Hosting the winning art work

“The Table Set for Forever” is a portable, multi-media, installation piece that honors existing individual and collective efforts at sustainability while engaging the viewer/participant with questions, ideas, images and visual metaphors related to sustainability in our region. Your community can host the artwork in a public location for one month. During that month, you can arrange a lecture/reception to meet the artist, local Jane Wegscheider, who has agreed to come out to communities to talk about the creative process that brought this inspiring piece to life.

Location criteria for the art:

  • Secure location with oversight, monitoring
  • Public Place- Library, town hall, etc.
  • Length of stay 1 month
  • No outdoor venues
  • No sitting on the chairs
  • Minimum area needed for installation 10’ X 10’

**We will deliver the artwork to the prearranged time and location. The setup time is approximately 1 hour** 

If you are interested in hosting this artistic representation of sustainability in your community call or email Catherine Miller at 413-781-6045.

Scheduled Locations for the Artwork Calendar

Month Location
January Northampton Town Hall 
February Greenfield

Art of Sustainability

Theme: Sustainability in the Pioneer Valley—what is it?  what does it look like? sound like? etc…what are the causes of unsustainable behavior? What are the benefits of sustainable living? The scope of this contest is deliberately broad–we want your ideas…

Description and Background: Artists and inventors throughout the Pioneer Valley (Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden counties), Massachusetts, are invited to submit their ideas and concepts for a project that will result in a representation of sustainability.  Ideas can be described visually (through sketches, models, sculpture, video etc.) and verbally.  This first stage of the contest involves only concepts; not finished artwork or productions.

Purpose: The goal of this contest is to stimulate thought and action on sustainability in the Pioneer Valley. The idea of sustainability dates back more than 35 years.  It was a key theme of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm in 1972.  The concept was coined explicitly to suggest that it was possible to achieve economic growth and industrialization without environmental damage.  In the ensuing decades, the concept of sustainability was progressively developed through the World Conservation Strategy (1980), the Brundtland Report (1987), and the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio (1992).

Sustainability is both a goal and a concept.  As a goal, sustainability is an idea of a world where people care for and nurture the environment and one another as they carry out their day-to-day activities.  As a concept, sustainability calls for probing about limits on natural resources, capacities of ecosystems, and interactions among social, economic, political and environmental systems.  The central theme underlying this concept is working toward a sustainable quality of life, now and in the future.

Perhaps the most widely accepted definition of sustainability comes from the Brundtland Commission.  The Commission was convened by the United Nations in 1983 to address growing concern about the accelerating deterioration of the human environment and natural resources and the consequences of that deterioration for economic and social development.  The Commission defined “sustainability” as development that “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”   Enough for all forever.

The concept of sustainability presents us with exciting challenges.  It inspires all of us to work creatively toward moderating and changing our practices and behavior.  It feeds new ideas and passions about technological, economic, and social growth that are ecologically viable. 

Embracing all of this, what does sustainability in the Pioneer Valley look like, sound like, feel like? How can it be represented? Is it best articulated through a device, or through dance, music, film, sculpture, or two-dimensional design?  We invite you to show and tell us.

Funding: $1,000 for winning concept submission and significant exposure and recognition for ALL finalists.  Contest winner must agree to execute his/her winning idea and produce the final work with a $5,000 budget by September 30, 2008.

Criteria: The Pioneer Valley Sustainability Network is looking for project ideas that demonstrate the following: 

  1. effective communication about the concept of sustainability;
  2. creative use of materials (recycled, locally based, or sustainable in other ways);
  3. how the final work can be produced within the $5,000 award budget (include a budget) plus any other funding you have to realize your idea;
  4. how the final work will reach a large public audience here in the Pioneer Valley (include a plan);
  5. a spirit and intent that is positive;
  6. an artistic imagination;
  7. inspiration to thought and action on the part of the audience who experiences your art/invention.
  8. You must also be available to present your idea to the Judges on June 25, 2008 6:30-9 pm at the Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton


Judges for the contest will use the above criteria to evaluate all submissions. 

Judges: (click here to see bios)

ART: Hilary Price, Josh Simpson, Gina Beavers,

Media/outreach: Chris (Monty) Belmonte, Rus Peotter, Kristen Beam

Sustainability: Daniel Ross, David Starr, John Majercek,

Eligibility:  In the spirit of sustainability, this contest will be locally based in the Pioneer Valley.  Artists and inventors of all ages, backgrounds, training are encouraged to submit ideas—you must all live, work, or go to school in one of the cities or towns located in Hampden, Hampshire, or Franklin County.


Call for Submissions–IDEAS first

winner will receive up to $5,000 to create her/his idea

Sustainability—Enough for All Forever

Art/Invention Contest

Sponsored by

The Pioneer Valley Sustainability Network


Generously Supported by WGBY
Click here to View Submissions


The contest is over. Thank you for your interest–

“A Table Set For Forever” Jane Beatrice Wegscheider

“A Table Set For Forever”
Jane Beatrice Wegscheider- Winner of the 2008 Pioneer Valley Sustainability Network’s “Art of Sustainability” contest speaks about the project

Brief description: “A Table Set for Forever” is a portable, multi-media, installation piece that honors existing individual and collective efforts at sustainability while engaging the viewer/participant with questions, ideas, images and visual metaphors related to sustainability in our region.

Detail on Art work
“A Table Set For Forever” is a portable, multi-media, installation piece: a kind of permeable “room” that can be set up anywhere. The central visual motif is a table and six chairs. The table top is a garden-theme mosaic made of colored glass tiles and bits of broken plates (pique assiette technique). The mismatched (‘recycled”) wooden chairs are painted as blackboards, with questions related to sustainability in our region written on in colored chalk (and viewers are invited to contribute). Six free-standing curtain-like panels in portable frames are set up around the table. Each of the two-sided panels is made of a collage of seed-packets sewn together with images (both photographic and drawn/painted) and text derived from relevant literature and local community sources. The panels are set up around the table and chairs so that people can walk between and around them easily, in and out of the “room”.

An essential part of the piece is that it involved the participation of many other people in its process. The artist, Jane Beatrice Wegscheider, sent out and distributed (in local businesses, libraries, etc.) written requests for participation in the sustainability dialogue, beginning with the question: “What does sustainability mean to you?”

