- A. J. Samuels
Home to generations of inspiring and aspiring artists, the picturesque state of Vermont in the USA is bursting with one-of-a-kind contemporary art galleries. The surrounding Green Mountain peaks, the rippling Middlebury Waterfall and majestic Otter Creek make Vermont the landscape artist’s paradise. It’s not surprising that so many of these must-visit art galleries focus primarily on works by local artists.
The Vermont Center for Photography
Another participant in Brattleboro’s famous Gallery Walk, The Vermont Center for Photography displays the exquisite fine art photography of both nationally and internationally acclaimed and upcoming artists across its gallery. As well as regular photography, the gallery also takes great pride in creating unusual and unique exhibitions in its celebration of phonetography (images caught on a camera phone), textured abstracts and tasteful nudes. The main exhibition changes each month but always features a collection of incredibly talented photographers such as Miska Draskoczy, Brett Simison, Rebecca Lepkoff and Michael Poster.
The Vermont Center for Photography, 49 Flat Street, Brattleboro, Vermont, USA, +1 802 251 6051
Vermont Artisan Designs
Split over two levels, Vermont Artisan Designs is home to an array of fine and contemporary art, both on display and for sale. With new featured exhibitions each month, all mediums of art can be enjoyed here from wooden sculptures, to kaleidoscopes, table lamps and abstract paintings. On the first Friday of each month the gallery participates in Brattleboro’s renowned Gallery Walk during which its exhibits can be experienced alongside a selection of other local galleries during a late opening. Works on display are primarily by local New England artists including a collection of Irma Cerese’s acrylics, Sabra Field’s block prints and Richard Morgan’s wooden owl sculptures.
Vermont Artisan Designs, 106 Main Street, Brattleboro, Vermont, USA, +1 802 257 7044
Chaffee Art Center
Set in the hypnotically beautiful Queen Anne Victorian Mansion, built by George Thrall Chaffee in 1896, the Chaffee Art Center captivates art-admirers before they have even stepped inside. The center prides itself on promoting local artwork and hosts a number of student artist exhibitions as well as those featuring juried artists. Recent exhibits include pieces by Don Haynes, Joshua Rome, Carrie Pill and Katherine Langlands. The center celebrates a broad selection of mediums including pottery, origami, photography and watercolors. A second gallery opened on Merchant’s Row on New Year’s Eve 2013 called Chaffee Downtown. Together the galleries host two annual Art in the Park festivals, one in the summer and another in autumn, where street vendors sell locally made arts and crafts and visitors can participate in craft demonstrations.
Chaffee Art Center, 16 South Main, Rutland, Vermont, USA, +1 802 775 0356
West Branch Gallery & Sculpture Park
A contemporary art and sculpture space, the West Branch Gallery & Sculpture Park is a 3,400-square-foot art venue with a 3.5-acre sculpture park stretching around the picturesque west branch of the Little River in Stowe, north Vermont. The gallery celebrates emerging and newly established artists including Susan Lynn, Rebecca Kinkead, Kathleen Kolb and Tad Spurgeon. Although predominantly a gallery for abstract paintings and sculpture, West Branch Gallery & Sculpture Park has recently added a new wing solely for landscape art exhibitions bringing the total number of gallery spaces on site to four.
Once a dilapidated warehouse, 266 Pine Street was turned into the impressive S.P.A.C.E Gallery in 2009. S.P.A.C.E stands for ‘Supportive Places for Artists and Creative Economy’ and that’s exactly what the gallery sets out to be each day. Hosting both ordinary exhibitions of impressions in acrylics and oils, and those more obscure such as visual conversations between nominated local artists, S.P.A.C.E is an accessible and inclusive venue for both the aspiring artists and the admirers. Now with a second gallery, The Backspace, S.P.A.C.E can hold double the number of rolling exhibitions.
Space Gallery, 266 Pine Street, Suite 105, Burlington, Vermont, USA, +1 802 578 2512
Burlington City Arts
Home to the Vermont Metro Gallery, the Burlington City Arts center has fast become the major showplace for local artists in Burlington as well as established artists from across the United States. This former firehouse building was converted into a magnificent visual arts space in 1995. The gallery displays both a permanent collection and a rotation of temporary exhibitions every six to eighte weeks, including works by local artists Tom Cullins, Jennifer Koch and Gary Hall.
Burlington City Arts, 135 Church Street, Burlington, Vermont, USA, +1 802 865 5355
Bryan Memorial Gallery
Alden Bryan founded the Bryan Memorial Gallery in memory of his award-winning wife, painter Mary Bryan, in 1984. Set in the mountain community of Jeffersonville, the gallery is in a town that has inspired generations of landscape painters over the years, including Thomas Curtain, Charles Curtis Allen and Emily Gruppe. Over 200 artists a year are included in the gallery’s rotating exhibitions but they assure that only works by New England’s finest landscape artists are displayed, alongside a selection of pieces by Mary and Alden Bryan too. The Bryan Memorial Gallery also hosts a schedule of public workshops led by professional acclaimed artists for those budding painters wishing to depict the rural beauty of Jeffersonville on canvas themselves.
The Edgewater Gallery
Overlooking the 18-foot-high Middlebury Falls on Otter Creek, the gallery’s divine setting is depicted in its name: The Edgewater Gallery. Displaying works by a mixture of first-time artists and old names, past exhibits have featured William Hays, Anna Dibble, Irma Cerese, Homer Wells and Rory Jackson. Despite the regularly rotating exhibitions, all pieces on show are for sale and the majority of the items are at wallet-friendly prices. Choose from jewelry, landscape or still life paintings, scarves, photographs or pieces of furniture to admire in the bright sun-lit exhibition space, or to take home with you as a souvenir.
Edgewater Gallery, 1 Mill Street, Middlebury, Vermont, USA, +1 802 458 0098
Since 2003, BigTown Gallery has brought to central Vermont exhibitions by artists deeply dedicated to an exploration of what fine art means: both to create and to experience. In the ten years that BigTown has been programming, it has come to represent almost 40 regional contemporary artists – many of whom have national recognition and are represented in many private and public collections throughout the US.
Gallery owner, Anni Mackay, has for the past decade devoted her energies to bringing the arts together with community. The gallery space and its featured exhibitions, performance art and reading series are the culmination-to-date of an uncompromising belief in the soundness of that partnership. BigTown Gallery offers a full spectrum of visual, literary, and performing arts with its year-round exhibit schedule, Summer Reading Series, and performing arts events.
BigTown Gallery, 99 North Main Street, Rochester, Vermont, USA, +1 802 767 9670