Around Amherst: Hope and Feathers takes holiday deco trophy

Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 20, 2017

AMHERST — Several fake framed animal trophies, each made from papier-mache, creates a winter scene at a Main Street storefront.

Hope & Feathers Framing and Printing recently earned the top marks in the Amherst Business Improvement District’s annual holiday window decorating contest, the second time in three years it nabbed the honor.

The hand-crafted head of each animal, featuring a goat, rabbit, deer, fox and raccoon, are framed over a fireplace, with signs etched into the windows reading “All creatures welcome” and “Home for the holidays.”

“We were trying to create something warm, welcoming and cozy,” said Simone Audette, a framer and sales manager at the store who did much of the work on the display.

Audette estimates that about 90 percent of the window was made from recycled materials, fitting a philosophy of the framing shop to recycle and reuse.

She built the heads from papier-mache, spending about two hours on each animal.

Once she was done, artist Lynne Adams of Easthampton painted the heads to give them a life-like appearance.

The fireplace mantel was created from recycled pieces of wood pallets. Sunraise Printing of Hadley then applied the phrases to the windows.

In 2015, the store shared top billing with the Jones Library.

Audette said the display should remain on view until mid-January.

Helping Amherst celebrate

Members of Amherst’s Select Board will help town officials in Amherst, New York begin their community’s bicentennial celebration Jan. 2.

The board plans to send an email greetings to the Amherst Bicentennial Commission, which recently requested the town adopt a proclamation.

The email is expected to be one of 200 such greetings to kick off the celebration in the western New York community.

Clock repairs complete

Amherst Town Hall’s clock, one of the prominent exterior features of the 19th century building, has been repaired, again displaying the correct time on its three faces.

Earlier this fall, a contractor from Kittery, Maine began examining the internal mechanisms of the clock, which was installed around 1900.

Town Manager Paul Bockelman said the repairs cost about $5,000, which he said is an important investment in maintenance.

Not letting buildings and infrastructure fall into disrepair is important, Bockelman said, noting that he earlier this year took to social media to ask Starbucks on North Pleasant Street to repair its sign, a portion of which had been broken for several weeks.

The clock was last repaired in 2008 as part of a nearly $500,000 project to repoint the bricks of Town Hall and shore up its clocktower.

Christmas dinner

A Christmas meal will be served at the First Congregational Church, 165 Main St., at 1 p.m. Monday.

The annual dinner is put on by Not Bread Alone, a program of the Center of Human Development.

STOP initiative

Amherst Police are doing an annual outreach to college students, before they leave for the holidays, to reduce crime over the next few weeks.

STOP is the name of the program in which students are asked to secure all doors and windows at their off-campus homes, remove all electronics and jewelry and keep what remains in their apartments out of sight.

Officers have alerted students by placing fliers on door handles at apartment complexes and rental houses.

Police will also have directed patrols, particularly in areas where many off-campus students reside.


No meetings scheduled.