Painted picnic baskets to be raffled

MIDDLEBURY — Spurred on by nationally known Brandon folk artist and creative marketer Warren Kimble, four artists have joined him in using the wooden tops of picnic baskets as their canvases. Danielle Rougeau, Archivist of Special Collections at Middlebury College and President of the Sheldon Museum Board, has joined Warren Kimble, as well as  Brandon artist Robin Kent, Lake Dunmore artist Ashley Wolff, known for her children’s book illustrations, and Panton artist Kathy Mitchell, whose diverse artistry include jewelry, painted wood surfaces, portraits, and landscape paintings.
The picnic baskets are being raffled to support the education and exhibit programs at the Sheldon Museum on the occasion of the upcoming Pops Concert and Fireworks on July 2. The concert, sponsored annually by the Sheldon Museum, will be held on the athletic field behind Middlebury College Center for the Arts.
The images are diverse.
Photo courtesy Henry Sheldon Museum
Warren Kimble celebrates summer with a sumptuous watermelon slice and dancing strawberries atop a blue and white checkerboard surface.
Robin Kent’s painting depicts a joyous farm couple seated on blanket in their field adjoining Lake Champlain lunching on a delicious cherry pie.
Photo courtesy Henry Sheldon Museum
Ashley Wolff’s scene “Today’s the Day the Day the Teddy Bears Have Their Picnic” captures a parade led by Momma Bear with a picnic basket in one hand and a red and white checkered table cloth in the other, followed by two baby bears, one with a fishing pole and a second picking daisies.
Danielle Rougeau borrows from the well-known painting “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” by French Impressionist Georges Seurat and pictures a bucolic picnic scene atop Middlebury’s Marble Works park overlooking the Otter Creek Falls attended by Museum founder Henry Sheldon and a young family picnicking.
Kathy Mitchell has painted two baskets, the first with an image of blue Robin eggs on a nest and the second of a decorative flower and petal motif.
Each basket is filled with gift certificates, food, and picnic items donated by many local businesses. The raffle tickets are on sale at the Sheldon Museum or through its website at henrysheldonmuseum.org; one for $10 and three for $20. The drawing will be held during the Pops Concert on July 2. One need not be present to win. 
The baskets are currently on view at four locations — the Henry Sheldon Museum and Accent Travel in Middlebury, Ryan Plumbing and Heating in Vergennes, and Vermont Marketplace in Bristol. Take a chance on a prized, one-of-a-kind picnic basket and enjoy it for the rest of the summer.

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