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: