Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Burlington College Students Throw a Big Spring Art Party

Posted By on Tue, Apr 26, 2016 at 7:51 PM

Clockwise from top left: Ian Connolly, Dayne Sawtelle, Tim Morris, Tyyler Santor, Abbi Meyers-Orr, Hannah Hamilton, Austin Dickerson, Marissa Ronick, Dana Heffern, Brandi Giroux, Mary Lacy - COURTESY OF BTV CROW COLLECTIVE
  • Courtesy of BTV Crow Collective
  • Clockwise from top left: Ian Connolly, Dayne Sawtelle, Tim Morris, Tyyler Santor, Abbi Meyers-Orr, Hannah Hamilton, Austin Dickerson, Marissa Ronick, Dana Heffern, Brandi Giroux, Mary Lacy
The walls of Burlington College are covered with artwork, but they didn’t always look like that. “When I got here [three years ago],” says art and design chair Dana Heffern, “there was literally nothing on the walls.”

Now, walking through the small college on North Avenue is like taking a tour of a student art gallery. But all those works are coming down this week. On Friday, April 29, 4:30-8 p.m., new student and alumni works will be revealed at the college’s fifth annual Big Spring Art Party. And the whole community is invited.

A group called the BTV Crow Collective has been driving the public outreach. Born from a class co-taught by Heffern and muralist Mary Lacy, the collective has been mailing postcards, coordinating social media efforts and organizing food and entertainment. They’ve also been working on three large-scale murals of crows in Lacy’s signature geometric style. These, too, will be unveiled on Friday.

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Three Years Later, The Hungry Heart Is Still Drawing Audiences — and Awards

Posted By on Tue, Apr 26, 2016 at 4:00 AM

Courtesy of Kingdom County Productions - COURTESY OF KINGDOM COUNTY PRODUCTIONS
  • Courtesy of Kingdom County Productions
  • Courtesy of Kingdom County Productions
Nearly three years after the premiere of The Hungry Heart, a gripping documentary about St. Albans pediatrician Fred Holmes and his efforts to treat patients addicted to opioids, the film continues to attract new audiences and win national acclaim.

Most recently, Kingdom County Productions announced that The Hungry Heart has won the 2016 Media Award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the College on Problems of Drug Dependence. The film will be honored in June at NIDA's national conference in Palm Springs, Calif. It received a similar award in 2015 from the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

Kingdom County's Bess O'Brien, who directed The Hungry Heart, says she still shows the film at least three or four times per month and receives weekly calls from communities and organizations around the country interested in holding screenings. Since its release in September 2013, the film has been shown in more than 100 cities and town in New England alone and at more than a dozen national conferences on addiction, recovery and mental health.

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Monday, April 25, 2016

Three for Three: UVM Students Win Another Visit From Seth Rogen

Posted By on Mon, Apr 25, 2016 at 5:46 PM

From left: Lauren Miller, Seth Rogen and Ryan, John and Griffen Fox - RICK KISONAK
  • Rick Kisonak
  • From left: Lauren Miller, Seth Rogen and Ryan, John and Griffen Fox
Signs of April in the Queen City: The last traces of ice vanish along the waterfront. Hundreds of ice cream lovers line up for Ben & Jerry’s annual Free Cone Day at the company’s shop on the Marketplace. And, dependably as a swallow to Capistrano, the planet’s most famous stoner, the man Forbes ranks as the 26th highest paid actor in the world, comes to town to thank three students at the University of Vermont.

For the past three years, triplets Griffen, John and Ryan Fox have raised more money for HFC U — Hilarity for Charity’s national collegiate competition — than some 100 other student groups across the country. Their prize, as always, is a hang with Seth Rogen, who, along with his wife, Lauren Miller, created the nonprofit in 2012 as “a movement to inspire change and raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease among the millennial generation.” Affiliated with the Alzheimer’s Association, it’s raised more than $5 million.

Saturday morning at Essex Cinemas, the couple held a press conference to talk about the cause, explain why they got involved, and lavish praise on the three brothers, who lost their grandfather to the illness in January 2014.

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Shakespeare Is Still Dead; Long Live Shakespeare!

Posted By on Mon, Apr 25, 2016 at 4:32 PM

The Bard is beloved worldwide: a production in Mexico City - COURTESY OF VERMONT HUMANITIES COUNCIL
  • Courtesy of Vermont Humanities Council
  • The Bard is beloved worldwide: a production in Mexico City
What will the world do on the 400th anniversary of your death? For most of us, the answer is a big fat nothing. But perhaps there's still time to turn out a zillion plays that actors and audiences will revere four centuries from now.

Meantime, Tuesday brings a pair of back-to-back opportunities to get your Will on. William Shakespeare, that is. Not surprisingly, Vermont Shakespeare Festival executive director John Nagle and the University of Vermont have a hand in both Bard-themed happenings.

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Saturday, April 23, 2016

What I'm Watching: "Heavy Metal Parking Lot"

Posted By on Sat, Apr 23, 2016 at 9:00 AM

One of the many happy, drunk interviewees in "Heavy Metal Parking Lot" - FACTORY 515
  • Factory 515
  • One of the many happy, drunk interviewees in "Heavy Metal Parking Lot"
In 1991, at the height of their extended “Celebrity Brat” phase, Guns N’ Roses went on tour in support of their albums Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II. Three or four friends and I caught their show at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y., and it turned out to be one of the most memorable concerts I’ve ever seen. Not necessarily for the music (which was excellent, if sloppy) but for the atmosphere, the crowd and various other extra-musical events.

