Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Press Release: Zoë Barracano in Montpelier

Hanna Satterlee

WHO: Zoë Barracano, photographer & Contemporary Dance and Fitness Studio
WHAT: Photographs NYC Rainy Day and Dance Performance
WHERE: Contemporary Dance and Fitness Studio, 18 Langdon Street, Montpelier
WHEN: November Through end of December
WHY: Dance meets photographs in motion

Interim artistic director, Hanna Satterlee brings a cosmopolitan new flavor to the Contemporary Dance and Fitness Studio by inviting artists to show their work on the walls of the studio foyer. This year the studio has hosted works by Burlington based photographer Zoë Barracano. Currently on display is Barracano’s “NYC Rainy Day,” which can be seen now through the end of December.

In “NYC Rainy Day,” another side of New York is revealed through the blur of motion in the rain as the photographer travels Broadway from Times Square to Houston Street. The photos are painterly, vibrant and full of color, drawing a fresh perspective on Manhattan.

The current exhibition is a perfect match, blending the blurred motion from the photographs with the clear movement of live dance.

Contemporary Dance and Fitness Studio is located on 18 Langdon Street in the heart of downtown Montpelier. A great time to see the new artwork, and what is going on in the Vermont Dance scene, would be at the next DANCE SHOW! On December 11th at 7pm, in the big studio (3rd floor, 18 Langdon Street).

Zoë Barracano has had previous shows in New York and Los Angeles and has published photographs in newspapers including the Los Angeles Times and the New York Sun. To see her photographs visit zoephoto.com. The next display at the Contemporary Dance and Fitness Studio will be Barracano's "CUBA" to be presented at the beginning of January.

For more information regarding this performance or the studio, visit
Or please contact Hanna Satterlee at

Saturday, November 27, 2010

PRESS RELEASE: SEABA-curated Exhibits at Four Venues in Burlington

Speeder & Earls on Pine Street
Why Did You Just Take a Photo of That? by Sareet Rosenstein.
A personal perspective of what gets interpreted through the lens of her camera as she goes about her life on a day to day basis. Showing through December. Info, 859-9222

Pine Street Deli
Collages by Kei Egan
Egan's collages (both traditional and magnetic) most often utilize the themes of Spirituality, Childhood, Aviation, Tranquility, and Time. Showing from Dec.1 through Feb. 28. Opening Reception at Pine Street Deli Friday, December 3. Info, 859-9222

The Third Installment of Make Art, Repeat, which has been shown in two previous annual exhibits at the S.P.A.C.E. Gallery . A group show including Adam DeMasi, Clark Derbes, Alecia Geno, Greg Mamczak, Christy Mitchell, Ashley Roark and Carleen Zimbalatti. This exhibition has been organized by Christy Mitchell, Director/Owner of The S.P.A.C.E. & The Backspace. It continues to develop and present artworks that demonstrate patterning and other forms of repetition. Showing from Dec.1 through Feb. 28.Opening Reception at VCAM Thursday, December 9 from 5-8pm.

SEABA Gallery @ 404 Pine Street
SEABA is pleased to present its first annual Finissage: A resrospective of artists who have been featured in SEABA Gallery in the past year. This exhibition will feature selected works by David Kearns, Eric Eikmann, Gregory Girdano, Kathleen McGuffin, Sidney Ely, S.R. Wild, and W. Scott Fewell. Showing from Dec. 1 through Jan. 31.Opening Reception Friday, December 3 6-8pm. Info 404 Pine St., 859-9222

Images from the exhibit at the SEABA Gallery: Top: And My Dog, by David Kearns. Bottom: Old Betsy, by Eric Eickmann

Adding More Shoes

Due to technical problems we were unable to print Jamis Lott's photographs of Gwen Murphy's shoes in his November 19 review of her work at Gallery in the Woods. But here's one of them, and now you can go back and read what Lott said about the work in his review.

Friday, November 26, 2010

PRESS RELEASE: Clark Derbes at Shelburne Art Center in Shelburne

Clark Derbes: quilt-weave
Reception: Nov. 26th 5pm-7pm
Exhibit Dates: Nov. 25th -Jan 31st

Clark Derbes, a Louisiana native, has been living in Vermont since 2002, when he traveled here to work at Camp Keewaydin, in Salisbury. He is a prolific artist and has created dozens of public art pieces in Burlington. He has exhibited extensively on a local and national level. Clark has been developing a personal language of abstract painting and sculpture, over the past 10 years. His wife is the renowned textile artist, Wylie Sofia Garcia, so it is no wonder where this latest series of quilt-inspired paintings arrived from.

Clark’s approach for these quilt-weave paintings is decidedly un-conceptual. Beauty, color, and composition is the muse. Countless textile artisans, architects, artists have drawn divine inspiration from “the square”. This fact, rather than dissuade, inspires Derbes to use a time tested format to create painting that stand out for their stunning simplicity and vibrant color.

Clark Derbes is represented by: Schoolhouse Gallery in Provincetown, Massachusetts and Ann Connelly Fine Art in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

PRESS RELEASE: Ann Young at Claire’s in Hardwick

You are invited to attend an opening for an exhibit of recent paintings by Ann Young at:

Claire's restaurant
Hardwick Vermont

Monday, November 29
at 4PM-6PM

The show runs through January 10.

