Tuesday, November 22, 2016

South Burlington Sets Its Sights on Arts Facility

Posted By on Tue, Nov 22, 2016 at 8:00 AM

The Lewis Family Playhouse in Rancho Cucamonga is a model for the arts center being considered by South Burlington - CITY OF RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CALIF.
  • City of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
  • The Lewis Family Playhouse in Rancho Cucamonga is a model for the arts center being considered by South Burlington
In late October, four focus groups convened to discuss the future of the arts in South Burlington, specifically the creation of the South Burlington City Center for the Arts. The conversations, led by theater consultant Don Hirsch, were all hypothetical — asking attendees to visualize what such a center might do, who it would serve, and how it would benefit the community. Thirty five people attended, not all of them South Burlington residents.

The interest comes on the heels of the city's push to develop an actual downtown center. As the first step toward that end, residents passed a bond for the redevelopment of Market Street and the development of a park.

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Gov. Shumlin and Arts Council Present 2016 Governor's Art Awards

Posted By on Thu, Nov 17, 2016 at 2:57 PM

Gov. Shumlin with Excellence in the Arts award winner Eric Aho and family - RACHEL STEARNS
  • Rachel Stearns
  • Gov. Shumlin with Excellence in the Arts award winner Eric Aho and family
On Tuesday evening, November 15, Gov. Peter Shumlin and the Vermont Arts Council honored six Vermont artists with the annual Governor's Arts Awards. This year's ceremony took place at the Putney School, in Shumlin's hometown.  Eric Aho, who lives and works in nearby Saxtons River, received the 2016  Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts.

It's no coincidence that the six award recipients are clustered in southern Vermont. As Kira Bacon, VAC communications and outreach manager, explained, awardees are selected from a pool of nominees through a nomination process that is open to the public.

Trustees review all nominations, consider staff input and then provide the governor with a list of suggestions for the Governor's Award. Once he has selected a recipient, Bacon said, "We see if we can find a cluster [of arts leaders] in the same part of the state" to increase community momentum. Last year, the "cluster" was focused on the Montpelier area; in 2014, it was St. Johnsbury.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

A Glimpse Into New Generator Makerspace in Burlington

Posted By on Tue, Nov 15, 2016 at 6:24 PM

A floor plan for the new incarnation of Generator - GENERATOR
  • Generator
  • A floor plan for the new incarnation of Generator
Inside 40 Sears Lane, a new maker facility is gradually taking shape. The massive warehouse owned by Champlain College will be the new home of Burlington's Generator.  The member-based makerspace, which provides community, resources and room for creatives to grow, is losing its quarters in Memorial Auditorium due to structural issues in the building.

The new location is expected to open on January 2. But, as a tour today revealed, it's got a long way to go to be ready.

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Saturday, November 5, 2016

Champlain College Students Grow 'Angsty' Website Chivomengro

Posted By on Sat, Nov 5, 2016 at 2:13 PM

  • Peter Moore
On a website called Chivomengro, a group of Champlain College students  publishes essays, cultural reviews, something  kind of like news, and original art. The tagline for the site calls it "a nonfiction semi-literary entity devoted to pasta and angst." The "about us" section says it's a "purveyor of collegiate whatever."  Despite those waggish descriptions, the site has existed since 2012, is evolving and has become more organized. But it's still angsty, and often hilarious.

Chivomengro's latest edition includes a review of Bon Iver's new album, a piece by Walter Proulx called "Fucking Space" (did you know NASA is apparently working on a way to travel faster than the speed of light?), and site manager Peter Moore's reflective essay on the indescribable nature of certain experiences. Like their writers, the pieces are a little awkward and a lot endearing. And they're smart.

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Sunday, October 23, 2016

A Wall for the Ages in Burlington's Intervale

Posted By on Sun, Oct 23, 2016 at 8:00 AM

"Allée Portal" - THEA ALVIN
  • Thea Alvin
  • "Allée Portal"
This election season, "the wall" has become a staple of divisive political rhetoric. But sometimes, walls can be markers of unity. Last Monday, Gardener's Supply and the Intervale Center in Burlington unveiled a new sculptural stone wall, created under the guidance of celebrated Morrisville artist Thea Alvin.

For three days, 12 paying stone masonry students worked to transform roughly 75,000 pounds of stone into a gracefully sloping wall and archway, dubbed "Allée Portal" by Alvin.  

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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Champlain College Students Color South End Wall

Posted By on Sat, Oct 22, 2016 at 8:00 AM

Champlain College students in front of their mural with Anthill Collective - STEPHEN MEASE
  • Stephen Mease
  • Champlain College students in front of their mural with Anthill Collective
Dave Mills and the Anthill Collective are at it again. Last year, Mills, a Champlain College professor, led a group of students from his Aesthetic Expressions class in creating a mural on the exposed foundation of the former Eagles Club, at the corner of Maple and St. Paul streets. 

