Celebrating local flavor: Food festivals in abundance this summer
Jun22

Celebrating local flavor: Food festivals in abundance this summer

Celebrating local flavor: Food festivals in abundance this summer If there’s one thing besides art steering folks to the historic villages and rural communities of Southern Vermont, it’s got to be the food. Here we enjoy a warm, sophisticated, yet rustic lifestyle based on family traditions fed by authentic and local food experiences. Ah, but find out for yourself. Here we’ll help you start a culinary vacation at which you’ll enjoy the sights, tastes, sounds, smells, and textures of the works of dedicated farmers, local and celebrity chefs, producers, food entrepreneurs, food co-ops, restaurants, CSAs, farmers’ markets. For a summer of what Southern Vermont serves up best, we recommend you start with these choice festival picks: Grafton Food Festival June 22-23, 10a-4p, The Grafton Inn, 92 Main St. (800-843-1801, graftoninnvermont.com). The annual Grafton Food Festival, newly established by Northeast Flavor magazine, is a pure celebration of Southern Vermont’s local food and farms. Offerings include tastings, cooking demonstrations, farmers’ market tables, and special dinners at The Grafton Inn. Conveniently, the Festival is held under an all-weather tent behind the Grafton Inn., and lodging packages are available. There’s live music, too, of course. $10 per person, free for kids under 12. Must be at least 21 with proper ID for beverage tasting. The event features two experiential events: Grafton cheese cave tours (max. 12 people per tour) and a Grafton wine and cheese hike at Grafton Ponds, 2p. Vermont Cheesemakers Festival July 21, Coach Barn of Shelburne Farms, Shelburne (212-576-2700, vtcheesefest.com). Vermont is the premier artisanal cheese state, boasting the greatest number of cheesemakers per capita — widely estimated at more than 40. 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 fine summer day along the shores of Lake Champlain at the historic Shelburne Farms Coach Barn, and sample, buy, learn, and network. Hosted by the Vermont Butter & Cheese Company of Websterville, and the Vermont Cheese Council, the Festival is at Shelburne Farms from 11a-4p. The event is open to the public, and in 2012 attracted more than 1,100 visitors from across the country. This year’s attendees will sample more than 100 types of cheese from fully 50 cheesemakers, a variety of locally produced wines and beers, and several other artisanal foods such as maple syrup, honey, chocolates, and baked goods. Deerfield Valley Blueberry Festival and Parade July 26-Aug. 4, various venues in the Mount Snow Valley area (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....

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Spotlight: Real Farms, Real Food
Jun22

Spotlight: Real Farms, Real Food

Spotlight: Real Farms, Real Food Promising that “the public gets to see where everything begins and can trace the path from seed to fork,” Rutland Area Farm and Food Link is highlighting Rutland County and its agriculture to provide residents with greater access to local farms and local food. With this in mind, a six-month/six-farm tour with culinary workshops, “Real Farms, Real Food, Real Rutland,” was born, paid for through a Specialty Crop Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dig in and enjoy on these two tour dates: June 29: Second Nature Herb Farm and Horticultural Services, 35 Mill Pond Rd., Wells, 10a-noon (802-645-9346, greenworksvermont.org/members, secondnaturevt@gmail.com). Tour-goers will learn about culinary and medicinal herbs from farm owners Ellen Malona and Richard Strange, who, for 14 years, have provided landscape and garden design, installation, and maintenance using all-organic and sustainable practices. August 10: Wellsmere Farm, 199 Vt. Rte. 30, Wells, 10a-1p (802-645-0934, mmorey1025@yahoo.com). The subject is canning and preserving root vegetables. August is a time of abundance. This 250-acre farm boasts a petting zoo — and ledges where peregrine falcons nest. The farmers boil their own maple syrup and sell alpaca products and all-natural soaps. Learn from the Bates family how to prepare and keep fresh produce, even when buying in bulk, and how to do it on a tight budget. Make sure to visit the kitchen, where canning and processing take place, and pop into the newly built root...

