Fine & Performing Arts Department News

Spring 2012

Sean Clute (Fine & Performing Arts) performed at the
Cool NY Dance Festival at the John Ryan Theater in
Brooklyn, N.Y. He has received a grant to attend
the International Symposium of Electronic Art next
fall in New Mexico. This is a major conference that rarely
takes place in the U.S.

Ken Leslie (Fine & Performing Arts) produced a new artist's
book, Iqaluit Winter Cycle — part of his "Top of the
World" series — in Iqaluit (Baffin Island, Nunavut) Canada.
In addition to producing this new work, he shared
his past efforts with that Arctic community and donated
limited-edition prints of his previously completed Iqaluit
Summer Cycle to the Nunatta Sunaqutangit Museum, the
City of Iqaluit Library and the Nunavut Tourist Bureau.

Paintings by Marc Awodey (Fine & Performing Arts)
recently appeared in group shows at Studio Place Arts in
Barre; the Bryan Gallery in Jeffersonville; and Gallery Z in
Providence, R.I.

Bethany Plissey (Fine & Performing Arts) and 24 members of the JSC Chamber Singers logged 893 miles during spring break to perform 10 concerts in Vermont and Maine. The tour concluded with a marvelous and well-received performance April 3 at the Second Congregational Church in Hyde Park.

Landscape paintings and drawings by Marie LaPre
(Fine & Performing Arts) were displayed at the Governor's Gallery on the fifth floor of the Pavilion Office Building in Montpelier. The exhibit was named a "Best Bet" by the Burlington Free Press.

Fall 2011

Out There, an exhibit of new works by Ken Leslie (Fine & Performing Arts), was displayed at JSC's Julian Scott Gallery in Dibden Center for the Arts. The exhibit featured the six arctic cycles that Ken had painted since his last Dibden exhibition -- northern Finland, Norway, Iqaluit and Iceland. The show also included "Night Journal" -- a year of painting the sky every night, as Ken puts it, "before toothbrushing and bedtime."

This exhibit followed Ken's art show in the summer,
featuring works from his "Top of the World" series, at
the Governor's Gallery in the Pavilion Office Building
in Montpelier. Ken was granted permission to use the golden dome of the Vermont capitol as a studio over the next year to paint a cycle of Montpelier from that vantage
point, with the presumption that the work will go into
the state's collection.

John Miller (Fine & Performing Arts) was one of three
photographers featured in "Visions of Place" at the
Vermont Folklife Center in Middlebury. The exhibit posed the question, "What do we value most about Vermont, and how is this relevant to the challenges we face today?"

Jan Herder (Dibden and Fine & Performing Arts)
won an international competition to sustain an archaeological site in Naples using Web 2.0 and
emerging technologies. His project, for the Naples 2.0
Social Innovation Challenge #2: Making a Roman Bath
Accessible and Sustainable, uses social media and virtual
worlds, combined with an ecologically sustainable
Visitor's Center, to support the transformation of an
archaeological site into an ecotourism destination. The
proposal, based upon his 23 years of JSC experience using
hands-on experiential learning to empower students in
a technological and creative environment, aims to create
jobs through community-supported conservation.
He will be facilitating the work of Italian students
on site and online as they serve as stewards for the

Summer 2011

Paintings by Joe Salerno (Fine & Performing Arts) were
exhibited in "A Certain Light" at the Julie Heller East gallery in Provincetown, MA.

Choreographer and dancer Pauline Jennings
(Fine & Performing Arts) and five artists toured 10
European countries in 39 days. The group performed work in a variety of venues and met interesting local artists and hosts.

Spring 2011

Professor Ken Leslie wrote from his residency at the Gestavinnustofa in Akureyri, Iceland — where he returned to paint the winter version of his Akureyri summer book — to announce his exhibit at the galleri BOXI from January 6-12. In June 1999 Ken painted Sólstöður à Akureyri, a 24-page circular artist’s book that followed the sun, one page per hour, as it circled the full 360-degree panorama of the city as seen from Akureyrarkirkja. Since then he has painted similar “cycle” works around the Arctic in summer and in winter, in watercolor on folded paper that opens to 50"-diameter circles.

Professor Sean Clute was acknowledged by Debra Egan, director of scholar programs with the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, for his service on a Fulbright review panel. In addition, he and his wife, choreographer Pauline Jennings, were the subject of a "State of the Artsfeature in the March 2 issue of Seven Days titled “A Multitasking Couple Create Dance and Digital-Art Performance in Vermont.”

