Saturday, October 1, 2011

PRESS RELEASE: Ice Effect at Art on Main in Bristol

Art on Main announces its October-November Featured Artist Exhibit Ice Effect. The exhibit features unique floral still-life photography by Krista Cheney and porcelain and stoneware pottery by Judith Bryant. The community is invited to meet the artists at a celebratory reception on Friday October 7 from 5-7pm in the Gallery at 25 Main Street, Bristol. Both artists will be on hand and light refreshments will be served.

Krista Cheney is a native Vermonter, currently living in St. George. She has studied photography since 2003, taking classes and workshops at local venues and the Maine Media Workshops in Rockport, Maine. Inspired by the art of nature, Krista draws upon the unpredictable character of ice to create her frozen still life photographs. Fractures, fissures, and air bubbles add a new dimension to the ordinary objects that she encases within blocks of ice.

“I start with a container,” she explains, “usually a gallon milk/water jug with the top cut off, or other container with straight sides that ice will slide out of. Then I arrange flowers, grasses, and other foliage by means of floral foam, pin frogs, and sometimes wooden skewers and string. I’ll also add stones or larger rocks for visual effect or just to weigh down the foam.” Then the jug is filled with water and placed in a freezer. On the next sunny day after the container is frozen through, she takes it outside, removes the container to reveal the ice block and gets to work with the camera, exploring from many angles as the ice melts.

Shooting throughout the thawing process, she captures the changing form of her subject—cracks, clouds, and crystals appear and vanish; rivulets of melt water streak down the sides. She never knows what she will get—sometimes nothing much will appear, but other times, the possibilities of images inside the ice are astounding. Ice distorts and highlights shapes, textures, and colors. The result is a photograph that is beautiful and visually stimulating.

Judith Bryant has lived and made pots in northern Vermont for over 35 years. For several years, she has made her studio and showroom in a renovated barn near the center of Lincoln, in the hills above Bristol. She is still enchanted by the medium she first discovered in junior high. “I'll always be fascinated by the process,” she says, “the rhythm and flow of work on the wheel, the alchemy of transforming fluid clay through fire into pottery.”

She lives in a cabin near a brook, in the woods of Starksboro. It is this brook, and her uneasy relationship with its unpredictable behavior, that inspires her newest ceramic explorations. These “ice” bowls have uneven edges, organically shaped holes in the sides, and glaze patterns that appear like melt patterns. Some are glazed in subtle tones that echo the palette of water and ice itself, while others are more striking in black or a pairing of the two tones.

In addition to these one-of-a-kind sculptural pieces, Judith also offers functional pottery, both porcelain and stoneware, in a variety of colors and patterns for the table and home. She creates her work, and “then the pieces go off like ambassadors into the world. Whatever it's used for, I'm happy that my pottery is a part of people's lives,” she declares.

The exhibit will be on view in the Gallery October 1 through Tuesday November 15. Art on Main is open Monday thru Saturday 10am-6pm and Sunday 11am