Friday, August 6, 2010

Press Release: Landscapes Near and Far, St. Johnsbury

Oil Paintings and Drawings by Curtis Hale
From August 11 through September 28, the Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild will host an exhibition of Curtis Hale's work . The public is invited to an artist's reception on Saturday, August 21 from 3:00 to 5:00 pm.

Curtis Hale is originally from Saint Johnsbury. He is fourth in a lineage of family painters who work in landscape. Hale paints with oils, working primarily from life. While celebrating the environment, and painting as ritual, his work often cites the effects of civilization on the natural world. His work is broadly painted, without excessive detail, and aims to establish a mood visually.

Hale is one of ten Vermont artists awarded commissions through the Art of Action project. This project is the inspiration of Lyman Orton, co-owner of the Vermont Country Store. Orton donated $250,000 to the Vermont Arts Council to reward and motivate Vermont artists to look at the Vermont landscape and envision ways to preserve the working landscape, its beauty and its unique qualities.

For his part in the Art of Action project, Hale chose bridges, inspired by the realization that about 1,200 of Vermont's bridges are functionally obsolete. He says, "I think that most Vermonters have a personal sense of self-reliance and innovation and embrace simplicity in our lives. But much of this self-image is based on imagery from the past -- the maple syrup can, the covered bridge . . . I feel Vermont struggling to find expressions of these traditional values in the modern age. With carefully crafted paintings and drawings of bridges and other infrastructure, I hope to affect Vermonters' shared sense of historic pride and responsibility and to inspire an ambitious collective vision for the future."

Hale returned to the Northeast Kingdom in 2003 after extensive travel in the United States, Europe and Asia. At age 32 he has settled in Danville, Vermont.

image: Old Ames (oil on canvas)