Structures

Ghost Barns (Nether Roscoe) by Meg Walker
70″x43″x33.25″; mixed media; 1999.
Courtesy of the artist

ART EXHIBITION

Structures

August 24th to October 27th, 2019 at Rokeby Museum, Ferrisburgh, Vermont

Exhibit Opening
Saturday, August 24th, 11AM-5PM as part of Art Rokeby Festival

Structures define our world. Some of us live among skyscrapers, row houses, condominiums. In Ver­mont, many of us live among houses and barns. Rokeby Museum, a National Historic Landmark, is a collection of houses, barns, and outbuildings that served a variety of ends. The exhibition temporarily repurposes these historic spaces as platforms for contemporary art and asks the viewer to contemplate the role that structures play in shaping our experience of the world and how structures can inform and shape the experience of others. The exhibition is curated by Ric Kasini Kadour, Curator of Contemporary Art at Rokeby Museum, and is the second of two exhibitions this year that are introducing contemporary art to the historic site.

Avocado Acres by Steve Hadeka
handmade modern birdhouse; 2019.
Courtesy of the artist

The art on view at eleven locations throughout Rokeby reflects on, responds to, or contrasts with structures on the site. In the Toolshed, sculptures by Meg Walker juxtapose ready-made elements with newly fabricated forms as a means of commenting on the role these structures play in the identity and history of rural communities. Inside The Other House, Axel Stohlberg‘s floating series invites the viewer to consider how humanity activates structures. Outside The Other House, Stohlberg will install black and white house sculptures. Informed by the memory of playing in dairy barns in his youth and Inspired by an old cemetery near his house to create monuments, two large sculptures by Denis Versweyveld, one installed outside the Education Center and one in the Slaughterhouse, express the archetypal house shape while considering the lath and plaster that make up old homes and barnes. In the Main House, Judith Rey‘s colorful box and gable paintings intermingle with the historic artifacts. Rob Hitzig will install two, interlocking, amorphously shaped, colorfully painted, plywood cut-outs on the Granary. An installation by the pond of Steve Hadeka‘s modern birdhouses will form a neighborhood that will be “developed” over the course of the exhibition as new houses are added to it. A conceptual work by internationally renowned multimedia artist and performer Yoko Ono will activate the Dairy Barn Foundation.

Tourist Cabin Collage Variations by Ric Kasini Kadour
digital collage; 2019. Courtesy of the artist.

Built in the 1930s, the Tourist Cabin, the last original structure to be built at Rokeby, will play host to an international exhibition of Mail Art. Rokeby Museum has invited artists from around the world to send a piece of mail art that reflects or responds to their home or a building in their home community. These “postcards”, arriving from across the United States and Canada and from such far away places as Brisbane, Australia; Rosario, Argentina; and Stuttgart, Germany, bear artists’ thoughts about the idea of home and the buildings that inform their sense of place.

Four Old Houses by Denis Versweyveld
60″x26.4″x9.25″; concrete, pine, oak, lead. Courtesy of the artist.

“One thing Rokeby does exceptionally well is provide us the opportunity to imagine how people lived in the past. The buildings at this historic site tell important stories about resistance, persistence, and resilience. They speak to how people fed themselves, stayed warm, and lived together,” said Kadour. “By pairing these buildings with contemporary art, we hope to continue to tell these stories and add new stories that speak to the role buildings play in our day-to-day lives.”

The opening of the exhibition will take place during the Art Rokeby Festival, a day-long event celebrating art at Rokeby.

About Rokeby Museum

From 1793 to 1961, Rokeby was home to four generations of Robinsons–a remarkable family of Quakers, farmers, abolitionists, artists, and authors. Today, the Robinson family’s home is a National Historic Landmark, designated for its exceptional Underground Railroad history. Rokeby is among the best-documented Underground Railroad sites in the country, one the National Park Service has described as “unrivaled among known sites for its historical integrity and the poignancy of the stories it tells.” Telling those stories is at the center of the Museum’s mission, which is to “connect visitors with the human experience of the Underground Railroad and with the lives of the Robinsons, who lived on and farmed this land for nearly 200 years.” The Museum is located on Route 7 in Ferrisburgh, Vermont. www.rokeby.org

About Contemporary Art at Rokeby Museum

Contemporary Art at Rokeby Museum is an ambitious two-year project designed to engage artists and the public with Rokeby Museum archives, objects, buildings, and land. Project activities will demonstrate how contemporary art can pick up the unfinished work of history and foster civic engagement in social, economic, and environmental justice issues. In 2019, Contemporary Art at Rokeby Museum will present two exhibitions, introduce an artist membership program, conduct a symposium about the relationship between art and history, and host an artist lab designed to support the development of an artist’s practice. Artists will be invited to make art at or about Rokeby Museum and their work will be shared online and at a festival in August. Contemporary Art at Rokeby Museum is a collaboration with Kasini House.  www.rokeby.org/contemporary

