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Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

Southern Vermont's Parade of Palettes

By Susan Bush
12:00AM / Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Suzanne Little-Stefanik's palette on Main Street in Bennington, Vt..
Bennington, Vt.- Last year, it was Moosefest, this year, the Bennington Chamber of Commerce jumped on the state arts council "Palette's of Vermont" bandwagon and expanded the event to include events specific to Bennington County.

The state event involved distribution of over 7,000 free 12-inch by 16-inch palettes cut from maple wood and over 31,000 free die-cut paper palettes to schools, artists, citizens, and entities state-wide for an art exhibit expected to cover about 9,600 square miles of the state with unique, one-of-a-kind artwork.


Another artist original palette included in a Bennington Palettefest.
The Bennington chamber palette event followed the 2005 Moosefest structure; artists were recruited to create original visions from any art medium on 53 4-foot by 6-foot pvc or plywood palettes. The palettes were revealed during a May 9 ceremony at the Bennington Center for the Arts.

Bennington Palettefest Coordinator Lindy Lynch said that the state-wide event, the "brainchild" of renowned Vermont artist Warren Kimble, is a wonderful idea that will showcase numerous Vermont artists and craftsmen.

Those involved with Moosefest intially hoped to spend the summer of 2006 enjoying a "restfest," she said, but Moosefest success coupled with the local ideas that swirled around the palette event turned "restfest" into a lost cause.

"We knew that Bennington does things bigger and better," Lynch said. "And Moosefest was so successful, especially for the small businesses. Some of our businesses reported being up 30 percent [during Moosefest]."

Palettes are now found standing along the streets and parking lots of Bennington, North Bennington, Shaftsbury, and Pownal, and a Palette of Pasta Gala Dinner and Auction is scheduled for Sept. 23 at the Bennington College.

Palette-shaped plates crafted by Mary Moore for Bennington Potters will be used exclusively at the event.

Palette artists were sponsored by area businesses, and the resulting art is displayed near the sponsoring venue.

The artist roster is a "who's who" of the regional art community and includes Adams, Mass. resident Suzanne Little-Stefanik, who was sponsored by Evans News and Bennington Pizza, Tony Conner, who is well-known throughout New England, Paula Kautz-LaPorte, owner and operator of "Paula's Weaving Workshop," Sue Kline, whose "Four Part Harmony" palette was sponsored by Bennington Subaru, Bruce Watson, who titled his clever bovine artwork "Got Paint?," Nick Garder, whose artistic imagination devised a "spirited" transparent red venue for a painted image of the Bennington Monument, Randall "Randi" Bentley, a Williams College graduate whose work is titled "Palette: Past and Present," and Chet Stockman and Gerald Butler, who teamed up to create a pictorial palette for sponsoring restaurant "All Days And Onions."

Mixed among the palettes are a few Moosefest 2005 moose; always worth another look!


Kim Wassick, whose Moosefest moose was among the festival favorites, showed the flirtatious, frolicsome side of her talents with her lively trio of high-steppers featured on "The Three Paleteers," stationed near the Panache store.

Mixed and mingled with the palettes are 16 Moosefest moose, and their locations will be documented on a Bennington chamber designed map that pinpoints the palette sites, Lynch said.

"Razzle-Dazzle Moose" is displayed at the Mount Anthony veterinary hospital, and painted moose statues are also placed at the The Apple Barn, the Top Notch Diner, Alexandra Bed and Breakfast, the Nationwide Insurance Co. building, and two moose statues are on display inside the Bennington Arts Center.

"Ben," a moose adorned with painted leaves, is holding court on the green at North Bennington, Lynch said.

"He's out there welcoming people," she said. "He's like our ambassador."

Additional information about the Bennington palette festival is available at a www.benningtonpalettefest.com Internet web site.

Information about the state palette event is available at a www.vermontartscouncil.org Internet web site.

Susan Bush may be reached via e-mail at suebush@iberkshires.com or at 802-823-9367.
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