Featured Artist: Stina Plant

Last but not least, here's a sample of my work on display in the Staart gallery! I have a website too…

Stina'a bio:
Stina Plant is a professional photographer and artist working in her native community of St. Albans, VT. She graduated from Syracuse University in 2000 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Photography. The marriage of the journalistic, commercial, and artistic approaches to photography influences her style in all three genres. Five years of working as a photojournalist at the St. Albans Messenger newspaper has given her a quicker eye, but her artistic background is a reminder to always look for an unusual angle. Even her work in weddings has taught her to be ready for the decisive moment. It has only been since 2006 that she has returned to devoting time to her own artwork. Preferred subject matter includes night subjects and macro photographs. Although Stina is just starting her artistic career, she has participated in several exhibitions in Syracuse, NY and a group exhibition at the Maine Photographic Workshops in Rockport, ME. She is also at member of the Vermont Professional Photographers.


Featured Artist: Barbara Hamm

Barbara Hamm's growing reputation as a talented water color artist precedes her. See some of her work here.

Barbara's bio:
Barbara Hamm is a familiar face in the St. Albans area. She is an active member in several community organizations and is a member of the Bishop Street Artists. She credits her artistic start to her supportive grandmother. "I was introduced in a very positive manner," she recalls. The rest of her artistic education came partly from the nuns who taught at the Catholic elementary and high school she attended and partly from her own experimentation. Barbara likes to try other media and likes egg tempera, but her mainstay is watercolor. Her paintings depict the things she likes and the places she's traveled to. "Painting makes me happy," she says.


Featured Artist: Colleen Yandow

The combination of Colleen's natural subjects with the canvas printing technique makes her photographs look more like paintings. The bold colors and textured of the canvas make her images jump off the wall. See Colleen's work here.

Colleen's bio:
Colleen Yandow is a graphic designer at Messenger Print & Design in St. Albans as well as a licensed massage therapist. Her canvas-printed photography blends both of these worlds as they contain both graphic and meditative elements. Colleen has been an inspired artist since grade school. “Picking up a camera is a natural instinct,” she says. She can see a photograph in everything she sees. “If it’s frame-able, it’s my subject.” Colleen loves learning so she’ll try any other medium she can get her hands on. Discovering a new technique is part of the creative process. Colleen also enjoys kayaking, hiking, yoga, painting and gardening.


Grant Opportunities

My friend Susie Posner Jones who is the Regional Partnership Coordinator for Franklin-Grand Isle Community Partnership is going to be hosting members from the Vermont Community Foundation on Friday, June 6. They are meeting with lots of local organizations to introduce themselves and in particular have planned a meeting with the local arts community that day at 3:00 at the Staart Gallery in St. Albans. The steward that is coming is interested in the art and cultural heritage community for projects they may like to fund. It is a good opportunity to learn more about VCF and the different grant rounds as well as putting the art community of Franklin County on their map!

They are visiting to educate the community about VCF – the organization and the grant making. They are hoping to get some information from local artists about:
-What is attractive to you as an artist in Franklin County?
-What are the challenges of being an artist in FC?
-What is the network for artists in FC; support? Fundraising? Etc.?
-How does the art community impact the larger economic development of FC?

This meeting is open to all local artists and arts organizations. This is a very informal discussion – they are just looking to sit down and get to know Franklin County and vice versa. And hey, if they're looking for ways to give out money, it can't hurt to find out about that!

So Friday, June 6, 3:00 at Staart. Hope to see you there!


Featured Artist: Robert Chaperon Jr.

Robert has taken a hobbyist's interest and turned it into an avid artistic pursuit. See his work on display in the Staart store or visit his personal website for more samples of his work.

Robert's bio:
Born in Texas, Robert has been a Swanton resident since 1970. He went to high school at MVU, studied electrical engineering at UVM and is currently employed at IBM. Robert’s interest in photography started in 2003, when he started hiking the many trails in Vermont and New York. Awakened by the natural beauty that nature presents, he felt a sensation within that he wanted to share with others through photography. Sensations such as the cool spray of a waterfall splashing one’s face on a hot summer day, standing on a mountain top observing the colors and reflections of the sun setting over a lake in the west, or turning around and seeing the mountain shadow form a peak stretching its way towards the full moon rising in the east. Bob’s photography knowledge comes from reading many books and with much practice. His engineering education has allowed him to easily learn the technical part of digital photography. He acquires his artistic knowledge from reading many books written by authors such as Scott Kelby, Tim Fitzharris, and John Shaw. The most important part of being an artist of photography for Bob is expressing his inner feelings while having fun. He believes fine art photography should draw from our emotions.


