Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Art the Vote!

 Have you been wanting to help turn Congress Blue in November 2018? Here's your chance to donate to that goal AND receive an artwork by me, or another Vermont artist!

 Make a donation to the Lean Left Vermont Victory Fund PAC, which supports candidates in critical swing districts in Maine, New Hampshire, and New York, and get a work of art. It's a win-win!

 For more details on Art the Vote, go to

This is the piece I've donated, which you can have for a donation of $315.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Painting Class at GIA

The theme of this class was Layers, and our major project was a large 4x3 foot canvas that each student painted in acrylics. They started on Day One with a 2" wide brush, and filled the canvas. On Day Two they got a 1" brush, and had to cover the canvas again, leaving no part of the Day One painting larger than my hand. On Day Three they got regular flat and round 1/4" and 1/8" brushes, and had to make modifications to each 12" square section. On the final day, they could also use china markers.

Here is an overview of the wall on which the final paintings were displayed, as well as gifs of each student's work (and, third one down, one by the class's assistant, Asa Waterworth, who also kindly photographed the work from which the gifs were created):

We also tried a number of different  ways of painting on transparent layers. And at the end, we spray-painted disks for mobiles using stencils students cut from mylar, or sprayed over natural materials.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Governor's Institute on the Arts Sculpture Class

I'm back from the Governor's Institute on the Arts (GIA), held at Castleton University from June 24 - July 8. It was exhausting, exhilarating, and very wonderful. There were about 80 students participating in many different classes at the GIA this year, and I taught a sculpture class and a painting class.

The main project for the sculpture class was making an assemblage in a suitcase related to the theme of migration. I had gathered old-fashioned suitcases (the kind without wheels), which I brought with me, along with several boxes of "stuff" I thought might be useful in creating the assemblages. The students were very resourceful about finding other materials too (like dirt, wood, grapevines, and stones). One of the students suggested a title for our installation: Case Studies.

Here are the individual works. Two students made pieces related to their own families' immigration stories -- an ancestor who came from Italy and opened a farmstand, and a great grandfather who came from Eastern Europe after a terrible massacre, hoping for a better life, but wound up working in a coal mine at the age of 12.

Two of the suitcases made work directly addressing the current global migration crisis, the first one , showing two sides of the southern border.

The one below presents the cases of children removed from their families, with their "files" and possessions mounted in the case (which was a government-issued briefcase).

The last suitcase sculpture was a conceptual piece, in which the "borders" represent artificial barriers separating sections of soil and stones that are essentially the same.

The sculpture class also made mobiles and altered books. All the work was extremely impressive, and I felt privileged to participate in this wonderful program. Thanks also to Haleigh West, a wonderful class assistant!

In a future posting I will show work from the Painting class.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Tell Me

You have until June 30 to see Tell Me and the other exhibits at SPA!

Here are some more images from the show.

Dana Walrath's two cut-book pieces are fabulous.

And there's a section of scroll, or vertical, pieces that is very appropriate for contemplation.

I love this hanging piece by Matthew Monk, with wacky discontinuous (but very funny) directions. To the left, Walter Kopek's Screamer seems to shoot down the gallery, through Julia Pavone's painting, past James Teuscher's Tower, and out the front window!

Saturday, May 26, 2018

More at Studio Place Arts

One more day of Open Studios! I'll be in my studio tomorrow, Sunday, from noon - 5PM. I'd love to see you there.

I've curated the current exhibit, Tell Me, at SPA. The opening was last Thursday, but you can see it through June 30.

Here I am installing Diane Sophrin's work:

Axel Stohlberg's Tower of Babel, one of two in the show (the other is by James Teuscher):

Monday, April 2, 2018

Exhibit and BASH at Studio Place Arts

I've got a piece in the Pleased to Meet You show at SPA. The opening reception is folded in with SPA's annual Big Arty SPA Happening (BASH), Friday, April 20, from 7-9 PM. Tickets are $15 in advance, and $25 on the day of the event. This is a great party. Come join us!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Seven Days Review

This week's Seven Days has a review by Amy Lilly of the Artists to Watch show at the Vermont Arts Council, with closeup images of two of my pieces.

She says, among other things,
The show demonstrates the benefits of relinquishing a single curatorial vision. It includes well-known artists, such as found-wood sculptor Janet Van Fleet (Cabot) and landscape painter Bonnie Baird (Chittenden). 
Van Fleet's wall-hung "Puppets" demonstrates the experienced artist's ability to turn every natural curve of driftwood, bone, shell or scrap metal to account. She derived the relaxed stance of the central skirted figure — a long-armed puppeteer, or perhaps mother figure — using literal stick legs. Each arm supports three dangling puppets, all made from deftly connected found materials. 
You can have a look at the whole review here.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Artists to Watch

Vermont Art Guide, a quarterly magazine about the contemporary visual art scene in Vermont, published by Kasini House, has launched a cool new project. They asked five guest curators to nominate five artists they thought were worth watching in the coming year. They are profiling the nominees in this and an upcoming issue of the publication. I was one of the artists, nominated by Mary Admasian. Here's the spread about my work. Click the image for a larger view.

Some text from the editors: "Hardworking and productive, Van Fleet is one of the state's premier contemporary artists." And, from Mary Admasian, "With roots steeped in political activism and arts education, Janet is a stalwart and everbearing producer of endless collections of curiosities, assemblages, photographs, painting, and sculpture."

Half the profiled artists are exhibiting work at the Spotlight Gallery of the Vermont Arts Council in each of two exhibits. Here's the work I am showing, up through April, 2018 -- a puppetmaster from whose arms hang six of my new puppets.

I encourage you to learn about and subscribe to this publication, which is supporting the visual arts in Vermont and working to make the richness of Vermont's visual arts scene known within and outside the state's borders.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Show 24 at The Front

Another really fine show at The Front. I have one of the front windows of The Front, showing the four completed Wheeled Chairs.

I wrote about the first two chairs in this series here. The last two chairs (below) continue the two elements all the works have in common: wheels and bones.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

GOLDEN at Studio Place Arts

The new exhibit in the main gallery at Studio Place Arts (SPA) is Golden, a group exhibit with work in a variety of media exploring the many aspects of aging. The opening reception is on Saturday, February 3, 3-5 PM.

I've been into using bones in a lot of my current work, so my proposal was a box I made out of galvanized tin filled with bones. As it went along, I decided to put the bones on top of old photographs given to me by dear friend who died recently. Like much of my work in the Long Haul series, it's suspended from the ceiling.

After the fact, however, I wish I hadn't presented such a death-looking take on ageing. My own experience of aging, truthfully, has been mostly glorious -- liberating, and joyful in lots of ways, especially in our relationships with our fabulous grandchildren.

My husband and grandson Manny playing their ukuleles:

Painting on the porch with a specially-constructed brush:

Even older people are prey to the negativity of Ageism. Here's a neat TED talk about this
in which the presenter posits a U-shaped curve of happiness, with young children and old people both being happier than in middle life. I think there's something true there.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Some Ink in Art New England

Some work from Show 23 at The Front in Montpelier was reviewed in Art New England, including my piece, Invasion. The opening reception will take place during Montpelier’s Art Walk on Friday, February 2, 2018, 4-8 PM. I will be there only during the early part of the reception, as I have to go appear on a panel at Goddard College's MFA in Interdisciplinary Art.
Click image for better view.