Sunday, November 29, 2009

PRESS RELEASE: "Simple Gifts: A Show for All Seasons"

Furchgott Sourdiffe Gallery of Shelburne, will be showing "Simple Gifts: A Show for All Seasons" December 4- January 30, 2010. The exhibit will open with a public reception on Friday , Dec. 4, 6-8 p.m. in conjunction with Shelburne's annual town-wide village holiday stroll.

The exhibit features the work of Matt Brown, along with 15 other artists: Miriam Adams, Annelein Beukenkamp, Joan Curtis, Jeri Lynn Eisenberg, Kevin Fahey, Janet Fredericks,Steven P. Goodman, Alison Goodwin, Kate Hartley,John Lawrence Hoag,Beth Pearson,Gail Salzman, Carolyn Shattuck, David Smith, and Dick Weis.

Matt Brown lives in Lyme, N.H. , and works in the medium of wood block printing using the traditional Japanese hanga method. He describes this intricate process:

"The hanga method is printing from multiple color wood blocks using water. Most Western print-making techniques have used oil as the medium for printing ... Printmaking (as well as painting) in Asia has a history that relies on water.Oil goes well with metal machinery . . . it is its blood! Water goes well with living things that depend on water, like wood, and our own human bodies. So printing with water works best done by hand, using a baren. Emphasis on water as a medium in art and writing, and a tradition of disciplined use of the human body in the production of craft, may have a lot to do with why Japan hosts a strong tradition of printing with water. This is reflected in the term to describe many Japanese prints: ukiyo-e, or floating world."

Furchgott Sourdiffe Gallery is located at 86 Falls Road, in Shelburne

Village. Hours are Tue-Fri 9:30-5:30, and Sat 10-5. For more information

please call Joan Furchgott, 802-985-3848, or go to

image: "Egret"

wood block print

by Matt Brown, 7"x 16".

Saturday, November 28, 2009

PRESS RELEASE: Essex Art League's Mistletoe Art Fair

35 artists from the Essex Art League present a holiday show - The Mistletoe Art Fair.
Original artworks, prints, and cards are available Fridays 5 - 8 pm, and Weekends 10 am - 4 pm.
December 4-6
December 11-13
December 18-20
The Mistletoe Art Fair store is located between Hannafords and Factory Brand Shoes, at Essex Shoppes and Cinema.

Friday, November 27, 2009

PRESS RELEASE: Montpelier’s Holiday Art Walk Scheduled for Friday, December 4

In celebration of holiday season, the Montpelier Alive has organized a December Art Walk that will feature great works of art at twenty venues. The event is a self-guided tour through historic downtown Montpelier and includes galleries, stores, restaurants, and government buildings.

The Montpelier Holiday Art Walk is a perfect opportunity to have an evening out with loved ones while exploring all of great shopping Montpelier has to offer. Find out exactly what they would truly appreciate for the holidays and return later to buy the perfect gift. Find holiday surprises that are both unique and special while supporting local businesses and avoiding large crowds.

The art walk will take place on Friday, December 4, from 4pm to 8pm. To learn more about participating venues and artists go to .

Contact: Robert Hitzig

The Lazy Pear Gallery

154 Main Street

Montpelier, VT 05602


Thursday, November 26, 2009

PRESS RELEASE: Revision, textile installation by Montreal based artist Anna Biró.

215 College Gallery

(802) 863-3662


December 4- 27: Revision, textile installation by Montreal based artist

Anna Biró. Biró, born in Transylvania of Hungarian origin, works with contemporary and traditional technologies using materials as varied as cotton, steel, silk, audiotape, and recycled plastics, to subtly comment on the disruptions of tradition that often describe an immigrant's experience. Her work has been exhibited widely, most recently in Japan. She will have a solo show at Galerie MAI in Montreal, April 2010.

Please join us at 215 College Gallery for the opening reception of Revision, December 4, from 5-8pm. Hours: Friday 12-8, Saturday 12-6, Sunday 12-4, or by appointment.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

PRESS RELEASE: 2 December Exhibitions by Nicholas Heilig

Nicholas Heilig grew up in the rural, yet artistic, community of Castleton, Vermont. His thirst for knowledge and outdoor lifestyle led him to UVM in 2002, where he immersed himself in academic discourse and honed his graphic design skills. After graduating with a B.A. in Studio Art, Nicholas relocated to Lake Bomoseen in southern Vermont. There, he continued to study the works of Durer, Escher, Hiroshige, and Hokusai, while producing many small-scale works of art, as well as a mural for the local state park. Nicholas has since returned to Burlington and has been busy exhibiting his work at various local galleries. Nicholas currently promotes shows for the UVM Lane Series, teaches private art lessons, and volunteers for several non-profit organizations, including SEABA, the Vermont Workers’ Center, and WRUV 90.1 FM, Burlington.

