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BRATTLEBORO — For the last Gallery Walk of the season, director Erin Scaggs is focusing on where it all started: the galleries.

“This season has been so full of creativity, new ideas and programming, expanding on the past iteration of Gallery Walk — making it more expansive, eclectic and accessible. But at the core of this program are the galleries,” Scaggs said Wednesday.

The downtown arts celebration, held on the first Friday of the month, has grown into a street fair, featuring a flea market, live music, community art-making and food. The last Gallery Walk of the first fully in-person series since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic concludes this Friday, in downtown Brattleboro, with festivities lasting roughly between 5 and 8 p.m.

On Friday, there will be a total of 22 walkable exhibits, Scaggs said. Featured artwork includes a bench by Zach Weinberg, designed to commemorate people lost to addiction and overdoses. The artful bench, made of recycled steel, stainless steel and mahogany deckboards, was supported by a Town Arts Fund Grant and will be on display at The Collective Lounge & Bar on Elliot Street during Gallery Walk. The bench features the words “Kindred spirits” and “We remember,” and a hanging “eye” at each end, “looking out for people,” Weinberg said.

Weinberg, 50, said he lost a close friend to a heroin overdose in his 20s, so the bench has some personal meaning for him.

“I’m just looking forward to people seeing it,” he said.

Marty Griffin, co-owner of The Collective, said there will be a short introduction and talk about the bench at 5 p.m. Starting today, Griffin said all are welcome to bring photos of people they have lost to The Collective, where he will display them in the front window.

“We kind of want to build a collage of people we truly miss in this community,” Griffin said. “If we can allow somebody even two to five minutes to slow down and inspire a little sense of peace, sense of community — that is our goal overall.”

Another feature of Gallery Walk will be the photography of Ezra Distler, perhaps best known lately for his series of portraits of essential workers during the pandemic. He will have a booth in the corner of Harmony Lot, as part of Main Street Flea, an outdoor makers’ market at Gallery Walk, and his prints and puzzles of his photos will also be on display and for sale around town.

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“I’d love to encourage people to come to my photo booth because that’s kind of when I’m doing my happiest work, is bringing big crowds of people in front of my camera,” he said.

In addition to the essential portraits, another project of Distler’s to be featured is “Tiny Town,” a series of edited drone shots that make notable buildings look like miniatures. He notes that he learned this technique from other drone photographers.

“It’s a lot of fun, and people seem to dig it,” he said.

Also on Friday, artist Helen Hawes is opening her magnum opus — an exhibit in which she is selling her work dating back to the 1970s — in celebration of her moving from “drawing with materials to drawing without materials,” she said.

“I find at this stage in my life that I want to eliminate all the distractions, the time and energy spent on setting up a studio, getting the materials, having to do something with them afterwards, all that. I don’t want to spend any time on that anymore. I want to just be in the process, and that means letting go of the product,” said Hawes, 77.

Her pop-up art show is opening Friday at 141 Main St. Her media over the years have included polyurethane and slabs of oil paint, delicate pastels that bloom across paper, wads of Kleenex, ballpoint pen, wood, pencil, clay, canvas and Styrofoam. The collection also includes artwork by Hawes’ mother, Isabel, as well as joint works by those who have participated in Hawes’ collaborative drawing workshops. She mentioned one workshop she has taught that focuses on drawing without materials, and involves one person acting as the tool and one acting as the paper, “to help people get to the source material beyond the pigments, colors, brushes,” and to the “creative energy that underlies everything.”

Interactive art stations Friday will include the Theatre Adventure Touring Troupe, which empowers youth and adults with disabilities through the expressive arts, performing its show “Daydreaming”; easels along Main Street; Farm Gleaning + Veggie Art; and Conversations with Locals, featuring eight local people, including farmers and social justice leaders.

The musical guest will be The Gaslight Tinkers.

More information about Gallery Walk can be found online at