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 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!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Art and Social Justice

In 2016 I co-curated an exhibit at Studio Place Arts called Them, Us, and You, and now I'm curating a dual exhibit at the Goddard College Art Gallery in Plainfield, VT called Social Justice in Race, Gender, Immigration, and the Environment, with a second space downstairs showing TAKING IT TO THE STREET, with photographs by Terry J. Allen of demonstrations in Washington, D.C., New York City, and Vermont, along with posters, banners and signs from protests old and new. The exhibits will run from June 12 - October 9, 2017. The spaces are open M-F, 9:00AM - 4:00PM.

I'll post images when the exhibit is up and open. Stay tuned!

The Alphabet Book is Published!

I've published the ABC book. It's 8.5 x 8.5" square. Available from me for $15. Several of the originals are at The Front this exhibit cycle, and there are books available there too!

Some interior pages:

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Latest Wine Foils

It's been awhile since I've posted about the wine foils I've been working on, but I'm really committed to getting 26 of them together and creating an ABC book. I have no idea how I'll go about trying to publish it, or what the format will be... Should there be a rhyme, maybe even a limerick, associated with each? Is this for grownups or children or both?

For awhile I was particularly drawn to the (fairly rare) green foils, and made a number with a botanical flavor:

Then I worked on trying to make pieces that could represent the more challenging letters at the end of the alphabet -- U for underwear (above), V for valise, X for Xray, and Z for zipper:

Even though the originals are on white paper, I wondered if it would be fun to make the backgrounds different colors:

What do YOU think?

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Show 16 at The Front in Montpelier

The Front invites you to Show 16, opening this coming Friday, March 17, 2017, 5-9 PM. Join us to celebrate our sixteenth show with an evening of art, conversation, light refreshments, drink, and live jazz by Front artist James Secor and friend.

March 17-April 29, 2017

Friday 5-8PM
Sat 11AM - 8PM

I'm showing a piece called Here Comes the Sun, oil on board and plexiglass, recently updated, from a body of work from several years ago.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Long Haul: Brown's Burden, in "Under Construction" Show at SPA

The Long Haul: Brown's Burden is shown below in the "Under Construction" show at Studio Place Arts (SPA) in Barre, Vermont, curated by Sue Higby and Mark Waskow.

The exhibit dates are March 14 - April 15, with an opening reception on Saturday, March 18, 4-6PM. 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Long Haul: Seventeen

Here's one of my six new Long Haul cases, hanging at The Front in Montpelier.

This piece, called The Long Haul: Seventeen, is 2 x 75 1/2 x 7 1/2". It has seventeen compartments, with objects in a numerical sequence from one to seventeen, suggesting a visual Haiku. It is paired with a quote from a poem by Polish Nobel Laureate Wislawa Szymborska:

"I am no longer sure that what's important is more important than what's not important." 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Round & Around at Studio Place Arts

I'm really delighted by circles and disks, and I've wanted to curate an exhibit featuring them for many years. I finally got my chance at Studio Place Arts, and I'm VERY pleased with the results!

There are three installations -- one by Beth Miller featuring goldenrod galls in the center of the gallery, and one by Kristen M. Watson that you can see peeking out behind the hanging wall on the right.

And looking toward the front of the gallery, we see Pamela Wilson's floor installation of a grid of porcelain and salt-and-flour dough disks.

The opening reception is at Studio Place Arts this Saturday, February 4, from 3-5 PM.

Walk the Long Trail at Berlin Mall

And here's another cool project at Berlin Mall I've been working on:
From January 14-April 22, 2017, the Berlin Mall welcomes walkers to experience an indoor version of the Long Trail, and help raise funds for the Green Mountain Club - mall owners are donating funds to support The Long Trail, based on the number of miles logged by registered walkers. Walk a Division or two or three, or walk the entire trail.
You can register here to start walking the 272 miles of the Trail!

The Main Entrance welcomes visitors to the project

and inside, a scrapbook of photos related to each of the Trail's 12 divisions covers one row of windows all the way down the length of the wall, with blow-up signs for each of the divisions where walkers who have finished that division have their name or"walking handle" listed. It's really neat to see people chugging up and down the hall and logging miles while it's cold and snowy outside!

As you look out through the windows, the parking lot disappears, and what you see is the snowy ground and the trees and sky above. Pretty appealing!


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Team Bridges Wins NetZero Sustainable Montpelier 2030 Design Competition

All our work over many months paid off, as our team won the NetZero competition. Have a look here: 

Many thanks to Jeb Wallace-Brodeur for the photograph!