In the 19th century, American landscape painters gave people a glimpse into the magic of wild places and, long before the days of film, they helped spur the public call for preservation of wilderness rather than exploitation for resources.
“Wildlands,” a new exhibition opening Oct. 12 at the Great Hall, celebrates our public lands and national parks, and the beauty and experiences we enjoy in our publicly owned wild spaces. The show’s intention is to put a spotlight on preservation and how societies come to value and live in balance with natural resources in a time of climate change, development and political stresses that threaten our wild places. The exhibition runs through March 30. The public is invited to meet the artists at a free catered reception 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12. Several of the artists will speak about their work.
The 10 artists in “Wildlands” are: Susan Abbott, Marshfield; Rich Cofrancesco, Springfield; Walter Cudnohufsky, Ashfield, Mass.; Ailyn Hoey, Rockingham; Joan Hoffmann, S. Royalton; Jessica Houston; Montreal; Charlie Hunter, Bellows Falls; Pat Musick, Manchester Center; Oliver Schemm, Grafton; and James Urbaska, Newfane.
For more information, call 802-885-3061, or go online to www.facebook.com/GreatHallSpringfield. The Great Hall is located at 100 River St.
Soovin Kim’s Bach
— Internationally renowned violinist and onetime Vermont Youth Orchestra concertmaster Soovin Kim will appear on the Middlebury Performing Arts Series at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13. In anticipation of the release of his upcoming new solo Bach album, he will treat audiences to Bach’s E major Partita, G minor Sonata, and A minor Sonata for solo violin.
Kim’s many honors include Italy’s Paganini Competition first prize, an Avery Fisher Career Grant, and the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award. Most of us in Vermont, however, know him as one of our region’s most famous musicians. Raised in Plattsburgh, N.Y., he was the youngest-ever musician to join the Vermont Youth Orchestra, at age 10. He maintains a close relationship with the famed Marlboro Music Festival, where he often spends his summers. In 2009, he founded and now serves as co-artistic director of the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival, held each August in Colchester.
Tickets are $28; call 802-443-MIDD (6433), or go online to www.middlebury.edu/arts/tickets. The Mahaney Center is located at 72 Porter Field Road, just off Route 30 south.
Durham County Poets
The Durham County Poets form a lively group from Quebec that plays soulful folk/roots with hints of blues and jazz. They return to perform at Brandon Music at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7.
The five seasoned musicians, all of whom are songwriters, work together individually and collaboratively in composing their music. Delving into a variety of styles and genres, their musical influences include a broad range of artists. From The Band to Dire Straits, Leon Redbone to James Taylor and Neil Young, they have managed to put it all together to create their own musical style.
At the Rochester Jazz Fest this June, the Democrat and Chronicle stated that the guys were “having so much fun, you could miss how good they were.”
Tickets are $20 (pre-concert dinner is available for $25; reservations are required); call 802-247-4295, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Road.
Danish String Quartet
Hailed by the Washington Post as “one of the best quartets before the public today,” the Danish String Quartet has established a reputation for integrated sound, impeccable intonation, and judicious balance. It will debut on the Middlebury Performing Arts Series at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, with a program including Bartók’s first quartet, Beethoven’s first Razumovsky quartet, and lively arrangements of traditional Nordic folk tunes.
The New York Times selected the quartet’s concerts as highlights of 2012 and 2015, praising “one of the most powerful renditions of Beethoven’s Opus 132 String Quartet that I’ve heard live or on a recording,” and “the adventurous young members of the Danish String Quartet play almost everything excitingly.”
Tickets are $28; call 802-443-MIDD (6433), or go online to www.middlebury.edu/arts/tickets.
At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12, Phoenix Books Rutland will host Stephen Butz for a discussion of his new book, “Shays’ Settlement in Vermont.”
The ruins of Daniel Shays’ fortified settlement reveal the hidden story of the famous rebellion. Shays and the Regulators founded the settlement deep in the Vermont wilderness after fleeing the uprising they led in 1787 in Massachusetts. Rediscovered in 1997 and under study since 2013, these remnants divulge secrets of Shays’ life that previously remained unknown, including his connection to Millard Filmore and the anti-federalist lawyer John Bay. As the leader of the site’s first formal study, Butz weaves together the tale of the archaeological investigation, along with Shays’ heroic life in the Continental Army, his role in the infamous rebellion that bears his name, and his influence on American law.
