The Pull Room: CAL’s community printmaking studio

Phayvanh Luekhamhan stands behind the Whelan Xpress Pro Printer with her right hand on the wheel. The walls are cream with red bulletin boards and blue cupboards. Photo is by Phillip Robertson.
Phayvanh Luekhamhan, CAL’s ED, stands behind our newest acquisition, a Whelan Xpress Pro etching press. The classroom is located in the school wing, home of the former River Rock School. Photo by Phillip Robertson.


The Center for Arts and Learning is pleased to be opening a community printmaking studio in our building at 46 Barre Street. Located in a classroom of the school wing recently vacated by the City of Montpelier, and formerly where River Rock School was housed, this room will be open to any interested member of the community ages 16 and up.

We are currently making finishing touches to the space and finalizing our schedule. We aim to provide 24 hour access to this room starting in late May. But you can sign up right now by using this form (also embedded at the bottom). We will get you started one everything is ready to go. But wait, what are you signing up for?

Membership Details

For $50 per month (or $600/yr), you will be trained on the use and care of each of the three printing presses in the Pull Room, including the Whelan XPro in the photo above.

You’ll also have access to a Richeson Baby Press and a mobile table top press. You’ll be able to reserve use of the presses in 1 hour blocks. You’ll get a cubby to store your personal materials. You’ll be expected to clean up after yourself and be respectful of everyone’s time. Member expectations are here. That’s it!

Members will also receive 10% off registration fees for any classes you’d like to take. Bring your own materials or pick some up at The Drawing Board in downtown Montpelier.

Of course, we also expect everyone to abide by our code of conduct.

Volunteer Opportunities

A limited number of volunteer opportunities are available to offset membership fees. We are seeking reliable folks to help maintain the space and manage membership questions. Please reach out to Kate Ruddle, the Pull Room staff coordinator at: if you’re interested in these spots.

I can’t afford a membership…

We do understand this is not in everyone’s budget. CAL will offer a few open house and community events. We can also offer limited scholarship on a case by case basis, thanks to a donation from our friends at the Alchemist Foundation. Come by during the June 2nd Art Walk and we can show you around and chat. Or contact Phayvanh any time:

Note: Artists currently with a studio at CAL qualify for a discounted membership. Please reach out to Phayvanh if you’re interested.

I’d prefer a class first

We got you! Phillip Robertson will be leading two Monotype Basics classes in July. Monotype is so fun and easy. And Phillip is a great teacher. We’ll be adding more classes as we get them confirmed. Please follow us on Eventbrite to get notifications.

Can I teach a class?

Sure! Fill out this form and let us know what you’re interested in offering and when and what your teaching experience is. We are looking for any type of printmaking that can be worked with our etching presses. Gelli printing, cyanotype and other non-press methods are also welcome. We pay a flat rate for each class. Class size is 4-8 participants. Kate will follow up with your proposal.

The Pull Room Membership Application is below. Join us today!

Join CAL’s Community of Artists: Memberships are now available

We’ve received many requests for a membership program here at CAL, and have thought through all the benefits we can provide for our artistic community. Our focus will be to develop and maintain a self-organized cohort for artists of all disciplines. Please read on for more details of our program and how to apply. If you don’t consider yourself an artist but want to support CAL’s mission, we welcome donations in any amount.

Jess shows a visitor around CAL’s Holiday Market. CAL members qualify to be in a market at a higher commission rate than non-members. Photo by Emma Norman.

Click here to apply for CAL membership

About Artist Memberships

The CAL artist community consists of all active CAL tenants, active members of the Arts Resource Association, and creative artists (students and professionals) in the community who are current on their annual dues.

Membership Benefits include opportunities to: 

  • Exhibit (and sell) work located in the first floor Members Gallery*
  • Sell work at pop-up Buyer’s Square marketplace during Artwalk*
  • Design and teach classes and workshops (about art, PR, grants, taxes, business)*
  • Participate in classes and workshops at discounted rates **
  • Facilitate and/or participate in art/community meet-ups
  • Facilitate and/or participate in critique/feedback sessions
  • Volunteer to support CAL and earn better commission rates and discounts
  • Make suggestions (and help develop) new programs, outreach, etc. 
  • Explore grant opportunities under CAL’s umbrella for fiscal sponsorship

* Members commission rate (for sales, and teaching) is 65% (35% to CAL). 

