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Addison/Rutland Arts Excursions | Fall 2020

A whale mural in downtown Rutland.

A whale mural in downtown Rutland. Photo credit Brian Sylvester.

The largest town in the Addison/Rutland Creative Zone is Rutland, with a population of 16,495, making it the third largest city in Vermont. Rutland’s art and culture scene is doing its best to thumb its nose at Covid, in a safe and socially distanced way of course. There’s still plenty of art and culture to discover.

A stroll through the historic district of downtown Rutland brings you to several works of art from local, national and international artists. Murals, sculptures and galleries are aplenty. Take a mural scavenger hunt downtown to spot a peregrine falcon, a whale, a giraffe, elephants and more on several of the more 100 buildings in downtown that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

What’s with all the marble? Rutland County was once the center of the world’s largest marble manufacturers. You’ll find plenty of notable marble sculptures on the downtown streets on the Rutland Sculpture Trail. New pieces are added periodically. The most recent is a bust of Rotary International founder Paul Harris. Next up is a tribute to Martin Henry Freeman, a Rutland native who was the first African American college president in the country. A variety of outdoor sculpture is also available for viewing in the Sculpture Garden at the Carving Studio and Sculpture Center in at 636 Marble St., West Rutland.

Have you worked up an appetite? Head over to Roots, 55 Washington St., Rutland, where during prime dinner hours, from 5:30-8:30 p.m., Thursdays through Sundays, one or two artists paint mural-sized art on the walls of this industrial space. Each artist paints for a total of twelve hours over the course of four nights. With 3,000 square-feet, there’s also enough room to listen to live music from soloist musicians. It’s Covid time, so be sure to make reservations at www.rootsrutland.com or by calling 802-747-7414.

The Carving Studio and Sculpture Center's sculpture garden in West Rutland.

The Carving Studio and Sculpture Center's sculpture garden in West Rutland. Photo courtesy of the Carving Studio.

A little farther south from Rutland, head to River Road in Pawlet to view the “drive-by, quarantine-friendly, art-in-a-Vermont-hayfield” series from EveNSteve. The exhibit includes several large standing screens featuring photography and artwork of best-selling author Eve O’ Schaub and art photographer Stephen Schaub. The exhibit’s intent is to provide visitors with hope in a time of uncertainty. You can drive by or park and walk the mown pathways in the field, for free. Visit their website for more information and directions.

In Middlebury at Henry Sheldon Museum,1 Park St. is “A Sculpture Haven,” works of three Vermont sculptors in the museum’s garden, which is open from sunrise to sunset. The museum is temporarily closed in accordance with Covid-19 restrictions.

A short drive from Middlebury, you’ll find the Robert Frost Interpretive Trail where you can enjoy the woods, fields and poetry. Frost’s poems are mounted along this easy 1.2 mile loop. The first 0.3 mile is along a wheelchair-accessible boardwalk. Directions from Middlebury: travel south on Route 7 to where it intersects with Route 125. Travel east on Route 125 for 5.8 miles. The parking area is on the right.

In Brandon, the Brandon Artists Guild gallery showcases a selection of fine art and crafts from more than 30 member artists. Media include painting, sculpture, printmaking, ceramics, glass, jewelry, metalwork and more. Brandon Artists Guild is located at 7 Center St. Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Covid-safety protocols must be followed here as well.

Did you know that the Vermont Curators Group has a fun Passport Program for sharing Vermont’s arts and culture? Sign up, visit participating museums and galleries, and win prizes!

Read more about this zone.

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Last updated January 4, 2021.