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BENNINGTON — Looking ahead to brighter days, Bennington Museum asked 25 contemporary artists from the region one question: “What is your vision for the future of Vermont?”

Their responses will be presented in the exhibition “Vermont Utopias: Imagining the Future,” which opens Friday, Nov. 27. The exhibition is part of “2020 Vision: Reflecting on a World-Changing Year,” a statewide initiative of the Vermont Curators Group, and the museum’s annual Festival programming.

“Vermont is strongly associated in the collective consciousness with idyllic visions of a rural past,” the museum notes. “But what about our future, especially in the midst of an international pandemic and a national reckoning with systemic racism and social injustice? Can technology solve some our current problems and bring us into the 21st century and beyond, while maintaining our state’s rural identity? The art in this exhibition will help us all envision the possibilities, good or bad, that we can look forward to as we adjust to new norms.”

The exhibited artwork will be offered in a closed-bid auction, with the proceeds divided equally between the artists and the museum. Bids placed on items in this auction will be seen only by museum staff on the bid opening date. The opening bid on each piece will be decided by the artist.

The auction will open at 10 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 27, and close at 4 p.m. on Dec. 21. Each bidder will be required to fill out a bid card, which will be dated and sealed in an envelope and placed in the secure receptacle provided at the entrance to the exhibit, or an online bid form.

After the bidding closes, the bid envelopes and online bids will be recorded with two people present. The person with the highest bid for each work of art will be declared the winner and be contacted for payment and to arrange a pick-up time by Jan. 15. In the event of a tie, the bid placed first will be the winner.

In place of its annual winter gala, the museum will host a Virtual Trivia Night Benefit from 7-9 p.m. on Dec. 12. Organizers promise that the event will offer “good company, good competition, and good cheer with our resilient Museum community as we celebrate the coming of a new year, full of potential, together.”

The trivia night will test participants’ knowledge of history, art, and the region, while celebrating the coming of the new year with friends. Proceeds will help to support the museum’s community and educational programming in 2021.

For more details about the exhibition, the auction and the trivia night, visit www.benningtonmuseum.org.


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