Friday, January 28, 2011

PRESS RELEASE: Cheryl Daye Dick at the Emile A. Gruppe Gallery in Jericho

Midddlesex artist Cheryl Daye Dick pulls images out of the past and onto her canvas in her latest exhibition Memories: North and South at the Emile A. Gruppe Gallery on January 27 through February 27. There will be a public reception for the artist on Sunday, January 30 from 2 - 4:30pm.

On Sunday, February 6, Cheryl will discuss her work from 3-4:30 pm at the gallery. African American history is at the heart of much of her art and life experiences. Cheryl says "art is a way of looking. Through the use of silent image, art allows our minds in a preverbal, almost primitive way, to create a story, feelings and subjective response to it. Landscapes both Northern and Southern tell a great deal about how I feel formed and informed by place – languid, southern heat, Vermont's flinty cold. My figures come from childhood dinner table discussions that always drifted to southern subjects and relatives."

Cheryl's work is adeptly expressed in pastels , watercolor and oils. She has exhibited in galleries throughout New England. In 2001 her show The Ancestors, hung in the Vermont Supreme Court Gallery in Montpelier. For more information, see www.emilegruppe

Image: Buffalo Soldier Sitting

PRESS RELEASE: Art Walk with a Valentine Theme in Montpelier

Montpelier Art Walk will kick off its 2011 season with a Valentine's themed Art Walk on Friday, February 11th from 4 to 8 p.m. throughout downtown Montpelier. Lovers of art, music, and culture can stroll the streets and meet local artists and crafters displaying their works. Venues range from The Vermont History Museum to GuitarSam to City Hall.

The Craft Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) will host a benefit Valentines-making workshop in The Drawing Board on Main Street. People can make their own or commission an artist to handcraft a one-of-a-kind piece for all the loved ones in their lives. All donations benefit CERF.

A photographic tribute to the Valentine Phantom will be on display in the window of Capitol Stationers on Main Street through Valentine's Day. A group show of the photographs of local citizens document the Phantom's hearts through the years.

Galen Cheney is exhibiting paintings at The Vermont Arts Council, where there will be a reception until 7 p.m. during Art Walk.

Art Walk is the perfect cure for cabin fever. Guidebooks are available at participating venues. For more information visit:

Image: Galen Cheney

PRESS RELEASE: Recent Work by Shelley Warren and Cameron Davis at 215 College Gallery in Burlington

University of Vermont Department of Art and Art History Lecturers Shelley Warren and Cameron Davis’ exhibition 108 Blessings opens February 11, 2011 at 215 College Gallery, Burlington, VT, with an opening reception on February 11 from 5-8PM.

The exhibit features recent work of Shelley Warren’s sculptural/video installations and Cameron Davis’ paintings.

The title 108 Blessings refers to the number of prayer beads used in Buddhist, Hindu and Jain meditation traditions. The Latin root of the word meditate, meditatum, means to ponder. Though the lineage informing each artist differs, the exhibition reveals that both artists’ work explores perception at the edge of the physical and non-physical, meditating on the nature of being.

Warren’s 35 years as a Buddhist practitioner are evidenced throughout her work. The installations Humility and Namati ("bow", see image above) display the medium and metaphoric tensions between ephemeral video projections of a Buddhist nun and lay person, respectively, “merging” with the seemingly static material of maple sapling sculptures. The work explores questions of human-nature, identity, and sanctity.

Davis’ paintings Devi Prayer (see image at right) and Blackbird Singing in the Dead of Night makes freewheeling use of symbolic imagery taken from various sources including: Hindu/yogic spiritual practices, esoteric Christianity, consciousness studies, the recent Arkansas blackbird mass die-off, and the notion of ecological identity as a vehicle for “addressing the “fierce grace” (Ram Das) of living in this “Eaarth-time” (Bill McKibben).

Shelley Warren, Namati, video projection on maple sapling sculpture
Cameron Davis, Devi Prayer, Acrylic on canvas

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

PRESS RELEASE: Erika White and Carin Lilly at Davis Studio Gallery in Burlington

Opening Reception:
February 4, 2011 from 5-8pm

Davis Studio Gallery,
404 Pine Street, Burlington

Artists Erika White and Carin Lilly embrace their lives and all that it entails in this mixed media exhibition. Using more traditional methods of painting and photography, as well as found objects and other forms of mixed media, they explore the idea of finding creativity in the everyday of life. As mothers of young children, finding a space, both physical and emotional, to be creative amongst sippy cups and strewn toys can be difficult. Instead of fighting the inevitable, they choose to embrace it, finding inspiration in the objects and the brainstorms that come from their small sidekicks, sometimes including them collaboratively. Legos and princesses find their way into the artwork, whether literally or more subtly, through color and shape, as the two artists engage in their own form of play.

Top, Erika White
Bottom, Carin Lilly

Sunday, January 23, 2011

REVIEW: Holly Walker and Bhakti Ziek at the Chandler Gallery in Randolph

by Dian Parker

Making art and viewing art are about seeing. Both the artist and viewer learn how to see through practice. "It is a consummation devoutly to be wished" (Shakespeare), and certainly is neither swift nor easy -- the artist and the viewer must learn to take risks. It’s a free fall into the unknown. Both artist and viewer risk not liking the finished product. Or falling in love with it.

At the Chandler Gallery through February 20 is a two person show – Holly Walker’s Haptikos and Bhakti Ziek’s Continuum. Here is an opportunity to "see" the work of two accomplished Randolph artists who are stretching themselves beyond what they had done before. Both took risks and it paid off.

Holly Walker is a ceramicist, working in clay for 32 years. Here you will not find pottery turned on a wheel. Walker’s technique is a process of pinching layers of earthenware clay into coils, then layering the coils to build form. The results are bowls, platters, vessels, urns, jars, and pots that can all be used in the kitchen. The platters are so lovely they could also hang on your living room wall (each fastened with a stainless steel wire for hanging). The step jars could stand outdoors beside a stand of lilies (bringing them in, of course, during the winter). Her work is sculpture, urging you to stroke and carry. Just looking at the work one gets endless ideas for ways to use these durable, dynamic works of art. A center piece on your dining room table. Soup tureens. Sculptures in the entryway of your house. The tiered jar in your kitchen as a vegetable peel container.

