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Pam Lerner (center) organizes photographs
for a prior year’s Vermont Photography Exhibit
at the Round Barn.
Two of the Vermont Festival of the Arts most anticipated events are the Big Red Barn Art Show and the annual Vermont Photography Exhibit at The Round Barn. Each event takes place over the entire month of August and gives visitors and residents alike an opportunity to see some of the best artwork and photography around.
Along with the Festival, the Big Red Barn Art Show is celebrating its 15th year. Warren resident Dotty Kyle created the Big Red Barn Art Show as a flagship event for the inaugural Vermont Festival of the Arts with Ellen Crafton and Karin Ware; under her guidance it has become a diverse presentation of Mad River Valley art. From its beginnings of 12 artists showing 25 paintings in the Warren Town Hall, it now shows 150 works from over 37 artists.
The two- and three-dimensional fine art includes paintings, etchings, monoprints and sculpture. The show gets its name by its very specific location – the Big Red Barn located at Lareau Farm. When it became clear that the show had to move out of the Warren Town Hall, Kyle approached American Flatbread’s George Schenck about using the barn.
“It was a bit rustic at first. On warm days we spread mint along the floor to counter the lingering animal aroma!” said Kyle.
“The Barn has now been used for nine years and has been overhauled with a professional hanging system to accommodate the art show. It’s a fabulous and quintessentially Vermont location for an art show!” said art festival director Karen Nevin.
The show has never been juried, instead celebrating the artists and fine arts from all. Every exhibitor is 18 years or older and lives in one of the towns that is touched by the Mad River. Many well-known Valley artists will have their work on display including Liz Palumbo, Joan Lane, Macy Moulton, Marilyn Ruseckas and Gary Eckhart.
“But make sure you stop by to see new and emerging artists as well. You never know what creative talent is happening in the hills around us!” Nevin added.
The Big Red Barn Art Show is starting off with a literal bang. The opening reception is on Sunday, August 5, from 5 to 7 p.m. An opportunity to meet the artists and view their artwork, the Art Show Opening is also the precursor to the first annual Festival Community Picnic. The picnic will take place immediately following the reception with picnicking, music by The Grift and Haywire as well as fireworks. Stay tuned for more information on the picnic.
This is the 23rd year of the annual Photo Show Exhibit. Photographers from all over New England enter their work in this major photography show each year. Presented by the Green Mountain Cultural Center and overseen by Pam Lerner, this annual exhibit offers an opportunity to view photographs taken by both professional and amateur photographers. Color, black-and-white, hand-colored and digitally enhanced photographs will be on display in the round barn setting throughout the festival.
The Photo Show is holding its opening reception on Tuesday, August 7, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. This is an opportunity to meet the photographers and discuss their work. Waterbury Center photographer Peter Miller will be speaking about his work. A panel of judges will bestow five awards of excellence. The winning photographs are invited to hang their work in the Green Mountain Cultural Center’s Art in the Round Barn Show in September.
What else is coming to the Festival?
There is still time to purchase Taste of the Valley, Art in the Garden Tour and Vermont Young Musician’s Award Concert tickets. Many other events require advanced registration, so pick up a purple Festival program around town or check the program online at www.vermontartfest.com. To purchase tickets, call (802) 496-6682.