Monday, May 31, 2010

REVIEW: Hugh Joudry at Gallery In The Woods, Brattleboro

by Arlene Distler

The sculpture and drawings of Hugh Joudry will be at Gallery In The Woods during June in a show titled “Visionary Art and Sculpture.”

Joudry has been going about the business of sculpting for many years, but staying under the radar, living a life more like a monk than a scion of the art world. He would not have it any other way. But it is also an exciting time for the artist. His work is getting attention from the “Outsider Art” movement, and soon will be featured in Raw Vision magazine.

Joudry is a mystic and a mathematician (in the winters he teaches math at the Mount Snow Academy), as well as artist. This multitude of beings somehow fit into a short but stout frame, topped by a shock of white hair. Although he’s in his 70’s, and complains he can no longer move logs as he once could, he nevertheless moves massive hunks of wood into and around his studio. He happily accepts the logs that people leave at his home. “People just bring me these great pieces of wood. A short time ago the Town of Stratton had to cut some Elms. They brought me the logs…I was thrilled because Elmwood is the hardest of woods, and lasts forever. Henry Moore used only Elmwood.”

The winter months are for sculpting as summers are taken up with the forestry work. There is the house’s porch, but most of the sculpting takes place in a yurt just outside the door. Clear plastic over a wood frame keeps out the elements. He’s kept warm, he says, by the heat created in just wielding the chisel and mallet against the hardwood.

When Joudry talks sculpture it’s just as likely to bring up the mathematics of the Golden Mean and Fibonacci harmonics, as Brancusi. In fact, he has written a book on the subject of these mathematical and mystical equations. But, says Joudry, “for me, it is constricting to think too much about this – in truth, as a sculptor, it is something I’d wish to arrive at, intuitively. If you pre-calculate it you’re dead.”

Joudry’s sculpture is far from dead! Dancing, lunging, striding, contorting, they inhabit their space with an assertive presence that seems as ancient as the shaman and modern as Giacometti. The “Great Cackler”, with its undulating lines and mass of smoothed and glistening birch, seems to be lifting its head right off its shoulders, reminding me of “the trickster,” that can be found in the myths of tribal cultures.

“Horus”, Joudry’s sculptural interpretation of the falcon-headed god of ancient Egypt, looks totemic but liberties are taken, especially with the lower half, an elongated spherical form with the middle carved out. These negative spaces, prevalent in many

of Joudry’s sculptures, he describes this way: “The holes serve as background to the resultant shape that forms around them, and there is a metaphysical reason too - that matter has the power to condense out of nothing except pure energy.” For this reviewer, the “holes” create a dance with the space…the pieces become ethereal, as if they are being formed before our eyes and can disappear just as easily.

He says he is especially fond of spirals in the wood, which many pieces take advantage of, such as “Wave,” “Warrior,” “Dancer,” or “Liberation,” the form wrapping around itself. He adds that the spiral has the added attraction of “a whole cosmology of rigorous mathematical thought behind it.” It is also an ancient symbol of the goddess, continual change, the life journey, and evolution of the universe, showing up in Celtic, Native American, Japanese art and culture, to name a few. Carl Jung calls it an archetypal symbol representing cosmic force.

In addition to the sculptures there are a selection of drawings in the gallery. Joudry’s drawings have elicited quite a bit of excitement recently, by, among others, the editor of “Raw Vision.” I am especially taken with the older black and white drawings. They have the muscularity and inventiveness of a Picasso, and are possessed of a stark and haunting presence. The artist compares them to “automatic writing,” writing that comes from the subconscious. But the newer ones, employing color, are intriguing for other reasons. Joudry says he is just “discovering color,” and the drawings are giddy with it. These newer drawings sculpt the flat plane bit by bit, as if the repeated shapes were marks of a chisel. They surround an embedded figure, the background as alive as the page’s protagonist. The artist works on them repeatedly, relating them to the sculptures he has in mind.

Straddling, like one of his long-legged sculptures, two worlds –– tribal-shamanic, and modern, Joudry’s work does not fit easily into a “school” or gallery-ready label. And yet they are valued for their originality and power, a vision that is untainted, as some see it, by art school training. This description of African sculpture well suits Joudry’s ouevre: In these carvings there is no mistaking the energy and playfulness with which the human body is turned, by confident distortion, into such a gallery of wonderful creatures.

It is a rare thing to have a show in town devoted to sculpture. Joudry’s work is not in the mainstream of the current cultural take on sculpture, which in recent years has been all about installation. Installation art can be cold and antiseptic and intellectual. Not that I have anything against intellectual. But I think we are very thirsty for the human factor – even bird-human, the fantastical human! These “wonderful creatures” say something about potential, about transformation, suffering and freedom. Joudry may not be in the mainstream but clearly he swims comfortably in the ancient ocean of soulful human expression.

Arlene Distler is a freelance writer on the arts, based in Brattleboro, Vt. Contact for more information. Review first appeared in the Brattleboro friday gallery guide “Gallery Walk.”

