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Burlington City Arts

Of Land And Local Exhibitions

The BCA Center
September 25 - November 14, 2015
Opening Reception : September 25, 2015  5-8pm
Exhibiting Artists: Stella Marrs, Olga Koumoundouros, Jeroen Jongeleen and Jim Westphalen
 

Shelburne Farms
October 1, 2015 - October 18, 2015
Opening Reception:  October 1, 2015 5-8 pm
Exhibiting Artists: Kaylynn Sullivan TwoTrees, Wendy Copp & Susan Raber Bray, Alyssa Oxley, Angelo Arnold, Elizabeth Nelson, Riki Moss, Lynn Sullivan, Rebecca Schwarz, Lyal Michel, Jeroen Jongeleen

 

Exhibiting Artists
BCA Center:

Stella Marrs
Burlington, VT
www.stellamarrs.com/about/

Stella Marrs is an interdisciplinary artist whose work engages ideas of gender, public space and the environment. Her practice includes video installation, hosting community collaborative events, producing and distributing critical ephemera and curating. Her work has been featured in Bust, Venus, Time Out NY, Punk Planet and LA Weekly.

As a part of BCA’s Of Land and Local, she produced a community picnic event debuting a mylar sculpture, The World’s Tallest Inflatable Woman, at Waterfront Picnic Shelter in Burlington, Vermont. This work is a continuation from the 1980s, when Marrs created a number of initiatives and events in her hometown of Olympia, Washington that addressed female empowerment/female space. These included the alternative arts space Girl City and the community performance events 50 Girls/50 States (Women For World Peace) and 100 Women Dinner Party

She received her MFA in Emerging Practices from The University at Buffalo in New York in 2009.
 

Olga Koumoundouros
Los Angeles, CA
www.olgakoumoundouros.com

Olga Koumoundouros has created an installation that uses two seemingly unrelated locations, Burlington, Vermont and the Salton Sea, in Southern, California, to look at how working and middle class labor and creativity persists within a precarious and ever-changing economy. Both locations house the banks of the largest lake in their respective states flanked by mountain ranges and agriculture. The similarity in vista and the historic idealistic promise of modernity that their earlier industrial economies built around the resources that these lakes hold unites them. But, the similarities diverge with the problematics of their participation in contemporary development strategies. This divergence is the jumping off point for our consideration of current trends and conditions of work for increasingly displaced working and artisan classes in an un-materially based neo-liberal globalized economy where economic lack and aesthete excess are constructed simultaneously in shockingly close proximity. Through the use and expression of our own bodies and the lenses that our personal creative and economic labor provides, we will share our search for understanding of the balance between creativity, imagination and living our lives with agency through meaningful work in these two utopic and problematic American sites.
 

Jeroen Jongeleen
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
www.hl-projects.com/portfolio/jeroen-jongeleen-2/

Jongeleen lives and works in Rotterdam and Paris. He studied at the AKI Academy for Art and Design in Enschede, where he graduated in 1994. In 1997 he moved to Rotterdam. Here he did one of his first interventions in public space. With a spray can he wrote the word ‘HOME’ on the outside wall of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. He was arrested for this action, but it was the start of a close relationship with the museum. In 1999 he participated in the group exhibition Exorcism/Aesthetic Terrorism, 2000 in the Boijmans Van Beuningen.  In 2003, Jongeleen moved to Paris where he stayed at Atelier Holboer. Here he expended his contact with the Paris pre-street art scene resulting into the Art of Urban Warfare. Jongeleen's street interventions carry the project name “influenza”, functioning as well as a semi-anonymous signature. The alias “Influenza” connotes his repeated attacks on the well-oiled social body, while qualifying the development of his artistic practice as a self-reflexive exercise engaged in feeding its own momentum.

Jeroen Jongeleen's work generally evolves in public space. He leaves traces in the urban landscape which he documents with photographs and films. With his interventions he promotes the free use of urban public space and criticizes the way advertising, architectural structures and signs regulate public behavior. He chooses to counterattack by bringing subversive forms of creativity into publicity. 

 

Jim Westphalen
​​Shelburne, Vermont
www.jimwestphalen.com

Of Land and Local continues in the Vermont Metro Gallery with a series of Photographs by Jim Westphalen. Vanish is an ongoing narrative that speaks to the decay of the built landscape in rural America. The “built landscape” is represented by those features and patterns reflecting human occupation within the natural surroundings. In this case, they are the common structures; the barns, coal sheds, farmhouses, grain silos, train depots and outbuildings that are the icons of our country’s rural settings. Sadly, they are disappearing at an alarming rate. This collection of captivating, bold and heartfelt photographs provides a unique perspective on the vernacular architecture and culture of the rural landscape. It is sure to resonate with those who love, work and live by the land.

