Category: Articles

Feature: Maggie Dietz

10th April

Published in Berkshires Week on March 19, 2013
Original article:

Thanks to great minds like Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes, one-time Shaftsbury resident Robert Frost and countless others, poetry has always been considered an important aspect of our nation’s cultural history.

While more commercial media, like television and movies, challenge their popularity, poems matter to Americans of all ages, an idea that Maggie Dietz celebrates and encourages as part of the Favorite Poems Project.

Founded by poet Robert Pinsky during his tenure as U.S. Poet Laureate in the late ‘90s, the project invites Americans of all ages and backgrounds to share their favorite poems and explain their meaning in a personal — not academic or analytical — way.

Now an assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, Dietz became the director of the program as a graduate student, overseeing a year-long open …

Feature: Calligrapher Ann Kremers

2nd April

Published in Berkshires Week on April 2, 2013
Original article:


BENNINGTON — With formal training as an artist and more than 30 years of experience in her craft, Bennington calligrapher Ann Kremers produces ornate, intricate text and images as suited for frames as they are for envelopes.

Kremers specializes in both social calligraphy — which she describes as invitations, envelopes and related materials for weddings and special gala events — and ornate “presentation pieces,” which often include elaborate illustrations, decorative elements and gilding with gold leaf. With a degree in fine arts, and a strong interest in watercolor painting, Kremers approaches her calligraphy with the spirit and eye of an artist.

“In my deepest heart of hearts I consider myself a painter,” said Kremers, “but I probably spend a lot more time doing calligraphy. I like putting the two together very much.”

Although she had …

Feature: Bennington Artists Guild

1st April

Published in Berkshires Week on April 1, 2013
Original article:

BENNINGTON — In a world where cheap, mass-produced imported goods have taken over the shelves of our local stores, many art lovers have developed a new appreciation for artwork and crafts created by hand in our own local communities.

However, lacking mainstream distribution, local artists and artisans often need to come up with creative ways to find customers for their work. For the community of artists in southwestern Vermont and nearby Massachusetts, this necessity sparked the creation of the Bennington Arts Guild and its cooperative gallery on South Street.

Floral paintings by Jackie Williams are available at the Bennington Arts Guild’s cooperative gallery on South Street. (Photo courtesy Bennington Arts Guild)

Next door to the South Street Cafe in the heart of Bennington’s Four Corners, the Arts Guild’s sunny gallery space has become a popular …

Live Preview: Deaf and Loud

1st April

Published in Berkshires Week on April 1, 2013
Original article:

BENNINGTON — Without a large deaf community in the area, Melissa Kate Adams of Mount Anthony Union High School’s Deaf Education Department says it can be hard to arrange a gathering of even five or six deaf Vermonters here. This Friday, however, Adams has organized an event with some prominent and successful members of the American deaf community, to give the Bennington community chance to learn about and experience deaf culture.

MAU and the Bennington Center for the Arts will host a panel talk with several successful deaf adults, including Luke Adams, the first deaf competitor on CBS’ “The Amazing Race,” and a concert with deaf rapper Sean Forbes and his band, Deaf and Loud.

With groups coming from Brattleboro, Burlington, Rochester, Boston and other surrounding areas, Melissa Kate Adams, who is hard of …

Live Preview: Howard Fishman

27th March

Published in Berkshires Week on March 27, 2013
Original article:

As the Vermont Arts Exchange in North Bennington celebrates its 25th year, as well as the 10th year of its popular Basement Music Series, it’s only natural that a few familiar faces have been invited back to perform, including Caravan of Thieves in February and now, exactly a month later, VAE favorite Howard Fishman.

Having played concerts at least yearly since the basement series started (and sometimes even more often than that), Fishman has cemented his place in Bennington’s cultural environment, with local music fans returning to the Sage Street Mill for each of concerts. Members of the local band Morning Breadth — who performed their own Basement Music Series concert in January — said they’ve all attended Fishman’s concerts together in the past.

Living up to his reputation for musical curiosity and genre …

Feature: Chris Knopf

25th March

Published in Berkshires Week on March 25, 2013
Original article:

BENNINGTON — After trying for 20 years to achieve his dream of publishing a novel, Chris Knopf is on a roll.

Balancing his writing with a career in advertising and public relations, Knopf published his first mystery novel, “The Last Refuge,” in 2005, and quickly expanded the book into a five-volume series centered around its protagonist, Sam Acquillo, and his adventures in mystery and crime around the Hamptons.

