Events around Windham County

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Photographs of Buhtan and India at Vermont Academy

International award-winning photographers Dan Mead and Sally Eagle are featuring a photography exhibit at Vermont Academy from their travels in Bhutan and India, two neighboring countries with vastly different cultures. Mead and Eagle have been exploring together for 40 years and documenting their travels from the Himalayas to the Antarctic, Patagonia to Namibia, and the Western United States to Iceland.

The exhibit runs through Feb. 19 and is located in Horowitz Performing Arts Hall on the Vermont Academy campus.

"The experience of visiting and photographing these two countries is as different as you would expect, despite their being neighbors. The peacefulness of the open spaces and mountains of Bhutan is in powerful contrast to the chaos and crowds of India's cities. Where there is the unifying religion of Buddhism in Bhutan, one can witness a multitude of religious practices in India," said Mead and Eagle.

The people of these two countries each welcome visitors with an incredible level of warmth. They are each deservedly proud of their respective cultures and are more than willing to share their love of place with anyone who takes the time to listen and observe.

The exhibit is generously sponsored by the Bob '37 and Beth Campbell Endowment.

On Friday, Feb. 12, at 7:30 p.m., Write Action will be hosting a reading of poems and short prose on the topic of Mercy at the Blue Dot in the Hooker-Dunham Building in Brattleboro. In December, the non-profit organization, which supports writing and writers in the tri-state area, solicited the public for short pieces on this topic. Friday's event will bring together some of the writers who responded to the call for written work on the theme of mercy.

This year's invitation to write on one of the virtues is the second such writing prompt that Write Action has shepherded. Last year the organization solicited short stories of 500 words or less on the theme of hope. The group hopes to gather together a collection of writings on virtues, and to publish them in some form.

Portions of Friday's event will also be recorded, and Write Action plans to play some of the recordings on the Write Action Radio Hour, the group's radio show that is broadcast on WVEW, 107.7 FM, Brattleboro's community radio station. The show on "Mercy" will be broadcast on Sunday, Feb. 21, from 5 to 6 p.m.

People with more questions about Friday's event can contact Rolf Parker at booksfromvermont@yahoo.com

Guilford Center Stage announces 2016 season

Guilford Center Stage continues into its second year with spring and fall productions of plays with strong connections to Guilford, continuing its mission to present place-based theater on the stage at Broad Brook Grange. The new theater project debuted last fall with a production of the comedy, Tourists Accommodated, by Vermont author, Dorothy Canfield Fisher, who often visited Guilford.

A pair of one-acts by Guilford playwright Michael Nethercott opens the 2016 season in early June. At the other end of the season, Charles W. Henry, who was born in Guilford in 1850, will be represented by his only known extant play, performed on the stage with the theater curtains which he painted around 1900.

Interestingly, all three plays are set in the period 1911-14, a golden age for touring theater troupes, which traveled throughout the region, performing on stages such as the one in Guilford Center. The Henry play, A Battle of Wits, to be directed by William Stearns in October, is set at the time of the outbreak of World War I.

Michael Nethercott, an award-winning playwright and author of two recently-published mystery novels, has based both of his one-act plays on historical events, which took place months apart in 1911 and 1912. The Lace Jury is based on one of the first all-women juries in the country. Nocturne Titanica is a mythological take on the sinking of the Titanic. Nethercott will direct these premiere performances of his work.

Auditions for the plays will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 6 to 8 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 28, 3 to 5 p.m. at the Grange in Guilford Center, with more details to be announced shortly.

The Center Stage season will also include a weeklong Theater Camp the third week in August, for 9- to 13-year-olds, co-produced with the Guilford Free Library. The morning sessions will take place on the Center Stage, with mostly-outdoor activities in the afternoons based at the Library.

For general information, contact Don McLean at inscapevt@myfairpoint.net or 802-257-1961; for audition information, Michael Nethercott at micott@comcast.net or 802-380-2184.

BUHS Music Department presents 'Rent: School Edition'

The Brattleboro Union High School Music Department will present the popular musical RENT: School Edition on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, Feb. 11, 12, and 13 in the BUHS Auditorium. The Thursday performance will begin at 4 p.m., Friday and Saturday evening performances will begin at 7 p.m. Due to the mature content of this show, parents are advised that this show is not suitable for children under 13 years old. Admission is $6 for all seats at Thursday's show, $10 for all seats at Friday's and Saturday's evening shows. Senior citizens' tickets are $6 for all performances. Tickets will be available in the front office of the high school on weekdays between the hours of 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.. or at the door. Further information is available from the BUHS Ticket Desk at 802-451-3407.

