Friday, February 13, 2009

OPINION: Is there a Vermont style or styles?

This is a response to a question submitted by Sam Thurston, and posted on February 12, 2009. Further responses will be posted as they are received.

By David Fairbanks Ford, director of The Main Street Museum

"among over a hundred pieces, i can think of exactly 8 artists born and raised in the state of vermont represented in the main street museum collection:
ada hodgeton (mid 20th century paint-by-numbers)
robert waldo brunelle
al comi (from barre. terrific dog paintings)
frank leonard (my grandmas uncle, and artist and musician who ended up in the brattleboro retreat...)
sigrid lium (from concord, VT. pastels and paintings)
jack rowell
able slayton early 19th c oil-paintings
fred tuttle (not an artist...or wait, was he?)
frederick tewksbury (late 19th c oil-paintings)
*and perhaps steven perry painter, brattleboro, VT, but i dont know where he was born 'n raised...

the others in our collection, even those that we call "vermont artists": ria blaas, peter thomashow, ed koren, and--i might ad--sabra field (whose work the msm Does Not include)--were born out of state. but then again, so was ira allen, and he drew the original drawing of the state seal. pine tree, cow and all! lets hear it for all those vermonters from CT, brooklyn, or switzerland (M Kunin comes to mind...and her daughter julia IS an artist, but lives in manhattan...)
perhaps all the vermont artists move to nyc and the ny artists move up here. . .

but, why so few "vermont" artists? even tho we spend more per captia on public schools (well, guess i just answered my own question, didnt i?)"