So close!

Construction crews have been working hard – and we’re nearly there!

It’s beginning to look like an actual elevator – and soon, it will bring visitors to five levels of the building.

We’re trying to raise $100,000 by July 1 to complete the project – and you can help.

You can donate online through paypal, or support us with a check via mail at:

LULA Elevator Project
Center for Arts and Learning
46 Barre St.
Montpelier, VT 05602


Elevator construction begins!

Eric of Lajeunesse Construction, unfazed by the snow!

After years of planning, we’re finally beginning construction on our LULA elevator! The elevator will allow us to serve all visitors, and to offer all kinds of new concerts, exhibitions, readings, camps, lessons, and other programs – it will more than quadruple the accessible space in our building, and will reach five levels. For the first time, all visitors will be able to explore shows at the T. W. Wood Gallery, participate in rehearsals and performances with Monteverdi Music School, and take part in River Rock School activities throughout the building.

Building temporary walls around the construction site

We are deeply grateful for all those who have supported the project so far – including the State of Vermont, Vermont Arts Council, and National Life Group – but we are still in need of help to complete construction this summer. We hope you’ll check back here for updates, come visit us, and help us make so much more possible at the Center for Arts and Learning!

Marking the center of the elevator shaft with a tiny hole that runs all the way up!

Learn more about the LULA project…

Marilyn Maddison: Imaginings

Second Floor Gallery, July 11 – August 30, 2019
Opening Reception July 11, 5-7 pm

Many of Marilyn Maddison’s abstract photographs originate with ice. Instead of viewing the landscape at a distance, she explores the spaces within it – spaces filled with light, fractures, and refractions. Recognizable crystalline structures or bubbles seem to place the viewer within these icy formations. And yet, many of Maddison’s images are not taken from nature, but made from expertly constructed and photographed still-lifes. She uses motion, lighting, and technique to create a sense of light falling through ice or water – tiny dioramas become vast caverns haunted by rainbows.

Marilyn Maddison, Gathering Insights

Alana LaPoint: Envie

First Floor Gallery, July 11 – August 30, 2019
Opening Reception July 11, 5-7 pm

Alana LaPoint’s collaged monoprints manage to channel the power and drama of teenage angst into intricate, layered compositions. Her varied techniques include writing directly on printing plates and painting with the bottom of a paint bottle, and then printing, cutting, and collaging images to form works that are prints, drawings, and sculptures all at once. Her carefully composed rage doesn’t need to explain itself, conveying both the organic physicality of bodies and the stark, graphic quality of a breakup through abstraction. These pieces tell you everything you need to know – but you don’t get to know her.

Collaged monoprint in black and white
Alana LaPoint, What I didn’t say to you, 2019

ArtsFest – June 6th

Join us for ArtsFest on June 6th, 4-9 pm

The Center for Arts and Learning is pleased to be part of ArtsFest, presented by Montpelier Alive, on June 6th from 4-9 pm. See works throughout the building by over 25 local artists and performers.

ArtsFest is an city-wide explosion of arts and creativity taking place throughout Montpelier on June 5th and 6th – for more on the larger event, check out the ArtsFest page.

On June 6th, CAL will host:

  • 6:00 pm – Michael Sherman Artist Talk at T.W. Wood Gallery
  • 6:45 pm – Informational Tour of Center for Arts and Learning with Executive Director Alice Dodge – meet at the CAL sign out front
  • 7:15 pm – DIORAMA: Room to Play – a collaborative performance with Dancer Alana Rancourt Phinney, Flutest Lisa Carlson, and horn soloist Lisa Lowery Busler

Throughout the evening:

  • Alex Forbes Mobile Woodworking Studio (in front of building)
  • Trajectory of Color, an Exhibition of works from the Helen Day Center (second floor)
  • Installation by Chris Jeffrey (third floor)
  • Installation by Michael Kuk (third floor)
  • Lake Champlain Rock Art Workshop with Susan Aronoff (basement)
  • Intuitive Tarot Readings by Sherri Glebus (third floor)
  • Works from the River Rock School
  • Beverage service by Magic Hat
Chris Jeffrey installing work on CAL’s third floor
Ross Sheehan, Farmer’s Graveyard

And artwork on view by:

Conor Isaiah Cleveland • Brian D. Cohen • Karen Cygnarowicz • PJ Desrochers • Alice Dodge • Stephen Frey • Alexis Kyriak • Noam Hessler • Ellis Jacobson • Christina Lesperance • David Lesperance  • Annie Limoge • Liz Le Serviget • Brecca  Loh • Joni McCraw • Sara Moulton • Angus Munro • Ned Richardson • Kate Ruddle • James Secor • Ross Sheehan • Ronilynn Shrout • Missy Storrow • Jim Thompson

Ned Richardson

First Floor Gallery, Center for Arts and Learning, May 3 – July 6, 2019
Receptions May 3rd, 4-8pm and June 6th, 4-9pm

Image of microglass painting
Ned Richardson, untitled [glass micro jan31_2300]

Ned Richardson’s work explores landscape – envisioning the natural world as it connects and intersects with the digital landscape we now inhabit. Both have a presence in Richardson’s paintings and drawings, as do both traditional and extremely non-traditional art processes.