Walker’s work moves, it is active. She said, "I approach the surface of the pot as a painter, brushing colored slips over the raw terracotta surface, layering multiple glazes through bisquing." One can see her process in the work, all the way back to the original clay peeking through the glaze, around the rim or underneath. Inside many of the vessels is a deep iron glaze which offers depth and a cradle for your delicious goods or precious gems. The outside colors are rich – lime green, deep rusted red, bold turquoise, cobalt blue. Haptikos, the title of her show, is Greek for "haptic" which means the sense of touch. I wanted to pick up every piece and stroke it, feeling the pressure her thumbs had made in the moist clay; still visible, still pulsing.

(pictured at right), 11.5 x 7.25 x 14"h, is one of Walker’s pieces that could be used for many things; fruit, soup, hidden treasures, center piece or as a sculpture. Its 4 tiered lid is white with a swath of bright brick red down the center; the base is glazed in coral, warm white and rose red. A more delicate piece is Rectangular Step JarSix-Lobed Disk: Twig (seen above), 11.5" diameter x 3" high, in lime green and creamy white. It looks fragile but as in all her work it is sturdy and durable. An oval platter looks like a lyre; a bowl looks like a sleigh or a baby’s cradle, a rectangular platter is made of many different slips of color - imagine putting a cherry in each square or a dollop of sushi! Holly Walker’s work is unique and playful – a delight to look at and use.

Bhakti Ziek has been a weaver since 1969, known for her exploration of woven technology that ranges from the simplest backstrap looms to state-of-the-art electronic digital equipment. Her work is cerebral, intricate and densely woven. She shows many facets of the world in her work – stars, blossoms, shadows, sacred geometry, a house, even the mathematical computations required for her weavings. Except for her piece, "Nomad", all the work is woven with 60 vertical threads per inch on the loom (the warp) and an average of 140 horizontal threads per inch (the weft) - a mind boggling concept. Ziek’s work portrays multi leveled narratives of her inner world as if she were weaving her brain’s hologram into a 3 dimensional form. How she is able to weave so many perfect circles is as impressive as the scope of her work in this show. So many stories, so many thoughts and ideas charted through a course of one year of intensive work. She calls this current body of work Continuum representing one thread becoming 880 threads – one continuous line, a continuous thread.

In her piece, Walking (left; click on image for a larger view), 13.5" x 49", Ziek has woven together 6 panels of different mental narratives. In the detailed dense patterns of 5 panels, one can find numbers, words, flowers, a circle collage, grids in shades of blue, ochre and grey. The largest panel is the bluest. It is the sky. Combined with the density of the other panels, one feels a sense of uplift, of openness, an urge to stop thinking for a moment, to look out and to breathe deep. It is made with silk, tencel, bamboo, silver metal gimp, hand-woven lampas and weft-backed jacquard. One can only marvel at the dexterity and intensity this work must require.

There is humor too, as in Focused Distraction, 20" x 26". On one panel, against a background of lovely flower petals, is a white pentagram with words on each tip, marking the many daily transgressions - Email, Website, Blog, Facebook, Solitaire. The other panel represents the many choices Ziek has as an artist - digital, handmade, contemporary, historical. Continuum, (pictured below), 13.5" x 47.5"w, is one of her prettiest pieces, 4 panels of a striking delicious pink, with the largest panel of white on pink looking like dendrites in the brain. It is textured, the intersecting weaves revealing the volume of silk used. Nomad, her largest piece, is 6 vast panels, 60" x 164", covering an entire wall of the gallery. It is a formidable piece displaying in words all the places Ziek has ever lived - Turkey, Kansas, New Mexico, Canada, Europe, Guatemala, Haiti, Southeastern Asia, New York. It is another mindscape, capturing her many lives as a weaver and teacher and thinker. Ziek’s greatest influence comes from the Persian Safavid - court weavers from 1501. Her work even looks like the maps of the Persian Empire from that time!

Both artists are giving hands-on demonstrations at the gallery. Bhakti Ziek’s is Sunday, January 30, at 1 pm. Holly Walker’s is Sunday, February 13, at 1 pm. These are wonderful opportunities to explore their working methods and to ask questions.

Art takes time to "see" because it takes the artist time to make the work. Energy begets energy. Be generous when you view art - open yourself to the mystery of seeing the mind of an artist in material form. If you focus on the work, the return will always be awe; even if you did not at first think you would like the work. The work in this show is not safe. Both artists took risks in order to create work that is dynamic and powerful. I could have stayed in the gallery the entire afternoon. As it was, I was there for 3 hours. And that was the second time.

Images (all photos by Michael Sacca):

Holly Walker, Large Six-Lobed Disk: Twig, 2010, Terracotta, slab, pinched coils, hand painted slips and glazes, inlaid glaze, 11.5" diameter x 3"h, tabletop or wall mount

Holly Walker, Rectangular Step Jar, 2010, Terracotta, slab, pinched coils, hand painted slips and glazes, 11.5" x 7.25" x 14"h

Bhakti Ziek, Walking, 2010, 13.5"h x 49"w, silk, tencel, bamboo, silver metal gimp; handwoven lampas and weft-backed jacquard

Bhakti Ziek, Continuum, 2010, 13.5"h x 47.5"w, silk, tencel, bamboo; handwoven lampas jacquard

REVIEW: Joan Curtis at Feick Arts Center in Poultney

By Liza Myers

Nature’s Wiles: Recent Paintings and Sculptures by artist Joan Curtis is currently on display at the Feick Arts Center in Poultney, Vermont through February 11, 2011. The show is a celebration of color, texture, form and mystery. Stepping into the spacious Feick Gallery is akin to entering the secret musings of this prolific, complex artist, whose dynamic work fills the room with joyful color.

Curtis states: “The images refer to the seemingly wanton behavior of Nature throughout our world. Perhaps flippantly the artwork imagines us in a fictional rapport with tumultuous natural events.”

