Open Studios, Antiques, Craft Show
Sep03

Open Studios, Antiques, Craft Show

Open Studios, Antiques & Crafts Shows   Readsboro Arts FestivalSep 15, 10-4, Readsboro Central School, readsboroarts.orgThe 6th annual Readsboro Arts Festival features the work of artists and craftspeople from southern Vermont and includes performances by local musicians and free art-making activities for all ages. 38th Fall Craft FestivalSept 22-23, On the Green, Rt 11, Chester, 10-4p, 802 875-2626, chesterfallfestival.orgOver 60 Vermont & New England crafters & artisans show and sell their creations in one of Vermont’s most picturesque Fall settings! Historic and beautiful Chester, Vermont sets the stage for this glorious event. Food vendors, non-profit displays.  Manchester Fall Art & Craft FestivalSep 28, 29, & 30,10-5p, The Field at Riley Rink410 Hunter Park Road, Manchester, craftproducers.com200 juried artisans exhibit and sell a wide range of contemporary and traditional craft work as well as original art, photography, sculpture, and specialty food products. For many customers it’s an annual ritual to spend a day here, seeing their favorite exhibitors and meeting new ones, buying new works including gifts for the approaching holiday season.  Brattleboro-West Arts 4th Annual Open Studio TourSep 29-30, 10-5p, West Brattleboro, Brattleboro-west-arts.comBrattleboro-West Arts’ annual open studio tour brings together what is possibly the most eclectic group of artists ever to share a six-mile radius. Visit landscape artists, portraitists and abstract painters, a weathervane maker, a rug braider, a wood carver and a stone mason as well as artists who work with hand-dyed silks, colored porcelain, blown and fused glass, and locally harvested hardwoods. Tour maps available at C.X. Silver Gallery, 814 Western Ave, West Brattleboro. 9th Annual Vermont Fine Furniture and Woodworking FestivalSep 29-30, 9-6p Sat, 10-4p Sun, Union Arena, Woodstock,vermontwoodfestival.orgMore than 60 Vermont furniture makers, wood turners and cabinetmakers will exhibit at this annual event.  Big Buzz Chainsaw Carving FestivalOct 2-8, all day, MacKenzie Field, Rt 103, Chester (the field is behindStone House Antiques & across from Jack’s Diner) 508-965-3211Artist Barre Pinske produces The “Big Buzz” Chainsaw Carving Festival.On the last day, a collective carving, made by over 20 professional chainsaw artists will be auctioned off and all proceeds will directly benefit a cancer charity. Weston Antiques ShowOct 5-7, Weston Playhouse, Rt 100, Weston802 824-5307, westonantiquesshow.orgOct 4 Gala Preview. Set in the heart of the Green Mountains at the peakof fall foliage, the Weston Antiques Show has been attracting collectors, dealers, residents, and tourists alike since 1959. Regarded as one of the best small shows in New England, thousands of attendees flock to Weston every year to enjoy the show, the setting, and the season. This antiques show features renowned dealers from across the U.S. with American and English furniture, accessories,Americana, folk art, silver, samplers, paintings, oriental rugs, jewelry and more. The Weston Antiques Show is...

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Arts, Crafts & Antiques Fairs

