Downtown Rutland, circa 1919   In 1976, as the Docent of the Rutland Historical Society Museum, I helped write the book "Rutland In Retrospect".

      I was born in Rutland, VT, in 1958.  My family has lived in Rutland since 1905, and have lived in Vermont since 1750.  I have ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War and the Civil War.   I suppose one could say that I am a "True Yankee".

 

 

 

  My mother is a direct descendant of Elder William Brewster of the Mayflower.  On my father's side my great-grandfather, great-grandmother, and great-great grandfather were all artists.  A book about artists of the Hudson River School briefly mentions Cyril Brunelle Sr. "...he wandered the Adirondacks, swapping paintings for food and drink...mostly drink..."   

 Left- My great-grandparents, Ida and Cyril Brunelle Jr., wearing funny hats, circa 1900.  Both Cyril and his father, Cyril Sr., were artists.  Right- My great-grandmother, Cathrine Rose Long Hurley, circa 1885.  Catherine was an accomplished painter.

           

  Robert Waldo Brunelle JR., intensely serious first grader, 1964

      I attended Catholic schools as a lad, and was taught by elderly nuns, many of whom had taught my father.  Smiling was not encouraged.   My earliest memory of school is of being sent home early the day JFK was assassinated. 

    Although there was no art program at school, I discovered at  an early age that I had a knack for art, and spent most of my youth filling up reams of paper with drawings of my favorite cartoon characters from the Sunday Funnies.

     I had the great misfortune of coming of age during the dreadful "Disco" era, graduating from High School in the bicentennial year of 1976.  I protested against the general tastelessness of that decade by retreating into the 19th century.  While my peers wasted their money on rock and roll albums, I invested mine at antique shops.                                  

  Wearing my favorite piece of antique clothing, my 19th century Morning Coat,  1976

Left- Lance Richbourg hammering out one of his notorious "Mad Dog" images 1982.  Right- Roy Kennedy poses with me and my Victorian House sculpture, at the McCarthy Arts Center, Saint Michael's College, 1980.

   In 1976 I attended St. Michael's College.  There I met two wonderful art professors, Lance Richbourg and Roy Kennedy.  Roy convinced me to add an Art Major to my History Major, and Lance taught me how to paint.  As a result, I graduated in 1980 with two degrees; one in Fine Arts, and the other in History.  Although Roy has since passed on to that "Great Studio In The Sky", Lance is still my good friend and mentor.
  Having degrees in Fine Arts and History, of course, rendered me unfit for normal employment, so I went into education.  From 1981 until 2012 I was the art teacher at the Browns River Middle School, in Underhill, VT.  My first year teaching I earned the princely sum of $10,600, which allowed me to rent this roach-infested room at the old Hotel Huntington, in downtown Burlington.   In 1985 I earned a Masters in Art Education from Castleton College.

This photo of me in my first apartment was taken in 1981, as part of a fellow artist's photo essay "One Hundred Rooms, One Hundred Lives".

              

  Grace and me, on our wedding day, Dec. 30th, 1983

    In 1983 I had the good fortune to meet my soul-mate, Grace Key, a descendant of the famous Sir Francis Scott Key.   After a whirlwind courtship, we tied the knot on Dec. 30th.  Getting married between Christmas and New Years Day has made it easier for us to remember the date of our anniversary.  Today I share my home in Jericho, VT. with Grace and her daughter Sarah.
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ALL IMAGES ON THIS WEBSITE ARE COPYRIGHT  ROBERT WALDO BRUNELLE JR  2012