Jane solicited answers to these additional questions:

Do you feel motivated to live a more sustainable lifestyle? (and if so, what or who has motivated you?)
What are some of the things you do to live a more sustainable lifestyle?
What are some of the challenges of living a more sustainable lifestyle?
What ideas and solutions for sustainability have you considered?
(These could be dreams or inventions you have in your mind but haven’t tried yet…or things you’d like to do but don’t know how to yet.)
Do you have any questions that would challenge people to think about sustainability in a new way? (for example, “how much is enough?”)

And these answers informed the work.

The artist organized several dinner parties, featuring local food and great conversation about sustainability, as part of the development of the work of art. For each conversation, she brought together groups of six-10 people from varying segments of our communities to share their ideas and brainstorm further sustainability activism. These conversations were recorded and excerpts from them became the audio component of the installation, as well as source material for the seed-packet collage panels.

Jane Beatrice Wegscheider’s basic premise is that dialogue/conversation/the sharing of ideas (especially person to person) is essential to sustainable activism. Sharing thoughts and ideas around a shared meal is a way to combine activism with community-building. In the conversation about sustainability, we are also talking about basic needs and resources, of which, food is one primary need.

Jane is convinced that small actions need to be honored along with bigger systemic efforts. People change and accept change in different ways. Her aesthetic is generally an “accessible” one. The seed-packet “curtain”/panels will show the significance of ALL actions, ideas, questions, etc. that collectively add up. Even on their own these panels will be a stimulating and informative visual discussion.

the table as metaphor
the table as place
the table as community, family, the future
the table shared
the table abundant
the table as an edible landscape

Jane used the pique assiette technique (broken plate mosaic), along with the garden theme, to refer to the past that is a part of us.
The chairs have questions painted on them to represent the challenges of joining the sustainability discussion/dialogue/effort.
The “walls”/ “curtains”/ panels are permeable to suggest visually that this is not a behind-closed-doors conversation. The seed packets are a literal metaphor: seeds produce multiples of themselves. They symbolize growth and potential.
The installation is purposely portable, each element breaking down into carry-able pieces so that it can more easily become part of various local environments/public spaces: farmer’s markets, schools, outdoor cultural events, etc.

This installation is the first phase of this project. The second phase will involve developing the audio component further for web and radio and developing ways to use the installation to disseminate physical cards (for people to take with them) with ideas and information on them. (Jane imagines letter-pressed “information” on vegetable-shaped cards in bowls on the table.) The third phase will be the organization and facilitation of having the installation travel to schools, libraries, farmer’s markets and other public venues.

If you would like to host this work of art in your community.

Art Contest Submission by Maya Apfelbaum

Growing Green

L. Maya Apfelbaum

Maya at the Parade

Growing Greener is a multi-media performance piece for all ages. It includes a unique giant solar puppet, dance, visuals and interactive drama. It involves its audience members in facing the questions, sorting through the information, and deciding on doable actions that will help the Pioneer Valley become an increasingly sustainable and restorative region. Growing Greener’s public shows will tie into one or more relevant sustainable action projects co-led by an existing environmental group. Both the show and the follow-up project(s) will be video-recorded to air on TV, U-tube, and/or other media and — in turn — inspire others to learn more and take action towards co-creating a sustainable culture.

I understand and agree that any entry materials I submit become the property of the Pioneer Valley Sustainability Network – via project staff at the PVPC for use by it and its project partners working on sustainability issues throughout the Pioneer Valley. PVSN reserves the right to photograph and or copy any of the entries for reproduction and distribution. I understand that in all cases, credit will be given to the artist or inventor.

We are often bombarded with news about disasters-in-the-making and/or faced with experiences that tell us that change is afoot, prices for food and gas are soaring and water is no longer clean enough for our drinking or even swimming. We may try to integrate that information, push it away or avoid it. We numb out or struggle with decisions.
Performances have been used for centuries to move people, open their minds and hearts, raise awareness and inspire action. I am creating a simple yet powerful multi-media performance that accomplishes all the above while grappling with many aspects of building a sustainable society.

The primary characters in this piece are a man and a woman to whom we can all relate. They are conflicted between their desire for a consumer-oriented, American-Dream life-style and their growing awareness that the earth’s resources, climate and economic situation are calling for change. Our Characters (to be named later) are introduced to a magical being, a giant solar dancing puppet named Sunny Green (see photos), in Act One. Sunny Green serves as a Sustainability Spirit, reappearing and guiding them at tough moments throughout the performance until they finally join her.
In Act 2, our friends are confronted with dramatic and sometimes humorous vignettes of different but overlapping sustainability topics. They are challenged about local habitat and species loss; food production, storage and consumption patterns; our carbon footprints and global warming. They begin to take a look at alternative energy, transportation, building and lifestyle choices. 
In the final act our friends become clear that they want to take action on living in a sustainable way and influencing those around them. Issues left unresolved in Act 2 begin to find some answers and they join Sunny Green in planting symbolic seeds of hope and in compelling the audience to sign up for an upcoming local sustainability project or event. A soul transformation also is underway and a giant rainbow fish decorated with solar panels and recyclables such as broken glass and bottle caps swims out to celebrate the work underway and to leave us an evocative message about the daring, collaborative and innovative spirit we will need to cultivate to forge ahead.
I work with digital images and a projector; props, puppets and masks made from standard art materials combined with recyclables and scraps (including solar panels), versatile performers and a vast array of theatre, dance, visual and eco- arts skills, as well as community building and educational leadership strengths (see resume).

I will draw upon associations with NESEA, the Hitchcock Center, and the Deerfield and Connecticut River Watershed Councils to help me develop the informational content in the performance. My prior work with leaders in the education, arts, and sustainability fields will help me determine where to present the show and how to hitch the show to action. I intend to inspire new groups of people to become interested in sustainability and to spark new levels of empowerment in those already involved, so we all “grow greener”.


Maya Apfelbaum, M.A.

