Born. Plantation, Florida, 1974
Education. University of Vermont, B.A. 1998
Lives and works in Montreal, Quebec and New Orleans, Louisiana.
I am a writer, artist, publisher, and cultural worker. I am interested in the role of art in the community and how art can impact communities. I am also interested in the role of art in people’s lives and believe contemporary regionalism is a means for rebuilding society’s relationship with art. My practice includes community organizing, curating, writing, publishing, and art making,
My art-making crosses media and includes photography, print making, installations, and art product making. My approach to photography is two-fold: I am interested in the visual language of painting as expressed through photography and in photography as a documentary tool, particularly when combined with writing. My printmaking focuses largely on colour theory and shape making, where I attempt to represent conceptual ideas in the most minimal shape possible and then develop the idea through the use of colour palettes. My installations are large-scale, multi-faceted, and sometimes theatrical manifestations of ideas. I make art products—small art and multiples—as a means of exploring further questions of object and meaning: How does an object have meaning? Why does an object have meaning? And what role do objects play in our lives?
My artwork has been exhibited in Georgia, Louisiana, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Quebec, and Vermont and is in private collections in Canada, France, the United States and the United Kingdom. Recent exhibitions include “Gift” juried by Jordan Amirkhani, Ph.D. at the Moon Gallery, Berry College in Georgia and “Altered Spaces“, curated by Kelly Holt at Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center in Stowe, Vermont. In January 2019, I debuted “The Kunstkammer” in “Rutland: Real and Imagined” curated by Stephen Schaub at The Alley Gallery in Rutland, Vermont.
An ongoing series of installation, The Kunstkammer continues a practice of intervening on photographic portraits to portray a moment of expanded consciousness. The immersive installation converts a room into a cabinet of curiosities. Operating from Year 2199, The Kunstkammer bends time and history by blending historical fact and imagined fictions. Each of the photographs, paintings, collage, and sculpture in the installation is a story from the future about the present. The accompanying ‘zine, The Kunstkammer Field Report, assembles the stories about the images and objects in the installation.
I see ‘zine-making as an extension of my art practice. My titles include Art Is Food (2006), How to Price Your Artwork (2005), Everything That Is Wrong With You & How To Fix It (2015), I Am Calling Today…(2016), and My Pet Rock: A Tragedy & Love Story (2018), among others.
I engage in large-scale, ongoing community projects that organize a large group of people as a way of mobilizing a communal response to a problem. I started ARTSHOP in 2004 as a way of organizing, exhibiting, and sharing art products. Through this project, I employ a number of strategies to engage people with ideas about contemporary art. I operated two fine art galleries (Kasini House Gallery in Burlington, Vermont from 2006 to 2009 and Galerie Maison Kasini in Montreal, Quebec from 2009 to 2013) that allowed me to curate a number of artists, publish catalogues of artwork, and present contemporary art to the public. In 2011 and 2012, I produced Winooski Pop-up Gallery District, an event that converted a block of vacant retail spaces into working art galleries for six weeks at a time. Other projects such as Ribbon Pig (2012 to 2015) and Art Cards exist as tools for diffusing contemporary art and literature while demonstrating a sustainable, pro-artist/writing business model.
In 2018, I created World Collage Day, an annual event that, in its first year, saw over 50 events in 26 countries come together to celebrate collage. Since 2018, I have produced Kolaj Fest New Orleans, a multi-day festival & symposium about contemporary collage and its role in art, culture, and society.
While my curatorial practice developed in my own commercial art gallery, it has evolved to work in partnership with other institutions. In 2011, I curated “Montreal Contemporary“, a SODEC-funded exhibition at the South End Art Hop in Burlington, Vermont. In 2017, I curated “The Art of Winter” at S.P.A.C.E. Gallery in Burlington. In 2018, I curated “Revolutionary Paths: Critical Issues in Collage” at Antenna Gallery in New Orleans, which bought together collage artists whose work represents the potential for deeper inquiry and further curatorial exploration of the medium. Working with the Vermont Arts Council, I curated three exhibits: “Connection: The Art of Coming Together” (2017) and Vermont Artists to Watch 2018 and 2019. In Fall 2018, I became Curator of Contemporary Art at the Rokeby Museum. In August 2019, I am curating an exhibition of contemporary regionalism at the Southern Vermont Arts Center.
WRITING & PUBLISHING
My writing and publishing work operates in a manner similar to my art practice and community work, but in printed form. My writing has appeared in Hyperallergic, Vermont Magazine, Seven Days, Seattle Weekly, Art New England (where I was the former Vermont editor) and many others. I have published dozens of artist catalogs as a way of promoting and diffusing art and ideas. I have written for a number of galleries. Most recently, the catalog foreword for “Boundaries: New Work by Sara Willadsen” at Frank Juarez Gallery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
In 2005, I co-published (and co-wrote with Christopher Byrne) the Vermont Art Guide as a way of promoting Vermont contemporary art and Vermont as a contemporary art destination. The project has evolved into a study of contemporary regionalism. In 2006, as a response to a need identified during a community meeting for better organization of the art community, I started Art Map Burlington in Burlington, Vermont, which was also a way of increasing the amount of critical writing about local artists.In 2016, Byrne and I relaunched Vermont Art Guide as a quarterly magazine, continuing the promotion of Vermont contemporary art to both Vermonters and visitors.
In 2011, I co-founded Kolaj Magazine with Benoit Depelteau as way of exploring, documenting, and sharing collage as a contemporary, fine art medium and building a network of artists working in the medium.
From my individual art making to my community projects, I am guided by a set of beliefs. A critique of power is embedded in my work. I believe art can be a tool for liberation. I believe the current configuration of the art world prevents most people from having a meaningful relationship with art, and as such, is a tool of oppression and in the interest of those who benefit from the status quo. I view cynicism as a failure to hope. I believe entrepreneurship is a tool for emancipation. Lastly, I believe in the accumulation of small gestures.