Manchester Life 2021 | Page 51

Village Green Gallery

661 Main St . Weston , VT 05161
villagegreengallery . com instagram . com / villagegreengallery Owners – Annie + Rob Aft
Q : How did you first get involved in the Southern Vermont arts scene ?
A : ( Annie ) – I grew up in Vermont and New York City . My parents , Elaine Raphael and Don Bolognese , were both well-known artists and illustrators . I spent summers in Vermont , as well as most long weekends and school holidays . I also went to school for a few years at Flood Brook in Londonderry . Rob and I currently split our time between Vermont and California . We built a house in Landgrove ten years ago and started spending more time here . A few years later , our friends who had been running the Village Green Gallery in Weston for a decade told us that they were looking for someone to take over operations . At that point , we
already knew many Southern Vermont artists and artisans who we had met through my parents , the gallery , and the famous Weston Craft Show . Taking over the gallery was a great way to become more involved in the local community . To this day , we host a lot of community gatherings , play readings , and meetings for local non-profits and the Weston Playhouse . We ’ re proud to be a community hub here in Weston .”
Q : What goes into running an art gallery on a daily basis ?
A : ( Rob ) – One challenge that we often encounter is that many of the artists and artisans that we work with produce a limited number of pieces . Whether it ’ s ceramics , glasswork , jewelry or paintings , people tend to think that we have backup stock . A big part of our job is staying in contact with our artists and artisans to secure new pieces . We visit their studios often , so we understand the amount of hard work and time that goes into each piece . Once we went as far as to take a photographer ’ s work off of the walls of his home , and now that those pieces are sold , we have none of his work available . On the last day of the
Annie Aft with Christopher Loydd
Weston Craft Show we visit all of our artisans and collect as much of their work as possible for the holiday season .
Q : How would you describe Southern Vermont ’ s arts scene ?
A : ( Annie ) - It ’ s a regional scene , but the quality of the pieces is extremely high . I ’ m always blown away by the level of skill and mastery that the woodworkers , potters , and glassblowers bring to their work . The artists in Vermont are incredibly good at what they do , and I think that their work reflects the personality of the region . I really enjoy telling our customers about the artisans who make the pieces that we sell here at Village Green Gallery . For example , people might not know that the beautiful local spalted woods ( maple , birch , oak ) must be harvested after the tree dies but before it falls . Our woodworker sources his own materials and can go on for hours about why he uses one wood rather than another . I love to tell the stories behind the pieces — the materials , the artists and all of the skillful work and talent that goes into each one of them .
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