Fine & Performing Arts Department News 2007-2009

June 2009

Marjorie Kramer has two paintings in an exhibition, "Better Than Ever: Women Figurative Artists of the 70s So-Ho
Co-ops," which has been scheduled for the University
of Denver's Victoria Myhren Gallery from January to March, 2010. The exhibition received positive reviews while at the Long Island University's Salena Gallery and at the Dishman Museum at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. The show will also travel to the Rowan University Art Gallery in Glassboro, New Jersey. Marjorie was also on a panel devoted to "The Power of the Co-op Model" in New York at Long Island University-Brooklyn campus on March 3.

Bethany Bond has a show at the Daily Planet in Burlington right now. She is also working on a couple of websites, one of them for the documentary film, Law of the Heart.

Barbara Molloy has launched a new website, with funding from the Vermont Arts Council and National Endowment for the Arts. The website was designed by BFA graduate Julie Ruth, graphic designer and co-owner of Great Big Graphics.


April 2009

Marc Awodey has founded a new visual arts publication online called Vermont Art Zine http://vermontartzine.
that publishes reviews and news about the visual arts in Vermont. One of Awodey's paintings appears this month in a group exhibition at Studio Place Arts in Barre, and he donated two paintings to the Helen Day Art Center in Stowe for their ARTitude spring fundraising auction.

Ken Leslie will be installing his year-long Sky Journal artist's book ("Paint the sky every morning for a year"), along with a selection of works from his Top of the World series, at the Bennington Museum, from May 9 through June 13. The opening reception and artist's talk is scheduled for May 9. Then Ken will transport his work to Kjøllefjordd, Norway where he will be resident artist at Nature Co Gallery. Nature Co is a new art center located on the northernmost peninsula of Europe— a fitting setting for Leslie's paintings and artist’s books from the Arctic. In addition to the exhibition, Leslie will lead a workshop in making artist's books, confer with local Sámi artists and create another in his series of Arctic Cycle Books, this time of the mountains and fjords surrounding Kjøllefjord.

John Miller, with three other artists, represented the Art of Action at the State House on March 25, in conjunction with the Vermont Arts Council's Art Achievement Day in Montpelier.

Russ Longtin continues to have a very busy academic and professional life. In August, 2008 he played Tobias in A Delicate Balance for the Stowe Theatre Guild. Then he directed two back-to-back productions at JSC. He performs this month in the college's production of The Pajama Game. Russ is preparing the role of Iago for an August 2009 production of Othello for Quarry Works Theatre in Adamant.

Lisa Jablow performed in December with WordStage Vermont in the New England premiere of Carlisle Floyd's
monodrama "Flower and Hawk," originally written for legendary soprano Phyllis Curtin, with whom she studied at Tanglewood. In February she sang with the Vermont Philharmonic Orchestra in two performances of Richard
Strauss's "Four Last Songs." One of those performances took place at Johnson State. In March she sang two performances of "El Amor Brujo" by Manuel De Falla with the Windham Orchestra in southern Vermont. This June she will be the Assistant Conductor, Orchestra Manager and Supertitle Operator for the Green Mountain Opera Festival, as she was in 2008.

The Helen Day Art Center in Stowe hosted ARTitude on April 4. The spring gala included an award presentation by Gov. Jim Douglas, original artwork, and music by the Eames Brothers Band and Anthony Geraci. Anthony will also be recording an album in Paris in April, and giving a concert and workshop in Beirut, Lebanon in July.

March 2009

The Art of Action: Shaping Vermont's Future Through Art has commissioned 10 artists to realize their projects. Professor John Miller is among the 10 recipients of these commissions. The idea, shared between the Orton Family Foundation and the Vermont Arts Council, was to commission visual artists to create a body of "place-based" artwork that would inspire action among Vermonters. The idea motivated 300 artists from 26 states and three foreign countries to apply for a chance to articulate the issues, challenges and opportunities facing our state. The competitors had an assignment. Their proposals were to address the critical challenges facing Vermont over the next generation. Using data about Vermonters' hopes and fears gathered by the Council on Rural Development, the finalists

would take three months to develop presentations.

