XX. BigTown Blog: I said I would write about color.

XX. BigTown Blog: I said I would write about color.

by MARGI ROGAL

02/08/2018

I said I would write about color.

Today?

As Vermont turns white again, snow falling, shades of gray, splashes of green.
A hint of yellow on the chickadee’s flank, otherwise, all pert business,
all cheerful busy-body flirtation.
But spring-like. Certainly. As the days get longer.
As owls mate deep in the woods, their yellow eyes.

XIX. BigTown Blog: The beauty of low light, darkness, and candlelight...

XIX. BigTown Blog: The beauty of low light, darkness, and candlelight...

by MARGI ROGAL

1/22/2018

When I was about six, I read a story about a little girl who meets bears behind doors, creatures who live in the shadows, whom no one sees but children. Since then, I have loved shadows—under tables, on snow, in a puppet’s theater. In a church. Behind a stone wall. Among the tallest zinnia plants...

XVIII. BigTown Blog: BigTown brings art to Main Street. Stop in.

XVIII. BigTown Blog: BigTown brings art to Main Street. Stop in.

by MARGI ROGAL

12/31/2017

Last week, we slowly strolled through two brilliant exhibits at The Met in New York: Michelangelo and David Hockney. We were amused that they were exhibited in adjoining galleries, the soft red chalk drawings of stately Renaissance buildings and powerfully muscular bodies, and the bright blue-green paintings of swimming pools and country lanes. They couldn’t be more different, although each artist is dedicated to representing the human figure and architectural spaces of his time and place...

XVII. BigTown Blog: Homage to André Breton at BigTown Gallery

XVII. BigTown Blog: Homage to André Breton at BigTown Gallery

by CHARLES RUSSELL

12/20/2017

The current exhibition at BigTown Gallery in Vergennes is inspired by a display at the Centre Pompidou in Paris of a reconstruction of the surrealist André Breton’s studio which featured a dense hanging of works by masters of modern art, tribal masks, found objects, and popular culture decorative items–all of which could provoke, for Breton, the ideal moment of surreality in which the viewer’s unconscious responses transformed normal experience into a heightened sensation of the totality of being...

XVI. BigTown Blog: Happy Birthday Peter...

XVI. BigTown Blog: Happy Birthday Peter...

by MARGI ROGAL

11/21/2017

Peter Moriarty celebrated his 65th birthday in Rochester the other night with a group of friends. Beaming with good cheer and gratitude, Peter counted his blessings:  an 89-year-old mom holding her own in spite of recent heart-related woes; two daughters, Mirah and Ella, dancer and lawyer; good health; his bicycle; and most importantly—what makes his eyes light up—the prospect of finishing a beloved project begun more than thirty years ago—the publication by David Godine of a book of his photographs of 18th and 19th-century greenhouses from around the world...

XV. BigTown Blog: All that was missing was a whiff of salt air...

XV. BigTown Blog: All that was missing was a whiff of salt air...

by MARGI ROGAL

10/31/2017

Walking into BTG Vergennes on Saturday evening for the opening of the new exhibition “Bridge Wharf Raft,” I felt right at home—reminders of the sea and being on the sea were fastened to Anni’s high white walls all around me—rough-hewn planks of wood weathered to a honey-brown patina and fitted together into a raft; a bunch of oars nesting on wooden supports, with a hoop angling away from them into space; and thickly oiled black and white surfaces reminiscent of tar, seagulls, seaweed, and clouds. All that was missing was a whiff of salt air...

XIV. BigTown Blog: I see the wood’s grain through the luminous colors...

XIV. BigTown Blog: I see the wood’s grain through the luminous colors...

by MARGI ROGAL

9/18/17

I notice right away, anyone would, when I walk into the Projects Gallery’s new show “See the Woods for the Trees” that artist Joan Kahn likes geometric shapes. She says that herself, and recounts a comment her young son made years ago when asked what his mother does. “She paints boxes,” he said, “and if that makes her happy, it’s all right with me.” “True,” Kahn says today, “I love to paint boxes...”

XIII. BigTown Blog: Sometimes you are given a gift...

XIII. BigTown Blog: Sometimes you are given a gift...

by MARGI ROGAL

08/31/17

Well, Hugh Townley intervened, and Erik Baier intervened, much to my surprise and great pleasure. What a treat—to immerse myself in works of art by two wonderful artists and to receive a visit by Erik himself who stopped by to photograph his current show of stately photographs...