Sunday, May 30, 2010

PRESS RELEASE: 100 artists at Penny Cluse Cafe, Burlington

One hundred artists will participate in WATER, a group show, at Penny Cluse Cafe, Burlington, for the month of June.
The art show is curated by Laura Green and Karyn Vogel, both Essex residents. "We had been talking about organizing a show for years," says Green. Green and Vogel gave each artist one 6"x6" wood panel on which to create their piece. "Artists were free to use the medium of their choice, including paint, pencil, charcoal, photograph, fiber, or mosaic. We love the range in a group show like this. One artist is submitting stained glass which will hang in the window," says Green.
The project was inspired by Jordin Isip and Rodger Stevens' Panorama Project and Dime Bag 3 art shows, which brought together large, diverse groups of artists with a unifying device (the Panorama Project utilized a horizontal line running through the entire body of work). In WATER, artists' work is connected by the small square format and the topic. "Water is such an important part of our lives," says Vogel. "and a finite resource on our planet. We drink the same water the dinosaurs drank millions of years ago. It's something to celebrate and protect."

The majority of participating artists live in Vermont, but other geographic locations are represented as well, including New York, California, Pennsylvania and Ohio.
An artists' reception will be held Friday, June 4 from 7-9pm at Penny Cluse Cafe.

The show will travel to the Brownell Library in Essex Junction for the month of July, to coincide with their summer theme: Water.

A list of artists is available at Artwork will be viewable online in June.

PRESS RELEASE: Steve Hogan at VCAM in Burlington

On exhibit at VCAM, 208 Flynn Avenue 2-G, from June 1 - August 30, 2010:
The Lowbrow Art of Steve Hogan
Opening on Friday, June 18th, 5:30 - 8:30 PM.

Can art be fun and in your face at the same time? Drawing from a misspent youth, Steve channels hazy memories of Goofy Grape drink mix, Saturday morning cartoons, second-hand sixties mod, Japanese monster movies, old album covers and supermarket package art (His Dad worked at A&P) to try and create pieces that redefine their surroundings in a more playful fashion. "Cartoony art for cartoony people" is his motto.

Self taught, Steve has spent the past 12 years as an animator and commercial illustrator, creating art for children's educational software, books, magazines, newspapers, t-shirts, concert posters and other media. Steve also makes comics, with work appearing in alternative anthologies and on the internet. His strip "Acid Keg" was nominated for a Cartoonists' Choice award and was selected by The Webcomics Examiner website for its "Best of 2004" list. Strips from it were included in the Barron's educational book Webcomics: Tools and Techniques For Digital Comics. Slathering paint on canvas is his newest thing.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

PRESS RELEASE: A 10 Year Retrospective: Sage Tucker-Ketcham

Event: A 10 Year Retrospective: Sage Tucker-Ketcham

Where: The S.P.A.C.E Gallery, 266 Pine Street, Suite 105 Burlington, VT 05401

When: Opening June 4 5pm-9pm

Contact: Sage Tucker-Ketcham: Phone: 802 578-5763 Email:


Fine artist Sage Tucker-Ketcham will be displaying her work at The S.P.A.C.E gallery in Burlington, Vermont June 4- June 26. The work will be a selection from the past ten years.

“Her new works reveal her increasingly sophisticated process: Tucker-Ketcham works and reworks her surfaces with sanding, scumbling and glazing and applies paint in varied consistencies to build dynamism. Her bold use

of flat color in background fields is balanced by subtle passages of layering in the biomorphic forms that populate those spaces.”- Marc Awodey, Seven Days May 2010

Sage Tucker-Ketcham is a tenth generation Vermonter who has her BFA from Maine College of Art and her MFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She has exhibited work at venues such as The Amy Tarrant Gallery, The Firehouse Gallery, Shelburne Museum (all in Vermont), ICA Portland of Maine, Hudson Walker Gallery, Provincetown Art Association Museum and Berkshire Community College of Massachusetts. These works and others have been reviewed in a variety of publications such as Art New England, Seven Days, artscope, The Burlington Free Press and community newspapers.

above: Left VS Right 2000 Pen and oil on canvas 24 inch By 24 inch
below: Detail Field Study 7 2010 Pen and oil on Wood Panel 18 inch x 24 inch
Sage Tucker-Ketcham

Friday, May 28, 2010

PRESS RELEASE: Works by Gregory Gomez

The Brick Box at the Paramount is pleased to announce the opening of an exhibit of work by Gregory Gomez on Friday, June 11. The exhibition brings together relief works, and charcoal drawings representing two themes that Gomez has been interested in for the last several years. Graphic images of Early World Maps and the footprints of old world Fortifications have each been translated to heavily-textured cast bronze with a dark patina. The charcoal drawings are of potential sculptural images and are created to explore the graphic weight of the found designs in contrast to the spaces between and around the imagery held in sculptural form. "What these images share is the genesis and evolution of their designs as determined and influenced by multiple factors, including: their function; human ordering and imagination; and the shape of the landscape in which they reside. They are each fantastic speculative intentions of an unknown world as well as designs in the landscape as protection from the unknown."

Gregory Gomez has recently been selected by the Vermont Arts Council as part of their Public Art mission to permanently install his work at the newly built Vermont Fire Academy Training Facility in Pittsford. Gomez worked in partnership with the Arts Council, Vermont Department of Buildings and General Services, the architects, building occupants and the local community to provide work that is responsive to the use of the buildings and its occupants. This project is expected to completed and installed at the Fire Academy in November of this year.