Ann Young has lived and worked in Northeastern Vermont for most of her life. She has worked in ceramics, wood carving and painting. Her paintings from the last several years reflect her interest in landscape, people and animals.

Image: Collateral Damage, oil on canvas, 42 x 34", 2010

PRESS RELEASE: Photographers’ Showcase at Photostop Gallery in White River Junction

PHOTOSTOP will be exhibiting a Photographers’ Showcase in the gallery from December 3-22, 2010. An opening reception will be held on December 3rd (a White River Junction First Friday) from 5-8 pm with many of the participating photographers in attendance. Special festive food and drink will be available and the event is free and open to the public.

Exhibiting photographers are Mark Council, Cynthia Crawford, Chris Esten, Medora Hebert, Carla Kimball, Rosamond Orford, David Putnam, Rob Strong, Ryan Vahey, and David Westby.

The photographers are all locally based and their work represents a wide variety of interests: landscape, small town America, nature, street and railroad graffiti, international travel, botanical specimens and more. Photographic prints, books, cards, and calendars designed and made by the photographers will be on display.

PHOTOSTOP Gallery is located in Suite 150 of the Tip Top Media Arts Building, 85 North Main Street, White River Jct., VT 05001. Hours during December will be Wednesdays through Saturdays 10-6, Fridays 10-8. Other hours are available by appointment. The gallery will be closed during January.

Images: Top, Rosamond Orford; Bottom: Carla Kimball

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

PRESS RELEASE: Holiday Show at BigTown Gallery in Rochester

2010 Holiday Show, 11/27 - 2/13

In this season of the celebration of traditions, one of the events at BigTown Gallery that has become a gratifying tradition for us is our annual Holiday Show. It is an opportunity to bring together in the gallery's renovated and expanded space an eclectic mix of fine art and interesting craft, and to present the interactions of those juxtapositions to a diverse regional and local community. The artist lineup this year is an exciting one, featuring both new and returning artists.

Opening Reception & Artist Discussion
Saturday, November 27th, 5 - 7 PM

Open House & Holiday Shopping Extravaganza
Saturday, December 11th, 2 - 8 PM
With pianist Keith Bush beginning at 4 PM

New Years Warm-up
Friday, December 31st, 4 - 6 PM
Featuring BigTown Gallery's Wish Wall

BigTown Gallery will be closed on Saturday, January 1st, 2011. We will reopen at 11 AM on Sunday January 2nd.

Among the artists new to BigTown:

MARK GOODWIN uses wood sculpture and milk-paint drawing to evoke visual languages that speak wordlessly of cultures extending from antiquity to the present.

ARLENE GROSSMAN's small oil studies of collaged works define and explicate space in cubist miniature.

CRISTINA SALUSTI's Spirit Bowls and ceramics are detailed with 22k gold inlay antique decaling.

NANCY H. TAPLIN's recent oil paintings extend into new forms her colorful exploration of line and the implied texture of form.

ANNIE WITTE's handstichings derived from drawings of domestic vignettes express an accessible universality in both their simplicity and their familiarity.

Huichol artist JOSE BENITEZ SANCHEZ (1938-2009, see image) expresses the religious vision of his heritage in paintings of colorful yarn pressed into beeswax. This exhibition features several of his paintings from the period of 1979-1983, pinnacle to the form, that are recognized as stellar examples of Huichol yarn painting.

Returning to BigTown's Holiday Show are Pat dipaula Klein and Bhakti Ziek.

PAT DIPAULA KLEIN's hand-embroidered birds on linen express a vernacular the artist derives from her imagination and her interest in the Peruvian embroidery of the Nasca Necropolis. Her piece, Four Seasonal Birds, the artist created specifically fror this show.

BHAKTI ZIEK, master Jacquard weaver, creates in her hand-woven textiles a bridge between contemporary context and traditional mediums. She finds in her work the perfect metaphor for how we build our lives from multiple identities and interests.

99 North Main
Rochester, Vermont 05767

PRESS RELEASE: Sarah Mutrux speaks at Art House in Craftsbury

Sarah Mutrux Art Talk
Friday, December 3, 2010
6:30 - 7:30 pm
Art House
1146 North Craftsbury Road
Craftsbury Common, Vermont

Sarah Mutrux began illustrating and writing books for children in 2004. She has self published two books, and made many one-of-a-kind art books. Her favorite medium for illustration is watercolor, but she also works in soft pastel, makes serigraphs, etchings, and paper cutouts.

This talk is happening in conjunction with the illustration exhibit from Radient Hen Publishing. This exhibit will be on display through December.

These talks are very popular. Please help us know how many people to expect by filling out our quick RSVP form.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Press release: John Kenneth Alexander at Chop Shop Hair Design, Burlington

'Vermont as I see it', a new series of oil paintings by John Kenneth Alexander, runs from December 1st through January 15th at Chop Shop Hair Design with a RECEPTION ON FRIDAY DECEMBER 3RD BETWEEN 6PM AND 8PM.