XII. BigTown Blog: A troupe of puppeteers and a physicists’ hunt...

XII. BigTown Blog: A troupe of puppeteers and a physicists’ hunt...

by MARGI ROGAL

08/30/2017

I’ve been wracking my brain. What do these have in common: a troupe of puppeteers and their paper maché, larger-than-life puppets—uproarious, irreverent, revolutionary—and a writer’s narration of physicists’ hunt for one of the tiniest particles in existence through a telescope buried at the south pole?

XI. BigTown Blog: Erik Baier, "Commune"

XI. BigTown Blog: Erik Baier, "Commune"

by MARGI ROGAL

08/17/2017

Why would Erik Baier load a backpack with 60 pounds of camera equipment and set off on a muddy track, uphill, in 90-degree weather, not knowing the way, whom he’d meet, and, heavens, whether the folks would be friendly?

X. BigTown Blog: So it’s midnight and I’m thinking about salt-roasted new potatoes, mushroom borek, chive pancakes, and Gaetano’s fried pizza...

X. BigTown Blog: So it’s midnight and I’m thinking about salt-roasted new potatoes, mushroom borek, chive pancakes, and Gaetano’s fried pizza...

by OWEN ROGAL

08/04/2017

My good friend from many years ago, Judy Busch, a wonder in the kitchen, a wonder in all places and all ways, read herself to sleep at night with cookbooks, the one thing she did that I didn’t quite get, although my wife Margi picked up the habit very quickly, soon lugging heavy tomes to bed herself. But I’m finally catching on many years later because of Paula Marcoux’s Cooking with Fire...

IX. BigTown Blog: Of mountains’ beauties, of loss, of fear, but mostly of love...

by MARGI ROGAL

07/21/2017

When Didi and Major Jackson read their poems on Sunday in the Gallery (5:30—don’t miss it!), I wonder if they will include the pair of love poems published in Aquifer: Florida Review Online in April: “The View From Up Here” (by Major) and “On Hawk Mountain, Vermont” (by Didi). I hope so, because I love them...

VIII. BigTown Blog: No time to ponder...Or worry...

VIII. BigTown Blog: No time to ponder...Or worry...

by MARGI ROGAL

07/12/17

Major Jackson wouldn’t know me from any other earnest poet-in-training, but I “studied” with him in a two-hour class he led at Bookstock two years ago in which he introduced the one-sentence poem...

VII. BigTown Blog: Blue spokes release red flames...

VII. BigTown Blog: Blue spokes release red flames...

by MARGI ROGAL

7/06/17

What to expect from Russell Leong’s reading, the third installment in this summer’s Joan Hutton Landis Reading Series, this coming Sunday, July 9? Surprises, that’s for sure...

VI. BigTown Blog: Mysterious, enchanted space...

VI. BigTown Blog: Mysterious, enchanted space...

by MARGI ROGAL

7/6/17

Tucked away in BigTown Gallery’s Projects Gallery—that mysterious, enchanted space where artists arrive every few weeks to install their current work—is a heart...

V. BigTown Blog: What will Annie think of our rolling blue-green hills and mountains...

V. BigTown Blog: What will Annie think of our rolling blue-green hills and mountains...

by MARGI ROGAL

06/18/2017

Annie Kim’s reading on June 25 is, one, a reading of poetry that explores Annie’s childhood in Korea and how that intersects with her later life in America, and, two, (drum roll) her first visit to Vermont....

IV. BigTown Blog: Nothing is simple in MacArthur’s world...

IV. BigTown Blog: Nothing is simple in MacArthur’s world...

by OWEN ROGAL

06/16/2017

The title of Robin MacArthur’s Half Wild, a collection of short stories set along a short stretch of Vt. Rt. l00, invokes an important passage by Thoreau—“in Wildness is the preservation of the World”—and raises a question before I’ve read a page...

III. BigTown Blog: Rosamond Purcell

III. BigTown Blog: Rosamond Purcell

by MARGI ROGAL

05/24/17

I just finished Rosamond Purcell’s book Owls Head, a recounting of and meditation on purveyor of trash William Buckminster...

II. BigTown Blog: Before, and After, Hugh Townley

II. BigTown Blog: Before, and After, Hugh Townley

by MARGI ROGAL

5/10/17

I used to think, before Townley, that relief sculpture meant serene goddesses in rippling robes standing at attention on a marble façade—ancient creations, emanating from some primal genius, enigmatic, portentous, mythical...

I. BigTown Blog: Walking into BigTown Gallery Vergennes...

I. BigTown Blog: Walking into BigTown Gallery Vergennes...

by MARGI ROGAL

5/1/17

Walking into BigTown Gallery, Vergennes, is like walking into a treasure chest where magical things have been stored—things you forgot you had and now lovingly remember, feast on, turn over in your mind and heart...