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BENNINGTON — The Brown Cow Cafe was briefly transformed into a mini museum display last week as a variety of artwork from the Community College of Vermont's beginner drawing class was exhibited.

The exhibition, which showed the black-and-white work of 10 students, was coordinated by CCV faculty and local artist Stella Erich, who taught the class. Mediums ranged from pencil to ink and charcoal so students could "get comfortable" with a range of different materials, Erich said.

Students showcased portraits, still life, and some architectural-style drawings. Some students even displayed "before and after" drawings to show their improvement over the semester.

"I think people don't realize this type of art demands a lot of discipline and focus," Erich said. "It improves concentration."

Erich worked at CCV 10 years ago, and this is the first time she has offered the class since then. She will also offer the same class beginning in January, and enrollment is currently open.

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Throughout the semester, Erich helped students study techniques such as shading, linear perspective, portraiture, and proportions. However, she believes art is so much more than improving one's skills and techniques.

"You're learning to look at the world in a different way," she said. "You're learning to analyze and question in a way you don't normally."

"CCV offers some really fun, creative art courses," said Nicole Stetson, coordinator of academic services at the college, who attended the event.

CCV classes, which are usually worth three credits, cost $268 per credit but many continuing education students can apply for a non-degree grant. Additionally, senior citizens 65 and up can take classes for free.

Christie Wisniewski can be reached at and at 802-447-7567, ext. 111.


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