What’s Showing in Montpelier Art Galleries

Parting of the Ways by J. Van Fleet. Mixed media on board.Photo Courtesy of the Vermont Supreme Court Gallery.

The Garage Cultural Center

UNBound! 4 Women Sculptors Let Loose

The Garage Cultural Center presents its first art exhibition in this newly renovated historical building located in downtown Montpelier. The show titled, UNBound! 4 Women Sculptors Let Loose! is a bold new direction of innovative work by Vermont-based artists Hasso Ewing, Sande French-Stockwell, Amber Geneva, and SXC. UNbound! promises sculpture, installation art, and live art. The show marks the end of a year-long intensive critical arts study with Art Matters, a graduate level professional development study program for artists. There is more from Unbound! at The Garage. Every weekend in May, there will be presentations and workshops open to the public. May 3–31.

The Vermont Supreme Court Gallery

Vanishment

This exhibition features new work by Vermont artist Janet Van Fleet. The gallery’s front space contains work built on eight of Van Fleet’s oil-on-board paintings from 1998 that have now been sealed with shellac then collaged over with figures of people and animals made with wine foils. The backspace features a 31-foot installation called “Digesting the Planet,” built on an 18-inch high grid of rusted steel. “Intestines” is made with red and brown buttons threaded on wire, interspersed with boxes in which those buttons were originally packed, stored in a basement, and immersed in a flood that left a muddy “shadow” imprint. Small groupings of plastic animals shelter inside these boxes. The medium here is ironic—the  animals are made of what threatens them. April 2–June 28.

The Front Gallery

Show 32

The capital city’s only collective artist-run gallery, The Front, celebrates its fourth birthday with the opening of Show 32. The exhibition will feature recent work of the gallery’s membership of Vermont-based contemporary artists. Media varies widely, from painting and mixed-media to ceramics to performance. Many participating artists work in multiple media. Artists contributing to the exhibition include Cheryl Betz, Ray Brown, Alice Dodge, Glen Coburn Hutcheson, Amy Königbauer, Mark Lorah, Hannah Morris, and Michelle Saffran, among many others. A special reception for Show 32 will take place during ArtsFest, Thursday, June 6,  4 to 8 pm. May 3–June 16.

North Branch Nature Center

Endangered Medicinal Plants

Jesse LoVasco, an herbalist, artist, and poet, received an Ecological Art Fellowship at United Plant Savers in 2018. This Ohio sanctuary was founded in 1994 by local beloved mother of herbalists and author, Rosemary Gladstar, to protect medicinal plants that were diminishing rapidly and ensure abundant medicine for generations to come. LoVasco had the opportunity to observe and sketch the plants of this 360-acre medicinal sanctuary, which have become endangered because of overharvesting, warming climate, and habitat loss. Working at a tree-log table in a yurt the edge of the forest, he magnified the plants to accentuate, or even exaggerate, their color, shape, size, and significance. His goal was to showcase these medicinal species in a way that would make them recognizable to those who walk any forest trail. April 24–June 30.

T.W. Wood Gallery

Awakenings

This exhibition features work by Kate Longmaid and Tom Merwin. Adopting a contemporary approach to portraiture and still life, Longmaid explores what is revealed in the intimate moments of seeing. Working in the alla prima tradition, she paints directly from life. With still life, Longmaid is drawn to subject matter that is ephemeral, reflecting on the transient nature and beauty of life. Initially influenced by the Hudson River School and abstract expressionists, Merwin expresses a layering of symbol and spirituality in his painting process, using nature as a doorway to the expression of existential concerns. Traveling the trails through the Kittatinny, Catskill, and Green Mountains have been a continued influence Merwin, be it sketching waterfalls with sumi ink and rice paper or recreating the strata of a mountain using layering of media. April 30–June 28.

The above texts were supplied by the related galleries and/or curators.

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