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Those oh, so very artsy gubernatorial candidates

BURLINGTON Gov. Jim Douglas is like Michelangelo. Michelangelo used assistants to paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Douglas called on Susan Hayward, a member of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, to help produce his puzzle piece in the Vermont Council on the Arts Art Fits project. Art Fits is a statewide community arts venture modeled on the success of the 2006 Palettes of Vermont initiative. The Council intends to distribute 11,000 wood and 50,000 paper puzzle pieces free of charge to Vermonters who want to create and share art. Each 15 x 15 universal puzzle piece will be an individual work of art that can potentially connect to the other puzzle pieces. The project probably wont produce world peace, but it may result in a Vermont piece. On Sept. 6, puzzle pieces produced by the three gubernatorial candidates were on display at Champlain Elementary School. The Republican Douglas/Hayward piece highlighted the Vermont oath-of-office phrase Equal Right and Justice to All and exhibited a number of Vermont scenes, including a sugar shack, the State House, Camels Hump, a granite quarry, and Lake Champlain. The state seal, state flag, and state flower (Red Clover) were there too. A three-dimensional Holstein and a deer peered out from the wood. Possibly inspired by John Lennons song, Progressive Anthony Pollina placed the word Imagine in the center of his piece and surrounded it with news clippings tempered by pastoral Vermont scenery. Democrat Gaye Symingtons shiny puzzle piece simply contained two slogans: Symington for Governor and Youre Our Future. Although the three candidates may be worlds apart on certain issues, their puzzle pieces fit together perfectly. Want to play Michelangelo yourself? Blank puzzle pieces are scarce right now, but you can register with the Vermont Arts Council to get a piece as soon as more pieces become available. Go to www.vermontartscouncil.org or call 802-828-3291 for further information. Once you decorate a piece, you can also send a photo to the Council to be exhibited in the Councils online gallery. As the Council emphasizes, If the art fits, share it. Try your hand. All we are saying is give a piece a chance.

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