By Aaron Retherford
The Art Resource Association is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a members show at the T.W. Wood Gallery in Montpelier.
Works across a variety of media and styles were on display during last Thursday night’s reception, although the exhibit officially opened on July 21.
The ARA did not place limitations on the work for the show because according to ARA president Linda Maney, the organization believes art is in the eye of the beholder. That led to an exhibit full of artistic diversity.
Even Maney seemed a bit surprised to find certain works like a representation of a beaver dam made from paper mâché and sticks. But there were other unique works like a depiction of the title character from the movie Carrie, created using instant coffee.
Maney, who said she’s been a serious painter for about 11 years, showcased one of her paintings among the works of art that lined the main hallway at the T.W. Wood Gallery at 46 Barre St. Many of the works are available for purchase.
She said the show gives ARA members the chance to share what they have been working on.
“If you’re an artist and the only people who look at your art are other artists or yourself, it’s not fuel. It’s like if you made a film and nobody watched it,” Maney said. “Part of making art is to get people to enjoy it, and not everybody enjoys every style of art.”
The ARA’s main goal is to support and promote the art of its members in central Vermont. There is a rotating exhibit at the City Center in Montpelier, available for solo and group shows. The ARA also awards need-based fellowships for the Vermont Artist Week at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson and donates money to Studio Place Arts in Barre.
Maney said she hopes to run more workshops that will help members learn new techniques or hone their crafts.
It only costs $10 to join the ARA, so it is accessible to even the most “starving” artist. Currently, there are about 70 active members in the ARA.
The member show runs until Sept. 18. The T.W. Wood Gallery’s summer hours are Tuesday-Friday from 12-4 p.m.