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Calendar: Gallery Openings

Gallery Openings Ann Coleman Gallery 7 N. Main St., Wilmington Artistanncoleman.com, artyani@together.net Thru June 25: “Green Theme,” featuring seven local artists celebrating the greens of spring and summer, depicted on canvas, paper, glass, wood, and silver. June 26-July 30: “Sumptuous Summer,” featuring local fine artists, jewelers and painters, opening reception June 29, 5-7p. July 31-Aug 27: “Water Works,” with picturesque rivers, streams and lakes on canvas and paper; home furnishings and fine jewelry, opening reception Aug 10, 5-7p. Aug 28-Sept 24: “Awesome Autumn,” with artwork celebrating fall splendor and the Vermont landscape, opening reception Aug 31, 5-7p. Asian Cultural Center of Vermont and C.X. Silver Gallery 814 Western Ave., Brattleboro accvt.org, 802-257-7898, ext. 1 Aug 2: Tonabata-Oban, Japan’s double summer festivals in Brattleboro’s Plaza Park, at the corners of Main Street, the Co-op and Brattleboro Museum & Art Center. Sept 19: 15th Annual Mid-Autumn Moon Festival of China, Korea, and Vietnam, 5-8p, Kiwanis Pavilion in Brattleboro’s Memorial Park. Ongoing: Dim Sun Teahouse every other Sunday. Ongoing: Kiri-E Paintings of Hiroshima Youth of 1945 exhibit. Bennington Arts Guild 103 South St., Bennington benningtonartsguild.org, 802-447-0388 Thru June 3: New Works by BAG members show. June 7-July 1 Zentangle, inspired art in 2D & 3D by Sadelle Wiltshire, Ann Coakley, and other Zentangle trained artists (including Ceil Petrucelli, Ann Webster-Lang, Vickie Lampron, and others). July 5-29: Contemporary ceramics and stoneware by Johua Primmer of Bennington and art quilts by Jeanne Marklin of Williamstown, Mass. Aug 2-Sept 2: Group show featuring exquisite glassworks by Readsboro artist Mary Angus, pressed flower art by Wilmington resident Ellie Roden, and jewelry and other items fashioned from recycled zippers, vintage fabrics and buttons by Stacie Mincher of Bomoseen. Sept. 6-30: Watercolors by Bennington artist, and chair of Plein Air VT 2013, Tony Conner, paired with ceramics and sculpture by North Pownal artist and retired teacher Teru Simon. Sept. 6: Plein Air event in downtown Bennington. Bennington Center for the Arts 44 Gypsy Lane, Bennington 10a to 5p, Tues-Sun benningtoncenterforthearts.org, 802-442-7158 Thru Dec: Small Works Show featuring fine art that’s 11 x 14 and smaller. June 8-Aug 25: Impressions of New England, with more than 60 scenes. June 15-Aug 25: Art of the Animal Kingdom XVIII, one of the country’s most prestigious wildlife exhibitions. June 22-July 21: Overlap, featuring geometric abstraction on canvases large and small. July 27-Sept 22: Laumeister Fine Art Competition, with artists from around the country. Aug 31-Nov 3: Society of Animal Artists. Catherine Dianich Gallery 139 Main St., Hooker Dunham Building, Brattleboro catherinedianichgallery.com, 802-380-1607 June 7-July 26: “The Labors of Silence” photo exhibit by rural documentary photo artist Forrest Holzapfel created in support of...

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Photo: Best Little Quilt Show

Our nationally and internationally award-winning quilters have shown their works in major shows and museums, and have had attention lavished on them in the glossies. Now, as the quilt show moves from Jamaica to Brattleboro for the first time, you can enjoy this rare opportunity to admire these exciting works during Strolling of the Heifers weekend.

