Arts

Q&A with Vermont Architect Marcel Beaudin (Dwell)

In my quest to find examples of modern design around Vermont, I frequently came aross the work of Marcel Beaudin. Now in his 80s, Beaudin is still designing new projects and renovating his old projects for former clients and friends. Here's my Q&A with him for Dwell:

Interviews: Architect Marcel Beaudin at Dwell.com

A West Coast "Knitting Lady" Sets Up in Burlington (Seven Days)

Originally appeared in the print version of Seven Days Feb. 8, 2012.

In her former Bay Area neighborhood, Maggie Pace was known simply as “the Knitting Lady.” Neighbors and fans of her knitting patterns, kits and yarns would drop by for sidewalk sales at her knitting store, Pick Up Sticks, or tune in to her segments on the PBS TV program “Knit and Crochet Now!” to emulate crafty know-how.

These days, Pace is a little more incognito.

She moved to Burlington in December 2010 when her husband got a job with Dealer.com. That new position went hand-in-hand with the couple’s decision to reevaluate their lives.

“Steve and I were both overwhelmed,” Pace says. “We had a clear goal in mind to simplify and reenvision what success meant to us. We wanted to have personal fulfillment in our work and refocus on family life, so Burlington felt like a great fit.”

She had to leave behind her business partner and the cofounder of Pick Up Sticks — her mother, Joan Benson, whom Pace credits with teaching her how to knit. Pace is a third-generation crafter; her grandmother ran a craft store in Michigan during the ’70s. Pace remembers knitting her first sweater when she was 9 or 10 years old.

Digitizing a Treasury of Objects at the Fleming Museum (Seven Days)

Originally appeared in the print version of Seven Days on Dec. 14, 2011.

Janie Cohen walks through the stacks on the top floor of the University of Vermont’s Fleming Museum of Art, running a finger along the shelves and pointing out favorites. Ancient Native American pottery shares a shelf with pre-Columbian artifacts, which perch next to small-scale European sculpture. Cohen, the museum’s executive director, stops to point out a tattered-looking collection of maps created by Napoleon and his troops, then continues down to the end where the paintings hang. A nearby table displays smoking apparatuses, under consideration for a winter exhibition; a row of hunting spears hangs above a drawer full of Native American beadwork.

This area of the museum — where the Fleming keeps its treasures — is generally off limits to visitors. It’s one of three on-site storage vaults, and it’s crammed with objects dating from 3500 BC to the present day. Cohen knows them all. Visitors, even regular ones, probably haven’t seen a quarter of the collection.

All museums struggle to represent the full range of their holdings, and the Fleming is no exception. Cohen estimates that only 5 percent of its 24,000 items are on view at any time; the other 95 percent sit on shelves upstairs, neatly labeled but as good as invisible.