   In September, a Project Review Committee selected 20 of those applicants as finalists. Nineteen of those finalists returned to present their project proposals. Seven Days broke the news of the 10 prestigious awards, including John's, in a cover story. His proposed documentary focuses upon traditions, individuals and groups whose work is deeply connected to land and to community. He writes, "I will document the means with which the landscape works upon people — spiritually, intellectually and passionately."

Instructor Joseph Salerno recently exhibited with other artists in a show Winter Selections at the Ober Gallery in Kent, CT.

In December/January, Professor Ken Leslie completed his Top of the World project in Inari—the Sámi cultural center

of Finland. He began this project last summer,

producing a series of paintings and a pair of artist books about the movement of light and time in this Arctic community. This project was funded by a grant from the American-Scandinavian Foundation, with additional funds from a JSC Faculty Development Award. Work from this project will be next seen in Vermont at the Bennington Museum, this coming May and June. Ken has been invited to exhibit his Arctic series and teach workshops at a new art center in Kjøllefjord, Norway this coming June/ July. In addition to the exhibition he'll produce another in his series of Arctic Cycle artist's books in this Finnmark town on the northernmost tip of continental Europe.

January 2009

Susan Calza and Mary Martin led a group of JSC Fine Arts majors to London and Paris for three weeks of art study during the semester break.

November 2008

Amy May and JSC ceramic arts students are happy about the success of the 15th Annual Holiday Ceramic Sale to benefit Operation Smile, a project that performs free surgeries for children born with cleft palates. Enough money was raised through the sale of student-made items to cover the cost of five surgeries. This is the fourth year of the partnership with Operation Smile. In that time the JSC community has provided 27 surgeries (over $7,000) for children and families around the world.

Marc Awodey was a featured poet for readings at Gallery in the Field, Brandon, VT, at Burlington College, and at Honey Space at Chelsea, NYC.

Victoria Patrick had a photographic work accepted in the Vermont Center for Photography show opening December 5.

David Kearns has been selected as a finalist for the Art of Action, an art project to help shape thinking and action about the future of Vermont. This is being directed by the Vermont Arts Council and the Orton Foundation.

John Miller has also been selected as a finalist for the Art of Action. He and other finalists will be presenting proposals
in the end of January at the Pavilion. Finalists will be considered for one of ten commissions to be awarded to artists who will use their chosen medium to create art that addresses the goal of greater sustainability for Vermont and for Vermonters.

Susan Calza had a mixed media and video show ("Last Born Last Chance This Born This Chance") November 10-24 at the Dowley Art Gallery, Chestnut Hill College, in Philadelphia, PA.

Steve Blair recently performed live on Vermont Public Radio with the Will Patton Ensemble. Among the band members was bassist Clyde Stats (Academic Support Services). The live radio performance was part of a tour to celebrate the release of the ensemble's fourth CD, 6th Street Runaround. Mandolin
Magazine says the ensemble has "a unique blend of musicality, passion and respect that sets this band apart as a special experience."

October 2008

Marc Awodey had a solo exhibition of paintings at the Fieck Art Center of Green Mountain College mid-July through mid-September 2008, and another at Kasini House Gallery, Burlington, in late summer. The latter was in conjunction with the release of his third book of poetry - Senryu & Nudes - published by Kasini House Books. Marc also participated in the South End Art Hop in September, and FRONTIERE - the Frelighsburg Festival of Fine Art, Frelighsburg, Quebec, over Labor Day weekend. These are but a few of his recent and upcoming shows. He is the art critic for Vermont's weekly newspaper, Seven Days, and the Vermont Editor of Art New England.

David Kearns had two exhibits this summer. "In the Zone II" appeared at the Brattleboro Museum, featuring the work of thirteen regional artists living in a 100-mile radius of Brattleboro and guest curated by Denise Markonish of MassMOCA.