Press Release: Brandon Artist at William Feick Arts Center, Poultney

Green Mountain College welcomes back to the Feick Arts Center artist Joan Curtis for her second solo show, opening November 29th. The public is alerted to new gallery hours (six days a week) and is invited to the Friday December 10th reception, 5 to 7 PM, as well.

At One with Nature’s Wiles: Recent Paintings and Sculptures is comprised of a collection of acrylics and mixed-media constructions, much of it executed in the past nine months. The artist’s inspirational methods are known to be based on intuition and whim. However, as Curtis points out, “The self-indulgent creating of art with no project plan is rewarded when an underlying theme is detected.” In this case, we see paintings and three-dimensional artwork showing human figures at ease or in slumber and meditation while upheavals of Nature take place.

In describing the artwork, 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. To extrapolate and learn from these fanciful visions: We hope that eventually humans connect to Nature’s rhythms and outrages, acknowledge changes taking place owing to our carelessness, effect a truce -- and do what needs to be done.”

Joan Curtis has exhibited throughout New England and in invitationals elsewhere; her artwork is in many private collections. In recent years she has been an active part of the art community in Brandon, VT.
At One with Nature’s Wiles is on view from November 29th through February 11th (closed for winter break December 17th through January 16th). Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday 10 AM to 2 PM; Tuesday and Thursday 12 PM to 6 PM. Reception (open to the public) Friday December 10, 5 to 7 PM. For information: 802-287-8398.
Artist’s Statement
At One with Nature’s Wiles
A collection of waterfall postcards and a few trys at narrative waterfall paintings long ago prompted this current work, which also stems from a recent “boathouse” series.
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.
To extrapolate and learn from these fanciful visions: We hope that eventually humans connect to Nature’s rhythms and outrages, acknowledge changes taking place owing to our carelessness, effect a truce -- and do what needs to be done.

Joan Curtis
November 2010

PRESS RELEASE: River of Light in Waterbury

Waterbury’s first community lantern parade, the River of Light Lantern Procession, will take place on Thursday December 16th 2010 from 5:45pm – 6.45pm, commencing outside Thatcher Brook Primary School on Stowe Street. This inaugural procession has a Brazilian Fiesta theme that corresponds with Thatcher Brook Primary School’s annual cultural awareness week. Burlington’s twenty-person street samba band, Sambatucada will lead the procession, which will include a short musical performance including students in Rusty Parker Park at Park Row & Main Street. Spectators are welcome to line the parade route, which will move down Railroad Street, Main Street, Stowe Street and end at Thatcher Brook.

The lanterns carried in the procession will be made by Thatcher Brook Primary School students. During December, the students will work with Montpelier artists Gowri Savoor and Angelo Arnold along with school art teacher, MK Monley to construct the majority of the 150 willow and tissue-paper lanterns. The procession will also be joined by artists from Central Vermont, who will be creating larger-scale lanterns during a special one-day workshop.

The project, which is sponsored in part by the Vermont Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, is intended to build cultural awareness and draw the community together in celebration. Lanterns are a symbol of returning light, creativity and community spirit. All are invited to converge in Waterbury to welcome the winter, along streets filled with music and light.

For more information, contact MK Monley, mmonley@wdsdvt.org

PRESS RELEASE: "Glow" at Art on Main in Bristol

Art on Main announces its November-December 2010 Featured Artist Exhibit, Glow. The exhibit features photography by Norwich artist Jon Olsen and blown glass by Casey McMains of Jericho. The community is invited to meet the artists at a celebratory reception on Friday December 10 from 5-7pm in the Gallery at 25 Main Street, Bristol. Both artists will be on hand and refreshments will be served. The Gallery will also be participating in the downtown Chocolate Walk and open until 8pm that evening.

Jon Olsen always been an amateur naturalist and a student of the visual arts. “I enjoy exploring the landscape and its many components,” he says. “I find the variations in light, form, texture and color fascinating, with endless possibilities for study and observation.” He is generally drawn toward the pastoral and simplicity in design resulting in evocative, elegant, often minimalist, photographs of Vermont’s landscapes and flora & fauna. His printing process as well surprises the viewer with a rich, textural element unusual in photography.

Over the years Jon has explored many different forms of photography: black and white, color, different formats, films and printing processes, finally transitioning in the last several years to a process of digital recording, processing and printing. “This current set-up,” he explains, “allows me the greatest creative control over all aspects of my workflow from conception to final print. A desktop processing system replaces the wet darkroom, but the workflow is much the same: determining exposure, contrast, color temperature, dodging and burning, etc.” He prints on a watercolor paper coated to receive the pigment inks of an Epson printer. The combination results in an incredible print quality and a highly stable archival print, more so than could be attained with traditional color print processes.

Casey McMains discovered glass while studying to be a silversmith at the Surrey Institute of Art, and once she did there was no looking back. “This was a true eureka moment,” she declares. “It started when I was attending college in England when my friend Russ from the glass program handed me a blowpipe, had me gather glass out of the furnace, and blow my first bubble. After that I was obsessed.” She returned to Vermont and sought out a hot shop where she could intern—learning the fundamental techniques of glassblowing, but also the business of being a successful glass artist—while attending college classes in Burlington.

