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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Vermont Arts Council Exhibit Spotlights New American Artists

Posted By on Tue, Jul 17, 2018 at 12:24 PM

Aline Mukiza (with drum) and Burundian dancers - COURTESY OF JEFF WOODWARD
  • Courtesy of Jeff Woodward
  • Aline Mukiza (with drum) and Burundian dancers
The Vermont Arts Council is on a mission to broaden the definition of who a Vermont artist is, said director Karen Mittelman. "There are new groups of Americans who are enriching [the] landscape in ways that most people don't see and recognize," she said.

Mittelman is hopeful that the arts agency's latest photo exhibit will introduce residents and visitors to the state's diverse cultural landscape.

With help from the Vermont Folklife Center, the VAC has assembled a collection of photographs for its Spotlight Gallery that feature the music, dance and fiber traditions of local Bhutanese, Bosnian, Burundian, Karen, Somali and Tibetan communities.

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Monday, May 14, 2018

A New Ceramics Studio Takes Shape in Burlington's South End

Posted By on Mon, May 14, 2018 at 5:41 PM

Brielle and Mitch Rovito - PHOTO: BEAR CIERI
  • Photo: Bear Cieri
  • Brielle and Mitch Rovito
It’s said that, if you can’t find what you’re looking for, you should make it yourself. Ceramicist Brielle Rovito seems to have taken that philosophy to heart.

A year ago, Rovito got married and moved to Burlington from Minneapolis, Minn., to be closer to family. Leaving a ceramics-focused shared studio, she was hoping to find something similar in her new home, but didn’t. So she started the Form Collective, which now hosts three ceramicists in a cozy second-floor studio at 180 Flynn Avenue.

On Tuesday, May 22, 5-9 p.m., Rovito will host an open house with her studio mates, Taylar Main and Lindsay Van Leir, who moved in over the winter.

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Monday, February 26, 2018

Abenakis Gather for Traditional Snow Snake Game in West Barnet

Posted By on Mon, Feb 26, 2018 at 9:01 AM

Winners of 2018 Snow Snake Games, left to right: Nate Chenevert, Gavin MacNeille, Rhonda Besaw and Bryan Blanchett - KYMELYA SARI
  • Kymelya Sari
  • Winners of 2018 Snow Snake Games, left to right: Nate Chenevert, Gavin MacNeille, Rhonda Besaw and Bryan Blanchett
Last Saturday, about two dozen people gathered in West Barnet to play the traditional Native American winter game of snow snake. The games also coincided with the official opening of the Nulhegan Abenaki Cultural Center.

"This is an ancient Native game," explained Donald Stevens, chief of the Nulhegan band of the Abenaki nation. "You slide a stick down the track. Whoever goes the farthest wins."

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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Tlingit Weaver Ricky Tagaban Visits Johnson State College

Posted By on Thu, Apr 13, 2017 at 6:35 PM

Ricky Tagaban - COURTESY OF THE ARTIST
  • Courtesy of the artist
  • Ricky Tagaban
"We don’t have a word for art in Tlingit," says Ricky Tagaban, "because
almost everything that we would make would have a crest on it."

The significance of languages — written, spoken and visual — and their intrinsic relationship to multiple identities is a strong thread that runs through the artist's tandem engagements as a contemporary artist, indigenous weaver and drag performer.

The Juneau, Alaska-based artist is in residence this week at Johnson State College, as part of the university's annual Ellsworth Lecture programming. Tagaban delivered his talk, “Weaving Politics and Process: Expressing Northwest Coast Textiles Through a Two-Spirit Life,” on Wednesday, April 12, and will offer a public weaving demonstration on Friday, April 14, 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. at Dewey Hall Commons.

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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Vermont PBS and Frog Hollow Spotlight Green Mountain Artisans

Posted By on Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 5:35 PM

"The Bear and the Poppies" by Jess Polanshek - COURTESY OF JESS POLANSHEK
  • Courtesy of Jess Polanshek
  • "The Bear and the Poppies" by Jess Polanshek

Last March, Frog Hollow Vermont Craft Gallery partnered with Vermont PBS' "Made Here" program to spotlight some of the state's star craftspeople in The Frog Hollow Green Mountain Artisans. On Tuesday, February 7, at 7 p.m., PBS will re-air this pilot episode, which was directed by local photographer and filmmaker Natalie Stultz.

It features Enosburg Falls bowl turner Alan Stirt, Burlington sculptor Kate Pond, Granville glassblower Michael Egan and Bennington jeweler Ivy Long. Three new half-hour episodes will air each Tuesday for the rest of month.

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Friday, July 8, 2016

State Craft Center Announces Artisan Grant

Posted By on Fri, Jul 8, 2016 at 10:15 AM

Hand-printed flag by James Bellizia. - COURTESY OF FROG HOLLOW AND THE WATERWHEEL FOUNDATION
  • Courtesy of Frog Hollow and the WaterWheel Foundation
  • Hand-printed flag by James Bellizia.
Frog Hollow Vermont State Craft Center has announced a newly established Artisan Grant Program in support of the state's makers, both emerging and established. The program will offer four different types of grants, ranging from $200 to $2,000.

