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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

South African 'Visual Activist' Zanele Muholi at Saint Michael's

Posted By on Tue, Apr 18, 2017 at 2:00 PM

"Bester IV, Mayotte, 2015" - ZANELE MUHOLI
  • Zanele Muholi
  • "Bester IV, Mayotte, 2015"
Zanele Muholi is an internationally renowned photographer and self-described visual activist who has made her career taking portraits of members of South Africa's queer  community.

Muholi came of age — and came out — as the country's apartheid policies were falling apart. In 1996, post-segregation South Africa became the first country to draft a constitution explicitly forbidding discrimination based on sexual orientation. Despite this progressive legal stance, wrote Jenna Wortham in a 2015 New York Times article, anti-gay hate crimes have been pervasive, and many of the country's lesbians are still subjected to "corrective rape."

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Art With a Twist: Pretzel Drawings at Feldman's Bagels

Posted By on Tue, Apr 18, 2017 at 12:53 PM

Drawing by one of Leslie Fry's students, Blair Shields - COURTESY OF LESLIE FRY
  • Courtesy of Leslie Fry
  • Drawing by one of Leslie Fry's students, Blair Shields
A new art show at Feldman's Bagels on Pine Street comes full circle — or full twist. Drawings of pretzels by students in sculptor Leslie Fry's University of Vermont introductory drawing classes will occupy the cheery yellow walls of the bagel joint through the end of April.

Fry, who's taught as an adjunct at the university on and off for the past 20 or so years, says she got the idea during a conversation with Feldman's original owner, Roy Feldman. "We were eating pretzels," she recalls, "and he mentioned how there are similarities between the ways he makes pretzels and I make sculptures. And all of a sudden I thought, Isn't a pretzel a great shape?"

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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Tlingit Weaver Ricky Tagaban Visits Johnson State College

Posted By on Thu, Apr 13, 2017 at 6:35 PM

Ricky Tagaban - COURTESY OF THE ARTIST
  • Courtesy of the artist
  • Ricky Tagaban
"We don’t have a word for art in Tlingit," says Ricky Tagaban, "because
almost everything that we would make would have a crest on it."

The significance of languages — written, spoken and visual — and their intrinsic relationship to multiple identities is a strong thread that runs through the artist's tandem engagements as a contemporary artist, indigenous weaver and drag performer.

The Juneau, Alaska-based artist is in residence this week at Johnson State College, as part of the university's annual Ellsworth Lecture programming. Tagaban delivered his talk, “Weaving Politics and Process: Expressing Northwest Coast Textiles Through a Two-Spirit Life,” on Wednesday, April 12, and will offer a public weaving demonstration on Friday, April 14, 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. at Dewey Hall Commons.

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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Curator Kerri Macon Departs Burlington City Arts

Posted By on Tue, Apr 11, 2017 at 5:16 PM

Kerri Macon - COURTESY OF BURLINGTON CITY ARTS
  • Courtesy of Burlington City Arts
  • Kerri Macon
After seven years with Burlington City Arts, Kerri Macon has left her position as the organization's director of art sales and curator of the Vermont Metro Gallery. Macon joined the organization in 2010, after having worked as the Fleming Museum's business manager and as an independent arts consultant. Macon plans to dedicate herself to completing an autobiographical book about her family history, and to continue to work independently in artist development.

"I’ve spent the last seven years really supporting other people’s creative visions," Macon told Seven Days by phone, "and I sort of wanted to turn the tables a little bit and be on the other side. I was sort of at the end of my run at BCA in terms of where I could grow and the types of ideas I could explore."

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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Burlington High School's International Club Spreads a Welcoming Message

Posted By on Wed, Apr 5, 2017 at 4:00 PM

L to R: Urmila Chhetri, Abinash Rai, Zeynup Barut, Radhika Tamang, Susan Blethen, Zaharaa Khudaier, Odreille Kamikazi, Shahed Khudaier - KYMELYA SARI
  • Kymelya Sari
  • L to R: Urmila Chhetri, Abinash Rai, Zeynup Barut, Radhika Tamang, Susan Blethen, Zaharaa Khudaier, Odreille Kamikazi, Shahed Khudaier
Four months after Burlington High School's International Club's peace project took off, the students are scaling up to bring their message to the masses.

