Artspace Summer 2011

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Talk of the Arts

Celebrating New Possibilities…People and Places…Reinventing, Collaborating, Repurposing By Lynn Barrett, publisher/editor   We talk to Brandon resident and folk artist Warren Kimble about his art and his life at a time when the Bennington Museum celebrates 150 years of Grandma Moses with its largest Moses show in a decade. He talks about the popularity of folk art and how he has helped his small town community be a place where an artist can live and make a living. Under Warren’s influence, Brandon was the first small town in America to use artist-decorated fiberglass statues as a fundraiser. They chose to paint pigs, display them all summer-long and then auction them off in the fall. The funds raised allowed them to buy a building on Main Street for an artists’ guild. This year’s timely theme—“Art Makes Brandon Tick”, is an extravaganza of artist-created clocks that will be on display all summer long all over town. Thanks in large part to Kimbel’s cheerleading, Brandon is a happening place for eating, shopping and gallery hopping. How cool is that. From Brandon we head to White River Junction… a long depressed railroad hub that’s experiencing an arty renaissance. As writer Dan Mackie reports, “White River Junction, which is still described as gritty, may be finding its Next (Sort of) Big Thing in the arts. Less than 10 miles from Hanover, N.H., and Dartmouth College, it offers lower rents and no upper crust.” Enter Matt Bucy, architect and “flagship pioneer” who got the ball rolling when he and a few investors bought and renovated the Tip Top Building. It’s colorful, full of a mix of creative businesses and there’s a waiting list for new tenants. The building inspires collaboration and has given rise to other entrepreneurial efforts in town. One shop owner says “Bucy made others think, “Maybe we can do something, too.’’ You can lunch at the Tuckerbox where you’ll see students of the Center for Cartoon Studies working on their Macs while enjoying fresh soup and salad. There’s shopping at the always-eclectic Revolution  (re-purposed designer and retro apparel) — and other shops you’ll find nowhere else, believe me. Another inspiring reinvention is the Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company, Vermont’s first community-owned dairy and cheese-making operation. Their approach to cheese production is centered on community, family and farming. And that includes the cows. Between 1996 and today, Vermont has lost 25% of its dairy farms. The current number of farms is approximately 1200 down from 11,000 in 1946. Preserving a piece of Vermont’s history and heritage was something the South Woodstock community felt was worth doing. They see it as a model to help revitalize...

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What’s New

What’s New   The Monadnock Fine Art Gallery Relocates — The Monadnock Fine Art Gallery opens with a new exhibit in its new home at Anthony Toepfer Jewelers, located at 50 Central Square, Keene. Marlborough fine artist, Mary Iselin’s new works entitled, “A Mother’s Gift” will be on exhibit through June 12. Mary Iselin’s paintings will also be featured in the windows of Anthony Toepfer Jewelers during the 18th annual Art Walk in Keene from June 3rd to June 12th. monadnockfineart.com or email: monadnockfineart@gmail.com The Guild of Vermont Furniture Makers after three years of successful month-long shows at Vermont Artisan Designs in Brattleboro, will try a two-month show this year. According to newly elected president, Johns Congdon, “the goal is to increase public awareness and appreciation of this time honored art, thereby expand- ing the market for handcrafted furniture and promoting the common interests of furniture makers in Vermont.” This year the show, which will feature furniture by more than half of the 28-member juried Guild, opens on Friday, Aug. 5, and will run through September 23. Many of the craftspeople will be on hand for the opening. Once again, visitors can vote for their favorite piece of furniture in the show and be entered to win a hand-made wall mirror. Vermont Artisan Designs is open seven days a week. For more information, see http://www.BuyVermontArt.com or http://www.vermontfurnituremakers.com. The landmark waterfront West River Marina restaurant is hoping to re- open in June! This after a devasting fire last July 2. Employees who led last year’s 4th of July parade two days after fire destroyed their building, will march again as the finale to this year’s parade to celebrate their resilience and their summer reopening. The new building is bigger than before and has more open space in- side. Outdoor dining is still a big feature. There’s just no summer without the Marina. Living History Association Library Is Being Planned For Public Use — Over 3,000 history related books valued at more than $65,000 are currently being inventoried, in a huge volunteer effort by the Living History As- sociation (LHA) to make its library accessible to the public at large. The LHA’s most hoped for result for this library effort, is an increase in use by area school children who have either an active interest in history, government, and the military, or to be of assistance in providing information to students for school related reports or projects. Other groups that the library hopes to reach are the general public, either residents or visitors, particularly the reenact- ment and professional history community. The Matterhorn Inn located in West Dover, Vermont has donated...