Staart Open Studio!

Staart is participating in Vermont Open Studio this weekend, May 24-25. It promises to be an exciting event as arts aficionados tour the state. I have maps at the gallery for anyone who would like to grab one. We're number 180. If you would like more information you can visit the Vermont Crafts Council website or contact me. Staart will have several of its painters in the gallery on both days so if you would like to get an up-close glimpse of these artists at work, then please stop by. Refreshments will be available! Hope to see you.

Kim's a Busy Bee

One of Staart's artists, Kimberlee Forney has a few things coming up to make note of:

"Memorial Day weekend is the 16th annual VT OPEN STUDIO WEEKEND. I am very excited to be participating in this event. My studio/house will be open from 10am-5pm on SATURDAY MAY 24 AND SUNDAY MAY 25. Check out www.vermontcrafts.com for more information. My studio is # 156 on the art map (a blue brochure), which can be found at shops and stores throughout Vermont. The address is: 260 Barber Farm Rd. in Jericho (on the corner of rt. 117--only two miles from exit 11 on interstate 89).

In other art news Jazz fest in Burlington is fast approaching (May 30-June 7). Look for me on Church street during this time. Also, I am pleased to announce that I will be having a feature show at Nectar's in Burlington in conjunction with Jazz fest. The show will be up from May 29-end of June. If you haven't been to Nectar's lately (or at all), be sure to check it out! It is a great space, newly revamped and promoting not only musicians, but also local visual artists with monthly shows and art events."

Featured Artist: Kelly Duprat

Kelly Duprat is our talented jewelry artist with a wide selection of her modern pieces on display here at Staart. She's a busy girl keeping up with orders for her in-demand necklaces, earrings and bracelets! See some of her work here or check out her website for a wider selection. Kelly takes custom orders too!

Kelly's bio:
This native Nova Scotian found her way to Vermont a few years ago after studying design in Montreal. As a trained Interior Designer the leap into jewelry design seemed like a natural step for her. Kelly has a fresh and unique style that is clearly exhibited throughout all of her collections. She enjoys working with a variety of materials such as glass, wood, semiprecious stones, pearls, crystals and silver. She designs and handcrafts each piece with the highest regard for quality to provide her customers with a unique selection of beautiful jewelry. Kelly has a wide selection of her handmade pieces available at the Staart Gallery in St. Albans.


Not Hopscotch

This sounds like fun! If you go, takes pictures and send them to me and I'll post them on the blog!
Art's Alive, Inc presents 
Sidewalk Chalk Pastel Competition

The Sidewalk Chalk Pastel Competition is a unique art event that celebrates "live" art on a temporary canvas, allowing artists of all abilities to participate. This event is open and free to the public.

The goal of the pastel competition is to bring the Artist out in everyone whether it is the professional, weekend artist, amateur, student artist or child.

This event is at the heart of what Art's Alive is all about: bringing Art Alive!

The Sidewalk Chalk Pastel Competition is underwritten by the Main Street Landing Company and sponsored by Dore & Whittier Architects, Freeman French Freeman Architects, Black Horse Fine Art Supply, Discover Jazz Festival.

Date: Saturday, May 31st, 2008
Time: 10AM to 4PM (Judging: 4PM, Awards: 4:30PM)
Location: Burlington City Hall Park

Event Details
Each participant will receive a set of chalk pastels for their use during the event and will be allowed a 5' x 5' area of sidewalk. Sets will be available on a first-come first-serve basis and shall be returned when the artwork is completed. Artists are welcome to bring their own pastels if they wish. Artists may work individually or as teams.

We encourage everyone to arrive early. Artists may bring a photo or copy of the artwork they wish to reproduce. Reproductions of masterpieces are permitted.

Prizes will be awarded in the following categories:
Youth Ages 15 to 18,
Youth Ages 11 to 14, and
Youth Ages 7 to 10.

Musical Chairs!

Let me know if you make a chair or send me a pic and I'll post it here on the blog!

The Vermont Youth Orchestra Association seeks local artists working in all mediums to submit a “music inspired” chair design for the “Musical Chairs” Exhibit & Silent Auction, scheduled for Friday, November 7, 2008 from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. at a yet-to-be-determined location in the greater Burlington area (We are working on a few cool location ideas!).

