Burlington City Arts

JANUARY 14, 2016

Three New BCA Center Exhibitions Explore Contemporary Ceramics, Sculpture, Painting and Video Opening in January



Burlington, VT: Burlington City Arts is pleased to present three new exhibitions at The BCA Center on Church Street; Dysfunction, Navigating Memory: Exploring Place and After Icarus at The Vermont Metro Gallery. Exhibitions open Friday, January 22nd in the first, second, and fourth floor galleries with an opening reception from 5:00-8:00pm. These three exhibitions feature work in a variety of mediums. Dysfunction in the First Floor galleries and Navigating Memory: Exploring Place in the Second Floor gallery runs through April 9th 2016. After Icarus in The Vermont Metro Gallery runs through February 27th 2016. 

First Floor Gallery – Dysfunction
January 22, 2016 - April 9, 2016

The long lasting association between ceramics and function is so engrained in our society we often instinctively connect the medium with particular utilitarian and domestic purposes, creating tension between fine art and craft. Dysfunction challenges this tension by asserting that functionality may depend upon context rather than an absolute and fixed purpose. This exhibition features work by ten contemporary artists who question the social, political, and economic forces that determine ‘proper’ function. Beginning with a playful pun as the exhibition’s title, Dysfunction initiates a dialogue about how our own assumptions concerning ceramics can be confronted through observing artwork that varies from beautiful and precious to surreal and grotesque.  

Special Exhibition Events:
Thursday, February 18th: Tea Gathering with Bech Evans
Thursday, March 10th: Tea Gathering with Bech Evans
Thursday, March 24th: Dinner Gathering with Bech Evans

More information about special events forthcoming.


Shae Bishop: Bakersville, North Carolina
Shae Bishop was born 24 years ago in a small cabin in the woods of Tennessee. He earned his BFA in Ceramics and Art History from the Kansas City Art Institute. During his study there he traveled to Hungary to work at the International Ceramics Studio in Kecskemét. He has since been a resident artist at the Babayan Culture House in Turkey, and Red Star Studios in Kansas City. He currently resides in Bakersville North Carolina where he has a home studio and works as assistant to sculptor Cristina Córdova.

Charlie Cunningham: Ledyard, Connecticut
Charlie Cunningham received his MFA in Sculpture in 2015 from Pennsylvania State University, BFA in Painting from Lyme Academy College of Fine Art in Connecticut in 2008. He has shown his work recently at the Governor’s Island Art Fair in New York and Ferrin Contemporary in North Adams, Mass. In 2015, Cunningham was a visiting artist at Marlboro College in Marlboro, Vermont.

Bech Evans: South Burlington, Vermont
Bech Evans is from Jackson, Mississippi. He studied ceramics at the University of Mississippi and the Pennsylvania State University. He is the director of the Living/Learning Center Pottery Co-op on the campus of the University of Vermont. He lives in South Burlington, Vermont with his wife and two boys. His practice involves using objects as nodes of connection among friends and strangers.

Leslie Fry: Winooski, Vermont
Leslie Fry's sculpture and works on paper have been exhibited in museums and galleries internationally, including Exit Art, Thread Waxing Space, and Artists Space in New York; Kunsthaus in Hamburg; Hangaram Art Museum in Seoul; Windspiel Galerie in Vienna; Centre des Arts Visuels in Montreal; Couvent des Cordeliers in Paris; Tampa Museum of Art in Florida; and Fleming Museum in Vermont. Commissions have included Wave Hill in New York; Songchu Art Valley International Sculpture Park in Korea; Housing Vermont and Burlington City Arts in Vermont. Fry received a B.A. from the University of Vermont, an M.F.A. from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College, and attended the Central School of Art and Design in London. Fry was born in Montreal, grew up Vermont, and lives in Winooski.

Margaret Kinkeade: Kansas City, Missouri 
Currently working toward her M.F.A. in Ceramics at Penn State, Margaret Kinkeade completed her B.F.A. in Printmaking from the University of Oklahoma. She is interested in the traditional public and private roles of each gender and how important or relevant these divisions are in modern life. The generational transmission of knowledge and ritual, particularly in regards to both women’s work and craft, is something that she strives to find ways to visually represent in her work.

Julia Kunin: Brooklyn, New York
Julia Kunin lives in Brooklyn, New York. She works both in sculpture and video. Her recent ceramic sculptures are miniature otherworldly landscapes inspired by scholar’s rocks and the garden grotto. Kunin received her BA in 1984 from Wellesley College, and her MFA in 1993 from Rutgers University. Selected one person exhibitions include: Stux Gallery, NY, NY. The Bellevue Saal, Wiesbaden, Germany. Selected Group exhibitions include: Sandra Gering Gallery, NY, Suite 106 Gallery, NY, Schroeder- Romero Gallery, NY, Artists Space, NY, The Museum of Art and Design, NY, and the Museum of Applied Art and Design, Frankfurt, Germany. 

