Elsie Lynn Parini

A COUPLE OF Lauren Ringey's dolls
Being stuck at home all day has probably inspired more than a few of us to revisit our passion projects and hobbies that have just been collecting dust in the basement for months. For Lauren Ringey of Cornwall the isolation of COVID-19 has reignited a creative flame for her handmade doll company.  “I’m home all day with my machine,” said the 30-year-old Middlebury Union High School grad who started sewing just four short years ago for her son. “I’ve been making a lot. Recently I advertised some stock that I had on Instagram and sold it really quickly. Then, because everyone is stuck at home...

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,...

ANDREA CHESMAN AND Richard Ruane hosted one heck of a house-warming/jam session dinner party back in 1994, which spurred the idea to start up the Ripton Community Coffee House on the first Saturday in May 1995. RCCH celebrates 25 years this May, but because of the coronavirus has had to pause any performances until the fall. Photo by Beth Duquette
RIPTON — This May, the beloved Ripon Community Coffee House was set to celebrate its 25th year hosting musical gatherings at the historic Ripton Community House, a block up from the General Store on Route 125. But like so many other events, this celebration has been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, too.  A special concert of local all-stars — Matt Flinner (mandolin), Brett Hughes (guitar), Caleb Elder (fiddle) and Pat Melvin (bass) — was scheduled for the first Saturday in May; now RCCH is looking at opening their 25th season in the fall — probably in October.  Instead of...

TWO-YEAR-OLD IDA AND mother Elsie are excited to meet that new addition to their family. Photo by Oliver Parini
I’ve never felt much like one of those beautiful, glowing pregnant people. I hear they exist, but as far as I’m concerned those folks are unicorns. It’s hard work growing a human, and if some days I’m a little dull — oh well.  At 38 weeks pregnant in the middle of April, what I’m thinking about is less if I’m glowing or dull and more about the swirling vortex of virus germs spreading violently around the globe. As if there’s not enough to worry about — thanks raging hormones — add in COVID-19 and pregnancy gets pretty interesting. Gone are the beautiful birth plans we made with our doula. The...

EILEEN GOMBOSI IS the art teacher for Ripton and Salisbury elementary schools — she’s also an artist herself. Recently she’s been feverishly working on a new series of paintings, drawings and pastels that concern the balance of the planet and how climate change is affecting creatures large and small.
RIPTON — Right from the start, Eileen Gombosi knew her next art series was going to be a statement on balance in the ecological world, and now amidst the COVID-19 pandemic it feels more timely than ever.  “I’ve been on fire,” she said in a remote interview earlier this month. “I have more time to be working at home in my studio. Those times of working and intense creativity are the same for me.” When she’s not doing her personal work in her studio, Gombosi is online with her art students from Ripton and Salisbury elementary schools. “My work teaching is very different these days,” she said....

LILLIAN KENNEDY IS hosting a Staycation Art Series on her blog weeklyartlesson.com. Every Friday through the coronavirus crisis, she posts a new tutorial intended to “refresh your spirit with fearless drawing and painting.”
When the coronavirus hit, Lillian Kennedy knew she wanted to help. But how? “I didn’t want to sew masks, and I’m not a healthcare professional,” she said over a video interview last week. “So I started the Staycation Art Lessons series as my way of volunteering during the crisis.” Kennedy is posting weekly art lessons every Friday on her blog weeklyartlesson.com.  “Refresh your spirit with fearless drawing and painting” is Kennedy’s tagline for the series because, well, she believes that.  “The very simple act of drawing is a gift to give yourself,” she said. “Join in, build your skills and...

JUDITH GIUSTO HAS worked in fiber arts for 25 years, but these days she’s turning more to her interest in jewelry making. She will be one of the many artists featured at Town Hall Theater’s “A Toast to the Arts” fundraising event that’s been rescheduled for May 21 (though that’s subject to change). Independent photo/Steve James
MIDDLEBURY — For the second year in a row, Town Hall Theater is planning “A Toast to the Arts” — a fundraising party that celebrates 27 of Vermont’s visual artists and gives guests the opportunity to buy art and support the local theater. This year’s event was originally scheduled for Thursday, April 16, but due to the coronavirus has been rescheduled for Thursday, May 21, from 5:30-7:30 p.m.  While we’re all furiously washing our hands and trying to stay healthy, we can still get excited for this upcoming exhibit and sale that will showcase artists’ carefully curated works in paint, pastel,...

“60s PINK,” MIXED media.
WEYBRIDGE — Like most events these days, Victoria Blewer’s upcoming exhibit at the Vermont Supreme Court Gallery has been postponed indefinitely. The Weybridge artist was excited to hang her work in Montpelier.  “It’s a huge space,” said Blewer, describing the gallery. “Since it’s so large, I was planning to take advantage of the space and show some of my photos that I’ve been taking of grain elevators all these years… that are never going to see the light of day.” She was also planning to have her newer collage and encaustic work on display; and, of course, a good representation of her hand-...

ARTIST AND ANGLER Courtney Allenson is showing her artwork in an exhibit at the Jackson Gallery in Middlebury through April 12. The gallery is open until further notice.
For Courtney Allenson, making art really isn’t an option — it’s something she has to do.  “There’s not a day in my life that I don’t make things,” she said during a recent interview. “Whether that’s knitting, making quilts, kids clothes, canvas bags, or prints.”  Not to mention the crafts she might make in one of the many creative classes she leads at The Residence at Otter Creek in Middlebury, where she is the Senior Reflections and Engagement Director.  “Basically, I do all the fun stuff,” she said, naming a few, “like art, music, exercise, parties and events… The Reflections art group we...

VANESSA DUNLEAVY, LEFT, and Miranda Ferriss Jones had planned to present their first collaborative musical, “Showing Up,” at Town Hall Theater in Middlebury next week.
MIDDLEBURY — The old adage “write what you know,” may be a little cliché, but it didn’t fail Vanessa Dunleavy and Miranda Ferriss Jones when they set out to write their first musical together. “What we know is our relationship,” said Ferriss Jones, who’s known Dunleavy since they were kids growing up in the Middlebury area. So that’s exactly what they used to craft “Showing Up” — a story of how two women hold on to what’s important: their passions, their values, and, most importantly, each other. The two-woman show is loosely based on the lives of the creators, and was scheduled to take the...


Login for Subscriber Access

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100