Professional Experience:
1997-2008    Director, Teacher and Artist.  Develop, supervise and teach programs in the creative arts, dance, theatre, environmental and outdoors education for children, youth, adults, and seniors including those with special needs. Work independently and as employee for organizations such as Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center, Brattleboro, VT; Venture into Well-being, Amherst, MA; Hampshire Education Collaborative programs in Turner’s Falls, MA; The Revolving Museum, Lowell, MA; Framingham Community Charter School, Framingham, MA; First Night Boston, Inc.; the Labrador Creative Arts Festival, Canada. Also produced, marketed and performed in original performance pieces and community-based parades (see bottom of pg. 2).

2007-2008   Aquatics Teacher and Lifeguard. Teach water aerobics, therapy and children’s swimming classes part-time at the Greenfield YMCA.

1999-2002    Activities Director, Mt. Ida Rest Home, Newton, MA. Developed and delivered enrichment programs including self-esteem and interpersonal skill-building councils, creative arts, gardening, and literature club activities for a population of multiple-special-needs and elderly residents. Tracked patients’ mental and physical health in logs. Residents showed a marked increase in their positive engagement with life and their physical well-being.

1992-1997             Program Coordinator, Educator and Special Events Developer. Commonwealth Zoological Society’s Franklin Park Zoo, Boston, MA.

Principle Role: Coordinated, budgeted and implemented a grant-funded interdisciplinary program called Zoom into Animals in 15 Boston inner city elementary schools. Taught mainstream and special needs classes. Collaborated with the Boston Public Schools central office, principals, teachers, and zoo staff. Recruited and trained volunteers to help teach and enhance programming.

Secondary Roles: Developed programming and taught 4 years of the Museum Institute for Teaching Science (MITS), an accredited seminar for K-8 teachers. Wrote grants and headed year-long pilot program, Arts and Animals. Helped institute and manage Jungle Dreams overnight adventure program. Led zoo into its first collaboration with and Boston’s Earth Day and First Night celebration and received award for the multi-racial and multi-generational community-building this project entailed. Supervised and trained volunteers including youth from City Year and docents in the Zoo’s education department.

1986-1992     Arts Integration and Experiential Education Teacher: Initiated unique team-building projects and arts-integration curricula while also teaching conservation and outdoor skills classes at Thompson Island Outward Bound, Boston, MA; The New England Home for Little Wanderers and Hillside Shelter, Department of Youth Services facility, Boston, MA. Taught in Head Start and other multi-cultural and special needs pre-school, after-school and camp programs in VT, ME, and MA.

     Fundraiser. Campaign organizer, public speaker, door-to-door and telephone fundraiser for Environmental Advocacy Groups such as League of Conservation Voters, Philadelphia, PA; Mass PIRG and GreenPeace, Boston, U.S.A.

Educational Background

2001                    M.A., Interdisciplinary Studies. Lesley University, Cambridge.  Specialization:
Arts, Multi-Cultural Education and Ecology as applied to Performance, Education and Community Building. Included performance training at N.Y.U. and research in Tennessee. My thesis was an interdisciplinary research and 3 Act theatre script which wove together personal, cultural, historical, economic, socio-political and mythical information about elephants; highlighting how their endangered species status is emblematic of the complex and critical relationships between human populations,  wildlife, and questions about reverence for life and use of resources.

1989                        B.A., Intercultural Relations. School for International Training, Brattleboro,VT. Thesis: The Arts as Tools for Social Change. Degree work included theatre and cultural studies in a radical Arab-Jewish Theatre and on a kibbutz in Israel, an internship at the Philadelphia Zoo in environmental education, and teaching children at the Cambodian Mutual Assistance Agency in Lowell, MA. Undergraduate studies also included Sociology studies at Oberlin College, OH; and Environmental and Theatre Studies at U. Mass., Amherst.

1980-2008    Continuing Education in Community Building, Non-violent Communication Practices, Special Needs Programming, the Arts, Environmental Advocacy and Deep Ecology through classes, apprenticeships, and intensive workshops.

Performances, Special Events and Festivals
2006-2008    Parade organizer, Performer, and/or leader at festival and fairs such as the the International Dance Parade in NYC; Mother’s Day Peacable Planet Puppet Parade in Northampton, MA;  the Green Fair and Green RiverFest in Greenfield, MA; First Night in Northampton, MA; The Folk Festival and SouthEast Asian Water Festival in Lowell, MA; The RiverFest in Shelburne Falls, MA; and The Solar Fest in Tinmotuh, Vt.

2004-2008    Producer, Director, Choreographer, and/or Performer:  Directed Bonnyvale Env. Ed. Center’s ( annual Forest of Mystery theatre event in Fall, 07. Performed a variety of short performance pieces at nursing homes throughout Franklin and Hampshire County, Performed  The Vagina Monologues, Feb. 2006, Bellows, Fall Theatre, VT. Grand Pele Dance, Oct. and Nov. 2005, at the Pushkin Gallery Opening, Greenfield, MA and at the Women’s Womb and Belly Conference at Sirius Ecovillage, Shutesbury, MA. Ashes and Sparks; a full-scale dance, and sacred theatre event Sept. 2005 at Earthdance, Plainfield, MA. Shadows on the Ground a Hiroshima/Nagasaki commemoration, Aug. 2005, A.P.E. Theatre, Northampton, MA; Inside-Out Women in the World multi-media piece, Oct. 2004 at the Florence Arts and Industry Building, Florence, MA; Heartbeat Trilogy, July 2004, Community Theatre, Westminster West, VT.; Bones, a site specific theatre/dance piece, May 2004 at Earthdance, Plainfield, MA.

    Producer and/or Performer of community events or dance and theatre shows:
“Elephants and the Seven Sacred Directions.” 2000-2004 one-woman dance/narrative with live music shown at venues ranging from the international San Francisco Kinship with All Life conference ( to First Night Boston and Omega Institute ( in 2002 to the Sacred Theatre Festival in NH. Assistant Artistic Director for All Souls, the Boston metropolitan artist-created multi-media event responding to Sept. 11, 2001 ( Co-director of the Kosovo Refugees Arts Benefit. Lead artist and workshop organizer for the Spy Pond Festival, July ’03. Dancer in Bill T. Jones’ performance project, Last Supper at Uncle Tom’s Cabin at the Emerson Majestic in Boston, MA. Dancer in Tarnation Improvisational Dance co. (, 2001-2002, Boston, Ma “War R Us” by Rozann Kraus, May 2003; “Passages”, an inter-generational piece produced in June, 2003 at Boston’s Museum of Science, and many other performances.

