Gallery Walk Expands to Putney Rd.

Gallery Walk has recently been expanding up Putney Road, where artists' work is now featured in both retail and lodging establishments. This isn't because of any special initiative on Gallery Walk's part, rather because these business owners have recognized the impact that Gallery Walk is having on the local economy and the general quality of life in our region.

At Friends of the Sun, a retail shop offering products for hearth and home, art is shown over mantels in room settings where a variety of gas- and wood-fueled fireplace inserts are displayed. The Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites (a longtime Gallery Walk sponsor), Best Inn (formerly Days Inn) and Quality Inn & Suites have also realized the value of providing gallery space to local artists: their guests benefit from a little taste of what our galleries and studios are showing, and our many artists have a unique opportunity for exposure to visitors who might be inspired either to make a purchase on the spot, to contact a featured artist whose work they enjoy, or to explore our galleries in their free time. The buzz is that the FEMA conference in April has already reserved many area rooms--what better way of saying "Welcome" to strangers than having fine art from area artists adorning their inn's reception area?

We hope that Gallery Walk patrons who have focused chiefly on participating in the downtown tour each first Friday will now think about starting their Gallery Walk evening on Putney Road or consider stopping by later that night or at another time during the month to enjoy exhibits at these new venues. Neumann Studios, in the old Swedish church on Strand Ave. (off Western Ave. at Solar Hill, into Crosby, then Strand) and Max's in West Brattleboro are also longtime Gallery Walk participants well worth the extra mile or two on Gallery Walk night.

Gallery Walk organizers have agreed to help coordinate placement of art in Putney Road spaces. Please let Sharry Manning, (802) 257-5717, or Joy Wallens-Penford, (802) 257-2616, know if you are interested in participating in this program.

Three years ago, the deep of winter saw perhaps 15 active venues participating in Gallery Walk. This year, with slow and steady growth as the seasons have passed, there were over 30 venues each month. It's also exciting to see how many people come out for Gallery Walk even in the coldest months of the year. This January, the Transportation Center was filled to capacity on Gallery Walk night. What a great area to live in!��

Copyright 2005, Gallery Walk, Brattleboro, Vermont

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