Friday, September 24, 2010

Local Photographers collaborate with Marriott to decorate new Residence Hotel In Colchester, VT

Marriott opens new Residence Inn
hotel near Burlington, Vermont

On Tuesday, September 14 Marriott opened The Residence Inn Burlington Colchester, located at 71 Rathe Road, six miles from the Burlington International Airport. With 4 floors and 108 suites this new hotel offers accommodations with separate kitchens, sleeping and work spaces.

What else is new about this facility? A few years ago the President of Marriott Corp, J.W. (Bill) Marriott, Jr. visited the Burlington Marriott on Battery street and noticed the work of Bill and Bene Dodge on display in the dining room. The specialty of Dodge Studio's are breathtaking images of Lake Champlain and Vermont. Mr. Marriott liked what he saw, and suggested that for a new facility being planned near Colchester that Dodge studios collaborate with the Marriott interior design teams proposing the use of art in the hotel that would feature the landscapes and highlights of the local area with the intention that guests not only feel at home but also that they see the best of the region they are visiting. Artists and photographers Bill and Bene Dodge from Dodge Studios and Silver Maple Editions along with Sharon McDonnell of Mother-Daughter Press and Gay Bumgarner Images produced this novel "staying in place" concept for Marriott. A chance to deepen the sense of having visited somewhere and gaining familiarity with a place.

The pictures are large-scale, breathtaking images of Vermont -- including Lake Champlain, the Northeast Kingdom, the animals and plants of the area and other unique aspects of Vermont that make it a top travel destination. In choosing to decorate the hotel in a way that honors both Vermont and Vermonters, the Marriott organization has made a beautiful environment for both employees and guests. See the slide show below -- it gives only a wee taste of the many pictures used. Or better yet, visit the hotel in person to experience this art first hand:

Marriott - Images by Gay Bumgarner Images and Mother-Daughter Press and Dodge Studios, Bill and Bene Dodge

If you like the idea, talk it up. Let the Marriott know, let the artists know. Tell the guests that what they are seeing is Vermont and even if they cannot get to all its lovely places-- soak it up-- in pictures. Hotel art is for once something to brag about. I hope the Marriott is rewarded by their "risk". The Marriott Corp may not be playing it up in their advertising yet--perhaps they should take more credit and brag. We hope it is an idea that catches on. Maybe when we go on business trips and stay in nice hotels we can expect to learn more about the place rather than see generic pictures from "anywhere" off Art as conversation, as a guest service, facilitating a nice experience and familiarity.

Wahoo!! We will try to get more pictures to share.

Monday, September 20, 2010

What does big government mean?

  Greetings I have had it! I have listened to people shout bumper stickers at each other and the other day one more person said "no more big government" and I had to start researching. I have started tables of data to show trends and yet I would really like to know.... what do you think "Big government" means and what should I count to see if it is big, bigger, less big or whatever?  Can you help. What do you think I should "count" as I try to define the size or "bigness" of government?

Thanks Please leave ideas on this blog, facebook or email. You do not have to register.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Making news...PBS NewsHour and the effects of stories and images

See NewsHour coverage about an initiative
called Peaceworks and OneVoice
Male Peacock, Pavo cristatus, displaying
Images matter
If I cannot picture it I cannot create it

In the tangled story of something like the Middle-East
the PBS NewsHour tells me story
about how peace is kindled and possibly made
about how journalism chooses the stories we tell,
the pictures we see
These images re-form in our minds
reform our minds
they become our stories
they are possibilities
a story about
how reality starts

As the young business visionary who started the projects says "We're moving from theory into action. And the first part of the action is actually visualizing what is it that the people are going to do and then helping empower the people to actually start..."

See the clip "Hostile Neighbors Come Together as Trade Partners"

Courage applied to peace in practical measures is something I need to see more often. I want to tell the NewsHour that this journalism helps-- this type of story is important. It is news.
If you do too, you can click on their feedback page and tell them so.


This post is dedicated to Bruce Dan MD who makes fun of me for watching PBS because, as he says, I am the only one.

Monday, September 13, 2010

More Note Card Sets-- Easy for you

New cards sets-- check them out

Many people that visit our website are astonished at the number of images --- truly lovely images --- that are all available but, too often they became overwhelmed and say "YOU CHOOSE". And so, we do sometimes and its great. Making a coherent set of cards is science and Gut Gestalt. We did an iterative process-- thanks to the committee friends Bill and Bene Dodge in Burlington, Suzanne Rhodes , Morgan McDonnell, Gib Parrish, and of course Gay Bumgarner herself.

Gay loved taking theme pictures and for many years she had a chair obsession thus, creating a gorgeous array of places to sit that were collectively called "Sitting Pretty". Anyone that had a really great or unusual chair would let her borrow it so she could place it in all sorts of settings. Her interests in the chairs, how she placed them, what they symbolized, and the story implied changed a lot over the years but... that is, another story.

This set is called Rural Living -- Four gorgeous country scenes. On the back of all cards we have collected stories, facts, odd ball information and lovely poems-- each relating to the image on the front-- as a way to learn and enjoy the cards a bit more.

For the Rural living set on the back of the picture with the iron wheels we explore all the different uses of the term "re-inventing the wheel". It turns out engineers have a rich set of stories and concepts about this and many related sayings such as "reinventing the square wheel". But, not to give away too much, the wheel has been reinvented at least 2-3 times depending on your definition.

These card sets are available online or by EMAIL here or in Burlington Vermont at Silver Maple Editions in Burlington, Vt.

Next onwards to winter birds -- cardinals, birds of all type, with berries, and snow.
Feel free to suggest a card set or theme for one....

Thursday, September 9, 2010

It's coming on Harvest aka autumn

Before the 16th century, Harvest was the term used to refer to the season. However, as more people  moved from working the land to living in towns, the word harvest lost its reference to the time of year and came to refer only to the actual activity of reaping, and autumn began to replace it as a reference to the season.  The alternative word fall is limited primarily to North American English.

All cultures have an Harvest festival, and without exception the theme is a celebration of food (YIPPEE!) and eating.  A good food celebration included elaborate feasts and food displays. Tables, homes and even people were decorated  with foods such as grains, corn, flowers, fruit, gourds, acorns, corn stalks and cornucopias as well as the colors of autumn. 

Harvest celebrations are a time of gratitude and merriment combined with a dash of dread as the fall equinox -- a day of equal light and dark-- heralds the impending darkness and cold of winter.  This year the Autumn Equinox is September 23rd.  

We've creating a new gallery of Harvest season images and you can see them all in the slide show below.   It emphasizes images of New England and the Midwest, with stunning fall foliage as well the more subtle signs of the changing seasons.

Fall - Colors and Changes - Images by Gay Bumgarner
And, to go with the pictures here is a favorite poem for the Harvest season by Mary Oliver called

"In Blackwater Woods"

Look, the trees
are turning
their own bodies
into pillars

of light,
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
and fulfillment,

the long tapers
of cattails
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders

of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is

nameless now.
Every year
I have ever learned

in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side

is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.
~ Mary Oliver ~ (American Primative)