The opening reception will be held on Friday, June 11 from 5:00 until 8:00pm. The Brick Box at the Paramount is located at 30 Center Street in Rutland, Vermont. Exhibit of works by Gregory Gomez runs through July 5. The Brick Box is open 11am - 6pm Thursday - Friday and Saturday 10am - 2pm. and during Paramount Theater performances. For further information, please call Beth Miller @ 235-2734 or Wendy Fannin @ 235-2412.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

PRESS RELEASE: "Bailout" Ice and Penny Art Installation on the Vermont State House Lawn

Quint Welters will put his art piece "Bailout" on the State House Lawn on Thursday May 27th, 2010 starting at 8:00am. This installation is one of his projects that he has created as part of his education towards a Masters in Fine Arts in New Media from TransArt Institute. The medium used for this project is ice and 10,000 pennies and will be on display until it is completely deconstructed.

After growing up in Cabot, Vermont he moved to his parents/ homeland to attend college. After receiving his Bachelors in Fine Arts from ArtEZ in Enschede, the Netherlands in June 2009 he enrolled in the Masters degree program at the TransArt Institute. It is based on independent learning with two week residencies in Berlin and New York City. Last fall he returned home to Vermont and throughout the winter experimented with ice and snow to create his art pieces. "Bailout" is one of the works he created during this time.

"Bailout" was inspired by the current economic environment. Pennies are passed on the street on a daily basis and rarely picked up or saved. Quints piece shows that pennies may have more value than their reputation may suggest and the mere volume of pennies show their value from a different perspective. In this piece he has suspended 10,000 pennies in a block of ice. The public location was chosen because the core of Quints work is based on initiating narratives. As much as the actual ice is the artwork the reaction of the people that observe the meltdown of the ice is just as much part of piece itself.

Quint will be with "Bailout" until deconstruction is completed to be able to observe and engage with observers.

Quint Welters, artist
(802) 563-2462

Monday, May 24, 2010

REVIEW: Gregg Blasdel and Jennifer Koch at 215 College Gallery in Burlington

Panda’s Exercise

Collaborative Prints by Gregg Blasdel and Jennifer Koch

By Janet Van Fleet

There are 14 large collaborative block prints mounted in this exhibit at 215 College Gallery, six in the front room and 8 in the gallery’s larger inner room. Happily only one of them is framed, which allows unimpeded visual access to the rest of these engaging works.

In every piece, Jennifer Koch’s organic form (tooth? skeins of yarn? siamese cocoons?), carved on a large block of Shina plywood using traditional Japanese knives and a Dremel, appears in the same spot in the lower half of a sheet of Sommerset Heavyweight paper. Gregg Blasdel’s image (gem? router drill? head?), is printed on the upper half of the sheet using 38 pieces of cut birch plywood, each individually inked and then assembled in a custom tray for printing.

In each print the color used for printing the bottom image is also used as one of the colors in the faceted figure above. The challenge (and fun) for the artists was to decide which colors to choose and how to distribute those colors. In some pieces (such as Kansas Raspberry and Emerald Buddha) they used only one or two inks, creating further variation by inking one block with undiluted color, then inking a second (and even a third) block without picking up any more ink, creating progressively lighter values of the original color. In other cases (such as Untitled #11, shown at right, and Anthropology 1 and 2) that use completely inked blocks, they cruised magazines, exhibit cards, and artwork by interesting artists to assemble a palette of from 2-6 colors.

One of the pleasures of the exhibit is comparing pieces that use similar colors but employ the two different inking systems described above, such as Banknote (shown at left) and Silver, both of which are in the black/grey/white range, or several pieces using a variety of blues. Though similar in hue, very different effects are created, ranging from crisp to cloudy and evanescent.

It’s also interesting to compare the feeling-tones created by different color combinations. In most of the prints the bottom figure is printed in a dark pigment, creating a bit of a ponderous, serious tone. But in the few that are warmer and brighter – such as Untitled #11 (above) and Cherry (below right) – the feeling created is much bouncier. Cherry, which I found to be the most top-bottom integrated piece, is printed with only one color (modulated by the inking series method), also has (for unknown reasons) more white edges around the blocks, which recapitulates the striped red/white of the lower figure.

Another pleasure is speculating about what’s going on in these pieces. For example, what does the title, Panda’s Exercise, mean? One starts thinking about all the opposites and polarities in these prints: Panda ... black and white ... organic and angular, monochrome (below) and polychrome (above), male and female ... It’s hard to avoid focusing on the penetrating aspect of the top figure and the receptive quality of the one on the bottom. But wait, maybe the bottom figure is actually ejecting (or birthing) the upper one in a puff of crystalized breath? These works are the visual equivalent of an extended musical riff, and those shifting rhythms encourage the viewer to get into the act and play a little too.

Koch and Blasdel, who married in 2006, have been making visual music together since 2004, in a series of print collaborations collectively called The Marriage of Reason. It is comforting to know that they will continue to do so: During the course of printing Panda’s Exercise, the blocks began to break down at their points and, not ready to abandon the Panda project, Gregg turned them over and prepared the reverse sides of the 38 small blocks. They made one print with the refurbished blocks (if you look closely, you will find it in the exhibit), and plan to continue using them for a new series – tentatively entitled Panda’s Backside!

PRESS RELEASE: Garden Inspired at Art on Main in Bristol

Celebrate spring with an exhibit of artwork inspired by and created for the garden

Exhibit dates: May 15 - June 30
Reception: Friday May 28, 5-7pm

Featuring regular exhibitors and special guest artists as well as living art in an intimate, indoor garden space created by guest curator alena botanica, waterbury

alena botanica, tabbatha henry, nick mayer, raegan hough, sarah green, stacy bocskor, robert compton, laura gabert, cal williams, bethany farrell, aurora davidson, hannah roberts, jennifer ranz, heather stearns

Art on Main
25 Main Street
Bristol VT 05443

Friday, May 21, 2010

PRESS RELEASE: Bishop Street Artists Sale at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in St. Albans

Art in a church basement?
Yeah, right.

