Burlington City Arts

SEPTEMBER 23, 2014

Four Vermont Artists Featured In Cradle and All Exhibition at Vermont Metro Gallery


Four Vermont Artists Featured In Cradle and All Exhibition at Vermont Metro Gallery

Burlington, VT:  (September 23, 2014): Burlington City Arts is pleased to announce the new exhibition, Cradle and All, opening Thursday, October 2nd at Vermont Metro Gallery on Church Street, with a reception from 5:30-7:30pm. Exhibited in the Vermont Metro Gallery, the new commercial gallery space at The BCA Center on Church Street in Burlington, Cradle and All features work by Leslie Fry (mixed media), Alexandra Heller (sculpture), Nissa Kauppila (painting), and Susan Smereka (mixed media). This exhibition runs through November 29th, 2014. 

This moving and beautiful body of work celebrates the exhilaration of change.  Each artist is defying gravity by transforming the past into work that represents the freedom and victory found in leaving things behind.  The fibrous aesthetic of this work echoes a dreamlike interaction with our memory, our rooted connection to the natural world and the bittersweet cycle of life.
The Vermont Metro Gallery showcases Vermont-based artists or those with strong ties to Vermont, drawing from more than 150 artists who participate in BCA's existing leasing program, as well as artists who have a history of sales through BCA, a strong exhibition resume, and who regularly produce work. A critical component of the Metro Gallery is creating a reciprocal relationship between sales potential of an artist and building a community of collectors. Events in the gallery encourage collecting Vermont artists as a rewarding personal and social experience for a broad demographic.



Leslie Fry creates sculptures, prints and drawings in which the natural world connects with the human-made world – reality and fantasy meld. Her art is inspired by basic human needs:  shelter, food, clothing, work, and intimacy and take the form of the human body, vegetable and animal life, and artifacts and architecture. 
Fry’s sculptures and works on paper have been exhibited internationally since 1977, including galleries and museums such as Exit Art, Thread Waxing Space, and Artists Space in New York; Hangaram Art Museum in Seoul; Kunsthaus in Hamburg; Couvent des Cordeliers in Paris; Windspiel Galerie in Vienna; Centre des Arts Visuels in Montreal; and the Tampa Museum of Art in Florida. Corporate and public collections include Songchu Art Valley International Sculpture Park, Kohler Arts Center, Fleming Museum, Whole Foods Market, and Tampa Museum of Art. 
Public projects have been specific responses to architecture, history, and landscape. Commissions have included Wave Hill in New York; Burlington City Arts in Vermont; International Sculpture Festa in South Korea; Kohler Arts Center in Wisconsin; Musée d’Art Contemporain in Montreal; and Pinellas County Cultural Affairs, Tampa Public Art Program, and Broward Public Art and Design Program in Florida. 
Her degrees are from the University of Vermont (B.A., 1975), The Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College (M.F.A., 1993), and she attended the Central School of Art and Design in London (1973-74). Fry was born in Montreal, grew up in Vermont, and lives in Winooski.


Alexandra Heller creates sculptures out of welded steel using nature as inspiration. Her process is to gain familiarity with an object by drawing it and then to create a more abstract version capturing the essence of the original inspiration. After more drawings she is ready to create three-dimensionally. For Heller the challenge always remains the same, transforming hard cold steel into living organic forms.

Heller was born in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1932.  Growing up in Groton, Massachusetts, where her father taught school, she attended high schools in Massachusetts and New York, studied sculpture at the Boston Museum School (1953 – 1955) and the School of Painting and Sculpture at Columbia University (1955 – 1957), where she met Peter Heller.  She lived and worked with her husband in Maryland, Berlin, (Germany), New York City, the University of Vermont (four years) where their two children, Stephen and Diane, were born, then Bard College (two years) and Johnson State College. She left teaching to start the Brick House Book Shop at Morristown Corners, Vermont, where she continues to sell books and create sculptures. 


Nissa Kaupilla is a painter working with gouache. Her subject matter is birds and she explores the relationship between stillness and movement in her paintings. 

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 has most recently led her towards receiving her M.Ed. from UVM; Kauppila currently teaches both in the Design/Technology and Social Studies departments at South Burlington High School.
These series in gouache builds 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: exploring the freedom and creativity of flight with the rich fluidity of gouache has been a rewarding exercise in rediscovery.


Susan Smereka works with a wide variety of media including; installation, printmaking, photography, video, bookmaking and collaborations.

 Originally from Toronto, she has been a Vermont resident since 1989 and currently lives in Burlington. Her work has been featured in numerous solo and group shows throughout the region: solo exhibition of monoprints and paintings at the AVA Gallery, Lebonon, NH; installations and groups shows at the Flynndog, Burlington, VT; solo show of paintings at Rhombus Gallery, Burlington, VT; paintings at the Firehouse Gallery, Burlington, VT.

Smereka has been the recipient of numerous grants and residencies: Development Grant from the Vermont Arts Council, 2009; Creation Grant from the Vermont Arts Council, Rotary International Group Study program in India, 2004; Kittredge Foundation Grant, 2002; Incentive Grants from the Vermont Arts Council, 2001 and 2002; three month residency in Taos, New Mexico, from the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, 1998 and 2008; and a three month residency at the Vermont Studio Center, 1996.

Vermont Metro Gallery events are sponsored by: Bluebird Tavern, Harpoon Brewery, Fluid Bar Service and Farrell Distributing. Cradle and All is an important part of Burlington City Arts, celebrating over 30 years of supporting the arts, which 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. 

For more information:                         
CONTACT Eric Ford              
               P 802.865-5355