Arts & Leisure


MAYOR CHRIS LOURAS (right) is among the characters in a documentary that explores the tumultuous arrival of Syrian refugees in Rutland, Vt. “For the Love of Rutland,” created by Jennifer Maytorena Taylor, is among the motion pictures featured in the sixth annual Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival when it goes online at the end of August.
08/06/2020
MIDDLEBURY — The first-ever online version of Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival (MNFF) is taking shape. Organizers of the sixth annual event — usually a spotlight happening that sends hundreds of people buzzing around downtown Middlebury just before Labor Day — have selected more than 20 features to headline this year’s festival. And while the coronavirus pandemic is responsible for substantially shortening the film menu compared to years past, MNFF officials are working to infuse the virtual festival with some of the personal touches that have made it a consistent success. MNFF6:ONLINE will...

HARRISON BROOKS SITS in his Lincoln home playing ElevatorUp, the card game he conceived, developed, published and recently began selling online. He calls himself CEO (Chief Elevator Officer) of PlayElevatorUp.com.
08/06/2020
LINCOLN — Seventeen-year-old Harrison Brooks and his family have been visiting Addison County from their New York City home since he was a young kid. “Every chance we’d get, we would come up here to visit (my grandmother in Lincoln) and spend as much time as we could,” he told the Independent. “A lot of my early childhood memories are from Vermont: struggling to lift hay bales, looking forward to the Addison County fair, going to summer camp in Hancock, learning how to lawn mow.” This summer the Brookses are in the process of moving up to Lincoln to live year round, and among the things...

THE MIDDLEBURY STUDIO School cautiously reopened its doors in July for socially-distanced ceramics classes, allowing both adults and youth to get back onto the studio.
08/06/2020
MIDDLEBURY — When the pandemic closed Middlebury Studio School’s doors in March, like everyone else, the board and staff hoped for the best and started planning for the unknown. Planning included projects that could be safely done in the empty school. Kathy Clarke, studio manager and clay instructor, started cleaning and clearing out all the clutter that has accumulated over the past five years. Then she completed a long-wished-for project, sealing the Mexican tile floors in order to make mopping up clay dust easier. The board moved on some projects filed under “long-term plans” that they...
08/06/2020
(William Morrow) When young Brenda Dubie, having to mind her father’s music store in the Hyde Park corner of 1940s Chicago while he is serving overseas, first meets young Charlie Fish, she's decidedly underwhelmed. But in wartime pickings are slim, and Brenda certainly wasn’t above raising a boy’s spirits. Her mother, however, took a different view, sensing that beneath the shy, very well-mannered if unsophisticated surface, there were depths to Charlie’s character. She impresses upon her daughter to spend time with him; she takes him under her wing, treating him like a member of the family....

'BUT NOT PERMANENT,' a painting by Julia Jensen
08/06/2020
VERGENNES — Artist Julia Jensen’s artwork is display at Northern Daughters 221 Main St. gallery in Vergennes. The show, “Betrays The Solitude,” is a solo exhibit of Jensen’s new work. It is on view by appointment through Aug. 29. NoDa also offers multi-faceted digital tours so you can have a personalized gallery viewing experience from home. This is Jensen’s first solo exhibit at Northern Daughters, though the gallery has proudly been exhibiting her work for the past four years. Some of the work was created during quarantine. She says, “This time of quarantine has reinforced my understanding...
08/06/2020
I adopted Tessa this April from The Feline Connection in Fair Haven. She is 11 years old, and a very special girl. It is kind of perfect that we have found each other because we have both been through a lot of difficult times in the past and we both truly needed each other. She survived a hoarding situation, neglect, severe malnutrition, at least four foster homes in a year, a serious house fire in one of her foster homes, being attacked by another cat, and more.  She is FIV+ (which is like feline HIV) and has beginning stage kidney disease. She was recently diagnosed with mild asthma as well...

THE TOBACCO HORNWORM with its distinctive diagonal white stripes and reddish “horn” feeds on tomatoes, eggplant and other plants in the nightshade family. Photo by Eddie McGriff/University of Georgia/Bugwood.org
08/06/2020
VERMONT — This time of year I get impatient for the long-awaited harvest of my tomatoes and the taste of their sweet, homegrown flavor. But will I get to them before the arrival of the dreaded hornworms?  These sizable pests come like thieves in the night and can ravage a plant in a surprisingly short time span. They are remarkably fleshy, large and striking green caterpillars that can reach 3-4 inches in length and grow as wide as a thumb. If you are like me, an encounter with one may make you squeamish. Hornworms feed on plants in the nightshade family including tomatoes, potatoes, peppers...

AMONG THE WORKS on display this month at Edgewater Gallery at the Falls in Middlebury is “Dear Dairy,” a 30-by-40 inch collage that Betsy Silverman created using cut up magazine pages.
08/06/2020
MIDDLEBURY — The Edgewater galleries in downtown Middlebury this month have two new shows opening. Both will also be presented virtually on the galleries’ website, edgewatergallery.co, by mid-August. “Cut It Out!” is a solo exhibition featuring collage artist Betsy Silverman. Silverman works in what she calls “Fragmented realism” and presents familiar Vermont scenes and still life pieces made entirely of recycled paper. Browsing through old magazines, Silverman selects, cuts and glues images to a canvas in order to transform the old pictures and text into unique, multidimensional portraits,...

MATT LAUX AND his daughter, Audrey, enjoy a performance by Melissa Lourie of a monologue from Hamlet in their own back yard. It was set up as a “Shakespeare To You” performance by the Vermont Shakespeare Festival. Photo by Ashley Laux
08/03/2020
MIDDLEBURY — Did you know that the Vermont Shakespeare Festival is doing free monologue telegrams during the pandemic? One day last month Melissa Lourie of Weybridge performed the Pelonius monologue from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” in the backyard of the Laux family in Middlebury. Vermont Shakespeare Festival had to postpone its summer season of performances until 2021, but members wanted to offer the shared experience of live theater with an audience, with patrons and their picnics in beautiful outdoor summer season locations in order to help keep theatre alive. In May the Festival responded to...

“We’re aware people are being inundated with on-screen opportunities, because that’s how we exist right now. We want to come into that environment and do something honest and successful and we think enjoyable.” — MNFF Artistic Director Jay Craven
07/31/2020
The first-ever online version of Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival (MNFF) is taking shape. Organizers of the sixth annual event — usually a spotlight happening that sends hundreds of people buzzing around downtown Middlebury just before Labor Day — have selected more than 20 features to headline this year’s festival. And while the coronavirus pandemic is responsible for substantially shortening the film menu compared to years past, MNFF officials are working to infuse the virtual festival with some of the personal touches that have made it a consistent success. MNFF6:ONLINE will take place...

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