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At the Museums

At the Museums   Bennington Center for the Arts 44 Gypsy Lane, Bennington 10a-5p, Tues-Sun thebennington.org, 802-442-7158 Thru 2013: Small Works Show. Figuratives, landscapes, cityscapes, wildlife, and still-lifes by nationally recognized artists. June 15-Aug 25: Art of the Animal Kingdom, one of the country’s most prestigious wildlife exhibits, with guest artist Carel Brest van Kempen. June 8-Aug 25: “Impressions of New England” annual exhibit with more than 60 scenes captured in paint and bronze. June 22-July 21: Overlap: Art school professors at Dartmouth and Yale collaborate to bring a unique show. July 27-Sept 22: Laumeister Fine Art Competition, with artists from around the world, juried by Peter Trippi, editor-in-chief of Art Connoisseur magazine. Opening Aug 31: Society of Animal Artists show. Opening Sept 7: Plein Air Vermont show. Opening Sept 28: American Artists Abroad show. Bennington Museum 75 Main St., Route 9, Bennington 10a-5p (Closed Wednesdays) benningtonmuseum.org, 802-477-1571 Thru July 30: Disappearance of the Catamount from Vermont. Thru Oct 27: “Southwestern Vermont and the Civil War, the Fabulous General Ripley: Capture of Richmond.” June 6-Sept 2: “Tom Fels: Cyanotypes from the Arbor Series.” June 7-Oct 27: “Southwestern Vermont and the Civil War: Bennington Boys (and Ladies Too): The Local Civil War Experience.” July 13: “Conjuring the Civil War: Recreating History for Dorset Theatre Festival Production.” Aug-Oct: “Is the Catamount Really Gone?” Aug 24: Bringing farm-fresh goodness to the table, the Farm to Table Dinner is a Tuscan-inspired, elegantly casual, seven-course tasting dinner hosted by Bennington Museum. The dinner incorporates vegetables, fruits, cheeses, cider, honey, meats and more from farms in Bennington County and the surrounding area. Each course is specially paired with a wonderful wine. Meet the chefs, enjoy the live music accompaniment, and take home a special gift. Aug 31-Oct 14: “150th Anniversary of the 1863 Jane Stickle Quilt” exhibit. Brattleboro Museum & Art Center 10 Vernon St., Brattleboro 11a-5p (Closed Tuesdays) brattleboromuseum.org, 802-257-0124 June 29-Oct 20: “Red Grooms: What’s the Ruckus?” Meet a group of New York City characters as you walk through this madcap recreation of a Fifth Avenue bus. Entering Red Groom’s world involves embracing your inner child and experiencing the joy of the circus and hurly-burly of the Big Apple (Wolf Kahn and Emily Mason Gallery, East Gallery, Mary Sommer Room, BMAC Sculpture Garden). “Dynamic Invention: American Abstract Artists at 75.” Explore the visual language of form, color, and line in the work of 45 of America’s leading nonobjective artists (Center Gallery). “Between Dark and Night: New Pastels by Mallory Lake.” Steam trains, foggy nights, and the golden glow of monumental Beaux-Arts interiors are the settings of this evocative and mysterious new work inspired...

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Tour open studios: Artists at work, art for sale
Jun22

Tour open studios: Artists at work, art for sale

Tour open studios: Artists at work, art for sale 21st Rock River Artists’ Studio Tour July 20-21, 10-6p. Rock River Artists, a collective of fine art and craft professionals, offers chance to win a free weekend for two in a charming cabin along the Rock River in South Newfane, coinciding with 21st annual Rock River Artists’ Open Studio Tour. Winners get two-night stay with breakfast in a guest cabin on grounds belonging to nationally acclaimed photographer Christine Triebert, a founding member of the Rock River Artists. Visit 16 artists’ studios, homes, and working environments and see it all happen. Many studios tucked away from the road, with lush gardens, hilltop views, river frontage, and unique rural settings. Details for weekend for two and studio tour at RockRiverArtists.com. Winners notified July 1. 7th Annual Readsboro Arts Festival  Sept. 21. From 10a-4p. Artists and craftspeople of Southern Vermont, performances by local musicians, art activities for all ages. Free. Readsboro Central School, 301 Phelps Lane. Call 802-423-7706, info.readsboroarts@gmail.com. Brattleboro-West Arts Studio Tour Sept. 28-29. From 10a-5p. Fifteen 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 woodcarver, 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. For information, visit Brattleboro-westarts.com. Vermont Open Studios Weekend (Oct. 5-6) River Valley Artisans Tour Oct. 12-13. From 10a-4p. Opening reception Friday, Oct. 11, 7-9p. Westmoreland Town Hall, Route 63, Westmoreland, N.H. View a sampling of artists’ work on the tour. Travel scenic back roads of Southern New Hampshire in the Connecticut River Valley during peak foliage season while enjoying the work of local artists and artisans in their studios. Self-guided tour encompasses Chesterfield, Spofford, Walpole and Westmoreland. Info Rivervalleyartisans.com. 35th Anniversary Putney Craft Tour Nov. 29-30; Dec. 1. From 10a-5p. Twenty-eight artists and craftspeople in their studios in the Putney area. Blacksmiths, glass blowers, potters, jewelers, weavers, woodworkers, artisan cheesemakers, invite visitors to discover, ask questions, sip hot cider and find that one-of-a-kind gift. Start at the Putney Inn, where a preview exhibit showcases works of the artists on tour. Maps, coffee, restrooms, too. Info visit putneycrafts.com. Walpole Artisan Tour Nov. 29-30; Dec. 1. Wed-Sat 10a-5p; Sun 11a-3p. Sponsored by Walpole Artisans Cooperative. Featuring studio demonstrations throughout Bellows Falls, Walpole, and Alstead, N.H. Start at the Walpole Artisans Cooperative Gallery, 52 Main...

