Family Room

Rutland author Yvonne Daley is celebrating Vermont of the 1960s with a reading from her book “Going Up the Country,” tonight in Castleton, and a related exhibit, “A Step Back in Time,” at Rutland’s Chaffee Art Center.

“A big week ahead,” Yvonne Daley posted to Facebook a few days ago. Tonight at 7 p.m., the author is at the Castleton Free Library, reading and showing the slideshow from her book, “Going Up the Country.” On Friday, the art exhibit she put together based on the book opens at the Chaffee Art Center from 5 to 8 p.m.

Part history, part narrative, and part analysis of the phenomena of the counterculture movement, Daley’s book is composed of a choir of voices from the hundreds of interviews she conducted over the course of three years, about their experiences and contributions to the state. It became the perfect focal point for an art exhibit of the 1960s.

Last year when the book was just coming out, Daley told me, “I look at the overall movement, why it happened historically, and people’s stories are woven into that.”

The Chaffee exhibit, “A Step Back in Time,” centers on “Going Up the Country” with a peek into the counterculture movement that saturated Vermont during the ‘60s, through the lens of over 100 Vermonters and Vermont transplants. It’s the perfect event to bring your family to, so kids and grandkids can see for themselves what that time was all about.

Art, crafts, music, food, clothing, posters, photos, puppets, memorabilia, and discussions starring people who appear in the book are all part of it.

There are woodcut prints by Mary Azarian. Paintings and sculptures from Susan and Patrick Farrow. Film and discussions from Vermont filmmakers Jay Craven and John Douglas. Daley’s own painted, embroidered and silk-screened clothing. Pottery from Susan Leader and Andy Snyder. Posters and puppets from the famed Bread and Puppet Theater. And fun throwbacks like memorabilia from the former Back Home Café and more will be at the opening. Musician Bruce White will be playing the book’s playlist of songs from the late ‘60s and ‘70s. Both events are free and open to the public. The exhibit runs through Nov. 1.

There will also be evening events every Friday at the Chaffee during the exhibit’s run, with book readings, music performances, spoken word and music, and films shown with talks on the issues of the era.

A combination of factors brought Dalely to Vermont — city burnout, a desire for a different life, and a place to grow her own food. She arrived in Vermont in 1967, among the droves of others.

“Many of those people are still here; they found a home here,” she said. “That’s what the book is about. It’s their stories.”

Chaffee Art Center, 16 S. Main St. in Rutland, hours are: noon to 5 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday; call 802-775-0356,or go online to www.chaffeecenter.org.

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