Holiday Craft Tours

...

Read More

Spotlights

...

Read More

Marketplace

...

Read More

Museums and Galleries

At the Museums Bennington Center for the Arts 44 Gyspy Lane, Bennington10-5pm, Tues.-Sun. (closed Mondays)benningtoncenterforthearts.org, 802 442-7158Thru Oct. 11: ”Third,” a play by Wendy Wasserstein. The Center hosts the Oldcastle Theatre Company’s comedy-drama about politics, ethics, stereotypes, feminism, liberalism and friendship. Thru Nov. 29: The Laumeister Fine Art Competition. The Center’s first annual competition. Thru Nov. 29: Impressions of New England. A nationwide annual exhibition including New England images pictured in paint and bronze. Bennington Museum 75 Main Street, Rte. 9, Bennington10-5pm (closed Wed)benningtonmuseum.org, 802 447-1571Oct. 25: Harvest Festival Community Day with special focus on Jewish and Haitian traditions. Culminates in the traditional Halloween Party. Nov. 14-Dec. 26: Works by Molly Hatch. A selection of ceramic dinnerware in the Regional Arts Gallery. Nov. 27: Festival of Trees begins. A three-week-long annual benefit auction with several special events. Nov. 28: Children’s Christmas Shopping Day. For youth ages 4-12, offering unusual gifts ranging range from $1-$7. Dec. 5: Festival of Trees Brunch. A delicious brunch prepared by one of Bennington’s top chefs. Reservations required by Nov. 30. Dec. 11: Champagne and Shopping and fine desserts for shoppers; 5-7pm. Dec. 12: Festival of Trees Family Day. Santa and festivities, 1-4pm. Dec. 18: Festival of Trees Gala. A signed original Will Moses painting, “Lucky Day,” valued at over $5000 will be auctioned off during the Gala. Hors d’oeuvres, live music and benefit auction. Reservations required. Brattleboro Museum and Art Center 10 Vernon Street, Brattleboro11-5pm (closed Tuesdays)brattleboromuseum.org, 802 257-0124Oct. 15: Artist Talk with Ralph DeAnna. DeAnna discusses the technique and philosophy behind his temporally experimental paintings, 7:30pm. Oct. 25: Exhibit Tour with Chief Curator Mara Williams. Williams’ popular guided tours combine art history, philosophy, technical analysis and personal anecdotes, 2pm. Oct. 29: Film Screening: “Neel.” A 2007 biopic about portrait artist Alice Neel (1900-1984), 7:30pm. Nov. 8: Chief Curator Mara Williams 20th Anniversary Celebration. A champagne brunch grand party, 12-2:30pm. Nov. 13-16: Second Annual Lego Contest and Awards Ceremony. All ages welcome; prizes for artistry, originality, and architectural design. Hildene Estate Route 7A, Manchesterhildene.org, 802 362-1788Nov. 27-29: Thanksgiving at Hildene. Self-guided tours through the mansion decorated for the harvest season. Dec. 28-29: Hildene Holiday Evenings. Self-guided tours through the mansion decorated for the holidays, with cider, carolers and a bonfire. Thru Dec.: The American Ideal: Abraham Lincoln and the Second Inaugural. An exhibit focusing on Abraham Lincoln and one of his greatest speeches. Park McCullough Historic Estate 1 Park Street, North Benningtonparkmccullough.org, 802 442-5441Oct. 10: Oktoberfest. Oct. 25: Community Halloween Party, 2pm. Nov. 27-29: Thanksgiving Holiday Tours, 12-4pm. Dec. 5: Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive. Dec. 6 & Dec. 13: Victorian Holiday Tea with...