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Making it as an artist in Vermont

Making It as an Artist in Vermont by Anita Rafael   New artists’ alliances are bursting on the scene—all with similar missions—to work together and to work smarter and to welcome and engage audiences in new and dynamic ways. Just as farmers and fresh-food enthusiasts have found each other at farmers’ markets—artists and art-lovers are finding each other at open studio tours, in guilds and galleries, and at public events and festivals. Artists are creating online directories that are not just for selling art, more importantly they are promoting the artistic milieu of Southern Vermont. Talented people collaborating online and face-to-face are why our local alliances are worth watching. Arts education, arts participation and arts awareness are all on the agenda. In Brattleboro, the town has formed an arts committee. They’ve partnered with the Arts Council of Windham County and share meeting minutes, have a couple of common members and have worked with both the Town Planning Department and the Town Manager on Sidewalk Art to bring more public awareness to the arts. Other groups are helping each other write business plans and budget their marketing dollars. They’re organizing regular potlucks and trade-talk about arts and cultural tourism initiatives. We talked to a few of them to find out more. Artisans of Southern Vermont has a short but informative blog. Former bond trader turned metal jewelry-maker Carmel Furtado, of Leaves of Gold Gallery, is a member of the guild, which charges its members $50 annually for group advertising. She talks about the baby steps the group took in its launch phase in 2008 and about one of its biggest success stories three years later. “The goal in forming our group was to bring attention to the concentration of the number of artists and artisans working in the southwest corner of the state. We wanted people to know about the unique beauty of handcrafted items in a world of machine made. In 2008, we created a blog and an elaborate driving map through Manchester and out to Pawlet as a way to promote the Statewide Open Studio Tour in our area.” “The idea of a guild—everyone wants different things out of it—but, of course, we want to sell art. This past November, the Southern Vermont Arts Center gave us a show. It was a first for the Center to combine traditional hooked rugs, pottery, sculpture, clothing, jewelry, and craft furniture. It was a successful show and sales resulted from it.” “One of the good things from the group is that we derive business from each other—we do work for each other, and thank god for it. You know, Vermont is...

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Neighbors join forces to buy a dairy farm

Neighbors Join Forces to Buy a Dairy Farm by Katherine P. Cox   Savvy Vermont cheese lovers on the lookout for the next best thing may have noticed some new artisan cheeses on the block—with the imprint of the Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company. What they may not know is that Vermont Farmstead is unique—a community-owned dairy and cheesemaking operation, the first in the state. Established a little more than a year ago, the company was formed when a group of neighbors in South Woodstock  joined forces to buy—and save from potential development—a dairy farm, seeking to preserve the rural character of the community. The former Kedron Valley Dairy came on the market in 2010, and concerned neighbors with adjoining properties began meeting to see what could be done to save the land and the farm. “Everyone wanted to see the farm continue,” said Kent Underwood, Chief Operating Officer of Vermont Farmstead Cheese, one of the company’s herdsmen and one of the original neighbors who came together to buy the farmland and dairy facility.  They bought the farm in April, 2010, with the goal to revitalize it and in short order got to work. They began milking later that month, and started making cheese in January. Dedicated to crafting high-quality artisan cheeses, defined as cheese produced in small batches in the traditional way with as little mechanization as possible, and farmstead cheeses, which can only be made from the milk from the farmer’s own herd, they launched four new cheeses in May. Available in cheese stores, specialty food stores and supermarkets around the state, they are Alehouse Cheddar, Tilsit, Sugar Shack Edam and Farmstead Windsordale.  Sharon Huntley, director of marketing, describes the cheeses much the way one would describe a fine wine, and even recommends pairings of beer and wine for these cheeses.  “Our Alehouse Cheddar is a twist on the traditional classic. It’s tipsy with a hint of earthy, rich artisan ale. Also made with the peg mill, our cheddar has a more open, flavorful balance of nuts, hops and sweet notes. Pair it with hard cider, any micro brew, or Pinot Gris,” she suggests. “Tilsit is a hearty cheese that will tempt the cheese lovers looking for a more intense, full flavor. It has a medium-firm texture with irregular holes and a washed rind. Pair with a variety of white wines such as Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio, a light oak chardonnay, or Chablis, or reds such as Pinot Noir, Beaujolais or Burgundy,” she advises.  The savory SugarShack Edam, encased in the traditional red wax, she says, “is flavored with fenugreek and infused with a hint of maple...

