Sunday, August 30, 2009
By Janet Van Fleet
Unlike actors, musicians, and dancers, who work in ensembles, visual artists are notoriously solitary creatures. So it’s exciting to find an enterprise in which painters work together, from time to time, in the same space. Billy Brauer has been leading a once-a-week life drawing and painting group for forty years in central Vermont, and over the years many, many artists have been drawn to Brauer’s Thursday evening sessions.
Work by 45 of these artists, including Brauer himself, are on exhibit at the T.W. Wood Gallery and Art Center through Sunday, October 25. The exhibit is a riot of bodies and color, very thoughtfully arranged in groupings that feature monochrome drawings, pigmented pastels, and paintings, along with a selection of Brauer’s works and his statement about the class, titled ...every Thursday night forever!
Over the years, a number of long-timers have been helpful in organizing and running the classes, including Charles Woodard and Frank Woods, and their work is among the strongest in the show. Frank Woods shows several pieces that, instead of foregrounding the model (as most of the other work does), place her at a distance and use compositional devices that move the viewer’s eye through and around the overlapping planes of the paintings, caressing the model (so to speak) at every recurring transit. In one piece, the device is a red yarn-like line moving northwest from the bottom of the painting, elevating us to the figure, scooting up along zigzagging blue shadows, and finally dropping us down to the lower right, to begin again. In another untitled piece, a vase of gladiolas on the right and a bright doorway or window on the left seem (very energetically) to be playing tennis over the head of the relaxed model.
An enclosure in the center of the gallery features 19 paintings, most of which employ the saturated colors favored by Brauer himself. Among these are several strong pieces by Ward Joyce, a profile portrait by Barbara Paulson, and a lovely little Seated Figure by Helen Rabin, in which the figure is placed in the right half of a square painting, elbows locked, with light playing on her white breasts and belly.
The exhibit includes work that was done outside the class (in their own studios) by participating artists. Among these, Jeanne Cariati’s Quatre Demoiselles Nu, a sculptural bowl with four reclining nudes sweeping around the rim of the alabaster vessel, is breathtaking. There are alabaster veins inside the bowl, like in flesh and skin, but almost completely translucent. Sande French-Stockwell’s Giragi is a perky human/giraffe model, built on a store mannequin, situated next to a larger-than-lifesize drawing in the back corner of the back room.
Other pieces that caught my eye were Pizza Box Nude by Sophia Belenky and the drawings of Joan Feierabend, which are paired with abstract geometric paintings. But there is so much work in this show that there’s plenty to tickle every fancy. So hurry on down, and discover your own favorites.
Images, top to bottom: Gallery view, Sweet Sistine by Billy Brauer, Untitled by Frank Woods, and Giragy, by Sande French-Stockwell
Nelda S. Haley was born Nelda Margaret Smith (Aug. 7, 1929) in Waterbury, Connecticut. The child of a stone mason and a music loving mother, she grew up on her grandfather's produce farm during the Depression and WWII years. An essay outlining her life was published in the Northfield News of August 6, 2009.
Near the Mozart Opera painting two wonderful sketches indicative of other work, woodcuts, linoleum prints, and charcoal and pastel drawings, give a certain bounce by contrast to the larger works. The book-ends to the current exhibit are two smaller paintings, Windy Street, c.1949, and Three Boats on Beach, 1952 that predate and foreshadow the mature work; and a later piece, Morro Bay Harbor, c.2004, begun in blocks of pastel colors, unfinished.
Thanks to the fine curating of this show, the pieces speak for themselves, for the life and times of a particular painter, and for an interesting era in art.
Images, top to bottom: Still Life With Cellist, Paper Burner, Three Boats on Beach.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Above left: John Brickles, Tool Box With Jack
Right: Angelo Arnold, Ponder, with Heidi Broner (Burn Site) and Mark Heitzman (Persuader) on the wall behind.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Island Arts celebrates the Quadricentennial of Lake Champlain with programs that span the week of Aug. 16-23 featuring native people's dancing, drumming, singing, storytelling and crafts, a celebration of our Franco American culture, past and present, and an exploration of the night sky as Samuel de Champlain and his native guides might have experienced it.
