By Janelle Faignant
Her energy bubbles up, up, and over the phone line. Alice Sciore’s life experiences are the kind you might imagine an artist has, and she is effervescent in her retelling of them. From the first piece of art she made as a child, to what it was like to be an artist in New York City for a time (“exciting as hell”), and her current spot as one of the ten artists in EMMA (East Mountain Mentoring Artists).
“I don’t know how old I was, maybe ten,” she says. “I drew this tree with a lot of roots, a monstrous thing, and I showed it to my father and he said, oh my god.”
Her mother’s family from Italy, “all musicians, all creative,” introduced her to the arts at an early age, and she caught the bug. Nature was one of her earliest influences, but she has a broad curiosity in general to draw from. “I go back and forth to Rutland and pass the Killington flats which is just gorgeous,” she says. “The whole state you have to admit is beautifully designed. But I take interest in a great variety of things.”
Sciore came to live in Killington by way of New York City, where she studied art and worked as a graphic designer, which she continues to do today. And an earlier stint in Italy studying sculpture stays with her to this day. “Cara Mia, mille grazie,” she replies in the comments section of her Facebook page, after a photo of a recent wood sculpture she posted garners many compliments. “My dear, a million thanks.”
Sciore has taken commissions, like the portrait of the town of Killington, through the Vermont Arts Council, and a family portrait in wood sculpture which won Best in Show at the Chaffee Art Center. And her natural artistic proclivity continues to evolve. “I discovered only a couple years ago that my subject matter will change the style and delivery of whatever piece I’m working on. These things are so close to you that you don’t even pay attention. But then a light went on in my head.”
Sciore works in many mediums, but “wood offers the promise of adventure, as it may surprise and lead you, creating freedom of expression.” Her sculptures are always in butternut wood, a beautiful but rare variety. “I have to find it or I’m lucky where I can get it,” she said. “It’s expensive because it’s becoming more and more rare, but the grain is beautiful.”
First she creates a design on the wood and then brings it to a woodworker to cut, before she begins sculpting it with sandpaper and mechanical sanders.
Sciore is a member of many local arts organizations as well as vice president and co-founder of the Killington Arts Guild. A few years ago she joined EMMA when it began, to collaborate with a group of local artists once a month. “It’s a wonderful group,” she said. “Very energetic, very pro- any kind of work to help things along.”
Sciore’s work is currently on display at Compass Art Center in the exhibit “What EMMA Loves” — a sort of “favorite things” collection of work by the ten artists.
“Christine Holzschuh is a great leader. She’s focused and knows what she’s doing and what she wants, which is very important,” Sciore said. “EMMA is a bunch of very special people, and they’re all on the same page.”
EMMA ARTIST TALK
The artists of the Rutland-based group, EMMA (East Mountain Mentoring Artists), will conduct a series of artist talks, demos and classes to share their breadth of artistic skills and experience. The series will take place on Sunday afternoons at the Compass Music and Arts Center while their exhibit “What EMMA Loves” is on display. All events are free. See below for dates and details on each event.
October 18, 1-2:15 p.m.:
Mary Crowley – Making the Grammy Book
Mary Crowley, the author and illustrator of the children’s book, “I Love to Visit My Grammy,” will explain how she came to write, illustrate and get the book published. In addition, she will talk about her second book, and the one she is working on now.
Compass Music and Arts Center is located at Park Village, 333 Jones Dr. Brandon VT, 05733 (Park Village used to be the Brandon Training School, located 1.5 miles north of downtown Brandon off of Arnold District Rd.).