Artists open galleries and garages for ‘Art Hop’

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(Host) Burlington’s South End is an area that’s known for its warehouse space and artists’ lofts. Friday night, the neighborhood kicks off a celebration that reflects its character – the annual “South End Art Hop.” The event features more than 40 art openings, with 10 group shows and over 300 artists displaying their work.

VPR’s Lynne McCrea has more;

(McCrea) The South End Art Hop is like a giant block party, where artists open their doors and show their work. It’s also a time when unused warehouse and office space is put to use – filled with all kinds of artistic displays.

This morning, Lorna-Kay Peal is checking on the progress of some exhibits going up in an empty office space on Pine Street. Peal is the director of the South End Arts and Business Association:

(Peal) “I think what is so wonderful is that there is such a variety. We have wonderful artist studios open up in very unusual funky places, up a fire escape, up a winding staircase, in an alley, demonstrations and exhibitions going on.”

(McCrea) There will be everything from graffiti art, to elegant gallery displays, outdoor sculpture to photography. And even some of the art work that the band Phish used at its recent summer concert in Maine. Huge metal signs and art pieces sit on display inside an old city garage.

(Peal) “It’s very large, so could be seen by the 60-70,000 fans from x number of miles away while they were on the stage. And we’re very pleased to be showing this with the support of the Phish band in town.”

(McCrea) A last-minute coat of paint goes on a small sidewalk display on Pine Street, restored for this year’s celebration. Bruce Seifer is Burlington’s assistant director for economic development. He describes the South End as “an industrial neighborhood,” and says this event is a way for people to see what businesses are doing, and what art is being created in the community.

(Seifer) “We have our arts and industrial zone, and we also have people who live and work in this area. It’s an opportunity to cross-pollinate, to see what goes on. And there’s a lot of creativity that’s going on right now.”

(McCrea) Seifer says other highlights include an art show of the late Marjorie Davis, wife of former Governor Deanne Davis, and a juried art event worth $2,000 in prize money.

For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Lynne McCrea, in Burlington.

(Host) The “South End Art Hop” is a free event that begins Friday night and runs through Saturday. Free bus service will be available through the exhibit area throughout the event.

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