Colorfully-painted banners made by local artists are making their appearance on Bridge Street in Waitsfield starting August 18 and will hang through October 11. The upcycled vinyl banners adorn the lampposts that were donated by individuals in 2015, bringing a splash of color to the heart of town. An opening reception for the display was held at the Madsonian Museum on Wednesday, August 18.
The banners were painted with the support of the Mad River Valley Arts with paints and foam brushes donated by Bisbee’s Hardware and local citizens. Artists were asked to depict scenes that inspired them and show natural scenes of The Valley. The participating artists are Candy Barr, Carl Bates, Carol Dallas, Annmarie Harmon, Avi Kendrick, Beth Kendrick, Bette Ann Libby, Gaelic McTigue, David Sellers and George Schenk. Their work is displayed on 30-by-18 inch reused vinyl banners affixed to the lampposts. Organizer Bette Ann Libby is working to secure funds to provide honoraria to the artists.
Gaelic McTigue, who co-founded the Mad River Valley Craft Fair and co-owns All Things Bright and Beautiful on Bridge Street, said she “jumped at the chance” to be involved in the first annual banner display outside the shop she runs with her sister, calling it the “beautification of Bridge Street.”
Artist and organizer of the project Bette Ann Libby said, “We think this will be a fun way to celebrate art in the Mad River Valley and the fabulous community in which we live.” She said, “Art is like an escape. In these stressful times, I think art is a nice way to get away from everything.” She added that the benefits of outdoor art displays include, “It’s free, it’s not intimidating, it’s a way to get to know the artists. It’s a way to open a door.”