If that's your take, you're going to miss an opportunity Memorial Day Weekend, when the Bishop Street Artists (St. Albans) are holding their almost annual Art Show & Sale.

This is a beautifully informal and fluctuating group of artists who come together every Thursday morning to work. No Robert's Rules, no Board of Directors, no officers, no business meetings; just watercolor, acrylics, oils, collage, and on-going experimentation in an atmosphere of curiosity and passion. Except for Thanksgiving, and maybe an occasional Christmas, they are always there, in the basement, the door of which opens onto Bishop Street. The synergy of the group and dedication of the members results in a show with a wild variety of styles and subjects--enough for everyone. Definitely should be on your list if you are in the area:

St. Luke's Episcopal Church (top of the Park in St. Albans)
At the Side Door on Bishop Street
Friday & Saturday, May 29-30, 2010, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Artists' Reception: Friday, May 28, 2010 6 - 8 p.m.
(Lots of food -- no wine; hey, it's a church!)

Image: Dream House by Beth Maginn

PRESS RELEASE: Helen O'Donnell at 7 The Square in Bellows Falls

PRESS RELEASE: Mount Anthony Union Senior Art Exhibit at VAE's Stark Hose Gallery in Bennington

High school artists exhibit their work in the "MAU Senior Art Exhibit" at Vermont Art Exchange’s Stark Hose Gallery at 102 Pleasant Street (next to Your Belly’s Deli) in Bennington. The show opens with a reception on Friday, May 28, from 5 to 7 p.m. and will be on view Saturday, May 29, from 5 to 7 p.m. and Sunday, May 30, from 12 to 6 p.m.

Each of the nine students will exhibit a body of artwork, including painting, sculpture, ceramics, and calligraphy.

“It’s always an honor to showcase local talent, and in particular, this group of teens from Mount Anthony” says VAE Artistic Director Matthew Perry.

Back row, from left: Brittany Atkinson, Breanne Ghidotti, Jennifer Reyes, Amber Skowron, Angelique Parks. Front row, from left: Megan Pini, Tommi Outwater, Megan Davenport, Abigail Carr

Thursday, May 20, 2010

REVIEW: The Art of Creative Aging at Kellogg-Hubbard Library in Montpelier

By Theodore Hoppe

To an earlier generation, two of the most beloved American artists of the twentieth-century were painter and illustrator Norman Rockwell and painter Anna Mary Robertson Moses. Rockwell began his career as an illustrator while in his early 20's, but continued to paint throughout his life. He was in his 70's when he completed a portrait of Judy Garland. In contrast to Rockwell, Anna Moses (or "Grandma" Moses, as she became popularly known) did not take up the brush until she was in her seventies. Despite her late start, Grandma Moses completed an amazing 3,600 paintings over the remainder of her life. She was 101 years old when she passed away. It's a little known fact that the two were friends.

It seems safe to say that both artists would have had no trouble fitting in at The Art of Creative Aging, a juried exhibit featuring the "original work of older artists created since their 70th birthday". The exhibition was the creative idea of Margaret Harmon of the Central Vermont Council on Aging (CVCOA), and is hosted by Kellogg Hubbard Library in Montpelier. CVCOA supports elders and family caregivers in Washington and Lamoille counties, as well as eight other neighboring towns.

Except for the title of the exhibit, one would never know this art was the work of artists in their later years. The art is lively, expressive, creative, vibrant, and full of life. In all, 26 artists and 43 works of art were selected for the exhibit. They include a myriad of artistic disciplines: photography, drawings, sculpture, collage, quilted wall hangings, pastels, and of course paintings in oil, watercolor, and acrylic.

It's regretable that space limits mentioning all of the artists’ work individually. The ones that are mentioned are done so as a sampling of the fine efforts by all the artists. That is the nature of a juried exhibit: the works have all met a high standard of approval.

Pat deGogorza's wood sculptures, one of yellow birch and one in butternut, greet patrons as they enter the library. Grandmother, an almost life-size piece is both strong and sensitive in its crafting. The flow of the figure's garment, and sack it carries, hint at motherhood and children, but the wood itself suggests the wisdom of age.

Jamie Cope's black & white photographs are of very high quality. Mirielle Abeneto is a stunning example of portraiture. The photograph Morgan Irons is a wonderful study of the human form as abstraction, with high contrasting form and shadows.

Bursting, a color photograph by Vera Resnick, provides a vision of "the big-bang" of the micro-universe – a milkweed pod, with silky streams of light released into space.

Anne Sarcka's paintings are everywhere these days, as well they should be. She recently had her paintings on display at two locations in Montpelier and she is currently part of a group show at the Vermont Statehouse, so it might be easy to overlook her work here. Instead, she has provided one of the most dramatic pieces in the show, After the Storm. The artist's judicial use of paint and brush stroke finds a pleasing combination of complementary colors, as a landscape of orange juts into blue waters and a blue sky.

