Community Art Garden is community art studio, school and gallery located on the Green in Chester, Vermont, that draws its inspiration from the Reggio Emilia theory of arts education.  We provide hands-on arts enrichment and open-ended studio time for artists of all ages through classes as well as regular weekly drop-in Open Studio time. Founded and run by Emily Burkland, Community Art Garden is inspired and fed by the incredible community that surrounds the studio.


We believe in respect for the young child and freedom in expression for artists of all ages. Our studio is a dynamic and engaging space that aims to keep the arts alive by engaging our community through workshops, events, and our ever evolving studio environment -- all designed to help participants deepen their connection to themselves and their community through the arts.  We are committed to fostering ART for ALL and believe in making art accessible to everyone regardless of income.

Meet Emily


In 2013,  I was inspired to create a space in my Chester COMMUNITY where students and visitors could explore and experience the creative arts;  a space for the community to reflect (on) itself through artist expression. After studying early childhood education at Duke University, I followed the path of an early childhood educator, first in Durham, NC, then in Seattle, Washington, and finally in Vermont, where my husband, daughter & I have put down roots.  My experience in early childhood education led me to the Reggio Emilia approach to education, with its focus on integrating community and ART.  

I combined these two essential elements into this physical space where children, youths and adults can be stimulated in the creative process by a variety of media and sensory experiences, with an emphasis on the natural world.  My love of art, nature, and all things GARDEN led me to dream up & eventually create the COMMUNITY ART GARDEN on the Green in Chester.  My family and I have been calling Chester home since 2007, working and playing and living on a little hilltop just outside of town.  When I am not busy facilitating community art, I spend my time homeschooling my daughter, raising vegetables, herbs and flowers, and tending to our chickens and ducks.  I also bring a love of music to my world by singing, playing guitar and dancing.  I like to think of myself as a catalyst for community events involving art & music!