Event #1

Event Title: Heilig Art Exhibition

Location: Winooski

Start Date: Friday, December 3rd

End Date: Monday, December 31st.

Open Reception: Friday, December 3rd. 5:00 to 7:00 pm

The Block Gallery

17 East Allen Street

Winooski, VT 05404

The Block Gallery presents a unique series of original inks by Nicholas Heilig drawn in 2009. Each image features a local animal depicted in a silhouette comprised of various smaller subjects pulled from the animal’s habitat, as well as stylized nature motifs inspired by Eastern woodblock masters Hiroshige and Hokusai. The resulting work symbolizes the complex amalgam of biological, psychological, and environmental factors that dictate the behavior of all living things.

Event #2

Event Type: Art Exhibition

Event Title: Nicholas Heilig “Vermont Ski Posters”

Location: Middlebury

Start Date: Friday, December 11th

End Date: Monday, January 11th.

Open Reception: Friday, December 11th. 5:00 to 7:00 pm

The Alpine Shop

6 Merchants Row
Middlebury, VT 05753-1418

A collection of Vermont ski posters illustrated in by Nicholas Heilig, in the style of vintage European posters ranging from the early 1920’s up to 1950. These images drew heavily upon the graphic design elements of Art Nouveau & Art Deco. Many of the original posters utilized bright, primary colors and bold design to grab the viewer’s attention. Each remake seeks to emulate this overall aesthetic quality while featuring new elements of Vermont ski culture.

Monday, November 23, 2009

PRESS RELEASE: Art's Alive Live Art auction!

Contact: Lisa McCormick

Tel 802/864-1557


Who: Art’s Alive

What: 3rd Annual Live Art Auction

When: Saturday, December 5th, 5-9:30 pm

Where: Main Street Landing’s Union Station,

1 Main Street, Burlington

Why: Directly benefits participating artists

How: Free admission, semi-formal/cocktail attire.

Bidding is optional; cash, check & major

credit cards accepted

Burlington, Vermont—On Saturday, December 5th, Art’s Alive will hold its

3rd Annual Live Art Auction at Main Street Landing’s Union Station, One

Main Street, Burlington.

Doors will open at 5 pm for viewing and bidder registration, and we will

have a cocktail hour with live music by Leon Campos & great

refreshments, including a cash bar. Semi-formal/cocktail attire please;

free coat check will be available.

This is a great way to get a start to your holiday shopping; don’t miss this

chance to purchase original works by a variety of Vermont artists! Cash,

checks and all major credit cards will be accepted. All proceeds benefit

the individual artists and Art’s Alive’s continuing mission to promote local

artists. For more information, please visit Host

sponsored by Main Street Landing. Sponsored by Fresh Market,

Champlain Beverage, The Point, Black Horse Fine Art Supply and Magic

Hat Brewing Company.

For more information about this event or Art’s Alive, please call Art’s Alive

at (802) 864-1557 or e-mail

Image: NO SEE EM BARN by John Brickles

Saturday, November 21, 2009

PRESS RELEASE: Holiday Show at BigTown Gallery in Rochester

Modern Treasures for the Holidays 2009
November 28 - January 31, 2010

Holiday Open House
Saturday, November 28, 2009 4pm

New Year's Celebration
Thursday, December 31, 4 - 6pm

With featured artists Varujan Boghosian, Lizi Boyd, Leslie Fry, Pat dipaula Klein, Abby Rieser, Charles Spurrier, Charles Shackleton, Miranda Thomas, Holly Walker, and Bhakti Ziek

BigTown Gallery
99 North Main
Rochester, VT 05767
wed-sat 10-5
sun 11-4
mon & tues by appointment

Image by Varujan Boghosian

Thursday, November 19, 2009

PRESS RELEASE: Menagerie at Capitol Grounds in Montpelier

Please join Jennifer Palkowski and Robyn Peirce at The Green Bean Art Gallery in Capitol Grounds on Friday, December 4th from 5:00-7:00pm for the opening of their show "Menagerie," a collection of mixed media paintings and drawings. The opening is in conjunction with Montpelier's Art Walk - the show will be up for the month of December.

PRESS RELEASE: Walker Blackwell and Tarrah Krajnak at UVM

B-SIDES, Colburn Gallery, 3rd Floor Williams Hall, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405 Thursday, November 19th, 5:00pm opening.