The paintings of native artists Jack Sabon and Lorraine Manley, among others, will be showcased at the Island Arts Gallery, located on Route 2 just before the town of North Hero Meet the artists at a reception on Friday, Aug. 14 from 4-7 pm. The Gallery is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends.
Jack Sabon's work is as eclectic as his interests. He graduated from the Institute of American Indian Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which has produced some of the best Indian artists of our time. He is an Athabascan Indian (Alaska Native), but his subject matter is not strictly native-influenced. Some of his finest abstractions are heavily influenced by Alaskan folklore, but bear the stamp of the 21st century in which they are created. Other pieces are mystical in nature, reflecting the spirituality and power of tribal shamans. His abstract work is based on a strong color sense with what are often disciplined outlines of amorphous shapes and designs. These works are often "seen" as completed works in his mind and literally flow onto the canvas.
Lorraine C. Manley has been fascinated with art since she was a young girl, when she devoted every spare moment to exploring forms of creative expression. The natural beauty of Lorraine's native Vermont has been the greatest influence in her art. She especially enjoys painting the landscapes near her home in colors vivid, lush, and intense. With intuitive and energetic use of a palette knife and brush, Lorraine looks for those spontaneous "accidents" of oils and acrylics to capture nature's seasons in textural paintings both impressionistic and exciting.
For more information: www.islandarts.org
(The following essay is submitted by Vermonter Kathryn Barush, now studying at University of Oxford in England. Below this article is the press release regarding Bread and Puppet's August events)
by Kathryn Barush
In the early 1960s Peter Schumann founded the Bread and Puppet Theater in New York City, and its "Domestic Resurrection Circus" first appeared during the Vietnam war shortly thereafter. In the 1970’s, the Bread and Puppet relocated to a Vermont - first to Goddard College, and then to Glover in the Northeast Kingdom, where the midsummer "Domestic Resurrection Circus" pageants were held. Bread and Puppet's brand of anti-commercial, anti-academic art was supplemented with baked sourdough rye that could be smeared with garlic aioli, and the Pageants were played out in a natural amphitheater, with barefoot puppeteers clad in white like a great modern Bacchanalia. In recent years the public could hear the tuneless, dented brass-horn ‘Homeland Security Band’ stomp out the Battle Hymn of the Republic. In 1998, due to the death of one of the festival goers, the large scale pageants were somewhat curtailed, but Bread and Puppet performances do continue. What is now known throughout Vermont tourist guides as the ‘Bread and Puppet Museum’ has been open since at least the early 1980s. This paper will provide a brief analysis of the ‘folk museum’, examining the containment of ritual objects and the liminal effects of Wunderkammer-esque display strategies- employing the Bread and Puppet Museum in Glover, Vermont as a case-study.
In the gift shop (in the traditional place, where most museum gift shops are found, upon entering the cavernous and cob webbed barn) are both a donation box, and donations hat, Also an array of posters, prints, woodcut-block postcards on brown paper depicting grass (Rise!) and flowers growing out of combat boots (Courage!). There are no employees, no guards, no pedestals, but this is indeed a museum. The barn unfolds into room after room of preserved puppets, some on their own, eerily suspended against thick storm windows, others in the rafters collected in a great crowd, leaning over the stable doors in numbers like a peaceful papier-mâché army, accompanied by massive set pieces, ephemeral cardboard tableaux, and spiders. There are also the museum-goers, all conditioned by their upbringing to move through the silent puppets with an air of reverie, the museum ritual taking hold even in this cluttered, anti-curatorial, anti-academic, anti-capitalistic barn where nothing is commoditized. In fact, Peter Schumann states in his 1984 ‘WHY CHEAP ART’ manifesto: “People have been thinking too long that art is a privilege of the museums and the rich. Art is not a business. Art is food. You can’t eat it but it feeds you.”