Read More

Workshops

Workshops, Classes, and Artist Residencies Carving Studio and Sculpture Center 636 Marble Street, Rutlandcarvingstudio.org, 802-438-2097Residencies offered: Artist residencies vary in duration from one week to one or two months. Ongoing relationships with arts organizations in Peru, Kenya & China. Dorset Colony House P.O. Box 510, Dorset802-867-9390Residencies offered: Spring and fall residencies are available for playwrights, writers, designers, collaborators, and some visual artists. Modest residency fee for this theater-focused institution applies; housing included. Great River Arts Institute 33 Bridge Street, Bellows Fallsgreatriverarts.org, 802-463-3330Oct. 16-18: Provincetown’s white line blockprint w/Bill Evaul Oct. 24-25 Dry Stone Walling workshop w/Dan Snow Oct. 24-26: Rolling study Printmaking w/Catherine Farish Nov. 7-8: Revision and the Writer’s Process w/Pam Mandel Nov. 7-8: Sculpture w/reworked materials w/Paul Bowen InView Center for the Arts at Landgrove Inn 132 Landgrove Road, Landgrovelandgroveinn.com, 802-824-6673Oct. 19-21: Ros Stallcup’s Decorative Arts Workshop. Fee: $300 w/$50 discount for VWS Members Oct. 27-29: Paul LeVeille’s Portraits in Watercolors. $300, w/$50 discount for VWS Members. Luminz Dance Studio 74 Cotton Mill Hill, #A346 (3rd floor), Bratt.luminzstudio.com, 802-254-9200Variety of dance classes—see website. Main Street Arts 37 Main St., Saxtons Rivermainstreetarts.org, 802-869-2960Year-round Thursdays: Creative Arts Program w/MSA staff, 3-5pm. Fee: $370 quarterly. For seniors. Year-round Tuesdays and Fridays: Strength Training w/Marilyn Miller and Barbara Stickney, 9-10am (Tues.) and 9-10:30am (Fri.). Fee: by donation. Oct. 17: Quilting Workshop w/Kelly Dane, 9-12pm. $50 nonmembers, $35 members. River Gallery School 32 Main Street, Ste. 201, Brattlebororivergalleryschool.org, 802-257-1577Oct. 10: Leather Bound Italian Long-Stitch Bookmaking Workshop w/ Donna C. Hawes, 1-5pm. Fee: $60. Oct. 11: Sequencing w/Lydia Thomson, 1-4pm. Fee: $65 Oct. 24, 25: Watercolor Painting—Impact of Light & Dark w/Homer Johnson, 10-3pm, Fee: $145. Nov 8: Chinese Brush Painting w/Bruce Iverson, 10-4pm. Fee: $120. Nov. 21: Angels, Beasts & Shepherds w/Barbara Merfeld-Campman, 12-4pm. $30 per family. Rockingham Public Library 65 Westminster Street, Bellows Falls11-7pm, Mon-Fri.; 11-5:30pm Mon.-Fri.,11-2pm, Sat.rfpl.kohalibrary.com, 802-463-4720Oct. 24: Memoir Writing Workshop w/ Elayne Clift, 10:30-12:30pm. Nov. 4: Folk Song Swap/Leslie Lassetter, 7pm. Southern Vermont Arts Center West Road, Manchester10-5pm, Tues.-Sat., 12-5pm, Sun.svac.org, 802-362-1405Oct. 16–17: The Splendor of Autumn w/Robert K. Carsten. Oct. 16–17: The Prismatic Palette—Painting Atmosphere and Light in Oils w/Gil Perry. Nov. 5–6: The Wintery Landscape w/Robert K. Carsten. Starving Artist Collective 10 West Street, Keenethestarvingartistcollective.com, 603-352-6900Mondays: Figure Drawing Model Swap, 7:15-10pm. Take turns drawing and being drawn. Fee: $5. Oct. 7: Mixed Media Art Classes/Meagan Walker every other Wed., 4:30pm. Fee: $15; bring own materials. Nov. 2-6: Old Master Painting Design Workshop with Koo Schadler, 9-4 pm daily. Fee: $625 Vermont Arts Exchange 29 Sage Street, North Benningtonvtartxchange.com, 802-442-5549Residencies Offered: Fifteen units of year-round, affordable living and working space in five restored and historic North Bennington...