Roberto Lugo: Marlboro, Vermont
Roberto Lugo studied ceramics in the B.F.A. program at the Kansas City Art Institute, and then in the M.F.A. program at Penn State. Upon graduation from Penn State, Roberto entered SoVA’s Ph.D. program in Art Education to pursue connections between his studio practice and community projects. Roberto participated in numerous exhibitions in 2015, including Art Basel, Ferrin Contemporary, Miami, FL; African American Museum, Philadelphia, PA; University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, WI; Borderlands, Alexandria Arts Center, Washington, D.C.; Roberto Lugo and Matt Tomesko, The Painted Bride, Philadelphia, PA; solo exhibition curated by Kelicia Pitts, The Artists’ House, Philadelphia, PA; and the Theoretical Show, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Project Space, New York, NY and most recently, Ghetto Garniture: Wu Tang Worcester, Ferrin Contemporary, North Adams, MA. Lugo is currently a ceramics professor at Marlboro College, Vermont.

Brooks Oliver: Helena, Montana
Brooks Oliver received his MFA in Studio Art with a ceramics concentration at The Pennsylvania State University in 2014. While there he also taught and acted as the Ceramic Technical Assistant. He received his BFA in Studio Arts with ceramics and sculpture concentrations at Southern Methodist University in 2010, and then completed his post baccalaureate studies at Syracuse University in 2012. He is currently a long term resident at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana. He is represented by the Ro2 Art Gallery in Dallas, Texas.

Jessica Putnam-Phillips: Arlington, Vermont
Born in New Hampshire to a military family and raised a “Navy brat”, Jessica Putnam-Phillips has traveled all over the world. She was deployed to the Middle East as a military intelligence specialist in the US Air Force. When her commitment to the military ended she changed career paths, earning her Bachelors of Art from the University of North Carolina Wilmington in Studio Art. She then relocated to Vermont and spent the next five years refining her studio practice. In 2013 she completed her Masters of Fine Art in Visual Arts from Lesley University. In addition to exhibiting her work and maintaining her studio, Jessica is actively involved in the local art community. She is the director of the Canfield Gallery, a board member of the Vermont Crafts Council and teaches ceramics at the Community College of Vermont and at the Vermont Art Exchange in North Bennington.

Christopher Vaughn: Essex Junction, Vermont
Christopher Vaughn is a Massachusetts native, living, working and making in northern Vermont. Vaughn graduated from Saint Michael's College in Colchester, Vermont, 2008 with a BA in English Literature and Art minor. Chris is the Studio Manager and an instructor of pottery and screen-printing classes at the Burlington City Art Clay and Print Studio.

Second Floor Gallery – Navigating Memory: Exploring Place
January 22, 2016 - April 9, 2016

Navigating Memory: Exploring Place presents the work of three artists who explore the role of memory, biography, and personal context in establishing historical narratives. Each artist in the exhibition speaks of similar social experiences that, to varying degrees, inform the style and content of their work.

Landscapes are used as a way to visualize impermanence and transformation. Architectural buildings are incorporated as structures that represent personal, autobiographical, and social narratives. As both a physical process and conceptual practice, collage becomes a thread woven throughout the exhibition. And, in distinct ways, personal and/or public archival materials become sources that bring forward the larger social implications embedded in each artist’s work. 

While the techniques vary from figurative to abstract and experimental, Navigating Memory: Exploring Place focuses on each artist's diversely informed world view to discuss the ways past experiences inform their artistic practice. 


Nurjahan Akhlaq: Lahore, Pakistan
Nurjahan Akhlaq moved to Canada via Turkey from Pakistan in 1993 and studied filmmaking at Concordia University, Montreal, before earning her MFA at Goldsmiths College, London, in 2009. Her videos have been screened in international exhibitions and festivals, including Monitor Reruns, A Space Gallery, Toronto, in 2014; the Mumbai International Film Festival, India; the Kassel Documentary and Video Festival, Germany; the EBS International Documentary Festival, Seoul, Korea; and the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) in 2005. Akhlaq’s film Death in the Garden of Paradise (2004) was an Official Selection at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival in Toronto in 2005. She lives and works in Lahore and Toronto.

