Friday, July 30, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
by Justine Sinclair
Good photography can make the most mundane place or situation vibrate with transcendence, transforming it into art. Sometimes photography can be so manipulated digitally that it loses its authenticity and becomes artificial and 'artistic'. But Henry Steiner has been photographing the real word with authenticity for the last six decades. In an exhibit entitled Around the World in Eighty Years at ArtSpace (in the Tunbridge Library), Steiner gives us a glimpse of the world he has traveled, always the real world, raw and alive. His work is documentary and personal, and these intimate photogrsphs help us know the world. Camels in the Gobi desert. Early snow on a Tunbridge barn. Child in a ghetto, Jamaica.
A photographer walks the thin line between observation and intrusion. In his photograph, Observant villagers in India, Steiner shows 2 old men sitting on their haunches. They stare at Steiner; Steiner stares at them. What are they thinking? How does the photographer maneuver his or her way into a world of backstreets and hidden alleyways? In another photograph, Audience dressed in their finery in Bhutan, even though there are over 100 people crammed together on the ground, no one appears to be conversing, nor are they focused forward on anything in particular. What are they doing? Why are they all dressed up? They could have been sitting in that one spot for hours, having run out of things to say to one another. In Family business in Bolivia, a mother and her young child, no more than 2 years old, sit beside straw hats piled on the ground for sale. What is the little boy or girl doing with that old piece of cloth? Collecting money?
In Lady in the dark an old woman stands in a stone doorway in Crete. She is dressed in black against a backround of black which affords the viewer only her head and hand, weather worn and lined. And yet, she is posing for this foreign man who wants her to pose for him. Perhaps she feels beautiful in his lens. She is.
Another is a photograph of a weathered boat at an abandoned British whaling station in Antartica, looking like an Andrew Wyeth painting. A Canadian waterfall looks like drapes of iridescent silk. A pond in Bellagio, Italy an impressionist painting. Icebergs, turquoise granite.
In the last photograph are 2 shadows wearing broad hats at the Luxor Station beside train tracks: the photographer and his wife. It is hot and dusty; there are probably flies hovering around his lens. They are at the end of an exhausting trip, "mere shadows of their former selves." In order to give his photographs of the world to the world, he must walk many a dusty mile.
Thank you Henry Steiner, professor emeritus at Harvard Law school, resident of Tunbridge, explorer and chronicler of human rights, for these amazing photographs, for hovering in the shadows.
A must see exhibit at ArtSpace, Tunbridge Libray, curated by Marsha Higgins. The show runs until September 6, 2010. Hours: Mon & Wed, 3 - 8, Fri, 3 - 6; Sat, 10 - 4 and Sun, 11:30-1:30. RT 100, 802.889.9404
Brenda George has a well-used "blooper bucket" for the practical recycling of failed experiments in clay. "I love seeing how far I can push this medium," Brenda said, and if someone tells her "you can't really do that with clay," all the more reason to find a means. From August 5th through the 29th, you can catch a selection of Brenda's pottery at the Blinking Light Art Gallery in her show titled And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon. There will be a reception for the artist on Sunday, August 15th from 2:00-5:00 pm.
Much of Brenda's work uses motifs from nature, but otherwise her pieces take exuberantly diverse artistic paths. Part of her collection features bowls, mugs, teapots and other tableware. These she differentiates with a variety of finishes. Some pieces have simple flowing glazes. Others have painted scenes or richly textured designs. As an outlet for her love of carving, she also makes decorative sculptures - some that cross true living forms with elements of enchanted beings. She has a colony of nodding ceramic mushrooms. She makes outsized, caress-able snails with shell designs not found in nature. Her most whimsical work may be her sculpted figures - both human and animal -- intended as toppers for outdoor fence posts.
