Glasstastic creature designed by a child

One of the Glasstastic creatures designed by kids and created by a professional glass artist

Paul Shore's drawing of a brush in his home

Paul Shore's drawing of a brush in his home

A view of Little Echo Canyon by Claire Van Vliet

A view of Little Echo Canyon, lithograph by Claire Van Vliet

New Exhibits at BMAC Run Through June

Six new exhibits opened on March 18 at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center, 28 Vernon St., and will be up through the middle of June. The exhibit information below is excerpted from the BMAC's website. Museum hours are daily 11-5, closed Tues. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, $4 for students; free for members, under age 18, and Thurs. after 2 p.m.

GLASSTASTIC—This is BMAC's third exhibit inspired by the Kids Design Glass program at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington. We asked kids in grades K-6 to submit drawings and descriptions of their own imaginary creatures and received over 1,000 submissions!... The artists experimented with processes, materials, and a variety of glass-working techniques to bring the menagerie to life. Sand, ash, and lime were heated together in a furnace until they blended into viscous glass. For some sculptures the molten glass was gathered on the end of a hollow pipe and rolled, stretched, and given form with the artist's breath. For others, shapes were carefully cut from cold glass, then layered and placed in kilns, allowing the separate pieces to fuse together. In sculptures that were flame-worked, brightly colored rods of glass were heated with a torch and manipulated to form intricate details.... Many of these imaginary creatures have surprising habits and abilities; page through the drawings displayed in books on exhibit shelves to learn even more about these newly discovered beings! — Linda Whelihan, Curator

Ed Koren cartoon of dinosaurs

"The reason you all are becoming extinct is that you can't take a joke." (1977)

SERIOUSLY FUNNY: ED KOREN—Koren is one of those cartoonists whose sense of humor and draftsmanship are immediately recognizable as his own. Koren's New Yorkers are a quirky breed, known for their intellectual pretentions, their neglect of tonsorial responsibilities, and their obliviousness to the weather. They can always be counted on to deliver witty observations, albeit sometimes inscrutable to anyone other than denizens of the Upper West Side.... When Koren moved to Vermont many years ago, he discovered a culture that seemed completely different from that of the city. Yet over time, similarities revealed themselves—the familiar pretensions, an understated humor, and an off-and-on desire for privacy. Koren's Vermonters share their New York counterparts' almost aggressive impulse to help strangers in need, especially hapless out-of-towners. — Jeff Danziger, Curator

All the human theater around me captures my attention. I can never quite believe my luck in stumbling upon riveting mini-dramas taking place within earshot and eyeshot. To be always undercover makes my practice of deep noticing even more delicious. I can take in all the details as long as I appear inattentive. Wonderful moments of comedy happen right under my nose, and my low expectations are never disappointed. — Edward Koren

BMAC installation by Soo Sunny Park

LUMINOUS MUQARNA: SOO SUNNY PARK—Soo Sunny Park transforms the viewer's experience of light from solely a perceptual phenomenon into a physically robust presence with weight and volume. She created Luminous Muqarna for the Islamic Arts Festival in the United Arab Emirates. The work's sculptural elements derive from muqarnas, ornamental vaults found in Islamic architecture, especially mosques.... Park animates the gallery with an abundance of domed forms in green and blue, fashioned from petal-like segments that cascade down, in, and around the space. The interplay of these domes and their shadows created by white light spilling through the pierced surfaces works a kind of magic. The shadows, cast in all directions, create a dynamic weave of intricate patterns. The experience seems at once weighty and weightless, transporting us to some mysterious, even sacred, environment. — Mara Williams, Chief Curator

In my work over the last ten years I have moved toward using cast light as a sculptural material. I reconfigure boundary materials—fencing, plastic, glass, sheetrock—to expand and explore a variety of transitional spaces between inside and outside, sculpture and drawing, vision and perception, objects and their shadows. — Soo Sunny Park

DRAWN HOME: PAUL SHORE—Inspired by Audubon's heroic project to draw all the birds of North America, Paul Shore looked at his home and drew every object in it. His four-year undertaking comprises 792 drawings, 13 prints, and 13 sculptures, all made to scale or larger. Each drawing is a fully realized work of art with its own dynamic pictorial invention; collectively they constitute a primer on the art of drawing. Lines vary tremendously in character and expressive potential. They can display diverse qualities such as textured or smooth, dark or light, continuous or broken, curvilinear or rectilinear, heavy or delicate, thick or thin.... Rendering three-dimensional objects in two-dimensional space requires the mental agility to compress space in a pictorially logical manner. Paul Shore's hand conveys technical genius and impeccable sensitivity, immersing the viewer in the magic of his Drawn Home. — Mara Williams, Chief Curator

At first I thought of Drawn Home as a still-life project. But after a short time I realized that it was more a self-portrait project. The objects in one's home, both intentionally and randomly acquired ones, are not only things but also representations of needs and desires. This work has been an obsessive process, with a parallel in psychoanalysis: digging around in hidden places, uncovering forgotten memories, and presenting it all. — Paul Shore

Collage by Mary Welsh

"Fire and Ice," a collage by Mary Welsh

APPEARANCES & REALITY: MARY WELSH—The houses and rooms created by Mary Welsh allow us to enter a world where the borders between inside/outside, waking/dreaming, reality/imagination, and mind/body are porous. It is a world of wonder, where we delight in both the physical and the fantastic. While the framework is familiar, the content transforms the scenes into something exotic.... Borrowing freely from the art historical canon, Welsh embeds images of acknowledged masterpieces in her collages, alongside pictures from magazines and other graphic sources. Through this unusual combination of images, she explores ideas at once personal and cultural, breaking new ground and creating richly nuanced, unique works of art. — Mara Williams, Chief Curator

Viewing these scenes evokes memories and fantasies of houses and rooms. While some images represent exactly what they appear to, some do not. These dwellings, their settings, and their contents evoke the layers of mystery surrounding the lives of all of us. — Mary Welsh

GHOST MESA: CLAIRE VAN VLIET—Having lived on the Salisbury Plain near Stonehenge and crossed the Atlantic several times as a child, Van Vliet has long been drawn to mountains and rock formations, as well as megalithic stone circles and icebergs, which hold an almost talismanic power for her.... The landscape of the American Southwest provides the inspiration for the works exhibited here. In magnificent lithographs, Van Vliet conveys the power and presence of giant rock formations isolated against the sky. She captures the volume and scale of these boulders, crags, ridges, bluffs, and escarpments. She defines the outer and inner contours of the formations by contrasting dark crevasses, so inky they seem to swallow light, with the light-struck granular textures of the plateaus and cliff faces. Using handmade papers, ranging from dense and mottled pulps to delicate Florentine patterns, she adds layers of complexity. These are bracing images—creations of aesthetic rigor and poetic wisdom. — Mara Williams, Chief Curator

Drawing rocks on lithographic limestone rock feels somehow very right. The rock formations in these prints originated under the great inland sea that covered the center of North America millions of years ago. Lifting with the rising of the continent, they are now over a mile high and continue to be shaped by the sandblasting of the wind. — Claire Van Vliet

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