Travel Experience and Projects
2004 Mexico: study and participate in eco-village communities, ritual, and dance.
2002 Thai: help “Elephant Orchestra” CD project and create dance to music by elephants.
1993 Jamaica: study sub-tropical rainforest ecology and Jamaican theatre and culture.
1988 Israel: study avant-garde political theatre, archaeology, Hebrew, and kibbutz.
65-79 Live and travel in India, Europe, USA, and Mexico with my family.

Volunteer Work
’04-’08 Organizer and participant in development of community vision for Lupinwood.
’97-’08 Director for Earth Day Festivals, holiday parades and other community festivals.
’06-‘07 Events, mask-making, and organizational development with Five Rivers Council.
’96-’03 Lead Organizer/Artist, Friends of Spy Pond conservation group, Arlington, MA.
’95-’01 House Manager and Usher:  Dance Complex and Dance Umbrella, Boston, MA
’96-’98 Board of Directors, Dance New England, an organization for which I now teach.


Congratulations to Jane Wegscheider!

“A Table Set for Forever”
Honoring our Winner

Jane Beatrice Wegscheider 

All Contest Submissions



Trish Crapo

David Maynes

RJ Magoon

Lisa Ganci 

Nicholas Taupier

Cassandra Holden and Jill St. Coeur

Owen Williams
The Vegan Bus
Derek Goodwin

Jane Beatrice Wegscheider 

Garrett Connelly

Maya Apfelbaum

Jasmine Stine

 Leslie Cerier
Kelly Gallagher Kenneth Leaning
Erica Wheeler David Fessenden 





Art of Sustainability Judges – for Summer Art Contest 2008

Art of Sustainability Judges

Josh Simpson

Glass blown by Josh SimpsonJosh Simpson first experimented with glass when he was a student at Hamilton College in 1970. Over the last 35 years, his art has evolved as he experimented and learned from making countless mistakes. He has found inspiration in NASA images of Earth and other celestial phenomenon.

While he has been successful creating unique goblets, vases and bowls, perhaps his greatest satisfaction is derived from his planets: luminous glass spheres encasing kaleidoscopic landscapes, underwater scenes and vistas of outer space that reflect the Earth’s vastness and complexity. One of the Apollo astronauts glanced out of his spacecraft window on the way back from the moon and said “I can cover the Earth with my thumb.” Josh captures that concept by creating planets that can be held in one’s hand.

His latest project, creating the world’s largest glass paperweight, was a commission from the Corning Museum of Glass. The making of this Simpson planet was the subject of the high definition PBS documentary Defying Gravity. Weighing 107 pounds, the planet became part of Corning’s permanent collection in November 2006.

A 35 year retrospective, A Visionary Journey in Glass (1972-2007), opened at the Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, AL in April 2007 to great acclaim. The exhibit is traveling the country until 2010.

Josh has devoted himself to mastering all aspects of glassmaking by designing and building his own furnaces and tools, learning glass chemistry to create a spectrum of colors, and mastering ancient techniques of blowing and forming.

His work is in the permanent collections of many museums including the Boston Museum of Fine Art, the White House Collection of American Crafts, and the Museum of Decorative Arts, Prague. Most recently the Huntsville Museum of Art has honored him with a 35 year retrospective exhibit. Josh has had one-man shows all over the world, has taught at schools, museums, and workshops, and has had a lot of fun along the way.


Hillary Price


Rhymes With Orange has been syndicated since 1995 and the strip appears in newspapers internationally.  In 2006, the strip was awarded “Best Newspaper Panel” by the National Cartoonists Society.   Her latest collection of cartoons, titled “Pithy Seedy Pulpy Juicy” is now available in stores.  Hilary moved to the Pioneer Valley in 1998.  She lives with her partner Kerry LaBounty and several drooly animals.




Gina Beavers

Gina BeaversAfrican-American artist Gina Beavers grew up in Northern Ohio and now lives in Springfield, Massachusetts. She received her Bachelors degree in American History from the University of Pittsburgh and her Masters in the same subject from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Always an artist at heart, Beavers’ artwork is influenced by a myriad of artists–Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, however, is her favorite. Her paintings are a celebration of women posed in storybook settings, surrounded by peace and contentment.






Daniel Ross, Executive Director
Nuestras Raíces, Inc.
329 Main Street
Holyoke, MA 01040
(413) 535-1789

Daniel RossRecognized as a world-leading social entrepreneur with a lifetime fellowship from Ashoka – Innovators for the Public Good.  11 years as Director of Nuestras Raíces, a grass-roots organization to promote economic, human and community development in Holyoke, Massachusetts through projects relating to food, agriculture and the environment.   During this time the organization has developed an extensive network of community gardens, a youth farming and leadership program, an environmental justice program, an organic artisan bakery, beginning farmer training and incubator program with 30 acres of fertile farm land, and constructed the Centro Agrícola for community education and business development.  He has helped community members start over 20 sustainable small food and agriculture businesses.  Founding leader of the Holyoke Food & Fitness Policy Council (awarded a $4.5 million WK Kellogg Foundation grant in 2007), the Holyoke Youth Task Force and the Pioneer Valley Environmental Coalition (funded by the US EPA).  He has previous experience working with community health clinics in New Jersey, Florida and Massachusetts to develop migrant farm worker outreach programs with the East Coast Migrant Health Project.    Winner of the Do Something Brick Award for Community Leadership in 1999, Environmental Recognition from the City of Holyoke Conservation Commission in 2001, recognized for Leadership by the WK Kellogg Foundation.  Husband and father of 3 children, marathon runner and youth soccer coach.