Brenda grew up around fence posts. She was raised, lives and works on Stilbroke Farm, a family operation on Luce Road in East Calais going back several generations. In recent years the Georges installed an eclectic farm shop. There, Brenda's pottery shares space with her sister's woodenware, their mother's jams and pickles, cuts of dad's grass-fed beefalo, cartons of farm eggs…and more. Brenda's farm ethic infuses much of her art. "I like to produce things that people will love to take home, but that are meant to be used," she said. As with everything produced on the farm, Brenda said, "If I can't make something people can afford to buy, I don't feel good about selling it."
The Blinking Light Gallery is located on Main St. just off Route 2 in the village of Plainfield, Vermont. Hours of operation are generally Thursdays from 2 to 6 P.M., and Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 A.M. to 6 P.M. For information call (802) 454-0141 or visit www.blinkinglightgallery.com. The goal of the arts organization behind the Blinking Light Gallery, founded in 1999, is to promote the creative work of regional artists through a cooperatively-run, community-centered operation.
The Chaffee Art Center is featuring four artist members during the Annual Summer Member's Exhibit. The featured artists are Nancy Weis, Richard Brown, Mary Crowley, and Lois Macuga. Their work can be seen at the ChaffeeArt Center through August 8, 2010. A closing reception is being planned for Saturday,August 7 from 4 until 6 pm.
Nancy Weis, an installation artist, has recreated an archeological site on the floor of the Chaffee. Her installation entitled Time Layers VII explores anthropology as a metaphor for universal meaning. Weis writes in her artist statement that "Physically in archaeology, and procedurally in scholarship, we uncover information in small, unconnected bits, allowing one fragment to draw us in search of another. Human beings classify things, assign meaning to them, and arrange them in ways that are meaningful to other human beings, but which may be understood very differently in different contexts. Our fascination with mysterious fragments tells as much about ourselves as about the cultures that produced them."Nancy Weis has recreated this installation several times, each time reflecting on the current season and location. The installation incorporates natural elements and sound.
Richard Brown is featuring his photographic homage series. Each photo is an homage to a famous artist, and/or piece of artwork. Brown uses the unique perspectives of each individual he is paying homage to in creating an image of his own. The twenty three images on exhibit includes homages to Claes Oldenburg, Alexander Calder, Georgia O'Keeffe, Ellsworth Kelly and Grant Wood. The exhibit offers a viewer a wealth of art history knowledge. Each image includes a historical discourse of the person and/or the work being honored and highlights distinctive characteristics of the work.
Mary Crowley is exhibiting her collection of monoprints and collages that were created during a stay at a workshop in Santa Fe, as well as a woodblock workshop held by Sabra Field in Tuscany. Crowley has become well-known in the area for her children's book I Love To Visit My Grammy. She has books and prints from the book for sale.
Lois Macuga is exhibiting her collection of watercolors. Macuga focuses on nudes, natural scenes, and landscapes. She is a signature member of the Vermont Watercolor Society, has taught art and shown her work throughout New England.
Images: Nancy Weiss installation Time Layers VII
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
by Darby Parsons
Chris Papillo’s “things you wanted to make real” is on display in Burlington at Maple Street’s JDK Gallery through August 13.
“As a young maiden he dreamed of his bright amethyst future. His rosy, flour-powdered cheeks would sparkle in the black forest…” This line from a handmade paper piece of Papillo’s leads me to believe the entire show is an autobiographical, larger than life collage. Multi-media pieces fill an entire gallery wall. Artifacts salvaged by the adult from his childhood’s stream of conscious. Trail of Teas is reminiscent of a wind chime with used tea bags trailing down from a rusty antique spool of sorts that is stuffed with bird wings. A framed color pencil drawing of a bunny is scrawled over with “a shilling for a soul”. The largest center piece is a massive, handmade piece of paper called The Red Flame Bird. The paper is filled to the edges with a personalized and dramatic color-wheel. The entire thing is written over in color pencil with a poem that begins with; “The red flame bird of blood red wings flies across the sea to ((rome)) all alone lust for you and me.”
From photographs to glassed in bird wings the range of materials used is nearly limitless yet the eclectic collage forms a cohesive sense of tone and sentiment. Chris Papillo’s imagination and personal mythology are at work and play here to a fantastic extreme. “Things you wanted to make real” at JDK Gallery, Burlington, until August 13.
