Monday, July 8, 2013

MORRISVILLE: Gabriel Tempesta "The Bumblebee Series" at River Arts

Opening Reception:
Thursday, July 11, 5-7 p.m.
River Arts Center
Morrisville, VT

Gabriel Tempesta - The Bumblebee Series

July 11-September 2, 2013 
Bee 2 
The Bumblee Series is an exhibit of charcoal "paintings" created by local artist Gabriel Tempesta.  Tempesta began the series this winter with support from a 2012 Creation Grant from the Vermont Arts Council, in an effort to bring awareness to the Vermont bumblebee, whose populations have been declining over the past ten years.  Tempesta has been "painting" with charcoal over the last three years, pursuing an experimental approach combining water with charcoal followed by a subtractive treatment to the surface. 
Artist Statement
The Bumblebee Series is my project which started in the winter of 2013. The inspiration came from an interview with the Vermont Center for Eco-Studies on VPR. The program was about the current state of Vermont’s bumblebee population and the survey they were conducting with the help of volunteers from around the state to help document the number of bumblebees in our region.

This body of work was created to help bring awareness to the plight of Vermont’s bumblebees whose numbers have been declining over the last ten years from a number of environmental reasons.
A 2012 Creation grant from the Vermont Arts Council was awarded to help fund the project. I have been working with the Center for Eco-studies to learn more about the issues surrounding the State’s bumblebee population as well as to gain inspiration for the artwork.

Artistic Process
I have been “painting” with charcoal as my primary medium for the last three years, with these pieces representing a more experimental direction. I love the way charcoal and water react and mix on a hard surface; in this case clayboard or gesso on board, which is how the painting begins.  The charcoal is scratched or lifted off with tools and erasers to get the fine detail, and are sealed with an archival polycrylic coating to protect them in the end.  Much of my creative process involves standing back to observe how the charcoal powder interacts with the water.

Gabriel is from Wolcott, Vermont and studied illustration at Montserrat College of Art. He currently lives in Albany and has a studio in Craftsbury Common. For more of his work, click here.

For more information on the Vermont Bumblebee Survey, click here. 

The Common Space Gallery is located at:
River Arts Center, 
74 Pleasant Street
Morrisville, VT
Gallery hours: Monday-Friday, 10:00a.m.-2:00p.m. 
For off hours, please call River Arts: 802-888-1261

Admission is free. For more information, call or visit their website at