Artist August Burns speaks at the unveiling of Peter Shumlin's official portrait.
Many, many paintings go unnoticed, but some are marked to hang on institutional walls — or at least be protected in institutional archives — for all of foreseeable eternity. After delivering his farewell address yesterday, outgoing Democratic governor Peter Shumlin unveiled his new forever-in-history portrait amid Statehouse clamor. The painting by Middlesex classical realist August Burns depicts a pensive Shumlin, arms crossed and eyes down, against a deep, dark, layered background.
Some — including Statehouse curator David Schutz — quickly drew parallels between Burns' 28-by-40-inch oil and the official presidential portrait of John F. Kennedy. Aaron Shikler painted the latter in 1969, years after Kennedy's assassination.
By Dan Bolles
on Wed, Jan 4, 2017 at 11:46 AM
Courtesy of Kendall Farrell
With the formal swearing at, er, in of President-elect Donald J. Trump a mere two weeks away, millions across the country and globe are nervously wondering, What the eff do we do now? Also, Do I know any single Canadian citizens?
The uneasiness surrounding the impending inauguration crosses demographic boundaries. No one, even those who voted for him, can say with certainty what will happen next or how it will affect them. (Though the prevailing sentiment seems to be this: Fuuuuck.) That uncertainty is doubly potent for those whose job it is to observe and comment on the current political landscape. No, not journalists or pundits. We mean people with a far more important role: comedians.
Comedy has long been a source of light in the darkness. But is anything really funny about such an unfunny time? Find out tonight, Wednesday, January 4, when a new political comedy series called United We Stand Up debuts at the Vermont Comedy Club in Burlington.
The mind is a time machine, y'all! I'm about to wax poetic about the local tunes that I fell in love with this past year. We have some real boundary pushers hiding out here and the quest for the perfect tune led me to some exciting auditory zones. This year made me really stoked on what's possible to accomplish as a D.I.Y. musician in the modern age. In no particular order or hierarchy, here are some of my favorite musical memories of 2016.
By Ken Picard
on Fri, Dec 30, 2016 at 8:00 AM
Cannabis industry consultant Tripp Murray of Burlington
Each December for the last nine years, Seven Days has published a list of aptronyms — that is, people's names that are apt (hence the term) to their employment, avocation or unique life circumstance.
Last year's list included several folks whose apropos monikers showed up in our inboxes or Google alerts due to their alleged criminal activities. They included 53-year-old Michael Gordon Dick, of Gresham, Ore., who was popped by police for masturbating, naked, in the vicinity of Oregon's Tickle Creek.
Then there was Elias Rushing, the 19-year-old Dorset man who crashed his car into a house in Rupert while fleeing a Vermont state trooper who was trying to pull him over for speeding.
And who could forget the aptly named chocolate Labrador retriever from North Webster, Ind. — Trigger — that shot its owner, Allie Carter, in the foot after stepping on her 12-gauge shotgun.
By Dan Bolles
on Fri, Dec 30, 2016 at 6:30 AM
R to L: Dwight Ritcher, Nicole Nelson, Kelly Ravin, Kat Wright, Brett Hughes, Francesca Blanchard, Marie Claire Johnson, Stephanie Lynn Heaghney
As 2016 draws to a close, this week we're recapping some of our favorite local singles of the year. The final selection of the year is Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land," arranged by Brett Hughes & Kat Wright in tribute to Bernie Sanders.
Anthill Collective's mural behind ArtsRiot in Burlington
Before we take a deep breath and dive into 2017, it seems a good time to look back on the year from which we are about to graduate: 2016. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but a sampling of events, exhibits and happenings in local arts and culture. It gives us one more chance to wax nostalgic on where we've been and what we wrote about over the past 12 months.
OK, this didn't happen in Vermont, but it's relevant. Remember when Sen. Bernie Sanders ran for president? As a reflection of his popularity, a Sanders-themed art show titled “The Art of a Political Revolution” — which included Vermont artists — launched in Los Angeles.
Vermont Shakespeare Company greeted the year by announcing a name change — to Vermont Shakespeare Festival. The new moniker symbolized another step toward the nonprofit's dream of presenting a full-blown, well, Shakespeare festival. Meantime, the company went on to present several events throughout the year, including its timely production of Julius Caesar in the summer.
Greetings! It's year-end wrap-up time, so obviously we need to churn out some listicles. As Seven Days assistant music editor, I had the pleasure of writing about Vermont's music scene for one-third of 2016. Within that time, I covered several albums that became fast favorites — and here they are.
By Dan Bolles
on Wed, Dec 28, 2016 at 6:30 AM
Courtesy of UnKommon
UnKommon, 'Back in the Building'
As 2016 draws to a close, this week we're recapping some of our favorite local singles of the year. Today's selection is "Capitals" by UnKommon.
Back in the Building, the second album from Burlington hip-hop duo UnKommon, was released only days after the unexpected April death of DJ and MC BP — aka Ryan Morin. Morin was best known as a terrifically talented DJ, particularly through his work with seminal local hip-hop outfit the Aztext. But UnKommon's sophomore album was a revelation in that it showcased Morin's profoundly improved skill on the mic.
"Capitals" might not technically be the "best" cut of the album. But it's certainly the most fun — BP and Kin rhyme about each of the 50 U.S. capitals. And it's a great example of Morin's clever wordplay and energetic flow.