Set in the East Village of New York City, RENT: School Edition is about falling in love, finding your voice and living for today. Based loosely on Puccini's La Boheme, RENT: School Edition follows a year in the life of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create under the shadow of HIV/AIDS. The physical and emotional complications of the disease pervade the lives of Roger, Mimi, Tom and Angel.

The BUHS production features Ian Epstein (Roger Davis), Malcolm Toleno (Mark Cohen), Clark Hamm (Tom Collins), Jackson Levengood (Benjamin Coffin III), Vanessa Brown (Joanne Jefferson), Garrett Williams (Angel Schunard), Christol Long (Mimi Marquez), and Cassie Dunn (Maureen Johnson).

Shape Note Singing, participatory singing open to all

All are welcome to sing shape note music on Sunday, Feb. 21, from 3 to 5:30 p.m.. Shape note singing is powerful, a Capella singing in four part harmony - joyful, deeply moving, and spiritual. Using a form of musical notation developed in New England around 1800, singers first sing through the notes using their syllable names. Song choice and leadership are shared by all who wish. The songs are beautiful and just plain fun to sing. Listeners, beginners and people of all ages are invited to sing this powerful and beautiful music in four part harmony. No musical experience necessary. We sing from The Sacred Harp and Northern Harmony and books will be available to use. A potluck snack will be shared. Free.

At St. Michael's Episcopal Church, 16 Bradley Ave., Brattleboro. Enter through the red door on the lower level, off the narrow section of the parking lot. Parking on the street or behind the church. We'll be singing in the upstairs meeting room.

The singing is open to all, beginners, listeners, and long time singers. Come sing with us!

Arts Council of Windham County kicks off monthly tv show on BCTV

ArtStory is a new show that debuted on Brattleboro Community Television on Monday, Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. ArtStory is a monthly Arts Council of Windham County show featuring the faces, sights, and sounds of all of the creativity thriving in the region. The goal of the show is to have another way of illustrating what and how we create in this region. This area has often been a fertile ground for inspiration and creativity. ACWC President, Shanta Lee says that the show is "More about 'showing rather than telling', we want to invite you all into the various worlds of the artists and creative's who live here through this show!" You can expect to see ArtStory air regularly each month. If you miss the show, announcements and clips about airing can be viewed on the ACWC Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/ArtsCouncilOfWindhamCounty. If you are an artist in the area and interested on being featured on the show contact ACWC President, Shanta Lee at 802-275-8152 or email shantavns@gmail.com.

Recent work by Judy Hawkins debuts in West Brattleboro

Painter Judy Hawkins, whose studio is a popular stop on the annual Putney Craft Tour in November, is showing recent work in gallery spaces at All Souls Church UU in West Brattleboro through the end of March. An artist's reception is set for Saturday, Feb. 13 from 2 to 4 p.m.

Judy knew she was an artist from the age of five or six and always seemed to have a view of her surroundings that was different from that of her friends. "When I paint," she shares, "I have an internal 'dialog' with myself. I think this 'conversation' is hard-wired, but I've only recently recognized how important and integrated it is to how I see and interpret my sensory world, and how it takes form and color in my painting."

In addition to her familiar luminous landscapes, Judy's recent paintings "explore water in varied dimensions, from the pond bottom through layers of water, to surface tension and reflection, to water splashes and ripples. . . . I begin a new painting at the top and work my way down, working quickly to establish mood through color and composition. I allow the paint, drips and accidental color combinations, to guide my vision."

Her paintings take shape through the layering of thin glazes of oil paint on canvas, removing and blending color with turpentine and rags, and reapplying paint again and again. This evolutionary process results in paintings that often end up quite different from their beginnings. Sometimes she even revisits older work to allow reinterpretation, "using the painting as a 'jumping off point' for change and renewal. I let the process take me where it will."

After studying at the Boston University School of Fine Arts and the Brooklyn Museum School, Judy majored in art at Windham College in Putney, and later taught design and drawing there. Now retired from teaching special education in Vermont Public Schools, she has taught painting privately to middle/high school students and adults in her studio.

The reception on Feb. 13 offers an opportunity to talk with the artist about her work and the creative process, as well as enjoy a bountiful refreshment table provided by the All Souls Arts Committee. Otherwise, the gallery is open for visitors during public events in the building as well as 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In addition to the Judy Hawkins exhibit, several paintings, photographs, prints, and fine art posters from the Beverly Alberts Collection, donated to All Souls in 2015, are available for purchase in the Main Hall.

All Souls Church Unitarian Universalist is in the West Village Meeting House at 29 South St., across from the West Brattleboro village green, about 1.2 miles along Rte. 9 from Exit 2 off I-91. Take a left at the blinking light, passing the fire station, and head across South St. up the church driveway to a parking area by the building. All Souls is handicap-accessible. For further information, call 802-254-9377.


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