Monday, May 16, 2011

PRESS RELEASE: Rock River Artists Open Studio Tour, Newfane and Williamsville


Contact: Pete Biolsi, Mondo Mediaworks

Covered Bridge a Muse to Community of Artists
Vermont artists to open their studios, homes, and riverside village to the public

Vermont artisans draw inspiration from myriad sources: the natural beauty of the rolling countryside, a majestic view of the Green Mountains from their studio, the distinct changes in season that attract oglers by the thousands.

In one southern Vermont community set on the banks of the Rock River, inspiration stems from something commuters use daily, but rarely give a second thought: a modest covered bridge. And there, along the babbling brook it crosses, a community of local artists is flourishing.

Covered bridges are scattered all over the rural Vermont landscape, but to residents of South Newfane and Williamsville, the Williamsville Covered Bridge is more than a state-recognized historic landmark. It ignites a sense of community and a priceless tie to the area’s history.

“This bridge is our link to the past,” says Richard Foye, a ceramicist who has been using this bridge for decades, and fought for its historic preservation. “It’s like our own little cathedral; it’s better than a church.”

When Foye and other Rock River Artists exercise their respective talents, they incorporate techniques that have been around for hundreds of years. The engineering of the Williamsville Covered Bridge, from its lattice trusses to its beefy floor beams, exhibits that same sense of timeless artistry.

In the spring of 2000, after engineers deemed the structure unsound, the bridge was slated to be torn down and replaced with an updated, concrete and steel design. The town voted instead to reconstruct the bridge from scratch using its original design. The initial reconstruction plan, which included the addition of reinforced glued girders, was later rejected and substituted for one that ensured no visual compromises.
“The woodwork itself, it’s beautifully crafted, and it’s just like everything that we do,” says Foye.

Art enthusiasts from near and far will have the chance to pass through the Williamsville Covered Bridge during the upcoming Rock River Artists Open Studio Tour on July 16-17. The annual event invites the public to take a scenic tour of the picturesque countryside and share an intimate experience with nearby artists in their creative spaces.

19th Annual Open Studio Tour Information:
WHEN: July 16-17, 2011 10:00AM - 6:00PM
WHERE: South Newfane and Williamsville, Vermont
WHAT: Eighteen professional artists open their homes, gardens and studios during this enchanting self-guided tour. Wander Southern Vermont’s picturesque back roads and be greeted like an old friend at the homes of successful painters, print makers, sculptors, metal and wood workers, potters and more. Start at the historic Old Schoolhouse in South Newfane to view artists' work and pick up a map. Gourmet delights are available mid-tour in Newfane and Williamsville. Free and open to the public.

Watch a video of the Rock River Artists at the Williamsville Covered Bridge:

A collaborative of 18 professional artists residing along the Rock River basin in Southern Vermont. Their creative talents include a variety of disciplines and mediums. Several of the artists’ work has received national acclaim and been hosted in galleries and museums throughout the country. Once a year, the Rock River Artists open their studios for a weekend-long tour, inviting visitors into their homes and creative spaces to view and purchase artwork, and interact directly with the artists. More information