For forty years the Frog Hollow Craft Organization has been providing educational programs for local communities and development opportunities for Vermont artists and artisans. The organization operates a bright, inspired gallery at 85 Church Street in Burlington, and hosts programs that invite the public to engage and learn more about craft in Vermont. This winter, a first-ever film series explores art and craft concepts, and introduces local artists with an accompanying short film and live panel discussion.
A work from photographer & filmmaker Natalie Stutlz opened the Jan 21st event. With words, stills, film and music, Stutlz documented Vermont sculptor Eben Markowski’s creation of a magnificent, life size elephant, installed at Shelburne Farms last summer (see Of Land and Local). The inaugural feature film was Memory, from the award winning PBS series Craft in America; approaching the idea that objects made by hand capture more than cultural history, but serve as our memory, too. Cool synergy of topic and symbolism.
Among the artist profiles included in the PBS episode were two of our favorite woodworkers, Sam Maloof and Gary Knox Bennett. And included in the post-film discussion panel, Vermont craftsman and Guild of Vermont Furniture Makers member Kit Clark. When we visited Kit’s North Ferrisburgh studio last summer, we talked about Maloof.
“Definitely my favorite artist and woodworker. Maloof started with a rocker that looked like a stretched out ’58 Cadillac, and sort of kicked off the functional art movement.”
With a portfolio showcasing original, beautiful and highly sculptural work, Kit’s perspective must have been a fitting addition to the post-film review. We love to see our makers have an opportunity to discuss the experience of art and craft, and topics like heritage and culture, with the community. (Thanks, Frog Hollow!)
Kit mentioned that Memory touched on the concept of little guys and big guys in the arts & crafts profession, and about authenticity, and the importance of items made entirely by hand. “The series made me think what we as crafts people and artists have that the big guys will never achieve is a story. Each one of us has a unique evolution in terms of how we’ve achieved our knowledge and style. And nothing says quality or originality like personal, hands-on attention to detail, structure and design.”
The Film Series events are scheduled for the third Wednesday of every month at 7p; next one 2/18. Hosted by sponsor Feldman’s Bagels at 600 Pine Street in BTV. Visit Frog Hollow online for more info.