Thu, Aug 9, 2012 10:55 AM
RUTLAND-Rutland's Art in the Park will celebrate its 51st annual
festival of fine arts and crafts put on by the Chaffee Art Center
and the Rutland Area Art Association, Saturday and Sunday, August
In 1961, Art in the Park started as a small market where just
five local artists sold and exhibited their works. Since then, the
market has grown to an estimated attendance of 8,000 to 10,000 with
100 vendors selling a variety of works from ceramics, fine jewelry,
paintings, photography, food and much more. Artists and craftsmen
are joined by a variety of musicians performing throughout the
weekend, including the Phil Henry band and the Tim Penny band.
Art in the Park takes place at the corner of Routes 7 and 4 in
Rutland from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Donations are accepted at
The art show is a juried event. Jurors will have to select from
a wide variety of authentic, high quality, handcrafted goods. Erin
Sheridan works for the company Ghostwriters Communications that has
been hired to help organize the event. Sheridan explains: "We have
experts jurors. They know what is handcrafted, what is quality-made
and what is not. We do not want manufactured, we want one of a
kind, and we want handmade. We look for one artisan working on one
product. Every media represented at the show has an expert in that
field judging the artists for acceptance."
The event is an annual ritual for locals and visitors alike.
They come to see new vendors and see what their favorite artists
have been working on.
Peak Conditions by Peter Huntoon
One of the most popular returning artists is Peter Huntoon, a
watercolor artist in Middletown Springs and a native of Rutland.
Huntoon has participated in Art in the Park for 15 years now. His
initial acceptance into Art in the Park was a major turning point
of his career.
"When I first started painting seriously, my goal was to get
into Art in the Park," Huntoon says. "It seemed like a reasonable,
attainable goal and I took five years to really hone my craft to
the best of my ability before I was accepted. I've been attending
every year since. That first public showing couldn't have been
better, I do a lot of local scenes and the public is very
receptive." Peter Huntoon is now a successful fulltime artist,
selling prints and original artwork.
A relative newcomer to the art show is Eric Oesterle is the
artisan behind the company Handcrafted by Eric. A few years ago
Oesterle decided to take his handmade hardwood cutting boards on
the farmer's market circuit and was amazed by the overwhelming
positive response he received. One thing that his customers seem to
appreciate most is that they are buying a truly local product.
"Most of my lumber is purchased from Vermont hardwood retailers.
However, I try really hard to find that 'back-woods' Vermont
farmer, who just happens to have a barn full of old, Vermont grown
hardwood," Oesterle says.
Local food artist Daniel Pol, a transplant from France who has
been living in Vermont for 25 years now, runs a small bakery in
Rutland called La Oh la la Bakery. He is a well-known fixture at
the farmer's markets supplying mouth watering baked goods and
freshly made crepes. He is also proud to get many of his
ingredients from fellow Rutland producers. Hoping for another
successful Art in the Park weekend, Pol will be selling his unique
and delicious food to hungry visitors again this year.
Demonstrations of jewelry making, spinning, weaving and
woodcarving will be going on throughout the weekend. Tim Pattillo's
demonstration is sure to draw a crowd as he shows off his skills
with a chainsaw converting reclaimed and storm damaged wood into
beautiful sculptures. Pattillo has been at his hobby for six years
but is new to Art in the Park. If you've ever wondered how those
wooden bears are made, this is your chance to see the carving in
Between the foods, the music and the wide variety of arts and
crafts available, this is a weekend long event not to miss. The
Vermont Chamber of Commerce lists Rutland's Art in the Park as one
of the top ten events statewide. Art in the Park is a twice-yearly
event. It takes place August 11-12 and again October 6-7. For more
information visit www.chaffeeartcenter.org/art_park.html