To Visit This Vermont Art Gallery, Pack Cross-Country Skis or Snowshoes

The Highland Center for the Arts installed a new outdoor art gallery to encourage physical activity and enjoyment of the arts during the pandemic 

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A new offering from a nonprofit in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom will have you experiencing art in a whole new way—because you’ll also be getting a workout.

“Getting outside, getting exercise, and looking at art can help shift your perspective,” said Maya McCoy, the curator of the new open-air gallery at the Highland Center for the Arts in Greensboro.

Visitors to the outdoor gallery are encouraged to bring cross-country skis or snowshoes to make their way through the art trail.

“We wanted to come out earlier in the season, but we were waiting for good snow,” said Carol Fairbank, who visited the Highland Center Monday. “It’s a really easy way to distance, so I feel it’s a safe outlet right now during the pandemic.”

The trail is free to visit from dawn to dusk, though some patrons choose to make a small donation to the Highland Center.

On weekends, the destination provides bonfires and runs a food window at lunchtime.

The cross-country and snowshoe trail expands on an offering from last summer and fall that saw art installed on a walking path at the Greensboro property.

The winter version is a nearly 2-mile loop winding onto an organic herb farm next door, with sculptures, banners, and other creations sprinkled all throughout.

“Even on a gray day, we have these pops of color along the trail, and I think that’ll brighten anybody’s day,” McCoy said.

There is renewed interest a natural outdoor wonder in Vermont amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Highland Center told NECN & NBC 10 Boston it really wanted to find a way to stay open to the public, even while COVID-19 is creating so many challenges for traditional indoor operations.

“We had to have a hard look at what art would be like during the winter months in Vermont,” said Keisha Luce, the executive director of the Highland Center for the Arts. “We wanted to engage with our community and engage with the artists in our community and give them a spotlight. It’s probably something that we never would’ve thought of if it was not for the pandemic.”

The nonprofit hopes its new attraction more deeply connects art lovers to the outdoors, while exciting outdoors types about art.

“It’s a perfect fit for me,” said patron Jake Lester, who said he has long enjoyed the mix of nature, physical activity, and art—through photography, in his case. “It brings a lot of different people, I think, to a shared experience.”

Click here for more information on visiting the open-air gallery at the Highland Center for the Arts.

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