Vermont Open Studio Weekend Oct 3 & 4, 2015

Because Art Matters VT Featured Artists Participating in Open Studio Weekend

I am apologizing in advance for not posting this earlier in the week.  in my defense, i only returned from kansas city on wednesday, and have been recovering from migraines and shingles outbreaks due to over-scheduling myself.  i must do a better job in future years.  but, enough about me–this is about art & craft!!

back to the important matter–open studio weekend.  this post will simply feature each artist that has been presented on BAM VT previously and are participating in this major event throughout the state.  if i left anyone out, please let me know and i will update this!

here are the featured artists:

rising meadow pottery–diane rosenmiller and nick seidner

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Phone: 802.235.9429


bob gasperetti, master wood worker

bob gasperetti mission sideboard5 bob gasperetti image 4


address/phone:  848 South End Road · Mount Tabor, VT 05253   802.293.5494

web site:

the zipper lady–stacie mincher

stacie-Zipper-Heart-Pins-bam stacie BFP-picture-22

address:  7 Kingsley Court,  Rutland VT 05701
phone:  (802) 989-6655

web site:

matthew tell, clay artist

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Matthew Tell Pottery
163 Potters Hill Rd
POBox 232
Marlboro,VT 05344

web site:


the inimitable daryl storrs

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web site:

Daryl V. Storrs Artworks

address:  235 Bridge Street
Huntington, Vermont 05462
phone:  802-434-5040

sculptor gerald k stoner

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web site:

facebook page:


address:  185 River Road, Underhill, VT

phone:  802-324-3897

vermont artisan designs, brattleboro

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web site:

address/phone:  106 Main Street Brattleboro, VT | 802.257.7044

epoch – 18 vermont artisans gallery

Epoch-Front-400 Epoch inside

4927 Main Street
Manchester Center, VT




Gallery Hours

M – Th: 10 – 5
F & Sat: 10 – 6

Joe Chirchirillo, Highly Awarded Sculptor of North Bennington

Joe Chirchirillo, Sculptor

joe chirch 1

joe is the guy on the right!

joe chirchirillo is not only an exceptional sculptor, but musician as well.  one can see joe in one of his bands–Passin’ Thru or BuzzSaw Boys, playing around the vermont/new york area on a regular basis.  not to be missed–they are good!

Joe Chirchirillo has been creating sculpture since the early 1970’s.  i guess you could say joe knew what he wanted to do from an early age.  bring art to the world in an unforgettable way, and that is what he has continued to do now for well over forty years.

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After attending college in New York and Arizona, he moved to the New York Metro area and settled in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1979. He was part of the first wave of artists moving to this outpost across the Hudson, building the budding art scene there. In the early 1980′s he was involved with artists from lower Manhattan and Brooklyn who were putting on large shows in abandoned buildings and blighted urban lots. during this time joe’s work was reviewed in Art Forum, Art in America, Vanity Fair and on numerous occasions in the New York Times.

His work in these shows were the basis for his 1986 NEA fellowship and New Jersey state council fellowship grants. Corporations such as KPMG Peat Marwick and Mutual Benefit Life added pieces to their collections in these years. In the 1990’s he began to experiment with kinetic sculpture, looking for a way to examine the similarities and contrasts between the natural and mechanical world. During these years he had several successful one-man shows in Manhattan and large firms such as Cleary Gottlieb and Skadden Arps commissioned pieces for their offices.

let’s see some of joe’s current work (i cannot find images of older work):

joe chirch 4 worcester ma joe chirch 2 meredith nh

Over the last 7 – 10 years he has been working on  developing large scale outdoor pieces. During this time he has successfully completed many commissions for art centers, individuals, and collectors. The focus on creating outdoor work allows for a spontaneous and natural feel but it will also have to stand up to the rigors of weather in the Northeast.

joe’s work has recently evolved to the subject of water.  without water there would be no life; this has been the theme, the driving force for his work of the past 10 years. the sculptures are inspired by the look and sound of water moving over the surface of rocks and it is joe’s intent that they be viewed as “landscape sculpture”. They are a re-creation of a river or stream and at their core are about the experience of place.

joe’s hope is by juxtaposing the found objects with the rough concrete that he contrasts the natural and man made, hopefully reflecting on the human impact on the environment.