Bethany Bond has been a featured artist in Women to Watch: Four Photographers, a selection of work by Vermont photographers curated by John Miller for the Vermont State
Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC. The exhibit was shown at the Vermont Supreme Court in Montpelier for the summer 2008 and was featured at the Chaffee Art Center in Rutland from September 12 - October 29. Bethany has also developed a new blogging site this fall for
digital students in the JSC fine arts department:

Ken Leslie completed the first of two residencies in Inari, Finland, supported by grants from the American Scandinavian Foundation and the Johnson State College Faculty Development Fund. As part of his continuing Top of the World series about circumpolar Arctic sites, he is producing summer and winter works in Inari, located 200 miles above the Arctic Circle. Ken is also researching Western Europe's only indigenous people, the Sami, for which Inari is the Finnish Sami cultural center. He will return for the winter portion of this project in December/January, when the sun won't rise once during the five-week residency. Ken's book, Space + Time, is featured in the fall 2008 issue of Modernist Magazine. His work is the lone contemporary book featured in the article, otherwise devoted to the past century's history of the artist's book genre.

One of John Miller's black and white photographs began touring this summer with Art of Vermont: The State Collection, an exhibition that opened at the Bryan Memorial Gallery in Jeffersonville VT, in May and is scheduled to travel to
the Bennington Museum, the Chaffee Art Center in Rutland, and to the Goodrich Library, Newport VT over the next twelve months. Miller had a one-person retrospective of photographs at Sterling
College in Craftsbury during June and July. The photographs span more than thirty years as a photographer. He was also the plenary speaker at a week-long workshop at Sterling in June entitled Rural Heritage Institute at Sterling College: The Place of Work in Rural Communities. John recently had a number of his black and white photographs published in the Fall issue of
Northern Woodlands magazine He continues work as a board member with the Warebrook Contemporary Music Festival in northern Vermont as well as Northwoods Stewardship Center in East Charleston where he also chairs the Nominating Committee. As a long-time member of the Coventry Planning Commission, he is working with other members on a new Town Plan. Miller will be giving an extended slide presentation at the annual meeting of the Northwoods Stewardship Center in October where he will talk about rural values and concepts of community

Susan Calza spent five weeks traveling in the Canadian
Maritimes working on a new video for an upcoming exhibition. The completed video is part of a multimedia sculptural installation to
be presented this fall at the Dwight V. Dowley Gallery, Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia. While in Philadelphia, she will be an Artist in Residence at Chestnut Hill College. Susan also serves on the operations committee of the Green Mountain Film Festival and is in the process of assuming the position of volunteer coordinator. While on Cape Breton Island this summer, Susan was an active member of the grounds crew at the Gampo Abbey Monastery in Pleasant Bay, Nova Scotia.

Leila Bandar was instrumental in organizing an extensive exhibit
of outdoor sculptures at sites throughout Johnson. The sculptures are by area artists, including six JSC alumni. The show was
up until October 26. One aim of the exhibit is to connect the JSC campus to village businesses. Leila was also one of the participating sculptors in Exposed!, Stowe's annual outdoor
sculpture exhibit as well as a contributor to a juried outdoor show in Garrison, New York.

May 2008

John Miller is a featured speaker at the Rural Heritage Institute (RHI) at Sterling College. RHI is a four-day series of interdisciplinary academic, experiential, and instructional field-based workshops scheduled for June 11-14, 2008.
    John also has a one-person show at the Brown Library gallery for the month of June, tracing a number of his documentary projects over the past 35 years. These include rural agrarian culture, deer hunting traditions, elder women who continued to live independently into very old age, and a series documenting rivers in the Northeast Kingdom.
    A photographic exhibit from the summer 2007 Italy course, "Italian Art and Culture," taught by John Miller and Mary Martin, was featured at the JSC Visual Arts Center in April. Included in the exhibit were large color and black and white photographs
made by students as well as excerpts from their written journals chronicling their observations and reflections upon experiencing, for the first time, the the art and architecture of the Renaissance.

   The 2006 student photo-documentary about elders in the Craftsbury Community Care Center (which has already travelled to many venues) will be the featured exhibit for June, July and
August at the Vermont Folklife Center in Middlebury. A Saturday symposium is being scheduled after the exhibit opening, which will feature John and members of his photography class discussing
the use of photography in mentoring youth.

