Watercolor by Gary Eckhart.

The summer art scene in the Mad River Valley kicks off with the opening of the ninth annual Green Mountain Watercolor Exhibition (GMWE) in the Red Barn Galleries at Lareau Farm, Waitsfield. The exhibition returns in 2021 after a one-year hiatus due to COVID restrictions in 2020. The GMWE recently received recognition by The Art of Watercolor as one of the top summer exhibitions in the world. The French magazine is published both in French and English and is distributed worldwide.


The 2021 edition of the GMWE is the largest in the history of the exhibition with more than 200 watercolor paintings from across North America. New this year is the inclusion of a special show-within-a-show by the Whiskey Painters of America. This is the first exhibition in New England by this organization specializing in watercolor paintings in miniature.

The GMWE opens in the Red Barn Galleries on June 20 and runs through July 23. Hours are Thursday and Friday 4 to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 9 p.m. A reception for the exhibition, Celebrate the Return of the Arts, is scheduled for Sunday, July 18, from 5 to 7 p.m. The public is invited to welcome the return of the annual shows and festivals in this celebration in the Red Barn Galleries. The event is free.

The Big Red Barn Art Show returns to the Red Barn Galleries with an opening reception scheduled for August 1. This show is one of the older annual art shows celebrating the artists of the Mad River Valley. The show runs through September 6 and is followed by the Green Mountain Photo Show, sponsored by Northfield Savings Bank, from September 12 to October 11.


Two special events to be enjoyed in the beauty of the outdoors are scheduled. The second annual Garden Tour, scheduled for July 17 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., is a self-guided tour of gardens in the Mad River Valley. Four private gardens, von Trapp’s display garden and George Schenk’s Community Garden are available for leisure viewing. Tickets for this one-day event are available at the Mad River Valley Arts office or by calling 802-496-6682.

The Vermont Plein Air Festival, sponsored by the Valley Rotary, takes on a new look in 2021 with artists painting for three days in the great outdoors. The sidewalk art show, a staple of the event, takes place on Bridge Street daily during the event. A free children’s Plein Air is scheduled for Saturday, August 14. The festival dates are August 13, 14 and 15. Artist registration is at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


A highlight of the summer is the Bill Brauer Retrospective opening August 13 in the Gallery at Mad River Valley Arts. The estate of the late, local artist Bill Brauer (1938-2019) welcomes all to a retrospective celebrating the life of the nationally-recognized artist through his art. His drawings, etchings and paintings, drawn from the archives of his estate, are both sensual and visually stimulating. A public reception is scheduled for Friday, August 13, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Information for events can be found on the Mad River Valley Arts website at www.madrivervalleyarts.org or by calling 802-4