The “Musical Chairs” event marks the culmination of an online auction of over one hundred items taking place during the month of October. Artist chairs may be featured within the online auction in order to gain starting bids. All completed chairs will be prominently displayed and sold to the highest bidders during the Exhibit & Silent Auction on November 7.

Details for Artists:

1. Donated chairs for artists to paint or embellish in any medium are available for pick up as of May 16 at the Elley-Long Music Center at Saint Michael’s College, located in Fort Ethan Allen in Colchester. Artists may drop in between 9am - 5pm, Monday through Friday, to select a chair and register to participate in the event.

2. Artists are asked to be mindful that this event is youth-oriented when executing their designs.

3. All chairs must be completed no later than October 1. Please contact the VYOA at 802-655-5030 or info@vyo.org to arrange the drop-off for completed chairs. Please plan to submit an artist bio and the source of inspiration for your Musical Chair at this time.
All proceeds from the “Musical Chairs” Exhibit & Silent Auction will directly benefit the programs of the Vermont Youth Orchestra Association, including orchestras, choruses and summer camps for young musicians.

For more details call 655-5030 or visit our website at www.vyo.org.

Featured Artist: Mary Ann Duffy Godin

Mary Ann has taken time in retirement to refine her artistic skills and it is apparent in her work. See samples of Mary Ann's work in the Staart store.

Mary Ann's bio:
Mary Ann Duffy Godin is new in the art world since she spent most of her adult life teaching at Milton High School as a business/technology teacher and raising five children. She retired from teaching in 2004 and decide to build on two drawing courses she had taken—one at the University of Vermont with Ed Owre and the other with Robert Huntoon at CCV, both of whom taught the classical approach to drawing. She has dabbled in drawing but since 2004 has mainly concentrated on the medium of watercolor. She credits Jean Cannon as being a valuable mentor. She is a member of the St. Albans Artists Guild, the STAART Gallery and the Milton Artists’ Guild. She is drawn to even the ordinary whether it be a still life with cloth, the simple beauty of flowers or everyday objects. She celebrates the humble.


Featured Artist: Chad Jenkins

Chad is another newcomer to the local art scene. View his flower close-ups that border on abstraction in the Staart store.

Chad's bio:
Chad Jenkins is a native Vermonter, born and raised in St. Albans. He describes himself as a “wicked amateur” when it comes to photography. Chad’s first serious experience in photography came in 2000. He went with the Vermont Army National Guard Public Affairs Unit on a humanitarian mission to Belize, Central America. He signed on as a “tripod bearer” but ended up taking thousands of photos. Chad chose this medium because “I can’t paint, and my clay modeling skills are limited to snakes.” Chad spends most of his free time gardening and traveling. Chad works full-time for the Army National Guard and lives in St. Albans with his wife and daughter.


Featured Artist: Deborah Benoit

Deborah could be labeled as a photographer and digital artist. She refines colors and adds textures to her photographs to produce some interesting results. See samples of Deb's work in the Staart store or visit her personal site.

Deborah's bio:
“I grew up in Burlington, Vermont and where I also attended high school. I was married at an early age, had two daughters who have given me 7 grandchildren. I have always liked taking pictures. The passion for photography wasn`t there when I was younger like it is now at an older age. Now at the age of 59 it is something that I love and try to do as much as possible. I am a very passionate self-educated amateur photographer with a variety of subjects in my photos. I carry my digital camera most places I go as there could be a photo opportunity anywhere. For me, photography is seeing what you can create with the camera. It is creating art. I constantly strive to improve my talent to become a better photographer than I am now. In the process I am having a wonderful time being creative and nurturing my soul. It makes me happy to bring joy to someone who has viewed my art and has felt something. I sometimes use Photoshop to enhance a photo I have taken to help to make it look more like a painting. I am now living in Williston, Vermont.


Featured Artist: Harald Aksdal

Knowing Harald's history is the key to understanding his technique so be sure to read his bio below. His paintings are so meticulous that they are best seen in person. See samples of his work in the Staart store here and visit his personal site for even more!