David Starr, Community Organizer


GREEN Northampton
Green Action in Northampton
Northampton Schools Cooperative

Local Organizer

Earth Hour ‘08


CURIOUS PICTURES                   
Co-founded, marketed, managed  $35 MM entertainment company in NYC & SF TV production, animation production, advertising agency, toy company Over 200 employees
largest animation production company in US outside of California film directors  in California, Oregon, Toronto, NYC & UK supervised offshore production in Korea, Taiwan, China, India, Italy, Canada

Executive Producer for Television Series
The Offbeats
Sheep in the Big City
Cartoon Network
A Little Curious

CODENAME: Kids Next Door
Cartoon Network
Lavazza:  Caballero & Carmencita
Channel Sei in Italy
Six Movies for Mattel

Executive Producer of Four commercial films in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art


Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art    (current)


Chris Delmonte “Monte”

Monte is the voice of the WRSI radio “Green Team”—

Chris Delmonte “Monte” “Our goal is to use our airwaves and our website to foster a conversation on how to make our environment cleaner, safer, and more sustainable. By learning from one another, putting these ideas into practice, and by taking part in community cleanup actions, our hope is to make out Valley and our World greener.”









John Majercak—Director Center for Ecological Technology (CET) Re-store in Springfield

John Majercak is the founder and Director of the ReStore Home Improvement Center.. The ReStore is an enterprise of the Center for Ecological Technology (CET), where John is Associate Director. He has been employed there since 1991 and oversees project development and management, communications, development and strategic planning for CET. John has developed a variety of award-winning reuse, composting and recycling projects. He has contributed articles to nationally distributed trade journals including Resource Recycling and BioCycle magazines. John currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Building Materials Reuse Association and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s Organic Waste Advisory Committee. Past experience includes research and development in the bio-technology industry and work as a National Park Ranger in Wyoming and Hawaii. John received a B.A. in Biology from Cornell University.



Kristen Beam

Kristen BeamKristen is a ten-year resident of the Pioneer Valley. She came here as an AmeriCorps volunteer in 1998 – organizing clean-ups near local rivers and educating kids about watersheds, vernal pools and wetlands. Today, she makes her living as a Senior Producer at, where she has worked since 2003. She carpools to work with her fiance, in their fuel-efficient Honda Fit.











Rus Peotter, Vice President and General Manager, WGBY

Rus Peotter is responsible for the management of WGBY Springfield, the WGBH-affiliated public television station serving western Massachusetts, northern Connecticut and southern Vermont. He oversees all station functions including programming, production, development, engineering, and administration.

Peotter came to WGBY in 2001 from Maine Public Broadcasting, where he was in charge of the station’s fundraising, promotion, outreach, and audience service efforts since 1992. He has served on numerous PBS national committees, helping senior PBS management develop policies and services in support of stations across the country.


Art Contest Submission by Leslie Cerier

Streams of Light

by Leslie Cerier

Brief Description of Submission:

I propose to create a new series of impressionistic nature photographs and a new 3-minute digital story including these new images expressing the theme of sustainability.

A physics professor from Mount Holyoke College once told me upon viewing my work that I am photographing the natural refractory patterns of sunlight reflected over moving streams. These I call *jewels in the water and streams of light.

*I would carry on from *”Photographing the Jewels in the Water”,* the impressionistic nature photography series and the digital story that I created last year.  Please view it on my website:

The grant/funds will give me the money needed for materials to print 8 new images on large cotton canvases about 20 inches by 28 inches, printed with natural pigment inks, pay the person with the equipment to make the digital story, who happens to live in my neighborhood. (I will support the local economy, walk to her house with my script and digital files.) No need for driving and burning gas. I would also like to use the funds to buy a new point and shoot digital camera with more meta-pixels to enable me to print even larger, and I will continue the search to find the right person/place to print my work on fabric. (I have a lead of someone in Ashfield, MA.)

The funds will also be used to post this new series of photographs along with the digital story on sustainability on my website. Pay for bringing the work to be shown in galleries in locations throughout the Pioneer Valley. I have shown my work at the Forbes Library, Northampton, MA (2006) the Jones Library’s Burnett Gallery in Amherst (2007), and the Amherst Chamber of Commerce (2008). All venues would be happy for me to exhibit there again.

Using a point and shoot digital camera, printing the images on cotton canvases with pigment inks, I honor the earth and engage in sustainability by clicking my shutter when peak sunlight lights up the woods and shallow streams, sometimes using wind to move the water: natural energy.

No toxic chemicals are used to bring these images to life.

Most of these photographs are taken within walking distance of my Western Massachusetts home (another facet of the sustainability of this project). They are a celebration of the pioneer valley seen through the eye of my heart.

The sun calls me to a particular spot and I click the shutter when I see that rich, dancing light.

My photographs are about being so present in the moment that everything vibrates and shines. I see perfection in nature – patterns – artistic jewels that reveal themselves.

My photography is a reflection of the peaceful energy I find in the woods. Living in the moment, I capture beauty as I click the shutter.

These images can be looked at from different angles. There is no one right way to explore them. Please relax, take your time, have fun. I invite you to look for faces and figures; there are jewels in the water, and streams of light.

Art Contest Submission by Jane Beatrice Wegscheider

“A Table Set For Forever”

by Jane Beatrice Wegscheider

Brief description:  “A Table Set for Forever” is a portable, multi-media, installation piece that honors existing individual and collective efforts at sustainability while engaging the viewer/participant with questions, ideas, images and visual metaphors related to sustainability in our region.

Jane Wescheider sustain sketch for

“A Table Set For Forever” is a portable, multi-media, installation piece: a kind of permeable “room” that can be set up anywhere.  The central visual motif is a table and six chairs.  The table top is a garden-theme mosaic made of colored glass tiles and bits of broken plates (pique assiette technique).  The mismatched (‘recycled”) wooden chairs are colorfully painted with questions related to sustainability in our region.  Six free-standing curtain-like panels in portable frames will be set up around the table.  Each of the two-sided panels will be made of a collage of seed-packets sewn together with images (both photographic and drawn/painted) and text derived from relevant literature and local community sources.  The panels will be set up around the table and chairs so that people can walk between and around them easily, in and out of the “room”.
An essential part of the piece is that it involves the participation of many other people in its process.  I will send out and distribute (in local businesses, libraries, etc.) written requests for participation in the sustainability dialogue, beginning with the question:  “What does sustainability mean to you?”  I will ask for examples of sustainable activities people are involved in in our region, and ideas for more.  This request will also be sent out digitally.
I will also organize and facilitate ten conversations around the table (and a local foods meal).   For each conversation, I will bring together groups of six people from varying segments of our communities to share their ideas and brainstorm further sustainability activism.  These conversations will be recorded and excerpts from them will become the audio component of the installation, as well as source material for the seed-packet collage panels.
My basic premise is that dialogue/conversation/the sharing of ideas (especially person to person) is essential to sustainable activism.  Sharing thoughts and ideas around a shared meal is a way to combine activism with community-building.  In the conversation about sustainability, we are also talking about basic needs and resources, of which, food is one primary need.
I’m also convinced that small actions need to be honored along with bigger systemic efforts.  People change and accept change in different ways.  My aesthetic is generally an “accessible” one.  The seed-packet “curtain”/panels will show the significance of ALL actions, ideas, questions, etc. that collectively add up.  Even on their own these panels will be a stimulating and informative visual discussion. 

