Taraden is nestled on 20 acres of southwest Vermont farmland in the beautiful and prototypically quaint Village of North Bennington. Once a part of the Park-McCullough Estate, the property started out as a dairy farm.
In 1980, it became the home, studio and exhibit space for the acclaimed color-field artist, Kenneth Noland. Resided in the house and used the two former dairy barns as studio space for his paintings and also for paper making.
In September 2006, it was opened as a respected Bed and Breakfast by owners and proprietors, Nan and Bob Lowary. Taraden is a “little piece of paradise”, situated in a valley between Vermont’s Green Mountains and New York’s Taconic range, it has panoramic views of both – and never a dull sunrise or sunset!
Along the with the casually elegant bed & breakfast, the property features active horse stables, pasture and a riding school along with the two converted barns that served as studio and exhibit space for Kenneth Noland.
The arts have been a part of Taraden almost from the beginning. In 2009, Taraden hosted five artists who produced work for Moosefest 2009. In 2010, Taraden became the host location for Plein Air Vermont, a 6 day en plein air painting event that involved professional artists from many places in the U. S. and Canada.
2010 was also the year that Taraden first offered art classes including classes and workshops in watercolor painting and en plein air painting. Since then, the Arts at Taraden has expanded significantly, hosting classes, workshops and art exhibits.
In 2015, Taraden re-installed the paper-making equipment used by Kenneth Noland himself, along with other essential equipment and has opened a premier paper-making studio. Arts at Taraden continues to expand it’s art program in 2016 and beyond, with more classes, workshops, exhibits and more.
About the Hand Paper Making Studio at Taraden
Few people know that paper making in Vermont, both trade and artisanal is reported by historians to have started in Bennington on October 16, 1783 when Anthony Haswell and David Russell, printers, petitioned the State to permit the construction of a paper mill. The mill was completed in 1784 at the falls of the Waloomsac River (Paper Mill Village). Mssrs. Haswell and Russell also stated in their advertising: “The desire of rendering an essential service to the public, without any detriment to the individual, may, by this prudent piece of economy be gratified, which the high price of Three Coppers per pound for clean white linen rags, and Two Coppers for course or checked rags, the owners of the Mill flatter themselves will be sufficient to induce their fair countrywomen to hang up a small bag in their sitting room as a receptacle for rags.” The making of hand made paper for commercial use flourished in Vermont as well as New England. More recently, Kenneth Noland, the noted contemporary (d. 2010) abstract expressionist artist, was among the first artists to use the medium of hand paper making , using colored paper pulp to create works of art directly in the paper mold. What follows is a brief history of Noland’s paper making experience:
- 1976 – Gains first paper making experience working with Garner Tullis at experimental printmaking in Santa Cruz, CA.
- 1976 – Serves as Master-in-Residence for Paper Making Workshop, Bennington Summers Program, Bennington College designed to bring maturity to a new discipline.
- 1977- Begins to assemble machinery and materials for his own shop, Gully Paper, North Hoosick, NY.
- 1977 – First exhibition of Experimental Printmaking paper at MIT Cambridge, MA.
- 1978 – First exhibition of Gully Paper at Parke-McCullough House, North Bennington, VT.
- 1983 – Accepts invitation of Juan de Muga to work at Ediciones Poligrafa, S. A. in Barcelona.
- 1986-1987 – Works with Takashi Kobayashi in paper making workshop in Ichikawa, Japan.
- 1988- Purchases Cold Spring Farm property (once part of the Park-McCullough estate) in North Bennington, VT. Moves paper making equipment to the “Paper Making” room in the southernmost barn.
- 2002 – Noland puts Cold Spring Farm property up for sale, paper making equipment moved to Vermont Arts Exchange in North Bennington, VT.
- 2005 – Nan and Bob Lowary purchase Cold Spring Farm from Noland, change Name to Taraden.
- 2010 – Ken Noland dies.
- 2015 – Taraden purchases from Vermont Arts Exchange Noland’s paper making equipment, in April, equipment is moved back to the “Paper Making” room in the Gallery Barn Studio at Taraden.
- 2015 (November and December) – Arts-at-Taraden program hold first hand paper making workshops, using Noland equipment.