Middlebury Studio School purchases new home
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury Studio School last month purchased the Route 7 building it has rented for the past year and a half, securing a permanent home for the nonprofit community visual arts school.
On Dec. 15, Barbara A. Nelson, Llyn Rice and members of the Middlebury Studio School board of directors took ownership of 2377 Route 7 on behalf of the school funded by an anonymous grant.
In February of 2009, the Studio School was established by former art instructors, staff and friends of the Vermont State Craft Center at Frog Hollow, which had brought community arts education to the area in 1972. When Frog Hollow closed in Middlebury, Middlebury Studio School stepped in to continue arts education for all ages and abilities in Addison County, occupying the downstairs at the former Craft Center on Mill Street. The school has steadily grown since inception, serving more classes to diverse populations. Because of these successes, the board has elected to take this next step in the evolution of the school toward a full-fledged visual arts community center.
Kathy Clarke, long-time clay artist/instructor and board member, recently organized a committee to visit and research other more developed art centers in the Northeast.
“I want to dream big for our community,” Clark said. “Visiting these amazing facilities and learning how other communities have invested in the future of creativity inspires us to want that for our area.”
Middlebury Studio School rented 2377 Route 7 South when it moved from Mill Street in March of 2015. The existing building is very suitable for clay programs. Future fundraising plans include the addition of a well-designed fine arts studio to the main building. The kiln and glaze mixing are housed in the garage, formerly Pleasant Hill Farm Market.
The board is raising money to replace the aging gas kiln, and plans to winterize the building and add a potter’s studio.
The studio school is funded by community support and participation and invites community involvement in the future of the school. More information on the school and its class offerings is online at middleburystudioschool.org.