Read More

Fall Calendar

October Oct. 7: Castle Freeman at Rockingham Public Library in Bellows Falls, 7pm. Local author discusses his most recent work, “All That I Have.” http://www.rockingham.lib.vt.us, free. Oct. 7: Acting Out: An Evening of Improv. Starving Artist Collective in Keene, NH, 8:30 pm. thestarvingartistcollective.com, free. Oct. 8: Open Celtic Jam. Starving Artist Collective in Keene, NH, 8 pm. Every second Thurs. thestarvingartistcollective.com, free. Oct. 9: Kaiser Cartel with Cameron McGill and Eric Wilson; indie rock. Starving Artist Collective in Keene, NH, 8:30 pm. thestarvingartistcollective.com, $7 Oct. 9: Brattleboro Gallery Walk, 5:30 pm, gallerywalk.org Oct. 9-10: New England Youth Theater’s WORK*SHOP at various locations in Brattleboro. Diverse, intensive workshops in the arts. Oct. 10: Hildene Bird Walk, 7 am. Hildene.org, 802-362-1788; free. Oct. 10: Daughter In Law, a film from Turkmenistan, in a film screening at C. X. Silver Gallery, 6 pm. cxsilvergallery.com, free. Oct. 10: Harry Lowenthal Music For Families. Starving Artist Collective in Keene, NH, 10 am. thestarvingartistcollective.com, free. Oct. 10: Art Train with Charlie Hunter. Local accomplished painter hosts a day of plein air painting and riding in a restored vintage rail car through the Green Mountains. flyradar@sover.net, $98. Oct. 11: Notes For Life at Latchis, 7:30 pm. A benefit concert. latchistheater.com Oct. 11: Rossijanochka at Latchis, 7 pm. Russian youth dance troupe. latchis.com; $18 adults, $12 children. Oct. 11: 3 Ways Till Sunday; improv troup. Starving Artist Collective in Keene, NH, 8 pm. thestarvingartistcollective.com, free. Oct. 12: Hildene Book Club, 3:30 pm. Hildene.org, 802-362-1788; free. Oct. 12: Knitting Circle. Starving Artist Collective in Keene, NH, 5:50 pm. Every Mon., bring own needles and yarn. thestarvingartistcollective.com, free. Oct. 14: “Skulls and Bones” at Rockingham Public Library in Bellows Falls, 7pm. Local archaeology with Gail Golec. http://www.rockingham.lib.vt.us, free. Oct. 14: Winterpills with Stephaniesid; indie rock. Starving Artist Collective in Keene, NH, 8:30 pm. thestarvingartistcollective.com, $7. Oct. 15: “Everyday Dharma: Seven Weeks to Finding the Buddha in You” by Tibetan buddhist lama Willa Miller. Miller discusses her new book and leads a guided meditation at the Shambhala Meditation Center at Whetstone Studio for the Arts in Brattleboro, 7 pm. Oct. 15: Sisters and Brothers Freeform Jazz Collective. Starving Artist Collective in Keene, NH, 8 pm. Every third Thurs. thestarvingartistcollective.com, free. Oct. 16: Bellows Falls Third Friday Art Walk, 5 p.m. Oct. 16: Pumpkin Fest Show; artists TBA. Starving Artist Collective in Keene, NH, 8 pm. thestarvingartistcollective.com, free. Oct. 17: Keene State College Student Singer-Songwriters. Starving Artist Collective in Keene, NH, 12-6 pm. thestarvingartistcollective.com, free. ALSO: Pumpkin Fest Show, 8 pm. Oct. 17-18: Blanche Moyse Birthday Gala at Persons Auditorium in Marlboro. Two classical concerts in honor of the BMC founder....

Read More

Color Sense

Color Sense by Arlene Distler It’s a magic time in Vermont, especially when the setting sun plays upon a hillside and bathes it in a golden light or sets an entire hillside ablaze in orange — a good time to explore what can’t be ignored in autumn: color. Let us consider what it does to us and for us — the delectable, sensual and subtle part it plays in our lives. Color Sense by Arlene Distler It’s a magic time in Vermont, especially when the setting sun plays upon a hillside and bathes it in a golden light or sets an entire hillside ablaze in orange — a good time to explore what can’t be ignored in autumn: color. Let us consider what it does to us and for us — the delectable, sensual and subtle part it plays in our lives. First, an artist’s perspective. The twentieth century was a time when it seemed the world suddenly woke up to the expressive, exquisite possibilities of color. There had been the impressionists in the last decades of the nineteenth century, who set the stage for the freeing of color from the simply descriptive, breaking up the light of the natural world as if with a prism. Then the fauves (”wild beasts”) took that conceit even further, exploding color with determined abandon. But it was artists who came to maturity in the second decade of the twentieth century who really took the notion of the liberation of color as its own mission. In 1914 the Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky came out with the very influential book The Art of Spiritual Harmony. This book is behind glass and part of the exhibit at the show held this summer at the Clark Museum in Williamstown, Mass., ”Dove/O’Keeffe: Circles of Influence.” ”Colour is a power which directly influences the soul… colour is the keyboard, eyes the hammers, soul the piano. The artist is the hand that plays.” These painters, from the second decade of the century on, drove each other to greater expressive heights, mainly through the radical use of color. The painter Charles Demuth has said of O’Keeffe’s paintings, ”…each color almost regains the fun it must have felt within itself on forming the first rainbow.” Dr. Max Luscher, a Swiss psychotherapist, played a part in the early twentieth century’s new-found fascination with color, which dove-tailed, as it were, with the new field of psychology. Luscher devoted his life to discovering how color affects behavior and how it makes us feel, through conducting hundreds of thousands of tests worldwide. In the seventies my husband and I and a group of friends discovered...

Read More

Vermont Food and Wine

Vermont Food & Wine Pouring Pleasures:Microbrews in the Spotlight by Clara Rose Thornton There’s an unmistakable, rejuvenating zest that occupies the mouth when a good craft beer takes residence. A prickle and an earthy effervescence reign. In appreciation, this installment of Pouring Pleasures takes a detour from its usual focus on vinifera’s gifts to the world and explores the wide realm of small-batch beer brewing. Autumn plays host to worldwide Oktoberfests, sophisticated beer festivals and robust, seasonal harvest ales from brewing companies that care about the nuance and unconventionality of flavor that keeps enthusiasts coming back for more. And in winter, many pubs and restaurants pepper their drink list with heartier international selections. It is, truly, the time of the “beer geek.” A pair of such aficionados, Tim and Amy Brady, owners of 40 Putney Road Bed & Break-fast in Brattleboro, are spearheading the effort to educate southern Vermont and the public at large about their favorite malt, hops and barley creations, while working to banish stereotypes in the “foodie” world that beer lovers are more debaucherous and less refined than their oenophile counterparts. Last winter they began a weekly beer tasting to draw visitors to the comfortable, old-world-style pub situated on the property. They offer Tim’s rotating selection of eight mostly local microbrews with one or two international choices, paired with Amy’s home-cooked, locally sourced finger foods. A recent 40 Putney Road beer tasting gave a tantalizing tease as to what may be in store. The sampling—conducted amidst a lively, conversational, casual atmosphere—was a slow creep from a light and fruity hefeweizen to amber-colored lagers and pale ales, to a stinging IPA, a caramelesque barleywine, and finally, to a rich, meaty stout. Throughout the two-hour session, Tim offered a flowing elocution on the intricacies of not only beer manufacture and brewery statistics, but also the doddering politics surrounding small-batch beer production. One of the most unusual offerings was Rock Art’s Ridge Runner Barleywine Ale. Based in Morrisville, the small brewery, run by a couple, produces an impressive 19 brews of distinctive variety. The beers often have fanciful names like “Infusco” (Belgian black ale), Magnumus Ete Tomahawkus (double ESB) and Midnight Madness (smoked porter). Barleywine is a strong, hoppy ale originating in England in the early nineteenth century, with an alcohol content reaching 8–12%; its high alcohol lends the “wine” association. Rock Art Barleywine’s appearance is a dark, cloudy, almost completely opaque amber. On the nose it owns a heavy spice with unmistakable caramel. Its full-bodied, smooth mouthfeel is undercut with a definite sour undertone, attaching a fruity bitterness to the finish. Three other highlights emerged. Otter Creek, based...

