Octoplas by Michelle Lougee

"Octoplas" (2009)
by Michelle Lougee,
plastic shopping bags,

Washing J-Class 605 by O. Winston Link

"Washing J-Class 605,
Roanoke, VA" (1955)
by O. Winston Link,
silver gelatin print, 28x24"

A Waterfront development idea by one designer

A secton of one designer's concept for developing the river frontage in downtown Brattleboro

Closeup of Lumberland installation by Andy Yoder

This closeup of Andy Yoder's "Lumberland" installation shows one of the special planks of wood.

BMAC Exhibits Explore the River, Trains & Everyday Things

Bird of Knowledge by Peter DeCamp Haines

"Bird of Knowledge" (2007)
by Peter DeCamp Haines,
bronze, 76x15x15"

Five new exhibits opened at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center on July 24. Encompassing a diverse range of artists, styles, and mediums, the new exhibits explore such issues as the aesthetic value of everyday items, the history of railroading, the role of the photographer as documentarian and artist, and Brattleboro's relationship with the Connecticut River. A free public reception to honor the exhibiting artists is scheduled during Gallery Walk on August 6, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Occupying the museum's Main Gallery is an exhibit entitled "Reshaping Reality," which showcases the work of eleven artists associated with the Boston Sculptors Gallery, a cooperative located in Boston's South End. According to guest curator Carol Seitchik, "Artists are always testing boundaries, shaping and reshaping materials and forms to generate new approaches to their personal and global histories. This exhibit is about elevating the ordinary to the level of art, recycling and articulating materials into layers of meaning, whether social, political, or cultural in theme." The work varies in medium from cast bronze and aluminum to wire screen, wood, video and sound, to found objects and recycled plastic bags.

In the museum's Center Gallery is an exhibit especially well suited for display in Brattleboro's historic Union Station building. "O. Winston Link: Steam & Steel" consists of 25 large black-and-white photographs of the great locomotive era by the foremost train photographer of the 20th century. According to BMAC director Danny Lichtenfeld, the exhibit may represent the largest sampling of Link's work ever to be shown in Vermont. The signed silver-gelatin prints come to BMAC on loan from Putney, Vermont resident Mary Bachmann, one of Link's former studio assistants. The exhibit is sponsored in part by Potter Stewart Jr. Law Offices and Berkley & Veller Greenwood Country Realtors.

Hot Shot Eastbound by O. Winston Link

"Hot Shot Eastbound,
Iaeger, WV" (1956)
by O. Winston Link,
silver gelatin print, 20x24"

Two of the museum's three smaller galleries contain installations exploring the relationship between Brattleboro and the Connecticut River. Sandy Gellis' "River Stories," sponsored in part by Marlboro College, consists of water and sediment samples taken from the river itself, as well as hand-written transcriptions of stories, reflections, and reminiscences about the river told to Gellis by residents of Brattleboro and the surrounding area. A wholly different approach to the question of the Connecticut River's role in the life of Brattleboro is represented in "Renewing the Riverfront," an interactive exhibit in the museum's Activity Gallery, which presents various land-use ideas developed over the past ten years for the soon-to-be-renovated stretch of riverfront property behind the museum, just south of the bridge to Hinsdale, N.H. The most recent ideas in the exhibit are being developed right now by participants in Marlboro College's Center for Creative Solutions under the guidance of artist and former BMAC trustee Michael Singer.

Lumberland by Andy Yoder

Andy Yoder's massive "Lumberland" installation seems to defy gravity.

Rounding out the new set of exhibits is "Lumberland," an installation by artist Andy Yoder, known to many in Brattleboro as creator of the giant licorice shoes exhibited at BMAC several years ago. "Lumberland" consists of seven picnic tables stacked seemingly haphazardly, one on top of the next, floor to ceiling, in the museum's East Gallery. The picnic tables are chained together, and each one contains one or more planks of exotic wood fancily inscribed with the Latin and English names of the tree from which it was cut and the locations where such trees are found.

A diverse array of public programs, ranging from artist talks and guest lectures to film screenings and sketchcrawls, is also planned.

Major support for the Museum's 2010-2011 season is provided by its members and Entergy Vermont Yankee, Foard Panel, C&S Wholesale Grocers, Sam's Outdoor Outfitters, and Chittenden Bank. BMAC exhibits and the gift shop are open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, except Tuesday and Wednesday. Regular admission is $6 for adults, $4 for seniors, and $3 for students. Members and children 5 and under are admitted free of charge.

Founded in 1972, the BMAC is located in historic Union Station in downtown Brattleboro, at the intersection of Main Street (Route 5) and Routes 119 and 142. The Museum is wheelchair accessible. For more information call 802-257-0124 or visit www.brattleboromuseum.org.

Copyright 2010, Gallery Walk, Brattleboro, Vermont

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