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Author Archives: Susan McDowell

I am a Vermont Artist: Deidra Razzaque

I am a Vermont Artist: Deidra Razzaque

Posted: January 1, 2020

Deidra Razzaque knew she was a writer by the time she was four. Her plan, before she could put words to a page, was to “make the world a better place, spend time in every country, make things beautiful, and write about everything [she would do].” Deidra is based in… Read More
On Placemaking and Public Art

On Placemaking and Public Art

Posted: December 5, 2019

I was invited recently to present with our partners from AARP VT at the national AARP Livable Communities Placemaking Workshop in Denver, Colorado. This was the organization’s first-ever national convening dedicated to highlighting and sharing best practices, insights, and inspiring next steps in placemaking. It was a gathering of AARP staff, community partners, and livability practitioners representing a range of specialties, locations, and perspectives. Read More
I am a Vermont Artist: Bill Forchion

I am a Vermont Artist: Bill Forchion

Posted: December 1, 2019

Bill Forchion is a multidisciplinary artist and visionary speaker. He is a graduate of Barnum & Bailey Clown College as well as the American Institute of Holistic Theology. This talented writer, performer, filmmaker, and U.S. State Department-appointed cultural exchange ambassador for the arts grew up in Hammonton, New Jersey and moved to… Read More
It’s All in the Making

It’s All in the Making

Posted: November 21, 2019

Andy Warhol prescribed: “Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” Easier said than done. But, Vermont's creative undercurrent remains powerful. Constant output brings art to the surface—to our venues and landscapes—over and over. The Council's Creation Grant cycle rides this wave. As the application opens again in January, the works of last year's grantees are being formed. The art of two grant rounds past has come into being, and is highlighted here, through the words of the artists. Read More
I am a Vermont Artist: Cai Xi

I am a Vermont Artist: Cai Xi

Posted: November 1, 2019

Cai Xi’s creative practice is rooted in experimental contemporary art and informed by a deep connection to traditional Chinese art. She uses calligraphy in her works and employs the classic principles of brush (using the common mop, broom, and mason’s trowel), ink (oil or enamel paint), and bone (compositional structure). In… Read More
Vermont’s Poet Laureate

Vermont’s Poet Laureate

Posted: October 31, 2019

We are delighted to announce that Mary Ruefle will succeed Chard deNiord as Vermont poet laureate beginning October 28, 2019. Nationally acclaimed Vermont author Major Jackson called Mary “one of the best poets in America,” and reflected that “one travels places, inward and outward” through her work. Critic Lisa Beskin of the Boston Review observed “Like John Ashbery and James Tate, Mary Ruefle investigates the multiplicities and frailties of being with an associative inventiveness and a lightness of touch; the purposefulness of her enquiry never eclipses the remarkable beauty of her work.” Committee members commended Mary's originality, imaginative writing, and wit. They agreed that she is a poet “at the height of her powers,” making her nomination as Vermont’s Poet Laureate in 2019 timely and appropriate. Read More