Read More

Up Close

Up Close:New England Youth Theatre A small theatre realizes a big dream On a cold night in 1996, Stephen Stearns and fellow professional clown Peter Gould, of Vermont‘s famous comedy duo Gould & Stearns, stood looking at a derelict truck repair center on a corner lot two blocks from the lighted streets of Brattleboro‘s downtown. Putting their heads together, they hatched a dream: To turn the property into a vibrant arts center. Two years later, Stephen started New England Youth Theatre in a church basement, with 35 kids and a delightful production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Later, NEYT was housed in a small black box* theatre created out of the wreckage of a former Chinese restaurant. Soon every performance was sold out as area audiences discovered the incredible talent, energy and creativity coming out of the little theatre on Main Street. As NEYT‘s reputation grew, so did the number of kids who wanted to get involved. By 2004 it was obvious NEYT would need a larger home. Stephen and Peter thought again of the rundown truck depot on the corner of Flat and Elm Streets. Stephen brought a number of supporters to the site and standing amidst the abandoned machinery he challenged the group to envision a wonderful theatre building. Over the next 18 months NEYT found over 1,000 people and businesses that agreed—and gave generously to help the dream become a reality. In December of 2006, NEYT performed its last show at the old theatre on Main Street, and actors and audience members picked up the chairs and paraded down Flat Street to the new location. By January of 2007 the building was finished, and classes had moved in. NEYT is unusual in the ”children‘s theatre” world, in that rather than being about adults putting on plays for children, it is a theatre where all the plays are performed and produced by kids. Founded on the philosophy that children can run their own theatre with the guidance of professionals, children are not only on the stage, but also running the light and sound booth, creating in the costume shop, and working in the wings. Offering acting classes, summer theatre intensives, a theatre design and production program, and the opportunity to be in over a dozen shows a year, NEYT strikes a chord with many area youth. As one student said, ”At NEYT there is always something new to get involved in, and I like the down times, too, when I can hang out with my cast mates and everyone becomes friends.’ NEYT‘s mission includes providing opportunities for children of all abilities—including those who want to pursue a...

Read More

Art of Innocence

Art of Innocence A Privileged View into Private Worlds by Joyce Marcel Sixty years ago, Jean Dubuffet (1901–1985) described a form of art he named ‘Art Brut’. This was art that was not based on established traditions or techniques. It did not follow styles or trends, and it was not made primarily to be sold for monetary gain. It is spontaneous, uninhibited, and maybe not even made as ”art.” Art of Innocence A Privileged View into Private Worlds by Joyce Marcel Sixty years ago, Jean Dubuffet (1901–1985) described a form of art he named ‘Art Brut’. This was art that was not based on established traditions or techniques. It did not follow styles or trends, and it was not made primarily to be sold for monetary gain. It is spontaneous, uninhibited, and maybe not even made as ”art.” The appeal of this work, for Dubuffet and others before him, was the unselfconscious imagery born of pure, uninhibited expression. This art subverted the conscious efforts of the artist and dismissed premeditated ideas of what art should be and what it should represent. In his attention to the artistic output of institutionalized people, Dubuffet was following in the footsteps of predecessors such as Dr. Hans Prinzhorn, a Viennese psychiatrist who had been trained as an art historian in the early twentieth century. Prinzhorn discussed the artistic output of the individuals partly in terms of representing an urge to communicate, to externalize imagination, emotions and responses.* Every October two of the art therapists at the Brattleboro Retreat, Wendy Baxter and Sarah Balascio, mat, frame and exhibit a selected sample of their patients’ work at the Hooker Dunham Theater & Gallery in Brattleboro in celebration of Mental Health Awareness Month. The show is called ‘Finding Strength in Making Art.’ ”This is a way to bring the artwork that our patients are creating as part of their therapy and treatment here to the community at large, so they can see how art therapy plays a role in the healing process,” Baxter said. The patients use art in many ways: as a calming technique, as a drawing-out of energy, as a welcome distraction from mental turmoil, and as a way of expressing themselves non-verbally. ”A lot of the time, the art work is the richest part of what they’re trying to express,” Balascio said. Art made in therapy can be beautiful, powerful, innocent and moving. It can also be disturbing. Raw emotions of pain, agony, loneliness, love, and even hope are expressed. One deeply emotional painting on exhibit last year, done with acrylic paint and glitter, was a self-portrait of an adolescent girl struggling with...

