Plan Your First Fall Weekend Getaway With Our Off-the-Beaten-Path Art Guide to Vermont

Planning a trip to the Green Mountain State? Take some time to seek out these hidden-gem museums, galleries, and art spaces.

Courtesy of the Bundy Modern.
Courtesy of the Bundy Modern.

As the summer turns to fall, so approaches the season of the leaf-peeper, when foliage-hungry out-of-towners flock to the country hoping to catch the changing of seasons.

Vermont, with its famed maple trees (and syrup), attracts more than its fair share of city slickers in the autumnal months. And though we love a good leaf, for us, no weekend getaway is complete without a bit of art.

To help ease the sting of summer’s end, here are a few of our favorite less-than-obvious art destinations in the Green Mountain State. 


Helen Day Art Center

Mildred Beltre, I Feel(Black) (2017). Courtesy of the artist.

Mildred Beltre, I Feel (Black) (2017). Courtesy of the artist.

Housed in an 1861 Greek Revival building, the Helen Day Art Center was born out of a community-driven project to save the historic structure. But over the years, the center has become one of the leading contemporary art spaces in New England.

“Unbroken Current,” a nuanced, six-artist exhibition, opens this fall, and offers a deep dive into how artistic narratives build over time, touching on themes from the personal and political, to the ancestral and post-colonial. It includes works by Mildred Beltre, Sanford Biggers, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Rashid Johnson, Harlan Mack, and Carrie Mae Weems.

Helen Day Art Center is located at 90 Pond Street, Stowe, Vermont.


Tilting at Windmills

Gunter Korus, Classics. Courtesy of Tilting at Windmills.

Gunter Korus, Classics. Courtesy of Tilting at Windmills.

A mainstay of the Manchester, Vermont, cultural community, this 48-year-old gallery presents an eclectic range of regional artists. In October, the gallery will open an exhibition of the work of Gunter Korus, a 94-year-old, German-born artist whose highly detailed still lifes have garnered a local cult following (and price tag to match).

Korus’s colorful life story adds to his appeal. Having lived in Berlin, Paris, and Venezuela before relocating to the Adirondack Region of New York in 1961, he is now represented exclusively by Tilting. His works are regarded for their sensual “touchability”: decadent rugs, glinting copper, and burnished wood are a few of his pictorial signatures.

Tilting at Windmills is located at 24 Highland Avenue, Manchester Center, Vermont.


The Bundy Modern

Mark Barry, A Woman in Her Bathtub (2019). Courtesy of the artist and the Bundy Contemporary.

Mark Barry, A Woman in Her Bathtub (2019). Courtesy of the artist and the Bundy Contemporary.

One of the draws of Bundy Modern is the undeniable beauty of its Bauhaus building. Built in 1962 as an art and sculpture gallery by the architect Harlow Carpenter, the building’s glass walls were intended to create a sense of fluid harmony with nature. Situated on a hilltop overlooking a lake, the view makes it a picturesque place for seeing art, especially in the fall.

Exhibitions here often emphasize the relationship between art and design and bring together Modern and contemporary industrial art, design, craft, and furniture. On view now is “Human Nature/Nature Human,” a jubilant two-person exhibition of figurative paintings by Deborah Brown and Mark Barry. 

The Bundy Modern is located at 361 Bundy Road, Waitsfield, Vermont.


Southern Vermont Arts Center

Wendy Copp, Ancestor (2018). Courtesy of the Southern Vermont Arts Center.

Wendy Copp, Ancestor (2018). Courtesy of the Southern Vermont Arts Center.

Encompassing an expansive sculpture garden, art galleries, and a performance space, the Southern Vermont Arts Center is for good reason among the most prestigious art spaces in New England.

What’s more, visitors are welcome to hike (or even snow-shoe) through the Center’s expansive grounds. This fall, visitors can explore “Contemporary American Regionalism: Vermont Perspectives,” curated by Ric Kasini Kadour, which—through landscapes, abstractions, and installations—asks viewers to consider what regionalism looks like in contemporary practice.

Southern Vermont Arts Center is located at 30 Southern Vermont Arts Center Drive, Manchester, Vermont.


Burlington City Arts

Sarah Isabell, Blue Isabelle (2017). Courtest of the artist and Burlington Arts Space.

Sarah Amos, Blue Isabelle (2017). Courtesy of the artist and Burlington City Arts.

The backbone of the arts community in Burlington, this dynamic arts center hosts exhibitions, art classes, and events that bring a global perspective to the small city, while nevertheless supporting local Vermont artists.

On view now is “Unique Multiples,” an exhibition of works by contemporary printmaker Sarah Amos, who mixes traditions of hing, monoprint, and collagraph with painting and stitch work in monumentally scaled works.

Burlington City Arts is located at 135 Church Street, Burlington, Vermont.

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