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Arts Beat for May 13: Talks, exhibit show the legacy of a Vt. landscape architect

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Arts Beat for May 13: Talks, exhibit show the legacy of a Vt. landscape architect

MEET THE SINGERS from Opera Company of Middlebury’s upcoming production of “Cendrillon” on Sunday, May 19, at the Champlain Valley Unitarian Universalist Society, 2 Duane Court in Middlebury, at 5 p.m.

Photo courtesy Opera Company of Middlebury

By GREG PAHL

The Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont History in Middlebury will be hosting a retrospective exhibit, “The Landscape Architecture Legacy of Dan Kiley,” to honor and recognize influential and internationally-acclaimed Vermont landscape architect Daniel Urban Kiley (1912-2004). The exhibit, a partnership with the Vermont Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, The Cultural Landscape Foundation of Washington, D.C., and the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, opens on Tuesday, May 14 and runs to Sunday, Sept. 1.

Kiley’s practice and home were in Charlotte, Vt., where he was inspired by the fields, forests, and magnificent waters of the Champlain Valley. Soon after the 100th anniversary of Kiley’s birth, the Cultural Landscape Foundation created the exhibit, which consists of four dozen large photographs, both color and black and white, of his more celebrated landscapes, plus biographical information and interpretive analysis. While the exhibit has been featured at multiple museums and universities across the country, this is the first time that the exhibit will be presented in Vermont.

Some of Kiley’s most notable designs include the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.; Dulles Airport in Virginia; the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston; The Chicago Art Institute; Fountain Place in Dallas; the Henry Moore Sculpture Garden in Kansas City; and, in collaboration with Eero Saarinen, the St. Louis Arch Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, among many others. In Vermont, Mr. Kiley’s designs include the grounds of the Immaculate Conception Church in Burlington, the Twin Farms Resort in Barnard, and the Currier Farm in Danby.

Kiley was characterized by “The New Yorker” magazine in an article by critic Calvin Tomkins as “the leading American landscape architect” of the late 20th century.

During the exhibit, several talks and tours related to Dan Kiley are planned. On Saturday, May 18, two talks will be held at the Middlebury Town Offices, located across the street from the Sheldon Museum. At 2 p.m. landscape architect and urban designer Chris Dunn, in a talk titled “Man is Nature,” will discuss Kiley’s connection to and love of Vermont and the Vermont landscape and how it influenced Kiley’s designs.

Then at 3:30 p.m., Jane Amidon, Professor of Landscape Architecture and Director of the Urban Landscape Program at Boston’s Northeastern University School of Architecture, will offer an overview of Kiley’s approach to landscape architecture and discuss highlights of his iconic artistic process.

The afternoon talks are being held in the conference room of Middlebury’s town offices. Space is limited, so advance reservations are recommended by calling 802-388-2117. The event is free to members of the Sheldon Museum and the Vermont Association of Vermont Landscape Architects; general public $5 (includes museum admission). Visitors are encouraged to visit the Sheldon Museum to view the Kiley exhibit that day well in advance of the 2 p.m. start of the two May 18 talks.

The Henry Sheldon Museum is located at One Park Street in downtown Middlebury across from the Ilsley Library. Museum hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; research center hours: Thursday and Friday 1 - 5 p.m. Admission to the museum is $5 adults; $3 youth (6-18); $4.50 seniors; $12 family; $5 research center. For more information call 802-388-2117 or visit: henrysheldonmuseum.org.

PHOTOGRAPHS BY MAX KRAUS AT JACKSON GALLERY

A new exhibit, “Max Kraus Photographs,” opens this week with a reception for the artist on Friday, May 17, from 5 to 7 p.m., in the Jackson Gallery at Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater. 

Kraus is a retired engineer and businessman who moved to Middlebury 15 years ago. Once a self-described “family and trips snapshot” photographer with indifferent results, he became acquainted with digital photography, where he could see the results in real time and later enhance them.

Since then, Kraus has photographed hundreds of images. Inspired by life and his explorations in and around Middlebury, he expresses a great appreciation for the seasonal changes in the landscape and farms of Vermont through his imagery. He often returns to favorite spots to capture them at various times of the year. His summer scenes are vivid in color while his winter views through snowfall are unique in their delicate texture and tones.

In addition to taking pictures of classical Vermont scenes, Kraus has chronicled many Town Hall Theater events through his images of production casts and crews and his candid shots of performances in action. He has photographed eight years of the Opera Company of Middlebury performances, many of the Middlebury Community Players productions and exciting “J-Term” shows — collaborations between the Theater and Middlebury College. He will include a few pictures from these events in the exhibition. He says, “I hope they convey the diversity of the productions that we are privileged to enjoy and my joy as I have watched these productions develop while meeting the talented actors and singers.”

The exhibit will remain on display through June 16. The Jackson Gallery is located in the lower level of Town Hall Theater, 68 S. Pleasant Street in Middlebury. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday noon to 5 p.m., and an hour before any public events in the building. For further information call 802-382-9222 or consult townhalltheater.org.

MEET THE SINGERS RECITAL AND RECEPTION IN MIDDLEBURY

The Opera Company of Middlebury presents a Meet the Singers Recital and Reception at 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 19, in the Champlain Valley Unitarian Universalist Society, 2 Duane Court, (off Water Street, just south of Cross Street) in Middlebury.

Come and enjoy a spirited afternoon of music and fun, as members of the “Cendrillon” cast share their favorite arias and musical theater selections (many in English), with pianist Mary Jane Austin. Afterward, get to know the performers over drinks and hors d’oeuvres in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.

Tickets $35 (plus fees) includes the performance and appetizers (cash bar). For more information, visit ocmvermont.org.

BLUES JAM IN BRISTOL

Middlebury-based English bluesman Tom Caswell will be hosting a Blues Jam in Bristol at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 15, at Hatch 31 located at 31 Main Street.

The jam will feature both local and statewide blues musicians and is open to anyone wanting to hear great music. This is a monthly event on the third Wednesday of the month.

If you are a musician or singer planning to take part in the jam, there will be a sign-up sheet located near the stage. The host band, The Tom Caswell Blues Band, will begin the proceedings at 8 p.m. before people are called up from the sign-up sheet to form bands and play the blues. The jam will end with the host band taking the stage once more to wrap things up.

Although the music begins at 8 p.m., an earlier arrival is advised. Admission to the jam is free.

 

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