This July 31st come experience the seventh annual Old North End (O.N.E) Ramble. This vibrant and hard working community has been coming together to create a day full of mirth and merry making for seven years now! The posters say rain or shine but the day is bound to shine either way with musical performances at the Ramble Round Up at 247 N. Winooski, and multiple artists on display at the Rose Street Gallery, Jade Lotus, and Viva Espresso. If you haven’t experienced the Ramble NOW IS THE TIME. Bumble around the O.N.E this Saturday to enjoy performers of all sorts and activities fit for family and friends including yard sales, potlucks, tea parties, crafting, bike rides and block parties oh my! The day is sure to be an adventure when you set your feet toward the old north of Burlington this weekend. Check it out at http://www.theramble.org/.
Young Impressionist T. J. Cunningham carefully examines the universality of human emotion in his first solo exhibition, Subtle Expressions. A virtuoso with the brush, he paints deftly and decisively while nurturing a softness of spirit that is rich with contemplation. Tender renditions of even the most epic of scenes create some of most compelling portraiture of our time.
Hours are Tues-Fri 2-6 p.m. and Sat. 11-3 p.m.
For more information, contact Mary Swanson: firstname.lastname@example.org (802) 458-0464 or visit www.arthousevt.com for additional info & directions.
Image: With Regret, Oil on Canvas
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Here is Sam Thurston’s statement about this exhibit. He invites people who see the exhibit to send him their comments at email@example.com -- ed.
My artistic goal is less firm now, or perhaps I have multiple goals. In this exhibition I show some of my explorations. I am trying to retool my direction both formally, which is to a great extent the art of means and subjectively, which with me mostly means choosing the end. Both of these aspects can be the subject matter or content.
In the Poem Drawings I wished to pick a poem I liked but one not in current use, one that I had never heard another person recite or discuss or seen another artist’s illustration of. This would make the poem touch me more directly, I thought. I would not have another voice in my head when I worked. I wished that the power of the poem would deflect me a little from my usual path (if it could). Could I receive a little bit of another person’s sensibility via a poem? (Of course I could -- it has happened many times, and that is one of the things art is all about.) So each poem drawing was an attempt to find a new path, to take a new plunge, to be a transitional exploration. I did about 60 of them and then stopped for reasons unknown.
In one of the poem drawings I tried using a decorative color grid as a background, somewhat in the manner of Klimt. That was not successful but it helped to lead me into my next transitional exploration- abstract color studies. I did the color studies because I could not find the colors I was looking for for the paintings, paintings which I do both from life and imagination. I usually look for form, line and composition first, not color. But now I felt I needed to put color at the front of the line. I grew up thinking drawing was the holy grail of art and here I am trying to topple that idea. Somewhere Cezanne said (quote from memory) “Where color is strong form will also be strong.” The most abstract of the grid or checkerboard color abstractions is a color study for a painting of rocks and water with sunlight playing on the bank. I am concentrating on the means and finding a different end.
In the watercolor still lifes I did in ‘08 and early ‘09 I looked for a momentary sensation: I wanted them to be subjective. In that way they were similar to my poem drawings. In the still life watercolors in late ‘09 and ‘10, partially under the influence of my color studies, I became more analytical.
My city watercolors are studies for city paintings. I moved to Vermont 30 years ago from New York City and have done a lot of Vermont landscapes. Now the subject of the city calls to me more strongly. Partly nostalgia for my city years and youth, partly the many different and interesting color and space configurations in the city and partially because of the many interesting contemporary city and urban painters today. (Yvonne Jacquete, Richard LaPresti, Stanley Lewis, Myron Heise, Elizabeth O’Reilly and many others)
I include a few figure studies, two of which are for a projected large figure painting so they are also transitional explorations. And one watercolor (#12) is my memory of a dance I saw choreographed and performed by Nora Chipaumire and performed by her with Souleymane Badolare.