Working members (volunteer 3-5 hours a quarter) commission rate is 70% (30% to CAL)

**Class fee discounts for members and working members.

Membership dues 

$36/year as of date of payment.  Applications reviewed on a rolling basis.

An arts patron views an exhibit during a reception. CAL members qualify to show their work in the first floor Members Gallery. They may also participate in the Curation Committee. Photo by Carty.

Membership Eligibility

CAL welcomes creators of any artistic discipline (students, hobbyists and professionals) to apply for membership. Current studio tenants of CAL and current members of ARA are automatically qualified for CAL membership.

At minimum, you must:

  • Be a currently practicing artist (hobbyist, amateur or professional) in one or more disciplines, including fine arts, graphics, crafts, maker-arts, language and performing arts, etc. 
  • Be 16 years old or older
  • Reside in Vermont
  • Support CAL’s Mission
  • Agree to CAL’s Code of Conduct

What is a “Working Member”?

Active members that contribute time towards supporting the membership program, or support CAL through specific projects, will be considered a “working member,” if they contribute 3-5 hours per quarter (every three months). 

While CAL welcomes higher levels of volunteer participation, any hours contributed over 5 per quarter will be considered uncompensated volunteer time and will not accrue into the future. 

Working Member Duties 

To fulfill the required “working member” hours, contribute what you can, when you can! Below are links to some of the current volunteer opportunities at CAL. Please sign up if something here interests you. Please be in touch if you don’t see something listed that you would like to help with. 

A very happy group of painters with their leader Katie O’Rourke. CAL members may offer classes and programs to the membership or the general public under our umbrella. Photo by Phayvanh Luekhamhan.

About The Center for Arts and Learning

The Center for Arts and Learning (CAL) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit located in Montpelier, dedicated to fostering an arts community for everyone. We do this by offering private studios, gallery exhibits, fiscal sponsorship and arts programming. We are located at 46 Barre Street in Montpelier, which serves as the permanent home of CAL’s founding partners, the Monteverdi Music School and the T.W. Wood Gallery and Arts Center. 

CAL Membership Contact

Preya Holland, CAL Membership Coordinator:

Phayvanh Luekhamhan, CAL Executive Director: 

Apply here

5 Questions with Emma Norman

This Friday’s Art Walk will feature Emma Norman’s work in our first floor studio gallery. Emma is one of CAL’s studio artists. We recently had a chance to ask her a few questions to better know her and her work. You’re invited to meet the artist at the reception: Friday, October 1, 2021, 5-7 PM.

Image from Emma Norman's exhibit at CAL
from “In the Night of Day”, currently on exhibit at CAL through December.

What is your background? 

I was born in Hawaii in 1988 and grew up in Vermont and Washington, D.C. I went to Pitzer College in Claremont, CA, and completed a Master’s in Visual Arts from Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier in 2017. In addition to photography, I have also spent many years working in the coffee industry. I recently moved back to Vermont after a decade of living in the San Francisco Bay Area.

When and where did you start pursuing your art? 

My dad is a novelist and my mom is a poet, and they encouraged me to explore the arts from a young age. I took my first photography class at 11 years old in a repurposed Maryland amusement park called Glen Echo. I had a great photography teacher in high school named Karen Keating, who also ran the Glen Echo darkroom. She encouraged me to attend the Maine Photographic Workshops (now the Maine Media Workshops) where I learned darkroom techniques and alternative processes from the talented cyanotypist Brenton Hamilton. When I was 15, I began a mentorship with East Montpelier photographer and master printer Andrew Kline.

Who and what has influenced you the most ?

In addition to my teachers, my early influences were photographers Sally Mann, Francesca Woodman, and Claude Cahun. I cast a wide net of inspiration, from writers to musicians to other photographers and visual artists.

How would you best describe your style? 

I try to strike a balance between the formal and intimate. I like to explore narrative, memory, historicity, queer representation, and everyday life. Someone once told me I have a “promiscuous sensibility” which I took to mean that my influences are very eclectic. I have also been described as a magpie- I guess I am a collector and a maximalist! I tend to think of my work as pretty straightforward, though, and not overly reliant on concept.

Do you have any dreams or inspirations you are currently pursuing or would like to create?

I am getting ready to launch a small commercial portraiture business here in Montpelier and looking forward to becoming more immersed in our local arts scene. Please contact me if you’d like to have a portrait made!