Seher Shah: Dehli, India
Seher Shah received her Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1998. Recent solo and two-person exhibitions include 30 | 60 | 90, Jhaveri Contemporary, Mumbai (2013); Constructed Landscapes, AMOA-Art House, The Jones Center, Austin (2013), Radiant Lines, Nature Morte, Berlin (2012); and Brute Ornament, two-person exhibition with Kamrooz Aram at Green Art Gallery, Dubai (2012). Selected group shows include Scenes for a New Heritage, The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2015) Geometries of Difference: New Approaches to Ornament and Abstraction, The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at the State University of New York at New Paltz, New Paltz (2015); WORKING SPACE around memory and perception, The Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi (2015); Below Another Sky, Glasgow Print Studio, Glasgow (2015), Decenter: An exhibition on the Centenary of the 1913 Armory Show, the Abrons Art Center, New York (2013); 21: Selections of Contemporary Art, Brooklyn Museum, New York (2008). Her work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Brooklyn Museum, Queens Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art in Schafhausen, Switzerland, amongst others. Her work has been reviewed in Artforum, The New York Times, Art Asia Pacific, Art in America, Bidoun, Art Papers, Newsweek, and Frieze amongst others. Seher Shah is also featured in the Phaidon publication Vitamin D2: New Perspectives in Drawing (2013).

Aqsa Shakil: San Francisco, California
Born in Tanzania, raised in Pakistan, and having lived in and traveled to the Middle East, Far East, and Europe, Aqsa Shakil has developed a diversely informed perspective that she brings to bear in her creations – which include eggshell installations, miniature paintings, and photography. Aqsa received a Visual & Performing Arts Achievement award from the Golden Key International Honor Society, the Dennis M. Cratz Dean’s Award during 2005’s Spring Show at UTD, and other rewards in juried events. Shakil received a Masters in Fine Arts from the Meadows School of the Arts, at the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas in 2007.

Fourth Floor, Vermont Metro Gallery – After Icarus
January 22, 2016 - February 27, 2016

Elliott Katz, Mark Lorah, and John Douglas deliver an almost science fiction-like experience that disrupts our assumptions and challenges our understanding of reality and fantasy, order and chaos. Tensions of the natural world are exposed through a paradox of circumstance that questions our idea of rational and irrational. Katz’s sculpture and photography create seemingly impossible mutant shapes and extraterrestrial landscapes. Lorah’s paintings combine materials that react with each other, creating petri dish colors, formations and shapes. The imagery of Douglas’ video provides disorienting images and a soundtrack fitting of a world that has been disrupted.


Elliott Katz: Burlington, Vermont
Elliott Katz was born in Carmel, New Jersey. His family grew and sold vegetables in the Garden State until Elliott was two and then they relocated to Cabot, Vermont. Elliott attended the second smallest public school in Vermont and later received his undergraduate degree from Colby College in Waterville, Maine and his Masters of Fine Art from the University of Connecticut, Storrs. Elliott has exhibited artwork at institutions throughout the Northeast including: Mass MoCA and the Berkshire Botanical Gardens, The Chesterwood Museum, and the Helen Day Art Center. Elliott is also the Studio Manager and Working Resident at the Seven Below Arts Initiative, an artist-in-residence program jointly founded by Phish frontman, Trey Anastasio and Burlington City Arts.

Mark Lorah: Barre, Vermont
Mark Lorah grew up in Concord, Massachusetts and moved to Vermont in 2003. He holds a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design, and works in a variety of mediums including ceramics, photography and sculpture, but primarily painting. He is influenced by natural systems, human technology and patterns of perception. He has exhibited in Vermont, New England and Montreal.

John Douglas: Burlington, Vermont
John Douglas studied a art and architecture briefly at Harvard, served in the U.S. Army, and moved to Vermont in the early 1960s. He worked as a documentary filmmaker both independently and with the Newsreel media collective. After 10 years in New York City, he came back to Vermont in the mid-1980s and began to work exclusively in computer graphic imaging (CGI): 3D modeling, animation and digital prints. His critically regarded and academically respected film work of the 1960s pursued the political conflicts of the era, reaching from Civil Rights in Mississippi to the War in North Vietnam. His early 1970s prize-winning epic narrative Milestones, a collaboration with the late Robert Kramer, examined what had become of the hopes, dreams and passion of the American counterculture.

All January exhibitions are sponsored by Hotel Vermont. Navigating Memory: Exploring Place is presented with support from Main Street Landing and Lisa Schamberg. BCA Center exhibitions are funded in part by a grant from the Vermont Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
Farrell Distributing, Harpoon Brewery, Fluid Bar Service and Misery Loves Co. are proud sponsors of BCA Center exhibitions and events.

BCA Center contemporary 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 art. For more information about gallery exhibitions, special events, classes and workshops, please call 802.865.7166 or visit BURLINGTONCITYARTS.ORG.