One of the best of Montpelier’s  galleries is also the oldest. The T. W. Wood Gallery & Arts Center (36 College St., 802/828-8743, www.twwoodgallery.org , noon–4 p.m. Tues.–Sun.) has been showcasing the work of Vermont  artists for more than 100 years, with a permanent collection of modern art and rotating shows by local contemporary artists.
Mary Stone’s hand-sculpted clay animal whistles are just one of the unique crafts on display at the Artisans Hand Craft Gallery (89 Main St., 802/229-9492, www.artisanshand.com , 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Mon.–Sat.; 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Fri.; noon–4 p.m. Sun.), a hub for jewelry, pottery, woodwork, and metalwork from Vermont artisans.
A refreshing antidote to all those overly pretentious galleries, the Lazy Pear Gallery (154 Main St., 802/223-7680, www.lazypear.com , 11 a.m.–6 p.m. daily; closed Mon. in winter) specializes in art that is “playful, quirky, and fun,” much of it sporting bright colors and whimsical animals. Located in a prominent yellow Victorian, the gallery not only showcases local artists, it also has a community art board for residents to contribute their own dabbling.