Folk museums may have had their advent with Alexandre du Sommerard’s Musée de Cluny. The museum still functions as a veritable reliquary chest of everyday objects: brooches, pots, tapestries with a Roman Bath thrown in, retrieved column capitals, a narwhale tusk functioning as a unicorn horn, a pantheon of heads with their noses in varying degrees of disrepair, and an illuminated manuscript with Mylar protected pages to leaf through. The Cluny example is cited by Stephen Bann: it falls particularly on the art historian to look at those examples which refer back to a period antedating the functional separation of museum types, and hence to scrutinize varieties of display which promoted distinctive relationships between knowledge and visibility to take one significant case, the Musée de Cluny was before all else a historical museum,
dedicated to the revival of the life of the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance, which were evoked in a series of densely packed rooms. Yet it was also in a real sense a precursor of the ‘folk-museums’ and ‘museums of everyday life’ which are current today, insofar as it admitted numerous objects of everyday use which had never been placed on display before.
Another precursor was Rudolph II’s Prague-Castle collection, the Alchemist’s Alley’ riddled with mystique inclusive in the experience, alongside the Mannerist artworks. The ‘folk museum’, as I am defining it here, separates the utilized object from its articulated stance for purposes of static display, thus promoting a visceral shift from ‘low’ to ‘high’ art.
Another purpose of the folk museum is to serve as a space for the containment of ritual objects, retired from their initial purpose and recast into collections. A festal memory is revived and the viewer is invited to participate: to sit in despair (or awe) over the ‘magnitude of antique fragments’ (to borrow from Fuseli). Bann reminds us that the ancient Greeks ‘had seen the function of art as being inseparable from religious and public functions.’ Grouping the puppets in tableaux and theatrical arrangements, which recall set design thus summons a narrative, and invites the public to participate by the act of viewing. This is not far removed from the ‘religious and public function’ which was a further articulated narrative account with the purpose of entertaining, while providing metaphorical clues, embedded in the iconography (a dove means peace, red is for blood, a black robe is for mourning). To invoke Carol Duncan: aestheticians gave philosophical formulations to the condition of liminality, recognizing it as a state of withdrawal from the day-to-day world, a passage into a time or space in which the normal business of life is suspended. In philosophy, liminality became specified as the aesthetic experience, a moment of moral and rational disengagement that leads to or produces some kind of revelation or transformation. Meanwhile, the appearance of art galleries and museums gave the esthetic cult its own ritual precinct. That in mind, a folk museum is providing a Kantian aesthetic immersion in a twofold manner via the arrangement of
the objects and the memory of the original ritual usage.
Although this discussion of folk museums and the display of the American primitive papier-mâché object is far removed from that famous and heralded ‘Olympiad of the Arts’ /Documenta/, there is still an aspect of staging via both instances. Arnold Bode went through great pains to improve the architecture, aligning it with the content of the exhibition. Meanwhile, traditional museum strategies are impugned in the case of Bread and Puppet, arranging the objects not in separated cases in a clean, white museum, but in an old barn. On a much, much more public and major level, this canonical dispute has already taken place in Paris at the Musée D’Orsay. Svetlana Alpers defines the accepted canon as ‘twentieth century notions of skill, ambition, and the achievement of art in the second half of the nineteenth century in France’, and cites the dispute as ‘the media displayed (furniture and decorative arts, photographs, and sculpture mixed in with painting) and in the choice of artists exhibited’.
Naming the Bread and Puppet space a ‘museum’ (the term ‘museum’ as I have previously defined it) is an unsubtle project acting as a purposeful deconstruction of the bourgeoisie museum-going culture, all the more effective owing to the ‘quotations’ of traditional Hegelian timeline display strategies. The very act of doing so promotes Peter Schumann’s project: that is, the project of ‘Domestic Resurrection’ itself.
Bann, Stephen. ‘Art History and Museums,’ in /The Subjects of Art
History/, eds. M.A. Cheetham, M.A. Holly, and K. Moxey, (1998), p.
239 – 240.
Bann, Stephen. 237.
Duncan, Carol. ‘The Art Museum as Ritual’ (1995), in /The Art of
Art History/, ed. D. Preziosi, (1998), p. 480.
Grasskamp, Walter. ‘For Example, /Documenta/, or How is Art
History Produced?’ in /Thinking about Exhibitions/, ed. R.
Greenberg, B.W. Ferguson and S. Nairne, (1996), p.72.
