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Artist and Professor

Bill Ramage

The reason why Bill Ramage uprooted his life in Ohio and moved to Rutland, Vermont may surprise you. The lack of golden arches was the golden ticket. The year was 1971, and Rutland didn’t have a single fast food restaurant. If it had, then Rutland may have never attracted the talent of Bill Ramage. The bold move was inspired by an epiphany Bill had while teaching at Ohio State University. It turned out, he didn’t like Ohio all that much. He decided to leave his job without his next career step planned, leaving every door in every state open for him. Vermont stole the show...

After settling in Rutland County, Bill went on to teach as an art professor at Castleton University for 37 years and, although he’s retired now, his aspirations have far from slowed down. He spends his time between four local art galleries and an art residency project called 77Art, all with the goal to make visual art a piece of Rutland’s cultural renaissance.

If his appreciation for the area could be measured, it may look a lot like the impressive 10-foot high, 40-foot long piece he penciled of downtown Rutland. “I believe art plays an important role in re-identifying the region,”

he says, “I’m more than happy to give the 10-cent tour.”

It may no longer be fast-food free, but Bill has made himself at home in Rutland City and its thriving arts community. He dedicates at least 25 hours per week to the tasks it takes to run multiple galleries. On any given day he’s getting permits, promoting exhibits, doing signage, traveling to prospective artists’ studios, and firing off his fair share of emails — all of which make him, proudly, one of the “busiest old geezers around.”