Center for Arts and Learning Reopens for Montpelier Art Walk, June 4th

Art Walk Map for June 2021.

MONTPELIER, VT  — June 1, 2021 —  The Center for Arts and Learning (CAL) is reopening to the public starting June 4th to coincide with Montpelier’s Art Walk program, beginning at 4 PM. CAL is located at 46 Barre Street (number 6 on the map)

Featured during this one-night event is Chris Jeffrey, whose new glass works will be on display. He’ll be available for a meet and greet during Art Walk. CAL’s in-house artists that will open studios also include Liz Le Serviget and Michelle Kessler.

From the T.W. Wood Gallery’s contemporary archive, five artists will be on display in the second floor gallery. They include: Ray Brown, Claire Van Vliet, Phil Osgatharp, and Geneva MacDonald.

The first floor gallery features artwork currently for sale as part of a fundraiser for the T.W. Wood Gallery. They include works by: Dennis Lucas, Kari Meyer, Sue Stukey, Michelle Lesnak, Caroline Tavelli-Abar, Lois Eby, Joy Spontak, Roger Erikson, and Carolyn Ann Steward

Both exhibits will run through August 27th, with an opening reception during the June Art Walk. They are curated by CAL’s exhibits committee, led by Phillip Robertson. The public is invited to return throughout the summer to view these works. The Center for Arts and Learning will now be open 8 AM to 5 PM Mondays through Fridays, and from 10 AM – 4 PM on the weekends. 

A full listing of all the Montpelier Art Walk participants can be found here.

Montpelier Art Walk ad for June 2021.

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About the Center for Arts and Learning

The Center for Arts and Learning is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit 22,000 square foot facility at 46 Barre Street, Montpelier, Vermont where arts nonprofits and independent artists of any medium or modality can draw inspiration, create, perform, and connect with a larger artistic community.

Founded in 2012, CAL houses more than 25 studios — in addition to the founding partners, the T.W. Wood Gallery and Museum and the Monteverdi Music School.

CAL is supported by the founders and artists renting the studios, donations from the general public, and various municipal and state grants. 

Phayvanh Luekhamhan to Helm Center for Arts and Learning

For Immediate Release: March 26, 2021

Montpelier, Vt. – March 26, 2021 – The Center for Arts and Learning (CAL) Board of Directors today announced that Phayvanh Luekhamhan will step into the role of executive director starting April 1.

In this role, Luekhamhan will oversee the operation of the 22,000 sq. ft. arts facility located in Montpelier’s Barre Street District and seek to create new resources for artists and cultural opportunities for the Central Vermont community.

“In touring the CAL facility, I saw a lot of potential for new programs and initiatives,” said Luekhamhan. “I’m excited to work with the board, member artists/organizations and the community to make this place where everyone can connect with art and engage their own creativity.”

Phayvanh Luekhamhan

A practicing poet, Luekhamhan previously held roles of director of operations at LION Publishers, a nonprofit member-based organization focused on supporting digital news publishers, director of business development, finance, and administration for the award-winning online publication VTDigger.org, and executive director at Montpelier Alive. She and Rachel Senechal co-founded Poem City a monthlong, city-wide celebration of poetry that has been adopted by three other Vermont communities.

Luekhamhan also holds a certificate in nonprofit management from Marlboro College Graduate School.

Founded in 2012, CAL houses more than 25 member artists, writers, nonprofits, and makers — along with founding members, the T.W. Wood Gallery and Museum and Monteverdi Music School.

“The board believes that CAL is poised to grow into a more active role as one of the anchor community arts institutions in the Central Vermont region,” said CAL Board President Elliott Bent. “Phayvanh is the person to take us there. She’s a practicing artist with extensive nonprofit management experience and a track record of getting things done. We’re absolutely thrilled that she’s joining the organization.”

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About the Center for Arts and Learning

The Center for Arts and Learning is a nonprofit 22,000 square foot facility in Montpelier, Vermont where arts nonprofits and independent artists of any medium or modality can draw inspiration, create, perform, and connect with a larger artistic community.

River Rock School Closing

It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to River Rock School, which is closing its doors this summer. They were one of our founding partners, and have been instrumental in developing the Center for Arts and Learning as a place where students, artists, and our whole neighborhood can come together. We’ll miss their plays, their exuberance, and their laughter. We hope all River Rockers know they will always have a home here at the Center for Arts and Learning, and will continue to be an important part of our community.

We’ll be hosting a mega-yard-sale, with social distancing, on Saturday, July 11th (rain date July 12th) to help spread the River Rock love to all our neighbors – drop by (in a mask, please) to pick up everything from awesome kids’ books to skis and skates to furniture; proceeds will support River Rock.

If you would be interested in becoming a partner in the Center for Arts and Learning, or have a nonprofit program that would be interested in space for the fall, please get in touch. We are excited for our next chapter, and we want to wish everyone from River Rock all the best.

Black Lives Matter.

Our doors have been closed to the general public since mid-March, and we miss all of you. In this time of grief and unrest following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and far too many others, we want to reiterate that everyone is welcome at the Center for Arts and Learning. We stand with the Black community and support calls for equity, justice, and an end to systemic racism.