I am currently working on a long term photography and oral history project called See My Heart, about a friend of mine from San Francisco. I met Morgan when I was working as a barista at Pinhole Coffee in Bernal Heights, San Francisco. I soon realized that my new friend was exceptional in myriad ways, and I became interested in helping to share her incredible life stories with the public through the form of an artist book. 

 Morgan has performed comedic autobiographical storytelling since the 80s, and has a successful woodcraft business. While she has entertained countless audiences with vulnerable (and hilariously rendered) stories of her gender transition from male to female, See My Heart explores the stories which haven’t made it onto the stage. This book offers a glimpse beyond Morgan’s gender and into the untold personal experiences of a talented woodworker, an important community member, and a cherished friend.  

Morgan in Her Element, Emma Norman

See My Heart is also the story of a friendship between two queer people of different generations (I’m 33 and Morgan is almost 70!) who’ve come together to ensure that her stories of adventure, survival, addiction, recovery, transition, love, loss, and triumph are not lost to history. Rather, we want to uplift and amplify these unique memories and present them in the timeless, fine-art medium of an artist book. I have a GoFundMe set up if you would be interested in helping me to complete this exciting project.

Our first floor Studio Gallery is sponsored by The Drawing Board, Montpelier’s arts supply and framing shop.

Mocks and Smocks Fall/Winter 2021

Painting by Cindy Griffith

In collaboration with the T.W. Wood Gallery, we’re excited to present Mocks and Smocks to the Central Vermont community. This is an alcohol-free paint and sip event held every 3rd Friday at the T.W. Wood Gallery. These run from 6 to 8 PM and are appropriate for ages 14 and up.

A special family event will be held on Saturday, October 23rd as well. This is great for groups with multiple children and geared for ages 8 and up.

Teachers include Katie O’Rourke and Cindy Griffith. All classes include paints and canvas, and refreshments. To see the schedule and to purchase tickets, click the button below.

Monotype Basics

Abstract monotype by Jasper Johns

The three etching presses in The Pull Room can produce monotype prints. Monotype is an easy way to get your creative juices flowing, either as a warm up exercise or finished piece. 

In all printmaking, paint (or medium) is applied to a matrix like an plexiglass or copper plate, which is then transferred to paper (or canvas) by applying pressure. In the case for monotype, the matrix is a smooth nonabsorbent surface onto which the artist applies paint directly. Monotypes are unique prints, meaning that no two prints are exactly alike.

Monotyping is a versatile printmaking technique that can be used to create a wide variety of images. The artist can use a variety of tools and materials to create the image, including brushes, rags, sponges, and even their fingers. The artist can also use a variety of inks and paints, as well as solvents and other materials to manipulate the image.

Fiona and Molly manipulate monotype plates. The plates are attached onto cardboard for easier handling.

Monotyping can be used to create a wide variety of artistic styles. The artist can create realistic images, abstract images, or even mixed-media images. Monotyping can also be used to create prints that are both beautiful and expressive.

Some of the most famous monotype artists include Henri Matisse, Joan Miró, and Edgar Degas. These artists used monotyping to create a wide variety of images, including landscapes, portraits, and abstract compositions. Their monotypes are now considered to be some of the most important works of art of the 20th century. Jasper Johns is a contemporary artist who utilized this method. 

Monotyping is a versatile and expressive printmaking technique that can be used to create a wide variety of images. It is a popular technique among both traditional and contemporary artists, and it is a great way to explore the creative process.

Learning Monotype at CAL

Two monotype classes will be held in July, led by printmaker Phillip Robertson, who teaches at Northern Vermont University at Johnson. This class is open to all community members ages 16 and up. All materials will be supplied. Phillip will lead you through various applications and manipulations of paint on the matrix and will help you to pull the resulting prints. Finished prints will be wet, which you may leave to dry or take home with you. Please wear clothes you are comfortable painting in. 

Class 1: July 8, 2023

Class 2: July 29, 2023

Last week the T.W. Wood and the CAL staff learned to pull monotypes with Phillip, and here’s some of what they made. 

We can’t wait to see what you can do! 