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Steve Hadeka

www.pleasantranch.com
After twenty years of professional experience in the music, media and design industries, Steve Hadeka began woodworking in 2012, studying with friends who were guitar builders, as well as instructional videos on the Internet. In the summer of 2014, he became a full-time woodworker and in January 2018, he opened a shop and studio in Winooski, Vermont, where he creates one-of-a-kind wooden art, home décor, barware, kitchenware and furniture under the Pleasant Ranch brand. 

Rob Hitzig

www.roberthitzig.com
Montpelier, Vermont-based artist Rob Hitzig has been showing work in solo, group and juried exhibitions in Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Washington, DC and across Vermont since 2007. In 2019, he was awarded Juror’s Prize, 2nd Place at the Vermont Studio Center’s 35th Anniversary Vermont Alumnx Exhibition. At the South End Art Hop in Burlington, he won first place in 2009 and Outdoor Sculpture Juror’s Prize, 2nd Place in 2014. He organized Montpelier SculptCycle 2008. His work is in the collections of Johns Hopkins University and the City of Newburyport, Massachusetts. He is represented by Cross MacKenzie Gallery in Washington, DC and Skyline Art Services in Houston, Texas.

Yoko Ono

www.imaginepeace.com
Originally from Tokyo, Yoko Ono was the first woman admitted to the philosophy program at Gakushuin University in Tokyo, where she studied for a year before moving to New York, where she studied writing and music at Sarah Lawrence College. Ono became an influential conceptual and performance artist prior to her marriage and artistic partnership with John Lennon. George Macunias, founder of the Fluxus collective, gave Ono her first solo gallery show in 1961. From the 1970s to the 1990s, Ono worked on music, both solo and in collaboration. The Whitney Museum of American Art presented a retrospective of her work in 1989, as did the Japan Society Gallery in 2000, and the Museum of Modern Art in 2015. She received a Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 2009 Venice Biennale. Yoko Ono lives and works in New York City.

Judith Rey

Judith Rey holds a degree in Art Education from the State University of New York, New Paltz, as well as a Masters degree in Counseling. Rey has shown her work throughout New England and Florida. She has received a number of awards and her work has been included in major juried regional exhibitions. She lives and works with her husband, the sculptor Denis Versweyveld, in their home–studio in Ferrisburgh, Vermont.

Axel Stohlberg

www.axelstohlberg.com
Axel Stohlberg holds an MA and BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, with studies at the School of Visual Arts in New York City and the Art Institute of Boston. He owned and operated Axel’s Frame Shop & Gallery in Waterbury, Vermont from 1983 to 2013. His residencies include four at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson between 1980 and 2003; artist-in-residence at Basin Harbor in Vergennes, Vermont in 2003; and at Haystack Mountain School of Craft in Deer Isle, Maine in 2014.

Denis Versweyveld

Denis Versweyveld has spent most of his professional life in the arts and arts education. He holds a degree in Art Education from the State University of New York, New Paltz; an MFA in Sculpture from Indiana University, Bloomington, with studies at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. He has exhibited throughout New York, New England and the Midwest, and has received a number of awards, including three grants from the Vermont Arts Council. His work is in a number of private collections in the U.S. and Europe. He lives and works with his wife, the painter Judith Rey, in their home–studio in Ferrisburgh, Vermont.

Meg Walker

www.megwalkersculpture.com
Meg Walker studied at the Edinburgh College of Art and Moray House College of Education, both in Edinburgh, Scotland. Her work has been shown extensively in solo, two-person and group exhibitions in Scotland, New York, and across Vermont. Her commissions include work installed at the Broughton House Garden in Kircudbright, Scotland and the Church Street Marketplace in Burlington, Vermont. Her work is in private collections in Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as the collection of the Fleming Museum of Art at the University of Vermont. Meg Walker lives and works in Charlotte, Vermont.


INFORMATION

Rokeby Museum
4334 Route 7
Ferrisburgh, Vermont 05456
(802) 877-3406

Hours, May 19-October 27, 2019:
Daily, 10AM-5PM

MAP | WEBSITE | FACEBOOK

Guest Curating at the Wilson Museum

Established in 1922, the Southern Vermont Arts Center provides cultural, educational, and creative opportunities for all ages. Situated amid over one-hundred acres of pristine forest in the heart of the Green Mountains, SVAC offers a first class experience in a traditional New England setting. With a rotating calendar of member and guest exhibitions, the largest sculpture park in Vermont, and a busy schedule of dynamic classes for all ages, the Southern Vermont Arts Center has something for everyone.