Walker Blackwell and Tarrah Krajnak curated B-sides from the archives of their own “rejected” works, forgotten pictures, and private snapshots. While the process meant allowing one another embarrassing access to external hard-drives and old contact sheets, the pictures deemed un-artistic, non-conceptual, or un-worthy of the light of day are re-contextualized and given new meaning. The final show reads more like a glimpse into a photographic diary where whole pages are missing, but moments of uneasiness, the banal, and vulnerability, show ways in which contemporary photography itself is unfixed, contingent, and ultimately representative of a slippage of meaning.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

PRESS RELEASE: "Winter's Depths: Two Perspectives" at Photostop in White River Junction

Winter's Depths: Two Perspectives with photographs by Sara Wight and James M. Patterson will be on display at the PHOTOSTOP Gallery from Dec. 4th through Dec.29. A reception for the photographers will be held on Dec. 4th from 5-9 pm with a gallery talk by the artists at 7:30 pm.

NYC fine art photographer Sara Wight and local documentary photographer James M. Patterson will be showing photographs taken in New England that focus on winter from two different, but complementary, points of view. Wight's work depicts the relationship between human life and nature, with its delicate balances, fragility, and interconnections. Patterson's work focuses on the relationship those who have chosen to live in the North Country have with winter, both by choice, and out of necessity. In Patterson's work, life goes on in winter, not despite the weather, but because of it.

Wight is an award-winning photographer whose images have been exhibited in solo and group shows throughout the US. She has worked as an art director with some of the top photographers in the world and her photography is held in many private collections. Patterson has been a Valley News photographer since 2004. The National Press Photographers Association and New England journalism organizations regularly honor him for his work, including recent recognition as the Photographer of the Year Award by the New Hampshire Press Association.

PHOTOSTOP Gallery is located in Suite 150 of the Tip Top Media Arts Building, 85 North Main Street, White River Jct., VT 05001. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 2-8 pm. On First Fridays and opening nights, the gallery will be open until 9 pm. Other hours are available by appointment. Call the Gallery for special holiday hours, 802.698.0320. PHOTOSTOP's website is

Images: Top: James M. Patterson, Dewey's Pond, Quechee, VT ©Valley News; Sarah Wight, Man With Truck ©Sara Wight

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

OPINION, Response: What do you think about the Art of Action project?

This is in response to a question posted on November 14, 2009: Have you seen one of the Art of Action exhibits? What do you think of the project itself, the work produced, and the idea of "shaping Vermont's future through art"? Further responses will be posted as they are received.

by Edward Swoszowski

In a review of the "art of action" program appearing on the Vermont Art Zine site Mr. Theodore Hoppe comments on the failure of the AofA program to achieve it's target - meaningful art expressing the 'vision' for a future Vermont. It is a fine commentary, but Mr.Hoppe doesn't go far enough in exposing the weakness and shortcomings of that expression, or more importantly the current 'art community' mindset.

Mr. Hoppe is correct in observing that the art of the AofA program fails. In actuality, neither do the actions and /or attitudes of the art community in Vermont. The AofAart is staid and self-centered, mirroring a politically correct , tourist- middle class (or better), 'Vermont as a never changing, quaint tourist destination' art community attitude. Where is the social conscience? Where is the continuation /expression of values and feelings that have held Vermont together for centuries? Where is the recognition of respect for generations of Vermonters, their hard work and the way they live their lives? Where is the sensitivity and caring? Where is the notion that we all need to contribute in order to help fellow Vermonters be safe today, and even better tomorrow?

This past weekend the Catamount Arts in St. J. held their annual auction. $20.00 per person to get in. More to bid on the items donated for the auction. It raised approximately $50,000.00 for an organization that really misses the mark in understanding what the purpose of art in a community is. Sure, they rent DVD's, show trendy and foreign films, and display art that probably wouldn't make it outside of Vt. But how does that serve the community ? Can the average St. J resident (or typical blue collar /logger 'Vermonter' of neighboring towns) afford $20.00 for wine and crackers (vs. feeding a meal, or two to their families)? It is important for the average Vermonter to rent obscure DVD's or see mediocre art? Probably not, which is why the community of St. J. at large rejected the Catamount's request for funds this past Town Meeting Day. The money could simply be better used elsewhere. But that's not the message the attendees of the this past weekend's auction seem to have understood.