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Sweet success
Jun22

Sweet success

Sweet success: With their goats’-milk caramels, Townshend farmers find their niche in the marketplace of locally produced speciality foods It’s no wonder Big Picture Farm’s silky caramels won the specialty food industry’s equivalent of the Academy Awards last year, and the awards keep coming: Pop one in your mouth — savor it — and you’ll understand that this is no ordinary caramel. Handcrafted from goat’s milk on a rugged, hill farm high above the village of Townshend, the super-creamy treats have brought farmers Louisa Conrad and Lucas Farrell swift success in an enterprise they launched barely three years ago. Conrad and Farrell met in 2000 at Middlebury College, graduated with bachelor degrees — he in art, she in English — and veered off for grad school: Montana and California, respectively. They returned to Vermont in 2008 and married in 2010. Farrell found work at Middlebury as an adjunct professor, and Conrad taught art after-school art, but those opportunities dried up with the faltering economy. As Conrad explains, the art market had collapsed. So they went to work at Blue Ledge Farm in Salisbury, making goat cheese. “We loved the rhythm and life of it there,” Conrad says. And they fell in love with goats. “We knew we wanted [them],” she says. They soon went to work at Peaked Mountain Farm in Townshend, where they gained more experience with goats and cheese-making, and bought a starter herd of three. Not a big stretch for them, as it turned out, as most of their friends were farming: “Starting new types of farms and doing exciting things in terms of food,” Conrad says. As the couple’s herd grew, and with so many others’ artisanal cheeses well represented in the marketplace, they looked for something they could make beyond cheese: a gift item that leveraged the best of their artistic skills, and the natural talents of their lovely goats. It was Conrad who proposed caramels. She’d been inspired by an English toffee she remembered sweetly from childhood. The pair went to work experimenting and taste-testing at the Brattleboro Farmers’ Market, and unveiled their first product: a creamy sea-salt and bourbon vanilla caramel. “It took a long time to get it right,” Farrell said. Well, right is an understatement. They got it right to the tune of winning the prestigious sofi Award for Outstanding Confection, bestowed by the Specialty Food Association at the Fancy Food Show in Washington, D.C., in 2012. It’s a big deal. Between the Winter Show in San Francisco and the Summer Show in New York City, Specialty Food Association events bring in more than 40,000 attendees from more than 80...

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A country store and so much more
Jun22

