During a walk in Cambridge, VT, I came across a large field with two silos in it, each painted with a different design.
I learned later that the area used to be the site of a lumber mill that closed in 2002 and that one silo was used to store sawdust, which could be used on farms in barns or for other purposes, and the other housed a kiln.
Since returning, I did a little reading and learned they were painted by artist Sarah Rutherford in 2016. The idea wasn’t universally embraced at first, but the artist said that she felt the community’s acceptance as she worked on the 36-foot silos, and a a celebration followed their completion.
Though I stumbled upon the silos while walking around Cambridge’s Village of Jeffersonville, the field is alongside two major roads, giving the silos the opportunity to be viewed by many Vermonters every day.
The project was supported through a grant received by the Cambridge Arts Council. Here’s a photo from their website of Sarah Rutherford as she worked.
I love the idea that there was contentious discussion of the future of the as-yet-unpainted silos. One of the Cambridge Arts Council members who worked on the project is quoted saying, “I have lived here all my life and have never seen such deep community involvement. Because of the controversy, people have become engaged in thinking about what we want for our town. People are talking about art and that’s a good thing.”