A Community Arts Organization Dedicated to Arts for Everyone
River Arts is a community arts organization based in Morrisville, Vermont. A gathering place where people of all ages, backgrounds, and talents explore their creativity, River Arts brings art to everyone.
On the cusp of fall, our galleries and program offerings are transforming with the seasons. Before we fling back the curtain on our exciting new schedule however, we’d like to take a moment to share highlights from another magnificent summer of youth programs! Summer - With fourteen new and favorite camps to choose from, we welcomed over 135 campers, ages 5 to 17 years old, through our doors … singing harmonies, painting GIANT surfaces, cooking mouthwatering international dishes, designing skateboard decks, practicing comedic improv, building imaginative puppets, crazy pinball arcades, delicate fairy houses and awesome forts … all while having fun getting creative. To borrow from last year, the experience can best be described as going to work inside a vibrant, changing, living kaleidoscope that touches all of the senses: Dancing footfalls shake the ceiling, music and song careen down the stairwells, colorful smocks bound about and delicious smells permeate the historic building. Even the rare argument has a refreshing twist, “No, I’m the wind!”. “My daughter LOVED this camp and gained a lot of confidence, both acting and singing. She was very excited every single day. Jumped right out of bed with a smile!” - All the World’s a Stage Parent “This was her favorite camp ever! Very impressed … It revised a service to my daughter that she never had the chance to be a part of before. Cooking was always her dream, she learned so much and cooks things for us at home now.” - Summer Chef: Cooking Around the World Parent River Arts life spills into the community each summer in different ways: Campers worked with Artist/Instructor Jess Graham to create a stunning new mural on the Rail Trail across from 10 Railroad Street on the Morrisville Lumber building; Skate the Arts campers took a special field trip to Burlington to view murals and graffiti art while trying out their new skills on the different skate features at the Burlington Skatepark; A group of industrious teens worked with Artist/Instructor Michael Zebrowski to design prototypes for the upcoming River Works Project Public Sculptures; and we hosted our second summer of free arts activities for kids and families during the Wednesday Night Live concert series at the Oxbow. “(River Arts) engages children young and old to participate in activities that can be seen by the community. It gives the children a huge sense of pride when they can walk down a street and see their hard work. It also make the kids feel great when strangers comment on how amazing their art looks in the community.”- Mural Camp Parent A big thank you to our sponsors and foundations: North Country Federal Credit Union, Morrisville Lumber, the Morrisville and Cambridge Area Rotaries, the Brewster River Bike Club, National Life Group, Union Bank, Bourne’s Energy, Cushman Design Group, Community National Bank, Concept 2 and others for their support making our summer programs and financial assistance possible. And last, but not least, a shout out to all of our talented artist/instructors, partners, volunteers and the amazing families and campers who came together to create such a memorable summer. Staff & Board - We are thrilled to welcome Judith Mathison as our new Development Coordinator. Judith brings her love for the arts, a Masters of Arts in Arts Administration and her deep connection to the community to the River Arts team. Welcome Judith! Fall Maintenance - It’s time to focus on appearances and upkeep as summer comes to a close. We’re launching a “Paint the River Arts Center” campaign to help preserve our historic home (and community treasure!), beginning by painting the facade this fall. We’ll need the support of our community for this significant undertaking, and are looking forward to raising the much needed funding to finish next summer. In the meantime, we extend our gratitude to the continued attention and care of Sutherland Welles, Ltd., who have donated their services to keep our floors looking beautiful each year! What’s Ahead? Our Fall Fundraiser is here - Viva Las Artes! Friday, November 3rd, 6-9p.m. This year our live auction features all things “green” - local products and services, an array of eco-friendly items and more. The evening begins with wine and a sampling of regional cheese and charcuterie spreads, followed by a delicious meal and live and silent auctions. Mark your calendars and visit our website at www.riverartsvt.org or give us a call 802-888-1261 for tickets. The Annual Figure Drawing Marathon is coming soon - Saturday, November 11 - 12, from 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.. Artists and art lovers with all levels of experience are invited to spend one or two full days drawing, painting or sculpting with a diversity of models for inspiration. We're gearing up to launch our free drop-in youth programs: Music & Movement with Lesley Grant, Open Gym/Playgroup in partnership with the Lamoille Family Center, and BIG & Messy Art Space. Our Kinder Arts Program is back for it’s fifth year, bringing innovative arts opportunities to children ages 2-5 yrs at 4 participating schools. Fall Workshops for Adults/Teens - Check out our website www.riverartsvt.org for the full schedule. Jewelry, batik, poetry, improv dance, watercolor and more! Current and upcoming exhibitions include the Annual River Works Group Show, Noyes House Museum historical textiles, Liz Nelson and Cindy Griffith. Free arts activities for all during Rocktoberfest! Please come by River Arts and ask about our classes, events, gallery exhibits, or just chat about how we can work together in our arts community … we would love to see you, and hear what your interests are! Dominique Gustin Executive DirectorRead More
