FOCUS ON: Southern VT
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Ann Coleman, Wilmington, VT: Autumn, 2001.
bove a hill jacketed with maples and birch, wood smoke stirs in the winter air. This is Southern Vermont, a New England retreat of small villages, red covered bridges, and inviting country stores. Its exceptional beauty ismatched only by the quality of art blossoming from the wide range of artists who call it home. This art has become all the more vital in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, which flooded much of Southern ! Vermont’s architecture and infrastructure. Since, the area has rebounded with an unparalleled display of community as well as an astonishing creative output. Arriving from the south on I-91, begin your sojourn in the handsome town of Brattleboro, just over the Massachusetts border. On Main Street, peppered with coffee shops and elegant turn-of-the-century architecture, sits the Gallery in the Woods. Begun in 1998 as home
for Visionary Artists, the gallery shows exceptional pieces featuring surreal and sacred imagery. Recent paintings by Wendy Cross are lyrical and primitive by turns. The gallery also displays world folk art, ceramics, glass, jewelry, sculpture, furniture and fine craft work— all remaining true to the transcendental impetus of this unique space. Further up Main, visitors will find one of the leading groups for arts advocacy in Southern Vermont, the Brattleboro Arts Initiative or B.A.I. The Initiative’s valued stewardship centers around their project of restoring the Latchis Hotel and Theatre, a masterpiece of art deco craftsmanship housing a thirty-room boutique hotel and four theatres. Since acquiring the space in 2003, the B.A.I. has transformed the Latchis into the town’s leading cultural nexus. Begun in 1973 as an importer of quality handcrafts, A Candle in the Night features
11,000 square feet of home furnishings and an array of natural-dyed oriental rugs made with handspun yarn. Along with complete commercial and residential interior design services, this Brattleboro institution exhibits fine art from local and world-renowned artists during the spring, summer, and fall months. Stop by any time of year, however, for some of the most exceptional furnishings and home décor in New England. The River Gallery School of Art, one of the finest arts schools in Vermont, has, for thirty-seven years, provided year-round studio space and superb classes. From late January through June, students take classes in such subjects as ink on paper and origami. The school also offers outreach opportunities, including scholarships, student exhibitions, and a wealth of collaborations with individuals and organizations. The school’s trips to Italy are extremely popular. Before leaving Brattleboro’s active arts scene, visitors should stop by Josh and Marta Bernbaum’s glassblowing studio. World-class pieces of glass art are produced here, including avant-garde fused glass, blown glass receptacles, beads, and sumptuous glass sculpture. Josh’s fused glass creations resemble Zulu shields with their sloping, ovular shape and complex, inlaid detail. Marta’s glass sculptures of delicate and vibrant flora are both stunning in their complexity and startling in their attention to detail. Those continuing north must stop at the
Exhibiting established & emerging artists from Vermont and beyond 4716B Main St. Manchester Ctr, VT 05255 802.768.8396 www.Gandergallery.net
ART NEW ENGLAND