Russ Longtin will play Tobias in Edward Albee's A Delicate Balance this coming August with the Stowe Theatre Guild. In summer of 2009, he will play Iago in Shakespeare's Othello and Baptista in the musical Kiss Me Kate — both with Quarry Works Theatre in Adamant. For summer of 2010, Russ is already booked to play George in Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolff.

Third and fourth graders at Cambridge Elementary worked with the Vermont Dance Collective for two days in March, tracing traditional dance styles popular in Vermont and New England back to their European ancestors. Entitled Dancing through History, the residency culminated in a final performance in the school gymnasium. The Vermont Dance Collective was founded by Maris Wolff.

April 2008

Ken Leslie won an American Scandinavian Foundation Visual
Arts Independent Research award. This grant, along with the JSC Advanced Study Grant that he has received, will fund two four-week residencies in Finnish Lapland, one this summer and the other next winter. Ken will produce paintings and artist's books about this Arctic community, to join his ongoing "Top of the World" series of work already completed in Iceland, northern Alaska, Svalbard and Baffin Island. In early March Ken travelled to the Columbia College Chicago Center for Book and Paper Arts for the opening of an exhibition in which his work appears.

Carolyn Mecklosky led a Peace Flag Workshop at the Johnson
Village Winterfest. Participants printed 50 peace flags and raised money for the Johnson Food Shelf. Carolyn was also in a winter group show at Painted Caravan, Johnson.

Andrew Patterson-Tutschka has paintings in the Scott Gallery exhibit "Young Philadelphia Realists," featuring 10 emerging artists from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Andrew and his colleagues in this show received a very significant
and favorable review in a March issue of Seven Days.

February 2008

In February, Leila Bandar made use of a large barn for research, development, and crafting large-scale sculptures. Her objective was to restore the earlier social function of large-scale sculpture
and to use common materials that transcend their usual function. In March, Leila was be part of a two-person exhibition at Emma
Willard School in Troy, New York, exhibiting sculptures with paintings by Arista Alanis. Last January, she was a visiting sculptor in residence at Chapel Hill Chauncy Hall School in
Watertown, Massachusetts. Last June, Leila installed a large outdoor sculpture at the entrance of the Helen Spyner Theater, University of Louisiana in Monroe, for a one-year exhibition in the university's outdoor sculpture park.

Bethany Bond was featured in the group exhibit "Women to
Watch: Four Vermont Photographers," January 21 - February 9 in the Julian Scott Memorial Gallery at JSC. On February 7, Bethany lectured about her work in the Gallery.

This year the American College Theater Festival named JSC's Big Love, directed by F. Reed Brown, as an alternate production. This is considered a significant honor in the prestigious competition. Besides the director, nine cast and tech members were invited to Fitchburg State as part of the festival competition. This included students nominated for lighting, projection,
and stage managing as well as three actors and their alternates.

John Miller had a series of color landscape/text photographs in a
multi-media group exhibit at the Maple Ridge Gallery in Newark, Vermont until February 18. Recently he was asked to be on the Multi-Media Advisory Board at the Green Mountain Technical Center (GMTC) in Hyde Park. This will involve developing connections between high school students at the Tech Center and
upper-level Fine Arts majors in the photography and digital media programs at Johnson through artist residencies and internships at
GMTC. John has also recently become an advisor for the Vision & Voice Documentary Workspace at the Vermont Folklife Center
in Middlebury. The Workspace extends the Folklife Center's educational mission by providing a site for the planning, development, and exhibition of new documentary work.

Joe Salerno had a series of his landscape paintings in a group show at the Ober Gallery in Kent, Connecticut until March 2008.

December 2007

Professor John Miller provided a dual presentation (with Behavioral Sciences professor Gina Mireault) on their service learning initiatives for the Vermont Campus Compact annual meeting at JSC on November 12.

Part-time faculty member Joseph Salerno gave a gallery talk on October 25 at Helen Day Art Center. His series, "Interpreting Nature: Part III," ran from September 14 to November 17.

