Susan Bonthron, Otter Pond Bindery, Guilford, VT. Susan offers classes in the book arts. More information is at her website which includes information on residencies. Daylong studio classes, on a pond by decks, gardens, stone walls and woodland are affectionately known by students as ‘the Art Spa.’ She offers residencies in schools, nature centers, and libraries. She works with adults and children, writers, artists, and enthusiasts at all levels of experience. Susan enjoys working with teachers to integrate book arts into curriculum. Training sessions in bookbinding can range from in-service workshops to day-long or weeks-long explorations. Over the years, she has developed a number of unique forms that integrate historical, literary and scientific learning in the process of creating a handmade book. She has taught at the kindergarten through the graduate levels in schools and colleges, in a sculptor’s atelier in Tuscany, and at libraries and private homes throughout New England and beyond. Visit her gallery to see some of her own designs, commissions, and collaborations with others to produce limited editions.
Molly Gawler, Marlboro, VT. Molly grew up in the small town of Belgrade, Maine playing fiddle and traditional folk music with her family. She found a deep respect for dance during her Vagonova ballet training under the instruction of Andrei Bossov of the Kirov, performing classical ballet works throughout high school. She continued broadening her dance horizons at the Conservatory of Dance at SUNY Purchase in New York, studying and dancing works of choreographers such as Merce Cunningham, Jaqueline Buglissi, Martha Graham, Mark Morris, Lauri Stallings, Stephanie Tooman, Kazuko Hirabayashi and Neil Greenberg. Molly sprang forth into the professional world, dancing with companies NOA Dance (Nelly Van Bommel, choreographer), and Corbin Dances (Patrick Corbin, choreographer.) Molly has toured with Pilobolus Dance Theater globally and has appeared on television at the 79th Oscars Academy Awards, on Oprah, and the Late Show with Conan O’Brien. Currently, she tours with the Pilobolus show “Shadowland” as the lead character. Her further exploration of movement and healing has brought her to study Thai Massage, Qi Gong, Yoga, Kung Fu and ParKour.
Damon Honeycutt, Marlboro, VT. Damon is a transdisciplinary artist whose work involves the cohesion of many traditions and with many diverse artists and educators from around the globe. He holds an MA in Conscious Evolution and Integral Studies from The Graduate Institute and a BFA from California Institute of the Arts in Music Composition and Cross Cultural Dance Studies. Since age 11, he has been learning martial arts under teachers, masters and institutions to help him integrate the nature of tradition with contemporary modalities. His work has included Pickle Shoes Dance, Scapegoat Garden, The New York Jedi, Nai Ni Chen dance company, Mei Yin Ng, Beijing Opera company Yuan, Burat Wangi Gamelan, Oddfellows Playhouse, The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Spectral Voices, and Crescent Street Films. Currently Damon tours with Pilobolus Dance Theater’s production, Shadowland. Residing in Marlboro, Vermont, he teaches his personal evolution of Taoist martial and expressive arts. The name of his art is Wu K’ung Wu Xing Dao (‘aware-of-emptiness five-element way’). He was trained in the Taoist tradition of Tai Shing Pek Kwar Mun (Da Sheng Pi Qua Men, ‘lifting and cleaving the gate of the great-sage-equal-to-heaven’). Past Board President of Asian Cultural Center of Vermont (ACCVT), Damon’s ideas and news can be accessed through his Facebook page.
Steven Ratiner, Arlington, MA. Poet and educator, Steven has taught in two hundred fifty artist-in-residence programs around New England since 1980. Working with students from the elementary grades through graduate school programs, one of his special focuses is the poetry and cultural heritage of East Asia. He has taught numerous workshops for Primary Source’s China seminars and Bryant University’s U.S.-China Institute. In the textbook, The Enduring Legacy of Ancient China: Primary Source Lessons for Teachers and Students (Cheng & Tsui), Mr. Ratiner authored the chapter on Chinese poetry. His special gift lies in helping students and teachers find (as one of his programs is entitled) a “Bridge to China” – a way of reading these ancient texts that creates an intimate link between our personal and imaginative experience and that of the great Chinese poets. A new program he’s developing has just been awarded one of the inaugural fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council for master artists creating innovative arts curricula. “A Poet’s Retreat: Making Your Place in the World” is a multidisciplinary program exploring the interrelationship between traditional Chinese and modern American poetry and art.
Mr. Ratiner’s own poetry and stories have appeared in dozens of magazines and newspapers across the United States and abroad. He has written about contemporary poetry for The Christian Science Monitor and their media stations, The San Francisco Chronicle, and currently The Washington Post. Two poetry chapbooks were published recently: a retrospective collection in Pudding House Press’ ‘Greatest Hits’ series; and Button, Button (OpenEye Press), an artist’s book in collaboration with Marty Cain. His collection of literary interviews, Giving Their Word – Conversations with Contemporary Poets, features in-depth talks with many of the most influential poets of today – including the Chinese exiled poet Bei Dao. He has also worked in a variety of cross-discipline collaborations with visual artists, musicians, and dancers. His poetry and essays have appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines in America and abroad.
He was Literary Coordinator for the Artists’ All Souls Project which, together with the Boston Public Library and PEN-New England, created a series of readings and writing workshops in response to the 9/11 tragedy. His collection of interviews, Giving Their Word: Conversations with Contemporary Poets published by the University of Massachusetts Press, features many of the most prominent figures in contemporary poetry. The Library Journal called it “an absolute pleasure to read. Highly recommended… .”
Cai Xi, West Brattleboro, VT. Cai is a painter, t’ai chi master, caterer, art and language instructor, She has been giving Chinese cultural and arts performances since 1995 presenting for pre-kindergarten through college-level adults. Her residencies have included supervisory unions, school districts, statewide Arts events, public and private schools, home schooling and early childhood groups, summer programs, teacher training, and community festivals. Cai offers a variety of arts and culture workshops. She has worked in film, theatre and television doing scenic painting, costume, make-up and stage design. Her versatility in painting includes traditional Chinese brush, ink and calligraphy, abstract performance action painting, luminous landscapes, larger than life portraits, mixed media installations, and exhibition curating. Her live action painting has been presented on YouTube, in Boston and Manchester, VT, and in Brattleboro on the New England Youth Theatre stage, and filmed live for public television, BCTV and in New York on WNYE. A 2010 Fellow at Vermont Studio Center, she was awarded a Community Arts Grant from the Vermont Community Foundation. She coordinates all aspects of the Chinese Word Art Book Project. Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Asian Cultural Center of Vermont (ACCVT), she says: “Everyone is born an artist. Art is everywhere. Learning through art, we achieve and enrich our lives.”
Le Xi, West Brattleboro, VT and New York. Le (“Lee”) is a video and animation artist and graphic designer. He offers workshops in animation, drawing, and video installation. holds an MFA from School of Visual Arts and BFA from Sichuan Institute of Fine Arts. His exhibitions of video, drawing and installation include Brattleboro Museum, and in New York, the Kentler International Drawing Space, Perry Rubenstein Gallery, 303 Gallery, and New York Department of Housing and Preservation. More information on Lee’s work and his ideas is at his website including a selection of his videos. His video installations can be viewed on Vimeo. His Personality of a metropolis & contemporary art was published by Wong Lin Publishing House of ChongQing. His video, Drift, was a top 20 among thousands of videos entered in the 60sec.org contest of the 2010 Kortflimfestival of Copenhagen. The video installation, Wheelchair, was a top 5 pick for wooloo.org.