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July 11, 2013

Rod MacIver to Close Heron Dance After Nearly 20-Year Run

618-SOTA-HeronRod MacIver is following a rough patch with liberation: ending Heron Dance Art Studio.

He's been selling his nature- and Tao-inspired paintings, prints, books, greeting cards and other items — and writing a daily contemplative e-newsletter for thousands of subscribers — for almost two decades. Years ago MacIver had a gallery in Middlebury; more recently, he had a short-lived one in Winooski, which I wrote about in February.

Most of his business, though, is handled through his website. Now, the word "liquidation" is in the pull-down menu, and the listed contents are 50 percent off.

The proverbial nail in the coffin came earlier this year, when the Monkton-based artist and writer took on "a huge project that went wrong" (an elegant and expensive-to-produce Book Arts Collection), and then he unexpectedly lost his lease on the months-old Heron Dance Wild Nature Art Gallery. In retrospect, MacIver, 56, acknowledges that he was "just burned out, working 60 hours a week. ... I've done it 19 years, and the last six to eight months have been difficult," he adds. "There are other things I want to do."

Such as? The Canadian-born MacIver, whose dreamy artwork and thoughtful writings are reflections on the natural world, wants to go on a long wilderness trip. "Fall is my favorite time to be in the woods," he says, "so I will probably go paddling in Canada."

Meantime, he's got a book to finish — Wild Waters and the Tao — and is overseeing the liquidation of his arty inventory. MacIver says smaller items such as books and notecards are going fast. Still remaining are about "$300,000 worth of paintings and prints." Meticulous to the end, and loyal to his subscribers, MacIver says he sent out a 16-page catalog to a mailing list of 40,000. "Heron Dance will probably take a few months to finish up," he guesses.

In a letter to readers and patrons on his website, MacIver writes:

Heron Dance will now transition from a publisher of book arts collections, of books, notecards, calendars, diaries and prints to an art studio that creates work for outside publishers. ... Beginning in 2014, I will offer my original paintings only in one or two galleries, and will not offer prints.

And then he invites them to a celebratory party at his place on August 10.

Photo courtesy of Matthew Thorsen.




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