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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Montréal Artists Create a New Mural for the Alchemist

Posted By on Tue, Feb 13, 2018 at 5:24 PM

Dan Buller, Ola Volo, Jason Bodkin and Jonathan Bergeron of EN MASSE - ERIK NELSON
  • Erik Nelson
  • Dan Buller, Ola Volo, Jason Bodkin and Jonathan Bergeron of EN MASSE
The Alchemist Brewery and Visitors Center got a new do this weekend. Four artists from the Montréal-based EN MASSE mural project lent their collaborative black-and-white stylings to the vaulted public entrance of the Stowe brewery.

Alchemist co-founder and brewer John Kimmich first encountered EN MASSE's work in Montréal, happening upon one of their murals in a parking garage. He immediately fell for its cacophony of themes unified by stark graphics.

EN MASSE, headed by Jason Botkin and Rupert Bottenberg, brings together (mostly) new artists for each project, whether a high-profile commission or a public, outdoor mural. The artists work collaboratively, each starting with a segment of wall and working outward so their designs mingle. The finished products are varied and unpredictable.

Since its inception in 2009, EN MASSE has worked with more than 250 artists around the world. And it's not the group's first time in Vermont. In 2012, EN MASSE artists, led by Bottenberg, painted a large cube, subsequently suspended from the ceiling, in a now-defunct Winooski gallery space facing the traffic circle.

The Alchemist's new piece — two pieces, technically, on opposite sides of the 768 square feet of ceiling space — was painted by Botkin, Ola Volo, Jonathan Bergeron and Dan Buller. It features a grinning face, a swan, an ornate rose, a rocketship and other items.
Mural by En Masse at the Alchemist Brewery and Visitors Center - ERIK NELSON
  • Erik Nelson
  • Mural by En Masse at the Alchemist Brewery and Visitors Center
Bodkin says the group doesn't usually go into a commission with a game plan, unless the client requests it. In this case, Kimmich just wanted them to do their thing. Bodkin notes that fun things happen when multiple artists work together. "It's an interesting process to watch people paint unscripted — it's contagious," he says.

It seems John and Jen Kimmich have the bug. Artwork has long been essential to the popular beer brand. Alchemist art director Jess Graham says the founders hope that the brewery will be "a feast for the eyes," and aim to continually add new works to their collection.

The mural joins a silo that Graham painted, work by artist Dan Blakeslee on the bright tanks, and sculptural, Dr. Seuss-like trees at the brewery's public entrance.

"The intention and vision [for the building] is [for it] to become full of sculpture and art," Graham says.

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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Bernie Sanders
Luis Calderin Presents 'Space Time Magic' at Champlain College

Posted By on Tue, Feb 6, 2018 at 7:46 PM

  • Courtesy of Luis Calderin
  • Luis Calderin
Luis Calderin had a front-row seat to the spectacle that was the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The Burlington-based marketing specialist, designer and DJ served as the director of arts, culture and the youth vote for Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) presidential campaign. From curating nationally touring political art exhibits to managing celebrity endorsements from the likes of rapper Killer Mike and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, it was a role that uniquely suited Calderin's varied interests.

Since the campaign, Calderin has continued working at what he calls "the intersection of youth, culture and politics." He spent time with Rock the Vote, the national nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that aims to get youth to the polls. Currently, he's running his own boutique marketing firm, Okay Okay Creative. And he's writing a book, PoliticArts, that examines the history of campaign art.

Calderin's latest endeavor is a new multimedia presentation, "Space Time Magic," debuting this Thursday, February 8, at Champlain College's Alumni Auditorium in Burlington. Fusing music and design, Calderin recounts his unlikely story, from moving to Burlington from Miami as a teenager — and the first American-born son of Cuban immigrants — to the experiences and influences that led him to Sanders' campaign and to his current projects. Think of it like a hip-hop TED talk. The event's  program is designed to look like a vinyl album cover.

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Thursday, February 1, 2018

First Friday Roundup: February

Posted By and on Thu, Feb 1, 2018 at 6:28 PM

Sculpture by Samantha Eckert - NEW CITY GALERIE
  • New City Galerie
  • Sculpture by Samantha Eckert

Hi there, art peeps (and wannabe art peeps). It’s been a hot minute since we’ve executed our monthly roundup of the First Friday art shows we’re particularly excited about. But we’re back on the train! Our picks for February are an interesting mix of death, trees, parasites and analog/digital Frankensteins. To wit …

Burlington's New City Galerie launches a show that examines grief and psychic spaces through installation works. Also in the Queen City, Valentine’s Day gets a special sort of comeuppance with the parasite-themed “HUSK” opening at the South End’s S.P.A.C.E. Gallery.

In Montpelier, a trio of artists — including Erika Senft Miller’s performance troupe — continues their two-year examination of decaying wood in “SiteTime: Scene Two: Falling.” Meanwhile, in the Mad River Valley, Jim Dodds proves that meme art is not just the purview of deranged millennials.

Wherever the art spirits take you, we hope you get to enjoy at least one of these fine offerings — and be safe!


