Elsie Lynn Parini

PIERRE VACHON Independent photo/Steve James
Arts+Leisure celebrated it’s third full year in 2019. Twelve months, 52 issues, over 830 pages, all dedicated to arts and events going on in Addison County.  In 2019, we had the opportunity to highlight the work of more than 50 local artists, actors, musicians and craftspeople; see over 60 exhibits; profile 51 films; suggest 363 don’t-miss events happening right here in Addison County; learn nine valuable gardening lessons from our own Master Gardener Judith Irven; recommend 52 books (reviewed by The Vermont Book Shop); and 52 movies (reviewed by Joan Ellis). Oh, and we hope you’ve enjoyed...

SARAH ASHE MAKES light sculptures using reed and thin paper from her home studio in Middlebury. She is also a painter and sculptor. See her work at Edgewater Gallery in town. Independent photo/Steve James
MIDDLEBURY — Welcome to the darkest week of the year. For some the solstice is a time of celebration; the time when we turn the corner and every day gets a little brighter until the summer solstice rolls around. For others, this week is just, well, dark. Yeah, “dark” is definitely accurate. Here in Addison County we’ll only get 8 hours and 53 minutes of daylight on Dec. 21. So let’s brighten things up a bit, shall we? Meet Sarah Ashe. She’s a Middlebury artist who creates light sculptures, as well as other paintings, sculptures, masks and more. “I got into lights a long time ago,” said the...

ASHLEY WOLFF ILLUSTRATED a book version of the classic Raffi song, "Baby Beluga."
MIDDLEBURY — This past Friday afternoon, author and illustrator Ashley Wolff gave a talk to a group at the Lodge at Otter Creek in Middlebury about the “Tale of Two Books.” With over 70 children’s books to her name, Wolff wanted to talk about the “one book that got away” and how that led to her later success. “The book was called ‘Poncho Claus,’” Wolff said, remembering back to the early 1980s when Penguin Books asked her to illustrate the book. “It was a Tex-Mex version of ‘The Night Before Christmas.’” She took the assignment and got to researching. “I had some questions about the usage...

COMEDIAN JASON LORBER will perform the one-man play “The SantaLand Diaries,” based on the David Sedaris essay and adapted by Joe Mantello, at Town Hall Theater in Middlebury on Friday, Dec. 20. Margo Whitcomb, a former Middlebury resident, directed this performance.
MIDDLEBURY — Holidays can bring out the best in people — or not. It’s a time of joy, happiness, love and giving; what could possibly go wrong? Come see just how sideways the holiday season can go with Jason Lorber’s performance of David Sedaris’ original essay “The SantaLand Diaries.” The one-man show, adapted for the theater by Joe Mantello and directed by Margo Whitcomb, will take the stage at Town Hall Theater in Middlebury on Friday, Dec. 20, at 7:30 p.m. “I’m excited to be part of this almost cult-like play,” said Burlington-based actor and comedian Lorber. “Vermont is Sedaris country....

EMILY CASEY OF Orwell, will give a talk on Thursday, Dec. 12, at 6 p.m., about her new collection of essays “Made Holy.” The conversation will take place at the Ilsley Library in Middlebury in conjunction with an exhibit of eight pieces of artwork done by Vermont artists to represent portions of one of Casey’s essays. PHOTO / LESLIE TWITCHELL
ORWELL — Emily Casey didn’t always like essays. “I had always thought of essays as boring, nature stories… that just didn’t appeal to me,” she said in a conversation last week. “But when I was in college other people were really pushing the boundaries of what an essay could be… Braided essays really spoke to me — with a theme weaving through thoughts.” Casey, a 2012 MFA graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts, didn’t always like telling the truth either. “The publishing of my book ‘Made Holy’ coincided with the truth of telling about my own recovery,” she said. “The day the book...

SAS CAREY WILL present a pre-screening of “Transition,” her fourth documentary about the nomadic cultures of northern Mongolia, at the Town Hall Theater in Middlebury on Saturday, Dec. 7, at 8 p.m. A reception will be held at the theater an hour before the film starts. Photo courtesy of Sas Carey
MIDDLEBURY — Nineteen trips, three documentary films, and a book later, Sas Carey decided to do things a little differently for her fourth film about the nomadic reindeer herders of northern Mongolia who she’s been following since 1994. “I’m doing everything weird,” she said at her Middlebury home during an interview last week. “I’m doing everything my own way.” Doing things her own way is nothing new for Carey. And we’ll get to see just what she’s taking about during a pre-screening of her latest film, “Transition,” at the Town Hall Theater on Saturday, Dec. 7,  at 8 p.m. A reception will be...

MAXINE 'MICKEY' DAVIS holds up some of the Christmas ornaments she has made at her home studio in North Ferrisburgh. Independent photo/Steve James
FERRISBURGH — What’s your favorite space in your home? Curled up under a blanket by the wood stove? Soaking in your deep tub? Perhaps, sitting at the kitchen counter with a strong cup of coffee, or crawling into bed at the end of a long day? For Maxine “Mickey” Davis it’s her glass studio. “I have a 16-foot-by-22-foot playroom in my house,” she said beaming as she walked into the space at her Ferrisburgh home. At first Davis used a smaller version of her studio for painting, but then about 14 years ago, she asked her husband, Norton, to build an addition to the room so she could fit a glass...

MIDDLEBURY STUDIO SCHOOL instructor and artist Kathy Clarke’s work hangs in the MSS new studio The Loouvre. It will soon be replaced by a Small Works Show on Friday. An opening reception will be held from 5-7 p.m. All welcome. Independent photo/Elsie Lynn Parini
MIDDLEBURY — On Nov. 22 the Middlebury Studio School will host an opening for their Small Works Show at its nonprofit pottery and visual arts school, on Route 7 South in Middlebury. The opening reception will be held from from 5-7 p.m. Nothing unusual about that. Except there is. When guests arrive to view the artwork they’ll be led straight into the bathroom. Yup, that’s right, the potty. The new gallery space is irreverently named “The Loouvre.” The Loouvre has had some informal shows since its inception last spring, but the Small Works Show marks the first time that the space is going...

LUCY ALLEN TENENBAUM of Rutland is the choir director of the Champlain Valley Unitarian Universalist Society choir as well as of the Ladies’ Night Out Women’s Chorus. She’s also a piano tuner, private voice instructor and forager. The Ladies’ Night Out Women’s Chorus will perform on Saturday evening at CVUUS. Independent photo/Steve James
MIDDLEBURY — When you’re 65 years old and have been focused on something since you were a teenager, it’s no wonder that “something” turns into more than just a hobby. For Lucy Allen Tenenbaum, that’s music — specifically singing. And, like so many lucky Vermonters, she’s found a way to turn her passion into a lifetime career. Locally, Tenenbaum is known as the choir director of the Champlain Valley Unitarian Universalist Society in Middlebury — a job the Rutland resident took in 2014. Or perhaps you have a piano, and recognize Tenenbaum’s name because that’s who comes to tune the keys. “...

Looking for an artist in Vermont? Easy, check any home studio, any shared collaborative space, look on the stages, and in the workshops and sheds that cluster in the “artsy areas” of Vermont towns, or out behind some bucolic farmhouse. They’re there — the violinmakers, dancers, painters, musicians, potters, thespians, glass blowers, metal workers… they’re everywhere. But when you stop to try and identify who a Vermont artist is, suddenly the task isn’t so easy. The Vermont Arts Council’s Spotlight Gallery in Montpelier is attempting to shed a little light on who artists in Vermont are these...


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