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Marketplace

Marketplace Advertiser links: Eddington House Inn — Pangea Restaurant — Newfane Country Store — Progressive Performance Festival — Building a Better Brattleboro — Beadniks — New England Youth Theatre...

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Farmers Markets

Farmers’ Markets Every Tuesday: Rutland Downtown Farmers’ Market, Depot Park, 3-6p, 802 747-4403. Bennington Walloomsac Farmers’ Market at the Bennington Station, 10-1p, 802 442-8934. Every Wednesday: Farmers’ Market, Food Co-op Parking Lot, Brattleboro, 10-2p, brattleborofarmersmarket.org. Woodstock Farmers’ Market, on the Green, 3-6p, woodstockvt.com. Every Thursday: Poultney Farmers’ Market, Main St, 9-2p, 802 287-2460. Townshend Farmers Market, Rts 30 & 35, 3:30-6:30p, 802 869-2141. Manchester Farmers’ Market, Adams Park, Manchester, 3-6p, manchestermarket.org. Castleton Village Farmers’ Market, Wells, 3:30-6p, 802 273-2241. Royalton Farmers’ Market, South Royalton Town Green, 3-6:30p, 802 763-6630. Every Friday: Brandon Farmers’ Market, Central Park, Brandon, 9-2p, 802 247-8473. Fairhaven Farmers’ Market, 3-7p, 802 265-4240. Ludlow Farmers’ Market, 4-7p, Main Street, 802 734-3829. Hartland Farmers’ Market, Hartland Town Library, 4-7p, 802 296-2032. Every Saturday: Brattleboro Farmers’ Market, Western Avenue (just west of Creamery Covered Bridge), Brattleboro, 9-2p, brattleborofarmersmarket.org. Arlington Country Market, at the Hamlets of Vermont on Rt 7A North, Arlington, 10-2p, arlingtoncountrymarket.com. Norwich Farmers’ Market, Rt 5 south in Norwich, 9-1p, norwichfarmersmarket.org. Bennington Walloomsac Farmers’ Market at the Bennington Station, 10-1p, 802 442-8934. Londonderry-West River Farmers’ Market, Rts 11 and 100, 9-1p, 802 824-4492. Rutland Downtown Farmers’ Market, Depot Park, 9-2p, 802 747-4403. Wilmington Farmers’ Market, Main Street, Wilmington, 10-3p, 802 464-9069. Windsor Farmers’ Market, on Green St., Windsor, 1-4p, 802 674-6630. Woodstock-Mt. Tom Farmers’ Market, Mt. Tom Parking Lot, 9:30-12:30p, 802 457-1980. Green Mountain Harmony Farm, Flea, Arts and Crafts market, on Rt 7 South in Mount Tabor, 9-1p, greenmountainharmony.com. Every Sunday: Jamaica Farmers’ Market, Main St, Jamaica, 10-2p, jamaicavt.com, 802 874-4151. Arlington Country Market, Hamlets of Vermont Rt 7A North, Arlington, 10-2p, arlingtoncountrymarket.com. Chester Farmers’ Market, Vermont Country Store Rt 103, 11-2p, 802 875-2703. Dorset Farmers’ Market at HN Williams Store, 10-2p, 802 558-8511. Green Mountain Harmony Farm, Flea, Arts & Crafts market, Rt 7 S Mt Tabor, 10a-2p,...