Knopf has also published three more books in a spin-off series set in the same world, and he’s working on a third book in a new series of globe-trotting thrillers surrounding market researcher Arthur Cathcart.

On Friday, March 28, Knopf will visit Bennington for an event to benefit the Bennington Free Library, reading from and speaking about his recent series of Arthur Cathcart books, including “Dead Anyway,” …

Feature: John Hubbard’s Photography

19th March

Published in Berkshires Week on March 19, 2014
Original article:

BENNINGTON — During his six-year tenure at the Bennington Banner in the mid-1970’s, writer and photographer John Hubbard took more than 2,000 photographs, quickly developing a striking visual style that blurred the distinction be tween art and journalism. Now, 42 years after Hubbard arrived in Vermont as a recent graduate of Colgate University, his photographs have returned to Bennington for an exhibition at the Bennington Museum, “Faces of Bennington, 1972-1978: Photo graphs by John Hubbard.”

Installed in January and on dis play through March 30, the exhibit collects a small selection of Hubbard’s vast collection of portraits, most of which show Hubbard’s friends, colleagues and fellow Bennington townspeople posing comfortably in their every-day surroundings.

Museum curator Jamie Frank lin said he chose the 28 photos on display for their “strong visual power,” and also …

Feature: Anita Doron

19th March

Published in Berkshires Week on March 19, 2013
Original article:

BENNINGTON — Anita Doron’s film-making career has taken her across the globe to Mexico, Hungary, Afghanistan, Canada’s North west Terri tories and other far-off destinations. Now, thanks to Susie Ibarra’s Cities Arts Forum, her next stop is Bennington College.

The director of feature films like 2012’s “The Lesser Blessed,” an adaptation of a novel by Richard Van Camp starring Benjamin Bratt, Doran has been artistically motivated since her childhood in Ukraine and Israel.

“From a very early age, I was very interested in creating emotions in people and making people feel things,” she said. “When I connected poetry and film making, I was gone. There was nothing else I wanted to do.

I was completely intoxicated by it.”
Over the course of her career, Doron has committed herself to exploring and advancing the art of storytelling, …

Feature: Northshire Brewery

13th March

Published in Berkshires Week on March 13, 2013
Original article:

BENNINGTON — Using the basic ingredients of water, grains, hops and yeast — along with imagination and hard work — Vermont’s brewers have earned a reputation for creating some of the country’s most inventive and delicious craft beers.

While some of the most recognizable brands come from the central and northern parts of the state, like Magic Hat in Burlington or The Alchemist (brewers of the infamous Heady Topper double IPA) in Waterbury, Bennington’s beer lovers know there are great ales and lagers brewing in town at the Northshire Brewery.

After years of experimenting with their own home brews, Chris Mayne and Earl McGoff started Northshire in 2010 — buying equipment at a brewer’s conference in Boston and finding a space to set up their tanks on County Street, across from the Holden-Leonard Mill.

For …

Preview: “Revolutionary Wizard, Ben Franklin” at Oldcastle

11th March

Published in Berkshires Week on March 11, 2013
Original article:


BENNINGTON — He may be one of our nation’s most iconic figures, but most Americans may know little about Benjamin Franklin.

“He was just an eccentric,” said Eric Peterson of the Oldcastle Theatre, who wrote the one-man play “Revolutionary Wizard, Ben Franklin,” which opens tonight. “He had a thing about ‘air baths,’ where he thought it was really healthy to sit nude in front of a window and let the air hit you for an hour or so.”

Peterson, who also serves as Oldcastle’s producing artistic director, discovered this quirk in one of the many books and biographies that he used for research. In fact, he says there’s far too much interesting information about Franklin to cover in a play of reasonable length — from his diplomacy to his scientific discoveries to his freewheeling …

Feature: Blues Sanctuary

Published in Berkshires Week on August 13, 2014 Original article:

BENNINGTON — Active members of the local music scene since the late ‘60s, the musicians of...

Feature: Painter Renée Bouchard

Published in Berkshires Week on August 13, 2014 Original article:

For Bennington artist Renée Bouchard, painting is all about communication, embracing the unexplainable and just making...

Feature: Bennington’s Dairy Bars

Published in Berkshires Week on August 8, 2014 Original article:

BENNINGTON, Vt. — All across America, dairy bars are a timeless summertime tradition that bring together...