Hartford Courant
By Jesse Leavenworth
Courant Staff Writer Courant Correspondent Daniela Altimari contributed to this report.
September 15, 1995

Artists Head To Vermont To Present Posters

Two self-described flatlanders are heading north Saturday to take part in a celebration of Green Mountain heritage.

Barkhamsted artist Carol Wallace and Harwinton writer Jean Sands produced posters this year that were distributed to country stores throughout Vermont. Now they will present the signed No. 1 artist›s proof to Gov. Howard Dean during a press conference at Calvin Coolidge›s birthplace.

The gift to the state of Vermont is being fused with an announcement about a new heritage tourism task force, said Jackie Smith, a press aide in Dean›s office.

The posters show Wallace›s drawings of individual country stores surrounding a center collage of various items found in each store. On the back are Sands› short descriptions of each store. The two women said their work was meant to boost the preservation of the stores that both fell in love with during trips to Vermont.

“The great thing about it is, suddenly everything has come to the forefront,” Wallace said. “It›s very exciting for us to see that happen.› Sands said the effort is a way to focus attention on the plight of small-town merchants in an age of sprawling retail giants.

“Things are changing so fast,” Sands said. “We›re doing what we can to preserve a small piece of Americana that is fading.’

The press conference is to be held at the Florence Cilley General Store, which is featured on the poster and is on the grounds of the President Coolidge State Historic Site in Plymouth Notch, Vt.

Vermont travel and tourism officials, and country store owners will attend the press conference, Smith said. Dean will speak about the importance of country stores to Vermont›s way of life and its tourism and history, she said.

“Certainly [Wallace and Sands] have the attention of travel and tourism officials and the Perservation Trust of Vermont, all of whom are very interested in this event,” Smith said.

Wallace said she and Sands will give the Preservation Trust 50 posters as a gift.

The press conference is the culmination of several months of work. But Sands said the effort continues. The two women have been approached by numerous agencies interested in using the posters. And officials at the Smithsonian Institution have inquired about adding the posters to the museum›s collection, she said.