All across the USA, craftspeople and those who love their work are celebrating American Craft Week October 4-13. In Vermont we extend our celebration to the whole month of October which the Governor has proclaimed American Craft Month.
Our friend Greg Worden at Vermont Artisans Designs on Main Street in Brattleboro was influential in making that happen. He’s also one of the founders of Craft Retailers & Artists for Tomorrow (CRAFT), the non-profit organization that sponsors Craft Week. Members of CRAFT are dedicated to presenting artistic work with one common characteristic– it’s handmade in the USA:
“American Craft enriches our homes, wardrobes, offices and public spaces. It contributes to our nation’s economy, our balance of trade, and the fabric of our national history. It is original, beautiful and enduring, so let’s tell the world!”
This seems like a good opportunity to publicly thank Greg for his leadership and tireless efforts in promoting the top artists and craftspeople in Vermont and throughout New England. If you love high end crafts and fine art but you haven’t already been to Greg’s Vermont Artisans Designs– put it on your to do list! Here’s a short video of Greg’s gallery. It’s worth a trip, as testified on his website by art lovers from across America.
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.
Vermont’s Most Surprising Art Galleries: Our Welcome Centers
Lucky me. I stopped by the Interstate 91 N Guilford Welcome Center (a mile south of Brattleboro on I91) the other day to drop off some brochures and stumbled upon a beautiful collection of oil paintings by nationally acclaimed Vermont artist, Paul Stone. You never know what amazing stuff you’re going to find at Vermont’s Welcome Centers (it’s not unusual for Paul Stone’s painting to sell for over $10,000 each)!
Paul Stone is a master at capturing quintessential Vermont rural scenes like the barns and farmhouses in my snapshot above. He’s known for his use of light, shadows and a vibrant palette to create scenes that are realistic and abstract at the same time. Maybe it’s because I live in Vermont but when I look at Paul’s work I feel like I’m inside his scenes, enjoying the view and the moment.
Apparently many others around the world feel a similar connection to Paul’s work because it hangs in numerous corporate and private collections around the world. Paul Stone’s shows are relatively rare events so if you love art and you’re coming to Vermont to enjoy the last few days of leaf peeping season be sure to stop at the Guilford Welcome center and take this one in.
A little bit of background about the artist: Paul is a native Vermonter who grew up in Westminster and has been painting since he was a young boy. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Tufts University. While I was admiring Paul’s paintings, I happened to see my neighbors from Earth’s Supergrains who told me Paul used to be their dentist. What? Like this post if you think it’s unfair for one person to have such an abundance of talent. Haha!