Arts & Leisure


BEFORE: Our 30-pound goldendoodle added so much hair that she looked grossly overweight, but the groomer was closed during the pandemic lockdown. Photo courtesy of John Flowers
05/14/2020
We were told that one of the many benefits of having a miniature goldendoodle dog is they don’t shed. It was nice to know Roxie wouldn’t emulate our other two dogs, Bertha and Libby, who can virtually manufacture a carpet of their own after laying on the hardwood floor for just a couple of hours during the summer. But what we’re saving on brooms and vacuum cleaners, we’re spending on doggie haircuts. During a “normal” year, we can count on taking Roxie to the groomer’s around five times. Well, we decided to buck the trend late last fall. We thought we’d give Roxie (and our pocketbooks) a...

ILLUSTRATION BY ADELAIDE Tyrol
05/14/2020
One of the first spring wildflowers you’ll see — perhaps even before the last shaded patches of snow disappear — is the violet. This common flower, which blooms from April through June, is widely known and easily identified. There is more than one violet, however. The genus Viola contains some 500 species, including about 30 in the northeastern states and eastern Canada. It’s a large, varied, and fascinating group. Violets grow everywhere from sea level to the highest mountaintops, in meadows and marshes, along roadsides and riverbanks. They sprout in rocky hillsides, sandy fields, and moist...

NEW YORK GALLERIST and artist Martine Bisagni has a passion for building bridges between the creators of art and the broader community. She brings that passion to her new role at an art gallery in downtown Bristol. Photo by Amani Ansari
05/07/2020
While most everyone has felt the strong effects of COVID-19 on day-to-day business, Art on Main (Bristol’s Main Street art gallery) recently had a leadership change too. Annie Perkins handed her role of gallery manager over to Martine Bisagni in mid-April.  “We had a perfect plan in place for a month of overlap and training between us and high hopes for a very smooth transition,” Perkins wrote in her farewell newsletter. “Well — such is the way of plans… It has been an immense pleasure working with and getting to know all of you Art on Main folks: artists, customers, teachers, students,...
05/07/2020
(Catapult) Curious readers will discover inside information about “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” but this deeply personal and intimate account of one man’s single-minded pursuit of a career as a performer is pure François Clemmons. Director of the Martin Luther King Spiritual Choir and Artist in Residence at Middlebury College before his retirement, Clemmons chronicles his early childhood and family history, his education and training, the numerous obstacles, racial and otherwise, he encountered along the way, and the faith and perseverance required to bring his voice to the world. He...

A MONARCH BUTTERFLY feeds on the nectar of a purple coneflower. Photo / Bonnie Kirn Donahue
05/07/2020
Spending time planning your vegetable garden and thinking about what food you will produce is an excellent way to find some stability in these unsettling times. While growing our own food is an asset, as well as a source of comfort and enjoyment, I’d like to propose that we also consider providing food and habitat to other creatures that rely on our gardens — the birds, bees, butterflies and the seemingly endless variety of insects that visit us each year. Why think about these small living things in our gardens? There are many scientific reasons to reassess these relationships and consider...

ABBY MARIA HEMENWAY Photo courtesy of the Vermont Historical Society
05/07/2020
Like other remarkable women in Addison County, Abby Hemenway rebelled against the prevailing, centuries-old, androcentric perceptions of her gender. She was a teacher, poet, author, historian and publisher, proving herself with fortitude, independence and great accomplishments. As the contributions Abby and other extraordinary women made were realized, the collective consciousness shifted towards support of more significant roles for all women.  Abby Maria Hemenway was born in 1828, on a hill farm in Ludlow, Vt., to Abigail and Daniel Hemenway. A precocious student, starting at age 14 she...

ILLUSTRATION BY ADELAIDE Tyrol
05/07/2020
Anyone who has shared a home with a dog or a cat has learned something about the silent language of tails. Wild and domesticated animals may use tails for everything from communication to courtship, balance to locomotion, and defense to swatting flies. Tails can range from short to long and be furry, feathered, or naked.  A dog’s easy tail wag expresses friendliness, while a tucked tail shows subservience. Fear or aggression is a tail curled down. A high and tense tail signals alpha status; best to “high-tail it out of there.” On the other hand, a cat says hello by holding its tail straight...

THE VERMONT VICTORY Garden project embraces the “Grow Your Own” concept of the World War II victory garden movement. Photo courtesy of UVM Extension
05/07/2020
In response to food insecurity issues arising from the COIVD-19 pandemic, the University of Vermont (UVM) Extension Master Gardener program is initiating the Vermont Victory Garden project, designed to help people impacted by food insecurity to meet those needs, as well as learn critical skills in a healthy environment, by growing some of their own food. In a society driven by high-speed technology and worship of the “new,” few phrases have the enduring positive impact in the American lexicon as one that seemingly stands in a different era: victory gardens. For most of us the association with...

DOUBLE-COATED DOGS, such as this Yugoslavian shepherd, are not meant to be shaved in hotter weather. Their insulating coats are designed to keep them warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Photo by Sarah Pope
05/07/2020
I have a dog with a double coat. They require a lot of maintenance — brushing, brushing, brushing — and a vacuum cleaner that can handle mountains of shed fur on your floors. The thick coats always beg the question, especially as summer approaches, of how one can possibly keep these dogs cool.  I’m often asked if I get my dog shaved for the summer and the answer is, no. I was told not to bother by her previous owner and by my vet. People not in the know about double-coated dogs may consider that answer cruel or neglectful. The opposite is true, and here’s why. A double coat consists of a...
05/07/2020
Edgewater Galleries, Middlebury Edgewater plans to stick to its spring schedule with its May exhibits entirely online. On view now is “Sight Seeing,” a group show with Elizabeth Hoag, Kathryn Milillo and Julia Purinton. Opening last week was “Perspectives,” a group show with Jane Davies, Jon Olsen, and Alexis Serio. By June, the gallery hopes to have its doors open again for two shows: “Reflections,” a group show with Kathleen Kolb, Lori Mehta and Karen O’Neil; as well as “3 Solos: One Gallery,” featuring Hannah Bureau, Sara Katz, and Jill Matthews. More info here. Town Hall Theater,...

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Addison County Independent

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