Nine Junker Studio works dress up Sculpture Walk at Guilford Welcome Center

Nine metal sculptures from Junker Studio of Chester are on display at the Guilford Welcome Center, Vermont’s main visitor center that has played host to almost 5 million visitors since 2006.

Dragonflies created by Junker Studio at the Guilford Welcome Center./Photos courtesy Guilford Welcome Center. Click photos to enlarge.

Dragonflies created by Junker Studio at the Guilford Welcome Center./Photos courtesy Guilford Welcome Center. Click any photo to launch the photo gallery.

The nine pieces include Woodstock, Payne and Elise Junker’s life-sized and brightly painted moose, which usually stands on the front lawn of their Gallery 103 shop on Route 103 South at Pine View Road in Chester.

“We hadn’t even had Woodstock up an hour when people started to walk down to see it and have their pictures taken with it,” says welcome center manager Kathy Dowd.

Just outside the barnlike welcome center sits metal artist Payne Junker’s art nouveau-style dragonfly garden bench. And along the nature trail, visitors can view Junker’s giant dragonflies, which sway in the breeze, and towering geometric sculptures, portions of which disappear in sun and shadow.

Junker also created a giant bird’s nest by weaving together leftover screen, and strips of copper, stainless steel and brass. It sits on the crook of a sculpted metal branch.

Geometric patterns reach for the sky.

Geometric patterns reach for the sky.

The center is a perfect spot to display their works, says Elise Junker, who painted Woodstock. “The welcome center has orchards and herb gardens and native plants. It’s a wonderful setting for our work because we are so rooted in Vermont. It’s not too formal. It’s natural, which is what are work is. And there, walking across the field, is Woodstock,” she says.

Says Dowd of the Junkers’ work: “We like to surprise and delight visitors by highlighting the craftsmanship and creativity of the artists in Vermont, and the Junkers are certainly a vibrant part of that.”

The Junkers have had a long relationship with the Guilford center. Before it opened in 1999, Junker was commissioned to create the weather vane that sits atop the cupola. And after it was opened, they created a painted metal replica of the state seal that is on display inside.

The bird's nest.

The bird’s nest.

Last January,  Dowd was looking for “something big and bold,” and called the Junkers. “We wanted to take our formal garden and add something to it. The sculptures add such energy to the outside  the building. It’s a trip of discovery,” she says. The sculptures will be on display at the center until winter sets in, when they will be returned to Chester.

You don’t have to be from out-of-state to visit the Guilford Welcome Center and its sculpture garden. The center building is open 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., 235 Broad Brook Road, on Interstate 91 North in Guilford, VT. Click here to learn more about Junker Studio. And click here to learn more about  Gallery 103. Payne and Elise Junker can be reached at Gallery 103 by calling 802-875-7400

To read Yelp reviews of the Guilford Welcome Center, click here.

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