Shaftsbury receives another Howard painting donation | Local News

SHAFTSBURY – Cole Hall, the Shaftsbury City office building, is home to another Frank Howard painting thanks to a donation from a New Hampshire woman with a Vermont connection.

Coming Home, a clearing in the woods near a homestead, was donated to the city by Miriam S. Sargent of Manchester, New Hampshire.

The painting hung in Sargent’s house for about 45 years, her daughter Miriam Simmons said in an interview.

“I think that picture really spoke,” said Sargent, who competed in long-distance equestrian competitions in Woodstock, Vermont many years ago, said Simmons. Sargent is also an artist who has painted family houses and scenes.

According to Simmons, Sargent moved to an assisted living facility that year after her husband’s death. While downsizing, they looked for the Howard painting that Sargent bought in a small art gallery in Mendon after admiring it several times, “back to where it belongs,” Simmons said.

Howard, who died in 2013, spent decades producing works in his art studio on Route 7A in Shaftsbury, known as the Howard Art Museum.

After some research, Simmons teamed up with Tom Fels of North Bennington, who curated the 2019 Howard exhibition at the Left Bank Gallery and donated several other Howard pieces that were on display at Cole Hall. Through rock, she connected with Tim Scoggins, CEO of Shaftsbury Select, who facilitated the donation to the city.

Scoggins said the city is “pretty proud to have an entire collection (of Howard paintings) in Cole Hall,” which underwent major renovations in 2019, although it is currently closed to the public in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The city looks forward to getting back to normal so the public can enjoy this collection of works by Shaftsbury’s Artist,” the community announced in a press release.

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