The Railroad Days Festival follows the tracks of the past to the future of St Albans, the Railroad City of Vermont. A visit by Artrain USA is the Festival centerpiece.
RAILROAD DAYS & THE ARTRAIN FESTIVAL
THE BIG PICTURE
Artrain USA's Artistry of Space exhibit has over 80 paintings, drawings, prints, sketches, and costumes from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Air and Space Museum art collections. 78 Artists, including Jim Alford, Deborah Deschner Iazzo, Theodore Hancock, Attilla Hejja, Peter Hurd, Peter Max, P. A. Nisbet, Norman Rockwell, Andy Warhol, and Jamie Wyeth, depict the spirit and vigor of space exploration in this collection.
Artrain USA's mission is to enhance lives and build communities by bringing visual art exhibitions and programs directly to communities who do not have access to museums or collections. Although designed with the "newcomer" in mind, the experienced museum patron will also appreciate the level of sophistication of the collection. Artistry of Space is open to the public Saturday and Sunday at the New England Central Railroad, off Market Street (a block from the Railroad offices), in St Albans. Admission is Free.
Railroad Days in St Albans will also feature an All Arts Council exhibit in the former Sherwin Williams building on Saturday and Sunday. The twenty displays include include oils by Alice Astleford, oils and watercolors by Corliss Blakely, new sculpture by Del Bransfield, Vermont photographs by Bob Brodeur, works by Linda Bryan from NVAA, watercolors by Mary Harper, oils by Patrice Havreluk-Hemingway, the intricate photographs of April Henderson, the whimsical sculpture of Diana Herder-Bennett, etchings and other works by NASA artist Deborah Deschner Iazzo, the Vermont photos of David Juaire, acrylic paintings by Natalie LaRocque-Bouchard, paintings by Donna LaRochelle, Marti Leech, and Beth Maginn, new sculpture in bronze and plaster by Ania Modzelewski, oil and pastels by Patrick Murphy, Sean Peters, Gail Salzman, and Pam Voss, and the award winning portraiture of Wayne Tarr.
Renowned Vermont artist Corliss Blakely portrays the homes, farms and antiques of her ancestors in northern Vermont in intricately detailed oils and watercolors.
NASA artist Deborah Deschner Iazzo of Middlesex, Vermont, was first commissioned to cover the Space Shuttle Challenger for the NASA art program. Her Challenger artwork is a tasteful, effective series on permanent display at the NASA Art Gallery at Kennedy Space Center.
The Gate Players will present Civil War Skits in the BFA-St Albans Theater, Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $5.
On Saturday only, the events include a Civil War Bank Raid at the Franklin Lamoille Bank, the St Albans Diorama in the Historical Museum, and a Flag ceremony in Taylor Park. The raiders will queue near the Armory and approach the bank across Taylor Park. Their escape route follows Main Street to Bank Street and then out of the City.
On both Saturday and Sunday, Railroad Days in St Albans will also feature a Farmers Market in Taylor Park; self guiding History Tours in Taylor Park; plus Railroadiana, the Northwestern Vermont Model Railroad and a quilt display in the Armory. The Vermont National Guard will offer tours of a Blackhawk helicopter and an M1 Abrams tank at Artrain USA. These events are all free.
The week long Festival celebrates art, history, and science in the aptly named Railroad City.
St Albans resident John Smith began to assemble a rail system in the 1840s. The Central Vermont Railroad moved its headquarters ti St Albans in the 1860s and expanded through the turn of the Century.
St Albans City swarmed with trains and railroad workers in the latter half of the 91th century. By 1902, 23 parallel rail lines crossed Lake Street, making St Albans the largest rail freight center East of Chicago. The 1,700 CVRR employees dispatched 50 trains daily. The CV Railroad carried manufacturing and agricultural products as well as tourists throughout the country. Workers manufactured and repaired locomotives and rolling stock; the woodworking shops could start with sawmill logs and finish entire cars. Two roundhouses handled 38 locomotives.
National rail traffic declined precipitously after World War II. The 154-year-old Central Vermont went out of business and was reorganized as the New England Central Railroad in 1995.
"We've seen a steady increase in traffic since NECR took over," said Mike Olmstead Assistant General Manager
The NECR now carries mostly forest products, lumber, and grain in 36,000 cars annually on a route map that spans from the Canadian border to New London, Connecticut. There are 92 employees today.
You can find more information about Artrain USA, the Railroad Days Festival and the complete schedule of the Artrain USA visit at the AAC web site at www-AllArtsCouncil.together.com/artrain/. NASA maintains information about the artists of Artistry of Space at www.nasa.gov/gallery/arts/samples.html
DaimlerChrysler sponsors Artrain USA's Artistry of Space national three-year tour. The New England Central Railroad transported Artrain and housed in St Albans.
Thanks to generous grants from the Vermont Department of Marketing and Tourism and the City of St Albans, and the support of Blouin's IGA, Ben & Jerry's Homemade, Chow! Bella, Clarence Brown, Comfort Inn and Suites, Drummac, Franklin Lamoille Bank, New England Central Railroad, Northwestern Medical Center, Ponchos, Price Chopper, St Albans Historical Museum, S. B. Collins, Subway, Ultramar, and the Vermont National Guard, admission to most Railroad Days events is free.
Dick Harper, Chair
P.O. Box 1
Highgate Springs, VT 05460
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