River Arts is holding a photography contest that will begin on August 17, 2017 and will end December 17, 2017. Open to all photo enthusiasts involved with the River Arts Photo Co-op. The Photo Co-op provides photography enthusiasts with a way to gather, promote, and share their experience and knowledge of photography in an atmosphere of camaraderie and fun. Contest participants must attend at least one Photo Co-op meeting to qualify. Prizes: 1st Place- $225 , 2nd Place- $115, 3rd Place- $75, three honorable mentions- $25 each.Read More
Plastics, Quilts and Fossils: In Conversation at the River Arts Galleries Nan Carle Beauregard July 2017 Remember the time when … One of my fondest childhood memories is of my brother Mark and me combing the hills around our family farm in Ohio searching for fossils. One day Mark found a huge rock full of imprints that looked like fully formed sea shells. It must have weighed 30 pounds and got heavier with each step for a skinny 12-year- old boy who had to push, pull and drag it a very long way back to the farm house. As his 7-year- old sister - I just danced around and watched him struggle on our way back up hills and down again. It was fun to think about - Where did those sea shells come from in the middle of Ohio? How did they get inside the rock? How old is that rock? What are fossils anyway? All kind of questions added to the mystique and beauty of The Big Rock. All of this is to add background about how these memories resurfaced last week at the Artist Talk at the River Arts Gallery Reception. We were in conversation with Katie Loesel as she described how her art was molded by her interest in geological history. Through her printing process Loesel imagined what our 21 st century fossils would look like to children in centuries to come. Rather than life forms like shells, ferns, birds or bones, she envisioned that today’s imprints would include plastic straws, bags, and bottles. Many of Loesel’s prints in the gallery express her ideas about the features of such fossils. Her print collection and the Artist Talk at the River Arts Gallery brought to life our everyday use of plastics and what happens to them - our legacy to tomorrow’s children. Elise Whittemore is the other artist on show at the Downstairs Gallery at River Arts. Her woodblock prints were inspired by her study of algae and other specimens from the Pringle Herbarium at the University of Vermont. Much to my surprise, I found myself getting goosebumps as she talked about her story of discovery into her artistic style and her joy of printmaking. She made us laugh when she described the time when her children were at the stage when they kept touching her with their hands covered with paint or chocolate or substances she did not even want to think about. Her experiences as a young mother motivated her to develop a whole series of prints about little hands. Whittemore went on to tell us how her grandmother’s quilts influenced the color combinations for in her current wood print exhibition. Hearing her tell the story of her art and what it meant to her became a thought provoking experience for the assembled audience. The conversation was full of warmth, laughter and understanding. It was a most enjoyable evening! By listening to the stories of these two artists, I gained new ways of seeing the world around me. As a photographer, these artists have encouraged me to expand my own creative practices and to see a fresh story in the images I capture. All of our stories are very different but they also complement each other and together weave a much richer tapestry of life in Northern Vermont. Our conversations connect us and show us how we are the same yet different. Creativity expands our talents and our ability to strengthen our community. Art matters. I joined the Board of River Arts two years ago and have especially enjoyed being on the Gallery Committee. I laugh at my sense of certainty about what I like and do not like in the art world only to be challenged to change. Every day at River Arts there is something new and interesting happening with people of all ages, interests and talents. It is a place where we can come together and express our likes and dislikes and learn and laugh at what we say and see. The conversations about art bring us together in unseen ways and offers us a place to think, play and do at all ages and stages of life. Come join in! The art of Katie Loesel and Elise Whittemore remain in the River Arts Galleries until August 18. The next Art Opening and Artists’ Talk at the River Arts Galleries will on September 15 from 5:00 to 7:00. The reception will be for a group of artists selected for River Work III. Join us! Be part of the conversation!Read More