Monuments to Now, a popular outdoor art exhibit in a hayfield in Pawlet, Vermont will be closing on May 1. Conceived of in response to safety concerns of the pandemic, the exhibit features five monumental artworks which may be safely viewed by car, but viewers are also welcome to park in the adjacent gallery parking lot and walk the mown path connecting the artworks.
The outdoor art gallery is the creation of EveNSteve, the husband and wife team of author Eve O. Schaub and artist Stephen Schaub. The first artwork “My Heart is Very Big” was installed in the hayfield across the street from their home and art studio last May, as “a gift to our friends, neighbors, and community.”
“Art helps us to make sense of the world,” Eve Schaub said. “We both felt strongly that during times of uncertainty we need art more than ever.”
Since then four more artworks have been added, including one that reaches thirteen feet in height and another that is thirty-four feet long. Photographs taken by Stephen are hand-painted with text written by Eve, and then attached to outdoor scaffolding to withstand the Vermont elements as best they can.
“In fact, they’ve defied our expectations and held up remarkably well,” Stephen says. “There has been some fading and color shift, but we take that as all part of the life of the piece.”
What began as a temporary solution to reach viewers during quarantine and isolation has evolved for these artists into a creative way to reach new audiences, bringing their art out of the gallery and into everyday life.
“Folks would make a point to stop and thank us for creating this, or to tell us they drove from two hours away just to see it,” Eve said. “It’s extremely humbling and gratifying.”
Because of the overwhelmingly positive response to the outdoor exhibit they have plans to continue it.
“We’re at work right now on the next exhibit for the outdoor gallery.” Stephen explains. “We plan to have it installed by June.” The theme of the new exhibit has yet to be announced.
The free outdoor art gallery has enjoyed attention as a positive news story during a year that has held more than its share of tragedy. The Hayfield Art Gallery has been the subject of news stories on NBC Boston News at Ten, New England Cable News, WTEN Albany ABC, and WCAX Burlington CBS, as well as articles in Seven Days, the Rutland Herald, and the Times Argus.
EveNSteve’s outdoor art gallery is free and open to the public; it is located at 671 River Road in Pawlet Vermont. For more information visit their website at http://www.evensteve.com.