Italy in Bennington: Locals Tell the Stories that Connect Them to the Bel Paese.
Cultural Studies and Language Series—Fall 2019
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC | Each speaker will talk about what connects them to Italy, the ways Italian culture is actively present in their lives, and how this connection is enriching their lives. A Q&A will follow.
Stella Ehrich is a figurative painter who has lived in southern Vermont since 1991. The most profound influence on her work came from the sixteen years that she lived and painted in Italy. During that time she studied for seven years in Florence in the atelier of Signorina Nerina Simi. The skills she learned there have guided her painting for the last forty years.
Fred X Brownstein and his wife, Stella [Stella Ehrich] lived and worked as artists in Italy for sixteen years from 1975 through 1991 when they moved to North Bennington. He is a professional sculptor working in marble and bronze. During the time they were in Italy he was an apprentice in the marble sculpture studio of Enzo Pasquini in Querceta for four years and studied figure drawing in Florence for four years at the studio of Signorina Nerina Simi. He also worked at the bronze foundries in Pietrasanta. In 1980, Fred opened his own studio and was awarded his first public commission from the Town of Stazzema in 1984 and installed in 1985. The couple has close friendships and consider them their Italian family.
Robert Guarino is the author of Beacon Street: Its Buildings and Residents (The History Press, 2011). He has been a follower of history from his earliest days living in the historic Massachusetts towns of Milton, Boston and Marshfield before moving to Vermont, where he is a trustee of the Vermont Historical Society.
Judy Matz is a librarian of Italian descent. She worked in sales and training of resources for college and university libraries. She and her husband lived in New York City and relocated to Bennington. Judy made her first trip to Italy at age 12 and has been in love with it ever since.