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RESCHEDULED AGAIN: Glenn Andres to Lecture About Vermont Architecture

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

No, you’re not having déjà vu.

Since many people were turned away from his first two lectures on the Museum’s current exhibition Observing Vermont Architecture, Glenn Andres, Professor of the History of Art and Architecture, will reprise, for a third time, his introduction to the exhibition. His free lecture, scheduled for Monday, March 17 at 4:30 p.m. in the Concert Hall of the Mahaney Center for the Arts, will survey buildings both grand and humble, and designed by laymen as well as prominent state and national architects. Sponsored by the Middlebury College Museum of Art, the Friends of the Art Museum, and Architecture Table.

**Seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.**

Windham_County_Courthouse_72

Windham County Courthouse, Newfane, 1825, 1854 (Photo: Curtis Johnson)

Solar Decathlon Team Says “Come On In!”

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

On Tuesday, August 9, Middlebury’s Solar Decathlon team officially welcomed visitors to tour the nearly finished home before it’s disassembled and trucked to Washington for the start of the U.S. Department of Energy competition on September 23.

For more than two hours on a slightly cloudy afternoon, a swarm of curious folks crowded the small but beautifully efficient dwelling, and everyone walked away with a smile. “It’s exactly the kind of house I’ve always wanted,” said one woman, as she scanned the central space that includes the kitchen, dining area, living room and workspace. Another young couple paused as they were leaving to ask one of the team members, clad in their signature yellow t-shirts, if they could come back and move in tomorrow.

Take a look at the following photos for a glimpse of what this group hopes will set the standard for many homes to come. And stay tuned to their web site for more news and updates!

Deck entrance

Picture 1 of 11


Our Place

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

How would it feel if a group of people came into your house today and rearranged all your furniture because they thought it worked better that way? Or maybe your kids moved into the master bedroom while you were at work because they needed more space to relax?

Such emotions of confusion, displacement and oppression were at the heart of a panel discussion on a recent Monday called “Race, Space and Place,” introduced by Susan Burch, director of Middlebury’s Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity. An audience of mainly students with a few faculty, staff and community members sprinkled throughout, gathered in The Orchard room at Franklin Environmental Center.

Associate Professor of Geography Pete Nelson, Visiting Instructor in History of Art and Architecture Jennifer Hock, and Professor of American Studies and English Will Nash each wove their individual research into a common theme of idealized community vs. lived reality.

Using cities and resorts such as Chicago, New York and Jackson Hole, the three speakers touched on how race is a key—but often under-discussed—element of the communities we build and live in.

Nelson focused on the baby-booming nation of affluent retirees who are flooding locales like Jackson Hole and Steamboat Springs to settle and enjoy a later life of leisure—and in turn creating amenity-related employment opportunities that attract an even greater number of Latino immigrants to the same areas.

“There’s a perceived idealization of these rural landscapes that is imbued with a sense of racelessness, and yet it’s the racialized individuals who are relied on to make it function,” said Nelson.

Hock drew from her research on housing developments in urban areas such as Chicago and New Haven, Connecticut, in the 50s and 60s. Specifically she introduced the concept of racial liberalism, with which city officials made sweeping decisions about how their collective vision of diversity should be played out in the community. “The urban renewal of some of the borderline housing developments became a form a racial oppression, all in the spirit of one group’s dream of diversity that never really worked out anyway,” she said.

Nash brought the conversation from reality to representation and discussed how literary icons such as Richard Wright’s “Native Son” and Kerry James Marshall’s “garden” paintings of the Chicago projects—as well as cultural media like Norman Lear’s “Good Times,” televised in the 70s—encapsulated a stereotype of what he called “imaginative geographies” of the places, people and landscapes that are represented. He commented on the myriad ironies and complicated layers of reality in a variety of artistic expressions.

“In the end,” noted Hock after she and her colleagues answered some tough and probing questions from the audience, “the spaces and places are where our very public-ness is played out.” And what are we, as a worldwide community, if not a complex and thrilling diversity of race.