the table as metaphor
the table as place
the table as community, family, the future
the table shared
the table abundant
the table as an edible landscape

I will use the pique assiette technique (broken plate mosaic), along with the garden theme, to refer to the past that is a part of us.
The chairs have questions painted on them to represent the challenges of joining the sustainability discussion/dialogue/effort.
The “walls”/ “curtains”/ panels are permeable to suggest visually that this is not a behind-closed-doors conversation.  The seed packets are a literal metaphor:  seeds produce multiples of themselves.  They symbolize growth and potential.

The installation is purposely portable, each element breaking down into carry-able pieces so that it can more easily become part of various local environments/public spaces:  farmer’s markets, schools, outdoor cultural events, etc.
I hope that the September 30th installation of the piece will be the first phase of this project.  The second phase will involve developing the audio component further for web and radio and developing ways to use the installation to disseminate physical cards (for people to take with them) with ideas and information on them.  (I can imagine letter-pressed “information” on vegetable-shaped cards in bowls on the table.)  The third phase  would be to organize and facilitate having the installation travel to schools, libraries, farmer’s markets and other public venues.
I have experience and skills creating and facilitating “accessible”, community-building, art projects that embrace the social, economic and cultural diversity that is part of every community.  I am excited about this project because it brings together these skills with my own passions about local sustainability issues.  As an interdisciplinary artist, this project also employs my varied interests and abilities in photography, collage, audio recording, sculpture, painting and installation.  I am hopeful that both the process of creating the work and the final product will help further regional efforts at sustainability.

Example of Previous work:


School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL                                      1989-1992
   Master of Fine Arts:  Painting 1992
   Post-Baccalaureate Certificate:  Painting 1990
Erlangen University and Berlin University of Technology, Germany                      1983-1986
   Enrolled in German language courses and Art History program
Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL                                                     1980-1982
   Bachelor of Arts:  Art 1982
Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL                     1978-1980

Awards and Residencies
The Academy at Charlemont, MA                                                   2006
   Artist in Residence.  Worked with 9th graders to create site-specific public sculpture that reflected qualities and values of the Academy.
The Philanthropic Initiative, Boston, MA                                             2001, 2003
   Awarded Art Renewal for Teachers summer grants. 2001: travel in Europe to explore personal and artistic heritage (photography, journaling and collage). 2003: interdisciplinary exploration of local citizens’ connections to place.  Awarded an in-school grant to develop and facilitate a
   K-6 photography program Documenting Our Worlds (2002).
Raymer Society for the Arts, Lindsborg, KS                           July 1999
   Artist in Residence at Lester Raymer’s Red Barn Studio.
Ragdale Foundation, Lake Forest, IL                               July 1998
   Awarded residency to explore relationships between landscape, memory and myth.
Salina Arts and Humanities Commission, Salina, KS                                                1997-1998
   Artist in Residence with Arts Infusion program in Salina’s public schools.
Lawrence Art Guild, Lawrence, KS                                       1997
   Received Advancement Award for Scenes from a Life in the Middle of America, collage paintings.
Salina Art Center, Salina, KS                                  June 1996
   Artist in Residence: Art and the Environment collaboration with the Land Institute.
Kansas Arts Commission, Topeka, KS                               1996
   Awarded Mini Fellowship for Interdisciplinary Art.
Intermedia Arts, Minneapolis, MN                                   1994
   Awarded Diverse Visions Regional Interdisciplinary Grant for series of outdoor performances and garden installations related to seasonal celebrations.
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME                   1992
   Awarded School of the Art Institute Fellowship to attend.
School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL                              1989-1992
   Awarded Partial Merit Scholarship for Post-Baccalaureate program in 1989-1990.
   Awarded Teaching Assistantships in 1991 and 1992.
   Awarded Full Merit Scholarship for 1991-1992.
   Awarded Edward L. Ryerson Fellowship for MFA Thesis Installation.                       

Artist Collaborations with Communities
Harold Grinspoon Foundation, West Springfield, MA             2006
   One of 15 artists/artist groups selected by jury to create a panel for the Jewish Arts and Culture Initiative Sweet Shelter Art Project, a community sukkah exhibited at the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst. Panel reflected my ongoing collaboration with local CSA farmer, John Hoffman, using photographs from Wilder Brook Farm (Community Supported Agriculture) and text transcribed from video interviews with Hoffman.
Massachusetts Cultural Council, Boston, MA                      2003-2004
   Creative Schools Grant Artist in Residence at Heath Elementary School. Worked with students staff and local community to create A Book You Walk Through;  an interactive, mural-sized, hinged-paneled installation integrating Massachusetts’ Curriculum Frameworks with the local environment, culture and history.
Heath Elementary School, Heath, MA             2000-2001
   Received Goals 2000, Schools, Families and Communities Working Together Grant to do Heath Community Heritage Project.  Designed and facilitated community and teacher workshops, recorded  local oral histories on video, and facilitated the making of a 9’x50’ mural painted by 80 people from the community (ages 4-75).
Heath Elementary School, Heath, MA                      2000
   Received Goals 2000, Schools, Families and Communities Working Together Grant to develop and facilitate an intensive summer workshop program: Sculptured Stories.  Each participant created a wooden cut-out sculpture embellished with images related to their personal identity and family heritage.  The 22 sculptures were exhibited at the Heath Fair.
Salina Arts and Humanities Commission, Salina, KS                       2000
   Commissioned to create Field of Visions, an interactive installation for the Smoky Hill River Festival. Work involved inviting people to document their hopes and dreams for the future on strips of cloth.  Installation was also exhibited at the Heath Fair and the Heath School grounds.
Salina Bicentennial Community Center, Salina, KS                       1999
   Commissioned to design and paint a permanent mural in the entry area of this multi-function arena. Through local media and presentations in public venues and schools, I invited residents to share what they loved about their community and environment. Written and oral responses and historical information are incorporated into the mural with the traced silhouettes and photographed faces of community members.  The mural is included in the illustrated, Kansas Murals:  A Traveler’s Guide, published by University Press of Kansas (2006).
Smoky Hill River Festival, Salina, KS                              1997-1999
   Commissioned to create interactive outdoor sculptures using silhouettes and faces of local children.  Butterfly Bridge/Angel Archway (1999):  2 silhouette-shaped sculptures with welded electrical conduit wings perched on the railings of a walking bridge, forming an archway that Festival-goers passed under; River Mermaids (1998): 3 silhouette-shaped fountains addressing recycling issues “swam” in the river;  Balancing Act (1997):  12 silhouette-shaped sculptures playfully addressing relationships in nature were “planted” in the Festival’s park landscape.
The City Museum, St. Louis, MO                               1997
   Commissioned to create a permanent installation of interactive sculptures that honored the work and personalities of the directors, staff, artists and laborers who were collectively putting this new museum together.

