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DESTINATION NORTHERN VERMONT


NORTHERN VERMONT

DESTINATION NORTHERN VERMONT

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here is no question that the seasons affect us. In New England, we are lucky to live in a climate that shifts and changes so dramatically—it’s inevitable yet unpredictable. Exactly when and how the change comes is different every year. As are the transition periods where we bounce back and forth as one season works its way out and the next pushes its way in. This kind of life makes things interesting. It keeps us alert to what’s happening around us. It creates milestones: a red leaf; a dusting of snow; a crocus emerging from the ground; a jump in the pond on a hot summer day. And, it inspires creative energy. It’s not for everyone. For those of us who have chosen to live here, it’s an alluring cycle. And, winter is probably the most extreme segment of the circle; not only in temperament, but also in sentiment. The weather can be bone chilling. The holidays can be brain freezing. And it seems that most people either love winter, or hate it. There is no in between. The cold days and long nights can drive people to explore inside—inside buildings, and inside their minds and hearts. “People spend more time indoors in the winter months,” says art consultant Gunnel Eriksson Clarke, “This is an outdoor community but still a community where artwork is a big factor in people’s lives. In the winter, we bring the outdoors in.” Winter is exactly the time to be inside, enjoying the warm pleasures of visual, performing arts, and tasty meals. Snowy storms encourage a cozy lazy snuggle, and the peaceful blanketed hills of white spark an overwhelmingly openminded perspective and view. Some can’t limit themselves to the view through a window. Like Evan Chismark, a Stowe illustrator who prefers to engage with the elements: “Being on the mountain and finding the most fun and interesting way to interact with the terrain is a creative act in and of itself, and in this sense, snowboarding creates a bridge between the outside world and the studio world for me.” Winter is a good time to think about your future. As the calendar changes and a new year emerges, reflect on what inspires you, what drives you and what you want for yourself in the coming year. That could be an advanced education and a new degree. Goddard College in Plainfield has a rich his-

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Gallery view, courtesy of Eriksson Fine Art, Stowe, VT.

tory of quality education in a number of social sciences, and the arts—visual, performing and written. Touted for its MFA program for creative writing, Goddard has a unique philosophy behind the process of learning that is very individualized. Goddard’s programs allow students the flexibility of studying within their lifestyle, and then coming together for intensive residencies on property—a converted gentleman’s farm that has all the features of a creative retreat. Just down the road from Goddard’s beautiful Plainfield campus, Vermont College of Fine Arts has its own sweet spot atop a hill in downtown Montpelier—Vermont’s intimate capital city. VCFA is a graduate level college offering programs in writing as well as visual arts, graphic design, music composition and film. Several of its programs follow the low-residency model, for a more practical means of adult study. If a long-term accredited college program feels too ambitious for your goals, a singlefocused workshop may be just what you need this winter to expand your repertoire or explore your own creativity. Vermont is home to several community supported art centers that offer onetime workshops for members and visitors. Helen Day Art Center in Stowe is a pillar for the arts in the mountain resort town. The galleries host revolving thematic curated shows, and

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the creative environment community room is a welcoming atmosphere for classes offered by local artists—from drawing to painting to stained glass and ceramics and printmaking. As it turns out, the workshop experience is as enriching for the teachers as it is for students. “I spend a lot of time alone in the studio. That work environment can feel a bit like solitary confinement sometimes, especially in the winter,” says Chismark, who enjoys teaching classes, workshops, and ‘sip and paint’ sessions at Helen Day to break up the monotony of his own work habits. “The ancillary benefit—and I think this applies to any craft, not just art—is that teaching forces you to examine your own work and in a lot of cases makes you a better artist.” Burlington City Arts (BCA) has a fascinating history, and is a non-profit that also serves as the queen city’s (Burlington is Vermont’s largest city) municipal arts branch. Its primary goal is to make the arts accessible to all, and that includes arts education. BCA offers classes for all ages in every genre imaginable, as well as open studio time. Interactive guided gallery tours offer an opportunity for youth and adults to ask questions and fully examine each of the works in the current exhibit at the Vermont Metro Gallery. A new branch of the BCA, Vermont Metro Gallery supports underrepresented contempo-