Lamia, Keats, pencil, 8 1/2 x 12", 2007
Blue figures Abstract Study, watercolor, 5 1/2 x 6", 2010
Saturday, July 24, 2010
These new pieces by Peacham artist David Smith revolve around his musings on visually "entering" the natural world around us, and the alternative meanings suggested by the roots and historic uses of the word "entrance." The artist says:
As I’ve noticed over and over, being locked in the studio for long periods of time can cause me to spiral inward, not necessarily in a good way. Starved for outside nourishment I begin to devour myself and so I exhort myself and all who’ll listen to paint outside, to forage and replenish from the Green World and bring that nourishment back into the studio for fresh synthesis.
Entrance is a title for one of the paintings here [above], the entrance from the human-made world into the natural one, but that word also relates to trance: a state of profound abstraction or absorption, a state of mind in which the rational is fragile. To paint outside is to replace rationality with responsiveness. The Green World is a Shakespearean term where civilization is set aside and the dynamics of the forest, with its unexpected metamorphoses, take over. It’s where visions happen in the fog, where trees shift and dance and colors in the shadows intensify. It’s where we are taken out of ourselves and become part of something larger and less controlled.
All this works well with oil paints, which I consider to have mysterious properties of their own. Entrance is also a theater term meaning the first entry of an actor into a scene. Hopefully that’s a metaphor for the viewer and the painting.
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 fsgallery.com
Images: Entrance, oil on board, 22 x 36"; Sea Wedding, oil on board, 18 x 32"
Friday, July 23, 2010
Press Release: Paintings by Vermont Artist Custer Ingham (1863-1931) on View at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Ferrisburgh
This summer at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum travel back in time 100 years to see Otter Creek and downtown Vergennes Through the Eyes of Custer Ingham, on view through August 15. Working with guest curators William Benton and Greg Hamilton, LCMM has assembled over 40 works by this little-known Vermont artist from private collections, most of which have not been on public view since the 1960s and 1970s. Born during the Civil War and named for General George Armstrong Custer, Ingham began in the 1880s to paint scenes of daily life in the Champlain Valley, including Lake Champlain’s Westport Sail Ferry, a baseball game on the banks of Otter Creek, and the family farm. The falls and the basin below on Otter Creek were favorite topics and several of the paintings in the show are views of this area with boats, fisherman, swimmers and perhaps even Ingham himself as subjects in the landscapes.
Early in his career, Ingham studied at the National Academy of Design in New York for two years; later, a brief visit to Europe in 1914 was cut short by the outbreak of World War I. Although he chose a realist approach, many of Ingham’s works demonstrate his interest in experimenting with the artistic movements of his era, evoking the trompe l’oeil paintings of William Harnett, landscapes of the Barbizon and Hudson River schools, and the colors and atmospheric effects of the Impressionists.
A full color illustrated catalog of the exhibition is available, thanks to a generous gift from People’s United Bank and a publication grant from the Marian S. Ware Charitable Lead Annuity Trust. Through the Eyes of Custer Ingham is on view through August 15. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum at 4472 Basin Harbor Road is open daily from 10-5, and the exhibit is included with admission (museum members and children 5 and under get in free). For more information call 802 475-2022 or go to www.lcmm.org.
Friday, July 16, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 802.362.1405
July 15, 2010
CELEBRATE THE COLORS OF SUMMER:
NEW SOLO ART EXHBITIONS OPEN JULY 24 AT SVAC
Manchester, VT – All the colors of a Vermont summer are on display both indoors and out at the Southern Vermont Arts Center, which will introduce its exhibiting July artists at a free Opening Party on Saturday, July 24th from 4pm to 6pm in the Yester House galleries.
The July Exhibitions feature works by Penny Viscusi, Susan Abbott, Ken Rush, Bev Walker, Lawrence Lee, Max Stern, Gillian Pederson-Krag, Carolyn Webb, Anne Dibble, and Robert O’Brien. All exhibiting work is offered for sale. The July Exhibitions will continue through August 24.
