Joann Erenhouse

SAVE THE DATE : July 19. Where? Colgate Park in Bennington. Check www.Catamountprowl.com for more details on the upcoming live auction party known as the Catamount "Midsummer Night’s ProwI & Auction." This is going to be a wonderful event under the stars. We will be taking bids that night on the fabulous Vermont mountain lion sculptures that we have all become so fond of. These are amazing works of art done by a number of well-respected local and regional artists. Proceeds will be going to our artists, chamber community programs, and to local cancer research.

The 19th year of Art of the Animal Kingdom is on view at The Bennington. It is that time of year again - time for artists from around the country to convene in Bennington for one of the country’s finest wildlife art exhibitions. Artists from coast to coast will be at The Bennington Center for the Arts this weekend, June 14, as the galleries fill with more than 85 bronzes, paintings and drawings of animals, domestic and wildlife.

Opening events for Art of the Animal Kingdom will take place Saturday, June 14, during which time lectures, a gallery walk and entertainment will take place. Rosetta will be in attendance over the weekend and will give a critique of the work as well as a talk on her collection of work.

Other shows that will be on exhibit this weekend include the Oil Painters of America National Exhibition and The Small Works Show. Artwork in all three shows is for sale. Go to www.TheBennington.org or call 802-442-7158 for more information.

The Bennington Historical Society will host a discussion of Col. William Marsh, "Vermont Patriot and Loyalist," presented by noted authors and historians Doctors Jennifer and Wilson Brown. Sunday, June 15, at 2 p.m. in the Ada Paresky Room of the Bennington Museum. The event will be free and open to the public, and there will be fabulous door prizes. For more information visit benningtonmuseum.org/bennington-historical-society.

Hildene will be hosting a Community Day on Sunday, June 15. General admission is free on this day. There is an additional charge for the 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. guided tours. Bring your walking shoes so you can visit the many venues that The Lincoln Family Home has to offer: House and gardens, Welcome Center and The Museum Store, Pullman car, Sunbeam, Rowland Agricultural Center at Hildene Farm, and twelve miles of scenic woodland trails.

All visitors must check in at the Welcome Center where they will receive a sticker. All are encouraged to bring a picnic, stay for an hour or spend the day. This is Hildene’s way of thanking the community.

Award-winning Chefs to Host Localvore Culinary Workshop at Southern Vermont College and Sodexo will host a one-day culinary "localvore" workshop on Friday, July 18, hosted by award-winning regional chefs.

This two hour-workshop, followed by a gourmet lunch with beverage service, is sponsored by Southern Vermont College and is open to all individuals with a curiosity for preparing New England food using local ingredients.

The cost is $75 per person, which includes the class, gourmet lunch and beverage service along with recipes and a gift. Participants may choose to attend one of two sessions: 10 a.m. to noon or 1 to 3 p.m. Both sessions include a group luncheon from noon to 1 p.m.

Registration is required by July 2. Contact Kelli Cressy-Gassaway, dining services general manager, by e-mail at Gassaway@svc.edu or 802-447-4024. Payment may be made and mailed to Southern Vermont College, Attn: Kelli Cressy-Gassaway, 982 Mansion Drive, Bennington, VT 05201.

On Saturday, June 14, from 7 to 9 p.m., please attend the silent auction at St. Peter’s Church at the corner of School and Pleasant streets. Tickets are $5. Enjoy beverages and dessert.

Remember to stop in to the Chamber Office and purchase your "Pink" Catamount Raffle Tickets. This supports Local Cancel Research. The winner can take it home or donate it to a medical center. The winner will be drawn at the A Midsummer Night’s Prowl & Auction on July 19.

Have a great week.

Joann Erenhouse is executive director of the Bennington Area Chamber of Commerce. Her column appears weekly in the Banner.