracts in Precious Metal Leaf
Friday, November 2nd, 2018, 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Salmon Falls Gallery

SHELBURNE FALLS, MA – Amanda Quinby’s art takes its richness from the precious metal leaf she is attracted to: 6-24kt Golds, Silver, and Palladium are just some of the metals with which she gilds her art. The works glow softly in the muted tones of the natural metals, as if you are viewing fine jewelry for your walls. Simple designs add to the quiet beauty of these wall panels. In Quinby’s own words:

Nature is almost always the point of departure for my work. While I embrace a minimalist aesthetic, these works remain within the realm of the representational. The panels for this show are a study in form - the essential shapes that comprise a tree, a flower or a landscape. The unique qualities of the gilded surface, combined with color and the mercurial play of light, result in images that exemplify my response to nature as my subject.  

My work has also evolved from my appreciation for the history and practice of the gilding craft and a desire to explore and expand on its traditions. I use materials and techniques that have not changed much since the Middle Ages but apply them in new and non-traditional ways. The images and textures in each piece are built up of multiple layers of gesso to create a bas-relief dimensionality.

Leaves to Landscapes can be seen November 2-December 31 at Salmon Falls Gallery, with a reception on Saturday, November 10, 3-5pm with music by Chris Eriquezzo. Please join us. For more information, or call the gallery at 413.625.9833.

Photo caption:

“Wings”, 22 karat gold leaf. 6.5" x 12" panel by Amanda Quinby

Moonlight Magic
Friday, November 23rd, 2018, 4:00 PM - 9:00 PM
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 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.

Click here to download the Moonlight Magic Vendor Form

Businesses can also take advantage of our Sponsorship Opportunities!

Click here to download our Sponsorship Form

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!