Over her career, Casey has been heavily influenced by elements from a wide range of ancient cultures and her interests in mythology, symbolism, comparative religion, and history. She is drawn to the many parables about the interconnectedness of everything and the influence of powers we cannot even see. The medieval liturgical architect Abbot Suger introduced Europe to colored glass in a new way with the stained glass windows in the Abbey of St. Denise in France. “To him, light passing through colored glass represented transformation,” Casey explains. “As a glassblower I have the opportunity to sculpt this transformative medium, to sculpt in light.”

“Over the past few years,” Casey goes on, “the focus in my art has grown from working with color and transparency to incorporating texture as another tool in exploring transformation and light. To that end I am now starting to incorporate knit fiber elements in with the hand blown glass. I design a unique pattern to respond to the glass piece ensuring the dynamic element enhances the whole piece.”

In addition to her new work and other functional pieces, Casey will be exhibiting traditional blown glass globe holiday ornaments in a variety of sparkling colors in honor of the season.

The exhibit will be on view in the Gallery through Friday December 31st. Art on Main is open Monday thru Saturday 10am-6pm and Sunday 11am-3pm. In December, the Gallery is also open until 8pm on Friday evenings before Christmas and also on Thursday December 23.

For more information, visit www.artonmain.net, find us on Facebook (Art on Main VT), or contact Carolyn Ashby, Gallery Manager at (802) 453-4032 or info@artonmain.net.

ROADTRIP: Sculpturedog Goes West

Meryl Lebowitz writes:

Just getting packed up for our cross country trip...Kirby, Vermont to Venice Beach, California, with a 2000 lb. sculpture and a 35 lb, stocky, attitudinal dog. It's sure to be an adventure. If you're interested in following along, stocky Lyle will be blogging (no, he doesn't type, he dictates) about the trip. You can follow the blog at Facebook.com/sculpturedog or Highwaydog.tumblr.com (for those of you NOT on face book).

Monday, November 22, 2010

REVIEW: Peggy Watson at Rhapsody Natural Foods in Montpelier

by Theodore Hoppe

Rhapsody Natural Foods Cafe on Main Street in Montpelier is one of the many businesses in the area that supports local art by providing wall space for artists to exhibit their work. Without this arrangement many local artists would not have a way to display their work. North on County Road is the title of their current exhibit. The paintings are by Peggy Watson, and her work is worth seeking out.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Peggy Watson settled in Calais, Vermont about 10 years ago after spending some time traveling and living overseas. "I've been to many beautiful places, but couldn't wait to get to Vermont. I've painted all my life, but it's only in the past two years I've begun to paint more seriously. Prior to that my kids were little, and before that I was a teacher, and I just dabbled here and there. In recent years I've completed some large murals locally -- one at the Blake Memorial Library in East Corinth, one at L.A.C.E. in Barre, and one on the side of a barn on Stewart Road in Berlin." explained Watson when invited to talk about her work.

This collection of paintings seems to tell a story, one familiar to so many of us who travel the back roads of Vermont. We all see a view of the landscape that we wish we had time to stop and take a picture of, everyday scenes like the Morse Farm, or Curtis Pond. Watson actually captures these images in a more permanent way, in small well executed paintings. Echoing what many of us feel, Watson said, "There's something about the landscape and life here inspires me."

" I love to paint." Watson declared, and it shows. "I paint places that are special to me. I'm attracted to old barns and homes and the history they represent. I often depict "the crooked barn" on County Rd. When I look at it I can imagine my older neighbors walking by it on their way to the schoolhouse 50 or 60 years ago. That barn can tell a lot of stories and again, painting it lets me be part of it.

Many of the paintings are small in size, almost personal. They are quiet, pleasing, thoughtful, unassuming, even humble, as in the painting of a jar of pickled beets, or one of potatoes. Watson: "Right now I paint my daily life happenings: on our little farm, the pond we swim in, the scenery I pass as I take my kids to school. I am distracted and mesmerized by the play of light at different times of the day. It pleases me to no end to capture it, and even if I don't, well, the process lets me be part of it."

"Anyway, that's my story," said Watson. It's a wonderful story, one that we share and understand. It reminds us that we all have a lot to be thankful for.

Peggy Watson's paintings will be on display at Rhapsody Natural Food Cafe until the end of November. You can contact her at: peggywatsonstudio@yahoo.com

Images: Sugaring at Maple Corner, Robinson's Sawmill, Crooked Barn 2

PRESS RELEASE: Annual Winter Group Exhibit at Furchgott Sourdiffe Gallery in Shelburne

Furchgott Sourdiffe Gallery in Shelburne will be showing their annual winter group exhibit Simple Gifts: A Show for All Seasons from December 3- January 29, 2011. The public is invited to attend a reception with the artists on Friday, December 3, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

The featured artist in the exhibit is Kate Hartley, a longtime Vermont resident currently residing in White River, NY. Hartley describes her fascination with her chosen medium of watercolor and her recurring imagery of pears : "For many years, I have returned again and again to creating watercolor paintings of pears, often with them ripening on sunny windowsills. I have used the pears' almost-figurative forms and variety of skin tones to allow me to represent the people and situations in my life through a still life format. My paintings can be enjoyed simply as light gliding over beautiful forms, or can be seen as my comments on human relationships. Painting in still life offers me a chance to be very close to my subject and thus to see the complexities of color, light and shadows - voluptuous objects illuminated by the slanting and colorful light of early morning or late afternoon - which always inspires me to capture a scene in watercolor. "

The other artists in the exhibit are: Mary Alcantara, Elizabeth Allen, Anne Austin, Annelein Beukenkamp, Matt Brown, Tom Dunne, Jeri Lynn Eisenberg, Steven P. Goodman, Holly Hauser, Kathleen Kolb, Alice Murdoch, Lynn Rupe, Gail Salzman, David Smith, Adelaide Murphy Tyrol, Laura Von Rosk, Barbara Wagner, Dick Weis, and Nancy Weis.

