Art gallery in the visitor center to visit

Capital Region Visitor Centre. Photo by Carla Occaso.

Some use the Montpellier Capital Region Service Center to ask directions and find a good restaurant. Some use it for bathrooms during the farmers market in the capital. But local artists and artisans use it to display and sell their wares. On a recent sunny Saturday morning, the center was buzzing with activity. A woman said she was from Florida and admired an antique sled on display. A Connecticut man has shared sledding stories from his childhood. And around the corner, on the walls, windowsills, shelves and other displays were many examples of the center’s featured artist, Nancy Schade. Winter landscapes, interior still lifes and autumn harvest scenes are part of his repertoire. But the most striking works of art were his bronze statues, about six in number, including a representation of a horse, a bust of Maria Von Trapp, a person snowboarding and a fanciful representation of a person sitting on the front of a horseshoe crab wearing a horseshoe crab hat. And, in the main reception room with the reception desk and display case, a small bronze baby in a bucket was on display.

Nancy Schrade’s landscape painting “The Worcester Range” is on display at the visitor center. Photo by Carla Occaso.

Seated in the main reception hall, Vermont Ambassador Meg Fuller offered a welcoming smile and answered questions. She told The Bridge that the artists have promotional shows for two months both off-season and every July through October. The pieces are for sale and all proceeds go directly to the artist.

Other artists and artisans on this late June day include NEKWood Turnings, Annie Caswell (, Tracy Gillespie (, Stephen Huneck Galleries,, and more. In addition, each new promotional display features a Vermont maple producer. The bridge saw an exhibition of Templeton Farm. This family farm, in operation since 1810, according to, is currently run by seventh-generation descendant Bruce Chappell. The East Montpellier farm operates 2,700 trees using a pipeline with a vacuum system. Much of the syrup is canned right in the sugar shack moments after it is produced. Knitted items, hand-painted wooden clothespins, a wooden rocking chair and other Vermont items are also on sale. Of course, the center also has a large selection of maps, brochures and travel guides. Information is available on maple groves, cheese factories, breweries, wineries, farmers markets, skiing, golf, camping, hiking, hunting, boating, biking, music, theater , museums, art galleries, antiques, lodging, restaurants, bookstores and shopping.

Hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The Capital Region Visitor Center is located at 134 State Street and was developed to stimulate the economic development of Montpellier to bring visitors from Interstate-89 to downtown. Call 802-828-5981 for more information.


William E. Bennett