Brattleboro Art Museum


Brattleboro, VT

At a recent opening I felt a large need/opportunity for the Museum to engage further with the town, to make others aware of what life happens behind those stone walls. If you establish the space in front of the building as yours, those passing through will be more aware of the Museum. This concept, will help at night, and there is a lot of night in our long winters.

This changes nothing on the main entry face of the building. A rather high tech lighting projection system will stretch the entire length of the ‘baggage wing’ of the station, coincidentally aligned with dramatic stone history of the earth’s formation currently concealed behind vines across the street- across the space that defines the forecourt of the museum.

The rock outcropping is essentially 24 feet tall, below the Holstein Building it. This concept proposes that the BMAC engages the rock face from about 8 feet above the road, above all driver’s eye line, and below the building above – to shine no light in anyone’s eyes – essentially establishing a long visual pallet, about 16 feet tall.

With the vines removed from the formative turbulent stone frozen in time – the stone BMAC forecourt would now have a visually equal force to define the space. Already an improvement.

  • Option 1: Brattleboro Museum and Art Center emblazoned across the wall- perhaps as moving letters, a thin band.
  • Option 2: Simply light the rock face, from 8 feet o 24 feet, fully engaging the space.
  • Option 3: the full 16 foot tall pallet with the BMAC stretched across it.
  • Option Infinite: Given the pallet, perhaps an invitational to artists for revolving shows, or a changing ‘billboard’ showing the life of the shows in the gallery, or who knows… and that is the point. The museum has just added another gallery, Rock Lite Gallery. That is if the rock face of volcanic or tectonic forces left by formation of our place on this globe are not enough.

Brattleboro is so elementally defined by its geography, all riding the glaciers north to south. This light On-the-Rocks will complete the valley space definition:

  • Wantastiquet Mountain
  • The Connecticut River
  • The Rail lines
  • The ridge the BMAC is perched on
  • Vernon Street
  • The Rock Face
  • Main Street

If there is sufficient interest at the Museum to encourage us, we will investigate the myriad of hurdles here, from the technical, budget, and municipal, to name a few.