The show’s title painting Nature's Wiles appears to be a complex cacophony of juxtaposed vignettes. In the painting Nature and the hand of man are inextricably entwined in a writhing landscape. Tiny multi-colored houses, their windows warmly aglow, are depicted in the moment of being swept away by a brutal flood. In the center a solitary tree reaches towards the energetic sky, anchored by towering rocks. Below the waterfall, gushing floodwaters threaten a tranquil, shimmering pond upon which a tiny boat floats serenely. The vessel’s solitary occupant is motionless, observing this chaos. As is Buddha who sits in a dark red temple with a checkerboard tile floor. On the left side of the waterfall, a more peaceful world exists. The house sits far from the flood; boats are safely pulled ashore. A horse and dog frolic.

As if the paintings were not enough of an oeuvre, Curtis’ sculptures loom off the wall or pedestal. Creatures and human figures nestle into the sheltering caverns, shelves and niches that Curtis creates with her signature technique of papier mache construction. Brilliant patterns, richly developed surfaces, wild complementary colors and energy exude from every angle.

There isn’t a static spot in the exhibit. Both sculpture and paintings are always energizing, always surprising, beckoning the viewer into a sea-like realm of contorted trees, mysterious caverns, floating beings.

Having followed Ms. Curtis’ work for many years (25!) I can bear witness to a steady transition, edging towards an ever richer exploration of surface and complex use of color. Her painting technique has become both more gestural in some areas, and jewel-like in others. The fresh energy of Curtis’ brush strokes is visible alongside layered, gleaming highly developed areas of pattern.

The gallery is open Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10 AM to 2 PM and Tuesday, Thursday from 12 PM to 6 PM.

Top Sculpture: Detail of Ancestral
Bottom painting: Nature's Wiles

Friday, January 21, 2011

CALL TO ARTISTS: Vermont Undergraduates at the Chaffee in Rutland

The Chaffee Art Center will honor the works of younger Vermont artists with the February 18 opening of an exhibit titled Made in Vermont: The Art of VT Undergrads. Any full-time student enrolled in any college or university in Vermont is encouraged to submit works, in any media. Students do not need to be enrolled in an art program to participate.

Vermont undergraduates are encouraged to check out the guidelines and application at The Chaffee’s website, and submit 1 or 2 pieces of work. Application deadline is Tuesday, Feb.1 and must include a $5.00 entry fee. Delivery of artwork to The Chaffee can be no later than Sun., Feb. 13, from 12:00-4:00. Other information, dates and deadlines can be found at the above website. Artists may choose to put their pieces up for sale.

In this exhibit, The Chaffee hopes to explore what our young artists are thinking about, how they use art to express themselves and to offer budding artists the experience of being involved in a professional art exhibition. The opening reception for this show will include a live acoustic performance by the VT jam-band, Twiddle, who met while involved with Castleton State College. Vermont undergrads! Show us how you express yourself!

For more information about this upcoming exhibit or The Chaffee Art Center, contact Jessica Kaminski, Gallery Coordinator, at 775-0356 or

Image: Tara Goreau, Swine

CALL TO ARTISTS: Art on Main in Bristol Seeks New Exhibitors

Art on Main in Bristol, a welcoming, artist-friendly, non-profit cooperative Gallery seeks submissions for new exhibitors for the 2011-2012 season. All media are welcome, though we are particularly looking for sterling jewelry, metalwork, book arts, and home crafts (rugs, lamps, etc.) to add to our varied collection. Space is extremely limited for new 2-D work, with the possible exception of printmakers. We look forward to the opportunity to see your creative work and hope that it can find a place here with us.

Bristol is a thriving community with dedicated local shoppers, as well as visitors from around Addison County, Vermont, and beyond. We enjoy a busy tourist season from May through October, and are sustained by our loyal locals at the holidays and throughout the winter. Artist members who opt for the working contract help us staff the Gallery year-round by working one four-hour shift each month greeting, chatting with, and taking care of our customers.

Our first 2011 Jury session is Saturday February 19, 10am-2pm. The application, as well as the consignment contract and fee information, is available for download at If you work in more than one distinct medium and would like us to consider both categories of work, please submit separate application forms and samples for each. For example, jewelry and textiles or pottery and music.

Please RSVP ahead of the jury date, so that we can plan for our session. You are welcome to drop off or mail your application and work anytime in the 2 weeks leading up to a jury date. Regular Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday 10am-6pm all year (Sundays 11am-3pm May through December). You may also both drop off and pick up your work on the day of the jury if you will be traveling from a distance; in this instance, it is helpful if you can send the paperwork ahead of time. Work is available to be picked up anytime after the jury is finished meeting.

If you have any questions, contact the Gallery Manager, Carolyn Ashby, at or 802-453-4032. You can learn more about Art on Main at our website or by visiting us on Facebook,

PRESS RELEASE: Three Exhibits at Bryan Memorial Gallery in Jeffersonville

From January 21 - February 27, 2011 Bryan Memorial Gallery continues its winter tradition of presenting visual artists who are an important and vital part of the gallery's legacy, now in its 27th year. A reception in honor of the artists will take place on Sunday, January 23. Artists Roundtable Discussion at 1 PM. Reception from 2 - 4 PM. The public is invited at no charge.

Following in the tradition of Mary and Alden Bryan, the gallery features three exhibitions with an emphasis on landscape painting, "en plein air," in natural light.

In the Main Gallery Today's Legacy is an exhibition of seasonal paintings by 25 of Bryan Memorial Gallery's recently featured artists, including Mark Boedges, Kevin Fahey, Andrew Orr, Phillip Letiecq, John Pitcher, Sue Westin and Elizabeth Allen. With a contemporary perspective on working in natural light and in the great outdoors, including in winter, these vibrant paintings and vigorous painters expand the traditional concept of plein air painting while giving clear evidence of their relationship to the plein air masters.

In the East Gallery The Legacy Continues is an exhibition of recent work by 20 of Bryan Memorial Gallery's Legacy Artists - artists who have been featured at the gallery over many years, including TM Nicholas, Donald Mosher, Mark Tougias, Eric Tobin, Barbara Lussier, Bob Duffy and Robert Blair. All artists in the Legacy Collection have been actively involved in Bryan Memorial Gallery's mission to bring the best in landscape painting to northern Vermont for many years.

