The Little Dream Factory in Williston
I once walked down the precarious shoulder of Williston Road all the way from the village to Taft Corners. It was a sunny day. I was bored, I guess. Perhaps I was just momentarily confused because…well, SUN IN VERMONT! In any case, something compelled me to go out. Sure I was risking getting hit by a car that morning, but there I was on my road to nowhere. David Byrne would have been proud (despite my lack of wheels).
The weather was uncharacteristically warm for April. Busy moms and sleepy kids were riding vans to school. Someone tossed a crumpled can of Sprite right in front of me, which rolled a few feet and joined the takeout containers, cigarette butts and mini bar bottles by the side of the road. “This is how cyclists feel every day they ride”, I thought.
I was getting very uncomfortable. Cars were going by very fast. Too close to me as well. There were a couple of brief moments when I saw my life flash in front of my eyes. It wasn’t a pretty picture…and I had seen it before anyway.
I kept walking hugging the edge of the field, until I got over the first hill. Things calmed down a bit after that. I saw clouds and horses. Many evil wild parsnips were swaying in the wind, pretending to be innocent and delicate. I saw the firehouse and the stream with saplings planted along the banks. I saw a construction crew operate a crane that was holding a bundle of PVC pipes up in the air. People waiting at the bus stop. Kids crossing the intersection on their way to school. Opposite the skeleton building in the construction site, folks pumped gas into their Subarus at the local petrol station. There was a cat sunning itself by the propane gas containers.
Among all the things I saw that morning there was a glaring omission painfully noticeable to me: not a trace of art was to be found. Not a school, gallery, museum, academy, statue, fountain, mural...absolutely nothing remotely related to art. Williston is bereft of any serious relationship with the art world.
I walked back with a pesky sense of responsibility and the determination to make a change. Any change, no matter how small. I refuse to accept this. I know for a fact there are many wonderful creative people who live in Williston. Why is this topic so far off the radar?
I started with the obvious: inviting other creative folks to my studio to share some time and supplies. It is a modest contribution, I know, but I am attempting to create a small ripple of momentum. They say that a single tiny pebble can generate, given time, the most magnificent of waves. That is the core philosophy behind the creation of The Little Dream Factory.
In the studio, we come together to cut and paint, glue and draw. Most importantly, we support one another and work side by side on small projects and fun activities. We all contribute a small amount of money to a shared pool of supplies, and we meet once or twice a month for some laughs and some creative time. We drink tea or coffee and talk while our hands are busy and our brains relaxed and happy.
While we are at the beginning of this journey, we remain focused on growing a community of creative individuals in Williston and surrounding areas. We don’t know what the future holds but, for the moment, we are enjoying this little oasis among the sumac. I hope you can visit my studio someday and become a member of the Little Dream Factory. Everyone is welcome!