 

Shelburne Farms:

Riki Moss

Grand Isle, Vermont
Residency Location: Grand Isle State Park

“Posted like silent sentinels all around the town stand thousands upon thousands of mortal men fixed in ocean reveries.”
— Herman Melville, Moby Dick

Riki Moss is a mixed-media sculptor fascinated by the relationship between the human imagination and the surrounding environment. A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., with a strong connection to Lake Champlain, she holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago and an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Moss’ wire-and-plaster sculptures are fantastical interpretations of the lake’s underwater creatures, past and present, captured in the midst of that “silent reverie” described by Melville. The enduring, universal draw of water across cultures and time — even across species — forms the undercurrent of Moss’ artistic exploration of the lake and the American literary epic that inspired her installation. 

Lyal Michel 

Tunbridge, Vermont
Residency Location: Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Park

Inspired by local characters and the natural environment, Lyal Michel paints in a style that pays homage to representational regional art while humorously subverting its conventions. A former resident of Tunbridge, VT., who recently relocated to Maine, Michel earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Santa Cruz and an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. While in residence at Marsh-Billings -Rockefeller, Michel — an avid mushroom hunter — found himself inspired by the late-summer crop of yellowfoots, local characters, and the museum’s collection of Hudson River School paintings. His imaginative and sometimes fantastical explorations of the human subject in its surrounding environment are an exciting take on narrative renderings of rural life. 


Alyssa Oxley

Vergennes, Vermont
Residency Locations: Shelburne Farms, Kingsland Bay State Park, Button Bay State Park

Alyssa Oxley is a unique Vermont glass artist: She uses the traditional craft medium to create sculptural, narrative works of contemporary art inspired by landscape. Working in kiln-formed glass, Oxley utilizes a panel-based design process that she likens to “quilting.” Oxley’s two-dimensional wall panels and sculptural boxes are rooted in sketches made onsite at her three residency locations. Fabricated in her home studio in Vergennes, these final creations contain abstracted references to the architecture of Shelburne Farms’ majestic barns; the mythical, button-like clay secretions found in Button Bay; and the artifacts found at Kingsland Bay. Those references root each panel in a specific location, and highlight the encounter between the artist and place. At the same time, they speak to the common threads between Oxley’s three residency locations, each of which is located just a short drive from her home in Vergennes.

 


Elizabeth Nelson 

West Glover, Vermont
Residency Locations: Elmore State Park

Elizabeth Nelson is a painter based in the Northeast Kingdom whose oil and acrylic paintings are known for capturing the “harsh and sublime” beauty of the surrounding landscape. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and the master’s program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Nelson’s work is imbued with the colors, light, and mood of each physical environment she encounters. An eight-week-long residency at Elmore State Park in Elmore, Vermont yielded this collection of small and large scale paintings in oil and acrylic, sometimes painted plein air. Nelson’s representational paintings are illustrative, but not illustrations; rather they are connective expressions of a location’s significance to artist, viewer, and visitor.

 


Lynn Sullivan 

Adamant, Vermont 
Residency Location: Groton Nature Center

Lynn Sullivan is an interdisciplinary artist whose recent work plays with words and sentences imposed over the backdrop of the natural world. A graduate of Cornell University who also holds an MFA from the City University of New York’s Hunter College, she has exhibited both nationally and internationally in spaces ranging from the Gagosian Gallery in Los Angeles to Beijing’s Inside-Out Museum. Sullivan’s work contrasts words, sentences, and linguistic systems with woods, sky, and natural systems that exist without language. Her tyvek banners at the Groton Nature Center were placed along pathways; as visitors continued along the trail, sentences or adages were revealed, the background of the park’s natural foliage filling in each cut-out word. The artist conceives of words as both communicative tools and evocative forms: in the collision of symbolic, linguistic, and natural systems, she believes, new meaning is bound to evolve.

 


Angelo Arnold 

Barre, Vermont
Residency Location: Shelburne Farms

Angelo Arnold’s gestural, humorous approach to artmaking interfaced with the landscape and architecture of Shelburne Farms during a monthlong residency this summer. Fascinated by linear forms, Arnold was inspired by the sight lines, architectural elements, and stucco eaves he encountered on site. “Double Positive,” a line cut into an invasive species of buckthorn trees, riffed on Frederick Law Olmstead’s historic landscaping of Shelburne Farms to create deliberately-constructed views for those walking through the expansive grounds. Arnold further incorporated the buckthorn trees into his artwork by using them to create the ink used in his line drawings. His conal sculptures are human-scale interpretations of wasps nests found in the stucco eaves of the Coach Barn.  Arnold’s artwork begs the viewer to question whether they are being confronted by an unusual natural occurrence, or, if what they see was accomplished by an artist’s hand.   