In the Middle Room, The Landscapes of Bradley Fox (1959 - 2010) are a memorial exhibition of 30 landscapes by Bradley Fox of Johnson, VT. Founder and President of the East Johnson Plein Air Painting Club, and former director of Johnson's Painted Caravan Gallery, Fox distinguished himself in recent years as a champion of painters in Northern Vermont, and as a painter of fluid and spontaneous works in plein air. His untimely death last fall left a legacy of promise, of which this is one of many memorial exhibitions offered in his honor.

Bryan Memorial Gallery is open Thursday - Saturday, 11 - 4, and by appointment at any time. The gallery is located at 180 Main Street, Jeffersonville, VT, 802-644-5100,, or

Andrew Orr: Winter Stillness from Today's Legacy
Mary S. Martin: Open Water from The Legacy Continues
Bradley Fox accepting an award

PRESS RELEASE: Brian D. Cohen at The Art House in Craftsbury

The Art House Gallery, Studio & School at 1146 North Craftsbury Road in Craftsbury Common presents an Art Talk by Brian D. Cohen on Friday, February 4 from 6:30-7:30 pm.

Brian D. Cohen is a Vermont print maker and watercolor painter. At this art talk he will open his show in the gallery with a presentation about his work and life as an artist. Reception to follow.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

PRESS RELEASE: The Dark Side at Studio Place Arts in Barre

Although the days have become perceptively longer and the angle of the sun now provides more light, darkness still pervades. That is why Studio Place Arts mounted a new exhibit in its main floor gallery called The Dark Side, a nod to winter's toll on our psyche.

The Dark Side
is on view through February 26, and there is an opening reception on Friday, January 21, from 5:30-7:30 PM.

More than 35 works in a variety of media, including fiber, paintings, photography, assemblage, metal and wood sculptures, drawings, mixed media assemblages, by 20 local artists demonstrate a diverse response to the theme of The Dark Side.

There are 3 paintings by Plainfield artist Cynthia Ross that imaginatively depict unconscious mind games that are shrouded in darkness. Determined women power themselves through the paintings of Annemie Curlin of Charlotte. She shares two pieces from her Women in Improbable Situations series at SPA, including one that shows a woman doing the breast stroke through hundreds of large ice blocks at sea, towing a frozen stiff corpse behind her.

Some pieces immediately elicit a groan. Barre stone sculptor Heather Ritchie, for example, created 3 grotesquely lovely hanging sculptures including a shrunken head covered with wax, human hair and sunken eyes. Robert Towne of S. Hero included two etchings of a seated, obese woman who is morphing into pieces of ordinary furniture. Dan Moran of Montpelier is showing a small group of detailed, startling drawings including a finely rendered charcoal portrait of a nude male demon.

The show documents current tragedies in our lives via social commentary artwork. Ann Young of Barton is exhibiting Collateral Damage, a large canvas that depicts the tattered families resulting from military service. A large, glossy industry sign covered with dead crustaceans that appear to be covered by black oil sludge was created by John Osmond of Morrisville in reaction to the Gulf oil spill. R.G. Solbert of Randolph memorializes the Franklin's Bumble Bee, an insect whose tasks bring lightness into our world, but which is on a tragic path to potential extinction.

Ann Young, Collateral Damage (on far left), Oil on canvas
Annemie Curlin, Women in Improbable Situations I, Oil on panel

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

PRESS RELEASE: Sixth Annual Northfield Art Show in Northfield

The Paine Mountain Arts Council Presents

The Sixth Annual Northfield Art Show

at the
Northfield Historical Society and
Brown Public Library
93 South Main Street
Northfield, Vermont

Fri, Jan 21, 2011 12 noon - 9 pm
Sat, Jan 22 10 am - 7 pm
Sun, Jan 23, 12 noon - 4 pm

Opening Reception Fri Jan 21 7-9 pm

For more information call 485-8910 or 9650

Image: Out to Sea, photograph by Isabel Weinger Nielsen

Sunday, January 16, 2011

PRESS RELEASE: Sam Thurston at Red Mill Gallery in Johnson

From January 17-25, Sam Thurston will exhibit Painting Sculpture Watercolors Drawings at the Red Mill Gallery at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont. The gallery is located at 80 Pearl Street in Johnson.

There will be a reception on Saturday, January 22 at 7:00pm to which the public is invited.

Thurston will be showing a cross section of his work over the last three years – landscapes and cityscapes in oil, clay figure studies, small glazed colored sculptures, city drawings, poem drawings, and color studies in watercolor. Some of the work is made directly from life, some is totally made up and some of the works are in-between.

The artist has a new website at

Images: Still Life With Wire Tree, 10x11", 2010; Study For Blue Figure Still Life, 9x8x8", clay, 2009

Saturday, January 15, 2011

PRESS RELEASE: “An Exhibit of Their Own” at the Chaffee in Rutland

The Chaffee Art Center’s latest exhibit is titled “An Exhibit of Their Own: 6 Featured Women Artists”. Each artist’s work is hung in its own gallery at the Chaffee, showcasing the artist’s unique style and use of medium.

Tiffany Torre, Cameron Schmitz, Claudette Enman, Josephine Habeski, Georgina Forbes and Carrie Bagalio, all from different towns in Vermont, are the women whose artwork graces the walls of the Chaffee. These women have found ways to include painting, drawing and sculpting in their daily lives and to excel at their craft.

No easy task, as Cameron Schmitz will discuss when she hosts an artist talk on Sat., Feb. 5, at 2 PM followed by a screening of the documentary, Who Does She Think She Is? at 3 PM. Many of us can name famous male artists, but how many female artists can you name? This exhibit honors the female artists’ ability to connect with each of us through artwork that is colorful and quiet, obvious and thought provoking, simple and awe-inspiring.

The exhibit runs from Jan.14 through Feb.13. All pieces are for sale. For more information about this exhibit and the Chaffee Art Center, contact Mary Mitiguy, Executive Director, at 775-0356 or

Top: Carrie Bagalio, Popcorn
Bottom: Tiffany Torre, Decorative Details: Wave

Friday, January 14, 2011

CALL TO ARTISTS: Older Visual Artists in Washington, Lamoille, and Orange Counties

Central Vermont Council on Aging (CVCOA) will once again present The Art of Creative Aging in celebration of Older Americans Month in May. The Art of Creative Aging is a juried exhibit of current work of older visual artists (70+) living in Washington, Lamoille and Orange counties. The show will be on display May 1st through June 30th at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library in Montpelier.