For his glass micro paintings, Richardson experimented with Generative Adversarial Networks. A GAN is a neural network-based ‘deep learning’ system, with open-source code widely available on the internet; these are systems set up in pairs to learn to identify and generate specific kinds of images through input of a massive data set. The networks work off of each other to ‘learn’ to generate their own versions of the images fed to them – for example, making their own image that looks like a landscape – based on feedback and critique from a second network. Here, Richardson input several of his own images and had the system generate work ‘like’ his to use as source material for the paintings (which are then manipulated not through Photoshop, but painstakingly by hand).

Richardson’s series of mesh-dot drawings explore imaginary datasets, drawn by hand. If you can describe a landscape scientifically through an accumulation of data points, a drawing of that data is, in a sense, a description of the imagined world it measures. These very analog pen-and-ink drawings are abstract, but suggest the emergent mathematical patterns in a flock of birds or the growth of wildflowers.

Ned Richardson lives and works in Moretown, and his work can regularly be seen at the Front gallery in Montpelier. He has been making art since the 1990s, and has explored media ranging from egg tempera painting to digital and video-based work influenced by conceptual art.

Noam Hessler: Searching for Connection

Second Floor Gallery, Center for Arts and Learning, May 3 – July 6, 2019
Receptions May 3rd, 4-8pm and June 6th, 4-9pm

Noam Hessler, The Lonely Spirit

Noam Hessler’s intricate, beautiful and grotesque creatures provoke empathy and introspection by inviting viewers to engage with a world that may at first seem alien. Eyeballs, teeth, and hair form creations like bezoars, repugnant because they are familiar but monstrous. Hessler asks the viewer instead to expand their view of what is beautiful, and to consciously seek connection and understanding with that which seems off-putting. On closer inspection, these creatures tell complicated stories. The intricate nuance and attention with which they’re rendered show that they are, above all, deeply loved.

Noam Hessler has been drawing for the past fourteen years, since he was one year old. His work has been largely influenced by his fascination with creatures of all sorts, from microorganisms to mythical beasts. He often creates stories or loose narratives with his drawings, and has also been exploring writing and sculpture. He has exhibited his work at Studio Place Arts, VCFA, and the Myles Court Barber Shop.

Call to Artists: Show at CAL during ArtsFest on June 6!

This year, the New England Foundation for the Arts is holding its Creative Communities Exchange conference in Montpelier – and we want to showcase excellent art from around the region while they’re here. Montpelier Alive is sponsoring an ArtsFest during the conference on Thursday, June 6th – an expanded version of Art Walk.

Thanks to everyone who has let us know they’re interested – we’ll be posting more info, including a full artist list, just as soon as we confirm everyone. See you June 6th!

Geof Hewitt Poetry Events

In conjunction with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library andPoemCity, we’ve got two poetry events coming up at the Center for Arts and Learning:

Introduction to Poetry Slams for Kids

Wed April 10, 2019, 3 p.m.

Ever wonder what a poetry slam is? Join Vermont’s reigning slam master, Geof Hewitt, to learn about slams and write your own slam poem! Then sign up for the poetry slam at the Center for Arts and Learning on April 13.

Youth Plus Poetry Slam

Sat April 13, 2019, 4 p.m.

Join slam master Geof Hewitt for an afternoon of poetry performed by participants ages 8 and above, including adults. This is a traditional slam with original writing only and a three-minute time limit. Participants should come prepared with two pieces of writing.

Both events will take place at River Rock School, which is accessible to all.

Mindy Fisher: Smirking Serpents Seizing Spaceships and Other Secretive Scenes

First Floor Gallery, Center for Arts and Learning, Feb. 1 – Apr. 27, 2019
Reception during Feb. 1st Art Walk, 4-8 pm

Mindy Fisher, Squid and Bunnies

Mindy Fisher calls her series of fantastically loud, cataclysmically calligraphic abstract paintings ‘ornaglyphs’. As the name suggests, there is an almost-language of symbolic characters in them – her marks seem like a system of writing lost to the world, and her colors suggest the chaos of a jungle of birds taking off all at once. They are abstract, but funny and full of personality, an all-over pattern that refuses to stay still. They call to mind the garish palette and crazy aliens of late-night cartoons, but when you look at them the colors create unlikely sophisticated harmonies. Mindy describes them as battle scenes, but not from earthly wars: these are how a bubbly six-year old, armed with a golden cape and a pink sword, might imagine her path to glory.

Mindy Fisher grew up in a small town in New Hampshire. In 1998 she moved to Chicago to study set design at Columbia College. She stayed in Chicago and focused on painting, cartooning, and self-taught animation. She taught at Right Brained Studio in Oak Park, Il. She now lives and works in Vermont. She has shown work all over the country, including Chicago, Cincinnati, Portland (Oregon), and Rutland, Vermont. Last year she participated in Vermont Studio Center’s Vermont Artists Week residency program.