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VPR's coverage of arts and culture in the region.

Changed By Irene, Southern Vermont Artists Host Weekend Tour

Leonard Ragouzeos
Artists gather at The Old Schoolhouse in South Newfane, the starting point for this weekend's Rock River Open Studio Tour.

The impact of Tropical Storm Irene is still reverberating in the arts community. The 2011 storm ravaged homes and studios in the Rock River Valley in the area around South Newfane.

This weekend’s Rock River Artists Open Studio Tour features 17 artists who will welcome visitors to  what for some are re-imagined studio spaces.

Not only did some artists have to rebuild their studios, they rethought their approach to creating their work.

Photographer Chris Triebert, whose home and studio were damaged by Irene, spent two years trying to figure out what kind of visual project would reflect the emotions she wanted to express following the storm.

Her new exhibit is called "Geo-Morph," which she says represents the experience of "feeling the earth move under my feet." She says Tropical Storm Irene really opened her eyes to the impermanence of nature, and how it can heal itself.

Roger Sandes is the coordinator of the Rock River open studio tour. He says that with nature regenerating, "Let's make more art. That's our answer to the devastation. Spread more beauty."