For Immediate Release: April 19, 2017
Contact: Shannon Kennelly, NeighborWorks of Western Vermont – (802) 797-8606
Steve Costello, Green Mountain Power – (802) 793-4031
Pop-up art gallery issues call for artists
NeighborWorks, Foley, GMP partner on unique downtown store
A group of Rutland boosters are hoping to use a pop-up gallery to raise local artists’ profiles and add to the growing art scene that includes multiple galleries, murals and a planned series of sculptures in downtown Rutland.
Organizers this week issued a call for artists for the new pop-up gallery, which will feature a rotating mix of art and artists over the next four months. The gallery, to be located downtown, is a collaboration between NeighborWorks of Western Vermont, MKF Properties and Green Mountain Power, with support from the Chaffee Center for the Arts and Green Screen Graphics. Selected artists’ work will be exhibited free of charge.
MKF Properties is providing the space, NeighborWorks’ AmeriCorps members will manage artist relations and displays and help staff the gallery, and GMP is providing marketing, technical and staffing assistance. Green Screen is providing free design and window graphics and the Chaffee is providing staging items and connections with artists. The exact location of the shop will be decided over the next few weeks, and it will open May 27.
“This model has been successful in other communities in filling gaps in downtowns and elevating public awareness of local artists,” said Shannon Kennelly, communications and outreach coordinator at NeighborWorks. “It’s also a continuation of our efforts aimed at strengthening neighborhoods and the community.”
Three AmeriCorps members who are serving at NeighborWorks, Maggie Lambert, Liam Fagan and Bianca Zanella, are spearheading NeighborWorks’ effort. They created an application process and will help select artists, who will be featured for a month at a time. “Preference will be given to artists who live and work in Rutland County, but we’re open to artists from across Vermont depending on the local interest,” Lambert said.
“We’ve already received some applications,” Fagan said. “We hope to receive a lot more.”
Zanella said it was exciting to see the trio’s efforts result in a tangible project that focuses on community and art. “We all love Rutland, and this project is helping us express that and build on that,” Zanella said.
Steve Costello, a GMP vice president, and Mark Foley Jr. of MKF Properties, said the volunteers’ youthful energy sold them on the idea immediately. “They came to me with a good plan and a lot of enthusiasm and excitement about downtown Rutland, so when they asked for the use of some space, the only possible answer was ‘yes,’” Foley said.
Costello, who has worked on a variety of projects with Foley and NeighborWorks, including its co-location at the GMP Energy Innovation Center on Merchants Row, said the project brings together some of his favorite things. “I think downtown Rutland is a dynamic and beautiful city center, and making art more accessible in Rutland is a personal passion,” Costello said. “Art is an important and growing part of Rutland’s growth as a community, and complements the Paramount and Wonderfeet Kids’ Museum as the creative community thrives in downtown.”
Artists are welcome to submit an application to participate by May 5 at 5 p.m. The art will be displayed on a monthly rotation, so subsequent application rounds will be distributed after the selection of artists for the first month. The application is available at https://www.nwwvt.org/2017/04/17/call-artists-rutland-pop-gallery/ and on NeighborWorks’ and GMP’s Facebook pages.
A theme will be chosen organically from the received submission materials in order to curate a cohesive display. The theme will change monthly with the artists.
An opening reception will be held on Saturday, May 27, from 7 to 10 p.m. For more information, contact Kennelly at 438-2303.