On October 21, 2020

Enjoy an art excursion in the time of Covid

“The Whales” by Brian Sylvester and Ailsa Diancia has been a fixture on Center Street in Rutland since 2014.

By Vermont Arts Council

RUTLAND COUNTY—There’s still plenty of art and culture to discover across Vermont this fall with room for spatial distancing, indoors and out. Vermont autumns are a magical time to discover something new, as “nothing gold can stay.” Get out there and fortify your soul for the months ahead with art with our recommended Covid-safe excursions around Vermont. What makes them Covid-safe? Clear Covid-precautions are posted for all visitors — you know the drill: masks, sanitizer, and social distancing. We’ve also got “Picnic Pairings” for premium picnic spots.

The largest town in the Addison/Rutland Creative Zone is Rutland, with a population of 16,495, making it the third largest city in Vermont. Rutland’s art and culture scene is doing its best to keep folks active during Covid, in a safe and socially distanced way of course. There’s still plenty of art and culture to discover.

A stroll through the historic district of downtown Rutland brings you to several works of art from local, national and international artists. There are murals, sculptures and galleries are a-plenty. Take a mural scavenger hunt downtown to spot a peregrine falcon, a whale, a giraffe, elephants and more on several of the more 100 buildings in downtown that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

What’s with all the marble? Rutland County was once the center of the world’s largest marble manufacturers. You’ll find plenty of notable marble sculptures on the downtown streets on the Rutland Sculpture Trail. New pieces are added periodically. The most recent is a bust of Rotary International founder, Paul Harris. Next up is a tribute to Martin Henry Freeman, a Rutland native who was the first African American college president in the country. A variety of outdoor sculpture is also available for viewing in the Sculpture Garden at the Carving Studio and Sculpture Center at 636 Marble St., in West Rutland.

The work of jurried artist members and featured member artist Alexis Kyriak are showcased in the upstairs galleries of the 1890s historic mansion that is Chaffee Art Center, through Oct. 30, at 16 S. Main St., Rutland. Hours: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and by appointment.

Have you worked up an appetite? Head over to Roots, 55 Washington St. in Rutland, where during prime dinner hours, from 5:30-8:30 p.m., Thursdays through Sundays, one or two artists paint mural-sized art on the walls of this industrial space. Each artist paints for a total of twelve hours over the course of four nights. With 3,000 square-feet, there’s also enough room to listen to live music from soloist musicians. It’s Covid time, so be sure to make reservations at rootsrutland.com or by calling 802-747-7414.

A little farther south from Rutland, head to River Road in Pawlet to view the “drive-by, quarantine-friendly, art-in-a-Vermont-hayfield” series from EveNSteve. The exhibit includes several large standing screens featuring photography and artwork of best-selling author Eve O’ Schaub and art photographer Stephen Schaub. The exhibit’s intent is to provide visitors with hope in a time of uncertainty. You can drive by or park and walk the mown pathways in the field, for free. Visit evensteve.com/ for more information and directions.

In Middlebury at Henry Sheldon Museum,1 Park St. is “A Sculpture Haven,” works of three Vermont sculptors in the museum’s garden, which is open from sunrise to sunset. The museum is temporarily closed in accordance with Covid-19 restrictions.

Picnic Pairing: Happy Valley Orchard, 217 Quarry Road, Middlebury. Pick your own apples through October. Fresh made cider donuts everyday, and apple cider pressed at the orchard. Open everyday from 10 a.m.- 5:30 p.m. until Oct. 31.

A short drive east from Middlebury, you’ll find the Robert Frost Interpretive Trail where you can enjoy the woods, fields and poetry. Frost’s poems are mounted along this easy 1.2 mile loop. The first 0.3 mile is along a wheelchair-accessible boardwalk. Directions from Middlebury: travel south on Route 7 to where it intersects with Route 125. Travel east on winding Route 125 for 5.8 miles. The parking area is on the right.

If it’s Sunday, head to Poultney for Stone Valley Arts at Fox Hill, 145 E. Main St., and its exhibit of contemporary painters, Painters Choose Painters, through Nov. 22. Also featured is artist Sarah Elworthy and author Kara Beste in an exhibit of original batiks created by Elworthy with text by Beste from their book, “What Leads Her,” highlighting 23 women who lead in a multitude of ways. The book aims to inspire and empower girls ages 8 and up. The number of visitors are limited inside the building to 10, and face masks and social distancing are required. Gallery hours on Sundays are 1-4 p.m. or by appointment.

In Brandon, the Brandon Artists Guild gallery exhibits A Space Within, a solo show of ceramics by artist-member Dasha Kalisz. Dasha’s newest work features wheel-thrown and altered organic forms based on the human body. The show continues through Nov. 1. The galley also showcases a selection of fine art and crafts from more than 30 member artists. Media include painting, sculpture, printmaking, ceramics, glass, jewelry, metalwork and more. Brandon Artists Guild is located at 7 Center St. Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Covid-safety protocols must be followed here as well.

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