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Comment Archives: stories: Arts + Life: Live Culture

Re: “A Fond Farewell to Artists John Brickels & Wendy James

What a positive force these two have been. They are talented, kind, and optimistic. Lowell is lucky!!

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by jane goodman on 05/23/2017 at 7:13 PM

Re: “Joke of the Week: Surprise!

Timely.

Posted by The Oracle on 05/22/2017 at 6:17 PM

Re: “Majorwise and Packetized Energy Win 2017 LaunchVT

Very short on information. What exactly did the winner pitch? How is this going to make the world a better place?

Posted by leaterhune on 05/16/2017 at 10:57 AM

Re: “Style Points: Natural Lingerie by Hanna Broer Design

I love Vermont designers from Montreal.

Posted by The Oracle on 05/15/2017 at 12:21 PM

Re: “Playtime: Waking Windows Pep Talk

Glad I taught you the important things in life! Wish I could be there holding on to your belt loop. Love from Fiji, Mom

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by carol stenberg on 05/06/2017 at 12:25 AM

Re: “Burlington's Brickwork Art Studios to Be Closed

I understand the concept of a free market, and I also understand the artists' perspective. Since money is the landlord's concern, couldn't he have raised their rents? Perhaps rent is regulated in Burlington. I am not a resident and speak from an outside perspective. But it is a commercial lease, so I would think he'd be able to raise the rent at lease renewal time. That would give him an increase in income and give the artists an option to stay or go. Just an idea, though it's probably not feasible, since he probably wants to rehab the place.

Any town would be blessed by the presence of these artists. I would love to see a renaissance in St. J., Barre, Rutland, etc. However, there is something lively about Burlington - the people, the lake... That wonderful flow of activity both inspires an artist and draws people who appreciate their art. So it would be difficult for an artist with a following to just uproot themselves and their families to start over in these places that, sadly, may lack an appreciation for what they have to offer. Not to mention, it would not be lucrative for them personally, since such a move would likely reduce their income even if it saved on rent.

Hoping the landlord manages it well, and praying the artists find a new home.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by olive dove on 05/02/2017 at 11:32 PM

Re: “Burlington's Brickwork Art Studios to Be Closed

After letting the dust settle I felt the need to write a comment. As one of the longest standing tenants/artist at Brickwork Art Studios and one of the 14 artists in the building I felt it was important to let our voice be heard. Most of the artists in the building have been there anywhere from 2-5+ years. Every artist in our building is truly successful and has great pride. Some of the artists work full-time on top of working in their studios. Many contribute to the area by having classes, donating art work to many organizations and causes etc. Many of us own homes, yes homes. Mr. DeFrancis we are successful in our lives, you should be ashamed of yourself for making the comments you made. I have lived in the South End since the mid 60's and my father had a succesful business on Pine Street for 25 years. I grew up loving how diverse and "Artsy" this area was and is. After Overlake Park purchased the building it was very soon after that changes were taking place. The way that we were told we had to leave was not the best way to communicate with us to say the least, hiding behind his attorney rather than having a conversation with all of us spoke volumes about the owners character. I and all the Brickwork Art Studios Artists want to thank the Art community for reaching out to us, this is what makes the South End Arts and Businesses truly special. Paco DeFancis, your comments to the "artists" to move to Barre and St. Johnsbury is not an option and how utterly ridiculous you are. Perhaps those locations need someone like you to make them more " hip" just as the South End is.

12 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Johanne Durocher Yordan on 05/02/2017 at 7:45 PM

Re: “Burlington's Brickwork Art Studios to Be Closed

I wish I was surprised to see this but the greed and opportunism that is so rife in our community was inevitable in the south end with the gentrification of that area. I too am an artist and had once hoped to open a studio for my photography in the South end at some point to be part of the rich artistic community there. its just not possible any longer. Although I applaud many of our current Mayors developing initiatives I wish may Winburger valued the tenants and the culture the rich arts scene beings to Burlington and offered it some protections. Alas cash is king and greed will always win when its back by the local govt.