Interested artists will submit digital photographs of up to three art works for review by the jury. The deadline for digital submissions is March 1st. All work chosen for the exhibit will be for sale by silent auction. Artists will establish a minimum bid considering 40% of the sale for CVCOA.

A reception will be held at the library on Thursday, May 5th, 4:30 - 7:00 pm to meet the artists. The silent auction of the artwork will begin that evening, and continue throughout the two-month exhibit.

Digital submissions are to be sent to Margaret Harmon at . She may be reached at 802-229-0624 for more information.

Last year, the Art of Creative Aging inaugural exhibit featured 26 artists. The 43 pieces of artwork on display included sculptures, photographs, oil and acrylic paintings, watercolors, pastels, collages, monoprints, and quilted wall hangings. The Vermont Art Zine defined the artists' work as "lively, expressive, creative and full of life."

Central Vermont Council on Aging (CVCOA) supports elders in leading healthy, independent and dignified lives in the homes and communities in 54 central Vermont towns. Visit the CVCOA website at or call the Senior Helpline at 1-800-642-5119. Our office is located at 30 Washington Street in Barre.

Image by Marianne Herlitz

PRESS RELEASE: Angelo Arnold and Peter Fried at Helen Day Art Center in Stowe

Angelo Arnold & Peter Fried: Vermont artists Angelo Arnold and Peter Fried reflect on manufactured domestic and outdoor landscapes at Helen Day Art Center in the East Gallery.

Exhibition runs January 21-February 27, 2011
Opening Reception Friday, January 21, 6:00 pm
Artist Talk Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Gallery Hours: Wednesday - Sunday 12-5pm and by appointment

Angelo Arnold, Familiarture: Arnold’s use of upholstery on forms that are reminiscent of furniture bridge a gap between art and viewer. Who is not attracted to an overstuffed chair? Of course, once the viewer approaches and examines Arnold’s sculptures, mild discomfort sets in. These living-room pieces are disfigured, contorted, gestural, shaped, contoured and... beautiful. Do they function? can they support a sitting or reclining human? Well, yes and no. Arnold makes sculpture, I mean furniture, er... “Familiarture” for the way we really are. A wall mounted stuffed cushion is perfect for leaning at a 17 degree angle, but you cannot sit on it. A tall backed armchair crosses its arms and its cushion breaks into two staggered thighs. You are not welcome here.

In some cases Arnold’s work is about the frustration of a human being stifled by the insufficient design of our surroundings, other times the work is almost narrative in its posture, texture and use of space. What created that emotion? Who knew that furniture had memory? Really, though, it is Arnold whose memory we enter. His choices of stature, design, materials and pose lead us to a lively mind with some dark memories, a sense of humor and an irreverence for the status quo.

Peter Fried: Inspired by English and French 19th century landscape painters, and by Agnes Martin, Peter Fried is engaged in a unique cataloguing of the landscape. Like Atget in Paris, Fried is applying his tools to what he finds. He makes beautiful, carefully composed, paintings in a muted palette with little concern for whether or not the subject can be considered “aesthetic”.

At times working en plein aire, at times in the studio, Fried often sketches the scene in paint, obliterates it with an abstract, powerful layer, and then slowly rebuilds the original landscape over the abstraction. The resulting painting retains the viewer’s eye for a longer visit, held by the barely perceptible tension from the abstraction bleeding through the carefully crafted final landscape.

Fried is interested in abstractions in everyday life and plans to show us, too. He is looking long and hard at our environment, the transition from city to country, the marks made by highways, railcars, tractor trailers and so on, especially when these are thrust up next to the organic shapes of the land. A road sign is a sign, yes, but it is also a glorious green quadrilateral thrust into our view of the countryside. What of it? Well, come and see for yourself. It’s quite something. Agnes Martin would be proud.

Angelo Arnold, Loved Seat, mixed media sculpture
Peter Fried: Untitled (Exit sign), 2010 oil on canvas

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

PRESS RELEASE: Mind Sets at Living Learning Center Gallery in Burlington

The Living Learning Center Gallery presents MIND SETS: Gips, Carnie, Walker from January 20 – February 11, 2011. There will be a free Public Reception on Thursday, January 20, 5-7 pm.

In this fascinating exhibit, three artists use tangled forms from nature to explore those 100 billion neurons, 500 trillion synapses,dendrites, axons, and nodes along with a myriad of chemical and electrical processes that are our brains.

Mind Sets features the work of Burlington-based sculptor Meg Walker, photo and installation artist Terry Gips who lives on Cape Cod, and London-based print and installation artist Andrew Carnie. The works range widely—from Carnie’s small and delicate prints to Gips’ huge gridded photographs to interactive lighted sculptures by Walker—but similar metaphors appear again and again to represent the artists’ visions of the complexities of the mind/brain.

Carnie draws on the parallels between trees (and forests of trees) and the networked patterning of the brain’s neurons to grapple with the unknowable sum of connections that enable us to see, feel, think, respond, and remember. His intimate prints consist of layered and extraordinarily detailed drawings of brains, and trees, leaves, and ferns. They might be seen as a user-friendly way of imaging the brain’s structure and functioning.

Gips also uses highly intricate plant forms as metaphors for the mind/brain. She scans tiny fragments of such things as seaweed, bird’s nests, and sheep’s wool, enlarges them to 20 to 30 times their size and divides them into a dozen or more segments for printing. The segments are hung in a grid, their thin black frames providing a simple geometric structure to tame the apparent chaos. The viewer can look closely at the tangled fibers, branches and roots within each frame and then move back to see their relationship to the whole.

Walker’s Brain Unraveled: You Remain, is also a tangled web, in this case of wires and computer-controlled LED lights. It cascades down from the wall like a wild vine and settles onto the gallery floor to gain an anchoring. Using a motion sensor, the work comes to life when a viewer approaches, turning on its tiny blue and white lights, almost like hidden buds bursting into bloom. On the wall beside the sculpture, a scrambled verse from the poem You Remain by English poet Arthur Symons, further engages the viewer's mind in the work. In this and other sculptures Walker offers her simultaneously playful and conceptually challenging reflections on the inner workings of the brain/mind.