Why is it that 'artists' and the 'art community' fall over themselves to make a social appearance at Cat Art auction (which raises $50,000.00) - but those same artists and community members cannot seem to rally around meaningful efforts (like the Vermont Arts Council - Auction to Benefit

the Vermont Food Bank - which despite their wonderful efforts, only raised about $10,000.00 last year).? Why is it more important to 'see and be seen' than taking the critical responsibility for making the present and future Vermont a safe and meaningful home for all Vermonters? The AofAproject failed because it painted an idealistic fantasy land of Vermont today and tomorrow. Misguided efforts like the Cat Arts auction - and others which only perpetuate a closed /cliquish /politically correct approach to art in Vermont - do not do justice to the character, nature , commitments and willingness to help one's neighbor - which has made Vermont great.

Art in Vermont should be more than 'tourist art' or things that are 'cute'*** Art in Vermont should define the realities ofnot only foliage and cows, but the hardships /needs / achievements /hopes and desires of the people who live here... either by mirroring those actions in art and/or forcing the public to recognize the 'needs/reality' by evoking documentation and emotion. 'Cute' just doesn't cut it. Art in Vermont should not be limited to people over thirty with nebulous /snobbish 'art school' training and connections. Art comes from the heart. Art is meant to document, motivate, inform and inspire. Anyone can do art. 'Art in Vermont' needs to involve everyone in art projects. Allow everyone to participate, importantly making them aware that their creations and expressions are just as valid ( and valued) as the clique /art-school want-be-be artists that seem to thuggishly dominate too many art community efforts. As for myself, I find more 'art' in some of the young artists efforts / the art of one handicapped artist hidden away on the wall of a local rural store - than anything I've seen the majority of Vermont's 'art's' centers. And that's more than sad. Where is the motivation? inspiration? energy? It's what made past art and artists memorable and admired. It's what will make future art and artists great. It's very noticeable lack will not only relegate most current Vermont 'post card' art to the dustbin, but wastes the innate talents and expression of many artists of all ages who are currently excluded or ignored.

*** Windolf, J. "Addicted to Cute" Vanity Fair. No. 952- December 2009. 168-183.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

OPINION: What do you think about the Art of Action project?

Ed. Note: For some time we haven't had an OPINION question offered on Vermont Art Zine, but recently someone (whose opinion appears below) came to us with a strong perspective about the Art of Action project. Three different tours of this work are appearing all over the state, so it seems like a good topic for our readers to weigh in on, as the Art of Action exhibits appear in different communities over the next seven months. Have you seen one of the exhibits? What do you think of the project itself, the work produced, and the idea of "shaping Vermont's future through art"? Send your thoughtful responses to one of the editors.

By Theodore Hoppe

Let's be honest, is "The Art of Action" project a success? Did the art meet the objective: "SHAPING VERMONT'S FUTURE THROUGH ART"? No, is my reply. Lyman Orton said in a Seven Days interview back in 2008, that the project should aim to "raise awareness and inspire a vision that will shape Vermont’s social, political, environmental and/or economic future." If the piece can "catalyze action and affect change on a statewide level, so much the better. The work they produce will inspire the rest of us." I saw little vision, I was not inspired, my awareness was not raised.

I expected a revolution, what I got was some very nice paintings.

While all of the work included in The Art of Action project is skillfully executed, some paintings were dark, bleak, almost apocalyptic, maybe unconsciously so. (A MacDonald's playground yellow plastic tube slide being labeled a "cancerous colon") For others, there was little in them that said, "Vermont." They could have been a road or bridge or person in Ohio. When artists did capture images that are uniquely Vermont they were very contemporary works.

Gail Boyajian and Annemie Curlin came the closest to the objective, but still miss the target. Boyajian's paintings are future primitives with a storytelling quality. Curlin's unique perspective captures the designs of an evolving landscape.

I shared these thoughts with Alex Aldrich, the director of the Vermont Arts Council, at the reception in Montpelier. I think he was stunned and shocked. I also shared an idea with him as to what I would have created: a visual wall sculpture that merged technology, design, and landscape. He responded that I should have submitted something, to which I replied, "I didn't think my idea," which was more creative than what I was seeing, "was good enough". That's how high my expectations were. If I remember correctly some 300 artists applied for this project.

I realize that a great deal of time and energy was spent on this project, but I don't think Orton got his money's worth. He could have invested it in our youth. Given a share of the money, I would create 20 framed photos from a B & W essay taken 30 years ago of an abandoned Vermont farm, and displayed the photos in schools around Vermont, "The Disappearing Landscape of Vermont." I would give kids from the hosting schools digital cameras, letting them create photos of things that are rapidly disappearing from their landscape, preserving it, nurturing it and reshaping it. They could have presented their art in a follow up show at the school and other venues. This is the future of art in Vermont, this is inspiring a vision, and increases awareness.

Photos taken by Theodore Hoppe, top to bottom: works by Curtis Hale, Annemie Curlin, and David Brewster.