Alpers, Svetlana. ‘The Museum as a Way of Seeing,’ in Exhibiting
Cultures: The Poetics and Policies of Museum Display, ed. I. Karp
and S.D. Lavine, (1991), p. 29.
Photos by by James Riches
Friday, August 7, 2009
Circus and Pageant: Sundays at 3pm, Rain or Shine! (through Aug 30)
All Admission is Free, Donations Appreciated!
LUBBERLAND NATIONAL DANCE COMPANY
Every Friday night at 8pm through August, Bread and Puppet Theater is experimenting with its new performance format, the Lubberland National Dance Company.
The Lubberland National Dance Company's 13 Dirt Floor Cathedral Dances are performed inside + outside the newly finished Paper Mache Cathedral. They include a forest admiration dance of a NYC rush hour crowd, the Dance of the Foolish Woman Who Tries To Bring Back To Life the Victims of the Drone Bombardments in Pakistani Villages, a sermon-dance, performed by the deeply superstitious practitioners of the paper mache religion and weekly new dances as the summer progresses. The sounds for the dances range from gravel in wheelbarrow to trombones and baritone horns and are composed and improvised for the occasion.
The Lubberland National Dance Company will run a show at the Bread and Puppet Farm, RT 122, Glover, every Friday night at 8 pm through August 28th. Donations appreciated.
CIRCUS AND PAGEANT (Rain or Shine!)
"The Dirt Cheap Money Circus & Pageant" is performed every Sunday through August at 3pm in the circus field and pine forest of the Bread and Puppet Farm. The circus features the distress of money-deprived billionaires, the logic of the US Healthcare System, the philosophy of Forever, presented by a flock of kids, spectacular stilt dances, interspersed with appearances by Karl Marx, who confronts the 2009 economic situation with his existential thoughts about money and our relationship to it. And much more. As always, this year's circus performs to a live band and excels in giant puppets.
The circus leads directly to the pageant, which involves a parade to the pine forest, a giant wicker woman, a vicious team of headless businessmen, a doomed Ship of Fools.
The traditional bread and aioli will be served and the museum will be open!
For information, call 802-525-3031, or go to www.breadandpuppet.org
Thursday, August 6, 2009
"Wild Flowers," Peter Huntoon
Feature Local Artists
POULTNEY, VT – A group show at the Feick Fine Arts Center August 3 features local artists working in mediums ranging from photography and painting to ceramics and pottery.
An opening reception will be held August 6 from 5-7 p.m. It is free and open to the public. All of the exhibitors are from southern and central Vermont.
Brandon-based artist Warren Kimble, well known for his folk art style, will be featured along with Margaret Stringer, a watercolor artist from Wells, and Middletown Springs-based watercolor artist Peter Huntoon. Huntoon creates “representational works of art inspired by the New England landscape and its people.”
Poultney resident Fred Michel is the show’s lone photographer. His work features landscape images from all over the globe. Husband and wife team Diane Rosenmiller and Nicholas Seidner established Rising Meadow Pottery in Middletown Springs in 1998. Seidner’s work often features “local raw materials” for glaze ingredients, while Rosenmiller’s work is influenced by her love of gardening and by historic medieval Asian pottery. Liza Myers, who has been a Vermont resident for over 20 years, creates ceramic sculptures and paintings that explore “connectivity and distance, and intimate details of the physical realm.”
The group show will be on display through August 28. The Feick Fine Arts Center is open to the public Monday through Friday from 1-5 p.m. There is no admission charge.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS Opening reception: August 9th, 5pm-9pm . August 9th - August 23rd, 2009, Borough Gallery & Studio, 180 Flynn Avenue (through the SEABA entrance), Burlington
Shawna Cross, Emily Wilson, and Borough Gallery & Studio are pleased to present BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS, a group exhibition showcasing the work of 10 emerging, area artists. The exhibition will open August 9th from 5pm to 9pm at 180 Flynn Avenue, through the SEABA entrance, in Burlington Vermont's South End. The exhibition will run until August 23rd with viewing hours between 11am and 3pm. During the opening reception live music from Gregory Alexander and special guest will take place from 6pm to 8pm. In addition Rivulette and Vintage Inspired/Miss Pickles Attic will also open their studio doors and invite people to explore our 180 Flynn Avenue hallways. BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS ventures into the current and uprising movements within the art scene of Vermont and Upstate New York, providing stomping ground for emerging artists to display their talents and a platform for their unique vision to be both seen and heard.
