Burlington City Arts

APRIL 4, 2016

Four Artists in Three New Exhibitions Opening April 15th At The BCA Center


For more information:                  
CONTACT Sara Katz                                                                                       
P 802-865-5356

Click HERE for hi resolution images

Burlington, VT (April 4, 2016): Burlington City Arts is excited to announce three new spring exhibitions at The BCA Center on Church Street opening with a reception on Friday, April 15th from 5-8pm. The first floor galleries will feature sculptural work from New York State based artist Cal Lane. The second floor gallery features sculptural work from 2015 Barbara Smail award winner and Burlington-based artist Clark Derbes. The fourth floor Vermont Metro Gallery features an exhibition entitled Under the Influence, with work from Vermont artists Nissa Kauppila and Erika Lawlor Schmidt. These exhibitions open April 15th and run through June 18th. The April 15th reception will also feature the announcement of the 2016 Barbara Smail Award recipient.

First Floor: Cal Lane

Bridging industry and fine art, Cal Lane eliminates the tough and imposing characteristics of steel and iron to create alluring, delicate, and intricate sculptural forms. Using wheelbarrows, shovels, and fuel tanks as her canvas, Lane transforms these once functional objects into ‘industrial doilies’ ornate with lacy motifs that reference domestic life. In her installations, soil is reinterpreted and repurposed, elevating it from a modest material of the Earth to a medium for the artist’s imagination. Often contradictory, Lane’s work juxtaposes strength and fragility while blurring the often prejudiced lines between what is conceived as either masculine or feminine.

Cal Lane was born in 1968 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and a Masters degree in Fine Arts in sculpture from State University of New York. Having spent much of her early life as a hairdresser in her mother’s salon in Vancouver Island, Lane soon became interested in exploring gender roles and conceptual art. Lane’s work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally including USA, Canada, France and Belgium. Currently, Lane resides in Putnam Valley, New York.

Second Floor: Clark Derbes

The abstract constructions of BCA’s 2015 Barbara Smail Award winner, Clark Derbes, combine the vernacular of Louisiana craft and folk art, with Op-Art and geometric pattern-based painting. Derbes’ use of vivid colors, playful titles and sincere execution collapses the cold distance of modernism to highlight the humanity behind the construction of an art object.

Clark Derbes was born in New Orleans, LA and raised in Baton Rouge. Derbes was exposed at an early age to the vernacular craft arts of the south, including; vibrantly painted carvings, quilts, and the beaded pageantry of Mardi Gras. These influences, along with the road-side chainsaw carvings witnessed in Vermont, collided with his practice of ab-ex geometric painting. His work employs a vocabulary of forms & shapes adapted from familiar architectures translated into sculptures of carved wood finished with a variety of complex patina processes or vivid color, sometimes in combination and all driven by his straightforwardness and skill. His current body of carved and poly-chromed wood sculpture are a synthesis of these influences; a ‘gumbo’ of American art history stirred with the wooden spoon of folk tradition. Derbes earned a BFA at Louisiana State University and exhibits extensively throughout the US. He currently lives and works in Vermont with his wife, artist Wylie Sofia Garcia, and their two children.

Fourth Floor, Vermont Metro Gallery: Under The Influence - Nissa Kauppila and Erika Lawlor Schmidt

Influences from Asia are unmistakable in an impressive exhibition of two artists whose work plays upon a fine balance between matter and space. Schmidt, a student of Zen philosophy and Indian metaphysics, applies these principles to her work to influence how form emerges from negative space. Kauppila is currently painting in a year-long residency in Foshan, China as an apprentice under the master silk painter Lin Bo. Kauppila’s unique painting style and interest in the natural world has evolved with her use of new materials yet her paintings continue to create a sense of tension and fragility.

Nissa Kauppila was born and raised in the small, rural town of Monkton, Vermont, and her connection to art has always been informed by a sense of community. Though she earned her BFA at the Rhode Island School of Design far from the forests and fields of home, she has remained active in local arts organizations and events. Her passion for collaboration and community involvement led her towards receiving her M.Ed. from UVM; Kauppila currently teaches at South Burlington High School. These series in gouache build on Kauppila’s work in film, as she explores the delicacy of life and chaos in evanescent compositions that find stillness in movement. Following a several-year hiatus after art school, Kauppila is delighted to be painting again: her paintings have been exhibited both locally and nationally. Most recently her paintings have gained attention in the Chinese art world which in turn has opened the doors to her accepting an artist-in-residency program in China from June 2015-June 2016.

Born in Lake Forest, Illinois, Erika Lawlor Schmidt has shaped a career as a visual and performing artist whose work is deeply shaped by investigations into Eastern philosophy and Indian mysticism. Schmidt received her B.F.A. from the University of South Florida in Tampa and did post-baccalaureate studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She later earned an M.F.A. from the University of South Florida, where she founded the Vital Spark Performance Group, a collaborative interdisciplinary ensemble that has traveled to major U.S. cities and throughout Europe. Schmidt has been a guest artist at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the University of Miami in Florida, ELon University, N.C. and Castleton College, Vermont. Her prints and collages have been widely exhibited at different venues, including the Drawing Center and the Lincoln Center Gallery in New York; the Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland, Florida; the Contemporary Art Museum in Tampa: and the Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art in Sarasota, Florida. Erika’s work is in numerous private and public collections and has been widely shown in national juried and invitational exhibitions.

The Cal Lane exhibition is sponsored by Hotel Vermont. Clark Derbes is sponsored by Seven Days. Exhibitions at The BCA Center are funded in part by a grant from the Vermont Arts CouncilNational Endowment for the Arts and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Farrell DistributingHarpoon BreweryFluid Bar Service and Misery Loves Co. are proud sponsors of BCA Center exhibitions and events.

The spring exhibitions are an important part of Burlington City Arts, who 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.