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Monday, September 19, 2016

Sally Gil Travels Through Time and Space With Collage

Posted By on Mon, Sep 19, 2016 at 7:00 AM

Artist Sally Gil and curator Sophie Bréchu-West - SADIE WILLIAMS
  • Sadie Williams
  • Artist Sally Gil and curator Sophie Bréchu-West
Sally Gil is collaging and painting her way through Vermont. The Brooklyn-based artist recently completed "Out of This World," an installation at the Bennington Museum. And Friday night, her site-specific installation "Intergalactic Current" opened to the public at the Helen Day Art Center in Stowe. 

According to the Bennington Museum's website, these are Gil's first exhibitions in Vermont, her native state. Both shows were curated by Sophie Bréchu-West, founder of 571 Projects, which offers curatorial and consulting services to organizations and private clients.

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Friday, September 16, 2016

Artists Howl for the Anthropocene

Posted By on Fri, Sep 16, 2016 at 3:08 PM

"Monarch Release" by Brian Collier - RACHEL JONES
  • Rachel Jones
  • "Monarch Release" by Brian Collier
In her 2014 Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History,  New Yorker staff writer Elizabeth Kolbert  chronicles the present-day realities of a very unsettling topic: human-induced mass extinction. Her book was assigned by the University of Vermont to the incoming class of 2020. In conjunction with this Summer Reading Program, UVM hosted Kolbert on campus on Wednesday, September 14.  Her lecture at Ira Allen Chapel was followed by a new kind of art event: a "howl." 

"6X HOWL" sandwich board - RACHEL JONES
  • Rachel Jones
  • "6X HOWL" sandwich board
Immediately following Kolbert's talk, and housed in the nearby Billings Student Center, the "6X HOWL" pop-up exhibition featured visual art, performance and interactive works meant to complement the urgent environmental concerns raised by Kolbert  — and to give audience members a place to decompress.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Harry Bliss Buys J.D. Salinger House, Starts Cartoon Residency Program

Posted By on Tue, Sep 13, 2016 at 2:12 PM

The former Salinger residence - COURTESY OF HARRY BLISS
  • Courtesy of Harry Bliss
  • The former Salinger residence
Harry Bliss is a funny one. The cartoonist, known for his humorous strips in Seven Days and the New Yorker, as well as illustrations for numerous children's books, recently bought J. D. Salinger's former house in Cornish, N.H. But he doesn't want to talk about the reclusive midcentury author. Bliss is more interested in building on the legacy of a turn-of-the-20th-century group called the Cornish Colony.

While he concedes that the house's legacy — as home to the Catcher in the Rye author — is interesting, Bliss says the town and surrounding area have long attracted creative types. The aforementioned colony, a summering congregation of some 100 artists and writers, centered on sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens. His former home and gardens now comprise a national historic site.

Like those former colony members, Bliss comes to the area part time. His family still lives in Burlington, but he uses the Cornish house as a studio where he can focus on his work. And now he wants to share it.

Bliss is partnering with the Center for Cartoon Studies to offer a one-month residency program in the garage apartment at his new home. This will be the pilot year.

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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Vermont Historical Society Talks Freaks, Radicals and Hippies

Posted By on Sun, Sep 11, 2016 at 4:09 PM

Goddard College students, 1971 - COURTESY OF GODDARD COLLEGE ARCHIVES
  • Courtesy of Goddard College Archives
  • Goddard College students, 1971
Experiences and legacies of 1970s Vermonters were fondly — and sometimes movingly — examined at a Vermont Historical Society event on Saturday, September 10, called "Freaks, Radicals & Hippies: Counterculture in 1970s Vermont Symposium."

The daylong event at the Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier, which featured keynote speaker Edward Berkowitz, a cultural history scholar, bore some resemblance to an educational program at a senior center. But the topics weren't the least bit bland. Most of the 125 attendees seated at round tables in the college's Alumni Hall were old enough to recall the riotous 1968 Democratic Party convention in Chicago, the 1969 Woodstock musical festival, the 1970 killings of antiwar demonstrators at Kent State University in Ohio and other tumultuous events of the era recounted by some of the speakers.

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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Lovin' on Language: 'A Way With Words' Cohost Has More to Say

Posted By on Wed, Sep 7, 2016 at 9:45 AM

Martha Barnette - COURTESY OF MARTHA BARNETTE
  • Courtesy of Martha Barnette
  • Martha Barnette
Martha Barnette, who cohosts the public radio show "A Way With Words" with Grant Barrett, is headlining a fundraiser for the Burlington Book Festival later this month. When I interviewed her, she was generous with her time and loquacious in her answers. Not surprisingly, the woman likes words themselves, their origins, and the sometimes quirky ways people put them together.

She also has strong opinions on why language matters. It was an interesting conversation, but we didn't have enough space for all of it in print (now, of course, that's also online), so I'm sharing the rest of it here.

SEVEN DAYS: How would you explain your fascination with language?
MARTHA BARNETTE: I suppose it derives from a natural curiosity and a drive to follow it — just wondering why things are the way they are. When you start wondering why we use the words we do, you discover they’re a great portal for learning about all kinds of other things: history, science, music, art, literature, folklore, mathematics, human psychology and much more. Word origins can give you a kind of X-ray vision; it lets you see things that are hiding right there in plain sight.

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Monday, September 5, 2016

Totally Cool: 'I Love the '90s' at the Champlain Valley Fair

Posted By on Mon, Sep 5, 2016 at 2:31 PM

'I Love the ’90s': the poster! - CHAMPLAIN VALLEY FAIR
  • Champlain Valley Fair
  • 'I Love the ’90s': the poster!
I'm a '90s kid, meaning I was born in the '80s but came of age in the '90s. My concept of cool was informed by Zach Morris, Hypercolor and the Fresh Prince. Hip hop was all of a sudden everything, even though I was oblivious to its origins and cultural significance until near adulthood. So, when I found out that I Love the '90s,  a concert tour of classic hip-hop artists, was closing out the 2016 Champlain Valley Fair, I made it my business to be there. 

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Saturday, September 3, 2016

A Trailer for Dave Keller's New CD, Right Back Atcha

Posted By on Sat, Sep 3, 2016 at 8:00 AM

Dave Keller, 'Right Back Atcha' - COURTESY OF DAVE KELLER
  • Courtesy of Dave Keller
  • Dave Keller, 'Right Back Atcha'
Local soul and blues man Dave Keller is really, really happy to share his latest album, Right Back Atcha. In 2014, Keller released the intimate and personal Soul Changes, a self-described "divorce album." Though it was fueled by personal misfortune — largely due to the crumbling of a 17-year relationship — he snagged a Blues Music Award nomination for it.  Flash forward to now, and Keller is ready to have some fun again. 

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Friday, September 2, 2016

Anthill Collective Art-Bombs for A-Dog

Posted By on Fri, Sep 2, 2016 at 3:19 PM


There's no question that Burlington loves Andy "A-Dog" Williams, the DJ who passed away of leukemia in 2014 at the age of 38. Last Saturday, August 27, community members rallied to collectively honor the artist during the third annual A-Dog Day, organized by Friends For A-Dog.

The center of the action took place at the new waterfront skatepark named for Williams, where his longtime partner Jozie Furchgott Sourdiffe unveiled a new permanent mural in his memory. 

Blocks away, in the center of downtown, local arts group Anthill Collective  took a more ad-hoc approach, wrapping four of the city's community bulletin boards with eight panels painted on cellophane — "like really big fliers," Anthill member Scottie Raymond told Seven Days by phone. 

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