a blog about music, visual arts, entertainment and everything in between
by tamara hilmes, intern
Local artists and businesses once again joined forces in the name of creativity on the evening of July 10, 2009. The second installment of the newly-introduced Middlebury Arts Walk had the streets and sidewalks abuzz with browsers and buyers of all shapes and sizes. A total of 37 different locations in the downtown vicinity played host to art exhibitions, free samples and demonstrations, each clearly marked by a neon-pink boot.
A stiletto-heeled version sat perched in the paned-glass window of the Old Stone Mill gallery, beckoning Arts Walkers indoors to view the work of the Rays of Light Youth Art Project. The exhibit was set up by Middlebury College student Taryn Tilton, who participated in a MALT service trip in El Salvador this past February, and worked with many of the young artists. According to Tilton, the artists range in age from 6-20-years-old.
“There was a 20-year-old who used to be in a gang,” she explained. “The program is meant to draw kids away from that and give them marketable skills.”
The artwork was shipped from El Salvador and then put up by Tilton earlier in the day, before the Walk began. Once items are sold, the profits will be sent back to the artists.
Over the bridge and through Marble Works, several more boots, this time in cowboy and snow styles, could be found perched outside the Noonie Deli, the newly-opened Stone Leaf Teahouse, and Round Robin Upscale Resale Shop. Area artist and Arts Walk committee member Jean Cherouny was also stationed outside the second-hand store. Decked out in a pink dress which she was told she was “allowed to ruin,” Cherouny stood, strapped in rollerblades, on a platform covered in canvas and pink paint.
Cherouny, an abstract expressionist painter, chooses to express herself via rollerblading through blobs of paint on a canvas, an appropriate artistic outlet, she thinks, for an avid athletic mountain biker and ski racer.
“You do what you do because it’s you,” she explained. “The great thing about art is that it’s not limited in any way. I’m free with my medium. I’m allowing my paint to work through me.”
As a member of the Arts Walk committee, Cherouny sees a need for the walk beyond just offering artists like herself exposure.
“Store owners in Middlebury have a lot of wonderful ideas, too,” she said. “We want to activate artists and businesses and create synergy between them. Creativity is something that everyone should have access to.”
“I think it’s wonderful to do this kind of thing and get people out and about,” she added, “especially during the summer. I think Middlebury needs this.