2023 Summer Potlucks Schedule

We had such a great time last summer getting to know our neighbors that we’re doing it again! We’re partnering with the Montpelier Senior Activity Center to host potluck dinners this summer on the 4th Wednesday of the month. The first one will be on May 24th at 5:30 PM. Please bring dinner for yourself or something to share with the group. We’re working on inviting some City representatives to this first meeting to get to know their work and ask some questions. Come join us! For information, please email:


  • May 24: meet City representatives
  • June 28: make music with us
  • July 26: decorate your own solar eclipse glasses and discuss viewing plans
  • Aug 23: learn about Barre Street businesses
  • Sept 23 (not a Weds): join the MSAC annual Harvest Dinner

What to Expect

All participants are expected to abide by CAL’s Code of Conduct. Please come if you are feeling well, and mask are optional. We’ll mingle about and eat dinner starting at 5:30. Games, fun, presentations will start by 6:15. Stay as long as you like, but we’ll clean up by 7.

Please note that this is intended to be a safe, welcoming event amongst neighbors. Some of us will be new to one another, so please respect one another’s choices in food, conversation, and personal boundaries. See you in the playground!

Last year, the group came up with this tagline for the neighborhood: A Wonderful Place to Grow.

Exhibit: Separations | Migrations

The summer show in the second floor Community Gallery features works in conversation around forced migration and the emotional trauma of family separation. Centered around Deborah Goudreau’s Separation Series, the exhibit includes visual art from Sarah Ashe, Holly Hauser, Lisa Myers, and Jeremy Vaughn. Additional text and a display of family relics fill out the show, curated by CAL director Phayvanh Luekhamhan.

Migrations 1, Sarah Ashe

Separations | Migrations opens in June and will be on show through mid August, with a closing reception during Montpelier’s August Art Walk. Goudreau is a potter and clay artist based in Hinesburg.

‘Despair’, from the Separation Series, Deborah Goudreau

“This country has a long history of separating children from their families. During the 200 years of slavery, children were sold apart from their parents; Native American children were abducted from their homes and sequestered in residential schools; and more currently, migrant children are being separated from parent(s),” Goudreau writes in her description of the nine water-filled clay vessels on display. The immediacy of the emotions depicted in her work are complemented by the visual elements, which both globalize and localize the issues of forced migration.

Meet the artists during the summer Art Walk receptions. All work is for sale, please contact Phayvanh Luekhamhan to inquire:

Join us

Show Event:
Opening Reception

Closing Reception

June 3, 2022, 5-7 PM

August 5, 2022, 5-7 PM

“Tracking Time Through COVID” with Liz Le Serviget

Middlesex-based painter Liz Le Serviget’s solo exhibit at The Center for Arts and Learning’s Member Gallery, Tracking Time Through COVID, is a colorful visual journal of the artist’s everyday life since shutdown. It features cards, reflections, portraits and a diaorama.

Some of the many painted cards that Liz made during her isolation.

As part of the show, the artist invites viewers to mark their passage through COVID with her. Offering blank books, cards, colorful markers, participants can log the books they’ve read, and or mark a date on their own pandemic timeline.

Le Serviget says of the origins of this show, “Each day since mid March 2020,  I have been creating a 2“ x 3“ watercolor painting along with several words that describe an experience, activity, new event, mood, conversation, observation, appreciation, challenge or anything else that has left its mark on that particular day, setting it apart from other days that seem to be melting into each other.”

Show us what books you read and thoughts or ideas you had during the pandemic.

Since everyone experienced the pandemic differently, the artist  invites the viewer to add to the collective record of our time together. The exhibit and the interactive installation is on display in the first floor Members Gallery at the Center for Arts and Learning.

We are located at 46 Barre Street and are open M-F 8-5, S/S 10-4. For more information:

Join us at CAL

Show Event:
Opening Reception

Closing Reception

June 3, 2022, 5 -7 PM

August 5, 2022, 5-7 PM

To purchase form this collection, please contact Phayvanh Luekhamhan:

We’re #120 on the Vermont Open Studio Map! May 28-29, 2022

Center for Arts and Learning joins Vermont Open Studio Memorial Day Weekend 🎨

TL;DR Visit the Center for Arts and Learning during Open Studio and meet artists Liz Le Serviget and LynaLou Nordstrom. CAL boasts two galleries and curated hallways.


Montpelier’s nonprofit community arts hub, the Center for Arts and Learning (CAL), located at 46 Barre St in Montpelier, VT will take part in the Vermont Crafts Council’s 30th Spring Open Studio on Memorial Day weekend. Doors are open to the general public on May 28 and 29 from 10 am to 4 pm.

