Friday, September 25, 2009

WALKABOUT: Art Walk in Montpelier

by Janet Van Fleet

I started my Art Walk at the Vermont Arts Council, checking out a new Sculpture Garden exhibit curated by Lindsey Carlson (inside, in the Spotlight Gallery, there's an exhibit of paintings by Margaret Lampe Kannenstine). The event was nicely catered with wine in real stemmed glasses. Very classy. Sculptors included Leila Bandar (left: Bend, Bow, Retain, Resist, 2009), Kat Clear (Garliques, 2007), Chris Curtis (Thought Prism, 2008 and Paleolithic Translation, 2009), David Tanych (Untitled, 2004), and Denis Versweyveld (right: Vermont Shrine, 2009) -- a delightful small building (about the size of a large person) with pristine, milk-white interior walls enclosing a simple, blocky little table holding three vessels. The effect was meditative, comforting, and intimate.

At the Supreme Court there were big, bold paintings by Muffin Ray (exhibit reviewed on Vermont Art Zine here), and at the Statehouse (in the cafeteria and nearby spaces), I got to see the final exhibit of Champlain’s Lake Rediscovered: Vermont Artists Celebrate the Lake (you can see images of all 38 pieces in the exhibit here). The exhibit will be there through October 31. I decided not to go see the show of nature photographs by Roger Irwin at the Governor’s Office because I can’t stand the elaborate check-in, check-out, show your ID security. I don’t understand why they can remove the metal detector at the Supreme Court for art openings, but not lay back at the Governor’s Office. I thought the three branches of government were equal...

The Lazy Pear was hopping, chock-a-block with people, and Mary Jo provided great refreshments as always (bite-size quiche-lets with mushrooms, thin homemade chocolate cookies, and great cheese). Wendy James and Steve Goodman, featured exhibitors, were there to talk with gallery-goers about their work. Goodman’s pieces were small-scale, square-format landscapes with loose brushwork. James showed both digital black-and-white collages that play with scale in humorous and surprising ways, as well as three new oil paintings (left) that have a strong narrative thrust. I couldn’t help connecting them in my mind like a graphic novel.

At the ARA Gallery in City Center there was a group show by ARA members, Shown (at right) are pieces by Robin LaHue, Linda Maney, Cora Brooks, and Maggie Neale.

My Art Walk finished at Langdon Street Café (left), which is showing paintings by the talented Azarian brothers, Ethan, Jesse, and Tim.

You can see all this work (and more) during any other business day, so if you missed the Art Walk this evening, it doesn’t mean you missed the shows.