Additionally, the Outdoor Sculpture Garden is displaying wonderful works by Gregory Smith, David Tanych, and Wendy Klemperer.
The free opening party is a perfect opportunity to meet the artists, mingle with friends, and enjoy live music, hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar, all within the exquisite architecture of the storied Yester House mansion. Supervised children’s activities will also be offered in the Madeira Education Studios; advance registration is required as space is limited. For more information, visit www.svac.org or call (802) 362-1405.
The Southern Vermont Arts Center is a non-profit educational institution whose mission is to make the visual and performing arts an integral part of the life of the community and region. SVAC is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10am to 5pm and on Sunday from 11am to 5pm.; there is free admission on Sunday (closed Monday). Café Mamie at Yester House features the Vermont-sourced signature dishes of Chef Mariah Macfarlane. Reservations are suggested and can be made by calling (802) 366-8298.
Southern Vermont Arts Center * West Road, Manchester * (802) 362 1405 * www.svac.org
image: Susan Abbott, Vineyards and Grapes, Oil, 12" x 36", triptych, $4,000
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
By Stephen Orloske
The producers of our objects seem bent on reducing every tool to a bare minimum. Apple, the current maestro of such design, lauds the feeling that their computers seem to disappear when in use. Actually delivering such ethereal magic, Microsoft recently unveiled Kinect, which does away with touch all together, now you simply gesture to the air. While this march toward invisibility seems, with its elegance, inevitable, the trouble is that once they reach the point where they become irrefutable with their inventiveness and are always on and always present, then they also always demand our attention. And if they have no body, then how can we grasp the distance which separates human from machine? How does one even acknowledge a ghost?Perhaps the scary part is how naive those marketing the future seem. Their great promise is a synthesis between human and machine. A synthesis which will herald unimaginable, immediate pleasures and that these pleasures will be like our own, only greater, but they fail to acknowledge the subjectivity of a machine. A machine does not have desire proper where, like humans, an irrational, emotional desire is, hopefully, brought to fruition by our cognitive means, rather a machine programs its desire, it uses cognition to know what it wants. (Take Bina48 as an example. Compiling interviews and factual data, she is ever more becoming an exact digital replica of her original, human Bina. As is her programing, her greatest desire to be more like the real Bina, a position no human can truly have, for we can only fantasize about another and it is our irrational fantasy which we truly desire, while Bina48 actually desires to be Bina. Yet, as we all know, we hardly know ourselves. Our family often draws a better description of us since they can actually watch what we do. Which opens up the horrific scenario that, since Bina48 can know, in fact desires to know, what Bina's parents and lovers know, she becomes more Bina than Bina herself.) The moment people are altered to be subjectively like a robot is the moment we think toward desire rather than desires creating our thinking. And the moment when our self enters the miasma of our tools, the moment the desires we are all familiar with become impossible and the nightmare of droll labor being the only thing we can desire becomes possible.
So go to Robots and Ray Guns at the S.P.A.C.E. Gallery in Burlington and see what other courses technology could take. There are unabashed influences in much of the work, from steampunk to The Jetsons. Robots wink and cringe in proletarian tableaux. Play dolls emanate quasi enlightened splendor from their eyes. But spelling it out further misses the whole point of the show. This isn't art for the hoity-toity, rather it's cheeky fun the whole hoi polloi can enjoy, which is an element missing from the tech savvy world. They forget that humanity is not at its best when interacting with the invisible, it is better when it has something real to grasp. And if more of our tools are becoming autonomous then better they manifest concretely, better we have something to lay hands upon and know who controls what, rather than the accepted norm which is fast reaching the moment where we simply sit warily in a haunting presence.
Robots and Rayguns is up through July 31st. The S.P.A.C.E. Gallery, located at The Soda Plant Building on Pine Street in Burlington (266 Pine Street, Suite 105) is open Thursdays through Saturdays 11-4, though they say they are always around, so you can drop in anytime or call first at (802) 578-2512.
