Vermont Arts Council

The People’s Choice Award: Amber Paris

64: Amber Paris

Expand the scope and reach of The Listening Project

Amber Paris is a Vermont based multi-medium artist. Her modalities span a wide range and include both two dimensional and sculptural fiber work, creative community engagement facilitation, interactive public installations and artists’ book creation and teaching. Her work explores themes of connection, listening and the visual interpretation of data sets collected around personal and collective habits and patterns. She has shown her work across the country and is included in permanent public installations in Philadelphia, The Bainbridge Island Museum of Art collection and numerous private collections. She has extensive teaching and community art facilitation experience at venues across Southern Vermont. Amber received her BFA degree from Tyler School of Art with a concentration in painting and a minor in gender studies. She lives in Putney with her husband and three children.

Project description

As a visual artist who is deeply engaged in my community, I am often seeking avenues to pair my skill set with identifying and serving the needs in my town. Artists have a unique ability to pair creative community engagement with creative community solutions by thinking outside the box. I created The Listening Project in answer to the needs I heard coming out of Putney’s residents. Our town recently participated in several community wide survey events which resulted in rich data about the desires of the residents. As an artist who has worked in creative community engagement for several years, I created this project in response.

I sought a forum where we could ask each other expansive and connective questions, feel safe in giving vulnerable answers, listen openly to one another and see our many commonalities and begin a conversation around strengthening the fabric of our community. My goal was to ask these questions in a fun and accessible manner. I launched the project with one question each month on brightly colored postcards at the community suppers. These questions are meant to stimulate conversation with our neighbors. The answers are made available on a website I created ( and through social media postings. During the summer of 2023, multiple interactive activities will run in tandem with the project to engage and elicit responses to the questions at venues like the Putney Farmers’ Market and Bandwagon concerts. I have self funded the launch of this project but I believe its true impact can be realized with funding from VAC. A planned interactive installation of all the cards will deepen the project’s experience. The creation of both a self-published, small run book of the project and several hand made artists’ books of the postcards themselves allow for an archiving of the project and the greatest accessibility for the community. These books will be donated to organizations in Putney, including the library.

Media Sample 1

The Listening Project – postcard example. “This is one example of how someone chose to answer the question for March of 2023- ‘What makes you feel like you belong?'”

Media Sample 2

Phone Habits. “This is an example of an artists’ book I created visualizing and archiving data.”

Media Sample 3

Pandemic Journal, May 2020. “This is an example of an artists’ book I created visualizing and archiving data.”

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Acadia Klepeis August 24, 2023