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Kitchen Gardens

Ellen Ogden’s Inspiring Kitchen Gardens by Katherine P. Cox   While it has invaluable advice on everything from preparing the soil and choosing seeds to basic tool and style suggestions, this design/garden/cook book inspires rather than intimidates. It transforms the humble vegetable plot into a place where art, whimsy and creativity take flight, enhancing the essential joy of growing something from seed. That the resulting vegetable ends up on the dinner plate, further exciting the senses, just reinforces the inherent satisfaction of gardening. “It’s in our DNA that yearning to grow something ourselves,” Ogden said. “I wanted to encourage people and give them the tools.” While supporting local farmers is important, “I feel that growing (our own) food is the next step beyond local,” she said. She knows it’s a DIY audience, and wanted to impart that “wonderful satisfaction of growing your own…things that you’re not going to get at your CSA.” She believes that most consumers have lost their connection with food, and that planning, planting, growing, and discovering just how long it can take to grow food renews that connection. Just as she advises gardeners to start with a plan, she first developed the garden concepts for this book and then designed them with an illustrator, Ramsay Gourd. Then, with photographer Ali Koukas, she “floated around and looked at gardens” that corresponded with the themes in her book —the Cook’s Garden, the Children’s Garden, the Heirloom Maze Garden, and 12 others that comprise the 15 kitchen gardens in the book. Each of the garden chapters includes gorgeous photos, an illustrated design plan, 10 tips for growing, and descriptions of the suggested seeds and plants to put in the soil. Ogden’s own unique recipes using those vegetables conclude each garden’s chapter. There’s the basic Kitchen Garden for the salad lover, which includes a variety of lettuces and greens, radishes, carrots, cucumbers and edible flowers. The Organic Rotation Garden, or Four-Square, “is ideal for first time gardeners with the goal of learning fundamental principles of organic gardening,” Ogden writes. Others are more creative and stimulate the imagination: the Paint Box Garden (“plant by color to create a patchwork quilt with shades of green…and dabs of pink, red and blue.”), the Culinary Herb Garden (“fill with color, texture and fragrance”), the Artist’s Garden, and the Four Friends Garden, Ogden’s personal favorite. “A patchwork quilt symbolizes friendship; likewise, in this garden, each of the four squares reflects the unique personality of one of the four gardeners,” she writes, “and all the squares blend into one. Inspired by the concept of a community garden, the Four Friends Garden offers camaraderie, recreation, and...

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Wine Observed: Summer Wines

Summer Wines by Marty Ramsburg   Summer is but a fleeting moment in Vermont, or so it seems. Those of us who live here year-round relish each day that we can be outside without putting on layers. From mid-June through foliage in late October, Vermont is bliss —cool nights, warm days, walks along the tree-covered river road that is cool despite the ambient temperature in town, the Farmers’ Market, flowering pots, ubiquitous green. It is like being on vacation at home.  Wine helps us celebrate our “staycation.” There are certain wines that I associate with summer, and when we pour a glass of these and sit on our front porch overlooking the valley, we know that there is no place we would rather be. Wines that say summer are refreshing, with higher acidity to accentuate that freshness; they are clean and usually chilled. Below are several on which we rely to enhance our quiet evenings as we watch the shadows fall from east to west across the meadow, or when we have friends over with whom we share an evening on the screened porch.   Rosé Nothing says vacation like Rosé, particularly since rosés are so strongly associated with the Cote d’Azur, an area of beach, sun and therefore, leisure. Classic French rosé is always dry, not to be confused with US “blush” wines like White Zinfandel. Our favorite summer sippers always include a Cotes du Provence rosé. These tend to be Cinsault-based, light-bodied, minerally, sightly floral (lavender), with a hint of something herbal like rosemary or thyme. A beautiful pale pink, with one of these in our respective glasses, it never fails to place us squarely in vacation mode. Other areas that make thirst-quenching rosés include Costieres de Nimes, with more Grenache and Syrah, Cotes du Ventoux, and Loire Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir or Gamay rosés from Chinon, Saumur, Bourgueil, or Anjou.   Refreshing Whites: Vin de Savoie, Jacqueres A couple of summers ago, we discovered the Jacqueres grape from Savoie and fell in love. The Savoie region is Alpine, tucked up against Switzerland at Lake Geneva. Two-thirds of the grapes grown in the region are white varietals and Jacquere just reminds us of the area from which it comes— mountain meadows, alpine lakes, cool, clean brooks. Sounds kind of like Vermont, doesn’t it? Picpoul A citrusy, high acid (picquepoul means “lipstinger”) white from Lanquedoc, it offers flavors of grapefruit, green apple, and lime zest. The acidity lifts the wine on the finish, giving it an energetic zing that is delicious on a hot summer day out on the water, or in the early evening before the sun...

