Mad River Valley Arts has elected Jean Sharry as president of the board. Outgoing president Jane Macan retires after 30 months at the helm leaving a strong board in place, including executive director Sam Talbot-Kelly. “Sam has created wide-ranging new programs, updated the web site and is in the midst of the current fundraising effort, along with the board,” said Macan. I am confident that going forward, the team we have put together can take MRV Arts to a new level of providing art and education in The Valley.” Macan will continue on the board as secretary.




“Jean brings a wealth of experience to the position, both from serving on the boards of other nonprofits as well as 18 months as MRV Arts’ vice president,” noted Macan. “She is a potter, a photographer and a writer and has co-curated two recent shows in the gallery.” Sharry and her husband Jack have been in The Valley since 2001 and Jack has volunteered locally in a number of capacities. 

“I am a great proponent of art as a personal expression that can be eye-opening and healing at the same time, both for the artist and the viewer. I look forward to continuing to work with the board and Sam to bring our mission alive and promote her artist’s perspective and vision as we expand our reach with exhibits and educational programs for children and adults,” Sharry said.

Mad River Valley Arts works to present diverse art exhibition experiences through contemporary craft and design, facilitate educational opportunities through workshops, artist talks, tours and community activities, and to include all Valley art appreciators, artists, residents and Vermont visitors in year-round exhibition and event programs.



“We depend upon residents inThe Valley, local businesses and grant funds to guarantee the viability of our organization,” Sharry said, noting that each of the other board members brings expertise to the organization while contributing time and talent.

“Sam has created an exciting slate of gallery exhibitions for 2024 and we are excited to call on artists throughout the Northeast for these curated shows,” Sharry reported.

Coming this year for the first time are RISE: An exhibit on Trees, Our Botanical Giants, March 7 through April 26; ALOFT: Birds, Insects and Aerial Phenomena, May 5 through June 27; WILD PINK, September 5 through October 31; and, ELEMENTAL: Water, November 7 through December 19. All Gallery Exhibits include an opening reception and talk by the artist or artists. Watch for details. 

In addition to the gallery shows, the organization is working with Lareau Farm and Forest to exhibit the art of Valley students at the Red Barn Galleries from May 16 through the 26 which will include a reception for students, teachers, and families.

“George Schenk has supported this effort over the years. Last year students exhibited for the first time after a hiatus during the pandemic. We are very pleased to work on this show with George and Helen Borelli, his events manager, as well as with many schools in the area,” Talbot-Kelly said.

For the second year in a row, MRV Arts is holding Summer Art Camps the weeks of July 8 through July 26 for children ages 9 through 14. “The response was so enthusiastic last year that we are excited about bringing these camps back again,” Talbot-Kelly added. Scholarships are available. Watch for camp information coming soon. 

This year the Garden Tour will be held on Saturday, July 13, and will include private gardens, regenerative farms and a sculpture garden. This is a major fundraiser for MRV Arts A pre-tour social will be held the night before hosted at a hilltop residence with live music, plein air painters and photographers and a new approach to menu and libations. MRV Arts is currently working on luncheon options with the Pitcher Inn.

The Green Mountain Photo Show makes its appearance in the Red Barn Galleries from September 8 to October 15 and will be hosted in conjunction with the Valley Arts Guild (VAG) and managed by photographer Gail Curtin. MRV Arts and the VAG will also produce the Vermont Plein Air Festival which is planned for August 9-11 and usually draws 30-40 artists from all over the country. Gail Curtin will again produce the festival.

Currently, a solo show of artist John Anderson, ‘What’s the Big Idea?’ is at the gallery through February 29. The opening reception was attended by 75 patrons, enthusiastic to support John and MRV Arts. On February 22 at 5 p.m., Anderson will give Vermont communities a talk about his life’s architectural work and creative practice. 

The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m., 5031 Main Street, Waitsfield. Go to for more detailed info and to make a donation to support the production of these events and programs.