On Tuesday afternoon this week, Anthill's Brian Clark and Scottie Raymond  led students from two of Mills' classes in creating a new piece on a Champlain-owned building at 40 Sears Lane. It's the future quarters for Burlington makerspace Generator, which will relocate this winter.

Aesthetic Expressions is a core class that asks students to become "aesthetically literate, able to interact critically with works of art in a wide range of media," Mills explains. 

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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Hall Foundation Co-owner Is Sold Forged Paintings

Posted By on Thu, Oct 20, 2016 at 10:16 AM

"White Squad V" by Leon Golub, 1984
  • "White Squad V" by Leon Golub, 1984
Highly successful Wall Street trader and art collector Andrew Hall has been had. The cofounder of the Hall Art Foundation in Reading, Vt., recently filed suit against a former New Hampshire art history professor and her son for allegedly selling him 24 fake paintings. He had been told the works were by the American painter Leon Golub (1922-2004), known for his expressionistic depictions of inhumanity and violence. 

Hall is asking that the sellers, Lorettann and Nikolas Gascard, provide restitution of $676,250, the amount he paid for the artworks.

The New York Times broke the story in an article posted online on Monday. The piece details how Hall acquired the 24 paintings from the Gascards. Hall had intended to mount a show of more than 60 Golub artworks at his Reading gallery, according to court documents. In the process of corroborating the Gascards' account of the paintings' provenance, Hall learned from Golub's family that they were forgeries. 

Lorettann, 68, and Nikolas, 34, are currently missing. They're also difficult to find online. A search for Lorettann turns up an unrelated 2014 disability suit she filed against her employer, Franklin Pierce University of Rindge, N.H., and a short editorial piece in the Berlin Observer from 1994 (scroll to page 6 for a photo).

Lorettann obtained her doctorate from the Free University in Berlin in 1978. The article profiles her work teaching art history to American students studying abroad. "'My goal is to get the students to learn to read, not just view, art,'" the article quotes her saying. "'I tell them to build a relationship with the piece, communicate with it, don't just look at the pretty colors of interesting scenes.'"

The Hall Art Foundation did not respond to a request for comment.

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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Peace Paper Project Turns Underwear to Art at Local Colleges

Posted By on Sun, Oct 16, 2016 at 9:33 AM

Panty Pulpers poster - RACHEL JONES
  • Rachel Jones
  • Panty Pulpers poster
Artist Drew Matott is now based in Hamburg, Germany, but he and the arts-activism initiative he cofounded, the Peace Paper Project, have roots in Burlington. Beginning in 2002, the South End Arts District — specifically the Green Door Studio — witnessed the transformation of Matott's personal paper-making practice into the Combat Paper Project with Drew Cameron. It has since grown into a robust network of international workshops and studios dedicated to paper making as a "vehicle for personal expression and cultural change."

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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Interactive Artworks Take Flight at BTV

Posted By on Thu, Oct 13, 2016 at 4:43 PM

James Keats '18 interacting with "Graffiniti" - STEVE MEASE
  • Steve Mease
  • James Keats '18 interacting with "Graffiniti"
In his opening remarks, Burlington International Airport aviation director Gene Richards dubbed the airport's two new interactive art installations as "advertisements, with a twist." Just behind his head, a red and yellow biplane toot-tooted cheerfully among digital clouds. The 70-inch wall-mounted monitor is the vehicle of "Flight," one of two new works developed by students at the Emergent Media Center at Burlington's Champlain College.  

In game programmer James Keats' words, "Flight" lets passengers and passersby do that thing that we all do as little kids: "pretend to be a plane." Adapted from a Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect, the experience uses skeletal tracking technology — motion detectors — to let viewers standing in front of the screen "become" the plane/pilot and control its gentle, ever-forward trajectory through their own movement.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Stream Team Decorates Burlington Storm Drains

Posted By on Tue, Oct 11, 2016 at 5:10 PM

Mural by Jo Levasser, near Edmunds Middle School - RACHEL JONES
  • Rachel Jones
  • Mural by Jo Levasser, near Edmunds Middle School
Storm drains are generally pretty good at their job, which is to whisk rainfall away so that our cities don't become petri dishes of stagnant, standing water. This urban infrastructure is so good that most people hardly think about it — an error that the Chittenden County Stream Team seeks to correct through public art. 

Late last month, the Stream Team and four local artists fell upon Burlington storm drains, beautifying them with horizontal murals and, more importantly, making them known. 

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