Essex Junction woman creates mini art gallery

Published: Apr. 9, 2021 at 8:27 AM EDT
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ESSEX JUNCTION, Vt. (WCAX) - A trend that started out in Seattle has found its way to Vermont, and it’s all thanks to one woman in Essex Junction.

“This is the ‘Free Little Art Gallery of Essex Junction.’ I think it’s like 24″ x 16″ or something like that,” said Sarah Jerger, the curator of the tiny exhibit in her side yard.

Complete with pint-size patrons, drive too fast down Oneida Avenue and you might miss this art exhibit. “It makes everybody happy, and I think we all need a little extra happy,” said Jerger.

Inspired by Seattle artist Stacy Millrany, Jerger says she wanted to bring the idea of a free little art gallery to Vermont. “It was such a great way to bring people together, create connection, inspire people to create, and just really bring accessible art to the community,” she said.

It doesn’t have rules -- take art, leave art, or just peek in the window on a walk. It’s always open because Jerger says it belongs to the community. And the community has stocked it already. “Art from all different ages, abilities, mediums, and it, I think, creates a way that it is a judgment-free art zone, where you can create art and put it in here and people exchange it all the time and take it,” said Jerger. “Of course it’s for our neighborhood, but it’s much bigger than that. I‘ve had people from all over the town.”

It’s been open less than a week, and turnover has already been happening. New artists are dropping by daily and most importantly, non-artists. “I want people who may not have art supplies at home too, to be able to take things from here,” said Jerger. She says she just hopes it paints a smile on visitors’ faces. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, I think people are looking for little bits of joy and light and whimsy and fun, and that was this for me. I hope it brings it for other people too.”

The goal is to inspire other artists to do work similar to this and have other galleries popping up all over Vermont.

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