Arts, Crafts & Antiques Fairs Readsboro Arts FestivalSep 15, 10-4p, Readsboro Central School, readsboroarts.org 9th Annual Vermont Fine Furniture and Woodworking FestivalSep 29-30, 9-6p Sat, 10-4p Sun, Union Arena, Woodstock, vermontwoodfestival.org Big Buzz Chainsaw Carving FestivalOct 2-8, all day, MacKenzie Field, Rt 103, Chester (field is behind Stone House Antiques & across from Jack’s Diner), 508 965-3211 Weston Antiques ShowOct 5-7, Weston Playhouse, Rt. 100, Weston, 802 824-5307,westonantiquesshow.org Manchester Fall Art and Craft FestivalSep 28-30, new location: The Field at Riley Rink, 410 Hunter Park Rd Manchester, craftproducers.comSwing into Fall with The Manchester Fall Art and Craft Festival, one of the top New England summer marketplaces for art and handmade crafts. The show is a great combination of handmade crafts, original art, live music, and an array of gourmet edible treats. Featuring artists from Vermont and beyond, there’s something for the whole family. With over 180 artists and craftspeople exhibiting, visitors can meet the artists in person, hear their stories, buy a piece of their work and take a bit of the artist’s personality home. Adult admission $10, kids 12 and under free. Coupons are available at http://www.craftproducers.com. A rain or shine event, with food tastings, activities for children, live music on Saturday and Sunday and free parking. Holiday and personal shopping at its best. 38th Fall Craft FestivalSep 22-23, On the Green, Rt 11, Chester, 10-4p, 802 875-2626,chesterfallfestival.org 39th Annual Harvest Art and Craft ShowOct 6-7,9-5p, Mount Snow, West Dover, mountsnow.com Art in the ParkOct 6-7, 10-5p, Main St. Park, Rutland, chaffeeartcenter.org 29th Annual Weston Craft ShowOct 12-13, Weston Playhouse on the Green, Rt 100, westoncraftshow.com Cherry Street Artisans Holiday Craft Sale and CaféDec 1-2, 9-9p Sat, 11-4p Sun, 44 Cherry St, Brattleboro, cherrystreetartisans.com,802...

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Workshops, classes, artist residencies
Sep03

Workshops, classes, artist residencies

Workshops, Classes & Artist Residencies         Stone Trust indoor stone building workshop   Bennington Center for the Arts44 Gypsy Lane, Bennington10a to 5p, Mon-Sun (Closed Mon)benningtoncenterforthearts.org, 802 442-7158Ongoing: Students will learn the techniques of carving small animals from blocks of wood. Students will carve and paint a piece with instruction on every aspect of the art form. Check the website for specific dates and times. Carving Studio and Sculpture Center636 Marble St, Rutlandcarvingstudio.org, 802 438-2097Oct 6-7: Advanced Letter Carving, with Adam Paul Heller. Oct 8-12: Alumni Week.Oct 13-14: Weekend Iron Casting, with Joseph Montroy. Oct 13-14: Introductory Stone Carving Weekend, with Bill Nutt.Residencies: Artists in Residence are integral to the Carving Studio and Sculpture Center programming as they create sculpture and interact with the arts community. Fletcher Farm611 Route 103 S., Ludlowfletcherfarm.org, 802 228-8770 InView Center for the Arts at Landgrove Inn132 Landgrove Rd, Landgrovelandgroveinn.com, 802 824-6673Sep 14-16: Decorating and Painting on Clay, with Donna McGee. Sep 20-23:Vermont Landscapes in Oils, with Randall Sexton. Sep 24-28: Vermont as you Like it: Plein air watercolors, with Tony VanHasselt. Oct 1-5: Capturing Light and Color, with Pam Gordinier. Oct 19-21: Nature Landscapes, with Wilson Bickford. Oct 22-26: Watercolor Workshop, with Alvaro Castagnet. Nov 1-3: Pastels workshop, with Robert Carsten. The Lampshade Lady60 School St, Pawletlampshadelady.typepad.com, 802 325-6308Sep 28-29: Two Day Fall Foliage Lampshade Workshop. Oct 19: One Day Lampshade Workshop. River Gallery School32 Main St, Brattlebororivergalleryschool.org, 802 257-1577Sep 22: Bookmaking: Japanese Binding, with Susan Bonthron. Oct 14:Sequencing, with Lydia Thomson. Oct 27-28: Intro to Encaustic and Encaustic Collage, with Julia Jensen. Nov 25: Angels, Beasts, Shepherds, & Kings, with Barbara Campman and RGS Faculty and Board. Ongoing: The River Gallery School provides classes, studio space, and a working environment that encourages individual expression, where the visual arts and the creative process are explored and honored. Check the web site for a complete schedule of classes. River Rock Studio362 Dover Rd, S. Newfanerockriver-studio.com, 802 348-7440Ongoing: Rock River Studio offers workshops in Visual Memoir, Sequence Painting, Design Boot Camp, Pinhole Photography, Cyanotype, and Digital Printmaking. See the Web site for more info. Southern Vermont Arts Center, Yester House GalleryWest Rd, Manchester10a to 5p, Tues-Sat, 12 to 5p, Sunsvac.org, 802 362-2522, 362-1405Sep 11-14: It’s All About the Light, with Robert Carsten. Sep 21-22: Oil Pastels for Everyone, with Chester Kasnowiski. Sep 22: Field, Flower, Forest – An Exploration into Japanese Flower Arranging, with Katsuko Lord. Sep 27-29: Passionate Still Life, with Joe Anna Arnett. Oct 11-13: Plein Air Studio, Painting the Landscape, with Andrew Orr. Oct 23-27: Autumn in Vermont – Pastels in Plein Air, with Susan Ogilvie. The Stone Trust Workshopsthestonetrust.org, 802 380-9550Sep 7: Test Day, with DSWA certified examiner. Sep 8-9: Two-day outdoor workshop to...