(Art) Gossip Girl(s)

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Monday, January 29, 2018

Extra: 'Floydian Slip' Host Explores the Cover Art from 'Wish You Were Here'

Posted By on Mon, Jan 29, 2018 at 11:56 AM

Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here album cover art, recreated using images of "Floydian Slip" radio host Craig Bailey. - FILE ART BY REV. DIANE SULLIVAN
  • File art by Rev. Diane Sullivan
  • Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here album cover art, recreated using images of "Floydian Slip" radio host Craig Bailey.
It was cool to discover recently that "Floydian Slip," the globally syndicated Pink Floyd radio hour, emanates each week from a quiet residential neighborhood in Shelburne. Seven Days profiled the program's creator and radio host, Craig Bailey, in its January 24, 2018 story, "The Great Gig: Radio host Craig Bailey reflects on two decades of 'Floydian Slip.'"

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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Tom Leytham Watercolors Acquired for State Collection

Posted By on Tue, Jan 23, 2018 at 12:53 PM

"Tunbridge Mill" by Tom Leytham - COURTESY OF TOM LEYTHAM
  • Courtesy of Tom Leytham
  • "Tunbridge Mill" by Tom Leytham
Thanks to an anonymous donor, the Vermont State Art Collection has just acquired several new works: five watercolors by celebrated Vermont artist and architect Tom Leytham. Known for his surprisingly light, airy depictions of the state's rural-industrial decay, Leytham, in his mid-seventies, has been committing the state's dilapidated factories, granaries, mills and mines to the art historical record since 2007.

State curator David Schutz first worked with Leytham  for the artist's 2015 Governor's Gallery exhibition "The Other Working Landscape." According to Schutz, the two discussed "how wonderful it would be if somehow [Tom's] work found its way into our collection." The hitch? The state has no budget for such acquisitions.

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Saturday, January 20, 2018

Artist Elizabeth Bunsen Wins 2018 Barbara Smail Award

Posted By on Sat, Jan 20, 2018 at 3:04 PM

Elizabeth Bunsen (left) and Heather Ferrell - SADIE WILLIAMS
  • Sadie Williams
  • Elizabeth Bunsen (left) and Heather Ferrell
Burlington City Arts was packed last night for the opening of its winter exhibitions and the announcement of this year's Barbara Smail Award winner. The new exhibitions feature art by Dusty Boynton, Edwin Owre and 2017 Barbara Smail Award winner Elise Whittemore. The 2018 award winner is Elizabeth Bunsen.

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Thursday, January 18, 2018

ReSOURCE to Relocate, Soda Plant to Offer New Incubator Workspaces

Posted By on Thu, Jan 18, 2018 at 5:52 PM

ReSOURCE storefront in Burlington - SADIE WILLIAMS
  • Sadie Williams
  • ReSOURCE storefront in Burlington
On Wednesday, second-hand store and reuse facility ReSOURCE announced that part of its business is leaving Burlington. ReSOURCE Household Goods has been located in the Soda Plant at 266 Pine Street for 22 years. In February, when its lease is terminated, the nonprofit will move to 326 Harvest Lane in Williston.  

What will take its place? A number of new incubator spaces for small, business-minded artisans and makers, according to Steve Conant.

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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

A Sculpture Is Stolen, and Found, in Richmond

Posted By on Wed, Jan 3, 2018 at 3:53 PM

Tim Clark and Baptiste Lefrançois with sculpture pre-theft - COURTESY OF TIM CLARK
  • Courtesy of Tim Clark
  • Tim Clark and Baptiste Lefrançois with sculpture pre-theft
It started with a holiday gift to the town of Richmond, said artist Tim Clark. The sculpture he made with Baptiste Lefrançois was sited on the corner of Hinesburg and Huntington roads — property owned by Lefrançois.

The angular work was made of square metal tubing and painted bright red. Standing 13 feet, three inches tall, it was anchored to a field stone with nine bolts and washers. The artists installed their work, with the help of an excavator, over nine hours on Monday, December 18.

"We spent the day making sure it was exactly how we wanted it," Clark said. He didn't think the 350-pound sculpture was going anywhere.

On New Year's Eve, it did.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Moran Plant Mural Has Been Vandalized

Posted By on Tue, Dec 12, 2017 at 12:10 PM

King Street Center and community volunteers painting the Moran Plant with Clark Derbes in 2015 - OLIVER PARINI
  • Oliver Parini
  • King Street Center and community volunteers painting the Moran Plant with Clark Derbes in 2015
A colorful collaborative mural on the west side of the Moran Plant building recently received some uninvited additions. "Fuck me," one carelessly scrawled message reads. "Pussy" and "Anal" also made the grade, as well as a handful of hastily fashioned octopi, or maybe squid. In contrast, there are also a few little red hearts. The bare brick walls on either side of the mural were untouched.

The original mural was created in August 2015 and was a collaboration of artist Clark Derbes, 10 kids from the King Street Center, nonprofit developers New Moran and more than 40 community members. At the time,  Derbes told Seven Days, "I think the kids that were there will maintain a sense of ownership over that project," referring to the then-anticipated redevelopment of the Moran structure by the New Moran team.

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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Clemmons Family Farm Receives ArtPlace America Grant

Posted By on Tue, Dec 5, 2017 at 4:18 PM

L to R: Jack and Lydia Clemmons with their daughter Lydia - CALEB KENNA
  • Caleb Kenna
  • L to R: Jack and Lydia Clemmons with their daughter Lydia
Tucked among Charlotte's many scenic vistas is a 148-acre family-owned farm that has quietly become a vibrant multicultural center dedicated to celebrating African American heritage through the arts.  The Clemmons Family Farm launched programming in the summer of 2016 and began hosting public events this past summer. And it just got a massive boost toward future programming in the form of a $350,000 grant from ArtPlace America's National Placemaking Fund.

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