Tuesday, September 28, 2010

PRESS RELEASE: Forest & Field at Art on Main in Bristol

Art on Main announces its October-November 2010 Featured Artist Exhibit Forest & Field. The exhibit features oil paintings by Cynthia Guild Kling and wood sculpture by John Clarke, both of Starksboro. The community is invited to meet the artists at a celebratory reception on Friday October 8 from 5-7pm in the Gallery at 25 Main Street, Bristol. Both artists will be on hand and light refreshments will be served. The reception is part of Art on Main’s celebration of American Craft Week from October 1-10.

Painting and the arts have always been a part of Cynthia Guild Kling’s life. She says that where she is at the time influences the subject of her work. Today it is Starksboro; in the past New Hampshire, New Mexico and Sweden have given her inspiration.

“Many of the places I have painted have changed,” she says; “fields are developed, trees die and are cut down, buildings are lost or moved, and roads are built or widened. My work tells the story of ‘time when.’”

The artist has shown her work in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire with the Laconia Art Group, at Gilford Old Home Day Artists’ Exhibit, at Deerleap Books, the Starksboro Public Library, as well as in her own studio.

John Clarke has spent most of his life in a classroom teaching English but now works daily at the intersection of the human and the arboreal, exploring patterns that might explain what it takes to live. John taught at UVM for 25 years while living in an old farmhouse house in South Starksboro and Buels Gore. He found refuge in the woods where overgrown pastures generated wildly distorted trees struggling with each other to find a safe pathway to sunlight. At first he just pulled out firewood, but sometimes he stumbled onto strange shapes that he felt deserved a coat of oil. He began to focus on burls, whose tortured shapes could yield a fine bowl.

After retiring in 2000, burls absorbed his focus, not as bowls but as human figures whose growth was shaped by unruly circumstance. Attacked from the outside by disease, fungus, sand or damage, trees turned themselves inside out in their fight to remain upright. Sculpting a burl reveals the patterns a tree devises to remain standing among other trees. A burl could become a pregnant woman, a blinded king, a boy climbing a dead snag or a family of elves. John remains connected to the education world and sometimes brings his figures and tools to Vermont schools so young people can taste the allure of banging a chisel into some formless stump.

For more information, visit www.artonmain.net, find us on Facebook, or contact Carolyn Ashby, Gallery Manager at (802) 453-4032 or info@artonmain.net.