The Art of Action

by Susan Abbott
I'm delighted to be a finalist in the "Art of Action: Shaping Vermont's Future through Art", a unique project that will commission ten visual artists to create bodies of work that address the present condition and future possibilities of Vermont. This ambitious idea is the joint vision of the Vermont Arts Council and native Vermonter Lyman Orton, an entrepreneur and philanthropist who takes an intense interest in his home state.


Last week I attended an orientation session where I had the pleasure of meeting the other nineteen finalists and hearing presentations by the project's organizers. I left the meeting inspired by their confidence in our ability as visual artists to make a real contribution towards defining the best possible future for our wonderful state.

I'll be working on my "Art of Action" proposal over the next two months, planning a series of paintings that incorporate both my ideas and those of fellow Vermonters. (The ten commissioned artists will be chosen after presentations of their proposals in January.)

The "Art of Action" project has given me a great reason to get started conducting my own individual visual survey of the "state of Vermont" from Lake Champlain to the Connecticut River and from Massachusetts to the Canadian border. I've been wanting to explore every byway and corner of this place since I moved up here over a decade ago, and now's the time to grab atlas and coffee thermus and head out the door. (I may even try for membership in the "251 Club", an elite group of road warriers who have visited every town in the state.)

My sketchbook and I will be driving many miles of back roads over the coming months, and I hope you'll join us by subscribing to this blog! Just click on "posts" below and choose "bloglines", and you'll be along for each new jaunt on my Vermont journey.