Discover the Intersection of Nature, History, and Creativity

Starting in summer 2024, experience stunning sculptures at North Bennington, Bennington Museum, and Downtown Bennington Riverwalk.

Public sculptures in Bennington offer both locals and visitors a unique way to connect with art. Distributed thoughtfully throughout Bennington, Vermont, these sculptures provide an accessible and free opportunity for art appreciation, distinct from traditional gallery settings. This makes Bennington an inviting destination for tourists and passersby alike, encouraging exploration of its vibrant arts scene and community initiatives.

Celebrating Art in the Open

This rain-or-shine event always brings the community together!
Joe Chirchirillo, NBOSS curator.

A highlight is the North Bennington Outdoor Sculpture Show (NBOSS), Southern Vermont’s longest-running outdoor sculpture exhibition. Since its inception in 1997, NBOSS has showcased sculptures across various locations in North Bennington, from lawns and front yards to community spaces like the Vermont Arts Exchange, Pangaea Lounge, and Bennington College. These sculptures, ranging in size, shape, and material, invite contemplation and whimsy, reflecting natural forms and contemporary commentary.

Community, Curatorship, and Cultural Celebration

NBOSS opening reception and party. Photo by Idena Beach.

Celebrating its 27th anniversary in 2024, NBOSS remains a cornerstone of Bennington’s summer cultural calendar. Under the curatorship of Joe Chirchirillo and a volunteer team of artists, the exhibition has expanded to include partnerships with institutions like the Bennington Museum, enriching the community with over 25 additional sculptures. Jamie Franklin, leading the curatorial efforts at Bennington Museum, has played a pivotal role in expanding the exhibition’s reach and influence.

The highlight of NBOSS is its lively opening reception at the Vermont Arts Exchange campus, a festive affair featuring live performances, music, and both local and international cuisine—a perfect opportunity to immerse oneself in the creative spirit of North Bennington.

Stroll Among Sculptures in Historic Downtown

Downtown Riverwalk sculptures can be located at 155 North St, Bennington, VT.

In early 2024, the Better Bennington Corporation, in collaboration with NBOSS, the Town of Bennington, and the Bennington Museum, expanded its reach to include sculptures along the Downtown Bennington Riverwalk. This scenic walkway enhances Bennington’s historic downtown charm, inviting visitors to stroll among sculptures while enjoying the quaint shops and local businesses. Bennington’s rich and diverse architecture adds to the allure, ensuring that every stroll, walk, or drive through the town is a scenic delight.

Sculptural Delights Across Bennington

Beyond NBOSS, Bennington boasts other notable public art installations. Moosefest, initiated in 2005, saw decorated moose sculptures scattered throughout town, blending artistic expression with community engagement. Similarly, the Catamount Prowl brought fifty catamount sculptures to town in 2013, each uniquely painted by local artists, adding a playful yet meaningful touch to Bennington’s urban landscape.

Honoring Heritage and History Through Art

A statue of Seth Warner at the Bennington Battle Monument
Vermont Begins Here file photos.

Bennington’s commitment to public art extends to historic landmarks like the Bennington Battle Monument, completed in 1891. This elegant 306-foot-tall obelisk, made of rough-hewn blocks of limestone adorned with statues of General John Stark and Colonel Seth Warner, remains the most popular historic site in Vermont. Its observation deck offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, making it a must-visit for history enthusiasts and art lovers alike. The town also pays tribute to more recent history with poignant memorials, such as the 9/11 Memorial, which stands as a tribute to resilience and remembrance in the heart of downtown.

Bennington has a rich tradition of sculpture, deeply rooted in its artistic community and academic institutions like Bennington College. Influential sculptors such as Tony Caro and David Smith have taught here, leaving an indelible mark on the town’s cultural landscape. The North Bennington Outdoor Sculpture Show (NBOSS) began in 1997, inspired by the initiative of college graduates, local residents, and artists to bring art into public spaces, continuing a legacy of accessible art appreciation.

Plan Your Visit

Whether you’re drawn to NBOSS’s contemporary sculptures, intrigued by Moosefest’s whimsy, or moved by Bennington’s historical tributes, the town offers a rich tapestry of artistic expression waiting to be explored. Plan your visit to Bennington and discover why its public art scene captivates visitors year after year.