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Main Street Arts
Sep03

Main Street Arts

The Little Theatre That Could—Main Street Arts By Joyce Marcel   Main Street Arts is a little community arts center that always thinks big. “Main Street Arts is to Saxtons River as Lincoln Center is to New York City,” it likes to say. “It’s the heartbeat of Saxtons River,” said Kathleen J. Bryar, the chair of Main Street Arts’ audacious capital campaign. “And it’s not just for Saxtons River. It’s Grafton, Westminster West, Putney, Bellows Falls and even Walpole in New Hampshire. People come to participate from a 50-mile radius. They have this passion for Main Street Arts. It’s a very welcoming community where people who have some creative ability can find talented people of similar interests. And you don’t have to be a professional.” This small and beloved arts center is currently stuffed into every nook, corner, cranny and crevice of the two-floor, 1850’s Green Revival former Oddfellow’s Hall which it owns on Main Street in Saxtons River — a tiny township of about 500 people that is part of the Town of Rockingham. Hence, the need for a capital campaign, which was begun quietly last year and is now about to go public. But what makes it audacious? First, most small arts organizations don’t last long as MSA, which was founded in 1988. Second, in a down economy where most arts organizations find it difficult to raise money, MSA wants to raise a whopping $875,000. And third, it has already raised an astonishing $595,000 — 68 percent of what it needs. Main Street Arts may be small, with a budget of about $90,000 a year, but it packs a mighty artistic punch. “At every given day, something new is happening at Main Street Arts,” said part-time managing director Margo Ghia. “The Vermont Arts Council has said over the years, ‘You epitomize the arts in a community.’ We’ve existed on the generosity of our community and the frugality of this organization for almost 25 years.” Each year, over 10,000 people come through its creative doors. They include seniors taking strength classes, children taking art lessons, choruses rehearsing, choreographers, directors, scenographers, actors, musicians and dancers working on the next big musical, the  audiences that fill the 125-seat theater and even, every now and then, the Oddfellows themselves. In 2010, MSA offered 70 classes, including watercolors, Zumba, dance, Tai Chi, writing, songwriting, drumming and crafts. In the 2011-12 season it staged 32 events including dances, a magic show, a wildly popular once-a-month Scrabble Night, language potlucks where people can share a meal and practice their Spanish or French and, of course, lots of community theater. The building also houses the...

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Brattleboro Literary Festival
Sep03

