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The Arts

Bellows Falls declares May as ‘Art Month’

BELLOWS FALLS—Bellows Falls has designated “May, Art Month in Bellows Falls,” a town-wide celebration to build awareness and appreciation of the arts and businesses throughout the village.

“We will be highlighting artists, events, shops, and restaurants that contribute year-round to the vital and cultural richness and economic stability of the community,” Robert McBride, founder and director of The Rockingham Arts & Museum Project (RAMP), said in a news release.

McBride said designating the month of May was a natural collaboration that evolved from several local artists participating in the Vermont Craft Council’s annual statewide Memorial Day Open Studio Weekend.

“For over 25 years, RAMP, as part of its mission, has strived to connect and leverage creative partnerships to contribute to the long-term sustainability of the community. ‘May, Art Month in Bellows Falls,’ is a win-win for the artists, the store owners, visitors, and residents of the community.”

The celebration kicks off with an exhibition of local artisans at Flat Iron Cooperative, 51 The Square, all of whom are participating in the 30th anniversary of the open studio tour.

This year, the tour boasts 150 artists and galleries throughout the state. Studios are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., both Saturday, May 28, and Sunday, May 29.

Bellows Falls will host an official Open Studio Info Center at 33 Bridge Street. Visitors will find a mix of seven artists exhibiting there—an artisan coop that will also have music and food during the weekend.

Artists participating at that site are Nick Kekic, blown glass; Clare Adams, painted glass; Teresa Hall, pottery; Mike Lewis, stone; Scott Morgan, paintings on canvas and guitars; Shannon Parker, jewelry; and Jeanette Staley, canvas floor cloths.

The Bellows Falls Downtown Development Alliance is working closely with local businesses to engage residents and visitors to explore the work being created by local artists and to promote the “BF vibe.” They will post all community events participating in the May celebration at bellowsfallsvt.org/things-to-do-in-the-bellows-falls-region.

Bellows Falls artisans have also created a great source for sharing and finding art information in the area at facebook.com/ArtinBellowsFalls.

Main Street Arts in Saxtons River will be joining in with its own Open Studio Info Center that will include several craft vendors, including work done by crafters who may not have another venue to display their work.

Parallel events in Saxtons River include a tag sale, plant sale, fire pit, snacks and drinks, music and creative community work, all coordinated by Main Street Arts.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #663 (Wednesday, May 11, 2022). This story appeared on page B4.

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