“Faces”, from Liz Le Serviget’s Tracking Time Through Covid show

Studio artists present will be painter Liz Le Serviget (B1) and printmaker LynaLou Nordstrom (B5) in the lower “Underground Gallery” space. Come see their work, visit with the artists and if inclined, purchase their work. 

A print from LynaLou Nordstrom’s collection

Le Serviget’s exhibit “Tracking Time Through COVID” is displayed upstairs in the Members Gallery on the first floor. It’s a watercolor and oil timeline of her daily life since March 14, 2020, featuring cards, reflections, portraits and an interactive piece. 

“Horror”, from Deborah Goudreau’s Separation Series

The second floor Community Gallery features Separation Series, a meditation on family separation via water-filled clay vessels by Deborah Goudreau. Wall art by Jeremy Vaughn, Lisa Meyers, and Sarah Ashe round out the Separations and Migrations exhibit. 

OTHER ART AT CAL: The first floor hallway and a portion of the Underground Gallery is curated by the Art Resource Association (ARA), a membership group of Central Vermont artists. 

CAL’s partner the T.W. Wood Gallery and Museum will also be part of the Open Studio event.

There’s much to see during Open Studio at CAL. Opening reception for all shows will take place during Montpelier Art Walk, Friday June 3rd from 5-7 pm

ABOUT CAL: The Center for Arts and Learning is Montpelier’s nonprofit arts hub, featuring gallery space, private art studios, and is the permanent home of the T.W. Wood Gallery and Museum and the Monteverdi Music School. It is located at 46 Barre Street and is open M-F 8-5, S/S 10-4. For more information:

ABOUT OPEN STUDIO: The 30th Annual Vermont Spring Open Studio Weekend, is held during Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend, May 28 & 29 from 10 – 5 each day. It gives shoppers, visitors and collectors the opportunity to plan a tour that brings them through the small towns of Vermont to studios where they can purchase beautiful well-made things and talk with the artist that made them. Open Studio is a project of the Vermont Crafts Council. CAL is stop #120 on the map. 

Photos: Art Walk April 1, 2022

We had a great time at last Friday’s Art Walk. Here are few pictures from the event, featuring PoemCity, Art Resource Association, Cardboard Teck Instantute, and the T.W. Wood galleries. Thanks to our friend Carty for the photos. 📸

Don’t miss us on the next Art Walk, June 3rd. See you then! 🗓️

Also: for everyone who came by the next day for Liz LeServiget’s art sale benefitting Ukraine, she was able to send off $800 in donations. Thanks to art buyers one and all. 💖

April Mocks and Smocks with Jess Quinn

Spring inspiration: Poppies

Our next Mocks and Smocks takes place on Friday, April 15 and is taught by Jess Quinn, who will be guiding participants through a mixed media collage on canvas creating images of poppies, and using this flower as inspiration.

Doors open at 5:30, and participants are encouraged to arrive then to sample refreshments and settle into their creative workspace. Class starts promptly at 6 PM.

From 6 til 8, Jess will guide participants in mixed media collage , using paint, paper, glue, and watercolors.

This series is a presentation of the Center for Arts and Learning. Ticket sales help to defray materials costs, pay the teaching artist, and supports overall CAL programming.

COVID Safety:

To ensure safety at this event, the class size is limited, the space has good airflow and we run an air purifier during class. Masks are required (provided if needed). Anyone feeling unwell should stay home and join us in a future class.

Spring Mocks and Smocks on sale now

We’re very much looking forward to next week’s Mocks and Smocks event with Katie O’Rourke. Doors open at 5:30 PM and class starts at 6 PM. If you haven’t yet reserved your ticket, please do so now!

Katie is a Montpelier-based teaching artist and she is a great guide to help you create a finished painting that you can take with you. This month, we will be making an abstract winter scene.

Learn how to make this painting on March 18th

Great for friend groups. teens, and #TGIF unwinding sessions. Refreshments will be provided. $5 discount for two tickets purchased.

For folks who want to plan ahead, please check out the spring dates here and go ahead and pre-order the canvases for the dates you’re interested in. As always, class size is limited. Paintings for these sessions will be posted later.

If you enjoy this program, please make sure to tell your friends, post about it on Front Porch Forum, or share our Facebook events. See you on Friday the 18th!