ESSAY: My Art Group

By Riki Moss

This is my art group.

We've been meeting more or less monthly in each others studios for over a year.

This month, at Janet Fredericks, in front of Nancy Taplin's paintings: (left to right) Cami Davis, Sally Linder, Riki Moss, Linda E Jones, Nancy Taplin, Janet Fredericks (seated, center.) Missing: Jane Pincus and Tari Swenson. And last month, at Jane Pincus' studio.

Before starting our critique, we all declared that we wanted more, we wanted to go deeper, we wanted to be braver, less cautious and at the same time, helpful, useful, impersonal and positive. For it's all about the work, not the person, right?

Right. We've been making art all our lives, we know this and still...still...we felt we weren't going deeply enough.

The presenter had to take responsibility for wanting an honest critique, to formulate questions she was trying to answer for herself, to open her work up for discussion without personal vulnerability. The responders needed to dialogue freely and thoughtfully, without bias, personal agenda and with the best of intentions: to help a compatriot welcome the art god gracing her shoulders today.

Cami Davis suggested that we consider using the four steps in Liz Lerman's Critical Process.

So we did.

Here it is:

1. Statements of Meaning
: Responders state what was meaningful, evocative, interesting, exciting, striking in the work they have just witnessed.

2. Artist as Questioner:
The artist asks questions about the work. After each question, the responders answer. Responders may express opinions if they are in direct response to the question asked and do not contain suggestions for changes.

3. Neutral Questions: Responders ask neutral questions about the work. The artist responds. Questions are neutral when they do not have an opinion couched in them. For example, if you are discussing the colors in a section of a painting,, “Why was it so dark?” is not a neutral question. “What ideas guided your choices about color?”

Opinion Time: Responders state opinions, subject to permission from the artist. The usual form is “I have an opinion about ______, would you like to hear it?” The artist has the option to decline opinions for any reason.

That's it! It worked for us.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

PRESS RELEASE: Bennington College printmakers at VAE's Mill Gallery, Bennington

The Vermont Arts Exchange (VAE) presents Universal Health Care, an exhibition of work by seven advanced printmaking students from Bennington College, at VAE's Mill Gallery at the Sage Street Mill from Saturday, November 28 through the end of February. An artists' reception at VAE will launch the show on Tuesday, December 1, from 7 to 9 p.m.

The students in Bennington College's Advanced Printmaking course - Fennis Brown, Margaret Zayer, Natalie Kent, Sarah Kelly (shown at left), Genevieve Senchyna, Will Moss, and Elizabeth Bennett - proposed and executed projects of their own design. Working in a basic structure of critiques and discussions, the group focused in on a variety of printing techniques and ways of handling materials to execute their ideas. The featured artwork includes stone lithographs, photopolymer gravure, screen-printed wallpaper, T-shirts, books, unique 3D and mixed media prints, and copper plate etchings. The works are for sale and a price list is available.

For more information about exhibits, events, classes, and workshops at VAE, please call 802.442.5549 or visit

Monday, November 9, 2009

PRESS RELEASE: Vermont Memories, works by Sheel Gardner Anand

Vermont Memories, works by Sheel Gardner Anand

at the Governor’s Office through November 26

Vermont Memories, a show of original paintings and prints by Sheel Gardner Anand is on display at the Governor’s Office on the fifth floor of the Pavilion Office Building in Montpelier through November 26th.

Beginning as a child, Sheel Anand pursued an interest in the visual arts. Over the years, he has studied independently with a number of Vermont artists and received his bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of Vermont.

Sheel arrived at his current style of expression while studying with acclaimed Vermont artist Carroll Jones Jr. Jones, who had mastered a process of applying paint rarely practiced since the Renaissance, instructed Sheel in this exacting technique.

Layering egg tempera, earth-tone washes and oil paint, Sheel achieves an astonishingly realistic result. In concert with his use of light, shadow and atmospheric perspective, Sheel’s technique gives the viewer the feeling of being present at the very place and time that the painting was created.

Sheel’s work has been shown at Fiske Farm in Isle La Motte and at the Luxton-Jones Gallery in Sheburne. His painting August Moon over Burlington was selected for inclusion in the recent juried show celebrating the Lake Champlain Quadricentennial, Champlain’s Lake Rediscovered. Additionally, Sheel’s work has appeared in Vermont Life and the Vermont Quarterly Magazine. Sheel’s work may also be seen at his studio, by appointment, or at the Art Gallery in Stowe.

The public is invited to a reception at the Governor's Office in honor of the artist on Thursday, November 5th, from 3 to 5 PM.