Teaching Experience
The Academy at Charlemont, MA                                                                               2006-2008
   Teach 10th-12th grade studio courses in Book Arts, Papermaking, Printmaking, Drawing and Painting, Mural Painting and Independent Studio Projects.  Work includes mentoring and advising seniors preparing portfolios for college applications.
Hawlemont, Rowe, and Heath Elementary Schools, Franklin County, MA           2000-2008
   Certified K-6th Grade Art Teacher: Hawlemont and Rowe (2000-present), Heath (2000-2003).
   Work includes developing K-6 Art curriculum, collaborating on interdisciplinary projects with classroom teachers, assessing student progress, adapting curriculum for students with special needs, ordering supplies, applying for and coordinating available grant-funding, and developing and coordinating a Visiting Artist program (Rowe 2003-2004).
Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence, Lawrence, KS                                                               2000
   Worked collaboratively with colleague Lora Jost to develop and facilitate a mural project in the after-school program at the Club. Work included guiding children through brainstorming, design and transfer of large-scale images, and collaborative painting on the walls of the Club’s art room.
Douglas County Juvenile Detention Center, Lawrence, KS                                      1997-1999
   Developed and taught interdisciplinary art curriculum to teenage criminal offenders.
Van Go Mobile Arts, Inc., Lawrence, KS                                                                             1998
   Worked with colleague Lora Jost to develop and facilitate an after-school art program for at-risk youth to collaboratively paint Van Go’s signature vehicle (an 8-doored Checker Aerobus.) Work included guiding teenagers through the brainstorming and design process, transferring their designs to the vehicle’s irregular surface and painting with permanent acrylics. This 8-week project culminated with participation in the local Art-Car Parade.
Lawrence Arts Center, Lawrence, KS                                                                         1996-1998
   Developed and taught Drawing I, Mixed-Media and Interdisciplinary Adult classes. Developed and taught Preschool Ceramics and Preschool Painting classes based on connections to children’s literature.
Manhattan Arts Council, Manhattan, KS                                                                   1995-1996
   Developed and taught childrens’ classes in Ceramics and Mural Painting.
Sampsel Studio, Council Grove, KS                                                                             1995-1996
   Developed and facilitated my own after-school arts program. Children worked in a variety of media, including ceramics, collage and large-scale painting.
School of the Art Institute, Chicago, IL                                                                       1991-1992
   A limited number of Teaching Assistantships were awarded to graduate students each year at SAIC, chosen by the faculty of each department.  In 1991, I assisted Professor Susanna Coffey with her undergraduate Figure Painting course. In 1992, I developed the curriculum and taught my own undergraduate Figure Drawing course.
Berlin, Germany                                                                                                             1983-1986
   Taught English as a Second Language in private and small-school settings.
Lexington Christian Academy, Lexington, MA                                                          1982-1983
   Taught 10th grade English and 7th-12th grade Art.

Exhibitions, Performances, and Installations
Women of the Cloth, Group Show, Bunker Hill Community College, Boston, MA, 3/08-4/08.
Sweet Shelter, Outdoor Installation, Yiddish Book Center, Amherst, MA, 10/06.
A Book You Walk Through, Installation, The Children’s Museum, Holyoke, MA, 10/04-4/05.
Show Us Your Bra, Group Show, Thornes Marketplace Gallery, Northampton, MA, 10/03.
Off the Bed: Quilts Not for Sleeping, Group Show,The Art Bank, Shelburne Falls, MA, 11/01.
Heath Community Heritage Mural, Outdoor Installation, Heath Fair, Heath, MA, 8/01.
Sculptured Stories and Field of Visions, Outdoor Installations, Heath Fair, Heath, MA, 8/00.
Field of Visions, Outdoor Installation, Smoky Hill River Festival, Salina, KS, 6/00.
What Do You Love About This Place?  Mural, Bicentennial Center, Salina, KS, 10/99.
Butterfly Bridge/Angel Archway, Installation, Smoky Hill River Festival, Salina, KS, 6/99.
River Mermaids, Outdoor Fountain Installation, Smoky Hill River Festival, Salina, KS, 6/98.
Unbridled, Group Show, Michael Cross Gallery, Kansas City, MO, 10/97.
Reaching for the Stars, Permanent Installation, City Museum, St. Louis, MO, 10/97.
Dirty Laundry, Collaborative Group Performance, Morgan Gallery, Kansas City, MO, 7/97.
Balancing Act, Interactive Outdoor Installation, Smoky Hill River Festival, Salina, KS, 6/97.
Red Carpet, Collaborative Group Performance, Kansas University, Lawrence, KS, 5/97.
Through Women’s Eyes, Group Show, Holt/Russell Gallery, Baldwin City, KS, 3/97.
Depicting Women, Group Show, Moss-Thorns Gallery of Art, Hays, KS, 1/97.
Through Women’s Eyes, Group Show, Mulvane Art Museum, Topeka, KS, 8/96.
Three Women, Group Show, Butler County Community College, Council Grove, KS, 5/96.
Women’s Works, Group Show, Manhattan Arts Center, Manhattan, KS, 2/96.
Hope Springs Eternal, One Person Show, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, 10/95.
Another Man’s Treasure, Group Show, Zografia Gallery, Kansas City, MO, 8/95.
Depicting Women, Group Show, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, 7/95.
MayDay, Outdoor Installation and Performance, Alta Vista, KS, 5/95.
Creative Synectics, Juried Group Show, An Art Place, Chicago, IL, 8/94.
One Person Show, Adam’s Hall Gallery, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL, 11/92.
Chicago Art Institute MFA Exhibition, Group Show, Juried Award Recipient, Chicago, IL, 5/92.
For Mary, Interactive Outdoor Installation and Performance, Lincoln Park, Chicago, IL, 4/92.