Elsie Reed's painting and the three paintings by Olga Lawson are done in an American folk art style that tells a personal history about life in Vermont. (Sam Thurston recently wrote about Ms. Lawson art work and current exhibition at the Red Mill Gallery for the Vermont Art Zine.) Jane Pincus's Winter, blends a simple winter landscape with a surreal view of seeds nesting in the brown earth beneath the snow. Strata, by Victor Densmore, plays with the imagination as he performs alchemy by turning enamel on sheet metal into lace. Judy Greenwald's Reflections is notable work that truly must be experienced. The brilliant pastel colors form an amazing hybrid of photorealism and abstract expressionism.

Marianne Herlitz, Doris Kidd, and Sylvia Walker each show their artistic versatility in that they all have two pieces in different mediums on display – pastel and oil, oil and watercolor, and acrylic and watercolor. There are also paintings by Ray Brown, a mixed media painting by Joan Davidson, and a photo collage by Sandra Bissex. Chuck Bohn has an oil painting on display, there are ink drawings by George Larrabee, a stained glass collage by John Paterson, Janet Ressler's quilted hangings, a painting by Bob Smith, paintings by Janet DiBlasi, a lovely painted portrait by Ed Epstein, and two watercolor paintings by Jean Gouert.

One artist worth singling out in this review is Mark Markowitt. Mark has been dealing with multi-factorial dementia for a decade. In 2003, he began working with Beth Kendrick, an artist and art teacher who teaches classes at Studio Place Arts. She enjoys working with all ages, from children on up, but admits that she really enjoys working with seniors. Mark's contribution to the show is three beautifully-rendered monoprints, Red I,II, & III. They convey images of a science not visible to the naked eye: perhaps a helix of DNA, a single-celled organism swimming under a microscope, a chemical reaction in the brain viewed by an fMRI.

Dr. Gene Cohen, M.D, Ph.D., author of The Creative Age: Awakening Human Potential in the Second Half of Life, writes about observational studies and case reports on the impact of art and art therapy on alleviating illness in the later years of life. He also talks about how imagination persists even when memory starts to fails. His research shows that "although families experience the losses associated with a family member with dementia or Alzheimer's, there are still opportunities for families to engage with the patient in a personal way through creative activities."

Dr. Cohen's research at George Washington University’s Center on Aging, Health, and Humanities has also demonstrated the positive effects of art programs on healthy brain functioning. Groups with artistic participation had "measurably more positive effects in overall physical health, mental and emotional health and social interaction." Quoting Dr. Cohen's book, the brochure for the exhibitions says, "The creative spirit has the power to change our lives at every age." This suggests that we don't need to wait until we're in our seventies to start.

The exhibited artwork is available for purchase by silent auction. According to Margaret Harmon, each artist placed a minimum bid on his or her work; if a piece of art sells, 30% goes to the Council on Aging, 10% to Kellogg-Hubbard Library, and 60% to the artist. To register a bid you can contact Margaret Harmon at, or call 802-476-2681. The Art of Creative Aging will be on display at the Kellogg Hubburd Library until the end of June.

Images, top to bottom:
A photograph of Mark Markowitt
Harriet Wood, The Last of Winters
D'Ann Fago, Fago Farmhouse
Mark Markowitt, Red I, II, and III

PRESS RELEASE: The Art of Action, Artists' Choice Tour at the Gryphon Building in Rutland

Rutland welcomes the return of The Art of Action: Shaping Vermont's Future Through Art on May 20, 2010 in the Gryphon Building on West Street. The space is donated by MPF Real Estate. The Downtown Rutland Partnership and the Chaffee Art Center will host a reception on Thursday, May 27 from 6 until 8:00 pm. It is free and open to the public.

The exhibition began its statewide tour on Sept. 1, 2009 in Manchester. It is a collaboration between the Vermont Arts Council and philanthropist Lyman Orton and Janice Izzi. Ten visual artists were commissioned to create suites of artwork that address issues identified by Vermonters as essential to our state's future. Informed by research conducted by the Council on the Future of Vermont, the artwork created for the Art of Action is designed to inspire Vermonters to achieve their vision for our state's social, cultural and political landscape. The Art of Action artists are Susan Abbott, Gail Boyajian, David Brewster, Annemie Curlin, Phillip Godenschwager, Curtis Hale, Valerie Hird, Kathleen Kolb, Janet McKenzie and John M. Miller.

The Chaffee Art Center hosted the Curator's Choice portion of the collection in October and November 2010. The current exhibit, known as the Artists' Choice, features 50 pieces that are different from last fall's exhibit and offers visitors further insights into Vermont's future.

The Art of Action will be available in Rutland through the Memorial Day weekend. Call the Downtown Rutland Partnership, (802) 773-9380 for exhibit hours.

Image: Phillip Godenschwager, The Disneyfication of Vermont, Acrylic on thermoformed kydex over urethane foam, 82"H x 42"W x 2"D, 2009

CALL TO ARTISTS: "Art of Networking" at S.P.A.C.E. Gallery in Burlington

S.P.A.C.E. Gallery at the Soda Plant in Burlington is pleased to announce an open call to artists who are currently working in Vermont – and you’re invited!

The Art of Networking will open on First Friday Artwalk in the hallways of The Soda Plant, June 4th from 5-9pm, but not before a private event the night before for the participants! Each artist has the opportunity to show 1 – 2 pieces that say something about yourself as an artist, conveys your artistic sense of style, or speaks about communication, interaction, or networking in general.

