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Deer Ridge Barns, oil on paper, by Rob Thomson.

BRATTLEBORO >> River Gallery School is celebrating their 40th birthday with a variety of events throughout the year. The next event on the agenda is the fundraisng "Off the Wall" lottery to be held at 118 Elliot on Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m. Upwards of 100 quality pieces of art are being donated by local artists, professional and student, to be awarded to ticket holders in a fun-filled lottery on Saturday.

With the new expansion on Main Street, River Gallery School board members brainstormed new ideas on how to raise funds to support the additional space. The idea of the lottery was suggested and settled upon, fashioned after the Windham Art Gallery's lottery used in the past. According to board member Lydia Thomson, they initially envisioned that 100 pieces of artwork could feasibly be donated. The board became nervous when artwork slowly trickled in, casting doubt on that figure and making them think that perhaps they needed to pare down their plans. Then the artwork started pouring in. Art from Petria Mitchell, Mallory Lake, Ric Campman, and Barbara Campman as well as the RGS faculty are among the artists represented, even board members donated pieces out of their personal collections.


The result is an impressive array of choices.

A $100 ticket entitles you to a glass of wine from Windham Wines and the pick of one ping pong ball out a basket of numerically marked balls with a number of your choosing. That ball will then be placed in the hopper of the mixing contraption built by Ross Smart and Rob Thomson. Mave Campman will serve as the Vanna White of the show, and when your number is called – choose from "Off the Wall." Come on time to preview the art before the lottery to make a list of what you want in order of preference to pick when your number is drawn. Be sure to cross off those chosen by others before you so you know what you want because you only have one minute to choose! It is possible you may not get exactly what you want, but you are sure to go home with something nice. And who knows, maybe a little swapping will take place after the lottery ends. Everybody wins!

There will also be sweets by Amy's Bakery Arts Cafe and music provided by Jeff Desjardin in the new venue at 118 Elliot where the acoustics are great. For those that don't want to be part of the art lottery, a $25 ticket will get you in to join in on the festivities and a glass of Windham Wine.

In September RGS will have their annual auction as they have for thirty years, but this year the emphasis will be on their 40th birthday celebration with an auction of big ticket items, while Saturday's lottery serves as the art component of the year.

Drop by the school at 32-34 Main St., Brattleboro, or visit to preview art and purchase tickets. Artwork is added daily.

River Gallery School was founded in 1976 as a place for children to come after school to be guided and nurtured in creativity. Now serving all ages with a full roster of classes and workshops, the school has studios upstairs at 32 Main Street and new studio and gallery space below them. It's also an accessible space that is available to the community for events and classes.

River Gallery School of Art is based on the belief that each person has artistic and creative capacities which, when nurtured, will find unique and valuable expression. Through mentoring, the school provides the techniques to develop skills, inviting the possibility of art to become a vital force in one's life.

To view the art in advance, or visit us at 32-36 Main. Tickets are limited, so purchase now on the web or at the school, For more information call 802-257-1577.

Contact Cicely M. Eastman at 802-254-2311 ext. 261.