Thursday, March 17, 2011

Press Release: West Branch in Stowe presents Bisson and Wahlrab

Stowe, Vt.− Waterfalls cascade over heaped boulders and sunlight streams through vaulted forests in the West Branch Gallery’s exhibition, “Outside: New Visions of Nature.” Mariella Bisson, a recipient of both Pollock-Krasner and Gottlieb grants, and Susan Wahlrab, a nationally recognized artist working in paint and ink for thirty years, each bring a strikingly contemporary sensibility to their paintings of the natural world. The exhibition opened March 5 with a gala opening reception and a gallery talk by Vermont State Curator David Schutz, who also authored an essay for Susan Wahlrab’s forthcoming exhibition catalogue.

Bisson works in mixed media, collaging paper, oil paint, charcoal and pencil onto large linen surfaces to evoke the hushed transcendence of the natural world. In her paintings of waterfalls, collaged paper fragments become rushing water, slick boulders and mossy cliffsides. The artist’s preparatory drawings and watercolors are also included in the exhibition, revealing the artist’s labor and time-intensive process, and her experience of the wilderness she captures in her works.

Susan Wahlrab’s recent works arise from the transcendent beauty of northern Michigan and rural Vermont. The artist’s innovative use of watercolor yields a landscape of densely pigmented energetic marks that coalesce into a calm and pleasing whole. The artist layers thousands of small watercolor marks, allowing each layer to dry before applying the next. The West Branch Gallery’s landmark exhibition features fourteen new works by the artist on prepared clay surfaces—a shift in technique that has resulted in a groundbreaking body of work. The West Branch Gallery is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 – 6 and by appointment. For information or inquiries, please contact Amy Rahn by email ( or by phone (802.253.8943). Or, visit the gallery website:

Artist: Mariella Bisson
Title: "Stowe, the First Snow"
Size: 38" x 50"
Media: Mixed Media on Linen
Year: 2011