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Archive for April, 2012

The Broadside Project: Ten Prints Made in Celebration

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

UVM Special Collections invited students in the Department of Art and Art History’s Spring 2012 “Projects in Printmaking” class to produce broadsides in recognition of Special Collections’ 50th anniversary. Each student was asked to produce prints that were open in terms of content but combined text and image in some way that acknowledges the historical tradition of the broadside. The prints in this exhibition, “The Broadside Project,” are the result of this process of creative investigation and exploration.

The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. For more information, call 656-2138 or email uvmsc@uvm.edu

Take Shelter

Monday, April 23rd, 2012


Take Shelter(2011) may be one of the most terrifying films since John Carpenter’s The Thing was released in 1982. Although when categorizing this film, one would actually fit it in as the crowning jewel of the psychological thriller genre, this film is still so effective in making the audience feel the same fear and anxiety that the character experiences which I believe makes this film rank alongside The Exorcist or Rosemary’s Baby in its stature to disturb.

The story is like an episode of the Twilight Zone spliced with Komodo Dragon DNA to give it fangs that sink into you and never let go. It’s about a man, who feels a threatening atmosphere in the world around him, whose sense of helplessness and inadequacy lead him to not know what’s real anymore. Curtis (Michael Shannon in a performance that hits you like a sledgehammer) is your typical American workingman with a home, wife, child and all the bills and anxiety that come with modern living. He begins experiencing terrifying dreamscapes every night, nightmares of destruction from a massive storm building in the distance. The vividness of his continued dreams are so strong it makes him question whether they are in fact just dreams or dark prophecies of a terrifying future. He begins to build a storm shelter in preparation that there might be a real danger behind his sleeping horrors and wants to be ready for when they surface to the real world. The building sequence of events truly shows the erratic fear, panic and alienation that comes from an emotional breakdown, all of which is wrapped up with a mind-shattering ending.

The film has an unsettling and threatening music composition that makes your skin shiver as it patters down high pitched tones like the beginning of rain fall. The cinematography is clear, stunning and brilliant with colors that pop and ingenious lighting schemes. The acting is incredible and compliments the visuals well, one never over-shadowing the other. Jessica Chastain plays Curtis’ wife, giving a performance in a few scenes that should have won her an Oscar. If you enjoy this film,  check out The Machinist or Shutter Island.



New UVM Librarian: My Meet and Greet with the President

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

On Friday, March 30, Libraries’ Assistant Professor Amber Billey (who moved to Vermont from Brooklyn in December) had her picture taken with President Obama during his day-long stint in Burlington. We asked Amber to describe the experience of meeting him.

My wife, Lydia and I were shocked when we received the call notifying us that we had won the lottery to meet and have our pictures taken with him. On the day of his rally I made sure to wear my bow-tie by Beau Ties Ltd. of Vermont and my Library of Congress lapel pin. My wife wore her Americorp Alumni pin as well. We were given a special yellow wristband and ushered to a separate section in the front row with about 40 other people.

Right before President Obama was scheduled to speak, all 40 of us were taken backstage and lined up to meet the him. We were so nervous! When it was our turn to meet the President, he asked our names and shook our hands. As we were posing for the photo, I told the president that my wife and I are so proud to be married in the State of Vermont, but that we would love to be married throughout this great country. To which he replied, “We’re working hard on it.”

I felt that he was genuine and kind. His eyes are warm and caring. I joke now that I saw rainbows and unicorns and world peace when I looked into his brown eyes. His hands are also very soft. It was a once in a lifetime experience and I’m so happy that my wife and I could represent Vermont — our new home.