ABCs, and Taking the Subway in Vermont

Word has it that escalators are difficult to find in Vermont, resulting in parents taking their kids to the big city to experience one. Likewise and for certain, Vermont has no subway system. But you can hop a subway car in the paintings of Ann Young, currently on exhibition in Fellow Travelers at the Vermont Supreme Court Gallery in Montpelier.

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Young, a Northeast Kingdom artist, lives among us but is a regular visitor to New York City, where she often stays a block from the F train. Her work uses vivid color, shadow, and strong lines to capture the energy of the city's subterranean mass transit. The paintings are as vibrant as her verbal descriptions of the stations' "lyrical geometry," and of the train that sometimes comes "above ground and briefly soars above the city . . . " where "the light there dazzles for a moment before it disappears as the train plunges back under ground."

In 4th Avenue, (photo, top), a station is populated by potential riders waiting, almost touching but guarding their space, together but alone. After Rush Hour is freer, more room to jut out an elbow, a lone traveler peering down the track. If a shared bench or subway car does not necessarily produce human interaction, commerce will, even if briefly, as customers frequent the ubiquitous News Stand.

After Rush Hour by Ann Young

Young’s News Stand

ABCs--Endangered Alphabets

A two-minute stroll from the Supreme Court Gallery can take you to Vermont's State House, where kindly guards will direct you to the cafeteria. There you'll find Tim Brookes' Endangered Alphabets, an exhibition that pairs Vermont curly maple tablets with carvings of native and foreign languages you may never have seen nor heard of: Samaritan, Balinese, Lontara, Manchu. The exhibition is worth a long look, as the signage for each piece explains the language and the precarious nature of its future existence.

Cherokee

A reception and artist’s talk is scheduled in the State House Cafeteria on January 17 from 4 to 6 p.m. For more information about the Endangered Alphabets Project, here is a link to one article of many.

Endangered Alphabets will be on view until February 1, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m to 5 p.m. Ann Young’s Fellow Travelers continues until March 28 at the Vermont Supreme Court Gallery, 111 State Street, Montpelier VT. Hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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