Valley Arts’ summer season is in full swing: The Big Red Barn Art Show packed the galleries at Lareau Farm with a gala opening reception on August 5. From the Ocean to the Mountains, an evening of food, music and fun, is right around the corner, and there’s more to come. 

From the Ocean to the Mountains takes place on Sunday, August 12, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Sugarbush Resort, and in addition to the lobsters that arrive from Maine in the morning, mac and cheese and steak are just a couple of the items on the food menu. There’s a "fun menu" too: Valley Arts will supply the brushes, paints and a huge canvas for attendees to make a community masterpiece; there’ll be an interactive fiber project; a silent auction (take a look at the windows at the Valley Arts office; some of the items are on display); and, for those who’ve wanted someone to write a poem especially for them or a loved one, Sunday’s the chance — look for the poets’ corner and tell the resident poets what to write.

Tickets are available at Three Mountain Cafe and the Valley Arts office at 2 Village Square. Chairlift rides will also be available for a fee.


And only five days later, on Friday and Saturday, August 17 and 18, artists will be setting up easels throughout the area and working outdoors to capture on paper and canvas the scenery of the Mad River Valley. The artists will be participating in the Great Vermont Plein Air Festival (“en plein air” is French for in the open air), and it’s a great opportunity to watch, meet and talk with them about how they translate what they see into two dimensions.

Festival headquarters will be in the Bridge Street alley, just off Route 100 in Waitsfield, and the event will be held rain or shine. Artists will be painting on Friday and Saturday, and on Saturday, children of all ages are invited to paint or draw alongside the participating adults from 11 a.m. to 3  p.m. Valley Arts provides the materials at no charge for kids who don’t have their own. Fees for adult participants depend on whether they paint one or both days; for information and registration visit Kids register the day of the event, and there’s no fee for them to participate.

Saturday also includes Tie Dye a creative event for the whole family. Bring a clean, light-colored cotton article of clothing to dye, and Valley Arts will provide everything else necessary to make it into wearable art.

The event concludes with a sidewalk show and sale from 3 to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday in the Bridge Street alley. Paintings created during the festival will be on display; it’s an opportunity to mingle with the artists and purchase the freshest work around.


On the horizon is Multi-Medium Mania, the show that defines the “wow” factor. The show is an eclectic exhibition of fine arts and crafts created in every possible medium from paint to photography, fiber to glass, clay, and metal to wood and more. This second year of the exhibit opens at the Red Barn Galleries at Lareau Farm with a reception on Thursday, August 30, from 5 to 7 p.m. The show runs through Sunday, September 9; gallery hours are noon to 9 p.m., Thursdays through Sundays.  

Want to participate? Go to the Valley Arts website at for information and submission forms. Questions? Call Gary Eckhart at 802-583-2224, Dotty Kyle at 802-496-4789 or the Valley Arts office at 802-496-6682.


And mark the calendar for the Barns & Bridges Festival Friday through Sunday, September 14, 15 and 16. There will be a communitywide celebration of the history and creative culture of the Mad River Valley.

That festival will kick off foliage season with a reception opening the annual Photo Show at the Red Barn Galleries at Lareau Farm on Friday, September 14, and engage all the senses throughout the weekend with tours of the barns and bridges of The Valley, farm visits, music, food, workshops and exhibits, and a grand finale party on Sunday. 

Watch for details and information on the Valley Arts website and monthly newsletter, as well as the Mad River Valley Chamber of Commerce website as the date of the festival gets closer.