River Gallery School expands into new studio, gallery space
Students work with mixed media at River Gallery School.

River Gallery School expands into new studio, gallery space

BRATTLEBORO — The board and staff of River Gallery School (RGS), a nonprofit community organization in downtown Brattleboro, which, according to its mission statement, “provides a studio space in which students of all ages explore their creativity through the practice of making art,” recently expanded onto the lower level of the Wilder Building.

The newly renovated space at 34-36 Main St., is called RGS Main Street Studio and Gallery 34. The storefront beneath the current River Gallery School studio and offices has large storefront bay windows with natural light, river views, and wide exposure to the community.

“As the River Gallery School approaches its 40th year serving the community, the need to be more accessible physically, financially, and intellectually is paramount,” said RGS Co-Director Donna Hawes in a news release, adding that plans to expand the school's presence have been underway for several years.

The new space, which opened its doors at the Oct. 2 Gallery Walk, features a 800-square-foot multimedia studio and will become home to the RGS's Ability Arts Program, a program for individuals with developmental disabilities.

The new Main Street Studio will feature weekly printmaking, watercolor, bookbinding, and special free drop-in Saturday art-making activities and the space will be open weekday afternoons and during RGS classes and workshops.

Kim Hartman Colligan, RGS printmaking teacher, has overseen renovations and is the facility manager for the new space.

Additionally, the 200-square-foot Gallery 34 will be dedicated to showcasing individual artists and small groups, and is available to rent. October's show will feature the prints of Marty Spencer, colorful abstract mixed-media monotypes. Finn Campman's photo portraits of Gee's Bend, and a quilt from the Gee's Bend town-wide show will also be featured in the north bay window.

The expansion of River Gallery School has been made possible in part by a grant from the Doune Trust Fund.

River Gallery School was founded 39 years ago by Ric Campman and Barbara Merfeld Campman. RGS exists to help individuals with their creativity. Each season, the studio based school offers a wide variety of classes and workshops, from fundamental skills in drawing, painting, and 3-D work, to numerous special techniques. All ages and abilities are welcomed at RGS, and various fundraising activities occur to make scholarships available. For more information, visit www.rivergalleryschool.org.

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