Holiday show and sale at 118 Elliot

Brattleboro-West Arts presents 17 artists for four days

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BRATTLEBORO — Area residents looking for the perfect holiday gift will be presented with a multitude of handmade offerings at the fourth annual Brattleboro-West Arts holiday exhibit and sale at 118 Elliot, Thursday, Nov. 30, through Sunday, Dec. 3. This year's event features an extra day of holiday shopping, as well as delicious food and live music, in the hopes of encouraging Windham County residents to shop local.

Titled "17 Artists / 4 Days," the show takes place at 118 Elliot St. It offers paintings, photography and pastels, encaustics, pottery, textiles, woven baskets, jewelry, glass and mixed media. The 2017 show opens a day earlier than in past years, with a reception Thursday evening, serving light fare and a cash bar provided by local favorite Whetstone CiderWorks from 5 to 8 p.m.

The holiday exhibit and sale continues from noon to 8 p.m. on Friday, with free refreshments offered during Brattleboro's monthly Gallery Walk, beginning at 5 p.m.

Let the good times roll

On Saturday, visitors will be able to enjoy delicious food at the Cafe followed by live music. BWA member and renowned fine caterer Sharon Myers will open a Cafe this year instead of showing her art. The menu will include: chicken soup, corn chowder, vegan Thai squash and carrot, French bread, assorted salads, cookies, apple pie and a cranberry walnut tart. Food will be for sale from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Whetstone CiderWorks will return from 6 to 9 p.m., accompanied by the swing stylings of Doctor Slow and the Chalumeau, a trio featuring BWA Coordinator and potter Walter Slowinski on clarinet and sax, Bill Conley on guitar and Jay Cook on bass.

"We're doing four days instead of three this year and are expanding the richness of the offerings to include gourmet food and live music," said Slowinski. He added, "We're aiming to create a celebratory atmosphere in a beautiful downtown space." The band has been performing for nearly 20 years as "Jazzberry Jam." They will perform on Saturday, from 6 to 9 p.m., playing acoustic sets of fun swing tunes.

Whetstone CiderWorks produces dry, food-friendly ciders from local apples. According to co-owner Lauren MacArthur, "The apples that we use, many of which are grown at Scott Farm in Dummerston, are grown specifically for cider making, and yield complex wine-like ciders, rich in tannins and acidity, with tantalizing tastes of apple, citrus, and flowers." MacArthur continues, "We're delighted to be part of the BWA event alongside many of our friends and neighbors. Like these talented artists, we strive to use local resources to create a product of beauty that reflects our idyllic corner of the world." The 17/4 event will debut their Methode Champenoise cider, a true champagne-style sparkling cider, aged and hand-disgorged. This limited-edition cider (only 30 cases were made) is a perfect specialty holiday gift or addition to a holiday party or meal.

The holiday show will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, with Sharon Myers serving brunch with quiches, chicken apple hash, salad, challah with Myers' own Purple Chef marmalades, plus desserts. Brunch will be for sale until 2 p.m.

118 Elliot Street

Formerly a laundromat, 118 Elliot, a 2,000-square-foot performing arts and music venue, opened its doors in 2015. Owners Lissa Weinmann and John Loggia, originally from New York City, were looking for a specific type of arts venue in Brattleboro but couldn't find a suitable one. In a news article Weinmann explained, "We needed space, and couldn't find the right space, so we had to make it ourselves." They worked with James Williams of Brattleboro's WFI Architects to create 118 Elliot, a multipurpose modular environment for the creative arts, education and personal events which is fully ADA accessible. 118 Elliot includes a conference room, two offices, a workshop with a loading dock, and a large outdoor backyard area, allowing for indoor/outdoor events.

'17 Artists / 4 Days'

This annual "17Artists / 4 Days" show brings BWA to the public under one roof during Brattleboro's bustling holiday retail season. The event coincides with Brattleboro's monthly Gallery Walk, as well as Holly Days, Holly Nights, the Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce's annual weekend holiday shopping event.

The 2017 exhibit includes the work of four BWA members who are new to the show: pastelist Lesley Heathcote and painters Kay Curtis, Greg Moschetti and Cai Xi, who will be showing her abstract work of mixed media, acrylic and canvas. Works by returning BWA members include paintings by Stephen Lloyd; blown glass by Josh Bernbaum; pottery by Walter Slowinski, Naomi Lindenfeld and Matt Tell; textile art by Jackie Abrams and Kris McDermet; turned bowls and furniture by woodworker Jason Breen; encaustic paintings by Walter Slowinski and Jen Wiechers; jewelry by Marta Bernbaum, Chris Lann and Jen Wiechers; and the photography of Gene Parulis.

A hooked and braided rug by Kris McDermet titled "Ni hao China!" based on a recent trip to China, makes its debut at 118 Elliot. The piece includes a glass bead made by fellow BWA member Marta Bernbaum. Alongside are photos by Gene Parulis, taken on the other side of the globe, paintings by Steve Lloyd created during a residency in France, and lanterns and lamps to shed light, by potter Naomi Lindenfeld.

BWA member Josh Bernbaum sums it up, "Drinks always taste better in a handmade glass." He said, "We, as consumers in this world of shopping at big box stores, need to remember that handmade objects for everyday use might be more expensive but because they are handmade by a local artist, they are special because they are made by our neighbors."

Founded in 2009, Brattleboro-West Arts is a group of about three dozen artists who create their art and make their homes within the watershed of the Whetstone Brook in West Brattleboro, Marlboro and Dummerston. Members represent disciplines as diverse as violin making, glassblowing, textile art, metalworking, sculpture, painting, pottery, basket making, woodworking and jewelry.     

For more information on Sharon Myers Fine Catering, visit sharonmyers.com. For more information on Whetstone CiderWorks visit, whetstoneciderworks.com. Profiles of the participating artists, as well as other BWA members, are online at brattleboro-west-arts.com. For more information, email brattleboro-west-arts@gmail.com.






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