EXPLORING ART BOTH NATURAL AND MANMADE
by John Paul Stapleton
When people talk about Vermont, the first thing that comes to mind isn’t necessarily the art produced by the residents, but the amazing scenery that the Green Mountain State has to offer.
“The free art is right there,” said Peter Schumann, founder and director of Bread and Puppet Theater, while pointing to the horizon. “We have cheap art. That’s free.” This “free art,” as Schumann has called it, is only the beginning of artistic value in Northern Vermont, as I found out during a recent visit.
After cutting through the fog on a night drive and spending a night at the Stowe Inn, I started my day by walking down to Green Mountain Fine Art Gallery (64 South Main St.) in Stowe. The short walk over the covered footbridge and around the corner led me to a national historic registered building built in 1828.
Inside I found the main exhibit, oil paintings of Vermont landscapes by Paul Stone, hung alongside colorful abstracts of sailboats and work by abstract painter Barbara Wagner, who incorporates mixed-media materials such as horse- hair and textiles into her oil paintings. Classical realist painter William B. Hoyt had many pieces on display in which he explores different styles within his own, sometimes in the same image.
After walking back to the Inn, I drove to the Dutch Pancake Café (990 Mountain Road) for a late breakfast. If you’ve never experienced a Dutch pancake, expect something much larger in diameter but also much thinner than the traditional; it also customary to bake a large array of foods, from sweet to savory, into the cake. I ordered the apple bacon pancake, unsure of the combo’s chemistry. Upon finishing the whole thing, I understood the raving reviews I had read about the dish on Yelp.