My friends and I made a point of arriving at the stadium a couple of hours early, because we’d heard that the tailgating at the show was a unique experience. We were not disappointed.

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Monday, April 18, 2016

Wylie Sofia Garcia Is 2016 Barbara Smail Awardee

Posted By on Mon, Apr 18, 2016 at 11:17 AM

Wylie Sofia Garcia - COURTESY OF BURLINGTON CITY ARTS
  • Courtesy of Burlington City Arts
  • Wylie Sofia Garcia
On Friday, Burlington City Arts welcomed new exhibitions at the BCA Center and Vermont Metro Gallery. It also welcomed Burlington artist Wylie Sofia Garcia as 2016's Barbara Smail Award winner.

The award, named for a late local artist and maintained by her family, provides a mid-career Vermont artist with a $1,500 stipend, access to BCA's studios and workspace, and a culminating solo exhibition. As it happens, Garcia is married to the 2015 Smail awardee, Clark Derbes; his solo show just opened on the second floor of the BCA Center.

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Saturday, April 16, 2016

What I'm Watching: "How High Is Up?"

Posted By on Sat, Apr 16, 2016 at 9:05 AM

"How High Is Up?": Larry and Moe use tire irons to pry Curly from his sweater. - COLUMBIA PICTURES
  • Columbia Pictures
  • "How High Is Up?": Larry and Moe use tire irons to pry Curly from his sweater.
I have studied and written about film for something like two decades now. I love films of all kinds, from Hollywood rom coms to seven-hour Eastern European art films to spiky avant-garde films that blast the eyeballs and the brain. But when I reflect on the kinds of movies that turned me into a cinephile at a young age, I realize that most of them are decidedly “low-brow.” I grew up watching kaiju movies, martial arts films and, yes, Three Stooges films.

Most of the Three Stooges’ films are perfectly free from topicality, and most have narratives that are barely coherent. For those reasons, the films have an almost unfair historical advantage over many other movies: They barely age at all. The Stooges’ brand of slapstick comedy is exactly as funny as it was 50 or even 70 years ago. (These guys made a lot of films, and they made them for a long time.) Many “low-brow” comedies of today — I’m thinking of Scary Movie and its descendants — have already lost whatever meager relevance they had because they are mishmashes of topical jokes with short shelf-lives. The Stooges, though, are eternal.

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Friday, April 15, 2016

Song Premiere: "Seven Days," the DuPont Brothers

Posted By on Fri, Apr 15, 2016 at 10:31 AM

'A Riddle for You,' the DuPont Brothers - COURTESY OF THE DUPONT BROTHERS
  • Courtesy of the DuPont Brothers
  • 'A Riddle for You,' the DuPont Brothers
Today is local songwriter Zack DuPont's birthday. So, of course, he's giving us a present, in the form a new DuPont Brothers single, "Seven Days." Because that's just the kind of sweet, big-hearted dude he is.

The song — which has nothing to do with a certain local altweekly — is from the DuPonts' forthcoming album, A Riddle for You, recorded with composer/songwriter/producer/generally awesome guy Michael Chorney. Here's what Zack's brother, Sam DuPont, had to say about the tune in a recent email:

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Monday, April 11, 2016

Check It Out: Very Big Art at the Fletcher Free Library

Posted By on Mon, Apr 11, 2016 at 6:14 PM

"Oxyvision with escape hatches (thanks to Tomma Abts)," acrylic on hemp by Marc Beaudette - COURTESY OF MARC BEAUDETTE
  • Courtesy of Marc Beaudette
  • "Oxyvision with escape hatches (thanks to Tomma Abts)," acrylic on hemp by Marc Beaudette
Is there a word for forgetting what an empty space looked like as soon as it's filled? Perhaps in German? Whatever that word may be, it would be appropriate to address a new and very large addition to the Fletcher Free Library: the painting "Oxyvision with escape hatches (thanks to Tomma Abts)" by Reading-based artist Marc Beaudette

"I'd long noticed that huge, vacant gray space at the library. It seemed like a great place for a painting," Beaudette said during a phone interview. Last year, the artist applied for a Vermont Arts Council grant to create a work for the expanse of empty wall. "I didn't get it," he said, "so I got another credit card."

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Saturday, April 9, 2016

What I'm Watching: Duane Roelands' "Joke Life" Vines

Posted By on Sat, Apr 9, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Duane Roelands, internet comedy genius - VIA VINE.CO/DWROELANDS
  • via vine.co/DWRoelands
  • Duane Roelands, internet comedy genius
Twenty years ago, when I first stumbled across a website that comprehensively listed all of the samples and arcane references on the Beastie Boys’ masterpiece Paul’s Boutique, I remember thinking, Aha! Someone has figured out what to do with this “internet” thing!

I know Paul’s Boutique backwards and forwards, and for years have marveled at and puzzled over its array of funky, witty samples. The album’s producers, the fabled Dust Brothers, plucked basslines from the Eagles, single guitar notes from Mountain and scads of musical and verbal ephemera from decades of American music, television and film. The album remains a remarkable achievement. But, as enjoyable as it is, Paul’s Boutique is also incredibly densely layered, its musical fragments and obscure name-checks fairly begging the listener to unpack them.

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