Burlington City Arts

Groton Nature Center

image courtesy Stillwater: Mike Paine

Groton, Vermont

The Groton Nature Center serves the seven parks located in the Groton State Forest. As early as 1704, Native Americans and the French were using routes through Groton to reach Canada and Massachusetts. Colonists settled this area of Vermont slightly earlier than the rest of the State as a result of the accessible network of waterways.

The rocky, hillsides were originally cloaked in white pine, spruce, hemlock, beech, maple and birch. These were logged by local farmers for lumber, fuel and potash. The logging industry was large-scale for almost 100 years while the railroad operated. Today, logging is still a vital industry but has lost its dominance in favor of modern society’s leisure culture: private cottages/seasonal homes; park development; and a variety of outdoor recreation activities.

Groton State Forest, with over 26,000 acres, is the second largest land block administered by the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation. The forest contains over 17 miles of hiking trails and over 20 miles of gravel roads and multi-use trails suitable for mountain biking and horseback riding.


Residency Schedule

Lynn Sullivan’s work is installed within the landscape of Stillwater State Park in the Groton State Forest and will be on view starting Saturday, August 15th.

Artwork will be visible along the trails surrounding the Groton Nature Center.  At the trail entrance off the far corner of the parking lot, walk to the left along the return leg of Little Loop Trail.  Continue left at next trail junction onto Coldwater Brook Trail in the direction of Big Deer Mountain. 

Artist in residence

Lynn Sullivan
Adamant, VT

Lynn Sullivan is an interdisciplinary artist working in Adamant, Vt., and Brooklyn, N.Y. Her sculptures, videos, sound works, and public actions have been exhibited in spaces ranging from Gagosian Gallery in Los Angeles, to the University of Utah, to New York’s Smack Mellon. Her most recent projects include “Crevice Bouquet,” an outdoor installation in Beijing at the Inside-Out Museum, and “Super Impose,” an exhibition of video work at Baruch College New Media Artspace.  She holds a BA in History and Fine Art from Cornell University and an MFA from Hunter College.

Sullivan’s recent works play with language juxtaposed against the backdrop of the natural world. In these, words–so significant to humans to learn, to communicate, to express and to organize–are placed among things such as trees, rocks and skies that exist without language. A new kind of meaning evolves as linguistic, symbolic and natural systems collide. Spare narratives often emerge, echoing the sense of two worlds coexisting at times seamlessly, and at other times in conflict. During her Of Land and Local residency at Groton State Park, Sullivan will string white banners of text through the forest. The words themselves will be cut out, leaving the park visible through the voids that shape the letters; the natural world will “fill in” the words. Placed along pathways, the sentences unfold to the viewers as they move along the trails.  Spacing and sentence tone will vary with the viewers’ durational experience as they choose shorter or longer trails where the banners are installed. Visitors are encouraged to photograph the individual words and create new sentences by altering the sequencing of their photography.

Artist Statement:

In my work, I handle objects like parts of a sentence, shifting them around and transforming their significance through different juxtapositions and alterations.  I face language like a form to be prodded and shaped with my hands, as if words were both communicative tools and evocative forms.  The production of my work involves oscillating between linguistics and ritual–meaning and touch–until they are compressed to produce forms full of erasures, obscurations, overlaps and additions.  I am interested in that shifting moment where cultural and symbolic meaning evolves into something new.