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Friday, May 8, 2020

The Mask Is the Message on a Barre Sculpture

Posted By on Fri, May 8, 2020 at 6:49 PM

"Youth Triumphant" - SUE HIGBY
  • Sue Higby
  • "Youth Triumphant"
Face masks have been appearing on public artworks since the pandemic began, from Wuhan to Rome to New York City to … Barre. Sue Higby, director of Studio Place Arts in Barre, took this shot of  "Youth Triumphant" — a sculpture that presides over the intersection of Main and Washington streets downtown — and sent it our way.

As symbols go, a mask over the mouth would seem to suggest being silenced, and yet this masked man has something important to say.

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Thursday, April 2, 2020

A Virtual Welcome to Vermont's New Cartoonist Laureate, Rick Veitch

Posted By on Thu, Apr 2, 2020 at 11:59 AM

Self-portrait by Rick Veitch - RICK VEITCH
  • Rick Veitch
  • Self-portrait by Rick Veitch
Today, April 2, current Vermont cartoonist laureate Alison Bechdel officially passes the laurels to West Townshend resident Rick Veitch. He is the fourth, following Bechdel, Edward Koren and James Kochalka.

But Veitch is the first cartoonist laureate to be inaugurated via livestream — and in the middle of a pandemic. The ceremony that usually takes place in the Vermont Statehouse this time foregoes a congratulatory handshake from the governor, and the audience is virtual. A link to the 3 p.m. ceremony is here.

Gov. Phil Scott, of course, is battling the biggest opponent of not just a career but a lifetime: the coronavirus. Even so, he managed to issue a short message to Veitch: "Congratulations, Rick. Your honor is well deserved."

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Thursday, September 26, 2019

Middlebury Gallery's Nip Slip Results in Instagram Ban

Posted By on Thu, Sep 26, 2019 at 9:19 PM

  • Olivia Oh @byoliviaoh
The director of a photography gallery in Middlebury said the gallery's Instagram account was banned after posting a photo of a nude woman's breasts on September 5.

James Barker of PhotoPlace Gallery said the photograph, a fine-art shot by Olivia Oh of New York City, was posted by gallery manager Megan Owen, who he said failed to notice its content. That same day, the Instagram account @photoplacegallery was shut down, and PhotoPlace staff have been unable to access it since.

According to Barker, attempts to contact Instagram have gone unanswered. He noted that PhotoPlace had never received any warning or disciplinary action from Instagram before. 

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Thursday, August 15, 2019

Overnight Projects Installation Addresses U.S. History of Separating Families

Posted By on Thu, Aug 15, 2019 at 7:39 AM

Inside the "library" of "Liminal States" - BRIDGET HIGDON
  • Bridget Higdon
  • Inside the "library" of "Liminal States"
The heavy doors of the shipping containers creaked as Chris Thompson opened them one at a time. After lifting a spool of thick yellow extension cord from inside each container, he walked the plugs about 10 yards to an outlet.

As soon as connection was made, projector screens inside the two containers whirred to life, and soft voices soon echoed against the trees.

"Liminal States: What Were Some of the Things You Missed From Home?" is a two-channel video installation and library located outside of Generator, the makerspace in Burlington’s South End. Thompson is the nonprofit's executive director.

The exhibition, which examines the long history of separating families and incarcerating children in the U.S., opened August 9. It's on view just through Friday, August 16, 5 to 9 p.m.

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Thursday, August 1, 2019

What's That New Mural on King Street?

Posted By on Thu, Aug 1, 2019 at 2:53 PM

  • Courtesy of Turning Point Center
  • A mock-up of what the mural will look like when completed, and the beginning stages of the mural on August 1
A new mural-in-progress on the corner of King Street and South Winooski Avenue will include themes of housing, community and hope for people recovering from addiction. Turning Point Center of Chittenden County recently purchased the building from the Champlain Housing Trust.

The Turning Point Center provides a space and support for substance abuse recovery groups to meet and hold activities. According to its executive director, Gary De Carolis, the center officially purchased the building at 179 South Winooski Ave. on Tuesday. The center has occupied the space since December, after spending four months renovating the office building into larger spaces suitable for groups. It's roughly 60 percent bigger than the center's previous home on Bank Street.

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Whale Tails Return to Randolph

Posted By on Fri, Jul 19, 2019 at 4:20 PM

Installing "Whale Dance" by Jim Sardonis - BRIDGET HIGDON
  • Bridget Higdon
  • Installing "Whale Dance" by Jim Sardonis
With a panoramic mountain range as a backdrop, a beloved sculpture came home, in a sense, to Randolph today. “Whale Dance,” a new work by local artist Jim Sardonis, was unveiled at noon just off Interstate 89’s Exit 4.

“Reverence,” a similar sculpture by Sardonis, was originally sited on the land in 1989 and remained for a decade. When the farmland was sold to developer Jesse "Sam"  Sammis in 1999, the sculpture was moved to a spot along I-89 in South Burlington.

Thanks to a group of local fundraisers,  the Preservation Trust of Vermont and the Vermont Community Foundation, Randolph residents got their whales back. Sardonis was commissioned to make another pair.

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Monday, July 15, 2019

Burlington City Arts Announces New Round of Grant Recipients

Posted By on Mon, Jul 15, 2019 at 3:25 PM

Ramblers on North Street in 2017 - THE RAMBLE
  • The Ramble
  • Ramblers on North Street in 2017
Burlington City Arts announced Monday that it will distribute $35,000 to 14 artists and organizations to address community needs through the arts. The recipients include projects to, among other things, engage middle schoolers and senior citizens through writing and storytelling, document the stories of Burlington residents, explore new technologies, and support the annual Old North End Ramble.