9 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Brian Drourr on 05/02/2017 at 12:12 PM

Re: “Burlington's Brickwork Art Studios to Be Closed

I find it very disturbing and actually pretty offensive that Paco DeFrancis expresses his belief that "not everyone can live in Burlington"... Mr DeFrancis is a relatively recent resident to this city and has what I assume is a good paying job at one of the major employers. So why should he care about people who make less than him? So his attitude of if the artists don't like it then they can just leave for other towns is just part and parcel of those free market thinkers who believe that only the fittest should survive. What is more disturbing about his prevailing attitude is that he has been appointed by the mayor to be the mayor's representative on CEDO's Community Development Block Grant Committee. So I must assume tat the mayor and he hold similar outlooks on the role of artists and their value to the community. Artists do indeed add to the tax base Mr DeFrancis. They are one of the reasons Burlington maintains its character; the character that attracts people to it to spend tourist dollars; it makes Burlington an interesting place to live, far from the sanitized version of a playground for the well to do you would rather have it be. If you are unwilling to support all of its citizens, then I suggest you resign your post as the mayor's rep on that committee. The mayor's development agenda is fracturing this community; most notably shown by Mr DeFrancis' casual and mean spirited disregard for these artists and his embrace of higher end development. He should resign his seat on the CDBG.

18 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by critikboy on 05/02/2017 at 8:34 AM

Re: “Burlington's Brickwork Art Studios to Be Closed

Typo. That's supposed to be 90 days, not 99. I regret the error.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Marcia Blanco on 05/01/2017 at 9:35 PM

Re: “Burlington's Brickwork Art Studios to Be Closed

Mr. Jacobs and his lawyer need to check the rights of tenants before they start throwing people out on their ear. Many of these tenants have been there over two years and must be given a 99 day notification, not the 60 days that the tenants were given. The eviction notice is required to list the reason for eviction. There again, Mr. Jacobs and his lawyers failed to do so.

I hope to God that Mr. Jacobs does not follow in the footsteps of his father as far as business practices go, but this incident worries me that Burlington has just inherited another greedy landlord. Perhaps I'm wrong. I hope so.

As for Mr. DeFrancis: his short-sighted linear approach to the free market doesn't address the fact that prior to the artistic movement, the South End was a cascade of dying industry. Through art came vision, hope and creativity and these artists did such a great job (as artists often do) that they are being kicked out of the community they helped to create. Good job, guys. Thanks a lot. Don't let the door hit you in the ass as you haul your business to Barre.

For that is what these artists are; they are small businesses who provide an essential service. Breezily suggesting that they should just pack up their businesses and just shimmy on over to Barre because 'it has lots of warehouses' makes me suggest that Mr. DeFrancis put their shoes on for a minute. These artists live in Burlington, work in Burlington, their kids go to school in Burlington, their community and contacts are in Burlington. This eviction threatens all of that, but hey, what the Hell, go start from scratch in Barre because hey! Market forces let the big guys always win.

17 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Marcia Blanco on 05/01/2017 at 9:34 PM

Re: “Burlington's Brickwork Art Studios to Be Closed

Here's a piece: Six Creative Ways Artists Can Improve Communities.
https://www.theguardian.com/culture-profes…

15 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Kath Montstream on 05/01/2017 at 4:14 PM

Re: “Burlington's Brickwork Art Studios to Be Closed

Dear Paco.
I would also like to congratulate Mr. Jacobs for purchasing such a fine industrial relic that apparently used to make Nabisco crackers in the day.

