Wednesday, June 4, 2008


It’s an “in-between” time of year. Our annual meeting is finished, and our new board leadership is still organizing itself. The legislature is done for the year and the campaign season hasn’t really started. Some kids are still in school while others have graduated and started their summer jobs or are catching up on sleep. Spring is pretty much over, but summer has not quite begun. I haven’t received my three cords of wood for next winter, but I haven’t finished paying off my latest fuel oil bill either.

During these “lull” times I like to catch up on all those things I’ve been waiting to find time to do. I’ve started a book by former NEA Chair Bill Ivey called "Arts Inc." It’s a good read but I can tell when I’m finished I’m going to want to feel good about our society, so I’ll probably re-read Dan Pink’s "A Whole New Mind".

Whenever I have the chance, I always enjoy exploring and learning about Art. I encourage you to spend some time on our website where you, too, can get acquainted with many forms of Art….

We’re celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Art in State Buildings Program which has funded two dozen public art commissions in new or renovated state buildings over the years. Paul Gruhler and David Schutz have put together a representative exhibition of works from the AISB program as well as other works the state has collected since 1847 and brought them on tour. This tour is called the Art of Vermont and will be in venues all over the state in the coming year. Once you’ve clicked on the link, you’ll find instructions for downloading many of the images as a computer screensaver. It’s quite a collection.

Related to this exhibition is a new Art Trail built on a Google Maps platform that describes how to get to all the permanent works of art in the State collection that can’t tour (like floors, banisters, windows, and other parts of a building’s infrastructure that doesn’t hang on a well-lighted wall). The Art Trail also showcases photos, directions, and several videos of artists talking about his/her work. Let us know what you think of it.

We are currently showcasing the works of the Arts Council’s first Executive Director Art(hur) Williams in our Spotlight Gallery. His is a retrospective of all the works he has created that have been inspired by his lifetime association with the coast of Maine. In addition to the pleasure of having these small and very approachable works in our gallery, we have all been delighted to spend some time with one of Vermont’s most beloved eminences gris.

A few clicks away is Art of a different nature: (drum roll please) Art(hur) Fitz, the new mascot of our second statewide community arts project, Art Fits Vermont. Art has been pleasantly surprised by the reception he’s gotten, given that he’s the shy and retiring sort. If you go to our home page, the link to his introductory video is in the left-hand column—he’s holding a puzzle piece that says “Chittenden” on it. Art’s got a puzzle piece for every county, trust me!

Of course, if the art on our website doesn’t grab you, by all means check out what’s happening all over state by searching our statewide Art Calendar. This time of year the days and nights are filled with pretty much anything you could wish for, from food fairs to caber tosses; Mozart Festival concerts to exhibitions at the Shelburne Museum.

So to recap: there’s Art in State Buildings, Art of Vermont, Art Trail, Art Williams, Art Fitz, and Art Calendar. All good stuff, all worth checking out, and all about Art.

Okay, the lull is over. Back to work!

No comments: