Featured: Artscope, New England’s Culture Magazine

Canal Street Art Gallery: Collaboration, Culture & Community

Thursday, March 1st, 2018, 5:12 pm

12th Anniversary, Current Issue, Featured, Issue Articles, March/April 2018, Visual Arts





by Elayne Clift

Lisa Eckhardt McNealus

Lisa Eckhardt McNealus, "Unyielding Rhythm," 2014, acrylic on paper, 16” x 16” framed (photograph by Michael Noyes).

When the Canal Street Art Gallery opened its doors last November in Bellows Falls, VT, its inaugural “Group Show” of works by 18 local artists was praised by the town’s residents 

and by the larger art community of southern Vermont. Their response signaled that the gallery had succeeded in establishing an atmosphere that reflected the founders’ mission: To create a comfortable space for artists’ creativity to be experienced in “a culture that may need a more comfortable relationship with the arts,” as Michael Noyes, one of three gallery founders, put it. 

Noyes, the gallery’s director, partnered with Emmett Dunbar, a photographer and former economic developer for Rockingham Township, and Garrison Buxton, a muralist and printmaker. Both Garrison and Noyes had prior gallery experience; Noyes had the technical skills to build a gallery website, and all three founders felt the need to bring art back to the community where Noyes had shown his paintings 10 years earlier in a café space that is now home to the gallery.

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Special: Brattleboro Reformer

Opening reception for winter group show

Opening Reception for Winter Group Show.jpg

Mike Noyes, of Canal Street Gallery, straightens up the window display of artwork from the local artists on Tuesday.


Posted Wednesday, January 17, 2018 5:54 pm

Special to the Reformer

BELLOWS FALLS — There will be an opening reception of the Winter 2018 Group Show, the premier show at the new Canal Street Art Gallery. Take part in celebrating contemporary artists working in a diverse range of mediums, styles, and voices, from 5 to 8 p.m., on Friday, Jan. 19. 

Included in: Brattleboro Reformer

A year of creativity: The arts community in a nutshell (or two)

A year of creativity: The arts community in a nutshell (or two)

Photo provided by Main Street Arts Main Street Arts, in collaboration with the Town of Rockingham and numerous regional businesses and institutions, unveiled its first full-stage musical in decades last spring to appear at the Bellows Falls Opera House, "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," directed by David Stern.

Posted Wednesday, December 27, 2017 3:24 pm

By Cicely M. Eastman Brattleboro Reformer

BRATTLEBORO — 2017 was another year of creative new spaces and bold productions. New state-of-the-art venues and mind-provoking theatrical performances once again enhanced an already vibrant arts community. 

The Stone Church on Main Street underwent a makeover in renovations to improve the acoustics and revamp the church's image. Owner Robin Johnson created the new performance space using as much of the historic buildings' original materials as possible, outfitting the venue with a bar, with an end purpose to attract more well-known musicians to the area.

The building of the new contemporary trapezium heard around the world for the New England Center for Circus Arts opened early last summer. Having outgrown its Cotton Mill location, NECCA's new facility offers endless possibilities for drawing international circus festivals to town, providing even more of an economic boon to Brattleboro. 

The Brattleboro Music Center also outgrew its facility on Walnut Street, finally realizing a long-held dream for a home of its own. The new BMC campus at 72 Blanche Moyse Way, off of Guilford Street and across from the Living Memorial Park, has ample space for student and faculty recitals, two multi-use classrooms, a music library and 12 teaching studios, a studio for percussion and high-quality acoustics and soundproofing throughout. 

The new Ad Hoc Art Gallery at 23 Canal St., Bellows Falls filled a need for a stand-alone art gallery in town. As economic development director for the Town of Rockingham in 2016, Emmett S. Dunbar got the idea after talking with area artists. Artists Garrison Buxton and MC Noyes and Dunbar worked together for a centralized location to create and share art with the community. Noyes said, "Being part of a brick and mortar gallery has brought great energy to my work and online sales." 

Story: Brattleboro Reformer

New cooperative art gallery opens in historic Exner Block

New cooperative art gallery opens in historic Exner Block

Emmett Dunbar, MC Noyes and Garrison Buxton at the grand opening of the Ad Hoc Art Gallery in Bellows Falls on Nov. 17.


Posted Wednesday, November 22, 2017 2:24 pm

By Victoria Chertok Reformer correspondent

BELLOWS FALLS — Ad Hoc Art Gallery, a nearly 300-square-foot art-based business opened Nov. 17, at 23 Canal St., in Bellows Falls' Historic Downtown, with views of the Bellows Falls canal and the New Hampshire Mountains. It was a clothing store most recently but when Emmett S. Dunbar realized that Bellows Falls did not have a stand-alone art gallery, he had an idea. While serving as Economic Development Director for the Town of Rockingham in 2016, he asked numerous artists including Garrison Buxton and MC Noyes if they wanted to open a gallery. Buxton and Noyes showed up and made it happen. Dunbar said, "The gallery opening energizes us to want to do more in the space with other artists and visitors. It is so much fun." He continued, "We each have our own expectations of our roles and contributions to the gallery. I wanted to print and share my photography with people." 

Three Artists with a Vision

The micro-coop space was formed by Dunbar, Buxton and Noyes who wished for a centralized location to create and share their art with a supportive community. The history of, and present population of people with creative energy and vision in this "city-center" of rural America was essential in opening a startup like Ad Hoc Gallery. The choice to be in Rockingham was made obvious by its close proximity to the Northeast's major urban centers, as well as the area's opportunities to market to the region's year-round visitors and neighbors' alike.

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