Tuesday, April 17, 2012

CHANGES: Shelburne Art Center Changes its Name Back to The Shelburne Craft School

The Shelburne Art Center Returns to its Roots, as The Shelburne Craft School recommits to Education. Please join us in our return to the Shelburne Craft School and our new website that will better assist the community in maintaining the information and relationships that are so important to us, to craft, to art, and to the enrichment of our livelihood. We are having a community BBQ in our village courtyard on May, 12th 2012, 12-4pm. Live music and studio demonstrations are free and open to the public. Donations are appreciated. If you'd like to learn more about the celebration please contact Sage Tucker-Ketcham, Executive Director at sage@theshelburnecraftschool.org, or 802.985.3648 for volunteer opportunities.

In 1938, a local woodworker invited a handful of youngsters from the Shelburne Village School to learn the fundamentals of woodworking, and the joys of creating from wood, "articles both useful and pleasing to the eye." The woodworker, Reverend J. Lynwood Smith, held the classes in the basement of Shelburne's Trinity Episcopal Church rectory with the belief that crafts, either as a vocation or an avocation, are an indispensable part of our culture. Reverend Smith stated, "education is a process of opening creative doors--and allowing those doors to open to everyone." That passion and dedication became the foundation for what is now the Shelburne Craft School, one of the oldest craft organizations in Vermont. Six decades later, those doors still remain open to everyone.

Throughout the decades, the Shelburne Craft School has gone through many changes. In the early part of the 21st century, the Shelburne Craft School expanded to the Shelburne Art Center and the Gallery on the Green; changes have occurred and with them come revelations of core values. Changing the name back to the Shelburne Craft School represents a return to our roots as a place of education. We are refocusing our efforts on providing what Reverend Smith wished to provide to the community of Shelburne in the 1930's: an opportunity for creative education for everyone. Reverend Smith was a craftsperson who believed that "a creative outlet is essential to a well-balanced life..." and "when a man's productive labor is only a means of livelihood, he has lost the great return that should be his – the joy of creation – the satisfaction that comes from producing an article of superlative quality."

Today, the Shelburne Craft School has studios for ceramics, woodworking, stained glass, jewelry, and fine art. A core group of professional artists and artisans teach a variety of classes and workshops throughout the year. The School's programs for children include drop-in, after-school, and summer camps. The School hosts several events throughout the year, such as Wall to Canvas with Magic Hat Brewery, Winter Wreath and Wine Tasting at Shelburne Vineyard, and this year the Taste of Shelburne at the Shelburne Museum. We continue to revitalize programs, including upgrading the facility at 64 Harbor Road. Through school partnerships with Burlington College, Vermont Woodworking School, Shelburne Community School, Lake Champlain Waldorf School, and other area schools, the Shelburne Craft School continues to collaborate with the educational community year round. The Harness Shop's front space now showcases work made by the School's students, teachers, and staff.