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laurence_coffin_open_studio_week-end_575Photo Courtesy: Emile A. Gruppe Gallery, watercolor from Laurence Coffin, displayed as part of the Vermont Watercolor Society Spring Show.

Vermont’s natural scenic beauty will be enhanced this weekend, as nearly 300 artists and craftspeople across the state open their studios to visitors. The 17th annual Open Studio Weekend, May 23-24, is a statewide celebration of the visual arts and the creative process.

Open Studio Weekend gives you access to the workshops of glass blowers, jewelers, printmakers, potters, furniture makers, weavers, ironworkers, painters, sculptors, quilt makers and wood carvers.

The Vermont Crafts Council publishes a free map booklet with directions to participating sites.
These maps make it easy to tour the state – and meet the people behind the artwork you may have admired in shops and galleries.

With hundreds of artists to exhibiting their work, it’s difficult to choose. Here are some ideas:

Southern Vermont:

The President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site, in Plymouth Notch, opens for the 2009 season on Saturday, May 23, and will host several exceptional artisans as part of the Vermont Craft Council’s Open Studio Weekend.

Over the years, the President Coolidge Homestead has become an Open Studio “hub,” where Vermont artisans temporarily relocate their studios. This year, Irene Ames of Derby will demonstrate basket making in the Sweetser family tradition.

Also on site will be members of the local chapter of the Historical Society of Early American Decoration: Dolores Furnari of Brandon and Pat Lacy of East Wallingford will offer stenciling activities for children, and Mary Perry of Salisbury, New Hampshire will demonstrate reverse painting on glass.

More information on President Calvin Coolidge Homestead.

Central Vermont:

In Montpelier, The Artisans Hand Craft Gallery is a gallery showing sophisticated crafts, including prints, photographs, textiles, and some sculpture from a number of participating craftspeople.

One of the gallery’s best known artists is Lochlin Smith, whose bronze jewelry is popular throughout New England. Lochlin will be welcoming people to his studio in Montpelier.

Look, too, for Mary Stone’s clay whistles – hand-formed, musical clay sculptures – and fiber artist Karen Henderson’s weavings and fabric pieces. Yarn-maker Denise D’Abramo will hold an informal Natural Dye Workshop in her Plainfield workshop.

At the gallery, you can see who your favorite artists are, and get directions to visit their own studios nearby.

More information on its website: The Artisans Hand.

Northern Vermont:

Drive along the spine of the Green Mountains as you tour studios and galleries, beginning with the Emile Gruppe Gallery, in Jericho. This historic building hosts the Vermont Watercolor Society Spring Show, which includes local artists, as well as out-of-towners. More information on the exhibit: Vermont Watercolor Society Spring Show.

Pick up maps, directions and descriptions of area artists’ work at the gallery, and follow the festival’s yellow road signs onto roads with names like Brown’s Trace, Governor Peck, and Nashville.

Founded in the 1940s, the Shelburne Art Center (formerly known as the Shelburne Craft School) is a nonprofit institution offering dozens of art and crafts classes in a range of media, taught by some of Vermont’s most talented artists. More information on the Shelburne Art Center.

Finally, from the Shelburne Art Center, you can visit artists and artisans working on Lake Champlain – including oil painter Mary Ellen Manock’s Kingsland Terrace studio, and watercolorist Katharine Montstream’s Main St. studio. Both take in views of the water while making the most of Vermont’s largest city.

The 32-page Vermont Studio Tour Guide (with maps) is available at Vermont Information Centers, and at individual studios and galleries, or can be downloaded as a PDF at: Open Studio Week-End Guide.
More information and maps at: Vermont Studio Tour Guide.

Related article
: President Calvin Coolidge Homestead – Historic Site

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art_walk_575This article is a special contribution from local artist Mary Adamsian, exhibiting at the Lazy Pear Gallery.