Furchgott Sourdiffe Gallery is located at 86 Falls Road in Shelburne Village. Gallery hours are Tuesday -Friday 9:30-5:30 and Saturdays 10-5. The gallery is known for its eclectic mix of over 40 emerging and established artists working in various media. For more information call 985-3848, write: mail@fsgallery.com, or visit the website at www.fsgallery.com.

Images: Rainy Day Friends and Circle Dance, watercolors by Kate Hartley

Saturday, November 20, 2010

CHANGES: Karl Prantl, father of International Sculpture Symposium, dies at 87

Austrian sculptor Karl Prantl died at his home on October 8, 2010. He is believed to have organized the first International Sculpture Symposium in 1959. He invited eight sculptors from around the world to work in an old Roman quarry in St. Margarethen in Burgenland, Austria. During the days, the sculptors worked together to create monumental stoneworks. At night they ate together, drank wine and discussed topics of common interest. The Greek definition of symposium: a drinking party with a free exchange of ideas. The sculptors returned to their respective countries inspired to organize more stone symposia.

The Carving Studio and Sculpture Center in West Rutland reports that in 1968, Karl Prantl came to Vermont to participate in the Vermont International Sculpture Symposium organized by UVM professor Paul Aschenbach. This sculpture, located in Springfield, Vermont, near interstate 89, was produced as part of that event.

Friday, November 19, 2010

REVIEW: Gwen Murphy Shoes at Gallery in the Woods in Brattleboro

By Jamis Lott

As you venture downstairs in Brattleboro’s Gallery in The Woods, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the collection of Gwen Murphy’s shoes. It won’t be hard; the shoes will probably see you before you see them. The shoe pairs, each fitted with facial features made of ash clay and acrylic paint, have a presence that will stop you in your tracks.

I have never seen shoes, or thought I would ever see shoes, with such a heightened anthropomorphic glory. While staring at these faces, and while they stare back at you, a mixed sensation of emotions sets in: childhood playfulness, but also disturbing chills once you realize that a pair of shoes with an elongated expression of authority is staring at you.

The features on the shoes can be considered grotesque, with dreary lids on bugged-out eyes, long faces, and pouting lips. But each expression is an indispensable part of the shoes they adorn. The high heels have an arrogant snootiness about them, a pair of big mouth shoes has just that, a set of wooden shoes has a blissful, earthy and primitive expression, and a pair of high-shined black and white bowling shoes has a quiet and confident smirk. The exhibit is anthropomorphism at its best. The presence of character, the application of the mediums, and the childlike conception make this exhibit worth observing. The display offers a chance for a laugh, or a new respect for objects as common, yet as irreplaceable, as shoes.

Here’s what Gwen Murphy has to say in her artist statement:

Fetish- an object believed to have magical powers to protect or aid its owner.

I see a shoe as a kind of fetish, because it has a presence and the power to protect and transport us. Since I was a very young child, I have looked at shoes and found them looking back at me, each pair with its own personality and facial expression. When shoes are lined up near a door or in a closet, they are trusty steeds waiting to serve. Mouths yawning open, they sometimes look sleepy or grouchy. Sometimes they look like they are singing. They are like a better species of beings made entirely of pairs of identical twins. This series of sculptures is my way of bringing forth the presence I see in each pair of shoes.
– Gwen Murphy

Images from Gallery in the Woods website

REVIEW: Marjorie Kramer at Julian Scott Memorial Gallery in Johnson

By Davis Koier

This article first appeared in Johnson State College’s Basement Medicine, Arts & Entertainment section, on November 11, 2010. We are grateful to them for allowing us to reprint it. – Ed.

“The world might not be a pretty place, but it’s beautiful.”

Adjunct Art Professor Marjorie Kramer’s recent show at the Julian Scott Memorial Gallery, [on exhibit from October 18 through November 6, 2010] features a series of Kramer’s recent paintings of subjects from vibrant flowers to more somber toned still lives depicting New York grandeur and small town stark simplicity.

Kramer became interested in art at a young age. “When I was in second grade my school had a PTA meeting at night and I was chosen to paint a mural on the wall of one ring of a circus. It was a little triumph for me, I did well and it was fun and I got to be thought of as the class artist. Then I started drawing horses and dogs, mostly horses.”

Since then, Kramer has developed into an accomplished perceptual artist. A member of the New York feminist movement in the 1960s, Kramer tries to focus more on feel and sensation in her work rather than trying to convey specific ideas.