CALL TO ARTISTS: Children’s Artwork

VSA and CVS Caremark invite you to submit artwork showing your child's or student's creativity! Children of all abilities between the ages of 5 and 15 are encouraged to submit their artwork in any artistic media related to the theme of Imagination Across America. For complete details and sample activities, visit the All Kids Can Create page.

In February, VSA Vermont will select four representative artworks to be sent to the VSA national office. Two pieces from each state and the District of Columbia will be selected for the inclusive exhibition featuring artwork created by children with and without disabilities. A selection of young artists will be invited to a reception in Washington, D.C. In addition, teachers who submit their students’ artwork are eligible to receive one of five $1,500 cash awards for use in their classroom. All submissions to the call will be included within the exhibition in an interactive kiosk even if not selected for the touring show. This project is open to all children of all abilities, ages 5-15, living within the United States (all 50 states and the District of Columbia.) For complete details and sample activities, visit the All Kids Can Create page.

Artwork must be submitted online through Artsonia, a website that shares children's art, by February 4, 2011. Email Peggy at with questions.

PRESS RELEASE: G. Todd Haun at Vermont Studio Center Gallery II in Johnson

There will be an exhibit of paintings by G.Todd Haun, a member of the staff at the Vermont Studio Center, through January at the Vermont Studio Center Gallery II in Johnson, Vermont.

PRESS RELEASE: Antique Car & Hot Rod Black & White Photo Exhibition at Shearer Chevrolet in South Burlington

A collection of over 25 fine art black and white prints by photographer Peter Arthur Weyrauch will be on display from February 1st thru March 31st at Shearer Chevrolet, 1675 Shelburne Road, South Burlington, VT.

OPENING RECEPTION: February 11, 6-8 PM, with complimentary appetizers and refreshments by 156 Bistro.

This exhibit is Produced by The Whole Shebang. Further information from Milissa O'Brien, The Whole Shebang, 802-373-2321

REVIEW: Muffin Ray at Catamount in St. Johnsbury

by Chuck Gallagher

Peacham Vermont artist Muffin Ray’s show entitled Recent Works opened this week at the Catamount Arts Main Gallery, where it will be on exhibit until January 31st. Ray’s large salvaged canvases are at once luminous oil, resin, wax and dimensional floral “paintings” and, then again, they are intricate, quilted recycled textile art…or both.

The mood of the reception honoring Ray held last Friday night complemented her art. It was cheerful, interesting, friendly, elegantly casual and down to earth. Muffin is fun to be with. There was a patchwork of people and perspectives in attendance that held together as warmly as the artist’s honey drenched floral and tapestry mosaics. Ms. Ray, like her art work, has a growing and devout following. As I approached Muffin to congratulate her on the show, she was proudly showing photographs of what she called her “best work”, her four children. Her artistic perspective is equally wholesome and distinctly “Vermont”.

There is a Yankee frugality that serves as the foundation for all of Muffin Ray’s recent work. All the materials used in her art are salvage – recovered from attics, barns, basements and even the town dump. Like a hardscrabble, hilltop farmer coaxing a crop to grow where others could not, she creates beautiful, mysterious and thoughtful paint, resin and fabric art from uniquely rough beginnings. At first viewing you must look hard through the amber oil and beeswax finishes to identify the raw material of her work. Later on, you find that it’s impossible not to see what, at first viewing, seemed hidden below the surface of each piece. You realize that these discarded textiles, wall treatments, old quilts, boxed clothing and material “throw-a-ways” are the heart and soul of the work. Ray’s new work, as much as anything, casts discarded materials in a new light and hints at her perspective. She’s not hiding her cast-offs, she’s highlighting them. Like a Leonard Cohen heroine, she’s showing us where to look amid the garbage and the flowers.

Whether it was a stroke of genius or a wonderful coincidence, Catamount Arts should be congratulated for timing Muffin Ray’s Recent Works show in the Main Gallery with a cinema showing of the art-documentary Waste Land.

Waste Land follows artist Vik Muniz to his native Brazil and the world's largest garbage dump, Jardim Gramacho, located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. There Muniz photographs an eclectic band of “catadores”—self-designated pickers of recyclable materials. His portraits of Rio’s catadores, done in recycled materials picked from the landfill's garbage are transformative.

While Vermont and Jardim Gramacho are worlds apart, Muniz and Ray, as artists, are independently exploring a common theme. There is beauty and dignity and value in people, places and things that, often, we just don’t see. Sometimes art provides a lens, changes the light, opens our heart, and gives us a new perspective. These two shows at Catamount Arts this week complement each other and give us an opportunity to see what we might have discarded in a new light.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Color and Curve, an exhibition of pastels and oil paintings by Vermont artist Kate Mueller, will be on display at Castleton State College’s Christine Price Gallery. The show opens on January 18, 2011, with an opening reception on January 26, 4 to 6 p.m. The show will have over 30 pieces of artwork. On exhibit will be figurative work, expressionistic landscapes, and portraits. Mueller’s work will be on display at the gallery until February 18, 2011.

Mueller has been working in oil and pastel since the early 1980s. For over ten years, beginning in the mid-nineties, she worked exclusively in pastel with the nude as her sole subject. Recently, she has been playing with shapes from the landscape and doing portraits, working in both oil and pastel. Art critic Anne Galloway wrote in a review that Mueller’s “bold pastel drawings . . . blurr the line between abstraction and representation” and that she has a “knack for giving her work an edge” with her unusual use of color and subtle shapes.

Mueller’s work is held in numerous private collections in the United States and Europe. She has exhibited her work throughout Vermont and in New York state. She was a featured artist at the Chaffee Art Center in Rutland and has exhibited at the Vermont Arts Council and at the Round Barn in Waitsfield.