In late Summer 2019, Ric Kasini Kadour will guest curate an exhibition in the Elizabeth De C. Wilson Museum & Galleries at the Southern Vermont Arts Center. Kadour starts from a place that society’s relationship to art is broken and sees contemporary Regionalism as a curatorial practice that mends that relationship. Kadour will present examples of Vermont art in a way that engages the viewer in a conversation about the role art plays in Vermont communities and in the lives of Vermonters. A series of panels will bring artists, academics, curators, writers, and the general public together for a conversation about how regionalism can inform art’s relationship with society.

“Unlike most countries, the United States is unique in that it eschews placing a regional identity on art,” said Kadour. “In our failure to do so, we are missing an opportunity to grapple with the relationship between art and who we are as a people. In the pages of Vermont Art Guide, I often try to make the case that Vermont art is very much a thing.”

“New England Regionalism has always been in conjunction with Vermont Art. The basis of Regional Vermont Art is the reason the Arts Center exists today. Almost a century ago, a collaborative of many prominent regional artists, business men and women established SVAC,” said Gallery Director and Collections Manager Anna-Maria Hand. “The idyllic setting of the rural Vermont landscape offered a transformative experience and opportunity for artists seeking to work outside the social, political, and economical changes that were present at the time. The collaboration of like-minded artists and the picturesque landscape provided a renewed connection with nature for these artists and it continues to do so. Bringing art and artists together in this atmosphere to create discussion is one of the best ways to learn and educate. By asking these questions and by creating this conversation in the form of an exhibition, Ric exemplifies and re-establishes the meaning of Vermont Regionalism as well as the Vermont Regional Artist.”

In asking the question, What is Vermont art?, Kadour works to illustrate how Regionalism can frame and deepen art’s relationship with the rest of society. “Art is able to add poetry, emotional intelligence, and imagination to that civic conversation, but, in order for it to do so, we need to feel that art speaks to, for, and about us, that it is a part of our community. We need to have some ownership of it. That is why regionalism is important and that is the point I am trying to make with this exhibition.”

Questions?

Learn more about the Southern Vermont Arts Center and contact the museum via their website. Questions about the exhibition and program may be directed to Ric Kasini Kadour via email.

How to get involved?

Artists who wish to be involved are encouraged to send an email to info@kasinihouse.com, join the Vermont Art Guide Artist Database, follow the Southern Vermont Arts Center and Kasini House on Facebook to get updates and information about programs and artist opportunities.

Connection: the Art of Coming Together

EXHIBITION

Connection: the Art of Coming Together
Vermont Arts Council Spotlight Gallery
June 5-October 6, 2017
Curated by Ric Kasini Kadour

The exhibition, “Connection: the Art of Coming Together”, presents a survey of contemporary Vermont art organized by artist networks rather than aesthetics or media. As an experiment, curator Ric Kasini Kadour, editor and publisher of Vermont Art Guide, asked four artists or art professionals from different corners of the state to submit the name of an artist they feel is part of their community or network. He then went to those people and so on until he had enough people to fill the exhibition. The results of this experiment, as well as Kadour’s extensive commentary on the artists’ relationships and artwork, are on view through October 6th at the Vermont Arts Council Spotlight Gallery in Montpelier. A version of the exhibition appears in print in Vermont Art Guide #5.

Kadour explained the thinking behind the exhibition: “In my role as editor of the Vermont Art Guide and in my writing about regionalism in a modernist context, I am interested in communities and the art they produce. ‘Connection: the Art of Coming Together’ is an extension of that work, but where my focus tends to be on works of art, this exhibition is focused on the artist as an individual participating in a network of artists.”

“In old art traditions, artists organized themselves by aesthetic tradition, in workshops and studios. In modernism, every artist is an island. Relationships are not limited to master and apprentice or peer in a rival studio. Two artists may collaborate extensively on projects or exhibitions, share styles, and teach each other or they may have entirely different approaches to artmaking. Nevertheless, these relationships form an unseen web of connections that bring people together in a spirit of fellowship and support. To know these connections is to know more of the story of contemporary art.”

