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.
This year, the New England Foundation for the Arts is holding its Creative Communities Exchange conference in Montpelier – and we want to showcase excellent art from around the region while they’re here. Montpelier Alive is sponsoring an ArtsFest during the conference on Thursday, June 6th – an expanded version of Art Walk.
Thanks to everyone who has let us know they’re interested – we’ll be posting more info, including a full artist list, just as soon as we confirm everyone. See you June 6th!
In conjunction with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library andPoemCity, we’ve got two poetry events coming up at the Center for Arts and Learning:
Introduction to Poetry Slams for Kids
Wed April 10, 2019, 3 p.m.
Ever wonder what a poetry slam is? Join Vermont’s reigning slam master, Geof Hewitt, to learn about slams and write your own slam poem! Then sign up for the poetry slam at the Center for Arts and Learning on April 13.
Youth Plus Poetry Slam
Sat April 13, 2019, 4 p.m.
Join slam master Geof Hewitt for an afternoon of poetry performed by participants ages 8 and above, including adults. This is a traditional slam with original writing only and a three-minute time limit. Participants should come prepared with two pieces of writing.
Both events will take place at River Rock School, which is accessible to all.
First Floor Gallery, Center for Arts and Learning, Feb. 1 – Apr. 27, 2019 Reception during Feb. 1st Art Walk, 4-8 pm
Mindy Fisher calls her series of fantastically loud,
cataclysmically calligraphic abstract paintings ‘ornaglyphs’. As the name
suggests, there is an almost-language of symbolic characters in them – her
marks seem like a system of writing lost to the world, and her colors suggest
the chaos of a jungle of birds taking off all at once. They are abstract, but
funny and full of personality, an all-over pattern that refuses to stay still.
They call to mind the garish palette and crazy aliens of late-night cartoons,
but when you look at them the colors create unlikely sophisticated harmonies.
Mindy describes them as battle scenes, but not from earthly wars: these are how
a bubbly six-year old, armed with a golden cape and a pink sword, might imagine
her path to glory.
Mindy Fisher grew up in a small town in New Hampshire. In 1998 she moved to Chicago to study set design at Columbia College. She stayed in Chicago and focused on painting, cartooning, and self-taught animation. She taught at Right Brained Studio in Oak Park, Il. She now lives and works in Vermont. She has shown work all over the country, including Chicago, Cincinnati, Portland (Oregon), and Rutland, Vermont. Last year she participated in Vermont Studio Center’s Vermont Artists Week residency program.
Second Floor Gallery, Center for Arts and Learning, Feb. 1 – Apr. 27, 2019
Reception during Feb. 1st Art Walk, 4-8pm.
Medieval people made pilgrimages, walking across entire countries
to visit specific religious sites that held relics – parts of the bodies of
saints. Though the reliquaries holding these objects were highly decorated, the
important part was inside – you could often open a tiny door to reach in and
hold the relic while praying. People believed they had to have this physical
connection in order truly commune with the spiritual.
Alexis Kyriak’s work shares this sensibility. Her forms are
never whole; they are not bodies carrying identities, but instead embody a
perception of the elements, the seasons, the divine, the mythic. The spirit and
body are almost one and the same, but there is a tension between weight and
emptiness, light and darkness. Kyriak sees them as representing a concept of
the feminine, but they are not women. She never gives them heads.
Alexis Kyriak lives and works in Northfield, Vermont. She has studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, the Art Students’ League, the National Academy of Fine Art & Design, the Brooklyn Museum School, and elsewhere. She has shown work locally at various venues including the Helen Day Center in Stowe, Studio Place Arts in Barre, and Artful Things in Lebanon, New Hampshire, among others.
After years of planning, we’re finally beginning construction on our LULA elevator! The elevator will allow us to serve all visitors, and to offer all kinds of new concerts, exhibitions, readings, camps, lessons, and other programs – it will more than quadruple the accessible space in our building, and will reach five levels. For the first time, all visitors will be able to explore shows at the T. W. Wood Gallery, participate in rehearsals and performances with Monteverdi Music School, and take part in River Rock School activities throughout the building.
We are deeply grateful for all those who have supported the project so far – including the State of Vermont, Vermont Arts Council, and National Life Group – but we are still in need of help to complete construction this summer. We hope you’ll check back here for updates, come visit us, and help us make so much more possible at the Center for Arts and Learning!
First Floor Gallery, Center for Arts & Learning, Dec.7, 2018 – Jan. 26, 2019
James Secor’s work often features that which you don’t see, or rather, what you don’t typically look at. Vermont tends to create landscape painters, and many of them focustheir view on our breathtaking hills and valleys, sunsets and lakes. Secor,instead, makes you look at a highway median, a no parking sign, the alley between buildings, the storage units you drive past on your morning commute. He is interested in the parts of the landscape that fall away as noise between views, that get glossed over.
Recently, Secor has been attracted by the strangeness of storage units. Their geometry and repetition can give them a formal, minimalist beauty, made all the stranger because of what may or may not be inside. They speak to hoarding and consumerism; they’re the last resort for when the stuff you have – owned,inherited, acquired by accident – becomes overwhelming. They are calm containers for the emotions we can’t bear to throw away.