Winter holiday visitors to Brattleboro will find that the Vermont Artisan Designs Gallery welcomes them with an unusual collection of quality fine art and American-made craft as well as warm hospitality."We're off to a great New Year here in Vermont! We've had lots of snow, an early January thaw and back to more snow, just in time for the Martin Luther King Weekend! Here at Vermont Artisan Designs Gallery, we're enjoying January. And, we're looking forward to a fabulous February as we begin to celebrate the gallery's 40th anniversary," said Greg Worden, who along with his wife, Suzy, own the Main Street gallery which features the works of more than 300 fine artists and American craftspeople including jewelers, potters, woodworkers and glassblowers."For those of you who are coming up for the holiday weekend and also for those who will be partaking of the exciting events in Brattleboro during February, we've teamed up with one of downtown's newest eateries, the Whetstone Station Restaurant and Brewery, to offer you a taste-tempting offer, a free appetizer. Simply visit the Gallery and ask for your coupon."February's Gallery Walk in Brattleboro, starting at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 1, will feature more than 30 art openings around town.At Vermont Artisan Designs Gallery, works by young portrait artist Juan Jr. Ramirez will be featured. Ramirez, who continues to teach himself and others from notes he compiled about the painting techniques used by John Singer Sargent, will display several new commissioned portraits as well as some smaller works. Also featured in February are paintings by Deborah Lazar, Carol Gobin, Paul Stone, Jeanette Staley, Jim Murphy and Dane Tilghman and several High Street Painters.As usual, a portion of sales of the featured artist's work will go to a local not-for-profit agency. For February, the recipient will be the Windham County Heating Fund. Live music during the reception will be provided by Jon Mattthew on the gallery's Yamaha baby grand piano. Jon Matthew also has a new CD of his piano stylings.Other February events of note in Brattleboro are Valentine's Day, the Brattleboro Winter Carnival and the Harris Hill Ski Jump."You'll find our wide array of jewelry - in a wide variety of media by Ed Levin, Frank Reubel, Michael Michaud, Silver Forest, Lori Presthus, Kathleen Frazer, Susan Samitz and more -- makes the Vermont Artisan Designs Gallery a natural place to find a stylish and exciting gift for your Valentine," said Worden. "There's still plenty of time to order something special from our website, http://www.vtart.com, as well. We'll be adding new items daily."This year marks the 57th year of the 10-day Brattleboro Winter Carnival! Plenty of things again this year to keep you entertained both inside and outside during the school vacation week. Ski during the day; attend other activities in the evening.There's ice skating, sleigh rides, a Carnival Queen pageant, cross-country skiing, junior Olympics, a variety show, sugar on snow, a figure skating show, a chili cook-off, a children's concert, outdoor fun day, an 80's dance and more! See BrattleboroWinterCarnival.org for a complete listing of events.And, just a few blocks from downtown, the Harris Hill Ski Jump, the only Olympic-sized, 90-meter ski jumping hill in New England, will play host to its annual two-day ski jumping event Feb. 16 & 17. This year's event will be the only domestic stop in a nine-event International Skiing Federation (FIS) competition schedule, and will also serve as a stop on the United States American Ski Jumping (USASJ) series.Founded in 1922, the annual jumping competition held on Harris Hill attracts several thousand spectators each year not only to watch local jumpers reach great heights but also to view world renowned jumpers soar in the sport of ski jumping. In 2009, the jump was completely rebuilt in accordance with FIS specifications.The two major competitions, merged in with the annual Pepsi Challenge and FrEd Harris Memorial Tournament, will draw the best male and female ski jumpers from across the globe to Brattleboro, including those fighting to earn a spot on their respective 2014 Winter Olympic teams.Competition each day will start at noon and will conclude by 4 p.m. A family event, Harris Hill Ski Jumping Competition weekend includes opening ceremonies, appearances by Jumper the mascot, food and drink vendors, a bonfire and more.Vermont Artisan Designs Gallery invite all to visit when in Southeastern Vermont and see first-hand the quality of the workmanship on display. Whether it be oil paintings, watercolors, egg temperas, acrylics, jewelry, pottery, blown glass, wrought iron, clocks, pewter, turned wooden bowls, hand-crafted furniture including a comfortable rocking chair that conforms to whoever sits in it, paintings, photographs, sculpture, lamps, scarves and fiber arts, or hand-fashioned wedding and commitment rings, Vermont Artisan Designs is a gallery not to be missed.Vermont Artisan Designs is open seven days a week at 106 Main St. in Brattleboro, a town recently voted the No. 11 best small town in America by Smithsonian Magazine and voted in the Top 25 best arts towns with populations under 100,000 by readers of American Style Magazine.
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