Stuck in Vermont: Adrian Tans Draws an Audience With Chalk Art on the Woodstock Town Smiler | Stuck in Vermont | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Stuck in Vermont: Adrian Tans Draws an Audience With Chalk Art on the Woodstock Town Smiler 

Episode 690

Published May 18, 2023 at 7:30 a.m.

At the busy intersection of Elm and Central streets in downtown Woodstock, people, cars and trucks whiz by at a fast clip. But during the pandemic, Woodstock emptied out and, like many small towns across the country, became a ghost town. In spring of 2020, artist Adrian Tans co-opted a chalkboard that was once called the Town Crier and turned it into the Town Smiler. In previous decades, the board held messages about community events and it is owned by
the Woodstock History Center. Adrian began by sharing notes from the community and evolved into elaborate chalk illustrations which featured different holiday themes.

Adrian is the youth services director at the Norman Williams Public Library, which is a block away from the Smiler. In this tight-knit community, all ages flock to the board to see what chalk creations Adrian will share each month.

Eva visited Adrian on a sunny spring day to watch him working on a new piece that was inspired by spring and Mother’s Day. Community members stopped by to see the work as it progressed, tourists took photos, and children called out hello to their librarian. Over the span of five hours, the piece slowly took shape, and pops of bright yellow dandelions filled the frame.

You can follow Adrian’s chalk creations on Instagram.

Filming date: 5/11/23

Music: Patrick Patrikios, “Above Planets”

This episode of Stuck in Vermont was supported by New England Federal Credit Union.


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About The Author

Eva Sollberger

Eva Sollberger


Seven Days senior multimedia producer Eva Sollberger launched her award-winning "Stuck in Vermont" web video series in 2007. Her videos have been viewed by millions. She appears every other Friday on WCAX at 6:30pm.

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