Participating artists: Susan Abbott (Marshfield); George Bouret (West Pawlet); Linda Bryan (Newbury); Keith Chamberlin (St. Johnsbury); Charlie Hunter (Bellows Falls); Linda E. Jones (Burlington); Erika Lawlor Schmidt (Pawlet); Mary McKay Lower (Middlebury); Carol MacDonald (Colchester); Gabrielle McDermit (North Chittenden); Matthew Monk (Montpelier); Neil Riley (Marshfield); Joseph Salerno (Johnson); Gail Salzman (Fairfield); Jessica Scriver (Charlotte); Meri Stiles (St. Johnsbury); Thea Storz (Kirby).

“In a time when there seems to be so much polarization, we wanted to focus on how art can be a powerful catalyst to bring people together,” said Vermont Arts Council Communications Manager Kira Bacon. “In the expert curation of this show, Ric Kadour has demonstrated exactly that.”

OTHER WRITING

ESSAY: “Artists and Their Communities

ESSAY: “Who Knows Who: How Connections Came Together

ESSAY: “The Role of Organizations in Artist Communities

EDITORIAL: “Art in Troubled Times

EXHIBITION IN PRINT: Vermont Art Guide #5 (print)

The Role of Organizations in Artist Communities

ESSAY

The Role of Organizations in Artist Communities

In my role as editor of the Vermont Art Guide and in my writing about regionalism in a modernist context, I am interested in communities and the art they produce. The exhibition, “Connection: the Art of Coming Together”, is an extension of that work, but where my focus tends to be on works of art, this exhibition is focused on the artist as an individual participating in a network of artists. As an experiment, I asked four artists or professionals from different corners of the state to submit the name of an artist they feel is part of their community or network. I then went to those people and so on until we had enough people to fill the exhibition.

I learned two things: Arts organizations play a vital role in artist networks. Nearly all of the artists cited some organization or event as the reason they knew their selection. Often we forget how important galleries, art events, cooperatives, working groups, and councils are to the fabric of art communities. Not only do these organizations engage the public, they provide important opportunities for artists to bond with each other.

I also learned that artists think of the people they are affiliated in a variety of ways. All the artists selected people whose artwork they deeply admire. Some artists chose people whose work they felt was undervalued and needed a spotlight. Others chose artists they wanted to exhibit with. Some artists chose people they have known for decades, other artists selected someone they didn’t know well, but knew their reputation and were familiar with their work. Regardless, admiration and mutual respect runs deep in Vermont’s art community.

“Connection: the Art of Coming Together” is a survey of Vermont art. All of the work was made in the last ten years. An array of media is represented—painting, photography, monoprints, and a quilt. The art on view also shows the diversity of the artists’ approaches, from painters rendering abstraction found in the natural world to photographers documenting people in their towns to various interpretations of landscape from traditional to surreal. Sometimes with art, the story behind the work is as important as the work itself. This exhibition asks viewers to consider those stories.

I spent most of May speaking with artists about their community. I feel lucky. My purpose was to curate a survey of Vermont contemporary art organized around artists’ connections to one another by asking artists to select someone for the exhibition. The results of this experiment, the exhibition “Connection: the Art of Coming Together” were on view June 5th through October 6th, 2017 at the Vermont Arts Council Spotlight Gallery in Montpelier.

Art communities rarely get the attention they deserve. It’s easy to conceptualize them when they are rooted in geography. The histories of art towns like Provincetown and Rockport are well documented. More often than not, artists operate in networks. It is a subtle but important difference. Communities live and die by the people in them. Participants rely on one another to maintain a social structure, protect and save each other in times of crisis, and nurture and celebrate each other in good times. Geography always defines a community because it forces definitions and interactions. Networks may function in a similar way, but without geography, participants are free to engage or withdraw at their discretion. One can choose not to speak to their neighbor, but one cannot choose to be free of the consequences of living next to them. If a social network is not nurtured, it dies and goes away. This is particularly true of artist networks which trade on mutual admiration and shared engagement to maintain themselves.

Read more about “Connections: The Art of Coming Together”

Who Knows Who: How Connections Came Together

Who Knows Who
How Connections Came Together

The exhibition, “Connection: the Art of Coming Together”, presents a survey of contemporary Vermont art organized by artist networks rather than aesthetics or media. As an experiment, I asked four artists or professionals from different corners of the state to submit the name of an artist they feel is part of their community or network. I then went to those people and so on until we had enough people to fill the exhibition.

In Northwest Vermont, I selected Carol MacDonald because when I think of Vermont artist networks, I think of her years of working as a community organizer. The spiritual overtones in Carol’s practice, the use of totems and symbols, makes her choice of Gail Salzman a logical one. When Gail makes a painting, she engages in a meditation of sorts, engaging with the paint, reflecting, reacting. Gail selected Jessica Scriver in part because she admires Scriver’s ability to employ detail and structure in her paintings while holding onto a sense of lyricism. Jessica thinks big when she paints, as if she is viewing the planet from the atmosphere. Jessica chose Linda E Jones, who does the opposite. Linda paints cells gathering together, the intimacy of biology. I asked Janie Cohen, director of the Fleming Museum of Art at the University of Vermont to select an artist and she chose Matthew Monk, the academic dean at the Vermont College of Fine Art and an artist she met while at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson for Vermont Artists Week.

