Fresh Faces at This Spring’s Open Studio Weekend
by Elissa Campbell
2016 marks the twenty-fourth year that the Vermont Crafts Council has celebrated the work and creative environments of Vermont’s exceptional crafts community. Perhaps you didn’t know that every year, the list of artists participating in Open Studio Weekend changes as much as 40%. This year 50 studios are new to the event or have not participated for several years.
This cool fact means the event is ever-changing and you’ll never have the same experience twice. Check out our new (or new-to-you) artists, some of whom are profiled below. For the complete list of who is new, see this google map with orange markers for new participants.
Studio #191: In her Middlebury studio, Danielle Gori-Montanelli makes colorful and spirited sculpted felt jewelry. She’s one of those people who is good at everything – she started as a painter and worked in metal for fifteen years before moving on to felt. Flowers and plants are a common theme in her work and it’s just fabulous – felt pretzel brooches, collars full of succulent flowers, and necklaces of spools of thread. Her work has such personality and shows her keen sense of humor.
Sculpture by Danielle Gori-Montanelli
Studio #118: Joe Breznick of Breznick Woodworking in Londonderry spends his time creating furniture from locally-sourced woods, as well as reclaimed lumber for salvaged buildings. Joe hails from a family of makers and clearly has craft in his blood. He is a skilled builder, creating beds, tables, and chairs with meticulous attention to detail. There’s no doubt that he has passion for and takes pride in his work.
Armoire by Joe Breznick
Studio #124: Also in Windham County, Patricia Burleson of Townshend is a double threat, working in both painted silk and mixed media sculpture. Her dreamy scarves, banners, and Chuppahs are hand-painted in a manner similar to watercolors. Using traditional basket making techniques, Patricia constructs sculptural forms from natural, recycled, and found materials. Anything can act as a source of inspiration for her work – she sees the history and value in all objects.
Painted silk banners by Patricia Burleson
Studio #143: Down in the southern part of Vermont, Joseph Tracy of Brookside Glassworks works in both stained and fused glass. He seems to have a deep respect for the transformative qualities of glass, especially for what it does with light. His resume doesn’t just include conservation work with historic stained glass – Joseph also combines fused glass with glass painting to create wonderful effects that take on the appearance of watercolors. He approaches the medium with the goal of exploring uncharted territory.
Stained glass panel by Joseph Tracy of Brookside Glassworks
No matter what studios you visit, you’re sure to have a memorable experience!
Look for the 2016 Vermont Open Studio guides at Vermont rest stops, tourist information areas and galleries across the state. You can also contact the Vermont Crafts Council at (802) 223-3380 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On online version of the guide can be found on the VCC website.
Also, check out the google map showing new studios at this link.