Arts & Leisure


Fig. 2: Children, Bristol, VT, 1892. COURTESY OF THE HENRY SHELDON COLLECTION
In Celebration of Black History Month, from the Sheldon Museum Archives — This is a three-part series addressing the presence of Black Americans in early Addison County. Today we introduce the topic and share relevant documents available at the Sheldon’s archives; part two will tell a fascinating story of Middlebury Black resident Prince King; the last essay will outline the Twilight Project and explain how Middlebury College students are using local archives to research difficult moments of local history. There is a thin line between benign neglect and purposeful disinterest in gathering...

JUDITH WITH ONE of her favorite camellias. Photo by Dick Conrad
When people mention a greenhouse, the image that often comes to mind is a vast hooped structure, 150-feet long or more, filled with growing plants, either to yield food or flowers during the coldest months, or alternatively to be sold at garden centers or planted in the fields once spring arrives. But, for avid gardeners, a greenhouse — sometimes called a sun-room or conservatory — is a far more modest structure, typically attached to the house, where we can enjoy plants throughout the cold snowy months of a Vermont winter. A COOL GREENHOUSE My greenhouse is just 18-feet wide and 10-feet...
(Flatiron Books) When we first meet Bronte, an art student just landed in Evelyn Bay, a small coastal town on Tasmania off the southern coast of Australia, for the season, it’s incidental to Kieran’s story; Kieran, who has returned home after much time away to help his mom pack up their home so they can move their dad, who is suffering from senility and memory issues, to an assisted living facility. He’s brought his wife, Mia, and their new baby, Audrey, and as they reconnect with old friends, fragments of a not-forgotten tragedy that took place 10 years ago surface, causing tensions to rise...
It’s been said that we all awake each day to see a different world. That sentiment has never seemed so relevant. What one group calls trusted media, another denounces as fake news. One person calls something a fact and right away someone else speaks of alternative facts. One person claims something to be true and another immediately denounces it as a lie. We are a divided nation living in a divided world, perhaps more now than ever in our lives. These fault lines have tragic, real life consequences. Yet, here we are, inhabiting the same small blue planet, fated to live together. Never before...

PHOTOGRAPHER JOHN HUDDLESTON recently published “At Home in the Northern Forest,” A book project that has taken him out into the woods of Snake Mountain behind his Weybridge home for the past decade. Independent photo / Steve James
Did you know that in the mid-1800s Vermont was nearly 80% deforested? “There were no bear, no beavers, no turkeys… they were just gone because we had cut down all the trees,” said John Huddleston, a Weybridge photographer of 50 years who recently published his latest photography book, “At Home in the Northern Forest.”  Why did we cut down all the trees? Good question. Huddleston’s book explains, “For the first half of the nineteenth century, the Northern Forest — stretching west from Maine to New Hampshire, Vermont and New York, extending north into Quebec and east to the Maritime Provinces...

CHRISTAL BROWN, LEFT, and Lida Winfield, both professors of dance at Middlebury College, have collaborated to create “Same But Different,” which will premiere online this Saturday, Jan. 30, at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at flynnvt.org. Photo / JHsu Media
Over the past year, we’ve seen artists — time and again — pivoting to find new and different ways to continue communicating through art. Yes, it’s awesome, but it isn’t revolutionary. “Artists are, and have been, the model for entrepreneurship and innovation,” said Middlebury College Associate Professor of Dance Christal Brown, who is prepping to launch a new dance performance with Lida Winfield (also an Associate Professor of Dance at Middlebury) this weekend. The duo will present “Same But Different” as a pre-taped show, premiering Jan. 30 and running through Feb. 6 through the Flynn’s...

MEMORIAL HAIR WREATH, 1835-55, detail. Created by Emma Adele Myrick with hair from of members of the Myrick and Russell families of Vermont. Collection of Henry Sheldon Museum
The Henry Sheldon Museum will present “Forget Me Not: Memorial Practices in 19th-Century Vermont,” a talk by Professor Ellery Foutch on Thursday, Jan. 28, at 7 p.m. In this talk presented via Zoom, Professor Ellery Foutch will discuss memorial wreaths and mourning objects created in Vermont in the 1800s. Crafted from hair, fabric and materials considered precious to the deceased, these artifacts offer a window into the lives and emotions of Vermonters of the past. Some of the hairwork examples are from the Sheldon Museum’s collection. Professor Foutch is currently teaching a Middlebury...

BUFFALO ROSE WILL perform live online for the Ripton Community Coffee House on Saturday, Feb. 6, at 7:30 p.m. Find links for viewing the concert and more at rcch.org.
The Ripton Community Coffee House presents the harmony string sextet Buffalo Rose to an online concert on Saturday, Feb. 6, at 7:30 p.m., and invites everyone to enjoy the music from their comfortable, socially distanced own living room. Viewers can find links to the concert at rcch.org, as well find ways to donate their “entrance fee” directly to the musicians, if they so choose. The six members of Buffalo Rose have previous experience in genres as far flung as folk and punk, but joined together through a love of acoustic music. Buffalo Rose commandeers the shimmering and electrifying riffs...
Excerpted from September 1, 1939         By W.H. Auden All I have is a voice To undo the folded lie, The romantic lie in the brain Of the sensual man-in-the-street And the lie of Authority Whose buildings grope the sky: There is no such thing as the State And no one exists alone; Hunger allows no choice To the citizen or the police; We must love one another or die. Defenceless under the night Our world in stupor lies; Yet, dotted everywhere, Ironic points of light Flash out wherever the Just Exchange their messages: May I, composed like them Of Eros and of dust, Beleaguered...
(Simon & Schuster) It is often said you can learn a lot by walking in someone else’s shoes, and this gifted writer, Nadia Owusu, winner of a Whiting Award, in this, her first book, allows you to do just that. This literary memoir reads almost like a novel, it is so well-crafted and lyrical and moving and nuanced. Owusu includes the reader in her search for her identity, her belonging. After leaving the author and her sister with her Ghanian father, her Armenian American mother remarried and had additional children, infrequently part of her daughter's global upbringing — Owusu lived, at...

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Addison County Independent