Montpelier Art Walk takes place on Friday March 27th from 4:00pm – 8:00pm!
We hope you’ll join the creative community in celebrating some of the finest artists and craftspeople that New England has to offer. With fifteen art venues ranging from galleries, restaurants, stores and government buildings. This is an event not to be missed.
Expand your visual senses and share your opinions and ideas with others… Meet the artists that create the works you’ll experience…
This event does coincide with the Green Mountain Film Festival. Why not journey to the fun artistic locations around Montpelier between the assorted movie venues?
Art walk booklets, listing participating venues, the featured artists, and coupons to local restaurants can be picked up at all the participating locations around Montpelier.

The participating locations are:

On State Street:

  • Vermont Arts Council Spotlight Gallery & Sculpture Gallery – 136 State Street
  • Vermont State House: Cafeteria (closed at 4:30)
  • Vermont Supreme Court Lobby (until 7pm) – 111 State Street
  • Governor’s Office, Pavilion (until 7pm) – 109 State Street
  • Positive Pie 2 – 22 State Street
  • Afterimage Photography – 26 State Street
  • Vermont Trading Company – 27 State Street
  • Capitol Grounds – 27 State Street
  • Phoenix Rising – 34 State Street
  • Salaam – 40 State Street
  • Restaurant Phoebe (4pm – 6pm) – 52 State Street

On Main Street:

  • The Lazy Pear Gallery – 154 Main Street
  • Kellogg – Hubbard Library (4 pm to 5:30pm) – 135 Main Street
  • Green Mountain Medicinals Herb Shop – 104 Main Street (2nd floor)
  • Art Resource Association: City Center – 89 Main Street
  • Artisans Hand Craft Gallery – 89 Main Street
  • La Brioche – 89 Main Street
  • Bear Pond Books – 77 Main Street
  • Montpelier City Hall Plaza – 39 Main Street
  • Rhapsody – 28 Main Street
  • The Drawing Board – 22 Main Street

On Langdon Street:

  • Langdon Street Cafe – 4 Langdon Street
  • Global Gifts – 7 Langdon Street
  • The Shoe Horn – 8 Langdon Street
  • Buch Spieler – 27 Langdon Street

Others:

  • The Cheshire Cat – 28 Elm Street
  • TW Wood Gallery – 36 College Street

Come and see!

For more information on the artists exhibiting: The Lazy Pear Gallery
Related article2009 Vermont Film Festivals – Line-ups

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Antiques Shows - VermontOctober 4th and 5th is a big week-end for antiques fans in Vermont this year. If you are one of those, you will definitely be delighted to know that there are actually three antiques shows taking place this week-end:

– The Lake Champlain Antiques Show – Sheraton Exhibition Center, Burlington – Exit 14 – Saturday October 4th from 10 am to 5 pm and on Sunday October 5th from 10 am to 4 pm. It is said to be Lake Champlain region largest antique show.
More information at: Antiquing Vermont

– The Vermont Antique and Expo Sale – Champlain Valley Expo, Essex Junction – Saturday October 4th from 8:30 am to 5 pm and on Sunday October 5th from 8:30 am to 4 pm. It will showcase antiques dealers and also offer seminars on antique furniture and other subjects.
More information at: Champlain Valley Expo

31st Annual Antiques Show – Bromley Mountain Thrill Zone, Route 11, Peru – Saturday October 4th and Sunday October 5th from 10:30 am to 5 pm.
More information at: Bromley Mountain

Quite an opportunity to drive around, admire the foliage at its peak, and discover the antique hidden gem you have dreamt of!

And for the music lovers:
– the Made in Vermont Music Festival with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra – Chandler Music Hall, Randolph – Saturday October 4th, 7:30 pm– One of the last concerts of this festival, it will play music by Vivaldi, Grieg and Gerswhin – Conductor and soloist Jaime Laredo.
More information at: Chandler Arts

And for the hikers fond of history:
11th Annual Mount Zion Hike – Hubbardton Battlefield Historic Site – Sunday October 5th, from 2 pm to 5 pm.
What a wonderful way to admire the breathtaking fall mountain views! The Mount Zion hike is an easy to moderate climb, offering spectacular views of the Taconics, lower Green Mountain range, and Adirondacks, and is the only vantage point from which the entire battlefield can be seen. Historic site interpreter Carl Fuller will accompany the hike and discuss the famous July 7, 1777, Revolutionary War Battle of Hubbardton, the role Mount Zion played in the battle, and what you can see from the summit. Bring sturdy shoes and enjoy!
More information at: Hubbardton Battlefield Historic Site
Related post and photos: Battle of Hubbardton reenactment

