SOUTHINGTON â€“ Southington Public Library debuted its latest exhibit, â€śThe Van Goat Artistsâ€ť Friday, featuring paintings created by the goats at Bradley Mountain Farm.
Although the library, located at 255 Main St. remains closed to the public, it has been offering several virtual exhibits since the covid-19 pandemic began. â€śThe Van Goat Artistsâ€ť will remain available for viewing through Aug. 10 on the library website in the form of slideshow, which can be seen at southingtonlibrary.org/virtual-art-gallery. Each month, the library puts up a new virtual exhibit.
Residents may have seen a â€ślive paintâ€ť with the â€śVan Goat Artistsâ€ť in past years at the Apple Harvest Festival. They were also featured last June as part of Southington Public Libraryâ€™s â€śArtist of the Monthâ€ť series. When that physical exhibit was unveiled last year, the owners of Bradley Mountain farms brought down the goats who created the paintings for another live demonstration.
Elizabeth Chubet, adult programs coordinator at publicist at Southington Public Library, explained that tarp and canvas were placed down on the first floor of the library. Non-toxic paint was then put on the canvas for the goats to scratch at with their hooves and create the artwork.
â€śIt was really cool and very interesting to see â€“ the crowd that night was very into watching it,â€ť said Chubet. â€śWhat Anneliese (Dadras, owner of Bradley Mountain Farms) does with the goats is great; they are so well-trained and have so much human contact. They are amazing.â€ť
Terri Battaglia, farm event coordinator, said that the goats enjoy painting and that it gives them opportunities for social interaction and enrichment.
â€śItâ€™s a lot of fun and produces wonderful artwork as a result,â€ť she said.
The goats have also appeared at White Christmas in the Community, where they are dressed as reindeer. And, in past years, people have been able to participate in a variety of activities with them at the farm including â€śGoat Yogaâ€ť and â€śGoats in Pajamas Story Hour.â€ť This year, due to the coronavirus, contact with the goats has been more limited. However, a â€śgoat camâ€ť has been set up at bradleymountainfarm.com which allows people to watch a 24-hour live-feed and see the animals walk and jump and play around the farm.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.