Brattleboro Literary Festival

Brattleboro Literary Festival By Arlene Distler The literary arts have played an important part in Brattleboro’s history. Royall Tyler, writer of the first comedy written and produced in the New World, lived and worked in Brattleboro during the late eighteenth century. The first literary societies in the community were formed in his day, the forerunners of the reading and writing groups that abound here today. In the eighteen-nineties, Rudyard Kipling married one of its daughters and resided at Naulakha in the hills on the edge of town. He wrote several of his classic works while living in Brattleboro. Printing has been an important part of the town’s economy since early in the nineteenth century when William Fessenden brought a printing press from Cambridge, Mass. He printed the first book here in 1805. According to the Vermont Historical Magazine of 1850, “…the publishing business, more than all other causes in that day put together, enlarged and built up this village.” It has been home to several important printers and book presses since: Stephen Greene Press, Griswold Printing, The Book Press, Howard Printing, and Stratford Publishing, the last two of which continue to operate today. Since its first year, the Brattleboro Literary Festival has hosted the best writers of our day. The festival was born when Nobel Prize winning author Saul Bellow decided he wanted to give something back to the town where he resided. He was already in failing health, but his reading, held at an oriental rug store on Main Street, was filled to overflowing. He held an audience rapt for over an hour. This was to be Bellow’s last public reading. Since then the festival has gone on to present nearly 300 authors, including winners of the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, Newbery Medal, and the Caldecott Medal.   It has also featured writers whose stars are ascending. Back in 2004 festival organizers invited Monique Truong to read from her novel, The Book of Salt. By the time the festival rolled around she had been nominated for the Barbara Gittings Book Award (which ultimately she won) and the 2004 PEN/Robbert Bingham Award (which she also won). Organizers say each year there are attendees who report their favorite reading was not the “big name” but the discovery of an author whose books were previously unknown to them. With the Authors’ Committee made up of published writers, the town’s head librarian, and led by a former bookstore owner, invitations are made on the strength of writing, not pressure from an agent or “buzz.” Surprises and discoveries have been a much lauded hallmark of the festival. Sandy Rouse,...

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Stephen Hannock
Sep03

Stephen Hannock

Stephen Hannock By Joyce Marcel Stephen Hannock’s paintings combine landscape with stories — as if there were any landscapes without stories.  Lovely and alive, the paintings flow with rivers and glow with flares of light. “Decoding meaning is one of the great pleasures of viewing art by Stephen Hannock,” said Brattleboro Museum and Art Center curator Mara Williams. “Each work is exquisitely rendered, suffused with light, palpably beautiful. Each is a thorny, funny, erudite, self-referential riff on living as a contemporary artist.” Hannock is an art world rock star who hangs out with real rock stars. He is one of an elite group of painters with a waiting list of patrons who want to buy his work. His paintings hang, in among other places, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. He is represented by the prestigious Marlborough Gallery in New York. The musician Sting, who collects his work, is an old friend and collaborator. His friends are a Who’s Who of the art world. He has seven pages in Wikipedia. So there is no question that Hannock is a verifiable star. The question then becomes, how has the Brattleboro museum managed to get 16 of his stunning, lyrical, story-filled, light-filled paintings, plus two photo assemblages and one print, for display in their latest show? Thanks for this great gift goes to the small world of notable personages who can be found quietly living in the green hills of Dummerston — and to the good will Vermont has earned after it was trashed last year by Tropical Storm Irene. Hannock, 61, works nearby in North Adams, Mass., in a series of studios which take up most of the third floor of a restored mill building. In person he is tall, shaggy and as affable as an overlarge puppy. A good-looking man, he’s wildly intelligent and an incorrigible storyteller. He still maintains some of the athleticism and energy of the young hockey goalie that he was when he put himself through several elite boarding schools and colleges. “He is quite a full frontal personality,” said Williams. “I think he makes beautiful paintings in the classically esthetic sense, and we don’t see that much of that kind of painting. What intrigues me, though, is that his work is also very contemporary and text-based, and he uses unusual techniques to bring them to life.” Williams titled the Hannock show “Gathering Light.” “You can’t touch light, but you can see how it coalesces and moves,” Williams said....

