Burlington City Arts

Button Bay State Park

photo by Kara Chester

Ferrisburgh, Vermont

Button Bay, a 253-acre park, is located on a bluff in Ferrisburgh along the 130-mile long Lake Champlain. Historically, the area has been visited by such notables as Samuel De Champlain (1609), Ethan Allen (1776), Ben Franklin (1776), and Benedict Arnold (1777). What once operated as a farm, opened as a state park in 1964. The park is also named for the button-like concretions formed by clay deposits found along the shoreline.


Residency Schedule

Alyssa Oxley has been sketching on site during June and early July and will be constructing her kiln formed glass panels in her studio in Vergennes.  Alyssa’s onsite schedule will be updated soon.

Rebecca Schwarz will be conducting two open studio weekends at the Nature Center in August. Please join Rebecca on August 7-9, and August 14-16, from 2-7 p.m. on each day. Visitors will have the opportunity to participate in the creation of Rebecca’s sculpture that embodies visions and revisions of the land, and dreams, nightmares and questions of the Earth. The materials come from discarded things we have on hand collectively and individually: plastics, trash, packaging, and other discarded and found materials.

Artists in residence:

Alyssa Oxley
Vergennes, VT

Alyssa Oxley has worked with kilnformed and cast glass for 15 years. She trained in Kremer Glass Studio in Pound Ridge, N.Y., and currently teaches kilnforming glass classes at South End Glass at Davis Studio in Burlington, Vt, as well as summer intensives at the Corning Museum of Glass Studio, Snow Farm Craft School and Oatka Glass School.
Oxley has worked in advertising, interior design, and graphic design; she has always maintained an active, independent art studio. Oxley is currently showing work at the Morgan Contemporary Glass Gallery in Pittsburgh, Pa., and last winter was included in the Shelburne Museum’s “Supercool Glass!” exhibit. A recent piece, “Highlands Harbours: A Scottish Memory Box,” was selected for inclusion in the Corning Museum of Glass’ New Glass Review 36.

Oxley’s works in glass are driven by her time spent outside, particularly along the Otter Creek or the school campus near her home in Vergennes. This summer, she will create a body of work influenced by a new landscape: Button Bay State Park, where she will be an Of Land and Local 2015 artist-in-residence from late June to mid July. Oxley will sketch regularly in the park, then create glass sculptures in her home studio for display in the Of Land and Local exhibit in October.

Artist Statement: 

My work in kilnformed and cast glass is often a catalog of things I see out walking, mostly around my home in Vermont. Specific geography, evidence of life, growth and death in nature. Often juxtaposed with references to the built environment. It is documentation of what is going on in my life at that time, whatever works its way in to the work. Often, distant memory shows up. And if all is running smoothly, there is the possibility of the subconscious showing up.


Rebecca Schwarz
Burlington, VT

Rebecca Schwarz works across disciplines to enrich the health of individuals, collectives and the Earth through art. Her work is inspired by patterns in nature, and she utilizes technology to add additional layers of patterning. Schwarz teaches at Champlain College; is a founding member of Vermont Makers; and coordinates Art from the Heart, which connects children, families, and caregivers with play and creativity in the hospital. She holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in sculpture and an MFA from Goddard College in interdisciplinary arts, with a focus on community engaged art, teaching and ecological art.

While in residence at Button Bay, Schwarz will create a sculpture from post-consumer plastics titled “Land(E)scape,” inviting audience participation. Participants and viewers will invited to contribute their trash and/or create with the materials on hand. The artist designed the collaborative aspects of the projects with the goal of initiating conversations and “thinking on our landscape and how we inhabit it, escape from it and into it, see it changing, seek to conquer it and marvel at the beauty of it.”

Artist Statement: 

All things, histories, and particles are connected and pulsing.
How do we treat materials, how do we treat each other?
What is lost, and what can be found?
I seek by creating art. Art to build knowledge, beauty and appreciation
of the complexities of our world.
Art to nurture biophilia.
Working with the grotesque and sublime patterns in nature.
Focusing on ecological issues including energy and resources.
Exploring and playing with our habits of consumption and creativity.
Collaborating with
materials, processes and cycles from
technology to organic growth and decay to
relating and creating with groups and individuals.
Inviting the re-envisioning of our spirited world.