The Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing and Burlington City Arts (BCA) are pleased to announce Of Land & Local, a state-wide exhibition opening at seven locations this September. Of Land & Local is a multidisciplinary exhibition designed to initiate a dialogue about the Vermont landscape. Vermonters’ shared history in land and pride for the local lay the groundwork for this exhibition, featuring works from over 40 international and Vermont-based artists. Each of the seven locations will host events throughout the fall; the Of Land & Local website will feature all events, artists and components of this state-wide exhibition.
“Artists and farmers are key components of our state’s social and cultural fabric,” BCA Curator DJ Hellerman said. “Artists search for new ways to question the world we live in to nourish our minds while farmers search for new ways to enrich the world we live in to nourish our bodies.”
Of Land & Local begins with the known connections between culture and place. The projects explore the notion that culture helps defines place, but also that place plays a significant role in establishing culture.
“Land is intrinsically tied to history and memories,” Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing Commissioner Megan Smith said. “Of Land and Local asks Vermonters and visitors to explore these connections, what formed our perception as well as use of Vermont’s land and landscape, and how that shapes us as individuals and as a community.”
Of Land and Local features over 40 artists in seven locations statewide, creating and exhibiting work in a variety of mediums. Below is a sample of projects that are part of the exhibition, with information about all artists available online at www.burlingtoncityarts.org/oflandandlocal/ in the coming weeks.
Brian Collier: Brian Collier's projects, installations, and public interventions range across a wide variety of media, including websites, video, sculpture, photography, drawing, artist's books, and performance. Through this diverse practice he focuses on ways in which elements of the non-human natural world exist, or have reinserted themselves, in severely human-altered habitats. Through his projects, he disseminates information about these sites, often proposing strategies to re-evaluate the weedy margins of the human-dominated landscape. Collier is founder and president of The Society for a Re-Natural Environment. For Of Land & Local, Collier will introduce an Eat Local Invasives, a project focused on finding ways to eat Vermont’s edible invasive plant species.
Meara McGinniss: Meara McGinniss’ interests in history and narrative have recently converged with her interest in cloth making. Currently, she’s exploring the intersection of cloth, landscape, memory, and home. The places we live and the bodies we live in are vessels that hold both our memories and our hopes for the future. By making houses of all sizes and forms McGinniss explores the idea of “home,” an ideal space that may never materialize in reality but can be a driving force in how we live and interact with the world around us. There is a connection between material and subject, form and content. McGinniss’ current work uses cloth as structure and metaphor to explore intimacy, work, and identity, especially in the context of industrialization and the American quest for utopia.
Jean Luc Dushime: Jean Luc Dushime is an adventurous and worldly storyteller. His personal work focuses on capturing the resiliency of the human soul, documenting social and cultural issues, the effects of migration and integration on small communities and Vice versa. When Jean Luc is not traveling making photographs or shooting videos, he is inspiring communities through his public speaking engagements, mentoring the youth and spending time with family. For Of Land & Local, Dushime will produce a series of photographs capturing the stories of New American’s farming in Vermont.
LOCATIONS + DATES
The BCA Center, Burlington, Vt. (September 27 – December 7, 2013): In 1995, BCA won permission from the City of Burlington to convert the ground floor of the former firehouse building (now The BCA Center) into an art gallery on a trial basis. Since then, the Center has blossomed into Vermont’s premiere location for contemporary art. Securing and exhibiting national-level artists from Vermont and elsewhere, the Center’s mission is to bring a unique arts experience to the public that will challenge, teach and engage. The BCA Center features two floors of contemporary art exhibition, a Vermont-centric gallery on the fourth floor, and numerous events throughout the year including music, film and performance. www.bcacentervt.org
Shelburne Farms Coach Barn, Shelburne, Vt. (October 4 – October 20, 2013): Shelburne Farms’ campus for learning is a 1,400-acre working farm and National Historic Landmark on the shores of Lake Champlain in Shelburne, Vermont. Completed in 1902, the Coach Barn was the last major Shelburne Farms building designed by Robert H. Robertson, and the last major building constructed on the property. As its name implies, the Coach Barn stabled carriage and riding horses for the Webb family; stored carriages, sleighs, and tack; and housed groomsmen. After the carriage collection was donated to the newly-formed Shelburne Museum in 1947, the barn began housing sheep, wintering heifers and hosting cattle auctions. www.shelburnefarms.org/about/our-campus/coach-barn
Vermont Carving & Sculpture Center, Rutland, Vt. (September 14 – October 27, 2013): The Carving Studio and Sculpture Center is a non-profit arts education organization occupying the former company store and other buildings of the Vermont Marble Company in West Rutland. In over 25 years, programming has expanded to include year-round exploration in most sculptural media. Workshop participants work side-by-side with people of all ages and experience. Their Artist in Residence program encourages exchange of technical skills and aesthetic viewpoints with sculptors from around the world. A sculpture park greets visitors; SculptFest began at the Carving Studio and Sculpture Center in 1998 to showcase both permanent and temporary work. This year, nine selected artists will respond to the theme “Historical Markers,” working with guest curator Phil Whitman of Barre. www.carvingstudio.org
Fair Haven Welcome Center, Fair Haven, Vt. (September 14 – November 8, 2013): Vermont’s Information and Welcome Centers serve an estimated 9,000 people each day, and are an important planning resource utilized by Vermont tourists. In a state absent of billboards, Welcome Centers serve the purpose of providing helpful, courteous and knowledgeable information to visitors. bgs.vermont.gov/information_centers/fairhaven
Gallery 2: Vermont Artisan Designs Gallery, Brattleboro, Vt. (September 6 – October 31, 2013): Gallery 2 at Vermont Artisan Designs is a fine art and contemporary American craft gallery celebrating a wide variety of artists and artisans -- primarily from Vermont and other parts of New England -- for the past 40 years. The gallery exhibits both functional and decorative work from well-established and emerging artisans: paintings, ranging from landscapes to still life to abstract, sculpture in bronze, wood, paper, wire, mixed media, stone, steel, colorful and clear blown glass, a great selection of pottery and much more. www.vtart.com/
Goodrich Memorial Library, Newport, Vt. (September 9 – 28, 2013): The first library established in the town of Newport was originated by Dr. John M. Currier in the spring of 1862. In 2003, Goodrich Memorial Library received a substantial grant and the building has been restored to its original beauty and elegance. The Goodrich Memorial Library continues to be a gem in Newport and is a hub for public engagement and dialogue. www.goodrichlibrary.org/
MAC Center for the Arts, Newport, Vt. (September 9 – October 3, 2013): MAC Center for the Arts is a collaboration of more than 50 artists, photographers, craftsman, writers, musicians and performers. Founded in 2007 with a grant from Vermont Community Foundation, MAC is owned and operated by Memphremagog Arts Collaborative (MAC) a 501(c)3 charitable organization. Within its 4,000 square foot space, the center hosts art exhibitions and performances, offers classes for members and the community at large and runs free art workshops for young people. MAC’s gift shop and gallery are open daily, 10 a.m to 5 p.m. www.MemphremagogArtsCollaborative.com.
Of Land and Local is a partnership between Burlington City Arts and Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing, and is sponsored by Seven Days Newspaper. Burlington City Arts, celebrating over 30 years of supporting the arts, is dedicated to the promotion of excellence, experimentation, and education in all forms of contemporary art. For more information about gallery exhibitions, special events, classes and workshops, please call 802.865.7166 or visit BURLINGTONCITYARTS.ORG.