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rary Vermont artists who are prolific with their work and awards solo shows to their artists. ShapeShifter: A Collection of Work by Mareva Millarc opens November 20. Community exposure to art, whether people actively seek it out or just happen upon it, is so important. Art creates a bond between the artist and the viewer; it’s a common elixir that fills them both. And, like so many things in life, we often don’t know what we need until we find it. Suddenly, it’s just there. Art can be that thing. It can give us relief from a hard reality, or insight into that hard reality. And it can make us feel better. Offering a calming mindful moment or two. To this point, one of the most wonderful examples of public art exhibits are the pop-up art galleries on hospital walls. If there is a place that needs the healing warmth of a beautiful paint-

ing—in winter or anytime of year—it’s there. Painter Judy Hawkins (a southern Vermont artist from Putney) is currently showing her vibrant impressionistic, sometimes abstract, work at UVM Medical Center. Her show is hanging on the third floor in the oncology wing through mid-December. Hawkins’s paintings offer a mood deeply rooted to the landscape and reflecting weather. Recently, she’s been fascinated with water and exploring the many dimensions of natural pools, ponds, and ripples. “I exaggerate colors that I see to create the mood and feeling of weather, skies and water,” she says, “my paintings are usually of weather transitions, the clearing of stormy skies, what I think of as hopeful paintings.” Of the affect winter has on her, Judy explains, “I am not a fan of winter yet would miss it if I lived someplace

Photo by Adam C. Nadel

NORTHERN VERMONT

Goddard in the World: Ryan Conarro in “this hour forward,” a performance installation featuring video, sound, photography, song, and storytelling.

MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts Committed to art as transformational practice. Goddard students are artists, academics, educators, and activists. Each student designs and pursues an individualized course of study with one-on-one support from a faculty advisor. Areas of study are based on unique personal interests, intentions, and professional goals. We believe meaningful student-centered education is transformational and has the potential to inspire social change and personal growth.

LOW-RESIDENCY, INDIVIDUALIZED GRADUATE EDUCATION IN THE ARTS

WWW.GODDARD.EDU 800.906.8312

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S E C SPPAC T I O Art N New England Ad - Nov-Dec 15 - OUTLINE.indd 1

10/9/2015 N 12:25:18 o v e mPM ber/December 2015

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NORTHERN VERMONT else.…I would miss the sparkle of shades of grey and white.” Who wants to miss all that? We all think when winter comes, it’s time to hunker down. Actually, it’s a fabulous time to travel, and traveling to Vermont in the snowy months might not be exactly what you think. Vermont tourism does a fabulous job of promoting fun on the slopes, but a perfect visit to Vermont doesn’t have to include skiing at all. Let’s remember that Vermont’s brand is synonymous with quality. That extends to hospitality, homespun yumminess, and all sorts of indulgent activities. Burlington, for example, is a college town on a lake. A beautiful small city with a liberal history and penchant for all the forward-thinking contemplation of morals and contemporary culture that college towns foster. Here, on the frozen

west branch gallery

shores of Lake Champlain—the 13th largest lake in the country—is a wealth of art to discover. A fabulous evening retreat for a Burlington stay is Hotel Vermont, an independent boutique hotel, one block from the shores of the lake, and in the heart of Burlington’s eclectic downtown. It’s a new construction hotel that offers global sophistication with local accents. That means, it’s very Vermont and very New York at the same time. Planning to elope this winter? Check out their Elopement Package (just 48 hours notice required!). Prefer a nightcap that you created yourself? Maybe their Spirits of Vermont Mixology package is more your style. At Hotel Vermont you can have it all in a symbiotic juxtaposition of casual luxury. When you want to hop out of the city and into the mountains, Stowe is an outstanding and

world-famous ski town and mountain resort destination bolstered by a strong local foundation of cultural appreciation. Its approximately 4,300 year-round residents enjoy the recreation and cultural infrastructure, and share it with more than 900,000 annual visitors, many of whom— even in the winter—don’t actually ski; they come for the “scene.” For decades, Stowe has earned accolades from media and guests for its unique metropolitan vibe and rural surroundings. Curating your own Stowe experience is a treat, and it’s even sweeter knowing that Stowe has a central reservations service and Visitor Information Center available to assist. Whether you know exactly what you want, and just need some details, or you don’t know where to start and need direction, Stowe’s local staff is an expert on everything and offer the friendli-

sculpture park

The Bistro at Ten Acres

Yanke e M a ga z in e Edi to r ’s Ch o ice “ B e s t D i n i n g i n S t o w e ” 2 015 Three stylish dining rooms, relaxing fireside lounge, and a menu crafted by esteemed Chef Gar y Jacobson D i n ner We d ne s d ay– Su nd ay 5–10 pm 14 Barrows Rd, Stowe, VT (8 0 2) 2 5 3 - 6 83 8 tenacreslodge.com/bistro.php

Image from “Fractured / Works on Paper” Leonardo Drew

Art • Education • Community

Can’t Lose Shoes collection, 2015

IMAGE: Leonardo Drew, Number 134D From the exhibit, Fractured | Works on Paper Courtesy of the Artist & Sikkema Jenkins & Co.