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Monday, February 15, 2016

For Stacie: Artists Rally to Support the Zipper Lady

Posted By on Mon, Feb 15, 2016 at 4:17 PM

Stacie Mincher with her zipper jewelry - COURTESY OF FROG HOLLOW
  • Courtesy of Frog Hollow
  • Stacie Mincher with her zipper jewelry

A lifelong artist, crafter and upcycler, Stacie Mincher of Rutland has earned her reputation as "the Zipper Lady" through her dedication to her quirky zipper jewelry business. On January 11, Mincher suffered a stroke caused by complications of pituitary tumor surgery. She is not expected to return to her craft for at least a year.

But artists and community members are coming together to support Mincher's recovery: Frog Hollow Vermont State Craft Center, which carries her work, will host a benefit event on Saturday, February 20. It will feature a live and silent auction of donated works — more than 50 artists have contributed so far. 

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Friday, October 3, 2014

Discovery Channel's 'How It's Made' Features Danforth Pewter

Posted By on Fri, Oct 3, 2014 at 9:22 AM

Oil lamp by Danforth Pewter - COURTESY OF DANFORTH PEWTER
  • Courtesy of Danforth Pewter
  • Oil lamp by Danforth Pewter

Danforth Pewter
's iconic oil lamps are produced in batches of one or two dozen during a daylong metalworking process. But that, says owner Fred Danforth, who revived his family's centuries-old pewter business in 1975, is somewhat misleading.

"My flippant answer, when someone asks how long it takes to make one, is 30 years!" jokes Danforth. "Because that's how long it took me to really get down all of the techniques."

Visitors to the Danforth Pewter Workshop & Store on Seymour Street in Middlebury have long been able to see those lamps and other products in various stages of production. Two windows in the company's headquarters offer a peek into the workroom, where craftspeople work during business hours.

Today, October 3, television audiences also have the opportunity to see Danforth's craft in action: A segment of "How It's Made," a popular show on Discovery's Science Channel, is dedicated to the making of a Danforth oil lamp. The episode initially airs at 10:30 p.m. Eastern time, then again at 1:30 a.m. on October 4.

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Material Ecologist Neri Oxman to Give UVM Aiken Lecture

Posted By on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Pneuma 1, by Neri Oxman | 3D printed models produced by Stratasys - YORAM RESHEF
  • Yoram Reshef
  • Pneuma 1, by Neri Oxman | 3D printed models produced by Stratasys
Neri Oxman’s creations look like they’ve emerged from a 1950s science-fiction film. Multicolored, alien crenellations bend into weird but oddly recognizable shapes; weird textures evoke deep-sea creatures or weird insects. They’re extremely difficult to figure out.

But that inscrutable nature is by design. Just as Oxman’s projects look both bizarre and familiar, she resists easy categorization herself. Part artist, part scientist and part designer, Oxman works in a field that’s she’s dubbed “material ecology,” the goal of which is to study how new techniques of design and fabrication can transform the creation of everyday objects and structures. As she put it on her blog, her overall project is to investigate the ways that design intersects with “architecture, enginerring, computation, and ecology.”

Many of Oxman’s most striking designs draw their inspiration from natural materials: internal organs, insect carapaces, seashells. Oxman, a professor at MIT, is at the cutting edge of the 3-D printing revolution, and has used the technology to design and build everything from bike helmets to high-fashion dresses to carpal-tunnel wristguards.

Neri Oxman will visit the University of Vermont this Thursday to deliver the George D. Aiken Lecture, “Material Ecology: A New Approach to Nature-Inspired Design and Engineering.” By email, she answered some questions for Seven Days in advance of her talk.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Water Music: An Instrumental Boat Visits the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum

Posted By on Tue, Jul 8, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Is this a vehicle or an instrument? Yes. - ULLAPOOL COASTAL ROWING CLUB
  • Ullapool Coastal Rowing Club
  • Is this a vehicle or an instrument? Yes.

Elementary school music classes instruct youngsters on the fine art of making musical instruments out of rubber bands and cans of beans. Woodturning artist Michael Brolly has taken that same impulse much, much further. He’s made an instrument out of a seagoing vessel.

Sephira is the name of his creation, and it’s described as “half boat and half musical instrument.” Built by students and staff at Moravian Academy in Bethlehem, Penn., where Brolly is a woodworking instructor, Sephira is a 22-foot-long St. Ayles-style skiff into which has been built a fully functioning Aeolian harp. And not just any Aeolian harp — an instrument whose tones are generated by the wind — but one that has been strung and tuned to produce sounds that resonate with  the frequency of whale song.

Not since prehistoric times have whales frolicked in Lake Champlain, but that hasn’t stopped Vergennes’ Lake Champlain Maritime Museum from inviting Brolly and Sephira to take part in their St. Ayles Skiff/Challenge Race this weekend. On Saturday afternoon, July 12, visitors can watch as Brolly strings the harp, and can take their turn making their own boat music.

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