Panels and Workshops                                                                                           
The Philanthropic Initiative, Boston, MA                               2002-2008
   Member of annual Grant Review Panel for Art Renewal for Teachers Grant Program.
Heath Elementary School, Heath, MA                                    2002-2003
   Member of EIC Advisory Panel (EIC: Environment as an Integrating Context for Learning.)
Christians in the Visual Arts Conference, Milwaukee, WI    June 1999
   Panelist in workshop: The Figure in Context: Spiritual, Social and Ecological Implications.
Parents As Teachers, Lawrence, KS                                       May 1999
   Developed and facilitated parent workshop: Creativity, Children and Brain Development.
The Quiet Garden, Keats, KS                                                     May 1996
   Panelist in conference: Land and Soul.
Salina Art Center, Salina, KS                                                      1995
   Developed and taught workshop in conjunction with Betye Saar Exhibit: Personal Images.

Professional Development and Related Extracurricular Activities
Westfield State College, Westfield, MA                                 2007
   Student in graduate level Education course: Students with Special Needs.
Bridgewater State College, Bridgewater, MA                       2006
   Participant in 45-hour graduate level Summer Content Institute New Technologies in the
   Visual Arts (Photoshop) sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Education.
Mohawk Trail Regional School District, Buckland, MA       2005-2006
   Participant in 54-hour Picture Writers professional development program which explored
   Visual Literacy and Technology in collaboration with the Eric Carle Museum and Smith
   College. I developed curriculum in Digital Collage and Animated Digital Collage.
Bennington College, Bennington, VT                                        2004
   Participant in Art New England Summer Workshop: The Book as Art.
UMass, Dartmouth and The Schooner Ernestina, New Bedford, MA           2002
   Participant in 97-hour graduate level Summer Content Institute EIC: Using the Environment
   as an Integrating Context for Learning.  Course involved field-based study in New Bedford,
   curriculum development, student assessment strategies, and implementation of EIC at Heath
   Elementary School. Sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Education.
Lesley University, Cambridge, MA                                                      2001-2002
   Participant in Leading With The Arts conferences and workshops.
Columbia School of Dance, Chicago, IL                                         1990-1991
   Collaborated with choreographer Ann Boyd. Designed and created sets and costumes.
Druckwerkstatt, Berlin, Germany                                                      1984-1986
   Professional development in private Printmaking studio: Intaglio process.
Hochschule der Kunst, Berlin, Germany                                         1983
   Independent student: Figure Drawing.
School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA                            1982-1983
   Professional development in Printmaking: Etching and Monoprint.
The Art Student’s League, New York, NY                                        1981
   Independent student in summer Figure Drawing class.
Northwestern University, Evanston, IL                                             1978-1980
   Organized and facilitated student-run Figure Drawing workshops.

Activism and Social Service      
International Walk for a Peaceful Future in the Middle East, Israel/Palestine                1992
   One of 300 delegates from around the world participating in this 5-day Walk. Created a wearable “coat” out of handkerchiefs signed by sponsors.
Clinic Liaison, Healthcare for the Homeless, Chicago, IL                 1987-1988
   Provided counseling, referral and advocacy to homeless people in drop-in centers, shelters, and on the street. Helped train new staff.
Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL                                                                1981-1982
   Helped organize student campaign to revitalize Art Department, leading to increased funding for the department and renovation of its facilities.

Extensive travel in Europe and Mexico. Lived in Berlin 1983-1986. Speak German and Spanish.

Art Contest Submission by Kelly Gallagher

Sustainability Looks Like…You

by Kelly Gallagher

A documentary art film reflecting the thoughts and ideas of people living in the Pioneer Valley interwoven with images of the beautiful life of the Pioneer Valley – from the Hilltowns to the cities, from farm to shops to schools.  The wisdom lies within each of us – we know what sustainability looks like.

Sustainability looks like us…it is in our hands – let us engage the population in this discussion.  It is my experience as a filmmaker that people possess deep wisdom and insight and, when given the opportunity, will articulate their visions and experience with incredible beauty.  This film will incorporate group discussions and individual reflections, tapping into the resources of young and old alike.  When discourse and honest reflection are allowed to happen, beautiful thoughts and profound ideas emerge.  Keeping in mind the purpose of this contest, “to stimulate thought and action on sustainability in the Pioneer Valley,” this project will consist of a film of people in the Valley reflecting on the idea of sustainability, their part in it and their commitment to attaining it motivated by their love of this place and its beauty.  Images of the beauty of this place will be interwoven with music and voices to offer a piece that will engage and empower the people to seek and establish sustainability.

We will look for people and places where sustainability is already happening as well as encouraging it where it is just an idea.  From fairs to youth groups to Rotary clubs, the questions will be posed – and inevitably profound thoughts will emerge.  Through humor and sincerity the people of the Valley will speak – and together we will learn what sustainability can be.

The final piece will be a film that can be distributed to community access stations as well as a series of Public Service Announcements that can be used by PVSN to fulfill the purpose of the project, “to stimulate thought and action on sustainability in the Pioneer Valley.”  Also, a study guide will be created to accompany the film to be distributed to discussion groups, churches, and organizations.

The piece is meant to communicate that sustainability lies in our hands, and that we have the power and the resources to attain it.  By allowing people to share ideas, ask questions, make commitments, they are given a stake in the outcome.  Wherever the project goes, people will be asked to participate, to learn, engage and become a part of the solution.

To view cut of an 8 minute short filmed in South Sudan go to  Please allow 35 minutes to download.