Family reunions are popular this time of year, and every family seems to have a different idea about what makes a great family reunion. The main ingredient, of course, is seeing one another and catching up on family news and developments, but on top of that, lots of families like to hike or go to museums and concerts, go camping or splurge on a luxury spa.
For the Maserjian family, this year it was a three-day weekend exploring arts and crafts at Snow Farm in Williamsburg, Massachusetts. Agnes Maserjian planned a get-together for her eight kids and kids-in-law at the farm, and everyone took a class — wood turning, stained glass, collage, welding and glass-blowing.
Everyone came away with a work of art that they made themselves, there was plenty of time to gather together as a family in the farm’s spacious living and dining rooms, the food was great, and everyone had a really enjoyable time!
Agnes, who hails from Juno Beach, Florida, took a weekend seminar in collage at Snow Farm several years ago. She heard about it through what was then called Elderhostel, and is now called Road Scholar (www.roadscholar.org). She took a weekend seminar in collage with instructor Alexandra Sheldon, and found it to be “a wonderful life-changing experience.”
“I loved the professional teachers, I loved the food, I loved the accomodations,” she says. So this year she invited the whole family for an arts and crafts reunion – Michele, Clare, Christa, Julia, Paul and Mark Maserjian and Tim and Rose Caspary.
The accomodations at Snow Farm are kind of like a five-star summer camp, with spare but comfortable double rooms arranged in four ‘living modules.’ The food is fresh and local, including home-baked bread and desserts, with selections for vegans, vegetarians, gluten-free diets, as well as omnivores.
The grounds are verdant and well-tended, and the architecture is a combination of buildings from a centuries-old family farm and modern buildings designed to blend in with the hill-town landscape.
All in all it’s a great place to immerse yourself in art, whether you are learning a new skill or learning more advanced techniques. The farm also hosts week-long seminars and a summer program for high school students. While some students become professional artists and craftspeople, for others it’s a chance to learn an enjoyable lifelong hobby.
Snow Farm is a non-profit organization whose mission is to bring together professional artists with students who want to add a new artistic dimension to their lives.
Agnes, the Maserjian family matriarch, says she enjoyed the professional perspective that Sheldon brought to her collage class and the discussions with other students about color, shape and texture. “It’s not just cut-and-paste,” she says.
The Maserjians all returned to their homes up and down the East Coast with works of art that are destined to become family heirlooms. Rose, who has previous experience with stained glass, made a three-dimensional butterfly. Christa refined her skills in glassblowing. Clare, Paul and Tim turned an assortment of wooden bowls. Agnes and Michele created a number of beautiful collages. Mark and Julia welded imaginative metal sculptures.
Everyone came home with works of art that will remind them of this year’s family reunion at Snow Farm.