Josh Turk works on the installation of his work for the show.
Art of Place
January 17 through March 8, 2015
Opening on January 17th at the Chandler Center for the Arts, “The Art of Place” is an ambitious new exhibit showcasing work from both well-established and emerging artists from around the northeast. This exhibit will run through March 8, with regular gallery hours Fridays 3-6 pm and Saturdays and Sundays 12-3 pm.
The question placed to these artists “How do your surroundings inform your work” drew responses from 28 photographers, fiber artists, printmakers, installation artists, clay artists, and painters from Vermont, New Hampshire, New York and Massachusetts. Many, such as widely acclaimed painter Andy Newman, describes New England as inspiration: “The pitch of roofs, the shadows cast by porches, the listing of chimneys, the curves and textures of paths and drives, and the seemingly endless variations of clapboard” all features which have endured for centuries, and “all a source of inexhaustible fascination.” Others, such as photographers Janine Woods Thoma, Elliot Burg, Melanie Considine and Annie Tiberio Cameron, have traveled far for their images, immersing themselves in foreign cultures, absorbing “place” and “space” as well as atmosphere as inspiration, while others, Terrence Keeney and Josh Axelrod stay closer to home.
Found objects, taken from their places of origin, are the foundation for two well-known central Vermont artists, Janet Van Fleet and Alexandra Bottinelli, who repurpose objects in both a literal and figurative process. Such objects also inspire the sculptural castings of New Hampshire artist Stacey Hopkins, who casts from bones and bugs. Fabric artist Anne Seyffert uses, among other things, cranberries from the bog behind her Cape Cod home in the dying process of her work. Artists Lars Hassleblad Torres and curator Josh Turk bring actual “place” to the gallery, creating and recreating areas of the gallery into highly visual and intellectual arenas encompassing the origins of creativity, religion, and sexuality. The Saturday evening opening will feature a cash bar and live jazz piano with Brookfield’s Craig Smith.
Ten other exciting artists will be exhibiting in the show, and many of them will be present for an artist panel discussion on Sunday morning January 18th at 11 am. Kurt Thoma, the new executive director of the Chandler Center for the Arts, will lead the discussion on how the sense of place, be it geographic, historic, internal, or imagined, informs their visual work. Among them, Sharon Stiller, a lawyer and painter from Rochester, NY will discuss the emotional terrain that preceded her painting of “Before the Beheading,” an account of a colleague’s religious murder of his wife. Eva Weiss, a New York City based photographer, well known for documentation of women’s theater, shows work from her Grey Garden Series. Co-curator Nina Gaby will discuss the hybridization of her work as a writer and clay artist in her new series of porcelain vessels, containers for brief snippets of memoir about the importance of place in time.