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)