Barre City is an ideal location for SPA because it is a city that has a lively cultural history due to the many artisans who relocated to the community from Europe to carve a locally available stone, the high-quality Barre gray granite. Historically nearly all of the resource extraction, manufacturing jobs, and creative, skilled work in Barre were connected to the local stone carving tradition.
SPA has become an important regional resource for art making, learning and exhibition, and is committed to providing dynamic programs for people around central and northern Vermont. SPA offers an exciting array of visual arts classes and workshops for all ages and abilities. The Galleries always present interesting, thought-evoking exhibits by local and regional artists, and they are open to the viewing public.
Take The Art Stroll – A Walking Tour of Barre’s Granite Sculptures
Barre, Vermont is one of two cities in New England that has the distinction of being shaped by the visual arts: via resource extraction, manufacturing and stone sculpture. Barre has a world-wide reputation for its high quality carving granite and its resident population of stone carvers.
Over the years, Barre has celebrated its talents in the visual arts via three major “gateway” sculptures to the city: the Robert Burns Monument; Youth Triumphant; and the Italian-American Monument. (See map.)
More recently, a group of human-scale sculptures have been added to the streetscape of Barre through two programs supported by the Charles Semprebon Fund: the Stone Sculpture Legacy Program and the Functional Art Bike Rack Program, begun in 2011. (More sculptures will be added to the streetscape; for information, contact project manager Sue Higby at email@example.com
These granite sculptures, large and small, and the sculptural bike racks are tangible ways to familiarize residents and visitors with the skilled artisans in our region.