Instructor Marc Awodey, a painter and contributing art critic for Seven Days in addition to his faculty position at JSC, has an exhibit of 40 paintings in the Dibden Wings Gallery. The exhibit will remain through the summer.

Instructor Sherlock Terry (Fine & Performing Arts and First- Year Experience) was on the list of those credited for helping with a short film, The Dragon Wall, which premiered at the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center in January. The film, by Mark Freeman and Brandon St. Cyr, will be making the rounds of film festivals.

Professor Bethany Plissey spent the Saturday before Commencement as a judge for the Vermont “X-Factor” singing auditions, held at the Sheraton-Burlington. The X-Factor, another in a series of “American Idol”-type TV shows, will air next fall. Auditions were hosted by the local ABC/FOX network affiliate, which is sending the winner to Dallas to compete. Bethany used the opportunity to promote JSC’s Fine & Performing Arts programs.

Just before Commencement, Visual Arts Center faculty members furiously packed all the gems and detritus of the building to get ready for their temporary diaspora into McClelland Hall and the Laraway School for the fall semester. On Friday the 13th, they gave a farewell toast to the old building, which has served students and faculty well over the years but now merits newer and better quarters. Renovations are under way.

Professor Sean Clute created sound for a new dance called Duplexity performed by DOUBLE VISION in San Francisco. Sean’s music Hysteresis was performed with dance by DOUBLE VISION at Tisch School of the Arts at New York University in NYC. He also will be working as a peer reviewer for the graphic design program at the Center for Technology, Essex.

Instructor Torry Patrick won the “Best Camera Award” at the 2011 northeast regional conference of the American College Dance Festival Association for her work on “The Camera Betrays You!”

Instructor Marjorie Kramer was mentioned and quoted in Alice Neel: The Art of NotSitting Pretty, a new book by Phoebe Hoban. In 1970 Marjorie organized an exhibit of art by feminists that included work by Alice Neel, then distributed an artists’ petition to the Whitney Museum calling for Neel to be included in the prestigious “Whitney Annual” exhibit. It worked, and the Whitney presented a retrospective of Neel’s art.

Professor Ken Leslie will mount an exhibition of his work in the Governor’s Corridor of the Pavilion Office Building in Montpelier during June and July. He has also been working with Bread and Puppet in Glover to set up a series of internship opportunities for JSC students in performance,

printmaking and puppet making that is slated to kick off in the fall.


Fall 2010

Professor John Miller began his sabbatical this summer photographing the “working landscape” in two regions in Italy: rural Umbria, with its rolling topography similar to that of Vermont; and parts of Campagna, with its densely populated Bay of Naples region near Mt. Vesuvius, Pompei and south to Amalfi. In addition to taking portraits of farmers, gardeners, grocers, vintners, olive oil producers, loggers, hunters, butchers and shepherds, John is documenting how contemporary industry and commerce are creeping into the pastoral landscape, using both aerial photography and on-the-ground object/land “juxtacompositions” of traditional and contemporary motifs. His next photography project will be in the Great Plains and American West, observing a working landscape of much larger scale.

Professor Mary Martin recently performed an appraisal and conducted provenance research of a khasa (Fulani textile), verifying its authenticity for a private collector.

Professor Sean Clute has been optimizing and integrating new software into our Media Arts Research Studio and designing a number of courses, including Advanced Digital Media (Documentary), Special Topics (Video), Advanced Digital (Animation), Introduction to Digital Media, and a new first-year seminar. In addition, he has been selected as an artist in residence at the Silo at Kirkland Farm in Springtown, Pennsylvania, and his work in collaboration with the inter-media performance group DOUBLE VISION has been reviewed by the Australian magazine Dance Informa. He will present his new work at JSC’s Julian Scott Memorial Gallery in March 2011.

Professor Ken Leslie just served as one of two reviewers for the external-review process of the art programs at SUNY Plattsburgh. In December and January, Ken will return to the far north of Iceland, as a guest of the Gilfelagid — the art foundation of Akureyri, Iceland’s second largest city — where he will exhibit his “Arctic Cycles” work and serve as visiting artist. Back in Vermont, state curator David Schutz has invited Ken to exhibit his work in the Governor’s Corridor of the Pavilion Building in Montpelier in June and July 2011.