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Friday, March 31, 2017

Young Writers Project Wins Grant to Promote Islamic Art and Culture

Posted By on Fri, Mar 31, 2017 at 2:02 PM

Muslim Girls Making Change slam poets - COURTESY OF YOUNG WRITERS PROJECT
  • Courtesy of Young Writers Project
  • Muslim Girls Making Change slam poets
For the first time, the Young Writers Project will receive a grant from the New York City-based Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art. YWP is one of 11 organizations nationwide receiving the grants, which are funded by DDFIA's Building Bridges Program and designed to foster understanding of and reduce bias against Muslims across the U.S.

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Burlington Man Turns Waterfront Rocks, Driftwood Into Public Art

Posted By on Fri, Mar 31, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Bryant Chase and his "African eland," right - SASHA GOLDSTEIN
  • Sasha Goldstein
  • Bryant Chase and his "African eland," right
Bryant Chase gazed at his latest creation and chuckled. “This one reminds me of an African eland,” he said, pointing toward a rock formation he’d erected just south of Perkins Pier on the Burlington bike path.

All winter long, Chase has made similar artwork out of rocks and driftwood along the waterfront. Some mornings, he returns to find his towers still standing. Other times, they’ve been knocked over — by the weather or, more often than not, by some unknown troublemaker.

“As long as it makes people happy, I don’t care if the kids knock it down every night,” said Chase, 65. “I’ll just come back in the morning and keep redoing it.”

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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Alison Bechdel to Be Next Vermont Cartoonist Laureate

Posted By on Tue, Mar 28, 2017 at 4:07 PM

The passing of the cartoonist laurels - EDWARD KOREN AND ALISON BECHDEL
  • Edward Koren and Alison Bechdel
  • The passing of the cartoonist laurels

Next Thursday, April 6, Edward Koren will pass the torch — er, laurels — to his successor, Alison Bechdel, as Vermont Cartoonist Laureate. In a ceremony at the Statehouse, the longtime Bolton resident, creator of the strip "Dykes to Watch Out For," and author of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic will become the third cartoonist laureate in the only state to regularly appoint one.

The initiative originated with the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, the professional school founded by James Sturm and Michelle Ollie 10 years ago. Bechdel succeeds New Yorker cartoonist and Brookfield resident Koren, who in turn succeeded Vermont's very first cartoonist laureate, James Kochalka of Burlington.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Alex Aldrich to Step Down From Vermont Arts Council

Posted By on Wed, Mar 22, 2017 at 9:12 PM

Alex Aldrich - COURTESY OF VERMONT ARTS COUNCIL
  • Courtesy of Vermont Arts Council
  • Alex Aldrich
Vermont Arts Council announced today that executive director Alex Aldrich will be stepping down from his post on April 14, after more than 20 years of service. Aldrich joined VAC in January 1997, by way of his role as business manager for the Rialto Center for the Performing Arts at Georgia State University in Atlanta.

Teri Bordenave will serve as interim director while the VAC board of trustees conducts a nationwide search for Aldrich's replacement.

"[My departure] clears the deck for new innovative thinking," Aldrich told Seven Days by phone. "I think it will be really good for the council, and it'll be good for me … It's been a really good run."

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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Trump's Proposed Budget Would Cost Vermont Arts Groups Millions

Posted By on Sat, Mar 18, 2017 at 7:00 AM

MATT MORRIS
  • Matt Morris
In February, Seven Days spoke with the heads of various local arts groups to gauge reaction to then-rumored federal budget cuts to the arts and public broadcasting. Responses from the likes of Flynn Center for the Performing Arts executive director John Killacky, Vermont Arts Council executive director Alex Aldrich and others could essentially be summed up thusly: "Sheeeeeit."

At the time, theorizing what dramatic federal budget cuts would mean locally was a speculative exercise. But, earlier this week, speculation took a step closer to becoming reality when President Donald Trump unveiled his first budget plan for the fiscal year 2018. Among the dozens of organizations and programs on the chopping block, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting are all proposed to be eliminated or zeroed out.

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