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this piece is water dolman, 2012, and i believe it is installed at salem art works in salem, ny.  joe has several sculptures installed there and they are so exciting to view and touch.  he did a residency there some 10 years ago, and his pieces are still going strong, giving testimony to his work being able to sustain the difficult northeast weather.

there are so many ways to reach joe!

web site:


address:  PO Box 512, North Bennington, VT  05257

phone:  802-442-3328

cell:  201-983-9062


i would also like to add that joe ran a successful kickstarter campaign for the north bennington outdoor sculpture show, which begins tomorrow, july 11, 2015 at 4pm with a kick-off party!  please check out their fb page for details:

joe also makes bird baths and benches, which i was unable to upload due to format issues.  please check joe’s web site for these beauties at:

again, please support a vermont artist that brings beauty to us via our eyes and our ears.  his work is impeccable and highly accomplished and the list of exhibitions which have included his work is monumental.  visit salem art works, the north bennington outdoor sculpture show, or even his studio (call or email first!).  he also has work installed around the northeast–meredith, nh, worcester, ma, pittsfield, ma, bennington, and more that i probably did not encounter.  this is the year of the arts in vermont!  help make it successful and know that you are helping one of your fellow vermonters make a living from their work.

again, you are thanked.  a parting sculpture:

joe chirch 6 pittsfield ma

global cooling device, installed in pittsfield, ma

Nicholas Kekic, Glassblower of Tsuga Studios

Nick Kekic

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The beginning of Tsuga Studios

Nick Kekic and his wife, Tamasin, built Tsuga Studios in 2000 on land that had been in Tamasin’s family for generations. Tsuga Canadensis is the scientific name for the Eastern Hemlock tree, and they harvested many on their site, which they milled and used for the lumber in their new building.  Tamasin, who has studied Wildlife Biology, suggested the name for this new place to live and work. Years later it is all that, as well as the space where they market and promote their work and explore and develop new techniques and design ideas.

some of nick’s beautiful work:

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nick was lucky enough to be born into a glass-making family.  his grandfather worked for forty-two years as an industrial glassworker at General Electric in Cleveland, Ohio. His experience and technical knowledge helped nick’s father, Thomas Kekic, help build the first glass studio and program for R.I.T. in Rochester, NY.

it was at nineteen that nick fully realized his legacy while attending a beginning glassblowing class at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, where his father had been some twenty years earlier. for nick, penland came to be a place for discovering his own creative resources. It was there that he developed a new relationship with glass, one where he began to rediscover the value of finely crafted hand-made things, not only as useful and beautiful objects but valuable for the satisfaction one gets in making them.  in nick’s words:  “these objects are not only important as expressions of who we are but there’s great importance in experiencing the creative process that brings them to life. spending time making things that are either beautiful or useful, encourages us to reach into some of what makes us most human.”

some of the light fixtures nick creates:

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nick finds glass a fascinating, compelling and challenging material with which to work. as a material for expression, its only limitations are those that have not been solved.  he believes there is a way to do it in glass–one need just find the way.  glass working techniques have evolved for thousands of years and he has benefited from those early traditions, borrowing many of those old world techniques to help realize his own processes.

obviously nick is capable of some amazing glass techniques and incomparable beauty in his work:

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nick designs his work to be decorative with clean, strong lines in form and color.  he finds glass most beautiful when worked in such a way that somehow captures and eventually expresses its fluidity as a material while maximizing its unique relationship with color and light.  most of nick’s work is functional as he generally feels most satisfied making things that are both beautiful and useful.

beauty and functionality captured:

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i first met nick at the craft show in weston, vermont which is almost always held on columbus day weekend in the weston playhouse.  he will be there again this year, so if you want to see some amazing glass, try to make the show.

here are some details about finding nick:

Tsuga Studios
678 Goldthwaite Road
Chester, Vermont 05143

phone:  802-875-1825
web site:

artful home:

the village green gallery, weston, vt

my, now traditional, mantra regarding supporting your local artists.  if you plan to be near chester, or realize you need or want a “present”, why not contact nick and see what he is up to!  you will be rewarded with an heirloom of incomparable skill and beauty.  believe in the power and beauty of the handmade.  trust that by paying more for something made here, that you have spent your money well and wisely.  all of us stand behind our work, unconditionally.

buying local supports a simple, humble family right here in vermont or in your local area.  it removes all the middlemen and puts the money right back into the local economy, keeping your local area stronger by so doing.  it gives us all human dignity to earn a reasonable living with our hard work.

parting thoughts (would you not want to have a meal with these?):

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Mary Hill, Artist

Mary Hill

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mary hill’s path to her art degree was quite unconventional.  she decided to be an aritst first and then get her degree some 30 years later.  back then, she struggled to pass her math class and left school, because, after all, she was an artist and it did not matter!  but she decided it did matter and she would earn that degree as a gift to her parents.  and earn it she did, graduating this past may 16, a week after her son graduated from college.  what a very proud household this past may, and we can tell husband rick was no exception to the proud factor.

