Friday, December 4, 2009

PRESS RELEASE: Holiday Art Show at SPA in Barre

Through December 31 Studio Place Arts (SPA) offers an annual Holiday Art Show on all 3 floors of its historic building in downtown Barre. Visitors will discover an ever-changing collection of fine art and crafts, creatively displayed, and accessibly priced. The artwork is made by an exceptionally talented group of member artisans who primarily are from central and northern Vermont. A handsome, 4-foot wizard with an owl perched on his shoulder, carved from wood by Scott Crocker, greets visitors at the front of the SPA building . Visitors are encouraged to hang their coats, slow down, and enjoy a mug of hot tea along with the artwork.

The walls of SPA are hung with more than 200 paintings, collages, photographs, drawings, a variety of prints (e.g., block, monotype, stone lithograph), and paper works. The subjects and sizes vary widely, offering many options for homes, offices, and institutional settings. On the first floor, for example, botanical enthusiasts will be drawn to the detailed watercolor paintings of tree leaves rendered by Susan Sawyer of South Woodbury, the lush scarlet, layered encaustic poppies by Beth Kendrick, and the vivid lime and red canvas of a gardener at work by Marc Awodey. Animal lovers smile at the 4 small, earth-toned acrylic canvasses of a playful dog by Heidi Broner, a gaggle of hens rooting for food by Kathy Ravenhorst Adams, and humorous, bright blue, paper mache dog assemblages by David Klein. Landlocked Vermonters taste the salt in the air upstairs in a group of seascape oil paintings by Candy Barr and a detailed watercolor painting of sailboats bobbing at sea by Michael Ridge.

Throughout the main floor gallery, there are islands of jewelry, hand-made baskets and one-of-a-kind buttons, ornaments, handcrafted furniture, and crafts made from clay, fiber, glass, wood, and even recycled license plates. There are burnished, sawdust-fired clay vessels by Elizabeth Roman in an array of rust and black tones, which are displayed alongside a collection of winsome porcelain dolls and clay sculptural vases by Georgia Landau.

Luxurious, hand painted silk scarves by Maggie Neale hang next to bold, hand embossed velvet scarves and pillows by Tausha Sylver, which are arranged next to richly-colored, turned wooden vessels by Joe Bedard. In addition there are quirky sculptures for the mechanically inclined art lover by John Brickels and Aaron Stein has shaped historic license plates into hip-looking cuff bracelets, light switch plates, and a chic wine holder. A wide variety of art enthusiasts are enjoying the selection and spirit of the Holiday Art Show at SPA. There are expanded hours at SPA starting December 8, including evening hours on Thursdays. Call 479-7069 for information on current gallery hours.