Surprising Art: Overlooked, Unknown And Unusual Vermont Works

Sep 11, 2018

There's no shortage of acclaimed art in well-known museums across Vermont, but surprising works are tucked away in unexpected places, in galleries off the beaten path or hidden in plain sight in buildings, campuses and towns across the state. We're talking about overlooked, unexpected and unknown art in Vermont and where you can find it.

Guests helping Vermont Edition explore surprising art across the state are:

More from VPR related to unusual art across Vermont:

Recommendations from the show include:

Scroll below to see more suggestions of surprising art from listeners

Karen in Waterbury shared this picture of a new 60-foot sculpture on Waterbury’s railroad bridge. Randolph artist Phil Godenschwager designed the piece showing veritable trainload of Waterbury’s historic sites and buildings.
Credit Karen Nevin

More from VPR: Hear more about how the Waterbury sculpture was made

Martha shared “these incredible large metal sculptures in Kirby just placed on a hill at the residence of sculptor David Tanych.” Called “Tools of the Trade,” she says they “are randomly placed on a hill for drivers and bikers to see on Kirby Road.”
Credit Martha Elmes

Brenda emailed about LOLA The Camper in Goshen, in which she sells "furniture, sculptures, and more. LOLA is located at Happenstance Farm in Goshen. Along with beautiful one-of-a-kind pieces you can also find homemade apothecary items, candles, organic eggs, hand-cut flowers and veggies and--if you're lucky--a freshly baked sweet treat!"
Credit Brenda Hall-Griswold

Other suggestions from listeners:

  • Jen emailed: "I explored the Birds of Vermont Museum in Huntington this past weekend ... It's an amazing place for anyone who loves birds or wood carving or both. It's built from the passion of one man, Bob Spear, who carved over 500 birds and put them in dioramas. There are hiking paths that connect to the Audubon paths and workshops. This place is a treasure."
  • Sue in Barre emailed: "There are 12 public sculptures on view in historic downtown Barre in our “Art Stroll,” including the Jack-in-the-Box Bike Rack and North America’s largest zipper."  
  • Virginia emailed: "The Next Stage Arts Project is in a beautifully renovated former church in the center of Putney. It now has an art gallery in the upstairs lobby that has four shows a year, each featuring a different artist from the great pool of talent in the area. Right now we are showing the work of Ines Zeller-Bass, in conjunction with Sandglass Theater’s International Puppet Festival, Puppets in the Green Mountains."
  • Tafi and Diane emailed: "The art shows held in The Great Hall in Springfield are wonderful ... The art shown is always interesting, in varied mediums, and the space is amazing. The show opening this month is a celebration of Springfield Hospital’s 105th Anniversary." 
  • Verandah emailed: "In Guilford, within shouting distance of Massachusetts, sculptor Mark Fenwick creates astonishing mythic creatures from trees he harvests from the land behind his hand-built home on Packer Corners Road. He welcomes guests. His driveway is marked by a dancing bear."
  • Clayton shared on Facebook: "I found it very 'Vermont' to find anonymous love notes, poems and sketches tucked into the various nooks and crannies scattered about the rough-cut wood inside the Muddy Waters coffee shop in downtown Burlington. Unique, ever-changing art."
  • Justine emailed: "For the past few years I have been going to a summer event put on by Mary Sky Gallery out of Hancock. It is a contemporary arts and sound show in the forest. This past year an artist set up a thousand lights throughout the forest that only lasted one night. It was unlike anything I have ever seen before. I find it refreshing that there are contemporary forms of art making inroads here in Vermont."

Broadcast live on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.