The Vermont Institute for Contemporary Arts Is Coming To Chester, VT

Written by:  Joseph E. Milliken, 
Publish Notes: 

Valley Business Journal Chester, Vt. April, 2011

The Vermont Institute for Contemporary Arts Is Coming To Chester, VT
The Vermont Institute for Contemporary Arts Is Coming To Chester, VT

CHESTER, VT.-The Vermont Institute for Contemporary Arts(Vtica)in Chester was realized last year and is the creative dream of colleagues Robery Sarly and Abby Raeder, who have a vision to help breathe life into and enlighten the South Central Vermont arts community. “We have been living in Andover(near Chester)for over a decade and realized that somehow, something was missing from this part of the local Arts community,” Robert Sarly said in a recent interview. The center is currently being constructed at 15 Depot Street, and is currently targeting a summer “soft opening.”

Photos courtesy of Vtica

“Chester is simply essential New England… charming, with a town green and many quaint inns, restaurants, crafts and antique outlets, and great proximity to some of the finest foliage and skiing in New England,” Sarly said. “Also, all around the Chester area there are scores of brilliant artists who had come to inhabit the raw beauty of the Green Mountains and simply escape the maddening crowds.” The institute will offer exhibit space and a performance stage, as well as space for artist workshops and other support facilities to encourage and promote creativity.”Many local artists are indeed, a little like ourselves and having found God’s green acres and have settled down to creating spiritually meaningful interpretations of their lives… and ours. Created in stone, on canvas and fabric, in colors and textures that seduce the imagination and remind us of the deeper meanings of life that is all around us.”

One of the focuses of Vtica is to provide local artists the creative center to reawaken us with deeper meanings, and have assembled a wide circle of interested supporters including watercolor and acrylic artists and oil painters, sculptors and craftspeople, live performance artists, local business leaders, in keepers, restaurateurs and others. “These are the avant garde of the new creative economy that Vermont needs to stimulate a revitalization of not just art, but the broader business community as well,” Sarly said.

Another of Vtica’s focuses is to help bring people back in touch with the power and meaningful spirit of the creative imagination. “We all have this aspect buried within our hearts and souls, but it has sometimes been suppressed or forgotten in the business of our modern, materialistic life. Vtica offers us all a place to experience and learn how important the imagination can be to survive in modern life.”

Vtica will serve and assist artists and anyone interested in exploring new ideas, or to view the various works on display, see a scheduled performance or to seek available instruction. “The impact of Vtica will grow through networking with all people with an artistic sensibility, along with other galleries, museums and art schools,” Sarly concluded. “Especially those on the State of Vermont Arts Trail, that crosses through the middle of Vermont from New Hampshire to New York.

“In our own modest way, we intend to change the world for the better by bringing the creative imagination back to the heart of life experience. We will feature local, Vermont artists, but all artists will be welcome, and the cross-fertilization of contemporary art ideas and techniques from around the country and the world should make the Vtica even more exciting than a local art gallery or museum would otherwise.

“There are already many artists who satisfy the market for classic bucolic transcription; what Vtica is trying to support is more cutting edge. We intend to strengthen and make accessible the kind of artistic interests that are more reflective of the spiritual. This is a journey of self-discovery.” To learn more about the Vermont Institute for Contemporary Arts, visit their web site at

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