Bellows Falls, VT (May 3, 2022)—Today, Bellows Falls designates the month of May as “May, Art Month in Bellows Falls,” a town-wide celebration to build awareness and appreciation of the arts and businesses throughout the town from May 9 through Memorial Day Weekend. May, Art Month in Bellows Falls will highlight the arts and the cultural community, as well as the entire town including local businesses, creative entrepreneurs, and artists.
“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,” says Robert McBride, founder, and director of The Rockingham Arts & Museum Project (RAMP).
“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 twenty-five years, The Rockingham Arts and Museum Project (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.”
Betsy Thurston, executive director, Bellows Falls Downtown Development Alliance (BFDDA) says:
“The Month of May is a great time to think Spring, Shop Local and support local artists. Meet talented folk around the region, enjoy artisanal coffees, pastries, local food and walk the labyrinth. Find your new favorite spot in Bellows Falls and Rockingham.”
The May, Art in Bellows Falls celebration kicks off with an exhibition at Flat Iron Cooperative, 51 The Square, of local artisans, all of whom are participating in the 30th anniversary of the Vermont Crafts Council’s Open Studio tour on Memorial Day weekend. This year the annual tour boasts 150 artists and galleries putting their studios on display throughout the state. Studios are open from 10-5 both Saturday, May 28, and Sunday, May 29.
Come the end of May, 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.
Bellows Falls is a walkable community. It is a short walk between the downtown and 33 Bridge St. Around the downtown Square are additional artists participating in the weekend, including the studios of Phyllis Rosser, Robert McBride and Mindy Fisher, as well as the River Artisans Cooperative, and Canal Street Gallery.
Give yourself time to grab lunch or a snack at Moondog, Rockingham Roasters or Flat Iron Cooperative Café. Village Square Booksellers and Arch Bridge Books and as well J&H Hardware and Halladays are all worth checking out. The Bellows Falls Opera House shows movies on the big screen with surround sound. Wunderbar offers fine dining in the evening.
BFFDA is working closely with local businesses to engage residents and visitors to explore the work being created by local artists and to promote “BF vibe”. BFFDA will post all community events participating in the May celebration on their website: 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: www.facebook.com/ArtinBellowsFalls/
Bellows Falls is also partnering with nearby Main Street Arts in Saxton’s River with its own Open Studio Info Center for Vermont Open Studio Weekend that will include several craft vendors, the core being organized by regional homeschoolers and other children, and include work done by crafters who may not have another venue to display their work. Also, parallel events include a tag sale, plant sale, fire pit, snacks and drinks, music and/or creative community work, coordinated by Main Street Arts.
For more information about May, Art Month in Bellows Falls go to: www.facebook.com/ArtinBellowsFalls/
For more information about the Vermont Crafts Council’s Open Studio Weekend with 150 artisans and galleries participating, go to: www.vermontcrafts.com/visit-open-studio/