For its first shows of 2020, The Center for Arts and Learning will be presenting Cat McQ: United Signs of America in our second-floor gallery, and Paintings by Jeanne Thurston on the first floor. Join us for our rescheduled opening reception on Saturday, February 15 from 4-6pm. Both exhibitions run through March.
Cat McQ: United Signs of America takes the viewer on a road trip looking backwards. Intense skies are punctuated by vintage signage, some rusted, some vibrant, each signaling a larger road culture. Each engages the viewer in a different way; for some, the sign’s story or geography is the obvious focus, but for others, the image’s composition and color come to the fore. In a country we often think of as regionally divided, these photographs portray a common aesthetic of glitzy convenience. Many of them promise the exotic, with all the comforts of home. Removed from their locales and presented against the same skies, they become like formal portraits of forgotten sitters.
Jeanne Thurston’s paintings use intensely colored, dimensional
bars of color to create reliefs. As you move around the space, the optics of
each piece change, revealing new colors that combine to effect remarkable
movement and volume. Thurston takes inspiration from her work keeping bees.
Like beehives, her pieces use stable, simple geometric forms to build a base
for a dynamic, ever-changing surface. Her colors buzz and flutter, dancing to
Join us on December 6, 2019 from 4-8 pm for Montpelier Alive’s Artwalk. We’ll have works in the first-floor gallery from How to Draw Everything, an observational drawing class taught this fall by Glen Coburn Hutcheson. How to Draw Everything features drawings by Daryl Burtnett, Hasso Ewing, Glen Coburn Hutcheson, Ned Richardson, and Nicole Wolfgang. These accomplished students show us individual ways of looking and seeing, detailing their world from objects to the human form.
Upstairs in the second-floor gallery, we’ll be presenting works by Burlington collage artist Lauren Hood. Lauren’s richly colored, surreal images combine retro advertising shots with landscapes to create a dreamlike, floating narrative full of strange nostalgia.
We’ll also be hosting the Secular Holiday Jam Session & Sing-Along from 7-8pm in room 207 at CAL, presented by Monteverdi Music School. Sheet music will be on hand for classic holiday songs – musicians and singers of all ages and abilities are welcome!
Don’t miss other events in the building as well – get your tickets for the River Rock Holiday Raffle, hear artist talks at 5pm and see exhibitions by Elliott Burg and Athena Petra Tasiopoulous at the T.W. Wood Gallery, and don’t miss the unveiling of the newly-restored painting Old Home by the Sea by Hudson River School painter Worthington Whittredge (1820-1910) at 6pm, also at the T.W. Wood Gallery.
Second Floor Gallery, Sept. 6 – November 30, 2019 Opening Reception Friday, Sept. 6th, 3-8pm
Laura Gans has an eye for structure. While her subjects
range from architecture to the natural world, her compositions are
unequivocally clean and graphic, focusing on details that articulate solid
forms. Her stark, direct approach sheds new light on forms that are relatively
ordinary – a flower or the side of a building. Many of Gans’ images, some taken
years apart, have an uncanny compositional resonance with each other that
brings out new meanings – whether it’s the rational, architectural quality of
pine needles or the elegance and grace of a bird and a parachute in flight. The
weight of spaces in her photographs draws in the air around them. Looking at
them is almost an experience of sculpture.
First Floor Gallery, Sept 6 – November 30, 2019 Opening Reception September 6, 3-8 pm
Chris Jeffrey’s work will make your brain vibrate. He works
primarily with perception – of light, line, color and form – to create
instability between what you see and what you think you should be seeing. His
mirror boxes create tiny and infinite alien worlds that you can peer into but
not quite enter. The wall-based works use line – both painted and delineated –
to create uncertainty in space. Precise and frenetic, Jeffrey’s pieces play
with the quality of intensity, seeming to create pressure and relief depending
on where you rest your eye. They are fascinating in the oldest sense of the
word – you can’t really look away.
Second Floor Gallery, July 11 – August 30, 2019 Opening Reception July 11, 5-7 pm
Many of Marilyn Maddison’s abstract photographs originate
with ice. Instead of viewing the landscape at a distance, she explores the
spaces within it – spaces filled with light, fractures, and refractions.
Recognizable crystalline structures or bubbles seem to place the viewer within these
icy formations. And yet, many of Maddison’s images are not taken from nature,
but made from expertly constructed and photographed still-lifes. She uses
motion, lighting, and technique to create a sense of light falling through ice
or water – tiny dioramas become vast caverns haunted by rainbows.
First Floor Gallery, July 11 – August 30, 2019 Opening Reception July 11, 5-7 pm
Alana LaPoint’s collaged monoprints manage to channel the
power and drama of teenage angst into intricate, layered compositions. Her
varied techniques include writing directly on printing plates and painting with
the bottom of a paint bottle, and then printing, cutting, and collaging images
to form works that are prints, drawings, and sculptures all at once. Her
carefully composed rage doesn’t need to explain itself, conveying both the organic
physicality of bodies and the stark, graphic quality of a breakup through
abstraction. These pieces tell you everything you need to know – but you don’t
get to know her.
First Floor Gallery, Center for Arts and Learning, May 3 – July 6, 2019 Receptions May 3rd, 4-8pm and June 6th, 4-9pm
Ned Richardson’s work explores landscape – envisioning the
natural world as it connects and intersects with the digital landscape we now
inhabit. Both have a presence in Richardson’s paintings and drawings, as do
both traditional and extremely non-traditional art processes.
For his glass micro paintings, Richardson experimented with
Generative Adversarial Networks. A GAN is a neural network-based ‘deep
learning’ system, with open-source code widely available on the internet; these
are systems set up in pairs to learn to identify and generate specific kinds of
images through input of a massive data set. The networks work off of each other
to ‘learn’ to generate their own versions of the images fed to them – for
example, making their own image that looks like a landscape – based on feedback
and critique from a second network. Here, Richardson input several of his own
images and had the system generate work ‘like’ his to use as source material
for the paintings (which are then manipulated not through Photoshop, but painstakingly
Richardson’s series of mesh-dot drawings explore imaginary
datasets, drawn by hand. If you can describe a landscape scientifically through
an accumulation of data points, a drawing of that data is, in a sense, a
description of the imagined world it measures. These very analog pen-and-ink
drawings are abstract, but suggest the emergent mathematical patterns in a
flock of birds or the growth of wildflowers.
Ned Richardson lives and works in Moretown, and his work can regularly be seen at the Front gallery in Montpelier. He has been making art since the 1990s, and has explored media ranging from egg tempera painting to digital and video-based work influenced by conceptual art.
Second Floor Gallery, Center for Arts and Learning, May 3 – July 6, 2019
Receptions May 3rd, 4-8pm and June 6th, 4-9pm
Noam Hessler’s intricate, beautiful and grotesque creatures
provoke empathy and introspection by inviting viewers to engage with a world
that may at first seem alien. Eyeballs, teeth, and hair form creations like bezoars,
repugnant because they are familiar but monstrous. Hessler asks the viewer
instead to expand their view of what is beautiful, and to consciously seek
connection and understanding with that which seems off-putting. On closer
inspection, these creatures tell complicated stories. The intricate nuance and
attention with which they’re rendered show that they are, above all, deeply
Noam Hessler has been drawing for the past fourteen years,
since he was one year old. His work has been largely influenced by his
fascination with creatures of all sorts, from microorganisms to mythical
beasts. He often creates stories or loose narratives with his drawings, and has
also been exploring writing and sculpture. He has exhibited his work at Studio Place
Arts, VCFA, and the Myles Court Barber Shop.