Vermont Contemporary Painter | Susan Osgood
Vermont Contemporary Painter, Susan Osgood Susan Osgood creates beautiful, colorful oil paintings (on paper, canvas and wood) inspired by such muses as snakes, rivers, hands and maps.

Last week Dennis and Kelsey and I went to Mondo MediaWorks in downtown Brattleboro where owner, Luke Stafford was hosting a Vermont Life Magazine Pitch Party.  Such a cool idea:  Mary Hegarty Nowlan and her staff from Vermont Life were traveling around the state inviting people to pitch their artwork, businesses, personal stories and such– for possible inclusion in future magazine issues.  So we pitched our Stonehurst Fine Furniture and Art Gallery story.  But the best part of the evening (other than free pizza, beer and wine) was getting to meet and hear the stories of many unique, talented and fascinating Vermonters.

Susan Osgood was one of them. She creates beautiful, colorful oil paintings (on paper, canvas and wood) inspired by such muses as snakes, rivers, hands and maps.  Susan showed us photos of many of her contemporary works and discussed the challenges of trying to make a living as an artist.  As with most artists, Susan has a second job.  Lucky for her (and the rest of us) it’s also in the art world.  She works for the University of Chicago’s archaeological project in Luxor, Egypt and has spent the last 25 winters there drawing the carved and painted reliefs of ancient tombs and temples.  Susan also worked on the KV 63 Tomb Project, (the first new tomb to be discovered in the Valley of the Kings since Tutankhamun’s in 1922) creating drawings of the coffins.  Wow, can you imagine being entrusted to record and interpret these pieces of human history dating back 3500 years or more?

As I listened to Susan’s presentation and that of several other artists, I was thinking of an article* written earlier this year, by Dave Ackert of the LA Times and realizing how true his words are:

“Artists are some of the most driven, courageous people on the face of the earth. They deal with more day-to-day rejection in one year than most people do in a lifetime…. Every day, artists face the financial challenge of living a freelance lifestyle, the disrespect of people who think they should get real jobs, and their own fear that they’ll never work again. Every day, they have to ignore the possibility that the vision they have dedicated their lives to is a pipe dream. With every role, they stretch themselves, emotionally and physically, risking criticism and judgment. With every passing year, many of them watch as the other people their age achieve the predictable milestones of normal life – the car, the family, the house, the nest egg. Why? Because artists are willing to give their entire lives to a moment – to that line, that laugh, that gesture, or that interpretation that will stir the audience’s soul. Artists are beings who have tasted life’s nectar in that crystal moment when they poured out their creative spirit and touched another’s heart. In that instant, they were as close to magic and perfection as anyone could ever be. And in their own hearts, they know that to dedicate oneself to that moment is worth a thousand lifetimes.”

Agree?  Tell Susan thanks for all the hard work she’s put into touching our hearts, opening our minds and stirring our souls.

*  Thanks to another Vermont artist, Linda Eaton-Marcille of Crow House Studio for re-posting Dave Ackert’s article on her facebook.

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Open Studio Weekend
Support our local artists during the Vermont Craft Councils Open Studio Weekend May 25th and 26th.

Vermont Craft Council Open Studio Weekend

Memorial Day weekend is usually a time when most New Englanders open their swimming pools, break out the barbecues and attend parades and memorials honoring those that have served our country. Many organizations use this time to open their doors to travelers during the three-day weekend. If you will be traveling May 25th or 26th, one event that is a must-see is the Vermont Craft Councils Open Studio Weekend Tour. This is a bi-annual event, held once in the spring and once in the fall, and is a great time for anyone who enjoys arts and crafting.

Artists throughout southern Vermont will be displaying their work at various showrooms and galleries during the open studio weekend. You’ll be able to find everything from paintings to sculptures to pottery and even wood furniture. A few of our favorite furniture makers in the Dorset area like Steve Holman, Dan Mosheim, Bob Gasperetti and Bill Laberge will be opening their doors to fine furniture and art enthusiasts.

If you are an avid art lover, this open studio weekend is a great opportunity to not only take in various art but you’ll also be able to see the places where artists work and be able to buy or order work directly from the studio and speak to the artist directly. The Vermont Craft Council strives to make this an educational and enriching event for all who participate.

Here you can find a map of all participating artists and what they’ll have on display.  Also check out their 10 Ways to Plan your Open Studio Tour, which is full of great tips for scheduling your weekend.

The weather is supposed to be beautiful for being out and about during the holiday weekend, so why not venture to a few southern Vermont galleries for some art enrichment and education. Let us know what you plan to do this weekend here in the comments or on our facebook.

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Fabric Art by Karen Kamenetzky | Handmade in Vermont
This is a screen shot I took of a Google image search for Karen Kamenetzky’s fiber art.  The google collage is just my random sampling of Karen’s body of work but look how coherent it is!  If you’re a fine art lover, subscribe to Karen’s blog and get the latest on exhibitions of her work in Vermont, New England and beyond.  You have to see it to believe it.  