You can also enjoy the usual… and unusual activities that Vermont has to offer for its wonderful foliage season. Read our previous article: Enjoy Vermont Foliage… Differently

Enjoy this wonderful week-end and don’t miss our next week-end article… there are exciting events taking place in Vermont on October 11-12 week-end.

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Vermont Granite Museum - BarreWith Fall approaching, the buzz here in Vermont is definitely about foliage, but we’ll have a special article on foliage activities in the next few days.
For this week-end, still lots of things to do for the pleasure of all:

11th annual Barre Granite Festival – Barre – Saturday September 13, 10am – 3pm – Stone carving, music, history lectures, photography exhibit, Chicken BBQ lunch, tours of the Hope Cemetery are all on the program! We are definitely going to check it out! Afterall, people come to Barre from far away to see the delightful granite sculptures of the Hope Cemetery and the granite quarries. And Barre is – to our knowledge – the only Vermont county with a published article in National Geography!
More information at: Vermont Granite Museum – Granite Festival

7th Annual Small Farms Food Fest and apple picking – Shelburne Orchards – Sunday September 14, 11am – 5pm – You can enjoy 80 acres of apple trees, 10 acres of which have organic apples, you can enjoy the panoramic views of Lake Champlain, and you can enjoy the special activities on that Fest day: live music, haybale maze and special foods. Sounds like a fun Sunday afternoon!
More information at: Shelburne Orchards and Small Farms Food Fest

14th Annual Burlington Latino Festival – Burlington – September 10-14 – Lots of Latino music. The main event is Saturday 13, at the Boathouse, downtown Burlington, starting at 10am, with music bands from 6pm to 10:00pm and even a boat cruise on the Spirit of Ethan Allen III at 10:30pm to 12:30am!
More information at: Burlington Latino Festival

42nd Annual Bennington Car Show – Bennington – September 12-14 – 100 acres of antique and muscle cars for antique cars’ lovers!
More information at: 42nd Annual Bennington Car Show

Puppets in the Green Mountains – 10 locations in Bellows Falls, Putney, and Brattleboro – September 12-21 – Looks like an amazing event. It is the 6th edition of this international festival of puppet theater, with 8 groups from 7 countries – Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, France, Sweden, Taiwan, and Vermont – 22 performances in total!
More information at: Puppets in the Green Mountains

Vermont Humanities Council events – Windsor – Sunday September 14 at 3pm – For history lovers like me, the Vermont Humanities Council is presenting 400 Miles Down the Connecticut River by Michael Tougias, author of fourteen books about New England.
More information at: Vermont Humanities

Lake Champlain through the lens – Lake Champlain Maritime Museum – September 6 to October 29 – A juried photography exhibit with participating professional and amateur photographers. Admission is included in the admission to the museum.
More information at: Lake Champlain through the lens

Hey, don’t forget to write to us with your comments!

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Bottle Shock movie - posterWe are really sorry that we “stood you up” last week and did not publish the week-end events. We were redesigning the website to make it more practical for all readers… and we also launched it in French for our Quebec travelers. But we are back today with events for the upcoming week-end, from music, to sports, gastronomy and movies… sometimes even combined into the same event. So, here we go:

New this week!