Kramer’s flower paintings range from the abstract to the more well defined, using pinks, purples, oranges and reds against simple backgrounds to capture the energy of her subjects.
“These flower paintings are my fairly new subject. After many decades I got tired of using so much green paint in painting fields and woods,” Kramer said. “I thought that I could do the flowers almost as an abstraction, I wanted it to be about the whole surface and have rhythm and color, it was a great excuse to have color.”

Kramer’s paintings of New York City use earthier tones, making looming downtown buildings take on a comfortable, familiar aspect.Kramer has spent a large amount of time in New York. She got her BFA at Cooper Union before helping to establish the New York Studio School, which initially didn’t offer degrees but instead chose to focus as intensely on art as possible.

“I quit Cooper Union and went off with [my favorite painting teacher] and 20 other students from other arts schools…” Kramer said. “It was very exciting, that was the 60’s and was very democratic, we made lunch for everybody, got the library together; a lot of the students were models. We had drawing, painting and sculpture, no required courses though most people were politically active then. People were questioning what was being taught in colleges, if was it really relevant.”

After leaving the school, which has since expanded to offer Master’s degrees , Kramer went on to spend around 15 years in New York painting and working in galleries. “For a while I was an artist’s model, and then I got a job managing an art gallery in SoHo,” Kramer said. “I got to know many of the artists in New York and became part of that community. That was my training, I then got angry and rejected a lot of the stuff that my teachers had taught me, and starting coming to Vermont in the summers, just figuring out what I really wanted to do with my art without having a teacher looking over my shoulder. I did all of that until I was about 30.”

After rising rent prices made New York life difficult, Kramer and her husband moved to Vermont, where Kramer began an art program at the Lowell school where her daughter attended kindergarten. Afterward, she expanded to other elementary schools before deciding she wanted to begin college teaching. She spent time working at the Community College of Vermont before coming to teach at Johnson State College.

Many of Kramer’s paintings have a sort of simplicity to them that can distract the viewer from the amount of time and energy she’s put into them.“It’s not that you’re always inspired and want to express it,” Kramer said. “You see something you think you could work, and want to work. You start to work on it and start thinking ‘this is very beautiful and simple,’ and find that the actual process of working is one of the best sources of inspiration.”

Kramer’s show also included a few nods to her feminist background, most notably a self portrait holding a picture of Hilary Clinton and a small, somber-toned painting of two women in close conversation. While exploring different ways to convey emotion in her work, Kramer also tries to impart some of the things she’s learned to students.

“I’m especially interested in perception and the process of painting,” she said. “I’m more interested in teaching the means than the ends. The wonder of sensations and light, it’s not just expression. It’s just amazing that a pencil with paper or a stick with animal hair at the end of it and oil and ground up soil, pigment, can express the human spirit, and has now for thousands of years. It might be a bit of a dull world without art”


Still Life After Seeing A Derain in Paris, 20" x 22", oil on linen, 2010
Lower Manhattan from Governors Island with S.I. Ferry, 32" x 25", oil on linen, 2007
Midsummer Flowers in Abbreviated Vase, 18" x 24", oil on linen, 2010

PRESS RELEASE: Final days of Paul Hollister Exhibit at Photostop in White River Junction

PHOTOSTOP will be exhibiting
Paul Hollister 1918-2004; Painter and Photographer
in the Gallery through November 30th.

Special holiday gallery hours will be Tuesday and Wednesday, 11/23 and 11/24 from noon-5, Friday 11/26 from 12-6, and Saturday 11/27 from 3-6. The following week the gallery will be open Monday and Tuesday from 12-6 for the final days of the show. Other hours are available by appointment.

Paul Hollister was a writer, lecturer, painter and photographer who resided in Hanover, NH during his later years. He is survived by his wife, Irene Hollister. During his lifetime, Paul’s paintings were shown at the Whitney Museum, the Galerie Apollinaire in London, the Montana Museum and in numerous exhibitions in other galleries. His work is in the collection of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Montana Museum, and many private and corporate collections.

In addition to his many professional accomplishments and other interests, Paul was very involved in photography and always had a camera with him. Even at an early age, Paul photographed the world around him and many of his other family members were amateur photographers as well. The focus of this exhibition at PHOTOSTOP will be to examine ways in which the mediums of photography and painting influenced each other in Hollister’s work. PHOTOSTOP Director Lia Rothstein and Irene Hollister have been working together for over a year researching Paul Hollister’s paintings, pastels. drawings, and photographs to curate this exhibition. This show will be the first time that his photographs and paintings have been exhibited together.

PHOTOSTOP Gallery is located in Suite 150 of the Tip Top Media Arts Building, 85 North Main Street, White River Jct., VT 05001. For information about hours during Thanksgiving week, please call the gallery at 802.698.0320. PHOTOSTOP’s website is www.photostopvt.com.

PRESS RELEASE: Inty and Yauri Muenala at Flynndog in Burlington

Contemporary paintings by brothers Inty and Yauri Muenala reflecting the traditional culture of the Kichwa of the Ecuadorian Andes.

November 5, 2010 - February, 2011

Two brothers, Inty Muenala and Yauri Muenala, are contemporary indigenous artists devoted to preserving and sharing the cosmology of the Andean Kichwa culture – a culture filled with life and millenarian tradition – through art and its different manifestations.