I started with Erika Lawlor Schmidt in Southwest Vermont because her large collages show a keen sense of how things relate to one another. I’ve also been impressed by her work with Stone Valley Arts in Poultney, which will be exhibiting George Bouret’s photographs later this summer. George selected Gabrielle McDermit because he feels like more people should see her work and, in turn, Gabrielle selected Mary McKay Lower because she admires her work as an art educator and thinks Lower deserves more recognition for her painting.

From the Northeast Kingdom, I selected Keith Chamberlin because I appreciate his eye for things that often go overlooked, how a gas station reflects in the window of a house, for example. He chose Meri Stiles because he admires her dedication to artmaking and her willingness to put mental machinations out into the world. Meri’s Buddhism helps her appreciate the contemplative nature of Linda Bryan’s photographs. Bryan’s project, photographing the citizens of Newbury, speaks to a value for community that Thea Storz shares. Storz’s Kirby Quilts are love letters to her town. They tell a story using photographs the way quilts and tapestries have used patterns to tell stories for centuries.

In the Southeast, I asked Danny Lichtenfeld, director of the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center to select an artist and he chose Charlie Hunter because he is “unabashed about being a landscape painter and rebels against what people think about Vermont landscapes.” Charlie shares this view with Susan Abbott whose bright, bold paintings eschew nostalgia. Abbott paints power lines on the coastal highway because it’s honest. Neil Riley strives for a different kind of honesty in his painting; a truth of the eye, something painters have strived for centuries to achieve. It’s a similar truth in Joseph Salerno’s paintings where the Wood’s Edge is not necessarily the truth of what we see but the veracity of what we feel.

In old art traditions, artists organized themselves by aesthetic tradition, in workshops and studios. In modernism, every artist is an island. Relationships are not limited to master and apprentice or peer in a rival studio. Two artists may collaborate extensively on projects or exhibitions, share styles, and teach each other or they may have entirely different approaches to artmaking. Nevertheless, these relationships form an unseen web of connections that bring people together in a spirit of fellowship and support. To know these connections is to know more of the story of contemporary art.

Image:
Boundary IV by Jessica Scriver
(24″x36″; acrylic and roving on birch panel; 2017)
Courtesy of the artist

Montreal Contemporary Art

Maison Kasini presents
Montreal Contemporary Art during the South End Art Hop
September 9th & 10th,2011 in Burlington, Vermont

The South End Art Hop is Vermont’s largest visual art event. In its 19th year, the two-day event occurs on the weekend following the Labour Day holiday and attracts over 30,000 visitors and hosts more than 500 participating artists.

During the South End Art Hop, Galerie Maison Kasini (Kasini House’s Canadian sister company) presents “Montreal Contemporary Art,” an exhibition of artwork from Montreal.

The purpose of the exhibition is to generate enthusiasm for Quebec art, to promote Montreal as an art destination, and to foster dialogue and connection between the two communities. The exhibition is presented with support from L’Association des galeries d’art contemporain (AGAC) and Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC).

The two-day event will take place on Friday, September 9th and Saturday, September 10th.

VISIT EXHIBITION WEBSITE

LOCATION: The exhibition is located 266 South Champlain Street. The building is accessible from South Champlain Street and from Pine Street. To access the building from Pine Street, go to 277 Pine Street (Black Horse Fine Art Supply) and go behind the building. 277 Pine Street is across the street from The Soda Plant (SPACE, BACKSPACE, Brickels Studio Gallery, ReSource, etc).

Shovel Method by Sylvain Bouthillette (courtesy of Galerie Trois Points)

Participating Galleries

Galerie Maison Kasini | Galerie Trois Points | Galerie d’Este | Galerie Bernard

Participating Artists

Max Wyse | Sylvain Bouthillette | Aislinn Leggett | André Boucher | Jean-François Girard | Michael-Thomas Poulin | Dave Todaro | Yvon Goulet | Alice Jarry | Carl David Ruttan

Also On View

ARTSHOP

ArtShop sells small artist products. This includes books, folios, catalogues, monographs, chapbooks, ‘zines, small one-of-a-kind works, multiples, and other creative endeavours by contemporary working artists. ARTSHOP at the South End Art Hop will focus on Canadian Artists.