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mary grew up in shelburne, vermont, looking at the adirondacks and lake champlain.  the lake provided the sun, wind, waves, movement, and color that have undoubtedly been a source of inspiration for mary’s work.  at an early age, mary went to the shelburne craft school, which provided art classes for children, and thus began the journey that still continues today.

over the years mary has studied at various institutions–johnson state college, suny purchase, parsons school of design, and with various individual artists including local artist carol macdonald.

most likely it is time to feature some of mary’s work:

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in 1999 mary began her banner business, which still continues today.  in 2007, eight years after she launched the banners, she was accepted in the vermont studio school and was afforded the opportunity to explore this art more deeply, and since then has continued to expand her painting style, which she utilizes in this business and the many paintings she creates.

she offers community banner painting projects as well as individual or group banner painting classes.  she’ll bring all the materials into a town and they will create these fantastic banners that will last for years, created by the town members.  what a way to celebrate, keep it local, and have ownership of the art!  some community banners she helped morrisville, vt create (these are 20 feet tall!!):

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and some individual banners–complete & in-process:

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these days mary lives and works in underhill, where her studio overlooks mt. mansfield and she lives with her husband rick.  she hosts art retreats, monthly classes and bootcamps, creates greeting cards from her many images, and is continuously painting.  let’s see a few more pieces of art work:

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where in the world can i find mary hill??

there are many ways to find or reach mary:

web site:


phone:  802.793.8277


address:  52 Kelly Rd. Underhill, VT 05489  (call before you decide to just pop-in)

mary is an artist that believes in the power of community.  the writer of this blog does too–community, local, support, making it here.  please support your local artists, creators, thinkers, brave souls that have no steady paycheck at all except for the good graces of those that choose to support our artistic endeavors.  see the vision.  see the future.  support mary hill and other local artists like her when you need any gift for someone that is made here in vermont!

kristin richland–whimsical & strange creature illustrator

kristin richland “sweet enemy art”

kristin r 1 sketching

kristin drawing

kristin had creative parents.  she got to take the shortcut to creativity which probably explains a lot about her work and subject matter.

she graduated in 1999 from maine college of art (meca) in Portland, ME with a BFA in graphic design.  after graduating, she moved back to vermont and in 2006 she and her soon to be hubby bought a place in underhill.  they each have a studio within it and kristin officially started her business on april fool’s day of 2009.

she describes her illustrations as wise dogs, cranky cats, graceful beings and gently creepy ones, too.  she paints on eggs, paper, canvas, and also on wood. not too many substrates elude her methods of color and line application. kristin enjoys the spookier side of the art world as much as the cuter side, so consider yourself warned.

it must be time to present some work, because the fingers are twitching. some of the graceful but ever so unusual animals will be up first:

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kristin’s explanation is that she is illustrating stories that have yet to be written.  perhaps that is why she is currently involved with a kickstarter campaign for a book called “The Crown of Secrets”.  it is a book of stories and pictures about wonder and imagination. It’s for children, adults, and everybody else.  she is illustrating two of the stories contained in the book!

This is all happening thanks to Jeremiah Christie, a writer who approached her several years ago to do some brainstorming. Jeremiah has come up with a dozen stories and poems and in collaboration with kristin and seven other artists, they are trying to fund the creation of the book.  here is a link to listen to the story of the realization of the book (couldn’t help myself–had to contribute) and a link to help fund it.  they are giving wonderful gifts for a very very small donation, so please help if you can.

time now for more beautiful and slightly strange work by kristin, some of my faves, as i am always drawn to that which relates to the under water world:

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so, why “Sweet Enemy” as her business name? it was bestowed upon her when making cakes for a living, her hubby saying:  “you’ve brought home yet another cake–so evil, but so tasty”.   and ever since, she has found it to be a good fit for the reactions her artwork generates.

kristin is also a panelist of the vermont crafts council during their creativity conference.  it is happening may 2, 2015.  if i were not going to be in kansas city trying to sell my work, i’d be attending this conference.  anyone can register and their is a full slate for the whole day.  it is at goddard college and the hours are 8 am – 4 pm.  the link for many details and registration:

kristin r 1 smiling

how do i find this dynamic artist, i hear you saying (and she loves cats!)?

