Mad River Valley Arts presents a new show “ALOFT,” a reference to various ‘aerial’ perspectives from natural/wild and human-made artwork which opened on May 2.  At the reception, artists talked about their work and the board presented three recognition awards. Various media are represented including mixed-media painting, oils, encaustic, charcoal, photography, fiber arts, mosaic, and historical airborne objects. Artists in the show include Karen Gaudette, Matthew Derezinski, Barrie Fisher, Rob Spring, Dave Banhson, Ray Parker, Mary Admasian, Cara Armstrong, Sandra Grant, Julie Parker, Catherine Gowen, Rute Ventura, Bette Ann Libby, Katie Stubblefield, Dominique Gustin, Aaron Scot Ingham, Art Schaller, and Joe Loccisano. 





With this latest exhibit, executive director Sam Talbot-Kelly continues to build an exhibition program that reflects a contemporary interplay between art and the environment from multiple perspectives. “I truly believe that enthusiasm for this direction strengthens the identity of The Valley as one that is steeped in creativity, recreation and collective well-being,” Talbot-Kelly noted. 

The board presented recognition awards to two photographers and an encaustic artist. Dominique Gustin from Saint Johnsbury received the award for her dreamy and poetic images which convey volume and allow people to access possibility through dreams that can pop or flower.

"This visual gesture to live to our potential is a welcoming reminder during our challenging cultural and political climate,” Talbot-Kelly said. 

In her artist statement, Gustin said her work is created using a blend of traditional and contemporary media such as drawing, poetry, encaustic painting, carving, and incising, photography, and digital collage techniques.

"She asks, 'what is beautiful, compelling, impossible, absurd or moving?' The results are captivating pieces that are alluring, elegant and thought-provoking,” the director added. 


Rob Spring is a photographer from Barre who said the natural world has been his muse since he first started using his camera over 45 years ago.

"The board was impressed with Rob’s artwork which conveys time and movement in compositions characterized by strength, delicacy, focus and timing. His photographs of puffins running across the water to become airborne elicit awe and the Sand Hill cranes flying across the sky convey a simple beauty,” said board president Jean Sharry.

Ray Parker from Waitsfield was given an award as an emerging artist.

"Parker’s unique photographs of crows inspired his award because they break down the imperceivable to reveal a directional path conveying a complex journey while evoking recognizable phenomena,” Sharry said.

In his artist statement Parker explains, “The paths birds take as they fly can be both complex and beautiful, but, unless you take the time to sit and watch them, they often remain invisible. By taking videos of flying birds and then effectively compressing time by collapsing all the frames down to a single image, I reveal the hidden structure in their trajectories.”

“The results are mesmerizing,” Sharry said. 

Mad River Valley Arts seeks to be a part of raising a resilient and united community through the arts and appreciates the continued support through donations and volunteering which are paramount to the continuation of their mission

ALOFT is open to the public from 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, 5031 Main Street Waitsfield until June 27. An ‘I Spy’ game is available for children to help them learn to ‘see’ the artwork.