The earthy textures, Andean symbols, millenarian (hi)stories and the experience of a globalized world combine in a single proposal where identity matters most: the identity of that which is different; the identity of that which is natural; the identity of a nation; the Kichwa nation; the identity of a symbol; self-identity; how to be human, with a present history and a transgressive future.

A closing reception with dance performance by Lisbet Conejo of Ecuador will be scheduled.

VIDEO: Sign of the Times, Time of the Signs, Part 1

This South End Arts District Project
Sign of the Times, Time of the Signs
for the 2010 South End Art Hop in Burlington
was documented by
Tina Escaja.

VIDEO: Sign of the Times, Time of the Signs, Part 2

This South End Arts District Project
Sign of the Times, Time of the Signs
for the 2010 South End Art Hop in Burlington
was documented by
Tina Escaja.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Review: Lucky 13 Art Show at North Bennington

by Bret Chenkin

North Bennington has hosted an Art Park show for 13 years. That is quite a feat considering the scope and scale of the program as envisioned by the initial organizers. Since its humble beginnings as a venue for local sculptors, the exhibit has burgeoned and blossomed and mutated off and on into a democratic profusion of art. This year, for Lucky 13, curator and sculptor, Fred X. Brownstein teamed with Jillian Casey, of the Forum Gallery in NYC, to produce a cornucopia of creativity that graced the greens around the town’s post office, as well as inside the former train station. The fact they used the train station—a wonderful example of Victorian architecture—for exhibiting the paintings, exemplifies the show’s philosophy that the community’s assets be highlighted.

The show itself was open to artists from the local area as well as surrounding towns—and the talent ranged from established artists, to up and coming ‘folk’ artists, as well as the occasional dabbler. Brownstein wanted a full force gale of representation—and with over 50 artists he really blew through town, though some judgment questions emerge—as to whether such shows should be edited, or does one allow for the inclusionary process to stand, possibly jeopardizing the program’s aesthetic integrity? However, either way, the showing that just ended was impressive in scale and continued to demonstrate North Bennington’s tradition as a community that supports the arts.

Ironically, although the show began as primarily a sculpture exhibit, this year it appeared the paintings had a stronger presence. Housed in the station’s spacious rooms, not a wall remained unadorned. The large windows provided great light and the white walls were large enough to hold over thirty works. Bennington College faculty members provided a stellar representation—with Ann Pibal, Mary Lum, and Andrew Spence flanking walls on the first floor. Longtime Bennington resident and abstract artist Pat Adams (Zabriskie Gallery) also held sway in this space: Lum’s Stuart Davis, Pop-Cubist re-imagination—of comic strip, city zone swaths dominated in its red hue intensity—which was a nice balance to the more pensive, linear, geometric pieces of Spence and Pibal. The subdued palette of Adams’ large ovoid on sandy ground weighted one side of the room. Other artists on this first floor included the surreal sculptures of Amy Podmore of Williams College and a crafted sphere of chrome nails by Steve Anisman (who moonlights as a cardiologist). On the second floor, more paintings were hung —including a lovely exercise in 19th century American landscape light—by Colin Brant; a work of whimsy by Anima Katz; some large paintings and prints also offered interesting viewing. In addition, John Umphlett, who never disappoints, had a fascinating aural sculpture—of styrofoam cups turning on long stems of what looked like glass crack pipes—infinitely turning on a gear—while plinking out of tune like some busted music box.

I could not help but think of a riff on Russolo’s intonarumori. The paintings looked quite at home in the station, and Brownstein hopes the town will continue to support art exhibits there.

Outside sculptures abounded—all conceivable places to erect something werer covered. Along the train track, Matthew Perry had a cast block concrete man waiting for a train--- and metal Dandelions popped around the station’s lawn. On the green by the post office were works by Gary Humphries and Bill Botzow that had a monumental feel—with Willard Boepple adding what looked like a wooden playground of plywood and beams. Around the lawn of Welling, a Victorian era dorm, and in a glade nearby, there were even more works—in fact, nestled in and out of the bushes, here and there, a piece was situated. Some works had quality—some did not (the chicken wire soufflé had none of the wonderful ingenuity of Philadelphia Wireman who may have served as inspiration, or more probably Duchamp had some perverted hand in it.) The Andy Goldsworthy designed near the woods desired a more reverential intent—while a Devries nude was a flaming insult to Kenneth
Clark’s musings on the subject: I personally would have selected some other kitschy work from this artist’s oeuvre, if forced to. However, there were many excellent and conscientious and honest pieces to enjoy: Amy Anselmo was a communal affair—using her cut stainless steel hearts as a vehicle for changing how the viewer feels (by rearranging magnetic words) and Jessica Schimpf had a quiet meditation on decay in nature—her chair rusting out in the ivy. There were also old standby artists: Zac Ward had a large strange piece of a painted metal cave-womb, and Jon Isherwood and Fred Brownstein were represented with monumental pieces in stone. Also contributing to the variety of works were some performance and political pieces done at the exhibits’ opening in June including an interactive work by Daniel Richmond who brought the travails of banana plantation workers close to home.

