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.
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:
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:
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: 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
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.
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.
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).
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.
First Floor Gallery, Sept 6 – November 30, 2019 Opening Reception September 6, 3-8 pm
Chris Jeffrey’s work will make your brain vibrate. He works
primarily with perception – of light, line, color and form – to create
instability between what you see and what you think you should be seeing. His
mirror boxes create tiny and infinite alien worlds that you can peer into but
not quite enter. The wall-based works use line – both painted and delineated –
to create uncertainty in space. Precise and frenetic, Jeffrey’s pieces play
with the quality of intensity, seeming to create pressure and relief depending
on where you rest your eye. They are fascinating in the oldest sense of the
word – you can’t really look away.