The pre-opening will take place on Thursday June 3rd from 6-9pm, with guest speakers planned for 7:30pm. The event has an entry fee and that will cover costs of catering, etc. Funds raised above the cost of the event will go towards gallery lighting in The Soda Plant. We hope to outfit the hallways, The S.P.A.C.E. Gallery, and The Backspace with professional track lighting for all art events in the future.

See who’s who in the art world locally and meet new people. Are you an artist currently living in Vermont? This is a chance to show your work in a non-juried environment!

You can download the submission form here

PRESS RELEASE: Art in the Park in St. Albans

Art in the park returns for another summer at the Farmer’s Market in Taylor Park, St. Albans.

The group this year consists of three returning local artists from last year, Karen Day-Vath, Paule Gingras, and Meta Strick and one new artist/photographer Clair Dunn will be joining them this year.

Karen Day-Vath returns with a display of original fine art, cards, prints and hand painted slate; Paule Gingras will be displaying beautiful fine art, prints and cards in watercolor and acrylics; Meta Strick will be back with her whimsical dolls, wood pieces, fine art & mixed media on canvas; and Clair Dunn will have photography and fine art work. Both Meta and Clair will also be selling beautiful one of a kind hand made buttons.

The four artists are planning to be there every week with a variety of artwork, a little something for everyone.

The Farmer’s Market opens this Saturday, May 22, 2010 from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM and will be open every Saturday through October.

PRESS RELEASE: Intaglio Society Alumni Show at Gatto Nero in St. Johnsbury

Gatto Nero Studio and Gallery, 190 Eastern Avenue, is presenting an exhibit of artwork by former St. Johnsbury Academy Intaglio Society members from the classes of 1998 through 2006.

Please join us Friday, June 4, 7-9 PM to celebrate the artwork of these former Academy students. Live music will be provided by "The Motel Brothers", and, upstairs, All About Flowers will host a wine-tasting.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

REVIEW: Picture Yourself: The Photobooth in America, 1926-2010

by Darby Parsons

An unexpected and delightful bit of photographic history is on display at the Fleming Museum in the show Picture Yourself: The Photobooth in America, 1926-2010 from now until September 12.

Whether you love photography avidly or simply appreciate it’s presence in your own life the photos on display at the Fleming courtesy of local Vermonter Nakki Goranin are bound to impress you. One of them will catch your eye; the face will seem familiar, the candid or well composed body language will make you smile with empathy.

The photobooth was invented in 1925 by Siberian immigrant Anatole Josepho. The portraiture that every class of American could then afford through a photobooth seems to have created a cultural mountain compiled of American faces; refreshingly familiar and real. Every generation since the photobooth’s inception is represented; all ages and shapes; from beatniks to enlisted men, hippies, seafarers and brides. There are dust croppers and buoyantly happy couples, brothers, sisters, funny men, serious women, beautiful women, dogs and cats. The affect is moving. Several of the photos have been enlarged to show the true quality that some of the photobooths printed; they’re beautiful, the tonal ranges or colors are highly evocative and are easily rendered as fine art to the eye.


The history of the photobooth is represented alongside its productions with several unique and antiquated booths on display. Photobooth ephemera is on display as well; compact mirrors with pictures on the back, tin-framed pictures that were framed in different colors of paper during war time. The amount and breadth of American culture represented in the modest exhibit is more than noteworthy; it’s a must see. Picture Yourself: The Photobooth in America, 1926-2010 is ongoing at the Fleming Museum in the front Wilbur Room until September 12.

CALL TO ARTISTS: Photostop Gallery's Railroad Photography Show

PHOTOSTOP Gallery announces a call for entries for its first juried show, All Aboard! Riding the Rails which will be exhibited in the Gallery next September. For this exhibition PHOTOSTOP is seeking photographs of trains, the railroad, and the railroad experience. Train travel has long had a romantic association. Today there’s both a renewed interest in our railroad system and recognition of the very real challenges it faces.

The Gallery is located in White River Junction, VT, just steps from the Amtrak rail system. The town was the first and largest railroad center in Vermont and New England north of Boston. Photographers must live in the New England states of NH, VT, MA, RI, ME, and CT to enter the show but the photographs can be of any location.

Juror Tony Decaneas will choose approximately 30 photographs, depending on sizes, for exhibition during the show. Mr. Decaneas is the former owner of the Panopticon Gallery in Boston, MA. After forty years in the photography gallery business, Tony is now the owner of Decaneas Archive, a Dealer/Agency representing the photographic collections of Harold Feinstein, Vittorio Sella, Bradford Washburn and Ernest C. Withers.

On September 11, during the exhibit, White River Junction will hold its 18th Annual Glory Days of the Railroad Festival, an event chosen as one of the Top Ten events by the VT Chamber of Commerce in 2007.

Entry is by the submission of digital files. The prospectus for the exhibition is available on the Gallery website or can be obtained by calling the Gallery at 802.698.0320or by e-mailing The entry deadline is July 15. Photographers will be notified of acceptance by July 30.

PHOTOSTOP Gallery is located in Suite 150 on the first floor of the Tip Top Media Arts Building, 85 North Main Street, White River Jct., VT 05001.

PRESS RELEASE: Art Walk in Montpelier on Friday, June 4

Downtown Montpelier will be Alive with artists, musicians and visionaries on Friday, June 4th during Montpelier Alive's second 2010 Art Walk. All are invited to stroll, free of charge through a variety of downtown venues from 4:00 - 8:00 PM, where visual and performing arts will be on display including a performance by the Main Street Middle School's Glee Club and an exploration of the role of technology in information-gathering hosted by The Times Argus.

