Happy summer, everyone with me in the northern hemisphere!
This newsletter has fallen from monthly to quarterly to biennial. Hooray! That's 7 to 23 fewer emails for you to deal with every two years, and 7 to 23 fewer for me to write, not that I mind writing.
The other good news is that despite not writing about it as often, I continue to make art. I've also recently started making sourdough crackers, and city policy, and trying to make my dog come when I call. But this update is mostly about art.
CITY COUNCIL / PUBLIC ART COMMISSION
Over a year ago, I found myself elected to Montpelier's City Council. It's been an education and mostly a pleasure. I took office just in time to take credit for our new Public Art Commission, since I'm an artist, even though I wasn't really involved in setting it up. You can find out more about the Art Commission and other city projects here-- or get involved wherever you happen to be! This is a good time to join local movements. Also, by the way, there are a couple of interesting job openings coming up here in Vermont's capitol village-- if you're a potential Assistant City Manager, Facilities and Energy Director, or Public Works sort of person, take a look. Montpelier is a nice place to live.
Our cooperative gallery, The Front, is still going strong four years in. Every show feels better than the last to me. After 33 group shows, though, I'm finally starting to feel like we could have some SOLO shows. The Front is now (in my opinion) one of the best venues in the area, with some startlingly good artists as members. It'd be great to see their work in a more concentrated format here. I think it'll happen any moment, just as soon as we reach consensus on how to rearrange the show schedule... we've been working on that for about four years. Come give us advice and help us eat our snacks at the SHOW 33 Reception! It'll be on Friday, July 12, from 4-8 PM at The Front, 6 Barre St., Montpelier, VT 05602.
At the core of all this is the time I get to spend making things. I'm rarely confident about my reasons for making anything at all, much less the particular things I end up with-- "Where did that come from?" could be the studio motto. But recently I stumbled on my friends' blog, the Artist Profiles Project, and saw some work by my teachers' teacher, Peter Agostini. I never knew him, but apparently he was pretty good at casting (unlike me), and pretty thoroughly focused on art (also unlike me; I'm easily distracted). Despite those differences, I look at his sculptures and immediately feel like I understand my own work better. Agostini said "...the prime thing [is]—to generate 'up'—leverage, elevation. The balloons rising, clothes on a line being picked up by the wind." And he made "Hurricane." That's the tradition I want to be in. If you read the comments, it's notable also that Agostini and I share a strong preference for donuts... although I get that from my dad too.
THE T. W. WOOD GALLERY
Speaking of tradition, come visit our local Montpelier art museum, the Thomas Waterman Wood Gallery! Along with his own original compositions, Wood was a hard-working lifelong student of the European masters, so we get to see his versions of Rembrandt, Turner, Titian and all sorts of others. They're surprisingly good, especially (if you can't get to Venice or London or Amsterdam) compared to looking at digital photos of the originals. I'd rather have a homemade eclair I can eat than a photo of one in Paris. The Wood Gallery also hosts 20th century work from the Works Progress Administration and always some great contemporary shows. Join me at the next reception for their Summer Juried Show, Thursday July 11th from 5-7 PM. And since I might not write another update email for two years, I'm going to suggest you come also to the Wood's next contemporary show, featuring great paintings by Galen Cheney and Tessa O'Brien (who happens by good luck to be my cousin-out-law). That show will have two receptions, on September 6th and October 5th (for Montpelier Art Walk). The Wood is at 46 Barre Street, Montpelier, VT 05602.
THE POSTAL SERVICE
Hooray for the post office! Let's support it and maybe get some postal banking going too. Meanwhile, though, the REAL reason I've typed all these many words above is that I'm canceling my post office box, which I'm not sure why I opened in the first place, since nearly everything I received there was those terrible fliers with plastic beepy bits and fake keys for car dealerships. I have continued to resist owning a car but they're after me. Anyway, if you happen to retain a mailing address for me that says something like "POB," get rid of it. You can reach me by mail at home, 61 Prospect Street, Montpelier, Vermont 05602.