Art on Main is a non-profit, community-supported, artist-cooperative gallery committed to supporting the creative endeavors of individuals in our community through the exhibition and sale of art and craft, community events and outreach, and through professional development for artists.
Bristol Friends of the Arts (since renamed Five Town Friends of the Arts) founded Art on Main in 2001 as a place for local artisans to display and sell their work and to act as a community hub for the visual arts. Successful local fundraising allowed Art on Main to open in a modest space in the back of Deerleap Books at 25 Main Street in Bristol. With a staff of primarily volunteer artists and community members, the space was improved and interest in the endeavor increased. It became apparent that a more visible presence was required for longer-term success.
Art on Main formed a separate Board of Directors in 2006 to focus exclusively on gallery development.
Deerleap Books closed in 2007 and Carol Wells, the bookstore and the building’s owner, invited Art on Main to move from the back of the building into the bookstore space in the front of 25 Main Streer. With significant financial and volunteer support from the community, the move became possible and the gallery opened in its new, larger light-filled space where it has remained ever since.
Art on Main has exhibited work by almost 200 artists in every medium since its inception. Currently, 70 artists display their creative work in the gallery including at least 10 of the founding members. While the artists hail from almost every county in Vermont, about half of them live in Addison County.