Professor Diane Huling Reed gave an all-Chopin piano recital in October at the Unitarian Church in Montpelier. The
recital was reviewed favorably in the Times Argus.

October 2007

Marjoire Kramer was awarded a painting residency at Governors Island in New York Harbor for June and July, 2007.  The island, a new National Park historic site with many lovely deserted mansions among hundred year old trees, is located just a few hundred yards from lower Manhattan with views of the Wall Street area.  A show at the New York Studio School Gallery on 8th Street features work done by the twenty artists in the residency program.  The show opened September 6 and runs through October 13.  Marjorie also exhibited in the Small Works Invitational 2007 show at Blue Mountain Gallery, on West 25th Street in New York City, during July and August.


Ken Leslie is one of nine artists from around the nation who were invited to contribute work to a group exhibition, Nature Remains: The Artist as Environmentalist, that opens September 14 at the Helen Day Art Center in Stowe.  The show runs through November 17.

"Top of the World", an exhibition of Ken Leslie's work at the Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium, opened in July and runs through January 27, 2008.  The show features paintings and artist's books completed in a number of Arctic locations, including Alaska, Iceland, Svalbard and Nunavut, and includes environmental commentary by Steve Maleski, well-known "Eye on the Sky" meteorologist at the Fairbanks.

Professors John Miller and Mary Martin traveled to Italy for 17 days in June with JSC art majors to study Italian art and create portfolios of digital photographs.  Besides visiting famous galleries, extraordinary churches, notable pieces of architecture, medieval towns, and major cities, the group also stayed in country houses amidst olive groves and vineyards and visited vintners, farms, and a number of contemporary artists' studios and regional museums. They sampled many regional foods and attended a medieval festival (the Gaite) to enjoy an annual neighborhood feast.  Students will present an exhibit of their digital photography from Italy in the Visual Arts Center gallery during the spring 2008 semester.

Part-time faculty member Amy May organized the 14th Annual Throw-A-Thon to Benefit Operation Smile.  The event occurred at the college's Visual Arts Center on Friday October 19 from noon to midnight.  For a donation of $5, participants were invited to create hand crafted and/or wheel-thrown ceramic forms.  Works made during the Throw-A-Thon will be donated and sold during the JSC Holiday Ceramic and Bake Sale in November.  All proceeds benefit Operation Smile.


Interpreting Nature: Part III, an exhibit by part-time faculty member Joseph Salerno, opened at Stowe's Helen Day Art Center on September 14 and will run until November 17.  An artist's talk is scheduled for October 25 at 5:30 p.m.

This semester marks the beginning of a campaign to transform the curricular approach to technology, eportfolios, cutting edge software, and 3-D applications in the Associate of Technical Theater program.  In May Dibden director Jan Herder made an e-portfolio presentation at the VSAC Pathways to College workshop at St. Michael's College.  He discussed new Web 2.0 applications and digital story telling as techniques for building an e-portfolio.  About 30 prospective college students and their parents attended.


In June, Professor Russ Longtin worked on a TV pilot for Robert Fritz productions.  In July and August, he rehearsed and performed in Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night at Quarry Works Theatre in Adamant.  Russ is scheduled to perform his one-man Barrymore with Lost Nation Theatre in January and will be taking on the role of Iago in Shakespeare's Othello next summer at Quarry Works Theatre.

Professor Lisa Jablow has been appointed Chorus Director of the Pioneer Valley Symphony and Chorus beginning with the 2007-08 season.  The Pioneer Valley Symphony & Chorus, based in Greenfield, Massachusetts, is now in its 69th season.  Lisa is also Music Director of the current Lamoille County Players production, Spitfire Grill, at the Hyde Park Opera House. 


Professor Reed Brown assisted with the choreographic aspects of the Spitfire Grill production.  The musical stars JSC student Amber Couture 


Profesor Maris Wolff was one of four professors featured in "Where campus meets community," an article appearing in the September/October 2007 issue of Vermont Magazine.  In the article Maris and her colleagues reflect on how Vermont's small colleges help students connect the classroom and the outside world. You can read the article (in pdf format), courtesy of Vermont Magazine, by clicking here.

Fine and Performing Arts