Art Making with Chinese Words and Poetry
Painter, t’ai chi master, caterer, art and language instructor, and co-founder and artistic director of Asian Cultural Center of Vermont (ACCVT) in West Brattleboro, Cai Xi has been giving Chinese cultural and arts performances since 1995 presenting for pre-kindergarten through college-level adults. Her residencies have included supervisory unions, school districts, statewide Arts events, public and private schools, home schooling and early childhood groups, summer programs, teacher training, and community festivals. A 2010 Fellow at Vermont Studio Center, she was recently awarded a Community Arts Grant from the Vermont Community Foundation for a Chinese Word Art Book Project. She explains, “The goal is to publish a bilingual Chinese character art book composed of student work coming from Windham Southwest and Southeast Supervisory Unions (in southeastern Vermont). Student art of Chinese characters will be presented together with student poetry with translation into Chinese. Students will adorn printed Chinese characters and/or produce their own writing samples of Chinese characters through artwork choosing from among a variety of art forms such as ink-and-brush calligraphy, Chinese paper-cut technique, collage, paint, mixed media (such as with fabric and yarn) and more.” The student word art and poetry will be published in May, and there will be an exhibition of student work at locations and times to be determined. Updates and details at chinesewordartbook.wordpress.com, or contact Project Coordinator Cai Xi Silver at email@example.com or 802 257-7898, ext. 3.
New Institute of Contemporary Art to Open in Chester
VTica (Vermont Institute of Contemporary Arts) bills itself as a Gallery-Museum-School dedicated to supporting the innovative contemporary artist. According to the founders, Robert Sarly, President, and Abby Raeder, Managing Director, the goal is to create an inviting space to engage the community through diverse thought-provoking art works and events. The newly modernized facility (formerly the American Legion Building) will include a 2,000 square foot exhibit gallery with revolving exhibits of graphic arts and sculpture in solo and group shows. A stage area is available for live music and dance performances. In addition, there will be an outdoor three-dimensional sculpture art space. A permanent collection will be housed in the 650 sq. ft. interior Hearth Barn. The offices and artists workshop teaching studios, of 1200 sq. ft., are located on the 2nd and 3rd floors for either instruction or self-directed retreat. “We have assembled a wide circle of interested supporters that include watercolor and acrylic artists, oil painters, sculptors and craftspeople, live performance artists, business leaders, innkeepers and restaurateurs in and around Chester. These are the avant guarde of the new creative economy that can impact a revitalization of not just art, but the broader business community as well,” says Sarly. The first stage will involve developing an Arts Trail to entice residents and visitors to central and southern Vermont. A fall opening is planned. Info at Vtica.org.
Spotlight on Vermont’s Artists
The Vermont Arts Council’s Spotlight Gallery features exhibits by Vermont visual artists. Exhibits generally run for a two-month period. The gallery is open to the public at 136 State Street in Montpelier. Currently exhibiting is Galen Cheney through February 28. Vermontartscouncil.org.
New Executive Director at The Southern Vermont Art Center
Joseph M. Madeira joins the SVAC as Executive Director beginning in March. He previously served as Deputy Director for External Affairs at the Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He has also held positions at the McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., as Chief of Special Exhibits. “We are delighted to have someone with Joe’s background and experience join us,” says SVAC president Stanley Stroup. “He brings with him a wealth of energy and new ideas. We welcome Joe and his family to our community.”
Collaboration in the Arts
Non-profit local arts and culture institutions in Bennington have formed a cooperative venture called Cul-tural Bennington made up of The Bennington Museum, Historic Park-McCullough, Vermont Arts Exchange, Oldcastle Theatre Company, Bennington Center for the Arts, and New England Tropical Conservatory. Together they are working on a study to explore areas of collaboration with the aid of the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. To date the study has focused on areas of collaboration including marketing, financial management, purchasing, educational programming, information technology, and collections management.
