Burlington City Arts

JUNE 17, 2015

Six Artists Featured in Four Contemporary Exhibitions at The BCA Center in June



Burlington, VT: Burlington City Arts is pleased to announce four new exhibitions at The BCA Center on Church Street; Milton Rosa-Ortiz: An Ode to Time, Jean Luc Dushime: A Global Connection, and Abstract Spotlight at The Vermont Metro Gallery. Exhibitions open Friday, June 26th, 2015 on the first, second and fourth floor galleries with an opening reception from 5:00-8:00pm. These three exhibitions feature work in various mediums with solo shows by Milton Rosa- Ortiz and Jean Luc Dushime, and a group show in The Vermont Metro Gallery featuring Douglas Biklen, Cameron Schmitz, and Johanne Yordan. The 26th is also the opening reception for Rick Norcross: The Faces Of Rock & Roll - 1969 To 1974, on the second floor of The BCA Center. All exhibitions run through September 19th, 2015.

An Ode to Time challenges our cultural disinterest and disrespect for aging, Milton Rosa-Ortiz draws from his Latin American heritage to establish a reverence for the aging human that is in opposition to our pervasive fetishization of youth culture in America. Milton Rosa-Ortiz will fill the gallery space with patterns that replicate tree rings using driftwood taken from Lake Champlain. His decision to use driftwood as a precious material positions the piece as an ode or eulogy to the passage of time, and represents the artist's attempt to come to terms with his own aging process and put his passage through earth in perspective. Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Milton Rosa Ortiz received a B.A. in Architecture from Kansas State University in 1993. He attended Anderson Ranch Arts Center in 1998 and has been exhibiting his work since. He has shown his work in solo and group exhibitions in New York, Colorado, Miami, Paris and Puerto Rico. The artist currently lives and works in Burlington, VT.

Jean Luc Dushime’s photographs in A Global Connection investigate social and political structures that perpetuate war, violence, misunderstanding, and miscommunication through a social-realist approach. The work shows the immediacy and impact of social media has marked a shift in the ways we experience images. Dushime works as a photographer, social realist, and humanitarian. Born in Rwanda, Dushime grew up between the D. R. Congo and the Republic of Congo and now resides in Burlington, Vermont. His past, as a survivor of multiple wars and massacres, has inspired him to explore human behavior through visual arts, explore issues of identity, acculturation and integration. Dushime traveled as humanitarian journalist for an NGO in South Sudan, where he trained citizens how to use radios and cameras to foster independent media and access to information. He is an experienced motivational speaker and enjoys mentoring kids in his free time.

Featured in the Vermont Metro Gallery is Abstract Spotlight, an exhibition that highlights the nebulous quality of abstract work. This exhibition includes paintings and photography from Douglas Biklen, Cameron Schmitz and Johanne Yordan. Each artist uses color and tone as a way to converse between the hazy edges of perception and reality to convey emotion and evoke unconscious reactions. In working outside of the boundaries of recognizable objects the abstraction emphasizes the tension between the world we see and the world we feel. 

Douglas Biklen is a fine art photographer who specializes in abstract images. He was an avid photographer while a Peace Corps Volunteer in Sierra Leone, West Africa during the 1960s. In the 1970s and '80s he pursued his interest in visual arts by becoming involved in film. In 1988 he was executive producer of an award-winning documentary Regular Lives that aired nationally on PBS. Subsequently he was Educational Advisor to the HBO documentaries Education Peter (Academy Award winner for best short documentary, 1992) and Graduating Peter 92003. Besides his photography, Biklen is internationally known for his research on autism - Biklen co-produced the Academy Award nominated CNN/State of the Art film Autism is a World (2004), is producer and director (with Rossetti) of the award winning film My Classic Life as an Artist: A Portrait of Larry Bissonnette (2004) and is producer (with Wurzburg) of the roadtrip film Wretches and Jabberers (2010). He is author of more than a dozen books including Autism and the Myth of the Person Alone (NYU Press, 2005). Douglas Biklen formerly served as Dean of the School of Education at Syracuse University and now resides in Orwell, Vermont. 

Cameron Schmitz holds a Master of Fine Arts in Painting from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting & Drawing from the University of New Hampshire, in addition to studying Art and Art History at Studio Arts Center International in Florence, Italy. Following a month-long artist residency at the Vermont Studio Center in 2006, Schmitz moved to Vermont after discovering Vermont's rugged landscape to be uniquely inspirational. In addition to her painting practice, Schmitz is also the Gallery Curator of The Drawing Room Art Gallery and teaches painting at the River Gallery School in Brattleboro, VT. 
Johanne Yordan is a Burlington based artist who works out of her studio on Pine Street. She was born in Quebec, Canada, but has lived most of her life in Vermont. She studied at the University of Vermont and has since developed a diverse body of work that is a testament to her ability to succeed as an independent artist. Creating work that fits a variety of audiences, while always building upon her unique self-taught style, is the secret to her success. Many of her paintings include found or collected items which add depth and meaning to combine form and function to her work. Her abstract work captures her emotions and represents her unique style and expression. Johanne has exhibited her work extensively throughout Vermont in both solo and group exhibitions over the past 12 years. 

BCA’s summer exhibitions 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.