Friday, September 22, 2017

One to Four at The Front


I was surprised that this was such a big hit at The Front at the last reception on September 1. It will be up through Saturday, September 30 (the gallery is open Fridays 5-8 and Saturdays 11-8), after which a new show will be installed, opening during the Montpelier Art Walk on Friday, October 6, 4-8 PM.


The shelves on the left are made of black leather, with small porcelain figures of animals on them.



Thursday, September 21, 2017

Team Bridges Presenting at UVM


Team Bridges, on which I served as the Arts person, was an interdisciplinary collaboration of eleven professionals from throughout Vermont as well as Boston, Brooklyn, and Pittsburgh. 
 
 
 On September 27, Jay Ancel and I (and we hope Mike Rushman as well) will present our vision for a Capital Corridor linking five towns - Montpelier, Waterbury, Middlesex, Berlin and Barre City. Our design envisions greater public transportation and green infrastructure, more people, and improved quality of life.

The Capital Corridor, a larger natural, economic, political and social system, would be connected via a 20-mile rail line, potentially linking 1.5 million square feet of State Facilities, people and jobs within walking distance of the rail line. The design would reduce reliance on private cars and parking spaces, while expanding access to rivers, new parks, and a bike/pedestrian path along the river with public art strung along its entire length.

The discussion, hosted by the Gund Institute for Environment at UVM and Net Zero Vermont, will explore sustainable urban planning, design, energy and public engagement to advance Montpelier's efforts to go "Net Zero" by 2030, and to forge closer ties between regional stakeholders.

The event is free and open to the public.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

"Chaos" at The Front


The new exhibits at The Front include my piece, The Long Haul: Chaos, which I put into a new case that I made at The Foundry in Lyndonville.



Friday, June 23, 2017

Two New Exhibits at Goddard College


I've set up two new exhibits at Goddard this week. Here's the evite, and then some images of each of the exhibits.


Upstairs is the SOCIAL JUSTICE exhibit, with one wall devoted to each issue area. There is really wonderful work in this show. I hope you'll put it on your itinerary when you make summer plans to be in the Plainfield area on a weekday. The entrance:


The ENVIRONMENT:


RACE:


GENDER:


IMMIGRATION:


The exhibit is up through October 9, 2017, which is a long run. We will certainly schedule some kind of reception during the summer. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, here's part of my curator's statement:


Social Justice is much on our minds at the moment, with inequities and associated suffering in healthcare, employment, education, and religion, as well as the four categories I've chosen to focus on in this exhibit -- race, gender, immigration, and the environment.

Injustice occurs when one group takes the goodies for itself, and leaves the dregs for others it deems less deserving, less valuable, or even less human. This unwillingness to share resources fairly is at the root of social injustice, whether it is redlining, immigration restrictions, gender discrimination, or environmental degradation that destroys habitat for plants, animals, and impoverished or indigenous humans. Being OK with, denying, or justifying the affliction of others is what allows injustice to occur.


This refusal to acknowledge the needs of others as legitimate and equal to our own is an emotion-based problem, and one that is incredibly difficult to address. Social scientists have demonstrated that verifiable facts do not change people's minds if their perspectives and beliefs are not aligned with that information. In fact, it often makes their beliefs even more intransigent, as they may feel they are under siege, and thus entitled to lash out.


So if we look at injustice as an emotional (rather than an intellectual) problem, we can see the value of art in helping to create change. Because visual art is non-verbal, non-polemical, and is open to a variety of interpretations, it may be able to open people's hearts with an emotional key. In the best case, it may facilitate encountering the other, seeing his or her pain, grieving, and even passing through the door to remorse and a desire to redress wrongs.


I have devoted one wall of the gallery to each of the exhibit's four issue areas, and in my choice of work have tried to avoid propaganda or preaching. I want viewers to encounter these works on their own terms and in their own ways. But I also want to share my perspective about what I chose, by mounting  short texts beneath the label information for each piece.  I hope viewers will spend time with each work and its associated commentary, and bring their own musings, associations, and responses to the experience.

Downstairs, the exhibit, TAKING IT TO THE STREET,  features almost 50 of Terry J. Allen's photographs of demonstrations, marches, and actions in Washington, D.C., New York City, and Vermont. They are interspersed with signs, banners and posters from actions old and new.




Saturday, June 17, 2017

Manipulating "Railroaded"


Art for all ages at SPA!



Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Art Works Review in SEVEN DAYS


There's a nice review of the show by Meg Brazill in this week's SEVEN DAYS, including this about two of my pieces:
In Janet Van Fleet's "The Long Haul: Railroaded" (74 by 12 inches), two pulleys move a wooden wagon back and forth on a track leading nowhere. While Sisyphus probably found little joy in rolling a rock uphill only to have it roll back down, it is tempting to waste an afternoon moving the Cabot-based artist's haul of wooden sticks along the track. Despite the inherent futility, it's fun.
 Van Fleet's three sculptures in the show combine words, images, dolls and toys into well-executed environments that beg to be touched — and, in this exhibit, they can be. In "Dialogue I," which offers a glimpse into history's underbelly, visitors open drawers to view pictures of a slave market, victims of a Nazi gas chamber, trash on a beach in Norway, and more. Two figures hover above the drawers wearing signs that read "We Are Dying and Going Away Forever" and "We Want Your House and Ours Too."

Monday, June 12, 2017

Art Works at Studio Place Arts


The current show at SPA is Art Works, filled with work you can touch, crank, and move in various ways, running June 6 - July 8. I have three pieces in the show, and it's definitely a blast.


You can see one of my Long Haul pieces, called Railroaded, at the right that lets you crank a logging cart back and forth along the tracks. You can also see my piece, Dialogue, in the far left corner.


The third piece is called Pride Goeth Before a Fall, seen at left, below. In the foreground is a 4-person PinBox 3000 from the Cardboard Teck Instantute. (There are LOTS more of those on the second floor.) Bring enough people with you to the show to operate all four stations!