If you are an artist of color looking for studio space, practice space, or exhibition opportunities locally — or would be interested in becoming more involved with CAL — please let us know. We want to help, and we’re listening.

If you are an artist of color looking for resources, or are an ally interested in learning more and working in solidarity, these resources may be helpful:

Closed for COVID19

Due to the Coronavirus shutdown, the Center for Arts and Learning is closed to the general public until further notice. Tenants with spaces in the building can access their studios and offices. We ask that visitors to the building wear masks at all times in hallways and common areas, and not visit the building if they have had any symptoms of illness. The kitchen and gallery areas are currently closed.

As we start to reopen, many organizations in the building may have limited hours and activities. We encourage you to check their websites or social media for more details:

Cat McQ: United Signs of America/ Paintings by Jeanne Thurston

For its first shows of 2020, The Center for Arts and Learning will be presenting Cat McQ: United Signs of America in our second-floor gallery, and Paintings by Jeanne Thurston on the first floor. Join us for our rescheduled opening reception on Saturday, February 15 from 4-6pm. Both exhibitions run through March.

Cat McQ, Fair Haven, VT, November 2018

Cat McQ: United Signs of America takes the viewer on a road trip looking backwards. Intense skies are punctuated by vintage signage, some rusted, some vibrant, each signaling a larger road culture. Each engages the viewer in a different way; for some, the sign’s story or geography is the obvious focus, but for others, the image’s composition and color come to the fore. In a country we often think of as regionally divided, these photographs portray a common aesthetic of glitzy convenience. Many of them promise the exotic, with all the comforts of home. Removed from their locales and presented against the same skies, they become like formal portraits of forgotten sitters.

Jeanne Thurston’s paintings use intensely colored, dimensional bars of color to create reliefs. As you move around the space, the optics of each piece change, revealing new colors that combine to effect remarkable movement and volume. Thurston takes inspiration from her work keeping bees. Like beehives, her pieces use stable, simple geometric forms to build a base for a dynamic, ever-changing surface. Her colors buzz and flutter, dancing to communicate.

Dec.6 Artwalk: Lauren Hood / How to Draw Everything

Join us on December 6, 2019 from 4-8 pm for Montpelier Alive’s Artwalk. We’ll have works in the first-floor gallery from How to Draw Everything, an observational drawing class taught this fall by Glen Coburn Hutcheson. How to Draw Everything features drawings by Daryl Burtnett, Hasso Ewing, Glen Coburn Hutcheson, Ned Richardson, and Nicole Wolfgang. These accomplished students show us individual ways of looking and seeing, detailing their world from objects to the human form.

Lauren Hood, Explore, collage

Upstairs in the second-floor gallery, we’ll be presenting works by Burlington collage artist Lauren Hood. Lauren’s richly colored, surreal images combine retro advertising shots with landscapes to create a dreamlike, floating narrative full of strange nostalgia.

We’ll also be hosting the Secular Holiday Jam Session & Sing-Along from 7-8pm in room 207 at CAL, presented by Monteverdi Music School. Sheet music will be on hand for classic holiday songs – musicians and singers of all ages and abilities are welcome!

Don’t miss other events in the building as well – get your tickets for the River Rock Holiday Raffle, hear artist talks at 5pm and see exhibitions by Elliott Burg and Athena Petra Tasiopoulous at the T.W. Wood Gallery, and don’t miss the unveiling of the newly-restored painting Old Home by the Sea by Hudson River School painter Worthington Whittredge (1820-1910) at 6pm, also at the T.W. Wood Gallery.

See you at Art Walk!

Haunted House Story Spooktacular!

Join us on Saturday, October 26th for the Haunted House Story Spooktacular! We’ll have readings by five acclaimed authors for kids and teens: William Alexander, M.T. Anderson, Ann Dávila Cardinal, Cori McCarthy, and Linda Urban. They’ll be reading selections of middle-grade and YA fiction for kids and teens in the Stage Room of River Rock starting at 5pm. Throughout the evening (5-8pm), we’ll also have spooky rooms to explore at CAL – including a dance party! Suitable for all ages – costumes welcome!

All proceeds will benefit our 2020 programs – tickets are available on eventbrite or at the door and are $10/adults, $5/teens, $25/family and free for kids under 13. Please note entry will be at our Msgr. Crosby Ave. entrance (near TW Wood Gallery).

Laura Gans

Second Floor Gallery, Sept. 6 – November 30, 2019
Opening Reception Friday, Sept. 6th, 3-8pm

Laura Gans has an eye for structure. While her subjects range from architecture to the natural world, her compositions are unequivocally clean and graphic, focusing on details that articulate solid forms. Her stark, direct approach sheds new light on forms that are relatively ordinary – a flower or the side of a building. Many of Gans’ images, some taken years apart, have an uncanny compositional resonance with each other that brings out new meanings – whether it’s the rational, architectural quality of pine needles or the elegance and grace of a bird and a parachute in flight. The weight of spaces in her photographs draws in the air around them. Looking at them is almost an experience of sculpture.

Image of two birch trees, by Laura Gans