Borough Gallery & Studio is wildly ecstatic to present to Burlington an exhibition featuring such passionate and dedicated artists whose belief in both their vision and their voice is illimitable. This exhibition extends the opportunity for community members to experience the art that their neighbors, local business associates, waitstaff, cashiers, and friends are busy making behind closed doors into the late hours of the night. While the styles and media of participating artists range from abstract to representational; covering photography, painting, drawings, sculptures, and installations, the vividness of each piece is of equal nature. The goal of this exhibition is to shed light on the rising artists in our community and in turn highlight the South End as a place where art, music and culture have a profound influence and impact.
Our BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS, on display in Borough Gallery & Studio's debut group show, include Kate Ashman, John Bildstein, Shawna Cross, Cristin Manner, Leigh Manville, Rachel Moore, Elise Pecor, Jackie Ryan, Emily Wilson, Adam Wimble; Open Studios of Stephanie McKay of Rivulette, Mary Heinrich Aloi and Richard Corbet of Vintage Inspired LLC and Miss Pickles Attic; and live music by Gregory Alexander and guest.
For more information or to schedule a tour please contact Shawna Cross via email at email@example.com, 802-782-1675 or Emily Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org, 207-459-4631
image: Emily Wilson "Box Installation"
Site Specific Installation designed for South Wall of Borough Gallery
Image courtesy of the artist
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
BURLINGTON, VT, JULY 27, 2009: Kate Donnelly will be exhibiting new work at 215 College Gallery in Burlington this month. The exhibit - "Vestiges" - includes a mixed media installation and small sculptures and explores the ideas of family stories and forgotten ancestry. The exhibit runs from August 7-30 with an opening reception on August 7, 5-8pm.
“We do such a poor job of maintaining our family stories. Why?” Donnelly asks. “The adventures, the lessons, the trials and tribulations – these are the histories of your family. How many do you know? How are you passing them along to the next generation? Of what value are they? What do they teach us about ourselves, our time, and our world?” With her installations, Donnelly explores the idea of family stories and histories as so many gifts either undiscovered or all but lost. Donnelly's small, maquette-like sculptures playfully illustrate some of the artists own family stories.
Donnelly is a member of 215 College Gallery and works in a variety of mediums. She also teaches art to children of all ages at her studio in Burlington. Her programs include summer camps and after school classes and incorporate painting, drawing, fashion, sculpture, architecture, and more.
About 215 College Gallery: The mission of 215 College Gallery is to explore visual art in all mediums: to build a network for connecting and communicating with one another, other artists, and the community at large. We promote excellence and diversity in the arts with monthly openings of new work by members, and curated shows of guest artists presented in our professional gallery space. This space provides a venue where artists control both the curatorial process and pricing of their work. Proceeds from sales go directly to the exhibiting artist.
Monday, August 3, 2009
Image: Rorschach Landscape by Lucy Petrie
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Contact: Robert Hitzig, 802-223-7680, email@example.com
The Lazy Pear Gallery
154 Main Street
Montpelier, VT 05602
The Lazy Pear Gallery is proud to present “Pins and Needles,” a solo show of mixed-media work by Vermont artist Mary Admasian, August 5 through September 20. With this new series Mary has created a completely unique series that evokes both the depth and complexity of emotion with simple, minimalist construction. The work is hard to categorize. It is two dimensional while being very textural and multi-layered. By combining white paint, molded cloth, pins, needles and thread, Mary is able to draw the viewer into an imperfect world where plans and intention cannot control the outcome, but where acceptance leads to understanding.
In her statement, Mary clearly states her intention, “Mending and pining the elements of time, space, abstract connection. All is internal, all is illusion, and all can be iconic. Life, love, and fear is veiled by the white folds of simplicity.” Having spent over two years contemplating the work, she has approached these pieces with a clear vision and deft execution. The result is art that leaves room for individual interpretation while providing guidance through the landscape of human emotion.
