The first things you’re likely to notice upon entering the BCA Center’s new Vermont Metro Gallery are Kathleen Schneider’s explosive, hanging flower-petal sculptures. The two orb-like “Bouquets” — made from deconstructed fake flowers and wire, some of it twisted into the shape of miniature helicopters — hover like floral fireworks in front of small, deep windows looking toward Lake Champlain.
In a former doctor’s office in downtown Bristol, five local artists are making their mark: Karla Van Vliet, Lily Hinrichsen, Basha Miles, Rachel Baird and Katie Grauer. They call their new collective ARTSight.
Stephanie Walker says she ended up in the art world by chance. An Essex, Vt., native, she studied sociology in college and got her first gallery job, in the ’90s, because she happened to be savvy with computers.
“I tripped and fell in,” she says with a smile. But the 38-year-old art dealer and owner of Walker Contemporary, the seasonal gallery she opened in Waitsfield last spring, also happens to really love art.
“Sleep with your art.” That’s the tagline of ZoneThree, Rachel Baird’s salon-style modern art gallery in Middlebury. The implication is twofold: Consuming art should be an intimate experience; and don’t just browse the paintings and other works on display — buy them.
Baird knows the pleasures of living amid great artwork. ZoneThree isn’t just a gallery; it’s her home. The spacious, high-ceilinged loft is the only residential unit on the top floor of a Marble Works building that houses, among other offices, the Orton Family Foundation.