Monday, August 23, 2010

PRESS RELEASE: Habitat for Artists, Vermont Edition at Helen Day Art Center in Stowe

The Stowe Recreation Path has been the site of the Habitat for Artists Project (HFA), hosted by Helen Day Art Center, for the last month and a half. A simple 6’x6’ shed that acts as a temporary – and very public – studio, the Habitat is the invention of Simon Draper, an artist from the Hudson Valley. Draper’s idea, and Helen Day Art Center, attracted 15 artists to spend their creative time working in the Habitat. Together they covered 45 days and were visible to as many as 30,000 visitors, since the recreation path is a prime destination for locals and visitors alike during the summer.

Habitat for Artists: Vermont Edition is an exhibit of artwork by these artists at Helen Day Art Center, opening Friday, August 27th at 5pm. The exhibit runs: August 27-October 31, with gallery hours 12-5, Wednesday through Sunday. This summer’s HFA in Stowe has been a success, bringing artists into the public space and offering the public a window on the creative process. The Artists’ work ranges widely from Edward Alonzo’s written and video diary of his experience in the Studio, to Polly Motley’s dance movements on the grounds surrounding the Habitat. Nadine Faraj, a Canadian artist (also participating in the Exposed! sculpture exhibition) used the time to research and design an enormous mural on the history of aviation, part of her proposal for an artist competition in Dubai. Meg McDevitt, an artist and the Guest Curator of the exhibition, worked to paper the interior of the habitat with “Free” signs. Some astonished visitors found that she meant it, walking home with a hand lettered / drawn sign at no charge.

This Summer’s HFA project is a pilot program for 2011. Helen Day Art Center recently won $5,000 from the Vermont Arts Council to support HFA 2011, led by Helen Day Art Center in collaboration with River Arts of Morrisville; Vermont Festival of the Arts, Waitsfield; and Yestermorrow Design and Build School in Warren. This expanded version of the project is aimed at serving more artists and reaching a broader audience in the public.

Image: Interior view of the habitat: Meg McDevitt Free Signs, 2010, multiple dimensions, mixed media