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Visual Vergennes

State of the Arts


Creative Space Gallery
  • Creative Space Gallery

Another week, another art gallery. Seriously, it seems we’re always hearing about a new visual art venue popping up, and with the requisite “economy be damned” attitude. Then again, there’s never been a particularly great time to launch a gallery in Vermont, so why not now?

This Friday, an intrepid group of artist-entrepreneurs in Vergennes puts its collective toe in the water with the grand opening of the aptly named Creative Space Gallery. Tucked between the Black Sheep Bistro and Everywear in a Main Street building owned by Deidre Barbeau, the venture is just the latest addition to a creative-economy renaissance in the “smallest city.”

About a dozen artists, so far, are members of Creative Space — following a model similar to that of 215 College Gallery in Burlington — and they are applying for nonprofit status, according to spokesperson Eloise Beil. “The conversations just began at the beginning of August,” she says of the “whirlwind” development. “We wanted to get it together for foliage season.”

Beil is a 22-year resident of Vergennes and the director of exhibitions and collections for the nearby Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. She suggests rotating exhibits at the new gallery will attract both locals and visitors. “We decided on our [evening] hours to make it accessible to people coming to town to dine or go to the Vergennes Opera House, for people who come in on their boats,” she explains.

The gallery has three distinct rooms that will allow for overlapping shows as well as events — the group will begin offering art classes and related activities this winter. “We’ve already been approached by people,” Beil notes. “We’re open to ideas from both members and others in the community.” The gallery opens with a reception and group show this Thursday.