Wine tasting and movie – A very unique event; when French and Californian wines compete. That’s the subject of this new award-winning movie “Bottle Shock” (based on a 1976 story) and the theme of the wine tasting. And… the producer Todd Harris will be there for a Q&A. Where? Merrill’s Roxy Theater, 222 College Street in Burlington. When? This Friday August 22, at 5 p.m. followed by the movie or at 8:45 p.m. followed by the movie. Sounds like fun. We’ll be there for sure!
More information: Merrill’s Roxy Theater (make sure to scroll down to see the information)

Vermont Festival of the Arts – Mad River Valley – August 1-31. Lots of exhibits and workshops in all art forms, from pottery to photography, watercolor, music, dance, cooking, theater and more during the whole month of August. We have not experienced any of the events yet, but everyone seems to be talking about this festival. Let us know what you think.
More information: Vermont Festival of the Arts

18th Annual Mad River Valley Century Ride – 50 or 100 miles. The biking event organized by the Hyde Away Inn & Restaurant looks like quite a well-organized and well-attended event (500 bikers). Friday night is the “carb-load” with lasagna and pasta buffet. Saturday morning: departure of the 2 races; rest stops along the way and a nice BBQ after the ride. The rides take you through the beautiful region, the quaint villages of Waitsfield and Warren, the State capital Montpelier and along the Dog, White and Mad rivers – nice scenery with great mountain backdrops indeed. We would love to have your feedback on the event if you attend.
More information: Mad River Valley Century Ride

Grace Coolidge Musicale #3 – Sunday, August 24 at 3:00 p.m. A 45-minute program “The Romance of the Violin” with piano and violin followed by afternoon tea at the site’s restaurant, The Wilder House. The organizers recommend making reservations as seating are limited. We enjoy the scenery at President Calvin Coolidge Homestead and the village of Plymouth Notch where President Coolidge was born and raised. So, this event is a nice excuse to enjoy the site. website:
More information: President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site
Related articles: President Calvin Coolidge House

La Boheme, Puccini – at the recently renovated Town Hall Theater, in Middlebury – Aug 22 at 8 p.m., and Aug 24 at 2 p.m. This popular opera will be the largest production of the Opera Company of Middlebury
More information: Town Hall Theater

And for continuing events:

Les Miserables musical is playing in Vermont… from July 31 to August 23 in Weston. We’ll try to go and check this production in the next few weeks and tell you what we thought. We are not expecting the kind of production you can see in New York or London, but we’ll see…
More information at: www.westonplayhouse.org
– And finally, if you really enjoy wine tasting and want to offer yourself a very special treat, there is a very special wine week-end cruise – one-and-half day (Saturday – Sunday) with an overnight – on the beautiful Moonlight Lady, hosted by Dellie Rex, senior Wine Instructor at New England Culinary Institute. The cost is $399 per person.
More information at: www.vtwinecruise.com

Also, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment on one of these events if you have a chance to attend!

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Lake Champlain Bluegrass FestivalPhoto courtesy of Adam Frehm

New this week!

7th Annual Lake Champlain Bluegrass Festival – August 8-10, in Alburgh – If you like bluegrass music, this is your week-end. Pray for good weather so you can enjoy all the outdoors concerts. And if you are not familiar with the event, take a minute and look here on the Vermont Life Magazine website, at this slideshow with music (scroll down the page and be patient, it takes a little while to load) … Looks and sounds like lots of fun.
More information at: www.lakechamplainmusic.com
51st Annual Antique & Classic Car Show – August 8-10, in Stowe – It’s the big and famous antique car event of the summer at Stowe with around 850 antique, classic and collector cars expected.
More information at: www.vtauto.org
– The schooner Lois McClure is coming back home to Burlington – Saturday August 5, Perkins Pier, Lake Champlain, Burlington, 5PM. You may have heard that the Lois McClure has been traveling to Quebec city (and other places on its way down the Saint-Laurent and the Richelieu river) early July to represent Vermont at the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec city by Samuel de Champlain. It’s back home and invites you to bring your picnic and enjoy dessert this Saturday early evening.
Bicycle Film Series at the Savoy Theater, Montpelier – For the cyclists discouraged by the rain! Saturday August 9: The Bicycle Thief (Ladri di biciclette) (1948) – director: Vittorio De Sica (view the trailer) and Sunday August 10: Jour de Fête (1949) – writer and director: Jacques Tati. On your way, you can even admire some modern sculptures inspired by cycling, in front of several Montpelier buildings or inns!
– And finally, if you really enjoy wine tasting and want to offer yourself a very special treat, there is a very special wine week-end cruise – one-and-half day with an overnight – on the beautiful Moonlight Lady, hosted by Dellie Rex, senior Wine Instructor at New England Culinary Institute. The cost is $399 per person.
More information at: www.vtwinecruise.com

