Friday, September 18, 2009

PRESS RELEASE: "Fundamentally Vermont" at Artisans Guild in St. Johnsbury

Many visitors to Vermont come looking for what can be increasingly difficult to find – an authentic experience of the “old Vermont,” something deeper down than brilliant fall color. “Fundamentally Vermont,” a new exhibition opening October 2 at the Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild, is one place to sample the treasures of Vermont’s past through special lenses, the camera of Richard W. Brown, and through the vernacular pine furniture of Cookeville Woodworking. More information about the artists may be found on their respective Websites, and

Cookeville Woodworking in Corinth has been producing handcrafted furniture and accessories in Vermont since 1989. A variety of cabinets, cupboards, nightstands, and hand-carved mirror frames are created with reclaimed materials: old doors, architectural moldings, antique lumber, and cut nails. Cookeville Woodworking uses native harvested pine, which is specially cut by a local band-saw mill. By using reclaimed lumber and antique styles, Cookeville has honored both the thrift and the aesthetic of Vermont’s classic country heritage.

Richard Brown, of Peacham, also has given concrete form to his appreciation of Vermont and its history. Brown had the vision to photograph the vanishing Vermont of hill farms and country ways commencing some thirty-five years ago. His observations fill a number of treasured books on Vermont and other New England locales. Brown, in “The Soul of Vermont,” (published in 2001) describes with his photographic images and words, not four but six seasons. The sensitivity of the artist, communicated through his works, has the potential of making what he sees more visible to others.

In the book Brown states, “. . . I am drawn to certain subjects and themes. I have a weakness for birch trees, barns, draft horses, cemeteries, landscapes with sheep or cows in them, bodies of water, still or moving, the moon, rising or setting, and anything . . . that bears witness to past Vermonters’ short time in this obstinate paradise. . . “

Through the artists’ gift of finding beauty in everyday surroundings viewers may deepen their own appreciations of Vermont landscapes and structures and the people who shaped them. The exhibition, “Fundamentally Vermont: Photography by Richard Brown and Furniture by Cookeville Woodworking,” will run from October 2 through November 20, 2009 at the Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild’s 430 Railroad Street gallery in St. Johnsbury. A reception to honor the artists’ work will be held there on Saturday, October 10, from 3:00 to 5:00 pm. All are welcome to attend.

Photograph: Theron Cooking Supper
“Corner Cabinet,” by Cookeville Woodworking