Back Talk | Back Talk | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Published August 7, 2002 at 4:00 a.m.

art beat: The picture keeps on changing in the Vermont gallery scene. While some established venues are struggling to hang in there, new ones keep popping up. Since 9/11, “everything just kind of died” at 4-year-old Doll-Anstadt Gallery in Burlington, according to co-owner Ruby Anstadt. Although the last couple of months have been promising, she says, “as of the moment, I don’t know what to do.” Although Anstadt never had great economic expectations for the business, “We don’t want to continue to lose money. It’s a $50,000 or $60,000 annual loss for us. We see that as our contribution to the community, but we can’t do it forever.” Anstadt says she may consider leasing the College Street building to a like-minded tenant. John Byors already has a prime spot at the Redstone-renovated edifice on the corner of College and South Winooski Ave. He has yet to open the high-profile Phoenix Gallery, but when he does — closer to Christmas — the space will be filled with about a dozen full-sized marble figures. Byors expects visitors “by appointment only, but we’ll try to have openings so people can come and see the work.” Byors himself will be among the featured artists. Over at Lineage Gallery on Upper Church Street, owner Josh Liner puts his faith in art classics: Picasso, Warhol, Dali and Mìró. For three months, he’s been selling celebrity prints by big-name artists that range in price from $200 to $10,000. Acknowledging “peaks and valleys,” he says business is going well. “I think people have an easier time buying art by an artist they’ve heard of,” he speculates. And speaking of familiar names, the resurrected Bundy Gallery in Waitsfield is now under the direction of Michael Millstone, son of David, former gallery owner and one-time Burlington restaurateur. If the current group show is any indication — more than half the exhibitors hail from Burlington — he and art director Mollie Beirne appear to be focused locally.

note worthy: Vermont musicians Karen Kevra and Paul Orgel scored a Grammy nomination last month for their recording collaboration, Works for Flute and Piano of Louis Moyse. The disc memorializes the original compositions of Montpelier’s Louis Moyse, the 90-year-old co-founder of the Marlboro Music Festival. Kevra concedes it’s an honor to be on a long list of classical contenders in the category of Best Small Ensembles Performance With or Without a Conductor. “I’d love to see Louis go up on stage for a Grammy and get a kiss from Prince.” But the flutist is not holding her breath. Voting members of the Grammy Academy vote without actually having to listen to a measure of music. “A couple of relatively unknown musicians performing the music of a relatively unknown composer. I put the question to them, ‘Do we have a chance of a snowball in hell?’” Kevra says. “They said, ‘Yeah. You’ve got a chance of a snowball in hell.” Erik Nielsen of Brookfield is also getting some positive play. The National Symphony Orchestra is paying the Vermont composer $7500 to create a short chamber music piece that will be part of its permanent repertoire. Two years ago, Nielsen collaborated with Vermont poet David Budbill to create A Fleeting Animal for the Vermont Opera Theater. He’s currently working on pieces for the Vermont Youth Orchestra, the Chandler Center for the Arts and the Vermont Contemporary Chamber Ensemble. Yo, Vermont Symphony?

in brief: On the heels of its summer social, the Burlington Business Association has come up with another hot fundraising idea: Flip-Flop Friday. The downtown organization wants local businesses to let their employees kick back and wear sandals to work on August 16. It’s also recruiting local artists, celebrities, media personalities and community leaders to create unique works of flip-flop art. The fanciful footwear will be auctioned off to finance additional personnel for its Street Outreach Workers Program. Burlington is in step with four other sole-searching cities on this one. Organizers hope it goes nationwide next year . . . Former radio personalities Louie Manno and Jim Condon have rolled out yet another innovation. They’ve deployed Mobile Meatball One, a meatball grinder pushcart designed to spread their carnivorous influence in downtown Burlington. The voluble pair left the airwaves a year ago to run Radio Deli on Pearl Street and have rebuilt a business from the ground meat up. “Our eventual plan is to go wholesale with the meatballs,” Manno says, and Church Street is the perfect place for market research. That is, unless they get a better broadcasting offer. Manno vows, “If anybody had enough balls to hire us, we’d go back on the air” . . . San Francisco’s A Better World is Possible Theater Action Troupe is certainly qualified for the Burlington Latino Festival, which tends to avoid political issues in its annual pro-salsa celebration. Spokesman David Solnit just got back from Argentina, where he was using street theater, dance and music as an organizing tool for popular education. Before that, his group helped organize a boycott against Taco Bell. In November, they’ll protest against the School of the Americas. He and his honchos are currently hanging out with Bread and Puppet in anticipation of two Saturday shows in Burlington City Hall Park. Just don’t expect it to be too abrasive. Says Solnit, “The nature of protest — and just how groups communicate — has become a lot more festive in the past few years.” Olé.