Burlington City Arts

JULY 16, 2014

Two New Contemporary Group Exhibitions with 15 Artists at The BCA Center in July


Two New Contemporary Group Exhibitions with 15 Artists at The BCA Center in July 

Burlington, VT: (July 16, 2014): Burlington City Arts is pleased to present two new contemporary exhibitions opening July 25th at the BCA Center on Church Street in Burlington. In the first floor galleries, Break It! Build It! features works by a variety of local and national artists who embody the DIY spirit. On the second floor, Beyond Instruction exhibits artwork from the instructors of the Burlington City Arts clay, photography, and printmaking studios. Both exhibitions open Friday, July 25th with a reception from 5PM - 8PM at The BCA Center and run through September 13th. In conjunction with the Break It! Build It! exhibition, Wednesday, August 20th at 6:30PM join artist Jenn Karson and BCA curator DJ Hellerman for an open, community dialogue about Critical Making and Burlington's place in bridging the gap between creative physical and conceptual exploration. Additionally, guided tours open to the public are available for Break It! Build It!  Saturday, August 9th from 12 - 1PM and Thursdays, August 14th and 21st from 12 - 1PM. 

Break It! Build It!

Taking BCA’s popular summer camp as its point of departure, Break It! Build It! is an exhibition focusing on artists who embody the DIY spirit. Artists in the exhibition break, crush, destroy, and manipulate everyday objects to build, invent, and create their work. From altered couches to hacked iPods and installations using raw construction materials, Break It! Build It! will challenge the phrase “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” and examine the ways destruction may be a necessary component of construction. 

Break It! Build It! Artists:

Christopher Abrams
Christopher graduated Harvard University’s Visual Arts Program and earned a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Sculpture from the Massachusetts College of Art. He is a native Vermonter, and grew up in Essex Junction, VT. As a multimedia artist his work often focuses on constructing, programming, or engineering chance and unpredictability into ordered structures and environments. He is also interested in the potential of an inspirational or unexpected object or event to invigorate, and undermine, a more ordered process of analysis and expression, encouraging its evolution into something more lasting and meaningful. Christopher shows with the Boston Sculptors Gallery in Boston, MA.

Colin Brahmstedt
A local artist and the founder of Charged Innovations, a collective of thinkers and makers that work to bring audiovisual experiences to fruition, Colin identifies himself as a life-long maker with a passion to build fun things. 

John Cohn
Is currently the chief scientist of design automation at IBM. He currently holds over 60 patents either issued or pending. Cohn is passionate about spreading his love of science and engineering and is active in education issues at a local, state and national level. He takes pride in relating science to any audience and finding new, fun ways to demonstrate a concept. He lives in northern Vermont with his family. See more at:

Maxwell Cohn
From the greater New York City area Maxwell Cohn, son of John Cohn, works as an editor, videographer and tinkerer at Schamonchi Studios.

Eric Hall
Painting in both oil and acrylic on canvas Hall's work has received awards from the Philadelphia Art Directors Club and the New York One Show. Eric Hall's formal art education began in his native England at the Liverpool School of Art. After immigrating into the United States, he studied at The Corcoran School of Art.

Beatriz Herrera
Herrera was born in Chile and grew up in Canada. As an artist she explores the use of robotics resulting in a love/hate relationship with technology. The presence and impact of robots in life caused her to see them as more than "an invisible algorithms of control, like those that manage the daily running of the stock market. They exist in everyday fact and fiction. This is what gives them their charge. This is what makes them social animals as well as cost-effective machines for production and war."

Ken Howell
Howell has been an independent media designer and developer for over ten years. Currently he is the assistant director of the MFA program in Emergent Media Champlain College in Burlington, and is a founding board member of the Burlington maker space, Generator. Due to his love of electronics and fine arts he founded Watson Innovations, a group of artists and technologists working to develop new systems of computer user input.

Jenn Karson
Jenn Karson is a native Vermonter who works with a strong sense of place. She has performed on stage, in bars, basements, garages, and at the drive-in. She creates both indoor and outdoor installations for urban and rural places and exhibits in both galleries and nontraditional places of display. She considers the textures of recording, scoring, mapping, projection, observation and programming to design installations that are suspicious of the sublime while they navigate the shifting negotiations of natures and cultures.

Keegan Kuvach
Kuvach's work explores the darker eccentricities of our reality, "where I see some evil in the human condition. Using humor, toys, and other recognizable found objects, I hope to enable the audience to examine the frequently perverse facets of our culture." He accomplishes this through his sculptures with often feature the use of human figures such as mannequins.

Kristin Rogers
Driven by interdisciplinary intentions Rodgers frequently involves multi-media approaches. Labor, sympathy for the proletariat mindset, and accessibility are common threads that imbue his diverse scope of art production. In his strategy there is almost a sense of clarity achieved through disorder where seemingly absurd non-sequiturs reveal themselves as candid critiques, characterizations, or presentational snap-shots on common social themes.

Beyond Instruction

Featuring artwork by instructors from the Burlington City Arts clay, photography, and printmaking studios, this exhibition focuses on work created by a selection of talented educators beyond the BCA classroom walls. Beyond Instruction celebrates and recognizes the artistic vision of Jeremy Ayers, Gregg Blasdel, Karen Guth, Susan Smereka, and Christopher Vaughn.  Transformative ceramics that blur the distinction between decorative and functional, metaphorical works on paper that embrace an organic and highly personal approach to printmaking, and striking photographic images of the fall and deterioration of urban life– the varied mediums are as diverse as the offerings of the education studios themselves. 

Beyond Instruction Artists:

Jeremy Ayers
"When my hands are in clay, I feel more connected to the earth and connected to a long tradition of potters. It is such a simple material, but it can be transformed into objects of real beauty. i enjoy the simplicity and singularity of clay." Jeremy has a real need to make things with his hands and pottery seems to fill that need. He is attracted to pottery because of the beauty of the form and surface.

Gregg Blasdel
Blasdel explores social memory through objects and customs that recall cultural events, experiences and people. Blasdel has lectured around the country about art and architecture and his drawings, sculpture and prints have been exhibited around New England and in New York City. Gregg Blasdel lives in Burlington, Vermont with his wife and frequent collaborator Jennifer Koch.

Karen Guth
Karen is a photographer living in Vermont. Through her work she explores desolate industrial and natural landscapes. She attended the University of Vermont and uses both digital and analog media to capture her images. She has also worked as a custom printer and assisted photographers in New York.

Susan Smereka
Susan chooses to work with oils, oil monotype, mixed media and installation, media which she can use her whole body during the process of creation. Her themes revolve around paradoxes and how to resolve them in the process of making art. The most palpable paradox she says to confront is her need to express both the emotive/random gestures as well as precise symmetrical lines.

Christopher Vaughn 
Through pottery he approaches ritual and tradition. He believes pottery becomes part of habit - a favorite mug that is essential to a morning routine or a serving bowl that holds a treasured dish at family gatherings. He intends to add an aesthetic depth to the physical nourishment others get from food and drink and focuses on the production of balanced forms, while experimenting with various surface treatments that conjure emotions or memories. Textures, colors and prints enhance the structural aspects of each piece.

BCA’s exhibition year is sponsored by Keurig Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. Funded in part by a grant from the Vermont Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. Farrell Distributing, Harpoon Brewery and Fluid Bar Service are proud sponsors of BCA Center exhibitions and events. 

Break It! Build It! and Beyond Instruction are 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.