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Looking Through the Window

words // Johnny Sudekum

At some point in life, we’ve all found ourselves drawing on a car window, using our finger as the paintbrush, and the window as the canvas. Sometimes you make a real piece of art, only for it to later fade away. Trevor Sullivan probably finger-painted too, though now his work is a bit more permanent.

Sullivan has broken down the “fourth wall” and constructed a window in its place. While he finds canvas constricting, painting directly on abandoned windows has allowed him to capture personal, and inviting, Vermont scenes. Accordingly, this technique has created an engaging piece of art, which invites its viewer to associate with. 

After graduating from Worcester State University with a business degree, Sullivan longed for change. An eighteen-day visit to Vermont’s Long Trail turned into a permanent move to the Green Mountain State, accomplished just that.

Sullivan recalls the rugged beauty he witnessed on the trail, and more, in his art.  While not a native, this true Vermonter at heart can’t picture himself feeling happier anywhere else in the world. While Sullivan recognizes that everyone, at one point, has been more than content in living where they’re currently planted, he admits the extended stoked-ness he feels living in Vermont is something unique.

Yet despite his devotion, Sullivan’s vision isn’t to be an exclusively Vermont artist. Rather, he sees that this state simply has a certain beauty, a certain “brand”, to offer and he would like explore that further. As Sullivan captures his own nostalgia ranging from images of a snow-capped Mount Mansfield, to sprawling cows outside of Shelburne Farms, he wants to present his idea of paradise to other like-minded demographics as his career grows.

Sullivan’s use of up-cycled windows is a further expression of the Vermont “brand.” Each window was salvaged by Sullivan or purchased from secondhand furniture stores such as Burlington’s “ReSource”. While creating sustainable art isn’t the main goal, he succeeds in saving money and waste, and naturally, feels a sense of rightness.

As Sullivan’s art has obtained a certain degree of success, he isn’t jumping at the chance of fame or switching to a full-time art career. Rather, going through a life-altering experience on the Long Trail and moving to Vermont has provided Sullivan with an understanding of what brings him fulfillment. Music, art, and food complete the trifecta of what Sullivan says he needs present in his life. Accordingly, he is in the midst of opening a café to be located in the Chace Mill Building in Burlington. As you’d expect from a painter, the vegan and vegetarian-friendly restaurant will be filled with art from wall to wall.

You can see Sullivan’s art at an at Fiddlehead’s Brewery where there will be an open house/meet & greet December 18th, from 4-8p.m. For more information, visit his website at: