VAE and BBC Revitalize The Window Works ProjectÂ
BENNINGTON, VT â€” The Vermont Arts Exchange (VAE) and the Better Bennington Corporation (BBC) once again team up to dress up downtown windows by reinstituting the Window Works Project. Window Works now seeks downtown vacant storefront windows and work for exhibition from local artists.
Initially established in 1998 between the BBC and VAE, Window Works has coordinated and installed numerous art exhibits in Bennington storefronts, showcasing the work of prominent and emerging local artists. Towns in New England and all across the country are implementing similar projects to capitalize on the mutual benefits of pairing vacant storefronts with quality local art and artisan crafts. The results increase the appeal of the vacant buildings, inviting potential renters, while local artists get a boost in exposure.
With the help of members of the BBC Arts Committee, the Window Works Project has been revitalized and will begin its first â€œwindow exhibitionâ€ currently on display in the Nichols building (popularly remembered as the former Panache location), with watercolor paintings by Bennington artist Tony Conners and quilts by Wendy Sharkey.
Conners, a committed watercolorist, follows the traditions of many early masters of the medium while incorporating bolder elements from the modern approach. His watercolor paintings exhibit a range of representational expression, but common to all is a concern for the quality of light and its effects on form, color, and texture. His recent works are a diverse mixture of subject matter, including rural landscapes, seascapes inspired by the rugged New England coastline and intimate portraits of life among the blossoms of a summer garden. A native of Winchester, Virginia, Conners works from his studio in Bennington.
On exhibit adjacent to Connerâ€™s window is the quilting work of Wendy Sharkey. Formally trained as an engineer, Sharkey says she has always found artistic release in needlework of all sorts, although it was not until 14 years ago, when she moved to Vermont, that she began to quilt. Mainly self taught, Sharkey regards of quilt design as an opportunity to problem solve. One of the principals to which she holds fast is that each quilt should be pleasing to the eye; a quilt is never truly finished until she is happy with it. Her pieces are all inspired by family and friends, using their favorite colors, seasons and hobbies to launch the initial idea. With so many different compositions, her collection may seem somewhat eclectic, but variety is the spice of life!
Sharkeyâ€™s quilts have been previously displayed at the Bennington Quiltfest, where she has received several ribbons for her work.
Downtown Bennington landlords and area artists interested in more information or application forms for Window Works can call John Shannahan
802-442-5758 or Matthew Perry at VAE, 802-442-5549.
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Bennington VT, Community Information, Press Release