The Lazy Pear Gallery will host an artist reception on Friday, August 7, from 5 pm to 8 pm, to give the public an opportunity to meet Mary and discuss her work. In celebration of this new work, Peter Lind, the Primal Ice Cream Therapist at Ben and Jerry’s (who happens to be Mary’s husband) will be making a special ice cream flavor for the opening. The Lazy Pear Gallery is located at 154 Main Street, Montpelier, VT. It has off-street parking and is ADA accessible. Additional information about the gallery and Mary Admasian’s work can be found at www.lazypear.com or by calling (802) 223-7680.
42 South Main Street, St. Albans, VT 05478 • 802-524-5700
Contact: Stina Plant
ST.ALBANS- Three new artists are showing for the first time at the Staart Gallery in St. Albans. The gallery will be celebrating the newest additions in an artist reception on Friday, August 14 from 6-8 p.m. The featured artists include Lynne Berard, Melvin Harris, and Stefan Volatile-Wood as well as brand new paintings from artist Clair Dunn who is making her first foray into the genre. Their work will be on display through October 24.
The new work is all done in completely different styles and will satisfy the tastes of a variety of art enthusiasts.
Anyone with an appreciation for stained glass will enjoy the collection of Berard's watercolors on display. She employs boldly saturated colors and dark outlines giving her flowery subjects a crisp, polished look.
In a completely different artistic direction, the eight framed pieces Harris has on display are computer generated three dimensional landscapes derived from software programs including Ultra Fractals and Apophysis. Using highly complex mathematical formulas, Harris constructs both realistic and abstract landscapes.
Artist Clair Dunn returns to Staart with her black and white photographs including two new ones taken of the St. Albans Drive-In Theater and the New England Central Railroad building on Federal Street. However, Dunn has also taken a creative leap in a departure from photography to explore both watercolor and acrylic. Ten of her newest abstract expressions are on display.
Another exciting addition to the gallery is Volatile-Wood who is a current student at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston, Mass. Whether he is using acrylic, charcoal or scratchboard, Volatile-Wood's pieces combine both hyper-realism and surrealism.
"It's always great to see an infusion of new work and I'm excited to have a young artist who is currently a student" says gallery owner Stina Plant. "The gallery's foremost goal has always been to support artists by connecting the community to their work and proving how the arts can shape a person's future. That can only help us in fostering support for the continued growth of the arts in this community."
There are many fresh pieces from returning Staart artists including Harald Aksdal, Jane Bower, Karen Day Vath, Clair Dunn, Kimberlee Forney, Mary Ann Duffy Godin, Barbara Hamm, David Juaire, Suzanne Kenyon, Jen Kristel, Stina Plant, and Ellen Powell.
Join us during our opening reception to enjoy meeting the gallery's new and returning artists, view extra pieces from their collections, and partake in free refreshments. Soak up some culture in St. Albans!
For more information on this exhibit or the STAART Gallery, contact Stina Plant at 802-524-5700 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
above: "Pink and Purple Petals", Lynne Berard; "Autumn Lake", Melvin Harris; "The Other Side," Stefan Volatile-Wood, "Blue Storm," Clair Dunn
Studio V will celebrate its Grand Opening in Vergennes on August 8 & 9. . The studio is owned and operated by artist Bethany Farrell. She will use this space as her personal studio as well as a teaching facility where she will teach both children and adult classes. The Studio will be open from 12pm-5pm on both Saturday and Sunday. In addition it will have an opening reception on Saturday evening from 6pm-8pm. The opening will feature Bethany’s new series of multi-media paintings entitled “Narratives: Portraits of Vermont Women”, as well as the work of Burlington based artist Jodi Whalen and Chicago area artist Greta Bell. The public is encouraged to stop by to peruse the space, experience the artwork, pick-up a fall class schedule and enjoy some refreshments. Studio V is located at 179 Main Street, Vergennes, above Addison Outfitters. Please contact Bethany with any questions or to request a class schedule at 877 6524 or email HYPERLINK "mailto:email@example.com" firstname.lastname@example.org. New studio information also will be available at HYPERLINK "http://www.bethanyfarrell.com" www.bethanyfarrell.com.