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Independent Bookstore Day. Join the Phoenix Bookstores in Essex and Burlington on May 2 as they celebrate this nation wide day with giveaways and general merriment. Phoenix Bookstore locations, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Free. Information: www.phoenixbooks.biz/event/independent-bookstore-day
Mayfest. On May 2, The Lake Champlain Waldorf School will be hosting Mayfest. This unforgettable outdoor spring celebration, designed for children ages six and under includes live music, crafts, maypole dancing, flower crown decorating, games, jump rope making, face painting, pony rides and other festivities. Free and open to the public. Lake Champlain Waldorf School, Shelburne, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Information: www.lakechamplainwaldorfschool.org/events/mayfest/
African Children’s Choir. On April 16 the African Children’s Choir will present this inspirational show blends joyful song and dance from across the African continent. With traditional instruments, incredible costumes, geographic video projections and boundless enthusiasm, these young ambassadors show the world that Africa’s children have beauty, dignity and unlimited ability. Flynn Theatre, Burlington, 7:30 p.m. $15-$36. Information: www.flynntix.org.
Essex Art League Show and Sale. The members of Essex Art League would like to present their exciting new spring art display at Union Station in Burlington during the month of April. Celebrate the arts as well as shop for that special gift as you browse through paintings and photographs offered by more than 40 artists. The show will continue through May 2. The league will hold an artist’s reception featuring live music and refreshments where people can learn the stories behind the artwork on April 10 from 5-8 p.m. at One Main Street, Burlington. Information: www.essexartleague.com.
Thomas Brennan: Darkness From Light. Thomas Brennan has been an exhibiting photographer for the past 25 years and is an Associate Professor of Art at the University of Vermont where he has taught since 1989. In “Darkness From Light” Brennan uses ‘photogenic drawing,’ a camera-less photography technique pioneered by 19th century photographer Henry Fox-Talbot. Brennan explores mortality and metaphorical implication through his documentation of objects from nature. In the format of shadows, Brennan captures animal specimens, molecular models and instruments of scientific measure, resulting in an unexpected sense of beauty and modernized aesthetic. The exhibitions run through June 20. BCA Center, Burlington. Gallery Hours: Tuesday-Thursday and Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; closed Mondays. Information: www.burlingtoncityarts.org/exhibitions
“The Waskowmium: Where the Art Stops.” The Amy E. Tarrant Gallery presents selections from art collector Mark Maskow’s extensive collection. Waskow’s world-class art collection known as “The Waskowmium,” is elusive with over 15,000 art objects collected since 1998 and is considered to be the largest private collection of in northern New England. The gallery will have 45 pieces on display feature Vermont artists and exemplify Maskow’s varied, eclectic interests. On display through May 30. Amy E. Tarrant Gallery, Burlington. Contact: 652-4505.
John Weaver Exhibit. Emile A Gruppe Gallery in Jericho presents an exhibition of oil paintings by Montpelier artist, John Weaver. John has been painting for 50 plus years and is currently a member of the Bryan Memorial Gallery, the Paletteers, Art Resource Association and Studio Place Arts. Oil painting is his favorite medium, although he prefers soft pastels for some subjects and circumstances. On display through April 19. Gallery hours: Thursday through Sunday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. or by appointment. Information: 899 3211 or www.emilegruppegallery.com.
Mixed Messages. Kate Cahill Vansuch presents “Mixed Messages” an exhibit of collage and mixed media at Vintage Inspired Lifestyle Marketplace. Vansuch has lived in Vermont for 13 years and has always loved creating art. She recently started making collages and mixed media pieces. Vansuch finds mixed media to be the perfect way to express and process emotions related to life and her career as a hospice nurse. More at kittyvt.blogspot.com. The exhibit will run through April 28. Vintage Inspired Lifestyle Marketplace, 180 Flynn Avenue, Burlington. Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday from 12-4 p.m.
In Retreat. Artist Julie Davis presents an exhibition of her work entitled “In Retreat.” The show includes over 30 new works including oil paintings and large works on paper created during Davis’ Vermont Studio Center Residency. Exhibit on display through April 27. Flynndog Gallery, Burlington. Gallery hours: Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Information: flynndog.net.
“Walter Wick: Games, Gizmos and Toys in the Attic.” The Shelburne Musuem will be hosting this retrospective exhibition of the photographic illustrator and award-winning co-author of the “I SPY” children’s books. Featuring large scale photographs, meticulous models, and behind the scenes video of Wick and his assistants building the models, this exhibition will thrill with puzzles, vibrant colors and optical illusions. Exhibit runs through July 5. Shelburne Art Museum, Shelburne. Exhibit Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission: $8 adults, $5 children. Information: shelburnemuseum.org.
“Kodachrome Memory: American Pictures 1972-1990.” Shelburne Museum’s Pizzagalli Center presents the inaugural solo museum exhibition of the photography of Nathan Benn. Comprised of 67 evocative color photographs, the exhibition spans the two decades prior to the digital revolution. Florida-born Benn, formerly a staff photographer at National Geographic, focused his lens with ethnographic precision on the regional textures of an America, in Vermont and Florida, which for the most part, now exists only in memory or on film. Kodachrome Memory will be on view through May 25. Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education, Shelburne. Exhibit Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission: $8 adults, $5 children. Information: shelburnemuseum.org.
Piles and Passageways: Drawings and Prints. Artist Katie Loesel is the next featured artist at Shelburne Vineyard’s Tasting Room Gallery. Loesel’s current body of work “Piles and Passageways” explores ideas of piling, webs, and balance. Through worlds and structures comprised of geometric shapes, lines and ladders, she explores just how much can be piled up before it falls down. The use of cool colors with stark black and white, evokes an icy, wintry atmosphere reminiscent of glaciers, icebergs and winter mountains. Size, height and formwork together to build a solid foundation that can teeter on the verge of collapse. Exhibit runs until June 1. Shelburne Vineyard’s Tasting Room Gallery, Shelburne. Gallery hours: Sunday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Information: 985-8222 or shelburnevineyard.com.
Travelers in Postwar Europe. Photographer H. A. Durfee, Jr. spent a long career in obstetrics and gynecology at Mary Fletcher Allen Health Care. Between 1951 and 1953, while practicing medicine at a U.S. Army Airbase in Germany he took over 600 black-and-white images in the aftermath of World War II. A majority of the work remained unseen for more than 60 years, until 2014, when Durfee’s son began to print the negatives bringing these images to view. The exhibit runs through June 28. Fleming Museum, UVM Campus, Burlington. Gallery hours: Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Wednesday 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 12-4 p.m.; Mondays, closed. Admission: $5 adults; $3 students and senior citizens; children under 6, free. Information: www.uvm.edu/~fleming.