I am a Vermont Artist: Bill Forchion
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 Brattleboro in 2001.
Bill believes “Artists create work based on the song their soul is singing. My work is as much of part of where I am (Vermont) as who I am.”
Bill shared other thoughts about being a Vermont artist.
How has living as an artist in Vermont affected your creative process?
Being an artist in Vermont has affected me in a number of ways. It has provided me with the space to grow into myself artistically. By this, I mean the space has given me the opportunity to fall over and over again, allowing myself to take greater risks in developing my unique expression. The beauty of Vermont’s four seasons (mud season not included) has been an inspiring element in my creative process. Creating in Vermont alongside so many other creative people has opened many doors of artistic collaboration. Each collaboration promotes a new direction of growth. So basically, just about everything about Vermont has affected my creative process.
What is something about your art that has changed over time?
Being a parent and watching my kids grow, and helping them mature has been an amazing growth resource for me. My artistic expression has gained a fearlessness. Where once I worried about who might be offended or what critique I might receive, I now find that I work from the heart. I create out of kindness and love; that sometimes deals with frustration and anger, which allows me to delve into deep emotional places without fear of harming others or compromising myself. Raising children has helped me explore innocence.
What is your vision for the next several years?
My vision for the coming years is to use art for healing, teaching, and community building. Scientists and politicians have worked very hard on issues such as the climate emergency and the opioid epidemic and we are still without a viable solution to the problems. I believe it is time to incorporate artists alongside scientists and politicians into these discussions. My vision is to integrate art into the process of science and politics and religion as means of creating new pathways to mental, physical, spiritual and community health.
The “I am a Vermont Artist” series explores how artists’ creative expressions reflect their experiences of ethnicity, gender identity, religion, disability, or age. Covering all artistic disciplines, and a range of backgrounds—from New Americans to the state’s first residents—we hope to amplify voices that deepen our understanding of what it means to be a Vermont artist.