Thursday, March 29, 2012

PRESS RELEASE: Ed Epstein at Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin

Ed Epstien’s exhibit, Stories, is aptly named. His art really does tell stories, stories of people, places and things.

Ed Epstein says, “it's great to see the work on the walls. This is an interesting space. In hanging the show I realize you have lots of people coming through most of the day - people who may not expect to see art as part of their visit. I like having people see the work.”

There are many facets to Ed’s life. “I have played music most of my life – as a young pre-teen until now: country, then folk, then classical (cello), and eventually Calypso steel band.”

After moving to Vermont, he spent 10 years building “Dynamite” wood-burning stoves and furnaces of his own design. Then, Ed started building boats in 1985, learned to sail, and in 1998 launched a 36 foot schooner he’d spent 5 years building in his shop. He cruised her single-handed in the Caribbean until she was lost in a collision with a submerged container off the coast of Grenada in 2006.

“The only positive effect of losing my boat is that I found my way back to painting again after a hiatus of more than 40 years,” said Ed. “People ask me if I enjoy painting again. My answer is ‘no, it’s a hard struggle, I’m agonizing my way through it.’ "

"Most are surprised when I say that almost every painting is a disappointment. Only artists understand what I’m saying: the struggle toward perfection, by definition, is unreachable. Mesmerized by the magnificent and the trivial, painters attempt to capture the essence and spirit of things, an endlessly frustrating chore, though occasionally achieving something remarkable and real. I take the frustrations for granted and push on. I find the painting process exciting, energizing, mysterious, and downright terrifying. It is exhausting, but exhilarating.”

For decades I told myself I’d return to it “when I’m old.” Well, I must be old. Painting seems to fit me like an old glove. Now I can’t stop. These paintings tell some of the stories of my life.”

Ed Epstein grew up in New York City and came to Vermont in 1969. He lived in Middlesex and now lives in Montpelier. He is a self-taught artist. For more information on his art, go to The exhibit at CVMC is on display through April 30, 2012.

Images: Self Portrait, drawing of Leonard Biesebecke.