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Food Festivals

Vermont Food Festivals   If there’s one thing—besides the art—that brings people to the historic villages and rural communities of Southern Vermont, it has to be the food. In this region you’ll find a warm and sophisticated, yet rustic, lifestyle based on family traditions, with authentic and local food experiences. There are plenty of food festivals this summer and fall, many of which offer a great way to experience the flavors of a new destination, while allowing you to try new foods and gather new recipes. A culinary vacation in Southern Vermont dishes up wonderful folks and dedicated farmers, local and celebrity chefs, producers, food entrepreneurs, food coops, restaurants, CSAs, Farmer’s Markets and a host of food festivals. Here are our top festival picks.   Vermont Cheesemakers Festival, July 24 Coach Barn of Shelburne Farms, Shelburne, 212 576-2700, vtcheesefest.com Vermont is the premium artisanal cheese state with the highest number of cheesemakers per capita—over 40 of them! We invite you to experience our passion for making fine cheeses, taste local and fresh foods and wines, and meet the artisans who make them. Spend a high summer day along the shores of Lake Champlain at the historic Shelburne Farms Coach Barn sampling, buying, learning, and networking. Hosted by the Vermont Butter & Cheese Company and the Vermont Cheese Council, the Festival will take place at Shelburne Farms from 11a-4p. The event, which is open to the public, attracted over 1,100 visitors from across the country last year. This year’s attendees will sample over 100 types of cheese from 50 different cheesemakers, a variety of locally produced wines and beers, and several other artisan foods, including maple syrup, honey, chocolates, baked goods and more.   Deerfield Valley Blueberry Festival and Parade— Top Ten Summer Event, July 29-Aug 7 various venues in the Mount Snow Valley, vermontblueberry.com Berries, vintage cars, music, food and tarp displays; if it’s blue, it’s probably happening in the Mount Snow area towns of Wilmington, Whitingham and Dover. The event is coordinated by Janet Boyd from Boyd Family Farm and the Mount Snow Valley Chamber of Commerce in which dozens of businesses, organizations and individuals have created blueberry or blue themed events, including a Big Blue Parade, a Blue Street Fair, children’s activities, jam making, blueberry themed specials in the local eateries, blue music events, a blue car auto show, blueberry bake sales, blue beer, special “Blues fees” at Mount Snow’s Golf Course as well as pick your own blueberry opportunities.   Mount Snow Brewer’s Fest, Sept 3-4 Mount Snow Resort at 39 Mount Snow Road, West Dover, 800 245-SNOW, mountsnow.com Mount Snow’s annual tribute to summer and...

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Open Studios

Tour Open Studios: Artists at work, Art for Sale May 28-29 Vermont Open Studio Weekend vt1crafts@aol.com  Open Studio Weekend, a statewide arts celebration over Memorial Day Weekend. 300 artists and artisans participate. Many of the artists belong to local guilds or associations that organize more open studio tours at various times of the year. Look for a second state-wide tour in the fall. May 28-29 Artisans of Southern Vermont’s Third Annual Open Studio Tour features a tour of artists living in the Southwest corner of Vermont. Artisansvt.com July 16-17 The 19th Annual Rock River Artist Tour features eighteen professional artists who open their homes, gardens and studios during this enchanting self-guided tour. Wander Southern Vermont’s picturesque back roads and be greeted like an old friend at the homes of successful painters, print makers, sculptors, metal and woodworkers, potters and more. Many are featured in museumcollections from Manhattan to Chicago to Portland and abroad. Start at the historic Old Schoolhouse in South Newfane to view artists’ work and pick up a map. Gourmet delights are available mid-tour in Newfane and Williamsville. Rockriverartists.com July 16-17 Open Studios of Washington County, NY. 10-5p. Visit 15 professional artists in their studios tucked away in farm houses, barns, and old factories throughout Salem, Cambridge, Greenwich, Eagle Bridge, and Hartford.  http://www.StudioTour.org September 24-25 Brattleboro-West Arts Studio Tour 10-5p both days. 15 or so of possibly the most eclectic group of artists ever to share a six-mile radius. Where else can you watch a weathervane maker, a rug braider, a wood carver and a stone mason practice their craft alongside artists who work with hand-dyed silks, colored porcelain, blown and fused glass, and locally harvested hardwoods? And that’s before you get to the landscape artists, portraitists and abstract painters. The artists all live along the Whetstone Brook watershed, in the villages of West Brattleboro and Marlboro. Brattleboro-westarts.com November 25-27 Putney Craft Tour. 10-5p. In 1978, the First Putney Artisan Festival was held spurred by local artist Margo Torrey. The idea of a self-guided tour of artists’ studios was a unique idea at the time and served as a model for craft tours by other organizations in the future. The goal was to create an event for area craftspeople to sell their works locally by drawing visitors from near and far. This year’s tour features 25 studios in the Putney area, putneycrafts.com November 25-27 Walpole Artisan Tour sponsored by Walpole Artisans Cooperative. Artists demonstrations take place in Walpole and Alstead, N.H. and Bellows Falls, Vermont, 603 756-3020. The Walpole Artisans Cooperative is located at 52 Main Street, Walpole, N.H. Hours: Open Wed-Sat 10a-5p & Sun 11a-3p, walpoleartisans.org...

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