Read More

The Artful Chef

The Artful Chef A Chef’s Passion for Fine Wines and Intriguing Menus Chef Brill Williams, proprietor at the Inn at Sawmill Farm on Crosstown Road in West Dover has enjoyed a lifelong romance with fresh ingredients, fine wines and intriguing menus during his 40 years at his family’s renowned inn. (The Inn is quite famous in fact Oprah’s Book Club met there!) The Artful Chef A Chef’s Passion for Fine Wines and Intriguing Menus Chef Brill Williams, proprietor at the Inn at Sawmill Farm on Crosstown Road in West Dover has enjoyed a lifelong romance with fresh ingredients, fine wines and intriguing menus during his 40 years at his family’s renowned inn. (The Inn is quite famous in fact Oprah’s Book Club met there!) Guests at the Inn delight in finding that the dishes and desserts in Chef Brill’s repertoire include recipes handed down to him from his grandmother and mother—both women had a hand in shaping his culinary talent. Chef Brill trusts that his patrons come with well-bred taste buds and artfully treats his guests to remarkable combinations. A Squab entree, for example, is served with two harmonzing preparations side-by-side on the same plate. The legs of these fresh poultry are first marinated, then grilled, while the succulent breast meat is sauteed with his foie gras and tender apple slices. A favorite appetizer is to pair Scottish Smoked Salmon with American Spoonbill Caviar and serve it with fresh-baked Onion Brioche and a Quail Egg. One of the Inn’s most notable gastronomic events is one patrons create themselves by arranging in advance with Chef Brill for dinner and wine list tailored to the preferences of the guests. Imagine having all of your favorite foods on a six-course tasting menu with wine selections specifically paired to enhance each plate. Chef Brill’s Eggs Sawmill, is a favorite breakfast specialty with the guests. It’s his take on the classic Benedict; here he incorporates the seductive sweetness of Vermont Maple Syrup, contrasting it with the subtle saltiness of Country Ham. Chef Brill’s local organic and vegetable vendors include the best nearby farm stands such as Walker’s in Dummerston and Dutton’s in Manchester; he chooses rabbit from one special Manchester farm; his guests always enjoy his selection of Vermont artisanal cheeses. Whatever specialty foods he cannot buy from local growers and producers, such as fresh-caught Maine seafood, are flown in to him daily. The Inn’s multiple wine cellars are exceptionally well inventoried by Chef Brill. The dining room and tavern at the Inn at Sawmill Farm, rooms that were formerly a working Vermont barn, are open to the public. If You Go: The Inn...

Read More

Autumn Inspiration

Autumn Inspiration The Restfulness Amongst the Riot by Clara Rose Thornton For painters as well as general spectators, autumn in Vermont is a sensory deluge. Fabled colors unknown in most regions of the world wave their brief, bittersweet hellos; there is a pleasing sharpness to the air and the season seems to represent all that can be beautiful about transitions, endings and new beginnings. Autumn Inspiration The Restfulness Amongst the Riot by Clara Rose Thornton For painters as well as general spectators, autumn in Vermont is a sensory deluge. Fabled colors unknown in most regions of the world wave their brief, bittersweet hellos; there is a pleasing sharpness to the air and the season seems to represent all that can be beautiful about transitions, endings and new beginnings. ”It’s a macabre, visual evolution,” remarked Susan Osgood, an abstract painter raised in neighboring Westmoreland, N.H., and now living in Brattleboro. Osgood, whose work incorporates nature as metaphor, observed, ”Things are dying, things are falling, and yet ‘possibility’ is evoked; it’s about what’s going to happen next. It’s change. It’s almost like the unknown, as with any change. Here’s this big transformation—all the leaves are tumbling off—and the kid inside might wonder, what will happen next?” This sense of evolution was among the main properties discussed by four painters, each with his or her own very distinctive style, who were approached to discuss the specific way that autumn affects the creative mind. It would seem that the most obvious character of the season—the foliage—would have emerged in the forefront. Rather, unifying these divergent artists was shared talk of themes beyond the obvious, such as the how much of fall’s bountiful color to include, the tangible crispness in the air and a spiritual beckoning to withdraw into oneself. T. M. Nicholas, living on the Cape, is known for his vivid Vermont landscapes, including ”Mudget Farm” and ”The Road to Warren.” His works come alive with precise detail of the foliage, hills and quaint towns defining the region. ”The autumn is always a special time because of dealing with all that color and trying to control it,” he said. ”It’s challenging to try and push as much color into something as you can and still have it behave, in a way, so that it doesn’t become overbearing or gaudy.” Lydia Thomson of Townshend, who acts as director of Brattleboro’s River Gallery School and has been teaching landscape painting for 20 years, prefers a somewhat muted palette. She mused, ”I like it when the colors have died down a bit. I like to paint the grass when it’s that sort of maple yellow… When...

Read More