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Bristol Friends of the Arts: Mentors and Mentees

Art on Main, 25 C Main Street, Artists' Alley, Bristol, VT, presents a mixed media group exhibition by participants in the mentorship program sponsored by Bristol Friends of the Arts, the parent organization of the Art on Main gallery The show runs from May 2- May 31. Saturday, May 7, there will be an artist chat from 2-3 p.m. when the mentors and their students will discuss their mentorships and respond to questions. Following, from 3-5 p.m., there will be a reception including
live music by Mark LeGrand and Sarah Munro. The talk, exhibition and reception are part of a year long series at Bristol's community art center and cooperative artists' gallery which each month features artists whose work the gallery represents. The series is free and open to the public.

The Bristol Friends of the Arts Mentorship Program began in the spring of 2003 with four Art on Main artists being paired with high school students. Initially, funding came from the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Fund and was later augmented with a grant from the Walter Cerf Foundation. Two residencies were also made possible with these funds where Art on Main artists Jim Cunningham and Jim Fecteau demonstrated their craft, woodworking and blacksmithing respectively, with the students in the middle school alternative education program at Mt. Abraham Union High School. The Mentorship Program, which provides small stipends for the mentors and funds for art supplies for the mentees, has grown to include adult mentees.

This exhibition will feature paintings by: artist
Colette Paul and her mentees Shawn Bedard, Patricia Highley and Gracie Osmun Palmer; artist Marjorie Cady and her student Michelle LaBombard; artist George Todd and mentee Stacey Blodgett; artist Jean Cherouny and mentee Sarah Hewitt. It will also feature the mentorship of potter Marcy Mayforth and student Silas Doyle-Burr. Finally, Susan Borg who is a member of the music group Womensing, completed a vocal mentorship with student Megan Harris.

Sarah Hewitt, who is now a freshman at Rhode Island School of Design and who became an Art on Main exhibitor last June, says "I have a lot of energy and confidence in my work. I got my start at Mt. Abe and have continued to explore my intuition and abilities. The mentorship program ...helped me to loosen up with paint and to trust my instincts. Jean Cherouny, who viewed my paintings with excitement and suggestions, spurred me on in my abilities to be critical and also accepting of my work. I worked hard and passionately at my work. When I got to RISD I realized from the atmosphere and experience that I needed to push myself beyond my comfort zone. My painting style has become bolder and more forceful, even urgent and I hope this comes across as a powerful image." Sarah's latest work will be part of this group show.

For directions or more information, please call Art on Main at 453-4032, or e-mail info@artonmain.net. The gallery is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10-6 and Sunday and Monday by chance or appointment