She’s the best-loved and longest-living artist in Middlebury history. When she died at age 99, in 2011, she left behind a legacy of hundreds of colorful, dynamic canvasses. Wissler graduated from Skidmore College in 1933, and went on to a master of fine arts degree at Columbia University. People of a certain age knew her as the art teacher at Mary Hogan Elementary School, and in her later years she continued to teach privately.
The paintings and prints in this exhibit span from the 1940s to the early 2000s. Though she’s known for her folk art views of Middlebury and the countryside, her style continuously evolved. “When you look at this exhibit,” says THT gallery director Elinor Friml, “you think you’re looking at the work of several different artists. But it’s all Prindle.” In her long career she explored abstraction, illustrations of imagined cityscapes, delicate pencil drawings and her Grandma Moses-like evocations of Vermont life.
“She was a little fireball,” says THT artistic director Douglas Anderson, “the kind of spirited visionary who entertained and inspired an entire community. It’s such a joy to see her work brought together again.”
The Jackson Gallery is located in the lower level of Town Hall Theater, a community and cultural venue located in the center of Middlebury. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday noon to five, and an hour before any public events in the building. Extended hours in December include MiddNight Strolls December 9 and 16 and Saturdays until Christmas.