Overall, the show was a welcome visual addition to the Bennington area summer arts scene.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

PRESS RELEASE: Philip Koch at Edgewater Gallery in Middlebury

Exhibition Dec. 1 - 31, 2010
Opening reception Saturday, Dec. 4, 5-7 p.m.

Maryland-based painter Philip Koch has a four decade history painting the New England landscape. "There are a lot of reasons for the central place New England plays in my work. First, it holds the most dramatic topography in the East. Also, for a painter like myself who is actively re-examining the tradition of American romantic landscape art, New England was where the great landscape painters of the 19th and early 20th century got their inspiration. I want to come with my contemporary eyes and take a second look at what they were so excited about."

Koch himself was inspired by the work of Edward Hopper to turn as a young artist from abstraction to realism. "Hopper's long shadows and sharp lights spoke to me when I was 19 and nudged me onto a path I've followed since." Just this fall, Koch concluded his thirteenth residency in Hopper's Cape Cod painting studio in S. Truro, MA.

"One of the key lessons I learned from Edward Hopper was the necessity of finding one's unique way in painting. Hopper struggled for years to outgrow his charismatic teacher Robert Henri. And in time, he worked his way forward to making an art that both honors Henri's ideas but stands apart from him as well." Koch's earlier work showed Hopper's influence openly, with a preference for painting the architectural styles favored by Hopper. In the last 15 years Koch adopted pastel chalks as an integral part of his studio practice. They propelled him into a far more intense color palette in his oil paintings.

Both sides of Koch's family worked for Eastman Kodak Company (his maternal grandfather, John Capstaff was the inventor of the original Kodachrome color film process). In spite of this, or perhaps because of it, Koch chose not to employ photography in making his paintings. He relies instead on direct observation, memory, and invention.

Currently an eight museum touring exhibition of Koch's New England work is traveling the country. His work is in the Permanent Collections of ten American art museums. He is a Professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.

Edgewater Gallery at Middlebury Falls
One Mill Street
Middlebury, VT 05753
802 458 0098

Images: The Red Whisper, oil on canvas, 30 x 40", Deep Forest Pool, oil on panel, 16 x 20"

REVIEW: Ronda Stoll at Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin

By Theodore Hoppe

The Central Vermont Medical Center has been making some renovations and improvements to their facilities in 2010, and in the process they have added a gallery space. The CVMC Art Gallery stretches across several connected spaces located in the main lobby adjacent to the Visitor's Information Desk. The expectation is to showcase the work of about 6 different artists a year. The current exhibition, Chinese Brush Painting In Four Seasons by Ronda Stoll, is the fourth in a series of exhibits in the gallery space at Central Vermont Medical Center. The others featured the drawing of Dr. Mark Heitzman, the late Charles A. Woodard, and paintings by Adelaide Murphy Tyrol.

Chinese Brush Painting has a rich tradition, dating back hundreds of years. It is a serious study that requires dedication and self-discpline. It is often described as one of the world’s most demanding art forms. Ronda Stoll has studied landscape painting with Frederica Marshall, Jo Steinhurst, and Henry Wo. Her work has been exhibited in many galleries in Vermont and Massachusetts, including the Wood Gallery in Montpelier and the Helen Day Art Center in Stowe. Her painting Snowy Dusk appeared on the cover of the Winter 2010 edition of Sumi-e, the quarterly of the Sumi-e Society of America, whose purpose is to foster and encourage the appreciation of East Asian Brush Painting. “I began painting bamboo 13 years ago as part of my meditation practice,” explains Stoll. “From painting bamboo I began painting the other Four Gentlemen: Orchid, Chrysanthemum, and Plum Blossom." Different flowers can symbolize a number of things, such as good fortune, good luck, wisdom, summer, old age, renewal, purity and sweetness. "Experimenting with colors and textures of the various rice papers have lent more expressionism to my paintings and reflect the beauty of nature that surrounds me."

Perhaps the single most impressive part of Chinese Brush Painting is that each brush stroke is a defining move that produces a portion of the painting. From first to last stroke, the artist must 'get it right'. There is no correcting or improving upon, to adjust the painting as in other styles. The artist never works from a sketch, painting is done from a mental image of a subject. "With each exhale the bamboo comes to life on the paper and what emerges is accepted with no retouching." Stoll explains. The rendering of the subject is meant to be a representation, a symbolic expression that flows forth from the mind and heart, revealing the inner spirit of the subject or the feelings of the artist. "The simplicity of black ink on white paper and the emergent form is a source of peace and joy for me,” she adds. "Like bamboo, painting the mountains and mist captures the ‘emptiness’ that is at the ground of fullness. In Buddhist understanding, Emptiness is the Absolute ‘field’ on which all manifested things are emergent. Landscape painting expresses this dynamic movement of empty and full.”

“The exhibits provide an opportunity to connect local artists with the hospital and better humanize the hospital atmosphere,” stated CVMC President and CEO Judy Tarr. “The serene and peaceful sense a person experiences when viewing Ronda’s work is particularly appropriate for the medical center lobby."

Ronda Stoll's painting will be on display at the Central Vermont Medical Center Art Gallery until the end of November. For information about purchasing a painting you can contact Ronda Stoll at 802-888-2998 or rastoll34@aol.com

Images: Snowy Bamboo, Peony