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What’s New
Sep03

What’s New

What’s New Is it Brooklyn or Brattleboro? State-of-the-Art pads and retail in the heart of Downtown. The Historic Brooks House, that suffered a massive fire a year ago, is now being developed as a major hub for downtown with top urban amenities for both retail and apartment living. A new indoor mall area with a coffee bar, seating, and handicapped access will connect a mix of retail and restaurant spaces on the ground floor. The second floor will house offices, while the remainder of the building will be a mix of residential units, from artists’ studios to high-end penthouse apartments. An urban plaza behind the building will provide pedestrian access and social space; a rooftop garden in the rear of the building will be reserved for residential tenants only. Built in 1972 by George Brooks, a native son, who made his fortune in the mercantile business in California during the Gold Rush, The Brooks Hotel is an 1871 landmark hotel on the national register for historic places and the largest building downtown. The Brooks House remains one of the most photographed buildings in Southern Vermont. http://www.brookshouse.com Kudos to Vermont Cheese – Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company their Governor’s Cheddar is a 2012 American Cheese Society winner. Also, F. H. Gillingham’s & Son’s General Store and Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company are partnering to produce and market F. H. Gillingham Vermont Heritage Cheddar, a distinctive new brand based on 126 years of tradition in Vermont. The first result of this joint effort is an all-natural artisan cheddar cheese, which is made using 100% Vermont milk and will be marketed regionally and nationally. Not to be outdone, Grafton Village Cheese has won several ribbons from the American Cheese Society: Bismark – First Place Ribbon; Eweden Apple Pie – Second Place Ribbon/ Bear Hill – Third Place Ribbon. And, from the National Association for Specialty Food Trade: Cave Aged Leyden was a sofi Silver Finalist for Outstanding Cheese. Happy Trails Birthday — The Windmill Hill Pinnacle Association (WHPA) will celebrate its 20th Anniversary on Saturday, September 29, at Wild Shepherd Farm in Athens, Vermont. The event honors two decades of partnership with the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board and the Vermont Land Trust, a collaboration that has created an extensive public access trail system radiating from Westminster to Grafton and preserved beautiful forest and farms in the area. The day will begin at 9:00 a.m. with optional guided walks through various sections of the Association’s conserved lands and proceed to a catered shish kebab lunch and a food tasting of locally-produced bounty at a farm conserved by the partners and other donors, and conclude with remarks by...

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What’s New
Sep03

What’s New

What’s New Is it Brooklyn or Brattleboro? State-of-the-Art pads and retail in the heart of Downtown. The Historic Brooks House, that suffered a massive fire a year ago, is now being developed as a major hub for downtown with top urban amenities for both retail and apartment living. A new indoor mall area with a coffee bar, seating, and handicapped access will connect a mix of retail and restaurant spaces on the ground floor. The second floor will house offices, while the remainder of the building will be a mix of residential units, from artists’ studios to high-end penthouse apartments. An urban plaza behind the building will provide pedestrian access and social space; a rooftop garden in the rear of the building will be reserved for residential tenants only. Built in 1972 by George Brooks, a native son, who made his fortune in the mercantile business in California during the Gold Rush, The Brooks Hotel is an 1871 landmark hotel on the national register for historic places and the largest building downtown. The Brooks House remains one of the most photographed buildings in Southern Vermont. http://www.brookshouse.com Kudos to Vermont Cheese – Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company their Governor’s Cheddar is a 2012 American Cheese Society winner. Also, F. H. Gillingham’s & Son’s General Store and Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company are partnering to produce and market F. H. Gillingham Vermont Heritage Cheddar, a distinctive new brand based on 126 years of tradition in Vermont. The first result of this joint effort is an all-natural artisan cheddar cheese, which is made using 100% Vermont milk and will be marketed regionally and nationally. Not to be outdone, Grafton Village Cheese has won several ribbons from the American Cheese Society: Bismark – First Place Ribbon; Eweden Apple Pie – Second Place Ribbon/ Bear Hill – Third Place Ribbon. And, from the National Association for Specialty Food Trade: Cave Aged Leyden was a sofi Silver Finalist for Outstanding Cheese. Happy Trails Birthday — The Windmill Hill Pinnacle Association (WHPA) will celebrate its 20th Anniversary on Saturday, September 29, at Wild Shepherd Farm in Athens, Vermont. The event honors two decades of partnership with the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board and the Vermont Land Trust, a collaboration that has created an extensive public access trail system radiating from Westminster to Grafton and preserved beautiful forest and farms in the area. The day will begin at 9:00 a.m. with optional guided walks through various sections of the Association’s conserved lands and proceed to a catered shish kebab lunch and a food tasting of locally-produced bounty at a farm conserved by the partners and other donors, and conclude with remarks by...

