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of the arts

A Jolly Old Soul Wants to Know: What Do Vermont Arts Organizations Want This Year? B y K Evi n J. K El l E y




hat do Vermont arts or ganizations wantf rom Santa? Money, in one form or another, is what seven administrators said when we asked them to reveal their most wished-for gift this year. That isn’t surprising, given the pinchpenny budgets that squeeze so many of the state’s arts presenters and muse ums. These impresarios were generally straightforward in expressing their hopes that the white-haired old dude with the reindeer would drop bags of swag down their chimneys. But a couple of the arts execs phrased their requests in especially imaginative ways. So, as is often the case on Christmas morning, we’re saving the biggest surprises for last. John Killac Ky , director of the Flynn in center For the Per Forming arts Burlington, says his top-o f -the-list holiday wish is f or “everyone to slow down and come see a show at the Flynn” during the next couple of weeks. But a busy box office would actually be just a means toward giving the Flynn pre senter the gift he says he prizes most of

Wendy Copp costume

Bill Broo Ks wants Santa to deliver to the h enry sheldon museum another artist like avant-garde fashionista Wendy coPP. She’s both curator of and artist in the museum’s current show, “Fashion

all. “I’m happiest when making other people happy,” Killacky says, “and the shows at the Flynn make a lot of people happy.” That’s why practically all of them get standing ovations, he suggests.

and Fantasy at the Edge of the Forest,” which runs until year’s end. The wild collection of history- and nature-based costumes has been wowing all who see it, Brooks says. He also hopes Vermont rail enthusiasts of all ages will visit the model-train exhibit that the Middlebury institution organizes every holiday season. This year’s version currently fills a 50-by-50-f oot room with miniature f arms, villages, passenger stations and three sets of Lionel trains. alex aldrich isn’t asking f or any gif ts f or the Vermont arts council , per se. Instead, the VAC executive director says his f ondest wish f or the f estive season is for the members of the U.S. Congress — particularly those in the darkly be nighted House of Representatives — to get “a new attitude.” Yes, Aldrich ac knowledges, that could result in state arts organizations receiving slightly larger slices of the f ederal-f unding pie. But, he says, he’d settle f or Congress “just becoming more aware that the arts can be part of so many sectors” — education and social services, for example. Jody Fried isn’t leaving any doubt

A Winooski Pop-Up Art Market Settles In to Stay

12.11.13-12.18.13 SEVEN DAYS 24 STATE OF THE ARTS


nyone who has puzzled over the odd imbalance of Winooski’s roundabout — one side thriving with restaurants, the other mostly vacant storef ronts — will be happy to learn of Winoos Ki circle arts . The store, which had its grand opening on Friday, creates a year-round home f or the pop-up arts markets that brightened those empty storefronts for a few holiday weeks in 2011 and 2012. On a recent morning, sunlight brightens the room’s dominant f eature: two angled columns painted red, reaching from cement floor to lofty ceiling. It’s hard to remember why such a space was ever empty. The caref ully chosen selection of fine arts and craf t items, most made in Vermont, are grouped by use rather than artist. A kitchen display includes South Hero-based r iKi moss ’ lamps, whose swirling f orms are made f rom pulped banana leaf . Pin Up Pickles and Craf ts jams made by Winooski’s r achel smith , who grows her own ingredients or picks them from the riverbank, adorn a table.


The accessories corner holds f eltedwool “farm fresh hats” made by stone & sWan millinery in Brandon, and a locally made nail-polish line called Nail Pattern Boldness; allison Bannister mixes the


B y A My l i l l y

shades in her Winooski home. One bluepainted wall displays prints and original art of all styles, f rom the f ramed, ab stract, black-and-white ink-on-gouache works of eliza Beth ciano (owner of the former Burlington design store Weller), to ironic holiday cards by Colchesterbased print artist ginny Joyner . “Bad girl,” reads one with a picture of a chunk of coal tied up in a bow. The attractive, homey displays were jointly designed by retail manager l iza coWan of Burlington and store f ounder Jodi h arrington , a longtime Winooski resident. Harrington painted f aux-tile floors for each display area, and Cowan scoured yard sales and Barge canal mar Ket in Burlington for the vintage display tables, racks and chairs. Cowan is an artist and photographer whose “Fake” series paintings in the style of Matisse and Picasso, vintagecover keepsake boxes and framed photos of her pug Saki are among the items for sale. She “heavily curated” the remain ing inventory, she says. Cowan’s thor ough knowledge of the local art scene

led her to such finds as the meticulously woven sweet-grass baskets of h enry Jerome Washington , a Winooski resident whose South Carolina relatives mail him the grass that’s been used since slavery days in this Southern traditional art. What isn’t evident f rom browsing among these gems is that Winooski Circle Arts is an artists’ cooperative. Starting af ter the holiday season, members will pay a f ee to cover rent in return f or a share of the store’s profits. (Until then, they earn a generous percentage on sales of their own work.) Harrington and Cowan weren’t merely intent on promoting local artists and artisans, as

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Seven Days, December 11, 2013  

At the Crossroads: Artist-developer Matt Bucy is making White River Junction into a next-generation nexus

Seven Days, December 11, 2013  

At the Crossroads: Artist-developer Matt Bucy is making White River Junction into a next-generation nexus

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