Open Studio: Wallingford’s newest stars

Vermont’s Fall Open Studio Weekend takes place this Saturday and Sunday across the state.

The Herald has been following a new local artist as she develops not only her style but her business.

Artist, writer and entrepreneur Stacy Harshman is the owner and proprietor of a new and interesting gallery/ community space called The Sparkle Barn, just South of Wallingford. The Rutland Herald paid a visit first when artist Peter Huntoon was laying down his brushes and picking up the bass to play with his band Tradewinds 2.0, and later when a living art project was taking shape.

“Here in Vermont we are fortunate to enjoy many unique venues that exude authenticity and charm. The Sparkle Barn has plenty and we really enjoyed playing there.”- Peter Huntoon.

part 1 of interview:





What do you do (when you are from New York City), and you can’t wait for the leaves to turn? You paint them, of course! Caught in the act, Stacy and Nicole rented a lift from a local shop and proceed to bedazzle a tree in the front yard…

“I got the idea to paint the leaves when it was still really unseasonably hot and dry and some of the leaves turned crispy and brown and had fell off without getting any color. I saw a lot of brown and bare trees. People coming through Pierce’s Store (in Shrewsbury) were upset about the hot weather and the leaves turning brown. So I thought, hey, I will paint a tree and at least we will have one tree that has color. And then of course the next night it rains and is colder and the leaves turn over night…I also thought since the leaves were going to be falling soon – and they would no longer be photosynthesizing – painting the leaves wouldn’t harm the tree. I did talk to someone who is a master gardener and she thought it would be fine. The tree looks amazing and people who come by love it and collect leaves to take home. And we’ll be making art with the leaves once they fall.”

The Sparkle Barn is one of a series of alternative venue spaces that the Rutland Herald is exploring for a piece on how these spaces support the arts and artists in the community. This is a quick look at Harhman, her store and all things that sparkle. Nicole Polec, Stacy’s friend and self-dubbed “Secretary of Sparkle,” also has lots of ideas for how the space can be used.