Jessie Pollock Vernal Pools

Contemporary Fine Art & Sculpture

stowe,vt

99 N Main St, Rochester, VT • (802) 767-9670 bigtowngallery.com

westbranchgallery.com

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GALLERY HOURS: WED - SUN, 12- 5 PM STOWE, VT 802-253-8358

2015

H E L E N D A YFeatured . CArtistOGalenMCheney

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NORTHERN VERMONT est most thorough customer service you’ll find. The website, gostowe.com, is an excellent source for planning and booking, and staff is available via chat, email, or on the phone. Once you’re in town, stop into the visitor center on Main Street to peruse the brochure library, pick up a Craft Bev Trail tour kit—a self-guided tour kit of local breweries, wineries and distilleries—warm up by the fire, and check out the revolving display of art from local galleries. Stowe has great art. West Branch Gallery & Sculpture Park is a giant indoor/outdoor space with a cool industrial building. Its one of the art venues that really breaks Stowe out of the quaint country Vermont stereotype (barns, farmhouses, and post and beam hand-hewn structures) and gives it a more modern cosmopolitan vibe. West Branch shows works by emerging and mid-career contem-

porary artists, with rotating exhibitions. Now through December, catch Gabriel Tempesta’s monochromatic photorealism works in charcoal and casein. The show, titled Our World, offers a glimpse of nature—landscapes, trees, animals— through the eyes and at the hand of a very talented Vermont artist. Inside Out Gallery exists on the theme that creativity comes from the inside out. And, as such, it is a standout Stowe shop that branches out from the norm by featuring a variety of beautiful things. Things that make you smile. The bright interior illuminates treasures from furniture to tabletop to sculpture to silver. In Stowe, it’s a must-stop. Just be prepared to spend a good chunk of time checking everything out, sitting in every leather armchair and chatting with Don and Brad.

Perhaps more of what you’d expect—off the beaten path, on a hilly roadside—is a 200-yearold barn converted into a charming gallery, the Stowe home of Eriksson Fine Art. “Visitors come to Stowe to see the nature in many different ways, on a canvas or hiking a mountain. The surrounding inspires the artists and the many galleries in Stowe to devote exhibitions to artworks that eschew the picturesque, offering vivid, expressive visions of nature,” says owner Gunnel Eriksson Clarke. But don’t stop by in the winter, it’s closed. Still, put it on your must-do list for a summer excursion. And, call on Gunnel anytime of the year if you need to find the perfect piece of 19th-century or early 20th-century art for your collection—she’s been an art consultant for 25 years. JOHANNE YORDAN, CARDINAL RULE

25 YEARS

ART CONSULTING FOR HOME OR OFFICE

FURCHGOTT SOURDIFFE Fine Art Gallery

Custom Framing • Restoration

w w w. e r i k s s o n f i n e a r t . c o m

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86 Falls Rd, Shelburne, VT • 802-985-3848 www.fsgallery.com

135 Church Street, Burlington, Vermont 05401 VERMONTMETROGALLERY.ORG

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NORTHERN VERMONT Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center (SPPAC) is a world-class experience. It’s particularly alluring in the winter because of its slope side location at Stowe Mountain Resort. It’s the kind of venue that is an attraction in itself, even if the talent in town while you’re visiting is new to you. With a variety of visiting performers in music, dance, comedy, and theater, SPPAC serves a range of tastes and introduces Stowe to a quality experience found more often in larger cities. If you visit Vermont to ski, then art is a bonus. If art is why you visit, food is a bonus. If food is why you visit, than you’ve done your homework. You know that Vermont is a feeding ground for foodies. Especially those who revel in small-batch, artisan-produced local products. Vermont artisan products showcase at most restaurants.

Bistro at Ten Acres in Stowe is an excellent example of an inviting and artful culinary experience. A charming venue in an old Vermont farmhouse, dining at the Bistro is as warm and cozy as being guests at owners Mark and Linda’s home. Dress up or down as much as you’d like, it’s a welcoming, sophisticated, and comfortable atmosphere, where everyone fits in. And the food, created by celebrated Chef Gary Jacobson, is fresh and flavorful. It’s a favored spot where every detail of your dinner is meticulously executed, and yet it’s unpretentious. And that epitomizes the Vermont food experience. An unpretentious package with extraordinarily sophisticated flavors. While beer has been the trend of late, Vermont craft cheeses are becoming a thing. And that’s where the Cellars at Jasper Hill in Greensboro, VT, play a criti-

cal role. The Cellars ripen and distribute twelve cheeses by six different local cheese producers, so that the producers can concentrate on raising the animals for quality milk and perfecting their cheese-making technique, rather that storage space, marketing, and sales. Jasper Hill provides a national market with single-sourced artisan Vermont cheese, and is one of the champions of Vermont’s quality brand. Vermont has a big name for a state that’s not very big. While there are clusters of businesses creating cultural destinations in resort towns or small cities, the more remote places are easy to get to as well. Each community has its own character. And, it’s likely you’ll find some treasures on the road between here and there. Vermont’s capital city, Montpelier, is just 30 minutes from Stowe. It’s the only capital in the

