University of Vermont

The Honors College

In the Artist's Studio

by Simonne Fuge '10

This semester's Honors College elective, "In the Artist's Studio" allowed students to take a glimpse into the world of local artists. Along with Professor Bill Davison, a retired UVM art professor and distinguished printmaker, students ventured into the studios of artists in the Burlington and surrounding area. Artists visited have ranged from painters to sculptors to poets. They also ranged from well established, national recognized professionals to UVM art faculty members to young, emerging alumni.

Champlain Metal - Metal Scroll

The first studio visit for students was at a collection of neighboring studios on Pine Street and students interacted with artists using multiple mediums. John Marius, founder of Champlain Metals, specialized in metal fabrication, welding, forging and casting. Trained with revered artisans' guild in France, John now makes custom works in metal. Students also have a chance to talk with Mildred Beltre, a printmaker and UVM art faculty member. Other artists included a customer bicycle maker, a wooden guitar maker and soap maker.

Teapot by Kat Clear

The next visit was to the Williston studio of Kat Clear. Kat, also a custom metalworker and sculptor, graduated from the University of Vermont and is actually former student of Professor Davison. One of Kat's new pieces, a 50 foot metal sewing machine and quilt, has found a new home in the lobby of Fletcher Allen Hospital.

Students also paid a visit to Steve Budington, a painter and current professor of painting at UVM, whose painting is shown on the front page of this newsletter. Using a series of photographs taken during different stages, Steve took students through the unique transformation a painted canvas makes over time.

Most recently, students were welcomed into the home of Laurel and Alan Broughton in Burlington. Alan, now retired, was a professor of English for 35 years at UVM and he continues to write poetry, short stories and novels in his home. Laurel, a retired Lecturer in the department of English and UVM alumni, has received accolades for her research in Medieval literature.

Upcoming visits will include painters, sculptors, photographers and printmakers.

The only requirement for this course is curiosity. How refreshing! Students are not there to take notes or study artistic theory. Instead, students are there to ask questions, absorb the surroundings and connect with the artists. Our questions generate discussions and these discussions reveal personal stories, inspirations, and professional accomplishments.

This course has been an incredibly eye opening opportunity providing a chance to experience an unseen side for the artistic process. Students can take this class as many times as they would like and most students in the class have already taken it at least once (definitely a sign of how great it is). As a soon to be graduating senior, I am disappointed I waited until my final semester to take advantage of this incredible course.

Last modified April 01 2010 01:50 PM