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Bus Start in Downtown Springfield ~ Student Art Making a Difference

January 29, 2014 in Art, Community Development, Ideas & Projects, Inspiration, Stories by Jen

Have you noticed the downtown bus stop has gotten a lot more attractive lately? We are so fortunate to have a group, Bus Start , committed to building community through student artwork in the Springfield Vermont downtown bus stop.

The first installation features 17 year old Hannah Lillie. Hannah is a local photographer and homeschooled student. She has been studying photography since the age of eight. Hannah specializes in photographing children and families, as well as historical documentation and preservation. Her work with families shows an intuitive sense of connection, and an ability to capture natural moments of play, emotion, and relationships. Additionally, Hannah’s deeply rooted local family history has instilled in her a love for, and commitment to preserving historical artifacts through the creation of visual art.
Hannah Lillie artwork
Be sure to check it out in person, show the Bus Start page some love, and give a shout-out to Hannah for her work by sharing this and other notes about her work!

— in Springfield, VT.

Hannah Lille bio
Hannah Lillie art2


Main Street in January

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Gardening… Zen… and Simple Pleasures

October 2, 2013 in Art, Farm & Agriculture by Jen

Sometimes we stumble across things that give us pause in our daily rush to “do”. These moments are treasures- a chance to take a deep breath, reflect, and embrace whatever is laying there, ready to be found. I always feel so fortunate when I stumble on simple, unintentional moments, like this one, found in a few simple lines shared by a friend reflecting on her own found moments in the garden.

Gardening has become my Kung fu…
Sometimes I go out there and just sit,

bees thrumming around my head,

toes in the dirt,

tasting the last wisps of summer

in a cherry tomato that I discover hiding behind over-grown mustard leaves.

I could spend all day in that beautiful organized chaos.

The kids roam in and out,

finding bugs to ogle and

tidbits to munch,

dried bean pods

to exhume like mummies,

and every discovery

leads to more questions –

what’s this plant?

What made this hole?

Can I eat this?

It’s just soul-satisfying, a connection to all things green and growing,

to a cycle of time that runs deeper and slower and far more intricately than anything else.

And yeah, it’s yummy.

– by Kelly Stettner

Raised bed beginning. Kelly S

Humble beginnings

Garden after 1 month- Kelly S.

And one month later, this has become a LUSH jungle! The broccoli is four feet high, the gourds have thoroughly taken over the cucumber patch, and I never did find the zucchini under all those cherry tomatoes.

Garden photo by Kelly S.Gourds on Trellis - K. Stettner Garden photo by K.S.








Armando helps harvest sunflowers. K. Stettner

Bird Prints on tarp in the Garden. - K. StettnerSpider and web in the garden by Kelly S.

American Toad in the Garden - K. Stettner

Fall Harvest- Kelly S.

~The best harvest is the smile~

 All photos courtesy of Kelly Stettner.

Do you have a gardening, simple pleasure or reflective moment you’d like to share? Please email us at or post on our Facebook page:


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Springfield High School Students Bring a Little Peace

September 21, 2013 in Art, Community Development by Jen

Today is World Peace Day. To celebrate and raise awareness, students at Springfield High School created a giant peace sign made up of hundreds of handmade pinwheels. Rolling around the corner to this delightful, meaningful surprise was a most pleasant way to start the day!

If you get a chance, be sure to check it out in person.

Springfield High School Peace Sign

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by Mindy

Artists Night Out

September 1, 2013 in Art, Stories by Mindy


We’ve been meeting every week at the Stone Hearth Inn in Chester Vermont since March, 2013. There are no commitments, judgements or other expectations. We do this every week so people will feel free to just come when they feel like it. Just come hang out with other artists and discuss whatever with whomever. We’re not trying to organize a guild, get people to teach or attend classes, or promote any cause. Our sole purpose is to try to build some sense of community and social interaction among local artists in the hopes that this will create fertile ground for further development and organization to emerge on it’s own organic way. We hope to provide the dirt where the seeds of your goals and ideas can grow.

We meet Sunday evenings at 6:30 at The Stone Hearth Inn in Chester VT. If or when that changes, we’ll post it on our Facebook page so be sure to LIKE us and stay informed.


We want our definition of artist to be as inclusive as possible. As far as we’re concerned, anyone involved at any level in any creative pursuit that can be referred to as “the arts” is welcome. This would include anyone from Michael Angelo to a farmer with a fetish for building whimsical bird houses. We already have painters, sculptors, fiber artists, jewelers, writers, musicians and even a hula hooper! The more diverse the better. Even if you’re like my mother, who quilts and weaves but refuses to think of herself as an artist, we still want you.


We’ve been meeting every week at the Stone Hearth Inn in Chester Vermont for over 3 months. Now we’re trying to find ways to step this up a notch. We want more artists to join us more often. We’re considering rotating venues to provide more access to more varied diets and more local regions. We want MORE. After all, that’s the American way, right?

We welcome all your suggestions, hope you’ll come out and join us, and of course, LIKE and SHARE this page. Keep coming back to follow our evolution. For now we meet Sunday evenings at 6:30 at The Stone Hearth Inn in Chester VT. If or when that changes, we’ll post it here first so be sure to LIKE us and stay informed.

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Beautification Efforts Underway- Call for Volunteers

July 19, 2013 in Art, Community Development, Ideas & Projects, Stories by Jen

As  I was heading up to The Commons to see the special Community Band performance Tuesday night, I noticed a group of people on Mineral Street painting the cement retaining wall.

They didn’t appear to be vandals, so I stopped to check out what they were up to.

The Mural

There I met Mona Frye (pictured below) who told me about the mural project. What started out as a project of the Community School of Vermont has expanded to a community-wide effort. Funding has been provided by a number of area businesses and organizations.

Springfield mural flags

The large mural forming tells the story of Springfield. It seems fitting that the Vermont State Flag and the US Flag anchor the mural around the corner.

As you turn, you can see symbols and landmarks from Springfield emerging. The Calvary Baptist Church welcomes visitors at one end and towards the center, the Miller Art Center hovers majestically above the town.

Flowers adorn the bottom, mixing with a splash of colorful live foliage. I was told there is a large “Springfield” sign that will be added to the center of the mural when everything else is complete.

Appropriately, a Springfield Pride sign is proudly featured. And, as the project progresses, it is easy to see some of the reasons the town has to be proud- not just because of the buildings being shown, but because of the community and volunteers who are pulling together to do something that matters to them- and helps us all remember the beauty that surrounds us.Springfield mural- flowers

Get Involved: Call for Volunteers

There is still plenty of time to get involved- they are meeting every Monday evening around 7pm on Mineral Street. Everyone is welcome, as is any extra latex paint you might have laying around.

There is also a need for anyone with landscaping skills to help clear some areas to prevent water run-off from the hill and help preserve the mural.

Mona Frye explains the mural, the process, and why they need some landscaping assistance

Mona Frye explains the mural, the process, and why they need some landscaping assistance

A Facebook event was created to provide the most up to date information.

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Art aimed at improving mental health

July 7, 2013 in Art, Community Development, Inspiration, News Feeds by Jen


art and mental health

Art and Mental Health Connections- WCAX

Artists can turn mere dabs of paint into works capable of brightening a day. For mental health patients, the process does more than fill in a canvas, it can help fill out a life.  “When you start making art, the mental illness takes a break; something else takes over,” said Bryant Pugh, a residential counselor from the Howard Center.

By Kyle Midura …read more

From: WCAX Local