For more information contact William Ramage,

Sunday, January 9, 2011

PRESS RELEASE: Larry Golden at Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild in St. Johnsbury

The Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild is hosting an exhibition of mixed media paintings entitled Winter in the Kingdom: Landscapes and Landmarks by Larry Golden from January 12 through March 2. These paintings are all new to the area: none have ever before been exhibited. The subject matter -- buildings, streetscapes, mountains, woods, and fields -- evokes the sense of place that we share as residents of this beautiful area.

The public is cordially invited to meet the artist at a reception at the Guild on Saturday, January 15, from 3:00 to 5:00 pm. Golden is well known in the area. Many local residents were his students during the 40 years Golden taught at St. Johnsbury Academy. Those who didn't have that good fortune have seen his work in exhibitions and many have seen him painting outdoors here, there, and everywhere, in both summer and winter.

Golden says of his work: "I am primarily a plein air painter. I love to work directly from nature. I start with the sky, capturing the correct light, then I work from the distant mountains toward the middle ground and finally the foreground. I concentrate first on aerial perspective, trying to get the correct value range for plains, trees, houses, etc . I want the whole landscape to hang together. I am not that concerned about color because when you paint on location, nature always provides the perfect color situation. Towards the end of the painting I am more conerned with eliminating details and arranging the subject matter to create a pleasing composition. I am very influenced by such painters as Camille Corot and George Inness. "

A graduate of St. Anselms College, Golden also has an M.A. from Pratt Institute. He has work in the permanent collections of the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, the Vermont State House, Lyndon State College, and numerous murals at the Mount Washington Hotel in New Hampshire, as well as many paintings in private collections throughout New England and the country.

The Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild is located at 430 Railroad St. in St. Johnsbury and is open 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Telephone: 802-748-0158. Web address:

PRESS RELEASE: T.W. Wood and Friends for Two Weeks Only at the T.W. Wood Gallery & Arts Center in Montpelier

Prior to the Vermont College of Fine Arts semi annual exhibition of their MFA in Visual Arts candidates, The T.W. Wood Gallery & Arts Center will mount a two-week - only exhibition of selected works of our Founder, Thomas Waterman Wood and several of his contemporaries and colleagues entitled From the Vault.

The show, curated by Executive Director Joyce Mandeville, will feature some of the finest pieces in our permanent collection, showcasing a variety of works that have contributed to Vermont's Artistic Legacy since 1895.

From the Vault will run Tuesday January 11th through Sunday, the 23rd. Gallery & Wood Shop hours are Tuesday through Sundays 12 Noon till 4:00pm. For further information, please call 802-828-8743 or visit our website at

Image: Portrait by an unknown American Primitive painter (not T.W. Wood)

Friday, January 7, 2011

CALL TO ARTISTS: Vermont Artists Week at Vermont Studio Center in Johnson

Vermont Artists Week is open to all Vermont artists and writers and provides them with a week of uninterrupted studio time at reduced cost or no cost. Vermont Studio Center wants to give this opportunity to as many Vermont artists as possible!

VERMONT WEEK at the Vermont Studio Center was created in 1984 to support Vermont’s artists and writers with an intensive week of studio work and fellowship with other Vermont artists. The Vermont Studio Center is grateful to all those who’ve made Vermont Artists Week possible, and would like to extend special thanks to the Vermont Community Foundation’s Arts Endowment Fund, Peter and Bari Dreissigacker, and the Studio Center alumni.

ELIGIBILITY Applicants should be practicing visual artists and writers and must be legal residents of the State of Vermont. In order to serve as many Vermonters as possible, qualified artists and writers who have not previously attended Vermont Week will be given preference.

APPLICATION AND DEADLINES Applications for VAW must be received by January 31, 2011. Notification of acceptance will be sent within four weeks of the deadline.

VSC offers the Vermont Artists’ Week, including room, board, studio space and interaction with Visiting Artists and Writers, for $200. This fee, an expression of support for Vermont artists, represents a 75% reduction of the normal year-round VSC fees. The fee is due upon notification of acceptance. All VAW participants are asked to work six hours during the week to assist in the operations of VSC.

for more information , please visit and search for Vermont Artists Week

The Art Resource Association (ARA) is pleased to offer a scholarship to someone who has been an ARA member for at least a year, and can demonstrate financial need. This scholarship is in memory of Phil Osgatharp, one of the founders of ARA. To apply, please include a short statement indicating eligibility.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

PRESS RELEASE: Small Works continues at SPACE in Burlington

First Friday Artwalk is this Friday, January 7th!

Take a break from the weather, in our warm gallery, and experience nearly 200 pieces of art in the second and final month of the Small Works exhibit.

Some pieces have sold and left, but there is still plenty to look at...
We hope to see you again this Friday from 5-9pm!

PRESS RELEASE: Bhakti Ziek and Holly Walker at Chandler Gallery in Randolph

Chandler is celebrating the New Year with an exhibition of two internationally known artists, Bhakti Ziek and Holly Walker in the Chandler Gallery. By coincidence (“a fortuitous one” say the artists), both artists moved to Randolph a few years ago. A mutual friend made an introduction, and a friendship immediately bloomed. Though showing separate bodies of work in different media, they both feel there is an affinity between their works that makes the pairing visually exciting. Ziek is a weaver and calls her new work Continuum and Walker, a potter, has titled hers Haptikos.

Ziek, self-labeled an “urban nomad,” lived in Guatemala in the early 1970’s and co-authored a book on the process of backstrap weaving which she learned there. Fast-forward to the early 1990’s, and Ziek is a college professor in a program for textile design, with access to state-of-the-art digital electronic looms. Backstrap to digital jacquard is just one of the continuums that inform Ziek’s work. She is also interested in the way language, necessary for communication, imposes artificial divides between continuous processes.

She says, “I am thinking about the changes that a person goes through from birth to death, the difficulty of glimpsing the baby when observing an octogenarian. There is no container that separates one part of our lives from another, yet the continual flow from one moment to the next yields profound change, especially when you take a panoramic view on life.”

“In order to make sense of our lives, we continually break the continuum down into concepts of time (days, weeks, months, years, seasons) and values (good, bad, right, wrong, introverted, extroverted) that delude us into thinking that we really understand how things are. Here is the paradox: language gives us the ability to name (separate, identify) things and communicate with others through these labels, but through the process of differentiation we can also cause the breakdown of communication. So if I call myself a fiber artist, and you do too—we can embrace in camaraderie. Now I say I am a weaver and you say you are a quilter. Do we find the shared interests or do we go into two different rooms looking for peers?” continues Ziek.