there are many ways to find and reach kristin:


web site/blog:

older web site, but cool art:




address:  52 Maple Ridge Road,  Underhill, VT 05489

cell:  802-399-8063

open studio tour:  kristin participates in the open studio tour each year during memorial day weekend.  this year it is saturday may 23 & sunday may 24. she is in underhill, vt, in chittenden county.  more information can be found at:

some parting photos, but not before i toot the horn of buy from a vermont artist.  support the local economy, and actually that of the entire nation.  the artists featured in this blog are fantastic people and artists and we would greatly appreciate your support.  because art matters now and always.  BAM VT.  if you read this blog post, please pass it along/share it with as many as you can.  revolutions start from within.

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chris cleary, “on the rocks” stone sculptor

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chris at work, carving

christopher cleary is a 4th generation vermonter who lives in jericho center with his wife and two sons, sawyer and finnegan.  he has been “on the rocks” since 1999 at his home based studio and sculpture garden.

chris began exploring stone as a child while accompanying his father on stone masonry projects. In his early twenties, Chris discovered his talent for sand carving while working for his father’s stone business, and honed his own technique with training at the West Rutland Carving Studio, a well-known, highly respected carving institution.  it was soon thereafter that he began his own business and has happily been pursuing his dream since that time.

Chris uses a process called sand carving, along with traditional stone carving tools, to create his designs in stone. Sand carving is one way to precisely etch stone with intricate detail, and is achieved by propelling a sand-like substance onto the surface of the stone. Chris’ work is unique in that his designs are drawn and manually cut into a single-use rubber overlay.

a few examples of chris’s fantastic benches:

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and now some amazing bathing places for the birdies (don’t know about you but i take great delight watching birds use a birdbath):

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Chris explains his work as each piece sharing the story of time and nature. The work is constantly evolving, as he is always experimenting and exploring the properties of the medium. he enjoys attempting to capture the beauty within a stone and complement it in a natural way. No two stones are ever the same, yet they all speak in a consistent language, which he translates into the beautiful stone sculpture he creates.

like many artists, chris has become popular for some of his smaller items.  he creates unique ornaments that have become favorites among vermonters and tourists alike.  there are probably some amongst us that already have a few of these treasures.  in case you are wondering, here is a sampling of his very popular christmas ornaments:

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His work has appeared in art shows and galleries throughout Vermont, and is held in private collections on four continents. Permanent installations of his work in the state of vermont can be found at St. Michael’s College (Colchester, VT), Wake Robin (Shelburne, VT), and NRG Systems (Hinesburg, VT).

chris teaches workshops and participates in local craft shows.  he is always available for custom work, which is sampled above with the benches and bird swimming pools.  contact information will follow shortly.  schedule a class with chris.  look how young some of these children are and they had a blast (more photos will be found on his facebook page and a link will be below):

chris cleary teaching moment chris cleary teaching moment 1

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how do i find chris and his business “on the rocks carving studio and sculpture garden”?


web site:

address:  353 Browns Trace Rd  Jericho, VT 05465

phone:  802-899-6832


chris will be participating in the open studio tour in vermont saturday may 23 & sunday may 24.  he is in jericho, vt and that is chittenden county.  more information can be found at:

yes, i will continue my rally cry of “support your local artist” and buy handmade and U.S. made.  keep the dollars in the state or at least the country.  you are supporting a hard-working, completely self-supporting artist when you buy it made here in the good ‘ole u.s. of a.  schedule a visit, schedule a class and meet this one-of-a-kind artist that loves to teach and help you see your vision unfold.  and who wouldn’t want to visit this beautiful studio?

chris cleary studio


vermont reading partners 3rd annual spring craft fair

just a short post about an upcoming event at the manchester elementary & middle school (mems) in manchester, vermont on saturday may 2, 2015 from 10 am – 4 pm.  it’s an exciting day of handmade craft, supporting local artists,  and getting that mother’s day one-of-a-kind gift.

a link to the facebook page for more information about the participating artists:

vt reading partners page

banner for fb page, featuring stacie mincher!!

a  number of the participating artists are those that have been previously featured in this blog.

some featured artists include:

mark catman–birch bark baskets of all kinds

emailable swirl handbag top DSCN3885 apps

ellen howard–fiber artist, including silk scarves, t-shirts, etc.

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erin kaukas–handbags

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stacie mincher–the zipper lady


please head out to the show to support local artists, shop for mother’s day, and see some truly wonderful handmade items.

that facebook link once more: