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These events all took place in our Essex store.

Spring Open Studio Weekend Reception (Essex)

Come meet the artists at our reception to celebrate the Vermont Crafts Council's Spring Open Studio Weekend at The Gallery at Phoenix books. Light fare provided. Reception is open to the public. Join us for a fun evening and check out some local talent.

Artists whose work is featured include:

Lucia Chiu
Lucia was born in China.  She started learning Chinese calligraphy from her father at an early age.  With the early good brush skill training, she later learned Chinese traditional painting from other artists.  The fundamental component of Chinese paintings is the line, as it is in Chinese calligraphy. Lucia now resides in South Burlington.


Carol Sullivan
Carol Sullivan’s exploration into photography began as a teenager. Photography allows her to combine her love of nature with her passion for artistic expression. Carol seeks the signs of the natural world in her surroundings, be they deep in a forest, along a country lane or in the vivid colors and simple beauty of fruits and vegetables. Carol’s work has been published in local magazines including Vermont Life.


Carol Truesdell
Carol J. Truesdell is a photo artist based in Underhill Center, Vermont. Carol’s
images begin as RAW digital photographs that are juxtaposed to create a new image- a photomontage - that is intended to look more painterly than photographic. All images are printed with archival ink on mould-made water color paper, designed to last over one hundred years.

In this show, Carol's images focus on Vermont scenes, architecture, portraits and whimsy. She's created a series of images to celebrate spring and summer, called “Flower Hats”. "I must confess that as a child I loved to dress my pets up in doll clothes," says Carol. "From this exhibit you can see that not much has changed except I’m now dressing them digitally."



Vermont Spring Open Studio Weekend is a statewide celebration of the visual arts and the creative process in which Vermont artists and craftspeople invite the public to visit them in their studios. The Vermont Crafts Council launched Open Studio Weekend in 1993 as a way to increase the visibility of artists and craftspeople in Vermont. The event's goal is to foster an appreciation for the creative process and the role that artists and craftspeople play in the vitality of Vermont's communities.

Make a day of it!  Check out more studios in Essex.


Severine von Tscharner Fleming - Greenhorns: Dispatches from the New Farmer's Movement (Essex)

Severine Von Tscharner FlemingA community of more than 5000 young farmers and activists, the members of Greenhorns - a grassroots non-profit founded in 2007 by Severine von Tscharner Fleming - are committed to producing and advocating for food grown with vision and respect for the earth. A new book, edited by Fleming and two more of the group’s leading members, comprises 50 original essays by new farmers who write about their experiences in the field from a wide range of angles, both practical and inspirational.  On Friday, April 27th at 6:30 pm, Severine von Tscharner Fleming will visit Phoenix Books and Cafe in Essex to discuss Greenhorns: 50 Dispatches from the New Farmers' Movement and the organization that inspired it.

Severine von Tscharner Fleming farms in the Hudson Valley of New York. She is founder and director of Greenhorns, an organization that works nationally to promote, support, and recruit young farmers. Severine cofounded the National Young Farmers’ Coalition and directed the documentary film The Greenhorns.

This event is free and open to the public.  Copies of Greenhorns will be available for attendees to purchase and have signed by Fleming.

Greenhorns: 50 Dispatches from the New Farmers' Movement Cover Image
ISBN: 9781603427722
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Storey Publishing, LLC - May 8th, 2012

Introducing The Gallery at Phoenix Books

Essex, Vermont—September 9, 2011 Phoenix Books and Cafe added a new color to its palette with the launch of The Gallery at Phoenix Books. Owner Mike DeSanto says, "The addition of works from artists across Vermont positions us as an art gallery. Works by Vermont painters, photographers, and craftspeople are for sale." The Gallery at Phoenix has joined the Vermont Crafts Council, and will focus is gallery on Vermont artists and artisans. Phoenix is participating in the inaugural Foliage Open Studio Weekend on October 1st and 2nd, sponsored by the council.

Foliage Open Studio Weekend marks the grand opening of the gallery, but only the first step in what DeSanto hopes will be a successful series of art shows: "Over the next year we'll host about six art shows, each with an opening reception and exhibition."

The Gallery builds on Phoenix Books' long-standing relationship with the Essex Art League (EAL) - whose works they've exhibited since the store opened in 2007. "Phoenix Books gave the artists of the EAL an outstanding opportunity,” says Michelle Jackson of the EAL. “We’ve made many sales - and customers have brought home original pieces of artwork to enjoy. Mike is extremely supportive, and it’s wonderful to have a local place to share our art."

Phoenix Books features pottery by Vermont artisans Judith Bryant, Warren Dixon and Lynn Flory. "I've always been very interested in art, and I already own pieces by Judith and Lynn, and a painting by Essex artist Lucia Chu," says DeSanto. "The level of talent and skill is simply amazing in our own community. Vermont artists rival any in New York or Boston."

The Gallery at Phoenix Books is actively considering artists and artisans. Anyone desiring to supply works on a consignment basis should call Mike DeSanto or Colleen Shipman at 872-7111. "I'm interested in seeing some three-dimensional works as well," says DeSanto. The gallery comes highly recommended: “I’m honored to be a part of this independent bookstore,” says Warren Dixon. “They creatively display my work and are extremely helpful with the logistics of selling my pottery."

DeSanto believes the commitment to sell functional and fine art puts Phoenix in a unique position among bookstores: “This is a lot more than hanging paintings by local artists on a wall, as you see in a restaurant. This is about making a commitment to artists to expand their reach into a new community. Phoenix Books stands behind this effort by featuring these local artists in our newsletter, within the store and as part of our overall marketing effort.

"You can see, taste, touch and hold everything we sell here - unlike the virtual stuff online. Having a bookstore, with a cafe offering beer and wine and displaying beautiful works of stimulates all of our senses. I proudly say we're for mindful, thoughtful people - without being elitist or snooty! After all, you need to make a thoughtful choice just to visit our bookstore. I want to invite all art lovers to walk through those doors and see for yourselves how these works enhance and energize the physical space. It is quite transforming."

For more information, please contact:
Michael DeSanto
Phoenix Books
802.872.7111 (p)
802.872.7112 (f)

About Phoenix Books and Café: Phoenix Books was established in 2007 on the principles of social responsibility, community, and sustainability. Phoenix Books is a locally-owned, independent bookstore, gallery, and café, and a proud member of Local First Vermont and Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility. Whenever possible, Phoenix Books sources eco-friendly products from Fair Trade/Green Certified companies. ###

Open Mic Night (Essex)

Check out the local talent at your local, independent bookstore!  Want to be the local talent?  Phoenix is currently seeking currently seeking poets, musicians, singers, storytellers, and comics for this date.  Call 872-7111 to sign up.

Phoenix Writing Group (Essex)

Join us for the next meeting of the Phoenix Writing Group! This group is intended to support efforts by writers in all genres and all levels of expertise, from beginner to published. Participants were invited to bring a sample of their original work for reading and discussion, as well as a favorite piece to read and share with the group. Nothing is required, though, and the event is free and open to the public.


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