Who We Are:
The Swanton Public Art Network (SPAN or “the Network”) was formed by a group of independent volunteers from the Swanton community.
Original Founding Members: Current Leadership Team:
Priscilla and George Connelly Priscilla and George Connelly
Michelle Nordberg Michelle Nordberg
Joanne Parah Reiter David Winchester
Janet Dimick Soavi
SPAN's chief objective is to promote art exhibits in public view within the Swanton Village and Town that showcase the talents of local artists, aesthetically enhance the community, and celebrate Swanton’s diversity and identity as a shared space created by community members. While we will have differences, it is vital that we each make effort to understand, allow, and even appreciate art that is not only familiar and traditional, but also trending and thought provoking. This volunteer group envisions that these goals can be achieved through a variety of public art mediums, starting with the return of the art boards.
In large part, SPAN members were united through a passionate desire for community healing and social acceptance prompted when Swanton's open art boards were dismantled in July 2020. For five years prior, the art boards were a positive and well-received resource for artistic expression and community enjoyment. They were a gift to the community by local artist Scott Rheaume and the Swanton Arts Council. All the art was essentially self-funded without expense to taxpayers or income to the contributing artists. In response to the 2020 social climate and community discourse, the art boards were temporarily uninstalled pending further discussions for a formalized arrangement that establishes roles and responsibilities, standards of operation and protocols to address grievances or conflicts that may occur in the future. This volunteer group answered the call to help find a way forward that included reinstallation and ongoing oversight of art boards that are installed on public property.
SPAN is excited to have a fully executed Memorandum of Understanding with the Swanton Village as of March 2021 and with the Swanton Town as of May 2022 to recognize our respective partnerships in support of public art on Village-owned and Town-owned property. In 2021, the Swanton Village Trustees approved public art board installations at 3 Village-owned locations (Swanton Beach, Marble Mill Park, and John's Bridge). At present, no Town-owned locations have been selected or installed.