Spring is here and so are community arts events at Lareau Farm and Forest in Waitsfield. The Route 100 Art Fest is coming to the farm from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 20, while local students’ artwork will be on display at the Big Red Barn Gallery.
All Harwood Unified Union School District schools, as well as GMVS and the Vermont Farm and Forest School in Roxbury, participated in the art show, which will display student work in a variety of mediums from pre-K through 12th graders. The student art show at the Big Red Barn Gallery at Lareau Farm is free and will be open from Thursday through Sunday, May 18-21, and May 25-28. The student art show and the Art Fest, both free to the public, are sponsored by Mad River Valley Arts, Mad River Valley Rotary and American Flatbread.
The Art Fest on May 20 will include live music all day from bands such as Al’s Pals with special guest Seth Yacavone; Sabouyouma; Medicine Tribe; Polvo de Oro; Doug & Sue Frechette and student performances. Flatbread, salad and pulled pork sandwiches from American Flatbread will be available for purchase and there will be a full cash bar. The Art Fest will include arts and crafts activities for all ages, lawn games, the fire pit, garden tours and what Crossett Brook Middle School art teacher Nora McDonough called a robust crafts fair. The Mad River Riders will also be organizing group bike rides to/from the event. Mad River Valley Arts board president Jane Macan said there will also be a fundraiser to provide scholarships for local students to participate in arts classes; people can purchase a ceramic bowl which will be filled with a scoop of ice cream from the Udder Guys.
Previously the arts fair took place on Bridge Street in Waitsfield for many years and was put on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re bringing back a springtime celebration of the arts,” McDonough said. “The venue at Lareau Farm is even better, the beautiful green space and pavilion.”
According to Macan, American Flatbread owner George Schenk previously offered two student art shows in the Red Barn Gallery in May 2018 and May 2019, before being shut down by COVID. “He tried hard last year to offer one, which is when I first became involved, but the timing did not work,” Macan said. “My grandkids participated in a similar series in Pennsylvania and I was anxious to help make a go of the event this year. Mad River Valley Arts was aligned early to help in whatever way it could. Rotary helped with a substantial grant,” which, she noted, is also being used to help make possible the Route 100 Arts Fest.
“It’s great for students to see their artwork hung in a gallery setting,” McDonough said. “I love for the community to see what we’re doing in our classrooms. There’s a lot of creativity and innovation going on.”
She added regarding the Art Fest, “It should be fun. We’ve had great support from the Rotary, MRV Arts and Flatbread.”
Those interested in being a vendor can sign up at https://forms.gle/UEoexA2SKfhnQHZb6 or email