 


Wendy Copp & Susan Raber Bray
 

South Burlington, Vermont and Charlotte, Vermont
Residency Location: Shelburne Farms

Wendy Copp and Susan Raber Bray are friends, weavers, and accomplished professional artists whose shared interest in traditional weaving techniques has given rise to a number of collaborative works. Working with an invasive species of vines that they cut, dried, and wove into sculptures in an extraordinarily labor-intensive process, Copp and Raber Bray created site-specific sculptures atop a grassy, wooded knoll at Shelburne Farms, including an elaborate archway named Lark de Triomphe and an intricately-woven sculptural chair facing Lake Champlain titled La Grand Chaise de Salon. Those structures are still on view along the road to the Coach Barn, and will remain there until the natural materials erode with the passing seasons. The weaving process was repeated in the creation of the displayed sculptural chairs; their wall sculptures were made from local barks. Each incarnation of Copp and Raber Bray’s unusual, visually arresting collaborative works was inspired purely by the materials on hand and the dynamic communication between the artists.

 


Rebecca Schwarz
 
Burlington, Vermont
Residency Locations: Button Bay State Park and Kingsland Bay State Park

Rebecca Schwarz is an artist and maker who works across disciplines to create art that enriches the lives of individuals, communities, and the Earth. Schwarz teaches at Champlain College, is a founding member of Vermont Makers, and coordinates BCA’s Art from the Heart program. She also holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in sculpture and an MFA from Goddard College. For the past four years, Schwarz has collected plastic objects such as used cups, bottles, and toy figurines; the collection eventually outgrew her studio. With the help of Button Bay State Park visitors, who participated in public art workshops hosted by the artist, Rebecca created sculptures out of discarded materials, altering them from ordinary objects into artistic conceptions.  Grounded in patterns found in nature, this hanging piece, as well as Schwarz’s installation intends to catalyze a dialog about how human beings inhabit and transform the environment around them. 

 


Jeroen Jongeleen
The Celebration of the Inevitable Leaving of Traces, Running in Loops
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
 
Jeroen Jongeleen uses public space as the site and content for his work. Through photography and film, he documents the traces he leaves while long distance running in the landscape. His interventions promote the free use of urban public space and criticize the way architectural structures and landscape design regulate public behavior. For Of Land & Local, Jongeleen produced several drawings at various Vermont sites. His performances are repetitive and physically demanding. The process is intense and playful while the tangible result is temporary and fleeting. Jongeleen brings labor, effort, and the impact of physical work into the gallery as a way for us to reflect upon the traces we choose to leave in the world.

Jongeleen studied at the AKI Academy for Art and Design in Enschede, Netherlands.

Kaylynn Sullivan TwoTrees
Hinesburg, VT
www.ktwotrees.org

Natives, Slaves, Settlers and Visitors – Seen and Unseen

I came to Vermont following the call of the forest spirits embedded in tree, rock and earth.   Seeking those who came before – natives, slaves, settlers and more recent visitors.  Written history seemed to occupy all of the space.

In the crevices of “history” – stories, artifacts, palimpsests - called me to make resting places for my own ancestors linked to the land and others like them.  Set in the woodland that holds it all – a vessel and a home- for all the contradictory and incommensurate histories, that link natives, slaves, settlers and visitors to this land.  And the bees making hive and honey from it all.

The research to find the unwritten voices woven into baskets full of story; settlements linked to land as relative; the silent presences come to freedom but not always respect through the underground railroad and farming communities of freed slaves; the continuing flow of “other” coming to belong – all trails hinting at history untold or unseen. 

The tension between these stories is what compels me.  Like the tension that cracks open a seed coat so that the seed might germinate, this tension feels like it holds generative potential. What happens in the presence of the hum of the bees, the timelessness of the woodland and the tension of these fragments of story?

Immense Gratitude for support in manifesting this vision to:
Andrea Morgante
Matt Kolan
Heidi Wilson
Margaret Burke
Paul du Coudray
Ginny McGinn
Zachary Ispa-Landa
And the bees....

Kaylynn Sullivan TwoTrees lives in Hinesburg, VT.  Her current work focuses on re-orienting to indigenous mind; regenerating an essential relationship with Earth wisdom; and creating complex narratives of contradictory and incommensurate histories of place.  She is past recipient of the Lila Wallace International Artist Award and her work has been exhibited and is in collections in the US, Europe and New Zealand.