ARTS PREVIEW: May 17-23, 2018

‘Singing in the Rain’
“Singing in the Rain” will be the next FOLA (Friends of Ludlow Auditorium) movie, at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 19, at the Ludlow Town Hall Auditorium. Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor star in one of the greatest and most successful musicals ever filmed — filled with memorable songs, lavish routines and Kelly’s fabulous song-and-dance number performed in the rain.
Set during the advent of “talkies,” Don Lockwood has risen to stardom during Hollywood’s silent-movie era — paired with the beautiful, jealous and dumb Lina Lamont. And when Lockwood becomes attracted to young studio singer Kathy Selden, Lamont has her fired. But, with the introduction of talking pictures, Lockwood finds his career in jeopardy after audiences laugh when they hear Lamont speak in her shrill voice for the first time … until the studio decides to use Selden to dub her voice.
The film was only a modest hit when first released. O’Connor won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor, and Betty Comden and Adolph Green won the Writers Guild of America Award for their screenplay, while Jean Hagen was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. However, it has since been accorded legendary status by contemporary critics, and is frequently regarded as the best film musical ever made.
Admission is free (donations are appreciated); call 802-228-7239, or go online to

Open Studio Weekend
Bright yellow signs compete with a multitude of greens along Vermont’s roads enticing visitors to the studios of craftspeople and other artists across Vermont during the 2018 Spring Open Studio Weekend taking place over Memorial Day Weekend, May 26-27. Open Studio Weekend is a statewide celebration of the visual arts and creative process, offering a unique opportunity for visitors to meet a wide variety of local artists and craftspeople in their studios, and purchase high-quality, handmade artwork.
The self-guided Open Studio tour features the work of glassblowers, jewelers, printmakers, potters, furniture makers, weavers, ironworkers, painters, sculptors, quilt makers and wood carvers. Many participating galleries will host gallery talks and feature special exhibits in conjunction with this event. This year, visit over 220 artists at 179 sites across Vermont.
The Vermont Crafts Council publishes a free map booklet with directions to participating sites. The Vermont Open Studio Guide is available throughout the state at Tourist Information Centers, galleries and studios.
For maps or information, call 802-223-3380, or go online to

Judd and Larson art
A two-woman show of paintings and sculpture by April Judd and Bev Larson has been installed in the foyer and other gallery spaces at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church. While each artist was featured in group shows during college and in their respective home states, this first major gallery show for them both continues through June 30.
Judd and Larson regard this collection as a history of their 13-year journey together. Both emerging artists, they fell in love with the unique and beautiful light and landscapes of Guilford, where they live and work as the Home Gnomes.
“Creating art has always been a way for me to express my deep spiritual connection with nature,” Judd said. “Birds and trees are often featured in my work. They are messengers and teachers that provide me so much wisdom and hope.”
Larson grew up in Connecticut, and fell in love with Vermont while attending Saint Michael’s College. A history buff, she chooses antiques or forgotten items from bygone decades for her found-object sculptures, exploring and recreating their connection to her views on our current world. Following similar conceptual ideals, her oil paintings are often inspired by the haunting yet beautiful pictures of dilapidated asylums, hospitals, and forgotten places like Chernobyl.
“I enjoy representing the human body in this same way, too, exploring our fundamental similarities.” She said.
Gallery hours are: 9 a.m. to noon Monday-Friday from 9 to 12, and during Sunday worship; call 802-254-9377. All Souls Church is at 29 South St., across the way from the fire station.

‘Transatlantic Traumas’
At 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 22, Phoenix Books Rutland will host Stanley R. Sloan for a discussion of his new book, “Transatlantic Traumas.”
This book asks how recent developments in transatlantic relations have challenged the interests of the transatlantic allies, and examines how they may affect the future of the West. In 2016-17, three shocks to the transatlantic community raised concerns: the British referendum in which a slim majority of voters supported leaving the European Union, a process known as Brexit; the U.S. election of Donald Trump as a president critical of NATO and the EU; and the Turkish referendum raising questions about this NATO member’s democracy.
The analysis examines these events in the context of internal challenges (illiberal tendencies) and external threats (Russia and Islamic State) to the political, economic and security foundations of the transatlantic community. Can the West recover from the blows of recent years? Can new leadership lead toward a renewal? Or are the transatlantic alliance and the West destined to decline?
Sloan is a visiting scholar in political science at Middlebury College, and a non-resident senior fellow in the Scowcroft Center at the Atlantic Council of the United States. Originally from Montpelier, he currently lives in Richmond.
Admission is free; call 802-855-8078, or go online to Phoenix Books Rutland is located at 2 Center St.

Two Eileens
Faced with the challenges of An Gorta Mor, The Great Hunger in Ireland, millions of Irish refugees left their homeland with only their courage and sought new roots in America. They include ancestors of two Eileens – O’Finlan and Charbonneau – who will be speaking and reading at Village Square Booksellers at 1 p.m. Saturday May 19.
First-time novelist Eileen O’Finlan weaves a tale of the lives of vibrant Meg O’Connor, her family and friends as they struggle to survive the 1840s potato blight in Kelegeen. When Meg learns of ships carrying Irish passengers to a new life in America, she is determined to go, and bring her beloved Rory and their families after her.
Eileen Charbonneau’s “Rachel Le Moyne” centers on the Choctaw Nation’s contributions to Irish famine relief. Charbonneau’s story has the Choctaws vote to send some of their surplus corn crop to the starving Irish. Rachel LeMoyne, a respected teacher, sails to Ireland as a representative. There, Rachel is appalled by the suffering.
Village Square Booksellers is located at 32 Square; for information, call 802-463-9404, or go online to

Downtown Mayfest
The 33rd annual Mayfest Arts and Crafts Festival kicks off the summer in Southern Vermont Saturday, May 26. Main Street will once again be closed to vehicle traffic and filled with over 100 vendors offering juried crafts and specialty food between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.
There will be live performances throughout the day, as well as children’s activities, live demos and much more. Artisans will be offering a wide range of products, from handmade jewelry, clothing, sculpture, carvings and paintings, to gifts, specialty food items, and so much more. Food vendors include such treats as Indian and Thai cuisine, fried dough, BBQ, gourmet grilled cheese, fresh squeezed lemonade, and cotton candy; all that in addition to over a dozen downtown restaurants to choose from.
Events for children include: face painting, a dunking booth, the 4-H playground, a bubble-making pool, bouncy house, and games with prizes. Live music and entertainment will be occurring on the main stage near the food court.
Bring your whole family to downtown Bennington for this annual rite of spring. There is no admission charge and free parking is available everywhere.
For more information, call 802-442-5758, or email