A country store and so much more

A country store and so much more West Townshend builds community by embracing multiple uses — including arts and music — for a revitalized general store The West River Community Project is dedicated to preserving and promoting the West River heritage in order to sustain a healthy future full of music, the arts, and local agriculture. It’s a work very happily in progress. The West Townshend Country Store, at 6573 Route 30, is up and running: the project-built cob oven is turning out around 45 pizzas every Friday night; its café is serving light, local-product meals on weekends; and its thrift store is a treasure trove of second-hand clothes, housewares, and bric-a-brac. Café walls showcase the works of local artists, usually in month-long exhibits. Concerts in the space pulse with vintage bluegrass and not-so-vintage everything else. And, of course, there’s even a post office. All the more impressive is that this revitalization of West Townshend has taken place only in the past three years. Largely the initial vision of West Townshend farmer, artist, mother, and board president Clare Adams, the project is breathing new life into what used to be a handsome general store but since its construction in 1848 was left to its own devices, facing flames and disrepair. Now with restoration and a bold new plan, its offerings radiate enthusiasm where it’s sorely needed in the West River community. The project leases it at a steal — $5 a year for 20 years — from its new owner, an angel if there ever was one. Also credit man for all seasons Robert DuGrenier, a glass blower, farmer, and the father of a young son. Next week DuGrenier begins designing new panels for the elevators in The (Paris) Hôtel Ritz. He’s also helping turn out his family’s Taft Hill Farm products on Route 30, and is president of the Townshend Historical Society. Adams and DuGrenier speak of The West River Community Project as a journey on the way to drawing out, preserving, and building on a sense of place for the West Townshend community. “We were in danger of losing the even the post office,” says Adams. That was the turning point for her. Something had to be done. Board vice president DuGrenier adds, “A sense of place is absolutely crucial” to community. And so they went to work. The village had served as a hub for Jamaica, Wardsboro, Windham, and Townshend, and just might fill that role again. Adams says there’s potential to connect to about 10,000 residents, plus drivers on busy Route 30. Many volunteers are backing this effort, as is an eight-member board of professionals...

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Workshops, Classes & Artist Residencies

Workshops, Classes & Artist Residencies Brattleboro Museum & Art Center 10 Vernon St., Brattleboro 11a-5p (Closed Tuesdays) brattleboromuseum.org, 802-257-0124 July 8-10: Summer Education Institute: Approaching Literacy through Images. Carving Studio and Sculpture Center 636 Marble St., Rutland carvingstudio.org, 802-438-2097 June 1-7: A Stone Sculptor’s Dream Vacation. June 7-9: What a Relief! with Tim de Christopher. June 10-14: Steel Sculpture with Joseph Montrov. June 17-21: Carving in Stone with James Zingarelli. June 24-28: Cold-Cast Sculpture with R. Elliott Katz. June 24-28: Sculpture in Stone with Carlos Dorrien. June 28-30: Kinetics, Robotics, and the Interactive Environment with James Durrett. June 29-30: Flint Knapping with Brad Salon. July 1-6: In the Jungle (ages 7-10) with Zoe Marr. July 6-7: Slate Lettering and Relief Carving Weekend with Frank Anjo. July 8-12: Stone Carving: Making Big Rocks Smaller — with Style with Frank Anjo. July 15-19: Bronze Casting with Glenn Campbell. July 19-21: Welded Steel Assemblies with John Tidd. July 20-21: Introductory Stone Carving Weekend with Ryder Ownes. July 22-26: Granite Sculpture with Gary Haven Smith. July 22-26: The Figure and Portrait in Clay with Christopher Gowell. July 29-Aug 2: Your Portrait in Marble with Steve Shaheen. Aug 5-9: Lightweight Armature for Mosaic Sculpture with Lizz Van Saun. Aug 8-11: Carve Animals and other Forms in Stone with Bill Nuff. Aug 10-11: The Art of Carving Limestone with Tim de Christopher. Aug 10-11: Striking an Arch Between Place and Artist, Technique and Language, with Meghan Rigali. Aug 10-11: Papier-mâché Sculpture with Anne Brisson. Aug 12-16: Architectural Carving with Allen Williams. Aug 19-23: Carving Wild Stones with Rick Rothrock. Fire Works Studio 38 Harlow St., The Sprinkler Factory, Worcester, Mass. thefireworksinc.net, 508-752-0444 June 22: Todd Wahlstrom and Aysha Peltz host a workshop for potters and pottery enthusiasts. Fletcher Farm 611 Route 103 S., Ludlow fletcherfarm.org, 802-228-8770 Summer: Workshops galore! See website. Gallery at the VAULT 68 Main St., Springfield galleryvault.org, 802-885-7111 June 29: Nightscapes in Pastel, with instructor Robert Carsten. July 8-12: Make a Circus Movie (ages 8 and up). July 22-26: Cartoon Camp II (ages 8 and up). July 29-Aug 2: Caroon Workshop (ages 10 and up). July 29-Aug 2: Young Adult Cartooning Workshop (ages 14 and up). InView Center for the Arts at Landgrove Inn 132 Landgrove Road, Landgrove landgroveinn.com, 802-824-6673 June 10-14: Portraits and Figures in Transparent Watercolor. June 14-16: The Art of Argentine Tango. June 17-21: Vermont in Watercolors. June 24-28: Painting Light and Color with Painting Knives. July 7-12: Look Again! Manuscript Writing for Children. July 18-20: Painting the Essence: Workshop in Oils. July 22-25: Vermont in Watercolor. July 21-26: Jump-Start Your Story: Writing for Children Manuscript Writing. July 29-31:...

