The first annual Slideluck Mad River Valley was a great success. We hosted between 40 and 50 people at the Knoll Farm, with 4 of the selected 16 artists able to attend. Guests arrived slowly, making their way to the venue through a short lantern lit path in the woods and down a trail through the blue berry bushes. We were blessed with a perfect Vermont summer night, early morning thunderstorm broke giving us a dry 75 degree day and a soft cloudy sunset. We delayed moving everyone into the barn for the show by 30 minutes so that we could sit by the fire on the hillside and enjoy watching the sunset over Valley while the resident Icelandic sheep and alpaca grazed in the pasture below us. Picturesque would be an understatement.
The Common Man restaurant hosted the bar outside, serving french rosé and the locally made Citizen Cider along side Brooklyn Brews. Most of the potluck dishes were literally garden fresh – there was a variety of cucumber salads, garden slaws, quinoa & pasta dishes made with vermont corn, vermont sweet onion, vermont squash and zucchini, vermont heirloom tomatoes and vermont cheeses. There was fresh baked bread from the local baker Green Rabbit, and salted butter from the farm up the hill – Ploughgate creamery at Bragg Hill Farm, and sweet corn from the Neill Farm in the valley below. The crowd favorites were Pork Satay with white rice, and key lime pie from the East Warren Community Market. By the end of the meal almost everything was gone from the pot luck table, with most people taking seconds and thirds. Some guests ate outside at picnic tables along the foot of the blue berry field while others shared one long community table in the barn running the length of the loft.
At dusk we made our way into the first floor of the barn and sat together in the eclectic couches, chairs, sofas & benches collected by Peter & Helen at the Knoll Farm and enjoyed the show. The crowd hummed together with quiet exclamations and ended with bright giggles at the last two artists Shawna Gibbs & Rob MacInnis light hearted photographs. We took a short intermission and everyone went back outside to refresh their drinks fireside under the starry night. After recollecting ourselves in the barn our juror Romke addressed the group, and awarded three jurors awards – Pascal Amoyel and Raissa Venables each received a copy of Mossless 3 for their great work, and Rob MacInnis won both issues 3 & 4 for his amazing photographs from “Dog & Pony Show”. Romke shared a video of Mossless 3 America 2003 – 2013 and took questions from the audience. As we departed a handful of local volunteers arrived to return the barn to normal and the guests & artists made their goodbyes. Many of the guests who travelled from around New England & New York thanked us for the invitation to such a beautiful event at such an amazing place. The many Mad River Valley locals who were able to attend have called and written with gratitude to the local Slideluck team and our event sponsors for bringing such high quality art work to our little community and keeping attendance free.
The first Slideluck MRV was a certainly memorable we and are excited and encouraged to plan next years show. Some people have suggested a special winter sports edition, we better get to work!