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Great Hall of Springfield
Sep03

Great Hall of Springfield

The Great Hall of Springfield By Arlene Distler   Clearly it takes a village––and town––to make a first-class art space. With the transforming of the defunct Fellows Gear Shaper Factory from an abandoned and derelict shell into the medical center-retail-art space that it is today, has taken vision, patience, and selflessness on the part of many. Springfield has done it right and done itself proud. The opening of the new, airy, and spacious Great Hall on July 20th was a joyful occasion. In keeping with the spirit of the whole enterprise, the opening was not reserved for the arts crowd or the town leaders. It was open to the public and the public showed up. One celebrator noted there were “people from all walks,” united by a desire to see their town turn around. The project, symbol of the need to “create a new identity” for itself, as Bob Flint, head of Springfield Development, put it, the Great Hall arts venue is a significant feather in the cap of the town and the entire southeastern Vermont region. As Vermont Arts Council head Alex Aldrich enthused, “Vermont has not seen a new arts venue in a generation. Now, within a year, we have two!” (referring to Vermont Institute of Contemporary Art, in nearby Chester)… He predicts the two venues together will amplify their draw as regional destination “anchors.” Long a star in the world of precision tooling, Springfield, along with Windsor, a short distance up the Connecticut River, had so many tooling factories that this part of Vermont was known as “Precision Valley.” And Fellows Gear-Shaper was one of the best. It came into its own as the nascent automobile industry took off, early in the twentieth century. By World War 11, Edwin Fellow’s company employed 3,300 and its machines, which made components for aircraft engines, tanks, cameras, instruments, etc. were in defense contractor plants all over the country. But then came hard times. The business moved to North Springfield in 1960, and the town eventually took possession of the complex, which was comprised of the main brick building and an assortment of wooden structures that were torn down at the beginning of the renovation project. “Of the three tool-making factories, this is the one I cared about most,” said Flint. “First we stabilized it, then we marketed it. During the course of 2006-7 over 20 developers looked at it.” The developers with the vision and funds to make it happen turned out to be Rick Genderson and John Meekin, who are based in Washington, D.C. Said  Meekin, “I thought it was wonderful––as close as we could get to a...

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Great Hall of Springfield
Sep03

Great Hall of Springfield

The Great Hall of Springfield By Arlene Distler   Clearly it takes a village––and town––to make a first-class art space. With the transforming of the defunct Fellows Gear Shaper Factory from an abandoned and derelict shell into the medical center-retail-art space that it is today, has taken vision, patience, and selflessness on the part of many. Springfield has done it right and done itself proud. The opening of the new, airy, and spacious Great Hall on July 20th was a joyful occasion. In keeping with the spirit of the whole enterprise, the opening was not reserved for the arts crowd or the town leaders. It was open to the public and the public showed up. One celebrator noted there were “people from all walks,” united by a desire to see their town turn around. The project, symbol of the need to “create a new identity” for itself, as Bob Flint, head of Springfield Development, put it, the Great Hall arts venue is a significant feather in the cap of the town and the entire southeastern Vermont region. As Vermont Arts Council head Alex Aldrich enthused, “Vermont has not seen a new arts venue in a generation. Now, within a year, we have two!” (referring to Vermont Institute of Contemporary Art, in nearby Chester)… He predicts the two venues together will amplify their draw as regional destination “anchors.” Long a star in the world of precision tooling, Springfield, along with Windsor, a short distance up the Connecticut River, had so many tooling factories that this part of Vermont was known as “Precision Valley.” And Fellows Gear-Shaper was one of the best. It came into its own as the nascent automobile industry took off, early in the twentieth century. By World War 11, Edwin Fellow’s company employed 3,300 and its machines, which made components for aircraft engines, tanks, cameras, instruments, etc. were in defense contractor plants all over the country. But then came hard times. The business moved to North Springfield in 1960, and the town eventually took possession of the complex, which was comprised of the main brick building and an assortment of wooden structures that were torn down at the beginning of the renovation project. “Of the three tool-making factories, this is the one I cared about most,” said Flint. “First we stabilized it, then we marketed it. During the course of 2006-7 over 20 developers looked at it.” The developers with the vision and funds to make it happen turned out to be Rick Genderson and John Meekin, who are based in Washington, D.C. Said  Meekin, “I thought it was wonderful––as close as we could get to a...