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Nurturing the Arts: Three who bring the arts to life in Southern Vermont

Nurturing artists and the arts just comes naturally to Southern Vermonters. Dorset Theatre Festival Artistic Director Dina Janis is turning a local legend into a world-class performance venue on par with anything you’ll find in the Berkshires. In Grafton, Liisa Kissel continues crafting a go-to music festival that leverages the popular VSO concerts taking place every Fourth of July weekend in this picturesque town of 500. In North Bennington, Tony Conner left the corporate world behind and facilitates a world of painting en plein air with an annual competition that draws artists to our vistas from all parts of the country. Each of these visionaries, and so many others making Southern Vermont their home and their inspiration, know the arts are where it’s at in the Green Mountain State. And they’re spreading the...

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Farm tour

A six-month farm tour and culinary workshop series, “Real Farms, Real Food, Real Rutland,” aims to provide residents with greater access to local farms and local food. According to Elizabeth Theriault of Rutland Area Farm and Food Link, which is organizing the events, the program runs through September and promises fun, hands-on events for all ages. “Uncover some of the mysteries of how your food gets from the farm to your plate while sampling some of the freshest foods you’ll ever taste,” Theriault says. Better still, free transportation to all farm tours is provided. Upcoming dates include: June 29, Second Nature Herb Farm and Horticultural Services, 35 Mill Pond Rd., Wells, 10a-noon. Call 802-645-9346, visit greenworksvermont.org/members, or write secondnaturevt@gmail.com. Aug 10, Wellsmere Farm, 199 Route 30, Wells, 10a-1p. Call 802-645-0934 or write mmorey1025@yahoo.com. On tap: canning and preserving root...

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Behind the bylines

Summer 2013 issue: Behind the bylines In putting together this issue, the theme of connections came into focus in so many ways — connections among people and communities, connections among artists engaging in a common medium, connections between farmers and the rugged terrain of Southern Vermont. “A sense of place is vital to community, say the founders of the West River Community Project in West Townshend,” reports Thelma O’Brien , a former resident of that community who writes about the creation of the West Townshend Country Store and post office in a once-burned-out old building. Learn about this effort on page 9. Katherine Cox , a regular contributor to these pages, found connections of the two young farmers at Big Picture Farm to a delicious specialty food product. “It’s no wonder the silky caramels made at Big Picture Farm won the Oscars of the specialty food industry last June,” she writes. Her report on these goats’ milk candies appears on page 42. Allison Teague, a freelance writer and reporter, writes about three people who make it their life’s work to build connections in nurturing the arts, in a series of three stories that starts on page 20. “It never fails to absolutely floor me to discover the depth of authentic engagement and expression in these extraordinary yet humble individuals who quietly exist amidst our verdant hills and valley floors,” she writes. Joyce Marcel, a regular contributor who has a passion for chronicling the business of the arts, “fell in love with glass while writing this story,” she writes. Her glimpse into this important arts sector begins on page 28. And for Arlene Distler , another regular contributor, writing about the upcoming Red Grooms show (New & Notable, page 4) cultivated a connection to her days in New York City in the late 1960s, where she once met the acclaimed modern artist and his then-wife, Mimi Gross. “Tall, unruly red hair and a boyish face had the females among us aflutter,” recalls Distler, who also profiles artists Pat Musick and Jerry Carr beginning on page...

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