‘Tis the season for giving. Fortunately, even as supply chain mayhem rocks shipping and delivery of items from afar, choices close to home abound. Festive and bright, local galleries are bursting with locally made art — art to experience, to gift, or to own. Many Vermont galleries have traditions of holiday exhibitions featuring artwork by their members or members of local of art groups. (Contact information for galleries is in Vermont Visual Arts.)
From Studio Place Art’s vibrant “Celebrate!” with three floors of artwork to the landscape oriented Bryan Memorial Gallery’s “Gems and Giants” with small and large format paintings to “A Wintry Mix” at AVA in Lebanon with, New Hampshire artwork by over 100 artists, each gallery has its own flavor. Unlike exhibitions at other times of year that may focus on specific themes or on solo artists, these holiday shows feature artwork selected by the artists.
Studio Place Arts
“We always felt it was important to do a show where the artists could decide what to bring or show,” explained Sue Higby, executive director of Studio Place Arts in Barre about SPA’s 21 years of “Celebrate!” “It is important for our mission to present local art and have art that is accessible. Artists make the selections and it gives people in the community opportunities to buy something special for friends, neighbors and loved ones.”
Whimsical tree toppers to exquisite hardwood rolling pins to powerful paintings, SPA’s galleries are alive. Blue herons, amiable cats, and ball balancing seals gently turn in Paul Markowitz’s metal and wire mobiles. Kristin Schuyler’s ornaments including fabric-maché fish, pink flamingos, and glittering carrots brighten the season and beyond. Small paintings by Heidi Broner capture moments with dancers. Ann Young’s “The Triumph of Hope” speaks to a sentiment we all need.
“There are beautiful items from under $5 to beautiful items for over $1000,” Higby said.
T.W. Wood Gallery
T.W. Wood Gallery in Montpelier has a new tradition with the “Second annual Youth Scholarship Fundraiser.” This year, the show and auction are online and in person in the Hallway Gallery. The show features work by about two dozen artists including T.W. Wood educators, board members, and friends of the gallery, all donated, to support scholarships for the Wood’s educational programs.
Artworks include charcoal drawings and paintings by Alexis Kyriak, Glenn Coburn Hutcheson’s pastel “The Hay Harvest / after Bruegel,” August Burns’ “Woman in Blue Turban,” a tender moment captured in “Mother and Child” by the late Mimi Dutcher Fowler, and much more.
In T.W. Wood’s Nuquist Gallery, “The Art of Stories: A Vermont Picture Book Exhibit,” features five children’s book illustrators — Jason Chin, Amy Huntington, Sarah Dillard, Ashley Wolff, and Linda Di Sante. Viewers including young children can enjoy books and artwork that goes into them.
Bryan Memorial Gallery
“Gems and Giants,” at Bryan Memorial Gallery in Jeffersonville brings together small and large format paintings by over 80 artists. Landscapes are at the heart of Bryan Memorial Gallery. Vermont in all seasons, familiar vistas and secluded spots are among the subjects. The show also includes still-lifes, portraits and more. Gems are small works 8- by 10-inch or smaller. Giants exceed 36 inches. Over 80 Bryan Memorial member artists are featured in the show.
Highland Center for the Arts
The Gallery at Highland Center for the Arts in Greensboro presents a new holiday show, “Local Color” with work by members of Caspian Arts, a local group of 20 members. Caspian Arts members are professional and emerging artists who reflect on and are inspired by the beauty of the Northeast Kingdom. The group includes painters, sculptors, photographers, fiber artists and multi-media artists as well as those who work in wood, metal, clay, paper and other traditional craft media.
The Current in Stowe, formerly Helen Day Art Center, has probably the longest running holiday show in the area with four decades of history. Over 50 artists are represented in the “2021 Members’ Art Show & Sale.”
“We have anything and everything — triptychs, sculpture, photography, paintings, ceramics. There is a lot of energy. It is beautiful,” Alexa Sherrill, education and exhibition manager, said.
“A Wintry Mix” fills the five galleries of AVA Gallery in Lebanon with artwork by more than 100 member artists.
“We have a rich assortment with almost every possible medium represented,” Sheryl Trainor, member gallery manager, said.
At the artist-run cooperative gallery The Front in Montpelier, the members’ group exhibition “Show 46” opens Dec. 3. In addition to artwork that fills the walls, tables in the gallery feature art for $100 and under.