Many of the recipients are new, but the ONE Ramble also received a BCA grant in 2018. The free annual festival returns for its 16th year on Saturday, July 27, with a full day of art, music and food. The event, which celebrates Vermont’s most racially and economically diverse neighborhood, received $2,500 in support from the BCA in 2018 and $3,000 this year.

Among the grantees this year are several education programs for Burlington’s youth. Girls Rock Vermont, a music nonprofit that provides a summer camp and after-school sessions for girls and gender-nonconforming youth to encourage self-expression, received $3,000.

The Bhutanese Nepali Cultural Heritage Dance Group of VT, which teaches Nepali dance to the young members of the Bhutanese and Nepali refugee community and works to raise awareness of their cultural heritage, received $3,000. BCA also awarded $2,400 to Mindy Wong to support the continuation of writing workshops for high school students through the Young Writers Project; and $3,000 to Alyssa Faber for a program to create public art with middle school students.

Not all the grantees are focused on the young, however. One project, led by Michael Kellogg and awarded $1,500, will record and present stories from elders at the Champlain Senior Center.

Grant funds will also be used to explore new technologies. The Illumination Collective, an artist group that created an interactive lighting exhibit during the 2018 Highlight Festival, will invite the community to help create an illuminated artwork to be displayed at the Generator maker space.

Yet another project will explore the history of some of Burlington’s most controversial art. Matthew Kelly was awarded $3,000 to make a documentary about the “Everyone Loves a Parade!” mural, which protestors have called “white supremacist,” and which the Burlington City Council voted to remove by 2022. The mural was vandalized and partially covered by a tarp in November 2018.
"Everyone Loves a Parade!" mural in downtown Burlington - SADIE WILLIAMS
  • Sadie Williams
  • "Everyone Loves a Parade!" mural in downtown Burlington

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Friday, May 17, 2019

Margaret Coleman Takes the Helm of T.W. Wood Gallery

Posted By on Fri, May 17, 2019 at 10:27 AM

  • Owl's Iris Photography
  • Margaret Coleman
It didn't seem like the best time for Margaret Coleman to take on another job. Co-founder and executive director of the national nonprofit Art Shape Mammoth, founder and director of the O.N.E. Arts Center in Burlington, and mom to two little ones — ages 2 and a half years and 4 months — she had her hands full.

In recent months, too, Coleman had taken over management of Flynndog gallery and was involved in developing new arts spaces in that South End building. "It's wild timing," she conceded.

But none of this stopped Coleman from applying for, and accepting, the position of executive director at Montpelier's T.W. Wood Gallery. She was won over by "the commitment to accessibility [to art] and the historic collection." She also liked the gallery's diversity in programming, including after-school classes, adult classes, art camps and exhibition space for contemporary exhibitions, as well as works from the Wood collection. The gallery also hosts film nights for local filmmakers and other community events.

The Wood "is at a place in history where it has the potential for growth, and I'm excited by that," Coleman said. "It's an open book for what can happen."

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Thursday, May 9, 2019

Christy Mitchell Named New Executive Director of SEABA

Posted By on Thu, May 9, 2019 at 9:28 PM

  • Courtesy of Lauren Mazzotta
  • Christy Mitchell
It seems only right that someone who's been an artrepreneur on Burlington's Pine Street the last 15 years of her life should rise up to helm the South End Arts and Business Association. And that's exactly what has happened.

Christy Mitchell, founder/director of the S.P.A.C.E. Gallery in the Soda Plant, was today named executive director of the nonprofit organization that brings us the annual South End Art Hop. She will replace interim director Jeanne Kirby, who will rejoin the board. Previous ED Adam Brooks stepped down last December.

A graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design and an artist herself, Mitchell has been an active member of the city's art scene since her arrival in it. In addition to launching S.P.A.C.E. — which in addition to the gallery offers studio space to emerging artists — she has opened additional working artist spaces in the South End and was the director of maker space Generator in its early years. She was also instrumental in designating the official term "South End Arts District."

“My passion for the arts and love of creative endeavors has led me down a path of connecting artists to opportunity," Mitchell writes in a press release. "My vision for the South End consists of building up relationships and paving new ways for artists and entrepreneurs to connect and communicate with each other and the broader community."

Seth Mobley, president of the SEABA board of directors, said, “Christy is the right person to guide SEABA, to nurture its strengths, and to support the innovation taking place across our community.”

One of the first orders of SEABA business is planning the 27th annual Art Hop — this year September 6 through 8. But in addition the board is engaged in a longer-term process of honing goals for the organization, as well as priorities for serving businesses and artists in the ever-evolving South End.

According to Mitchell, one goal will be to find a new home. Last December, SEABA's lease at 404 Pine Street was not renewed (ArtsRiot has expanded into the space), and it has been operating from a significantly downsized office in Generator on Sears Lane.

Meantime, Mitchell writes on Facebook: "I can’t wait to lead this organization, creating a platform to raise awareness and give a common voice to artists and businesses, so that we all may thrive. I’m looking forward to many exciting days ahead!" 

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Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Seven Days Photographer Matthew Thorsen Dies at 51

Posted By on Wed, Jan 2, 2019 at 3:55 PM

  • Melanie Maria Goodreaux
  • Matthew Thorsen
We're deeply saddened to report the death, from cancer, of  Seven Days' longtime beloved staff photographer Matthew Thorsen. Though expected, his passing — on New Year's Day 2019 — is nonetheless devastating to us all.

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