I don’t know how to describe for you how beautiful Karen Kamenetzky’s  fiber art is.  It really has to be seen to be appreciated, but I thought I’d make an attempt by posting this screen shot I derived from a Google image search for “Karen Kamenetzky”.  Wow.  The image above is just my random sampling of Karen’s body of work but look how coherent it is!  How can dozens of works, over years (maybe decades?) of time be placed together so randomly and look so integrated?  I love Karen’s choice of colors and shapes and the illusion of movement.  It’s remarkable, don’t you think?

You don’t see that much fiber art anymore.  I’m so happy it’s making a comeback in the vibrant, contemporary works of Karen Kamenetzky.  A little bit about the artist:

Karen works out of a typical Southern Vermont studio tucked into the woods of West Brattleboro.  “I dye, paint and stitch cottons and silks to create boldly colored wallhangings inspired by microscopic/cellular imagery – a kind of visual invented biology with textiles.  I find this imagery metaphorically rich since all change fundamentally happens on this infinitesimal level.”  Karen shares information and inside scoops about her work, techniques, philosophy, inspiration and gallery exhibits on her fiber arts blog and on her Facebook.

If you love it as much as I do, you might want to consider attending the Brattleboro Museum and Arts Center Apple Blossom Gala on May 10th at 7pm at Alyson’s Orchard in Walpole, NH where Karen’s “Cellscape II” is up for auction.  You could be the lucky bidder and end up taking this piece of fine art home.  But even if you’re not you’ll still find “lots of wonderful, innovative art for auction, a good cause, great people, delicious food and a raucous wine tasting!”  Hope to see you there.

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Custom Furniture Makers | Dorset Vermont
Meet the master craftsmen of Dorset Vermont.  From left:  Bill Laberge, Bob Gasperetti, Steve Holman and Dan Mosheim.  These guys are world class expert furniture designers and woodworkers.  Their beautiful creations grace the Green Mountain State as well as public and private homes, businesses and galleries the world over.  

Dorset is one of the prettiest hamlets in all of Vermont, so Dennis and I were happy to make the trek to Dorset Custom Furniture last Friday.  For us, the main attraction wasn’t the quaint New England Village architecture or the view of the Green Mountain Forest.  It was to meet with Dan Mosheim and three more of Dorset’s famous custom furniture makers.  I guess it’s no coincidence that four of the country’s finest craftsmen have set up shop in this idyllic spot.  Dorset is quintessential Vermont at it’s finest and it’s natural beauty inspires artists and craftspeople from all walks of life.

Once we found our way to the slice of paradise that’s home to Dorset Custom Furniture we caught up with Dan, his wife Kit, and their sons Will and Sam.  The whole family is involved in the arts, creating not only furniture but also jewelry, musical instruments and sculpture.

Dan had invited three other powerhouses in custom furniture to meet with us:  Steve Holman of Holman Studios, Bob Gasperetti and Bill Laberge.  We were brainstorming ways to collaborate in shining a light on Vermont’s long legacy of creating sustainable, high end, custom furniture.  Dennis and I extended an invitation to the Dorset crowd to show their furniture at Stonehurst, our new fine furniture gallery so we will be working with them to make that happen before our grand opening this summer.

If you’re wandering around the world of Vermont arts and crafts before that, be sure to drop by Dorset and visit these fine furniture craftsmen in their studios.  I think you’ll find that in commissioning a piece of their custom furniture, you are acquiring much more that a functional piece of art.  I’m not sure how to describe but it has to do with getting in touch with a level of authenticity that is often missing in our lives.  I think you’ll just have to go to Dorset and check it out for yourself.  Then tell us about your experience on Facebook.  Happy travels!

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Vermont Fine Furniture Festival
These good-natured master craftspeople are the winners of the 6th Annual Vermont Fine Furniture & Woodworking Festival.  Find out who they are and see their award winning furniture and accessories on VWMA’s  Flickr page.

Vermont woodworkers: the 10th Annual Vermont Fine Furniture Festival is upon us.  Hard to believe it’s been ten years since VWMA (the Vermont Wood Manufacturer’s Association) first led the initiative to share Vermont’s exquisitely beautiful handmade wood furniture with the rest of the world.  Kathleen Wanner and a number of other visionaries in the Vermont wood working community began work in 2003 on what is now one of the Top 10 Fall Events in New England.  It’s the Vermont Fine Furniture and Woodworking Festival and woodworkers throughout the Green Mountain State are encouraged to participate.

This year the Fine Furniture Festival is being held September 28-29 in Woodstock, Vermont at the Union Arena.  Woodworkers can contact Erin Lorentz at VWMA to register for the show and/or the annual design competition (more about that later).  Just to let fellow Vermont woodworkers know… the show really has an expansive reach.  In addition to hundreds of craftsmanship fans from New England you may well meet customers from across America, Canada and beyond.  We had a couple from California come to visit us at the festival a few years ago and we’ve run into shoppers from Alberta, UK and Germany as well.  Vermont fine furniture has a good reputation and a far reach!

The woodworking festival is paired with the Forest Festival at Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park on the same weekend and free shuttle buses run between the two locations.  This gives visitors a chance to see and experience the sustainable forests of Vermont that supply the wood our furniture is made of.  I can’t think of a better way for visitors to spend a sunny Autumn day, than taking in these two quintessential Vermont festivals.  Be a part of it!

 

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.