It isn’t often that the arts and skiing come together, but last weekend during a ski trip to Vermont I went through the town of Manchester and decided to stop off at the Southern Vermont Arts Center. The show I found there was at once exciting and encouraging.
The Southern Vermont Arts Center is an association of independent artists who have banded together to not only promote art, but to provide a venue where the work of local artists can be shown and available for sale.
This winter’s show is different, however, because it features exclusively works of art produced in the school classrooms of southern Vermont towns. More than 20 public and private schools have participated and at grade levels from pre-school to high school.
The works of each school are exhibited together, and the combined exhibition fills more than ten of the large galleries in the Arts Center. The work produced by the students is not only exciting to see, but is also exciting as proof of the quality and dedication of arts teachers in participating schools. Some of the school classes, particularly the younger ones, worked individually on a single theme, while other teachers encouraged individual projects. One teacher encouraged students to paint in the style of their favorite artist and the results are fascinating — and identifiable to the chosen artist’s style.
The works in the show are in a wide variety of media, including folded paper, collage, water color, oil painting, ceramics, woodcuts and mixed media, and there are as many styles as there are participants.
This show is running only from now until April 2, 2017, and it is well worth the time to drive over to Manchester, Vermont, to enjoy it. The Southern Vermont Arts Center is open Tuesday through Saturday 10-5 and Sundays 12-5. Admission is free but a donation to support their programs is appreciated. Next up for the Arts Center will be an exhibition of the works of the teachers whose students contributed to the present show. I can’t wait to see that one, given the talent that their young students have shown.
From Brattleboro follow Route 30 (that’s the road that runs by the Brattleboro Retreat) through Newfane and Townshend to Manchester Center and at the Roundabout go left onto Main Street (Rte 7A) a short distance to Ways Lane (on the right). Take Ways Lane to West Road and turn right. Almost immediately on the left is the sign for the Arts Center.