The Frog Hollow cART

The cART provides a safe environment for glassblower Eric Nelson to educate the public about his craft.
The cART provides a safe environment for glassblower Eric Nelson to educate the public about his craft.

In recent years, Frog Hollow has run a series of statewide craft outreach efforts to determine how best to educate and share with the public Vermont craft artisans and their processes. These efforts included last year’s “Artstream”, a retrofitted Airstream camper that Frog Hollow used as a traveling gallery for multiple exhibitions. A traveling public library exhibit featuring the work of Peter Miller in 2014/2015. Several off-site Burlington based artist retrospective exhibits in 2012 and an experimental traveling installation exhibit titled  Transcendence in 2010, a collaboration with H.O.P.E. Works (then named the Womens Rape Crisis Center).   The result of these efforts is the commissioning of a mobile studio the organization has affectionately named The Frog Hollow cART.

​  The ceiling mirror provides multiple views to watch artists like Maxine Hugon work. ​
​The ceiling mirror provides multiple views to watch artists like Maxine Hugon work. ​

The Frog Hollow cART was designed and created by local artists Aaron Stein and Aaron Grossman as a mobile platform for artisans to demonstrate not just what they make, but how they craft and create it. The main concern was to make a safe environment that the public could approach and watch as work was being produced. The cART is a versatile design which can be used as a platform to create on or as a backdrop to house tools and materials. A built-in plexi glass shield encompasses the entire front of the cart while an adjustable mirror allow for multiple views of the creative process with the mirror providing an aerial view of the artisan’s hands at work.

Made from rectangular aluminum framing beams, once window channel in several Church Street storefronts, it can be stated that the cART is built from Church Street. The two Aarons reclaimed and repurposed local materials for the bulk of the cART’s construction, including locally salvaged corrugated siding, leveling jacks and a motorcycle wheel, making it an upcycled work of art in its own right. 

The cART is already up and operating.   John Brickels was the inaugural artist demonstrating on August 6th in front of our gallery. Since then Frog Hollow has held weekly artisans (printmakers, glass blowers, jewelry makers, potters and more) and partnering craft oriented organizations (the Shelburne Craft School and Project Healing Waters) demonstrations in the cART.  

The goals of the cART are many... 

  • To connect Artists and Artisans to their communities
  • Establish a greater understanding within our Vermont community of Vermont made craft and craft processes
  • To strengthen the connection between the greater Vermont community to the Vermont creative community
  • To showcase the diversity of ways in which craft is being used in our communities. For  educational purposes, as a  therapeutic tool and as a means of making a living. 

The cART provides other non-profit partners to showcase their use of craft processes. Here members of Project Healing Waters demonstrate fly tying techniques.
The cART provides other non-profit partners to showcase their use of craft processes. Here members of Project Healing Waters demonstrate fly tying techniques.

Frog Hollow is taking what we have learned in this two month period and starting phase two of the cART project, making needed additions to the cart (lighting and power improvements, communications tools, and accessibility improvements) for our 2017 season.  This season will see Vermont Artisans utilizing the cART in different communities around Vermont as well as increasing the diversity of craft being showcased in our demonstrations.  We are already building a schedule to tour such locations as Manchester, Woodstock and St Johnsbury and are seeking funds to make the needed improvements, offset costs associated with moving the cART, paying the artisans for their time away from their studios and making improvements to the structure to increase its safety and accessibility. Your assistance in achieving this goal is much appreciated.  

Concept sketch for further improvements to the cART
Concept sketch by designer, and Frog Hollow artisan, Aaron Stein for further improvements to the cART