The June Art Walk is themed “Future of Vermont” and will be positioned parallel to The Vermont Arts Council's ART OF ACTION collection, on display in the Vermont Supreme Court Gallery until June 25, with an opening reception from 5 to 7 on the same night.

Art walk programs, listing participating venues and artists will be available at venue locations throughout Montpelier. For additional information or a list of venues, visit Montpelier's Art Walk is brought to you by Montpelier Alive.

Image: Marriage: Vermont Split, oil on Mi-tientes, 32x48", 2009, from the ART OF ACTION collection on exhibit at the Vermont Supreme Court.

PRESS RELEASE: Catherine Hall and Axel Stohlberg at T.W. Wood in Montpelier

Catherine Hall and Axel Stohlberg: Current Work will be on exhibit at the T.W. Wood Gallery and Arts Center in Montpelier from May 25th to July 18th 2010. There will be an opening reception to which the public is invited on Friday May 28th, 5-7 pm.

PRESS RELEASE: Barbara Wagner at Furchgott Sourdiffee Gallery in Shelburne

Furchgott Sourdiffe Gallery of Shelburne, will be showing "In the Year of the Buffalo: Recent Paintings by Barbara Wagner", May 28-July 6, 2010. The public is invited to an opening reception with the artist on Friday, May 28, 6-8 p.m.

Barbara Wagner has integrated indelible images from her experience traveling to Southeast Asia in 2009 into this most recent series of oil paintings. In reference to this work, Wagner says:

"For me, travel has become an important source of artistic inspiration (not to mention cultural broadening), Turkey, Botswana, and elsewhere have offered opportunities to grow and refresh my artistic spirit. To both soar and be seared.

“In 2009, the Year of the Buffalo, Viet Nam, Cambodia, and Laos offered the latest transformation. The paintings in this show were completed in the months following my return.
I am aware of two different subgroups in these paintings. One in which my observations are painted more poetically and symbolically, as I try to capture the spirit of these places and people. Bamboo, Cambodian silk, and handmade paper from Laos, are used in several of the paintings, as well as the triangle, symbol of the ever-present conical hat, the Nón lá (leaf hat) of Viet Nam.

"In the second group of paintings, I have incorporated a bit of recognizable imagery, sometimes whimsically. The bas-relief 500-year-old temple elephant wall at Angkor Wat, the elaborate and beautiful textile garments of ethnic groups, particularly the women of Sa Pa, and Cambodian silk elephants, all make their way into this group of paintings.

“Because the number five is so important in this culture, all the paintings incorporate five divisions as part of their structure.

“Always, and most important, I am interested in the differences and similarities among cultures, the interconnectedness between life and art. This culminates for me on my canvases."

Furchgott Sourdiffe Gallery is located at 86 Falls Road, in Shelburne Village. Hours are Tue-Fri 9:30-5:30, and Sat 10-5.
For more information please call Joan Furchgott, 802-985-3848, or go to

Top: In the Year of the Buffalo #2, Oil on linen with Cambodian silk & bamboo & handmade paper from Laos, 36 x 30"
Bottom: In the Year of the Buffalo #7, Oil on linen with Cambodian silk, bamboo, & handmade paper, 12 x 12"

PRESS RELEASE: "Shooting Beauty" at PHOTOSTOP in White River Junction

Photographs from the “Picture This” photography project and featured in the documentary film Shooting Beauty will be on display in the PHOTOSTOP Gallery from June 4 through June 26. The opening reception will be held on June 4 from 5:30-8 pm. The photographs will be on exhibit in conjunction with the screening of Shooting Beauty during the White River Independent Film Festival (WRIF) on June 4 at 4 pm as the kick-off event of the Festival. Filmmaker George Kachadorian, originally from Woodstock, VT, will give a gallery talk at 5:30 pm on the making of the film and the photographs at PHOTOSTOP immediately following the screening at Northern Stage.

The “Picture This” project is an award-winning photography workshop directed by photographer Courtney Bent (also married to George Kachadorian) for individuals with cerebral palsy. Bent retrofitted cameras so that residents of the United Cerebral Palsy program could document their lives and tell their own stories.

PHOTOSTOP, a community partner of the WRIF Festival, will be hosting a panel discussion on June 6 at noon on the healing powers of the creative process with filmmakers Nora Jacobsen, George Kachadorian, Marj Berthold, poet Laura Ziegler, and other panelists. Admission is free.

For more information and schedule details, the WRIF website is:
The Shooting Beauty website is:

PHOTOSTOP Gallery is located in Suite 150 of the Tip Top Media Arts Building, 85 North Main Street, White River Jct.,VT 05001. Gallery hours are Weds. through Saturday from 2-7:30 pm during exhibitions. On First Fridays and opening nights, the Gallery will be open until 8 pm. Other hours are available by appointment. For additional information, call 802.698.0320. PHOTOSTOP’s website is

As a person living with a disability, I must compromise both my control and modesty at certain times in order to live independently. When I take a picture, my camera in some ways forces people to sacrifice their modesty and control in the same manner that I do on a daily basis.
-- photographer Tony Knight

"Suspicious" by photographer Tony Knight (quoted above)
Photograph of photographer Chris Kim by Courtney Bent