A two-year art project concludes this Saturday with an Absolute Auction of 32 pieces from the historic Art of Action exhibition.
The Art of Action, a project born out of Vermonters' hopes, desires and visions for the future of our state, is drawing to a close. On Saturday, July 17th, 32 pieces of art created for the groundbreaking project will be sold at Main Street Landing’s Union Station in Burlington. The public Farewell Reception and Bidders’ Preview will take place from 5-7pm with the Auction beginning at 7pm.
All ten artists commissioned for the project will be represented in the auction and their work ranges in value from $450 to $7500. This is an Absolute Auction which means there is no reserve or minimum bid and all 32 pieces will be sold. Proceeds will help seed a future commissioning project for Vermont artists.
This gala event is the culmination of a historic two-year collaboration between the Vermont Arts Council, entrepreneur and philanthropist Lyman Orton, and Janice Izzi. Artists were commissioned to interpret the social, cultural and political issues affecting the future of the state. 300 artists from 26 states and three foreign countries applied for the project and ten were chosen: Susan Abbott, Gail Boyajian, David Brewster, Annemie Curlin, Phil Godenschwager, Curtis Hale, Valerie Hird, Kathleen Kolb, Janet McKenzie and John Miller. Their commissions, averaging $25,000, were underwritten by Orton and are among the largest in the Arts Council’s 45-year history.
For the past 10 months, the 105-piece collection has been traveling the state in three concurrent exhibitions, stimulating conversations about the issues depicted in the art and, in some cases, inspiring people to take action.
The entire Art of Action collection will be exhibited at Main Street Landing’s Union Station in Burlington from July 1-17. For more information, visit www.artofaction.org.
Sculpture installations for exposed 2010: Installing outdoor sculpture is always an adventure, given the variety of materials and installation concerns. The sculptures for Exposed are currently being installed at Helen Day Art Center, around the Village of Stowe, and on the Recreation Path.
Jordan Pratt's 'Earth Cubes' are now installed on the recreation path. The four cubes range from 2 to 3 feet square and are made of grass sod over an armature. They lift the grassy landscape from "rolling and organic" into something eye-catching and engineered. It appears that the earth itself is forming large crystals adorned with grass.
Another piece, by Nadine Faraj, has made its way through customs at the border and now graces the front lawn of the Art Center. Nadine's one thousand pound concrete egg has been delivered from Canada and rests on the lawn of the Helen Day Art Center.
The corner of Main Street and School Street has sprouted a beautiful stone work: Tom Douglas' White marble sculpture entitled "Optical promise" was installed there on Friday
Over this week another dozen pieces will be placed in town by the Curator, Meg McDevitt, the artists and Helen Day's two interns from University of Vermont..
Our annual exhibition of outdoor sculpture, now celebrating it's 18th year, is curated by UVM sculpture professor Meg McDevitt. It features over 20 individual works by artists from around the region, extending from the Helen Day Art Center to Stowe Kitchen and Bath and Chittenden Bank on the Mountain Road, and on the Stowe recreation path. A marquee event on Stowe's summer calendar, the exhibition attracts an estimated 75,000 visitors during its annual 3 month run.
The feature of the opening is the artist-led Walkabout tour of Exposed 2010.This year's exhibition includes works by regional and international artists, including Nadine Faraj (Canada), Joel Fisher (England/ USA), Kenji Endo (Japan), among others.
The Walkabout tours the show with the majority of the artists attending and sharing reflections on their work. List of participating artists: Leila Bandar, Jon Black, Tyler Buswell, Mireille Clapp, Kat Clear, Chris Curtis, Tom Douglas, Kenji Endo, Nadine Faraj, Joel Fisher, Rob Hitzig, Bruce Hathaway, james Irving, Harlan Mack, Jordan Pratt, Peg Smith, Piper Strong, Denis Versweyveld, Catherine Ward.
Meg McDevitt, Curator, Exposed 2010
802 635 9349
Image: Tom Douglas Installation