Instructor Marjorie Kramer exhibited her work in June, at the Blue Mountain Gallery in Manhattan’s Chelsea district. The show was “Evolution of a Gallery: Green Mountain to Blue Mountain 1968-2010,” in celebration of the gallery’s 30th anniversary. The exhibit included an extensive catalog with a gallery history written by Marjorie, who managed the venue from 1968 to 1978 — a time of low rents in Manhattan that benefited the city’s painters, dancers, poets and others. More recently, Julifer Mellett, granddaughter of gallery founder Lucien Day of Craftsbury and Bronxville, was in Marjorie’s JSC Drawing I class while still in high school. Julifer exhibited her work in JSC’s Julian Scott Memorial Gallery in October.

Instructor Marc Awodey published a feature story about Stowe-area artists in the November-December issue of Art New England. His review of Jonathan Gregg’s exhibit at JSC appeared in a September  issue of Seven Days.

Instructor Marie LaPre Grabon was a guest speaker in the discussion series “Both Sides of the Coin: The Creative Process and Marketing the Work” November 5 at River Arts in Morrisville. At the time of  her talk, Marie was exhibiting her show, “Recent Landscapes: Taken to the Limit,” at River Arts.

Professor Maris Wolff has been working with Stephanie Lockhart from the Center for America’s First Horse (in Johnson), the Equus Project/Dancing with Horses (in New York City) and JSC’s Equus Club to bring a workshop on “Dancing with Horses” to JSC March 18-20, 2011.


Summer 2010

Professor Russ Longtin played Professor Marvel and the Wizard in the QuarryWorks production of "The Wizard of Oz," this summer — his eighth QuarryWorks season. Several of Longtin's past and present students were also in the show.

The gallery at River Arts in Morrisville featured a celebration of recent work by eight regional artists June 3-July 10. Five of the eight are members of JSC’s Fine Arts Department:

Bethany Bond, Marie LaPre Grabon, Ken Leslie, John Miller, and Victoria Patrick.

Two studio arts students, Ben Ferguson and Justine

Waggett, received fellowship awards from the Vermont Studio Center based on their artistic merit and academic goals. In addition, for the first time the Center also extended two fellowships to students in JSC's B.F.A. writing program: Adam Smith, and Dana Russo. All four spent two weeks this summer at the Center, which is the largest international residency program for professional artists and writers in the U.S.


Spring 2010

Professor John Miller took an interesting, community-based approach to an Advanced Digital class he is teaching this semester. Subtitled “The Documentary Project,” the class gave students the opportunity to photograph a “community” of their choosing. The class culminated with an exhibit in JSC’s Visual Arts Center in early May.

An extraordinary exhibit of paintings, “The Art of Action,” made its way to River Arts Center in Morrisville in late March. Ten Vermonters through their commissioned artwork tackled issues facing the state’s present and future. The “Artists’ Choice Tour” included the photographic work of John Miller. While the exhibit was featured at River Arts, Professor Miller gave presentations about the Art of Action’s traveling exhibit to two groups of high school students from People’s Academy. Portions of the exhibit are being hosted by Senator Patrick Leahy in Washington, D.C., in April.

A 5' tall, 6' long cow — this one made of fiberglass — arrived on campus in mid-March. Art students worked with Campus Arts Coordinator Leila Bandar to apply their unique JSC style to the cow, after which was then displayed on Church Street in Burlington through much of the summer as part of the “Cows Come Home to Burlington” project. The cows eventually will be auctioned off to raise funds for the Vermont Campaign to End Childhood Hunger.

Instructor Victoria Patrick completed a residency at the Vermont Studio Center during Vermont Week this spring.

Instructor Carolyn Mecklosky donated a poster design for a recent event at the Clarina Howard Nichols Center. Working with young people in the Johnson community, Mecklosky also printed 50 peace flags for Johnson’s Winter Carnival and recently donated a clay figure for the local Hospice Art Auction. She also has produced 50 handmade, hand-printed mail art cards for the Luddite Press.

Dibden Center for the Arts Director Jan Herder has been busy. He has re-created Dibden in the virtual-world software “Second Life” and launched an augmented-reality project experimenting with live streaming, lighting, scene design and, eventually, mixed-reality events. He will teach a specialtopics course this summer titled “Introduction to Virtual Worlds: Lighting and Scenic Design,” a hybrid course with an immersive initial weekend in class followed by three weeks of synchronous and asynchronous online classes. Herder also is partnering with the Workforce Investment Board and other organizations to develop a regional brand that helps individuals and businesses to implement new-media strategies using Web 2.0 and the simulator in Second Life for business/skill incubation and economic development. Finally, he has received his certificate from the University of Washington in Virtual Worlds (new media) and describes himself as “a card-carrying member” of the New Media Consortium in Second Life.