Art for Shelter Animals:
Robin Stronk is coordinating a silent auction on May 14 at Monadnock Humane Society. Participating artists choose an animal rescue or shelter organization that they wish to benefit then create a piece that somehow represents that group. At the silent auction, the sale of each piece will go to the artist’s designated cause. For information on this event e-mail Robin at firstname.lastname@example.org. For a view of the mission see http://www.artforshelteranimals.blogspot.com.
40th Birthday Doings at Brattleboro Museum:
On Saturday, April 9 the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center opens its 40th anniversary season. To help celebrate, BMAC will com-plete two major projects honoring important figures from the museum’s first four decades of existence. Come spring, work will continue on the creation of a Sculpture Garden that will encase the former Union Station building in inviting green space and offer residents and visitors to downtown Brattleboro a new and inviting spot to sit and read, eat lunch, meet up with friends, or just pass the time. In addition, the museum’s grand main gallery, the former Union Station lobby, is about to undergo a facelift that will include new walls and lighting, a state-of-the-art sound system for events, a redesigned reception desk, and more. According to museum director Danny Lichtenfeld, all the upgrades are being planned to showcase the most important and attractive original architectural details of the room. On Sunday, June 19, BMAC will dedicate the gallery in honor of longtime patrons Wolf Kahn and Emily Mason, in whose honor funds have been raised to undertake this project.
National Magazine Honors
VAULT Gallery Craftsperson Timothy Campbell, who lives in rural New Hampshire, and exhibits at the Vermont State Craft Center at Gallery at the VAULT on Main Street in Springfield, Vt. has won the highest award as a traditional artisan in the Directory of Traditional American Crafts. He ranks top in his field, according to a panel of national experts including curators from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Hancock Shaker Village, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Old Sturbridge Village, Strawberry Banke Museum, and Winterthur. The judges described his handcrafted paintings and sculptures as showing mastery of the art form, heritage techniques, and workmanship. Tess Rosch, publisher of Early American Life, says: The Directory helps to preserve traditional handcrafts, part of our culture that is rapidly being lost in the digital age. Many of these skills were passed down from master to apprentice for hundreds of years, but now few new people choose to learn and master them. Visit the VAULT to see Campbell’s garden sculpture and paintings…and be ready to smile!
Glassblowers form Guild:
According to Chris Sherwin, Sherwin Art Glass in Bellows Falls, the goal of The Vermont Glass Guild is to develop a network of like-minded glassworkers within Vermont in all manors and styles of glass; to connect all of the glassworkers and their studios for support, sharing of ideas, networking, and hopefully to develop a statewide tour of glassblowers along with a retail location and website. Sherwin continues: “My idea and goal, from the beginning, was to develop a Vermont state map with all the glass studios on it, with contact information, hours of operation, and ‘tagmarks’ showing studio locations. The mission is to support Vermont glass artists towards building an environment within the craft that both cultivates novices and facilitates experienced craftsmen and artists to attain a higher level of expertise.” Those who attended the first meeting include — Robert DuGrenier, Josh and Marta Bernbaum, Garrett Wheeler who works with Dave and Melanie Leppla at Mad River Glass, Genevieve C. Cole, Gabriel Cole; Randi Solin, Marie Formichelli Walker, and George Billesimo all of Solinglass Studios. A spring meeting is planned on March 20 at Piecasso Pizza in Stowe (piecasso.com) to solidify plans. The meeting will include tours of three of Northern Vermont’s glass studio’s including Mad River Glass (madriverglassgallery.com) in Warren, Little River Hot Glass (littleriverhotglass.com) and Glen Ziemke’s Glass Studio (zglassblowing.com) in Waterbury. To learn more go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Vermont-Glass-Guild/114178528648548 or email email@example.com
DaVallia Art & Accents in Chester has moved from its space on the side of the building to the front facing the Chester Green. The 50-foot move was easy, said owner Michael Alon. “New plaster walls and refinished antique floors create a great backdrop for our collection of American Crafts and home accents.” The new space is a wonderful fusion of classic New England architecture. The rear of the shop is home to Fiddlehead Studio’s jewelry studio. For those who appreciate great design and unique handcrafted work, DaVallia is a must see.