In the true spirit of community mindedness, a simple idea to fill vacant storefronts with pop-up galleries of local and Vermont-based art has blossomed into an event that is being embraced by artists, the Town of Manchester and its businesses, as well as an array of established art galleries who have supported the project from the beginning. ART Manchester is a collaborative partnership between Manchester Life Magazine, Southern Vermont Arts Center (SVAC), Cota and Cota Oil and commercial building owners, Manchester Designer Outlets and Connecticut River Capital. “We are delighted to see the enthusiasm and engagement of local building owners, said Pauline Moore, economic development coordinator for the Town of Manchester. “The partnership is a wonderful example of coming together for the benefit of the community. We appreciate everyone’s commitment.” Casey Cota, president of Cota and Cota, and Alissa Hauben of Manchester Designer Outlets have also publicly praised the project as an example of how a locality can rise to the challenge of changing times.
“Often, as in this case, it is worth looking back to know how to move forward,” noted Joan Teaford, interim executive director of SVAC. “Manchester has a long history as an arts destination and ART Manchester provides a real chance to highlight this area as the arts community that it is.” Participating in the project are artist members of SVAC and the Mettowee Makers, a collective of artists from the Mettowee Valley. Works include pottery, paintings, jewelry, hooked rugs, photography and sculptures. Members of the Vermont Glass Guild and the Guild of Vermont Furniture Makers also have representative artisans from all corners of the state on site over the summer, and welcome questions and curiosity related to their works. ART Manchester is running from June 30 to September 4, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays, at three Manchester locations: Vermont Glass Guild at 483 Depot Street; SVAC artist members at 4802 Main Street; the Guild of Vermont Furniture Makers at 3556 Main Street; and the Mettowee Makers at 3556 Main Street. Visit artmanchestervermont.com for more information about the artists and pop-up spaces, as well as other arts locations and events in the Manchester area. All items in the galleries are for sale; cash and checks are gladly accepted, but not credit cards.