New part-time faculty member Dennis Bathory-Kitsz has had several of his compositions performed and received his 18th annual ASCAPlus Award from the American Society

of Composers, Authors and Publishers. In January, the Windham Orchestra, under the direction of Zon Eastes, performed “Fanfare:Heat” (originally com-missioned by the Vermont Youth Orchestra) along with works by other regional composers. His “The Imagined Moons of Autumn” premiered in Valencia, Spain, in February with flautist Maire Aguilar accompanied by Telmo Gadea on piano. Another, “Imagined Moons,” was commissioned by Doug McIlroy. As part of the “60x60 Project,” the short composition for music box “Conjim for Ed” was performed in February in Oxford, England, marking the 12th performance of that piece. In April, “Meta-Dream Twice” was premiered by violinist Thomas L. Read (originally commissioned by him) as part

of the spring concert series by the Vermont Contemporary

Music Ensemble entitled “To Reach! To Sing!”— named after Read’s own composition heard at the concerts. In May, the piano solo “Thirteen Triple-X” (commissioned by Carson Cooman) will be premiered during the ICMC World New Music Days in Sydney, Australia. And upcoming in November

on St. Cecilia’s Day in Gandía, Spain, Bathory-Kitsz’s

“Crosscut,” a three-movement concerto for piano and large wind band, will be premiered by the Banda Sinfónica de Grau Gandía; it was commissioned by the Banda Sinfónica last year.


The Helen Day Art Center in Stowe hosted its second annual ARTitude live art spring gala on Saturday, May 1. As part of the festivities, Grammy-nominee and JSC Performing Arts Instructor Anthony Geraci played jazz piano.


Summer 2009

This summer, Jan Herder presented at the International
Association of Technology, Education and Development
meeting in Barcelona. His paper, supported by the President's Fund for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, focused on "information, communication and technology for emergence (ICt4e): an immersive learning community blended with virtual worlds and Web 2.0."

Professor Russ Longtin played the villain Iago in Quarry Works Theatre's summer production of Shakespeare's Othello. Quarry Works Theatre is a 60-seat, black-box theater on the grounds of the Adamant Music School in Adamant, VT. In July he performed as Baptista in the theater's production of Kiss Me, Kate.

In July, instructor Anthony Geraci traveled to Beirut to play in the Zouk Mikael Music Festival with Sugar Ray and the Bluetones, a Rhode Island-based band with which he has played for more than 30 years.

Professor Ken Leslie spent a month in June and July in Kjøllefjord, Norway, guest of the Christensen Gallery, where he exhibited his work and produced a new artist's book, Kjøllefjord Summer Cycle. Kjøllefjord is on Europe's most northern peninsula, just northwest of Murmansk, Russia. this project was made possible through a JSC Faculty Development grant. In addition, Ken has been invited by the Gilféagiö Foundation to be resident artist in Akureyri, Iceland, in December 2010 and January 2011. He will exhibit selections from his top of the World series in Akureyri's Deiglan gallery and produce a new artist's book, winter solstice in Akureyri. the book will serve as a companion piece to his summer solstice in Akureyri, completed 10 years ago in the same town, just inches below the Arctic Circle in northern Iceland.

Instructor David Grozinsky is curating an exhibition at the Firehouse Gallery in Burlington called "This World, Other World." The show will run February 19 to April 10 and includes the work of nine artists who have spent time at the Vermont Studio Center. The show, which includes painting and sculpture, is based on the idea of invented landscape and imagined structure.

Instructor Sue Bettman has edited an 18-minute segment for the Vermont Movie: Freedom & Unity, exploring Vermont's Independent Spirit, a collaboration by nearly two dozen Vermont independent filmmakers. Her segment looks at "arts, landscape, political activism, and spirituality" as components of Vermont's independent spirit. The segment is entitled "Four Friends" and features interviews with helen and Jules Rabin of Plainfield, Elka and Peter Schumann of Glover's Bread and Puppet Theater, and artists, political activists, and artisanal bread bakers. The completed film is slated to premiere at the Vermont International
Film Festival in Burlington in 2010.

Professor John Miller completed his suite of large-format digital collages for the "art of action," an exhibit funded by the Vermont Arts Council and the orton Family Foundation. The exhibit opened in Manchester and will travel throughout the state as well as to Washington, D.C. (hosted by Sen. Patrick Leahy) over the next year. Miller also has his photographic work in the Vermont state art collection exhibit, now at Catamount Arts in St. Johnsbury. His photographs for the art of action commission have just been published in a new catalog that profiles each of the commissioned artists.