Dip Into The Mad River Valley Art Flood
by Alexandra Tursi
If you have skied Vermont, or peeped at the glory of fall foliage, or even sailed Lake Champlain in summer, you know that Vermont is a four-season smorgasbord of cultural, social and recreational activities. However, you might be surprised to learn that one of Vermont’s best ski towns also boasts its best summer arts event: the Vermont Festival of the Arts in Waitsfield, now in its 17th season.
WHAT TO SEE
Throughout August, the Festival will host more than 120 arts events. Yes, that many. Included are gallery exhibitions, musical and theatrical performances, workshops both to learn and to observe, as well as culinary extravaganzas. Local and international artists of all flavors will be on show. The signature event is the Big Red Barn Art Show, featuring works by more than 30 Valley artists. Other standout exhibits include preeminent American impressionist and Festival artist-in-residence Frank Corso’s “Landscapes” (August 26-30) on view at the Pitcher Inn Gallery and internationally-known Janet McKenzie’s “Holiness & the Feminine Spirit” (August 1-31), a controversial new series that challenges representations of Jesus as a white male at the Waitsfield United Church of Christ.
Strolling the one-mile-long Waitsfield Art Walk is another wonderful way to spend a morning or afternoon. Your journey along Route 100 will include 19 galleries and studios, outdoor sculpture, and a museum — the Madsonian Museum of Industrial Design, a paean to designers of our modern world. A Mies chair, the first Apple computer, a vintage toaster, and an intricate piece of wirework that turns out to be an egg whisk – all are on view here. If you’re lucky, the founder/director will be on hand to give you a private tour.