Who We Are:
The Swanton Public Art Network (SPAN or “the Network”) was formed by a group of independent volunteers from the Swanton community. Founding members and leadership team include:
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 15, 2021 to recognize the partnership in support of public art on Village-owned property. The Trustees also approved an art board program to properly reinstall, administer, and protect at least 3 new locations (Swanton Beach, Marble Mill Park, and John's Bridge) for public art boards.
SPAN is working with the Swanton Town Selectboard to establish a similar partnership. Stay Tuned!