In response to your comments, the city has designated this region as the "South End Arts District;" thus making studios available to potters, forgers of hand made knives, printers, glassblowers, jewelry makers and galleries. Tourists love to find us, and we're a draw for BTV. Have you been to the South End Art Hop? It is Vermont's largest art event and attracts more than 30,000 for a weekend filled with open studios, music & food. In the SEAD, visitors will find all kinds of artists; I'm unclear why you chose to use quotations around "artists."
Communities need artists now more than ever; you question the benefit we have in our community? J. Paul Getty said "The beauty one can find in art is one of the pitifully few real and lasting products of human endeavor." Your suggestion to move our studios to Barre, St. J, Springfield or Rutland is not realistic. We love our town and want to work here.
Sales & Use Tax. I've been paying quarterly since 1989. Because I am tax exempt, one canvas that cost me $200. at 7% sales tax would earn the state just $14. But because I am exempt, I then tax my patrons for the finished product. So instead, I paint a landscape, sell it for $3000. and then write a check to the state for 7% = $210. And that's just one piece. Does that not benefit the city? I happily contribute as I love this state, I love Burlington, and I really loved my studio at Brickwork Art Studios.

Good luck to you, Paco.
Katharine Montstream
Montstream Studio, Burlington, Vermont

38 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Kath Montstream on 05/01/2017 at 4:09 PM

Re: “Burlington's Brickwork Art Studios to Be Closed

Congratulations to Mr. Jacobs for his recent purchase of this property. I wish him the best in his endeavors. Hopefully the DRB/BTVCC will stay out of the way and let Mr. Jacobs find the most market-efficient use of this space. Whether that's apartments, tech offices or a drug treatment center we should let the market run it's course. Low-rent "artist" studios provide very little benefit to Burlington and generate very little economic activity that can be captured via income and sales/use taxes. Letting the market decide will provide the biggest benefit to Burlingtonians.

As for the artists? There's plenty of vacant warehouse/factory space in many of Vermont's formerly industrial towns (think Barre, Springfield, St. J, etc). Hopefully the artists can move into these cities, make use of vacant real estate, and can ultimately spur the same revitalization and creative renaissance they have in the South End.

Not everyone can live in Burlington. Let's let market demand/supply more efficiently allocate real estate assets. No reason to subsidize artists through regulations/zoning when there's space for them in Barre, Rutland, etc.

16 likes, 46 dislikes
Posted by Paco DeFrancis on 04/30/2017 at 9:37 PM

Re: “Burlington's Brickwork Art Studios to Be Closed

Here, we are seeing gentrification at work, and something South End artists have been concerned about. Buildings being bought and rented - with goals for higher per square foot rates than artists can pay. Jacobs would be smart to keep tenants on and appreciate the revenue rather than toss people out for a desire to make more money. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

16 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Amey Radcliffe on 04/30/2017 at 9:21 PM

Re: “Burlington's Brickwork Art Studios to Be Closed

Yet one more sign of the gentrification of Burlington. Pretty soon no artists will be able to afford a studio in the south end. This is how it always goes. First the artists move in to the cheap, rundown areas of cities, they make it cool and revived through art and events that bring fresh energy, people and business, then the real estate and development vultures move in, buy up the property, raise the rents, kick out the artists, and soon you will have an unaffordable, gentrified neighborhood with none of the same energy that revived it in the first place. The same thing happened in Soho, NYC and elsewhere.... How lame of this landlord to hide behind his lawyer, instead of communicating directly with his artist tenants.

29 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Ernie Hotchkiss on 04/29/2017 at 3:17 PM

Re: “Burlington's Brickwork Art Studios to Be Closed

I think there are a few studios currently available at GeneratorVT.com. They charge $200/month.

13 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Steve Mermelstein on 04/29/2017 at 10:09 AM
Posted by Michelle C on 04/28/2017 at 10:11 PM

Re: “Burlington Man Turns Waterfront Rocks, Driftwood Into Public Art

This article confused and surprised me as I always thought those piles were children or teenagers playing as I did growing up. I agree it takes away from the natural setting.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by AndieFinkle on 04/15/2017 at 11:57 PM

Re: “PBS to Air Documentary on Rutland Basketball and Racism

Isn't the documentary about how the high school basketball community in Rutland reacted to five black players on the MSJ team? Sounds like Rutland basketball to me.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by stellaquarta on 04/14/2017 at 8:26 AM

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