Community Projects

Current/Upcoming Events:

Arbor Day Exhibition

Opening Reception: Thursday April 5, 5:00- 8:00 during Amherst Arts Walk

Gallery Hours: Tue-Sat: 11:30- 5:30

AMHERST,MA – The Freedom Trails Gallery™ is pleased to announce an Arbor Day Exhibition from April 5 through April 19.  The Public Shade Tree Committee organized a poster contest for 4th to 6th grade students in celebration of Arbor Day. The 12 contest winners will have their work displayed at the Jones Library from March 20 through April 1. The entire body of submitted artwork will then be exhibited at the Freedom Trails Gallery beginning on Thurs. April 5th during the Amherst Arts Walk from 5:00-8:00. As a result of recent storms in the area, the show hopes to raise awareness about the importance and vulnerability of trees within our environment. Local musician Ricardo Frota will be playing his instrumental recycled Christmas Trees for the opening reception from 6:00- 7:00, in celebration of one of Earth’s most valued resources, Trees!


Emily’s Rhapsody: A Community Art Project

The Amherst Public Arts Commission is putting together a community installation based art project based on Emily Dickinson’s poetry.  All artists are welcome to participate in Emily’s Rhapsody by designing 12”x12” panel for the installation and submitting it to the committee. Any medium is welcomed as long as the work is inspired by one of Emily’s poems.

There will be two opportunities to exhibit the work. A few select pieces will be exhibited at the Emily Dickinson Museum concurrent with the Little White House Project for May/June (Deadline: May 1). The larger installation will be exhibited during the Amherst Biennial in Oct/Nov (Deadline: Oct. 1).

Please come pick up your panel and submission form here at the Freedom Trails Gallery located at Valley Frame Works, 534 Main St. Amherst!

For more information contact Freedom Trails Gallery at 413-256-0949 or email or visit the Public Arts Commission page here

Friends of Children Project: Photography and Writing Workshops for Youth in Foster Care, 2012

Ani Rivera of Valley Frame Works/Freedom Trails Gallery, is currently working in collaboration with Friends of Children, Inc., an advocacy program serving youth in Foster Care in Massachusetts, and writer Amy Gutman, serving as mentor to four Foster Children by introducing them to the art and power of the photographic image and writing about themselves, experiences and their photographs. The program, headed by Jane Lyons, Executive Director of Friends of Children, Inc. allows foster children to explore their lives and experiences by empowering them through workshop sessions that include both sharing images of their lives, surroundings and life as a foster child. A writing component is directed by writer Amy Gutman, who inspires the students to write about their photographs and the world they live in.  The photographs and accompanying narratives written by the  foster children will be traveling to the State Capital in June 2012, where an exhibit will be on display and which will serve as a “calling card” to legislatures and others at the Capital to learn first hand about the lives of these young people, their stories, their lives.

Whole Children Exhibit. March 31st, 2012

Arts for Change exhibit and fund raising event by Whole Children, located in Hadley, MA. Art works donated by Valley artists, including Ani Rivera and Ed Kwaitkowski to benefit children with disabilities. Event will take place at the Northhampton Center for the Arts starting at 7pm.

Freedom Trails Gallery owner Ani Rivera judges Art Works in Celebration of  Arbor Day, April 2- April 22

Ani Rivera will participate with 2 other judges,  Moira Clingman, a graphic designer, and Nancy Haver, a painter and graphic artist, on the selection of artworks by school children in celebration of Arbor Day.  The exhibit is being organized by Hope Crolius of the Arbor Day Amherst Town Committee, Linzy Rodrigues, and Stephanie Ciccarello, Director of the Amherst Energy and Sustainability Department, and which will host a Sustainability Festival to take place on the Town Commons on April 21.  the Arbor Day exhibit will begin at the Jones Library on March 20th and travel to the Freedom Trails Gallery on April 2, with a debut during Amherst Arts Walk on Thursday, April 5, from 5-8pm. Ricardo Frata will be performing his magical, musical Christmas tree music from 6-7pm-please join us and be amazed!  You can see the last performance Ricardo did at the Freedom Trails Gallery during the February Amherst Arts Walk by going to this link:

Channel 22 will interview Ed Kwaitkowski along with Ani Rivera.

Who, you may ask, is EK (short for Ed Kwaitkowski)? and why should channel 22 News do a story on a him? Ani Rivera first saw Ed’s art work over 4 years ago, and since then, he has been helping Ed preserve and document his life’s work, which encompasses 60 years of making art- Ed will one day be recognized as a one of the leading artists of our time. Born with Cerebral Palsy 73 years ago, Ed has never had used of his hands and limited use of the rest of his body. At the age of 13, Ed began to draw and paint, using only his right foot, and he has not stopped since.  The interview will take place at the Freedom Trails Gallery along with Ani Rivera, Rosemary Tracy Woods of Springfield, Lois Brown from Stavros, and of course, Ed. If you want to get a small glimpse of Ed’s amazing work, visit our home page and look under “collections” and scroll down to Ed’s page. We have to date documented 384 art works, and there are thousands left to be done. When we sell any Giclee reproductions of Ed’s work at the Freedom Trails Gallery, the proceeds go to the artist, or in this case, to the preservation of the artists’ work, and we make our survival income on the sales of conservation matting and framing. Artists who exhibit at the Gallery receive a 75% commission, while a selected non-profit we work with receives the remaining 25% of the sale. The Gallery never receives a commission. It is our way of collaborating and helping our non-profit partners survive during these difficult economic times.

Freedom Trails Gallery has been selected to participate in the up coming Amherst Biennial in October 2012.

We are working with the Amherst Public Art Commission as a facilitator in preparation of the upcoming Amherst Biennial taking place this coming fall, 2012. Our Gallery has also been selected as one of the 10 plus venues for what promises to be an exciting time for artists living in the Pioneer Valley and beyond. Artists wishing to pick-up a 12×12″ “art panel” which will become part of a large site installation, can pick them up at the Freedom Trails Gallery, Tues-Saturday. Please call in advance of pickup at 413.256.0949

The Growing Collections at the Freedom Trails Gallery to benefit artists and non-profits in our corner of New England.

The Freedom Trails Gallery has been assembling and discussing the use of public and private collections, with Giclee reproductions  made available for sale, in order to raise funds for our community partners and local artist. As we develop and grow these special collections, we will add them to our database for you to review, purchase, and enjoy in your home, office, or as a special gift. Certain private collections may wish to remain anonymous, while others will be happy to share their work. Check back often to review what new work has been added.




Comments are closed.