And for continuing events:
Les Miserables musical is playing in Vermont… from July 31 to August 23 in Weston. We’ll try to go and check this production in the next few weeks and tell you what we thought. We are not expecting the kind of production you can see in New York or London, but we’ll see…
More information at: www.westonplayhouse.org
Vermont Summer Festival Horseshow – 5th week-end of competition at East Dorset; Photographers: remember you can participate to a digital photography contest (see previous posting);
Related post: Vermont Summer Festival Horseshow
– And more chamber music at Marlboro Music, Marlboro College – Friday August 8 and Saturday August 9 at 8:30PM and Sunday afternoon August 10 at 2:30PM. It is worth the drive there and you can find nice romantic inns to stay at, in the area. Time Magazine says it’s “the most exciting chamber music in the U.S.”, the NY Times says “extraordinary rising stars and musical legends play side-by-side”.
More information at: Marlboro Music
Also, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment on one of these events if you have a chance to attend!

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Marlboro Music FestivalThis posting is becoming a weekly tradition, I guess…
I hope you like it.
There seems to be a lot of music played these days in Vermont. Hey, it’s summer and concerts are mainly outdoors, it’s wonderful… except when we get pouring rain like last week-end… oups!
It reminds me that we want to give you some ideas of “summer concerts on the green” – stay tuned for this upcoming posting!
But for now, this week-end, what caught our attention:
Vermont Mozart Festival is still happening (the full schedule is on our Event Calendar page). There are more concerts to attend this week-end in one of the beautiful places the Festival chooses to play at: Friday night July 25, at the Barre Opera House (in-door) and outdoors on Saturday July 26 and Sunday July 27, concerts at Shelburne and at Stowe. We are planning to attend 2 of them… and praying for sunny weather;
Vermont Summer Festival Horseshow – 3nd week-end of competition at East Dorset; Photographers: remember you can participate to a digital photography contest (see last week’s posting);
11th Annual Green Mountain Antiques Show & Sale in Woodstock – We have not been there, but I am guessing that the event could be reasonably big, it’s in Woodstock afterall and it’s the 11th year they have it! For information, call 802-484-5942;
– The Green Mountain Chamber Festival is having concerts for the whole month of July. Friday night July 25 is a faculty concert “Immortal Beethoven” in Burlington. Should be nice!
– And more chamber music at Marlboro Music, Marlboro College – We are intrigued by this series of concerts, which seems to get great reviews. The Time says it’s “the most exciting chamber music in the U.S.”, the NY Times says “extraordinary rising stars and musical legends play side-by-side” – this week-end, Saturday night July 26 and Sunday afternoon July 27… we’ll try to go!
Harp concert, Heidi Soons, the principal harpist of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra – Salisbury Congregational Church, Salisbury, this Friday July 25; For information, call 802-352-6671;
– The Vermont Arts Council has noted this special exhibit in Dorset, “It’s all about Marble: Dorset marble heritage” on the history of Dorset Quarries and its marble industry. Only Sunday afternoon July 27;
– and for something less serious, of course the Harpoon Brewery BBQ competition is Saturday July 26 and Sunday July 27 in Windsor. Well, we like the arts, but we also like fun, so we’ll be there Sunday evening!
– And last but not least, this Saturday July 26, for the sportive crowd (very fit crowd!), it’s the 5th Annual Onion River Century Ride – 100 kms or 110 miles biking ride.

We’ll be posting more details in the next couple of days. Make sure to come back and visit us.
Also, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment on one of these events if you got a chance to attend!

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This week-end is a great week-end to drive around and see watercolors, pastels, pottery, jewelry, furniture and many other crafts in the studios of 264 local Vermont artists. It is Open Studio Week-end throughout the State!

You can find the maps you need with the complete list of open studios at this link.