More on the arts and the economy.
There is so much natural beauty here in Western Massachusetts, and so much happening in the arts. But the biggest and most exciting happenings are right here in Greenfield! Between the recent International Brick and Mortar Video Festival, to the huge state grant recieved for a performing arts center! Greenfield Ma. is in the midst of a downtown revival, thanks in part to the many artists, and musicians that live in the valley.
I recently read an article in Preview (the valley arts magazine) about Greenfield coming back to life. In an interview with Ed Wierzbowski, artist and entrepreneur, and major player in the downtown revival, (restoring two central Main St. historic buildings). Ed talks about the ripple effects of the creative economy. He was quoted as saying for every dollar spent on the creative side, five more are spent locally. I see how that happened here with my recent pottery workshop. Money was spent at the B&B’s, restaurants, local shops, and farms!
When I think about where I live, I think about the vibrancy of the arts and the beauty of this area known as Western Massachusetts. I ask myself how do I want to see this place in five years? Do I want a Wal-mart? Or do I want to walk downtown and go to a great restaurant, a concert, an art opening, or a movie? Do I want to shop at the small locally run businesses, or get on my bike to go buy apples from the local orchard, or maybe just take a walk and see the scenic views? I think the answer is pretty clear… when you live in a special place that tourists come to all year round, (especially the Leaf Peepers this time of year), you should keep that a place that people want to see, taste, and feel with all their senses!
I’ve just finished a one week intensive pottery workshop here in the lovely hills and valley of western Massachusetts. It is my second workshop for the year. Students have come from as far away as France, Canada, and Texas, New York, Boston, and Vermont. Someone recently asked me where the students are staying. I said, “Bed and Breakfast’s,” He said, “Boy, Lucy you are really a part of the local Arts and Economy.” I smiled proudly and said yeah I guess I am.
Between my workshops, weekly classes, open studio sales, and the Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail. I’m happy to know that what I do as potter/teacher contributes to the local economy.
Some pics below from our two field trips during the workshop. A View from the French King Bridge, the Green River and Barton’s Cove.
Another Year begins… another Happy Dance is done!
My boys… I love them so, but it’s great to have the routine of school again!
Here they are not wanting their photo taken, as they wait for the bus, (with new sneakers). Luke is now in 9th grade at the HS! (I just sent him off to kindergarten.) Andrew is in 6th grade.
Greenfield Farmers Market… photo’s from last Saturday.
I bring my utilitarian pots to the market about once a month.
I will be there again this Saturday… the next time will be August 1st.
Check out what is happening for the late winter/spring 2009 on my events page… Find out how to get those elusive pottery seconds!
That is the question….
I really need to make my dinnerware for our kitchen…. we have been eating off of seconds, cracked and chipped for years now. When the busy season slows down I think, ok I’ll make the plates… it never seems to happen. I don’t think it happening today either. We had over a foot of snow the last two days and so far we have another six inches today with no signs of stopping…… So I think I’ll go shovel again!!
….or maybe X-Country ski again!!!!
For all you potters out there in blog land… With the economy doing so poorly, I know I’m wondering how we are all doing. Here in western Massachusetts. (the land of many potters) many of us keep in touch on our sales and shows. I would like to know on the larger level how we are all fairing this season in this economy.
I had a great sale this weekend. Less customers, yet those who came, came with the intention to buy. In the western Ma. region there is a real focus on buying local, be it farm products, main street businesses or handmade art and crafts. The people who came are real devoted to this concept… I’m happy to live here!
For the life of me I can never remember to take photos while there are people at my open studio. I can also never remember to do a count of people!
This year’s open studio promises to be an exciting one. This past year I have concentrated on making a new line of colorful yet quiet, functional pottery for everyday use, some will be available for the first time at the studio. The days of the sale this year have been extended to include Friday evening. A large beautiful bowl will be raffled with all proceeds going to the Greenfield Middle School Art Dept. to help keep the arts and creativity alive in our schools. All are welcome to celebrate this Holiday Season and new hope in our election year with food, hot cider, and hand made gifts for giving.