Arts & Leisure

ENOCH WOOD PERRY, (American, 1831-1915) The Pemigewasset Coach, 1899. Oil on canvas, 42 5/8 x 66 5/8 in. Collection of Shelburne Museum.
“American Stories,” a new online exhibition that examines the American experience as seen through the collections of Shelburne Museum, launched recently. Drawing inspiration from Shelburne’s vast holdings of American art, architecture and material culture, American Stories is an exhibition in four parts — People, Travel, Home and Community. Part One: People, opened May 14. Subsequent parts are scheduled to be posted every other week on May 28, June 11 and June 25. “‘American Stories’ offers a window into periods in the nation’s history as interpreted through some of Shelburne’s most familiar...
Inspired by Addison Independent reporter John Flowers’ story about his dog Roxie in last Thursday’s Arts + Leisure section, here is the story of Alfie. Santa brought me a red cockapoo puppy this Christmas. At six months old, Alfie has never had a haircut. We have no idea what he looks like under his dreadlocks! I keep asking Paul, “Do you think he’s getting fat?” We’re hoping he’s like Roxie under it all. He has his first haircut appointment scheduled at Comfort Hill on the 27th, so we’ll find out then. I’m doing consulting work from home, and the look he has in this picture is the one I get...

CORNWALL'S LILY WADE makes voluminous notes on her electronic device then turns it into music that has made its way onto two self-produced albums. Independent photo/Christopher Ross
Lily Wade dreams of being a full-time musician someday but she tends to avoid talking about it. “It’s such a big statement,” said the 16-year-old recording artist, who may be better known around Addison County — at least for now — as Lily Isham. “I feel like if I tell people, then I have to live up to it almost.” But in many respects, she already has. In February, Wade released her second self-produced album, “5teen,” a collection of nine compact indie-rock tracks whose sophistication brings to mind the words of William Butler Yeats: “A poem comes right with a click like the closing of a box...

IN THE WILD: a serviceberry in full bloom at the edge of the woods. Photo by Dick Conrad
And right now, spring — that most fleeting of seasons — is working its magic in Vermont.  All around in gardens everywhere, we see the thousands of cheery yellow daffodils spreading their message of hope.  I would also like to tell you about two delightful small trees, adorned in their pink and white spring attire, like “Pink Ribbons and White Lace” that also proclaim spring’s arrival.  PINK RIBBONS It is now about seven years since I first saw the most beautiful diminutive tree that was completely smothered in pink ribbons. I was heading over the new (at the time) Cross Street bridge in...

JESSICA STEWART SWIFT Photo courtesy of the Henry Sheldon Museum
Jessica Stewart was born a child of privilege in Middlebury and used that privilege to greatly enrich her home community. In her long life she brought together some of the most prominent family lineages in Middlebury history — Seymours, Battells, Stewarts and Swifts — adding to their achievements her own record of persistence, cosmopolitanism and significant philanthropy. Transcending the bounds of the conventional role her family had ordained for her, she independently exercised a sense of responsibility to others and helped shape the Middlebury we know. She and her twin brother (who died at...

A HEART AT the Congregational church of Middlebury
Have you seen the painted hearts that have popped up around Middlebury, Cornwall and Weybridge? Dena Greenman drew our attention to the hearts, and now we just keeping running into them: on houses and mailboxes, in flowerbeds, in doorways, outside the Middlebury Union Middle School, at the entrance to the Congregational Church of Middlebury… Greenman credits her friend Lilly Devlin of Cornwall for spearheading this movement to spread the love during this difficult time. “She’s galvanized many of us to make and place hearts at businesses, homes, etc.,” Greenman told us. “I think it lifts...
(Knopf Publishing Group) The premise of Lawrence Wright’s apocalyptic new thriller is eerily familiar: a mysterious new virus turned global pandemic infects untold numbers of people as scientists race to stop it. Microbiologist Henry Parsons, a smart, driven man, passionate about his science, centers the story, risking his life to fight the disease. But who would want to read such a book at a time like this? This reader was surprised to find the book oddly comforting and informative; this particular flu strain was far more deadly than the one we are dealing with in reality, and the ingenuity...

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
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...

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
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,...


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