Local News

Chaffee Art Center to undergo renovation

ArtBeat Cafe and multi-media space to open

RUTLAND—The Chaffee Art Center will begin a major transformation this summer with the addition of a café, artisan co-op, multi-media HD gallery, and expanded educational and community outreach offerings, including a dedicated mobile art unit.

In addition, the property will begin the first stage of a major permaculture garden/arboretum. The ambitious project will be led by the Chaffee’s board of directors and newly hired executive director, Jim Boughton, former volunteer, gallery director and executive director between 2001 and 2006.

“We are thrilled to have Jim back at the Chaffee,” said Rick Twigg, board president. “The Chaffee is ready to reach new heights as a cultural, educational and social hub for our community, and Jim shares our vision to make this beloved historical art center a ‘go-to’ destination for our community and visitors alike.”

A cornerstone of the project will be the opening of a café eatery, The ArtBeat Café, inside the Chaffee. The eatery will feature multicultural food and will display and sell the artwork of regional artists. Another notable highlight will be a multi-media, world-gallery showcase space allowing HD, life-size viewing of regional, national, and international exhibits. Classes, workshops, and programs on a wide variety of topics will also feature prominently in the new plans.

Interior design enhancements will also allow for expanded hosting of special events, weddings, and other occasions. The mobile art unit, Chaffee Art on Wheels, will focus on delivering researched-based tactile, visual, and auditory art to community members of all ages, including those with autism, dementia and mental health challenges, and physical limitations.

The renovations will culminate in a grand re-dedication of the center this fall to coincide with the Chaffee’s annual Art-in-the-Park artisan festival.

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