Artrain USA, the nation's only traveling art museum on a train, makes its only stop in Vermont in this Century when the museum rolls into St Albans for the Railroad Days Festival in November.
Artrain, Railroad Days,
and School Programs Overview
"We have about 15 events planned to help us follow the tracks of the past to the future of Vermont's Railroad City," said All Arts Council Chair Dick Harper of a Festival that begins on October 30 and continues through November 7. The All Arts Council of Franklin County and the St Albans Area Chamber of Commerce are cohosting the Festival.
The Artrain visit is the centerpiece of a Railroad Days Festival that will fill downtown St Albans. The Northwestern Vermont Model Railroading Society headlines the railroad memorabilia and exhibits displayed at the Armory. NASA's Mobile Aeronautics Education Laboratory will be open all week. The new St Albans Historical Museum diorama will be open. A history tour of Taylor Park will present the Civil War history of St Albans. Thanks to the Vermont National Guard, there will be tours of a Blackhawk helicopter and an Abrams M1 tank.
"Every community group I know has turned out," said Heather Streeter, Executive Director of the St Albans Area Chamber of Commerce. "We'll even have a cooking contest, downtown decorations, farm market, and a flag ceremony. There are two Gate Players plays, a library event, a movie at the Welden, a quilt contest, and a Swing Dance."
The Artistry of Space exhibit on the Artrain is a collection of paintings, drawings, prints and sketches that reflect the excitement and energy of space exploration. Visitors can tour the gallery, take part in an interactive program, and meet Artrain's resident artist as well as All Arts Council artists who will demonstrate their skills.
The art is on loan from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Air and Space Museum art collections. Artistry of Space is a collection of paintings, drawings, prints and sketches that reflect the excitement and energy of space exploration.
"Here we have a sophisticated international museum that's also perfect for arts newcomers," Harper said, "Artistry of Space is entertaining and informative. We expect hundreds of kids and hundreds of grandparents to love it."
Artists such as Peter Max, Robert McCall, Robert Rauschenberg, Norman Rockwell, Andy Warhol and James Wyeth have documented the work of astronauts, engineers, and scientists beginning with the initial effort to put a man on the moon to the Mars Pathfinder Mission and the Hubble Space Telescope.
Visitors can tour the gallery, take part in an interactive program, and enjoy NASA artist Deborah Deschner Iazzo, local artists including Alice Astleford and Natalie LaRocque-Bouchard, and Artrain's resident artist Kristen Bradley demonstrating their skills.
With the Artistry of Space as the Artrain theme, the All Arts Council and the St Albans Chamber has increased the hands on experiences for students. Railroad Days will have educational tours for area schools of both the Artrain and the NASA Mobile Aeronautics Education Laboratory.
The NASA MAEL is a state-of-the-art classroom that brings new technologies to middle and high school students. Students explore the technologies of science and mathematics through "hands on/minds on" activities that model the real-world challenges of aviation. An aeronautic theme ties the stations together as participants gather the data needed to complete a cross country flight.
The Artistry in Space exhibit is more than just paintings of space or even paintings of the equipment of space. NASA commissioned artist and psychologist Deborah Deschner Iazzo of Middlesex to capture the emotional of the Challenger Shuttle Launch. Deschner Iazzo is one of a dozen artists who will offer students a chance to learn about the art and about the creative process.
"An Artrain tour lasts about 45 minutes, but the teaching units that lead up to it and the experience students have viewing the work of national artists lasts a lifetime," Deschner Iazzo said. "Railroad Days means students can combine the Artrain and the MAEL as a catalyst to integrate great art and science into their lives."
Since the inception of NASA's Art Program in 1962, NASA has invited more than 250 American artists to be involved in the U.S. space programs and to interpret space flight through art. In this creative melding of art and space, the artists have captured the spirit of space exploration.
"The Artistry of Space exhibition is exciting, because it touches all generations and gives us the opportunity to bring museum art to the nation," said Debra Polich, President and CEO of Artrain USA. "Artrain USA is about touching lives and opening doors for people and communities. For some children and adults, it's the first time they have had the experience of visiting an art museum."
Artrain USA's mission is to enhance lives and build communities. Artrain fulfills its mission by bringing visual art exhibitions and programs directly to communities that do not have access to museums or collections. Artrain USA has traveled to 44 states and the District of Columbia, delighting more than 2.6 million visitors since its first stop in 1971.
DaimlerChrysler sponsors Artrain USA's Artistry of Space national three-year tour. The New England Central Railroad is transporting Artrain to St Albans.
Thanks to a generous grant from the Vermont Department of Marketing and Tourism, and the assistance of local businesses such as the New England Central Railroad, Northwestern Medical Center, and Franklin Lamoille Bank, Artrain USA is free and open to the public; donations are encouraged.
Dick Harper, Chair
P.O. Box 1
Highgate Springs, VT 05460
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