Andy and Mateo Kehler’s familyowned dairy farm with a herd of 45 pastured Ayrshire cows—creating a diverse and unique collection of cheeses while presenting compelling insight into artisan cheesemaking in Vermont and New England. 802.533.2566 cellarsatjasperhill.com

Burlington - VT hotelvt.com

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NORTHERN VERMONT

Gallery view, courtesy of BigTown Gallery.

country without a McDonalds, and has a healthy, albeit, intriguing mix of hippies and politicians. Both groups who can appreciate the role of arts in Vermont’s lifestyle and economy. A communal craft gallery with nearly four decades under its belt, the Artisans Hand in downtown Montpelier is a designated ‘Vermont State Craft Center’. It earns this government recognition for hosting a variety of quality Vermont-made crafts. It’s truly a one-stop (holiday) shopping destination for gifts and souvenirs made by hand. Shelburne, is more of an upscale lake-front community on the southern side of Burlington. It’s home to the expansive Shelburne Museum and Shelburne Farms, both important educational institutions for Vermont culture and history. It is just the perfect place to find the Furchgott Sourdiffe Gallery, inside an historical Victorian house. It’s a relaxed, welcoming space—a common theme in Vermont—exhibiting a collection of exceptionally fine art in different styles. The

Furchgott Sourdiffe Gallery also offers conservation services and custom framing. What’s wonderful about Vermont—in addition to the rampant season changes and the friendly spaces—is that art appreciation, and Vermontiness is not limited to a specific neighborhood or class system. Thirty-five miles north of Shelburne is Saint Albans Vermont, a blue-collar town very near to Canada, on the shores of Lake Champlain. And, it also has a gallery and frame shop well worth the visit. Village Frame Shoppe & Gallery is a print shop, frame shop, and space to find your new favorite piece of art by well-established artists from nearby or hundreds of miles away. It’s these surprising slices of culture in very average working class towns that helps promote the idea that Vermont—even in its most ordinary form— is not ordinary at all. That concept is not localized to the northern part of the state. Rochester, for example, is a

small remote destination in central Vermont. A town of fewer than 1,200 residents has a quaint Main Street, and a gallery suitably named BigTown Gallery. The name befits its primary concept: to bring the community together through arts. Not only does BigTown Gallery promote visual arts, but performance arts and literacy arts as well. Heading further south to Brattleboro, a beautiful brick-building city of 12,000 on the border of New Hampshire, and you might expect to find a cooperative grocery store, a bookshop, and a few cafes. What’s surprising is stumbling upon a cultural destination like the C X Silver Gallery, which features Asian and ancient-influenced art, artist studios, a Chinese tea-room, and opportunities to book guided art-inspired tours to China. Something to consider when winter is over. Right now, Vermont is the uniquely enchanting, evocative destination you’re looking for. Gunnel Eriksson Clarke says so eloquently, “people come here because it’s different from anything they have ever experienced.” The difference is defined by the landscape and the people who decide what to do within it. Knowing there is only so much they can control, as the seasons change with or without human permission. When the temperature drops, the tendency is to hibernate. Do it. Resting is good for refreshment and reflection. Just not every day. Winter has a world of art and tastes to make, see, explore with new light. Try it out in Vermont— where winter, like all seasons, exists in full form year after year. Guaranteed. —Jasmine Bigelow

C.X. Silver Gallery

814 Western Avenue, Brattleboro, VT (802) 257-7898 info@cxsilvergallery.com cxsilvergallery.com

Open daily, by appointment only (1-2 days notice suggested)

Rodrigo Nava’s Expanded Forms, opening November 15 through March 31, 2016. Ongoing: Nye Ffarrabas’ 50-year retrospective, a walk on the inside; Cai Xi’s In The Box, Wu Ji (Infinity Within), and Earth & Sky series, the Pink Slip Project, the portraits, and art-asfood-as-art (kitchen as studio) with Cai’s Dim Sum Teahouse catering services.

TOM CULLINS, BARRE QUARRY

135 Church Street, Burlington, Vermont 05401 BURLINGTONCITYARTS.ORG

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Rodrigo Nava, Slit Cone Form, 2015, expanded mild steel, 60” x 20” x 17”. At C. X. Silver Gallery

JUDY HAWKINS Oil Paintings

Studio and gallery open by appointment We s t m i n s t e r We s t , Ve r m o n t 802-387-4854 Giclée prints and artist printed cards available

w w w.judyhawkinspaintings.com Following the Sparkle, oil on canvas, 30 x 40".

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Destination: Northern Vermont  

Art New England Magazine November / December 2015

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