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Bead man
Sep03

Bead man

On The Street…Bead Man Beadniks, on Main Street in Brattleboro is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Family owned and operated and voted one of Vermont’s top 10 shops, it’s more than just a bead shop; it’s a museum, a pop culture emporium, and a walk on the wild side. Retro toys, old-fashioned candy, postcards, gemstones and eclectic gifts await the curious. On Friday, Oct. 5, Beadniks will be celebrating its 20th anniversary with live music, giveaways and lots of fun. We invited the owner, Brian Robertshaw, to tell us his story. Here it is: In 1626, Manhattan was bought for $24.00 worth of beads…or so it is said. Who knows?  Beads have been responsible for many spirited moments. Traded world wide, a handful of those little baubles could provoke the strangest of outcomes, changing lives, histories and landscapes in their travels, stringing their stories with the passing of years. It was this idea, that a seemingly small, trite object could be responsible for such change that inspired me as a youngster to start collecting beads. It grew into what is now known as Beadniks, a retail shop specializing in all-things-beady and a whole lot more. On the surface, the story is simple—a hobby grown into a passion, a passion grown into a way of making a living. It all started when I was a child and was inspired by my brother’s coin collecting. We compared and traded old coins for years. Then one day I got to a point in the coin book that didn’t have any U.S. coins. Talking to a local dealer, I discovered that before there were coins…there were beads. The idea seemed bizarre to me. How could it be that people valued little round things with holes in them?! So I went on a quest of discovery and hopefully to find some of these allusive items in the process. Coming from a large family with lots of cousins who grew up in the 60’s made finding my first old beads easy. They called them “love” beads; others called them “hippie” beads, and intellects called them “African trade beads”.  They weren’t really any of these. They were really Italian polychrome and millifure glass beads that were made in Murano during the years of European expansion (17-1800’s) and were a bartering tool. They were shipped around the world wherever trade commodities were to be found, or wherever the wind set the sails. Beads were a commodity, a global currency for nearly 10,000 years, made of silver, gold or glass, precious stone or bone, whatever was valued by a society. Since early human existence, humankind has been shaping the...

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Bead man
Sep03

Bead man

On The Street…Bead Man Beadniks, on Main Street in Brattleboro is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Family owned and operated and voted one of Vermont’s top 10 shops, it’s more than just a bead shop; it’s a museum, a pop culture emporium, and a walk on the wild side. Retro toys, old-fashioned candy, postcards, gemstones and eclectic gifts await the curious. On Friday, Oct. 5, Beadniks will be celebrating its 20th anniversary with live music, giveaways and lots of fun. We invited the owner, Brian Robertshaw, to tell us his story. Here it is: In 1626, Manhattan was bought for $24.00 worth of beads…or so it is said. Who knows?  Beads have been responsible for many spirited moments. Traded world wide, a handful of those little baubles could provoke the strangest of outcomes, changing lives, histories and landscapes in their travels, stringing their stories with the passing of years. It was this idea, that a seemingly small, trite object could be responsible for such change that inspired me as a youngster to start collecting beads. It grew into what is now known as Beadniks, a retail shop specializing in all-things-beady and a whole lot more. On the surface, the story is simple—a hobby grown into a passion, a passion grown into a way of making a living. It all started when I was a child and was inspired by my brother’s coin collecting. We compared and traded old coins for years. Then one day I got to a point in the coin book that didn’t have any U.S. coins. Talking to a local dealer, I discovered that before there were coins…there were beads. The idea seemed bizarre to me. How could it be that people valued little round things with holes in them?! So I went on a quest of discovery and hopefully to find some of these allusive items in the process. Coming from a large family with lots of cousins who grew up in the 60’s made finding my first old beads easy. They called them “love” beads; others called them “hippie” beads, and intellects called them “African trade beads”.  They weren’t really any of these. They were really Italian polychrome and millifure glass beads that were made in Murano during the years of European expansion (17-1800’s) and were a bartering tool. They were shipped around the world wherever trade commodities were to be found, or wherever the wind set the sails. Beads were a commodity, a global currency for nearly 10,000 years, made of silver, gold or glass, precious stone or bone, whatever was valued by a society. Since early human existence, humankind has been shaping the...

Read More