Senior curates Winooski art show

Kelly Duggan, Staff Writer

Senior Mak Baker flipped through a sketchbook they filled with pen-and-ink drawings their time abroad in Denmark.

Baker paused at a sketch of a classic Danish girl: blonde hair, blue eyes.

“She knew I was drawing her, so I left,” Baker said.

Beyond their studies as a studio art and psychological science double-major, Baker is highly involved in Burlington’s art scene.

They are currently curating an art show called “alone_together,” at Winooski’s Monkey House, a bar and music venue, Nov. 17. 

This past year, they became involved in the publication of Crossroads, a student-run literary magazine.

“I approached [former publishers] Ders Ellis and Jack Wheaton and was like, ‘how can I get involved with this?’ They were like ‘well … ’” Baker said.

Before he was formally introduced to Baker, Ellis heard them read poetry at the Light Club Lamp Shop on N. Winooski Avenue. Every Monday the club hosts Lit Club, an open-mic night for poets.

“I was blown away by their poetry,” Ellis said.

Baker’s connections to the University’s art department have been helpful in getting unique cover art for the magazine, he said.

“I noticed a lack of space [for young, local artists],” Baker said. “I just wanted to make a space for myself and others.”

Baker is excited about the opening of “alone_together,” at Monkey House.

The collaboration began when Emma Gilfix, who coordinates artwork for the Monkey House, saw an issue of Crossroads at the Lamp Shop’s Lit Club, she said.

Gilfix approached Ellis about the magazine’s cover art, who then referred her to Baker.

“I hope [the collaboration] will create more access to artists around Burlington, rather than just Winooski,” Gilfix said, noting that there has been a “dry spell” of local art in the area.

She believes this kind of cross-student collaboration helps young artists feel more comfortable displaying their work.

The show will feature art by Baker and Ellis, as well as senior MacKenzie Murray, senior Liz Trombino and senior Peter Crummey.

“There isn’t a theme between us artists,” Baker said. “Everything we’re showing is very different … alone, but together.”

Ellis’s paintings will be on display as part of the show. He’s thankful for the opportunity to work on more arts-related projects with his co-editor, he said.

“It all compounds as you meet people in these networks, and you get involved in similar projects,” he said.

Art for the show will go up Nov. 2 as a part of the Winooski Art Walk, where local businesses host arts-related events on the first Friday of the month.

The official opening will take place 7 p.m. to 10 p.m Nov. 17 at Monkey House.