Admission is free; call 802-855-8078, or go online to www.phoenixbooks.biz. Phoenix Books Rutland is located at 2 Center St.
From Oct. 12 to 15, the Brattleboro Literary Festival will showcase more than 70 writers of fiction and nonfiction for adults and young people, along with poets, editors, and translators as they participate in panels, readings, and other special events.
This year’s festival will feature Pulitzer-Prize-winning author Richard Russo, bestselling novelist Claire Messud, former U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Charles Simic, 2017 Windham-Campbell-Prize-winning poet and activist Carolyn Forché, Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist and author Ron Powers, celebrity ghostwriter and #1 New York Times bestseller Michelle Burford, author and media commentator Robert Watson, NYT bestselling memoirist Joyce Maynard, and legendary Newbery-Award-winning children’s author Avi.
All festival events are free; for details, go online to www.brattleboroliteraryfestval.org.
It’s a Bear-A-Palooza at the Henry Sheldon Museum 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8. Head to the Sheldon for a fun, free family afternoon full of bear-related activities.
Have your picture taken with your favorite bear in a special photo station. Enjoy a story in the read-aloud corner: Artist and author Ashley Wolff will be on hand to read from some of her books. Make a bear puppet, create an original print and illustrate your own bear story. Count the bears in the jar for a prize. During the afternoon, you can tour the Sheldon’s exhibit “Draw Me a Story – Tell Me a Tale,” featuring art and books by 20 Vermont children’s book illustrators and authors.
Admission is free; call 802-388-2117, or go online to www.henrysheldonmuseum.org.
In an effort to raise money for the bridge repair for the Tunbridge World’s Fairground, Candi Sawyer, producer of the Jenny Brook Bluegrass Festival, announces the one-day Bluegrass Extravaganza. From 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8, in the Pavilion Building, 1 Fairground Road, a bluegrass concert will feature five outstanding groups, rain or shine.
Performing are: Seth and Candi Sawyer from the Seth Sawyer Band; followed by the Feinberg Brothers from Long Island; Jim Rooney of Sharon; Zink & Company; and Bob Amos & Catamount Crossing. The footbridge was heavily damaged due to flooding on July 3. (You can view the video at jennybrookbluegrass.com/tunbridge-fairground-bridge-repair-bluegrass-fundraiser.)
Tickets are $25, $20 in advance; go online to www.jennybrookbluegrass.com.
Actor, director, vocalist and professor Amy Hayes will present a one-evening, two-hour workshop in delivering Shakespeare monologues at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10, at Oldcastle Theatre.
Hayes is playing Blanche in the current Oldcastle Theatre production of Neil Simon’s”Broadway Bound.” Hayes has taught acting and Shakespeare courses at DePauw University, as well as for theatre companies, youth organizations, and other universities for 20 years.
“Students will explore Shakespeare’s text through their own experience and physicality and discover the joy in delving into these plays,” Hayes said.
The fee is $40 (limited enrollment); call 802-447-0564, or go online to oldcastletheatre.org.
As the ukulele happy-wave sweeps the country, and the New England leaves burst into vibrant colors of red, yellow and orange, the historic village of Saxtons River prepares to celebrate in full regalia with the first Vermont Ukulele Harvest. The event takes place 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14.
This festival will include multiple ukulele workshops, vendors, jam sessions, a healthy catered lunch, open-mic performance opportunities, and an all-star evening concert featuring national and regional performers. Featured workshop presenters and performers include Victoria Vox, Curt Sheller, Ben Carr, Lisa McCormick, Jane Davies, and Veronica Stevens. Workshops range from beginner to advanced.
The $125 fee includes all workshops, lunch, and the evening concert; for information or registration, go online to www.vermontukuleleharvest.com.
Artist Lyn DuMoulin
The Jackson Gallery at Town Hall Theater presents “Lyn DuMoulin: Places of the Heart” Oct. 6-Nov. 12. An artist’s reception will be held 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6.
DuMoulin spends her summers canoeing, bicycling, bird watching and hiking the deep country, the Adirondack mountains. Watercolors by the Middlebury artist reflect her passion for nature and outdoor activities with scenes from Vermont and the Adirondacks. She loves to paint people, canoes, mountains, and the backwaters of the great North Country.
For more information, call 802-382-9222, or go online to www.townhalltheater.org.
ARTS PREVIEW: October 5-11, 2017