“The process of weaving, taking hundreds of individual threads, and combining them into a cohesive plane, is the physical manifestation, as well as the perfect metaphor, for how we build our lives from multiple identities and interests. Weaving doesn’t always yield narratives, but in my work, the resulting collage of images and words are attempts to define what it means to be a weaver in our times. With continuum, I hope the finished series will add up to more than the parts, but I also want each weaving to be able to exist wholly on its own. If the concept of “weaving” can be a metaphor for the individual as well as for community, can my physical weavings achieve the same allusions?”

Walker makes hand built pots by pinching up each layer of rolled coil to build form. Haptikos refers to the sense of touch and tactile feedback, something she experiences in the slow, rhythmic process of pinching, that allows her time to envision a piece while working.

Walker says, “I enjoy the directness of touch with pinching, and the quality of light on the dimpled surface. My first studio pursuit was in painting, and I approach the surface of a pot as a painter, brushing on multiple layers of colored slips and glazes. When looking at a finished piece, I like to see back through the layers to the beginning of the process. I aim for the speed, the pulse, and the tempo of making to be revealed in the pot. Experiencing the clay as a living material keeps each piece fresh for me”.

“The materials I am most drawn to are clay, food, and soil and plants. All are malleable, responsive to direct touch, and impacted by weather and the seasons, and all are of the earth. The physicality of earthenware clay- the image of it eroding and tumbling, washing and settling with organic matter, appeals to my poetic nature. Earthenware is the common clay; its ubiquitous nature means that it is nearly always nearby or underfoot. Earthenware clay remains open; it can still breathe when fired, and it lends itself to an extraordinary palette of glaze color”, she continues.

“In my studio I aim for a balance of grace, simplicity and playfulness. Beauty and truthfulness are part of my equation. My hope is that each pot reflects the exuberance of making and brings light and joy to the person appreciating it.”
The work will be on view in the Chandler Gallery in Randolph, Vermont, from January 8 through February 20, 2011. Gallery hours are Thursdays, 4-6 pm, Saturdays and Sundays, 1-3 pm or by appointment by calling 802-431-0204.

An opening reception will be held Saturday, January 8, 1-3 pm and an exhibition walk-through with the artists takes place on Sunday, January 16, 1-3 pm. Individual talks about their works will be presented by Ziek on Sunday, January 30 from 1-3 pm and by Walker on Sunday, February 13 from 1-3 pm. In case of bad weather, please contact the Chandler Gallery at 802-431-0204 for snow dates. All events are free and open to the public. Chandler is wheelchair accessible.

Images: Night Sky by Bhakti Ziek, Palette Curry by Holly Walker

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

PRESS RELEASE: The Hale Street Gang at the Vermont Statehouse in Montpelier

The Hale Street Gang: Portraits in Writing moves to the Vermont State House in January after a three-month showing at the Vermont Folklife Center in Middlebury. Portraits in Writing features the work of Braintree photographer Jack Rowell and twelve members of the Greater Randolph Senior Center who have been writing down their life stories with the help of project leader Sara Tucker. An opening reception will be held at the State House Cafeteria on Tuesday, January 11, at 3 p.m.

Rowell’s larger-than-life black-and-white portraits of the memoirists are the focal point the exhibit, which incorporates audio of the writers reading from their works-in-progress. The project began when Rowell attended a public reading at the Greater Randolph Senior Center in the fall of 2009. Impressed with the energy and experiences of the writers, who are all in their eighties and nineties, he set up a four-day photo shoot and approached Gregory Sharrow of the Vermont Folklife Center, who recorded the writers’ voices. The multimedia exhibit debuted last fall at the Vermont Folklife Center in Middlebury and will continue touring the state. “We’re hoping this exhibit will inspire others to start similar projects,” says Tucker. “These stories have value not only to the writers and their families, but to the community at large. And a supportive group is the best way I know of to encourage the writing down of real-life experiences.

“People respond to what these writers are doing. How many of us wish our parents or grandparents had recorded their memoirs before it was too late? My hope for this tour is that it gets people writing all over the state, giving birth to a thousand stories.”

Support for the exhibit has come from a multitude of donors, many with ties to the Randolph area. An initial grant from the Lamson Howell Foundation was followed by an online fund-raising campaign that enabled friends and family members around the country to make contributions of $10 or more via The Corner Frame Shop in Randolph donated its services, and a grant from the Vermont Community Foundation enabled the publishing of an anthology, The Hale Street Gang: In Cahoots, as well as a series of free workshops and readings. The next of these will take place at the Chandler Gallery in Randolph on three different weekends in March.

The twelve five-minute memoirs recorded for the exhibit reflect the experiences of an eclectic group. Margaret Egerton, who finished writing down her life story shortly before she died at the age of 99, remembered the fear she felt as a child in wartime England; Loraine Chase’s reading recalls how her hardworking parents weathered the Depression; Charles Cooley wrote about the lonely summer he spent as the hired boy on a farm in East Warren after the owner broke his leg.

Hours: Mon–Fri, 8 am to 4 pm. Visitors to the State House will need a cell phone to listen to the audio portion of the exhibit. Copies of The Hale Street Gang: In Cahoots are available via the group’s website, The Hale Street Gang & Me or from Bud & Bella’s Bookshop in Randolph.

For more information, contact Sara Tucker at 802 236 9609 or

Sunday, January 2, 2011

CHANGES: Happy New Year, Happy Birthday

We wish you a Happy 2011, and want to thank you for being a part of our visual arts community.

Vermont Art Zine published its first piece in January of 2009, so we'll be two years old at the end of this month!

Remember to tune in regularly to Vermont Art Zine, and let others know about us. It's also critical to make sure you send us news of exhibits, openings, and other information about the visual arts in the state of Vermont. We publish what comes to us, so keep those cards and letters coming!

Vermont Art Zine is a completely volunteer enterprise. Our editors and writers contribute their time and services to keep this online publication going. Thank you everybody!

Janet Van Fleet and Marc Awodey, Publishers