Harald's bio:
Harald Aksdal retired from a long career in architecture only to immediately launch his second career as an artist. In his three years as a professional artist, his work has gained widespread acclaim. Harald's thirty-five years of experience as an architect are evident in the intricacies and detail of his ink drawings. But he also craved a level of creativity found outside the structure of his discipline and was soon drawn to the fluidity of watercolor. In his work, he combines both of these sensibilities. Harald's subject matter is chosen through a passion and deep respect for the rural and natural world, especially trees. In his own words he says, "the subject chooses me!" Each piece begins with an on-location sketch and is then completed in the studio. "I try to move beyond my architect's critical eye to incorporate touches of the abstract in an effort to convey a sense of presence and substance, as well as my admiration for the subject." Harald's work has been included in several juried exhibitions throughout Vermont including the Shelburne Farms Annual exhibition and in several art galleries including the Emile A. Gruppe Gallery in Jericho and the Bryan Memorial Gallery in Jeffersonville. He was born in Haugesund, Norway and educated in the United States. He now lives in Fairfax.


Featured Artist: Mary Fletcher

Mary's photographs depict a range of subject matter, but some of my favorites are her abstractions. See Mary's work at Staart here.

Mary's bio:
Born in Burlington Vermont, Mary Fletcher came to Franklin County in the early 1980’s to settle and raise a family. Photography has always been one of Mary’s passions, having purchased her first 35mm camera at age 16. Mary’s many interests are shared by her 4 children, including photography. “One of my greatest pleasures is spending time with my children (all grown now) and enjoying their many interests. From them, I have learned so much!” Mary currently attends Woodbury College, where she is pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Advocacy/Prevention. In addition to attending school, Mary also works as the Office Administrator at RE/MAX Destinations in St. Albans Vermont. “When time allows, I enjoy travelling, gardening and taking aerial photos with my best friend Jeff as pilot. I have learned so much about myself through my photography, and I am grateful for the support from all of my friends in my endeavors.”


Featured Artist: Nelson Parker

Nelson Parker is the perfect example of new technology combining with traditional practices to produce beautiful results. See more of Nelson's work here.

Nelson's bio:
Nelson is a black and white photographer living in northwestern Vermont.

Working extensively with 5x7 and 4x5 field cameras, he employs traditional film-based photography combined with digital imaging techniques.

The photographs here are an attempt to connect with his immediate surroundings, as all of them were taken either within walking distance of his home or within a 20 minute drive.

He feels it’s important to live in the landscape he’s interested in photographing as that is the best way to really get to know an area’s moods and subtleties at all times of the day and in all seasons.


The Gala

Well, the St. Albans Artists Guild annual show and gala has come and gone again and it was another great year. Well, actually if you're reading this right now, you still have until 4:00 to get your keister up to the St. Albans Historical Museum to see the show. All the work is new, so you're guaranteed to see work you've never seen before. As usual, it's a great display!

David Juaire took some pics during the gala (I was happy he did so that I had more hands for eating and drinking). I thought I would share a couple and eventually there will be a slideshow on the guild's website. I must say the wine (really) flowed and the canolis were unbelievable! It was so fun to get out and chat with everyone. Job well done, especially to Sheri Moore and Karen Day-Vath who helped pull it all together.

I especially liked this one of Corliss looking guilty! Hey, I didn't stray too far from the food table all evening.


Franklin County Student Show

The Franklin County school-wide art show will be open to the public from May 5th to 12th at the Collins Perley Sports and Fitness Center in St. Albans. Many area schools are participating in the 7th annual event. This is always a huge show with hundreds of student pieces in all types of media. Friends, family, and the general public are also invited to the opening reception on Monday the 5th from 5:30-7:30 pm.


Featured Artist: Suzanne Kenyon

Suzanne has spent the past few years honing her photographic expertise and improving the quality of her work. She has an eye for the graphic elements that make a photograph stand out from the rest. See Suzanne's work on display here.

Suzanne's bio:
Suzanne Kenyon has her hands full raising her four children in Swanton, Vermont, but she still finds a little time to devote to creating art. A lifelong Vermonter, Suzanne's photography has evolved from a small hobby to a more serious endeavor. Although she enjoys taking plenty of family photos, she also likes to turn her lens on nature. "I'm always intrigued by the changing seasons," she says. Through her photography she is always inspired by what surrounds her and hopes that it will keep her focused on what nature has to offer. Suzanne's creativity was given a boost when she switched from using film to shooting digital. The limitless boundaries of digital photography have allowed her more room to experiment. Suzanne also dabbles in watercolor and charcoal. Suzanne won a first place award in the "Up Close" category of the 2006 St. Albans Messenger Photo Contest.