Monday, May 17, 2010

PRESS RELEASE: Felix de la Concha at Big Town Gallery

Felix de la Concha


paintings from 2002 - 2008

May 26 – July 11, 2010

Opening reception:

Saturday, May 29 5-7

Felix de la Concha paints every day, and has so for the last thirty years. Whether outside bundled against the elements to capture an odd angle on a Vermont shed exterior – clutching delicate brush in a fat, paint-flecked mitten – or huddled beneath the soaring architectures of the sumptuous interiors of our oldest museums and landed institutions, commemorating the various silences in time's passage through their uninhabited spaces – Felix de la Concha shows us new ways of seeing the familiar in the present, new ways of knowing the old. Perspective is how we manage space. De la Concha goes one better, managing perspective itself to bring home what it means to exist in space and how like some gravity-bending-light relativity, space and its perspective conform as well to our presence and view. De la Concha's sense of composition is unerring and unique, his verisimilitude serves as an ultra-reliable narrator of the experience of his locations. In these paintings from 2002 to 2008, from locations in North Carolina, New Hampshire, and Vermont he brings us a new way of seeing and experiencing a plein air painting.

BigTown Gallery

99 North Main

Rochester, VT 05767


W-Sat 10-5 Sun 11 -4 Mon & Tues by appt.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

PRESS RELEASE: Todd Sargood at Helen Day Art Center

Artist Todd Sargood to take Residence at Helen Day Art Center for five days in June

Alex Keefe, Exhibitions Director
802 253 8358

One artist, five days, and 80 feet of gallery wall: artist Todd Sargood takes up residence at Helen Day Art Center in Stowe on June 6th, for Complex_simplex, a five-day live painting event that explores civilization and war, scientific concepts like evolution and emergence, as well as surrealism, abstract expressionism, cartography, and graffiti. Sargood's work is exciting to watch unfold: he combines halting lines of oil bar, delicate traceries of ballpoint pen, and overlapping grids of dripped watercolor, to create multi-layered, densely symbolic images of worlds and cultures in collision, caught between order and chaos, undermined and mutated by chance and the forces of nature. Visitors are encouraged to come into the gallery and interact with the artist as the work progresses. When it is completed on June 10th Complex_simplex will form the centerpiece of a solo exhibition of the artist's work that will run at Helen Day through July 4th and will feature new and recent abstract drawings and paintings. Todd Sargood, who is currently an adjunct lecturer at the State University of New York at New Paltz, lives and works in New Paltz and Beacon, NY. His work has been included in recent exhibitions at Exit Art Gallery, Work Space Harlem and Chashama in NYC, Van Brunt Ballery in Beacon, NY, the Spencertown Academy Arts Center, the COTA Arts Festival and the Samuel Dorsky Museum in New Paltz, NY.

Close-up of Sargood's wall painting which is notably spare and reserved in its use of color. Sargood's artwork is analogous to visual represenations of cultural clashes through history. he uses a system of symbols that are repeated and modified throughout his work to represent different elements of human cultural history.

images: A view of one of Todd Sargood's wall drawings / paintings.
Image of Sargood's mosaic of 12"x12" paintings which he reconfigures for each presentation.

Monday, May 10, 2010

PRESS RELEASE: Jennifer Koch and Gregg Blasdel at 215 College Gallery in Burlington

Panda’s Exercise
is a series of variable edition woodblock prints that will be exhibited at 215 College Gallery in Burlington, Vermont May 21- June 13. Jennifer Koch and Gregg Blasdel have worked collaboratively on large scale prints since 2004. For this exhibition one print will be shown with multiple color variations. An artist reception will be held on May 21 from 5-8pm. 215 College Gallery is located on the corner of College and South Winooski Avenue on the second floor. Gallery hours are Friday 12-8, Saturday 12-6, Sunday 12-4.

Image: Panda's Exercise number 11

Sunday, May 9, 2010

PRESS RELEASE: "Garden and Woods" at Blinking Light in Plainfield

Birdbaths, birdhouses and bird whistles... Garden sculptures, garden and woodland themed paintings and pottery... Planters (and plants!)... Fine art and fun gifts of wood, glass, ceramics and more. They’re waiting to be admired at the Blinking Light Gallery in Plainfield, VT. Find something irresistible to compliment your outdoor spaces, or to bring a little of the outdoors inside. Joyce Cusimano, Blinking Light Gallery Board Member and Exhibition Chair, announced that the “Garden and Woods” themed show includes the work of more than 15 artists. The exhibit/sale is open now and runs through June 27. The official reception is set for Saturday, May 22 from 4:00 – 6:00 pm. Light refreshments will be served.

The Blinking Light Gallery, located in the Historic Village of Plainfield, is the retail outlet for the Central Vermont Artists’ Marketing Cooperative. The gallery is open Thursdays from 2 to 6 P.M., and Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 A.M. to 6 P.M. The goal of the arts organization, founded in 1999, is to promote and sustain the creative work of regional artists through a cooperatively-run, community-centered organization. For more information about the Blinking Light Gallery, call (802) 454-0141 or visit

NOTE: Blinking Light Gallery is planning a fundraiser featuring a cheese and wine tasting led by artisan foods expert/author Jeff Roberts and a silent auction from 3-5 pm. . Contact Helen Rabin at or 802-454-7119. Reserve your space by May 23. Seating is limited. Cost is $30.00 per person. Sunday June 6, 2010, at Kate Smith’s Barn, Marshfield, VT (directions will be mailed to ticket purchasers).