Lilies of the Day by Marilyn James, one of the 32 paintings in “Visions In Oil.”

The art of painting in oil has been ongoing for centuries with many considering it to be the premier art medium. Rembrandt, Vermeer, Monet and DaVinci (to name only a few) are household names easily recognized as outstanding oil artists. Vermont shares its own group of oil artists though many, if not most, are not that well known. Thus, the reason for “Visions In Oil.”

A brief explanation as part of the show states “… the show had to be ‘something special’ and not just another collection of paintings.” And, so it is, with each of the professional artists, carefully selected, representative of a particular style of painting.

The 32 painting by 22 artists is a feast for the eyes with each painting, sometimes two paintings, by an artist illustrating a particular means of handling the medium. The paintings cover the total gamut of styles from near-photo realism to the abstract.

Before entering the Festival Gallery at Mad River Valley Arts, one has the ability to experience “Zucca,” a most impressive painting by Hunter Eddy of Essex, VT. His painting of a simple, realistic still life executed in the Florentine style (he studied at the Florence (Italy) Academy) is rich in boldness of color and is a stunning play of value contrasts. On the opposite end of artistic styles are the nearly abstract landscapes by Barbara Greene. Her two smaller paintings are filled with simple shapes and patterns, clean color and carefully controlled and calculated brush work.

Between these two extremes there are works in nearly every style and genre of painting. Of particular note are Julia Purinton’s impressionistic landscape, Bonnie Acker’s large colorist piece, Peter Miller’s expressionistic rendition of the Round Barn and Mark Tougias’ traditionalist approach to the painting of landscapes.

Though one may not be a fan of all the styles or subject matter of the paintings presented in the show, each painting has something to like and enjoy. Without question, the comment “there isn’t a bad piece in the lot” could easily apply.

One of the highlights of “Visions In Oil” is a special dedication to Bill Brauer (1938 - 2019) and Frank Covino (1931 - 2016). Brauer is most likely the better know of the artists through his “dancer series” of paintings -- one of which is on display. Covino operated a painting academy in Fayston, VT, up to the time of his death.

The show is made possible through a grant by Wendy Brauer, Warren, VT.

“Visions In Oil,” presented by Mad River Valley Arts, is open to the public, children invited, at the Festival Gallery, Village Square Shopping Center, Route 100, Waitsfield, VT. Hours are Wednesday through Friday from 1 to 5 p.m. with special hours on select Saturdays. 802-496-6682 for information. The closing date of the show has been recently extended from May 14 to May 29 to include the Vermont Open Studio Weekend.

Eckhart is an award-winning artist who lives in Warren and has been active in Mad River Valley Arts.