A Show by The Chelsea Collective
The Catherine Dianich Gallery, at 139 Main St. in Brattleboro, will be hosting a show by London's Chelsea Collective to close out its exhibit year. You might be wondering how such an unusual opportunity has landed in the middle of downtown Brattleboro with the region's modest population. The story began about two years ago....
Brattleboro native Aaron Distler and the Collective's 15 other artists -- 7 from England, 2 from the US, 2 from Portugal, and one each from Italy, Poland, Korea, and China -- met in a post-grad program at London's Chelsea College of Art & Design. The group decided to formalize itself in recognition of the value of creative collaboration between so many culturally diverse voices and across a range of mediums.
Though many of them live and work in London, their initial thrust is towards celebrating each members' roots: the cultural, experiential, and geographic origins of what they each do as artists. They decided to celebrate this by "bringing it all back home," literally. In July 2012 they began planning an Inaugural Exhibition series for which each member curates a show of new work by everyone in the Collective back in their own hometown, wherever in the world that may be.
Their stated intention is "to go against the trend of geographic homogenization, of emerging artists' work being mainly experienced in urban centers. We believe that where and how art is seen should be dictated by more then just the market pull of the cities, a pull which denies broader cultural stimulation to those in other places and also denies the artist the opportunity to engage directly with the people and places that have played an important formative part in their life and work."
After a show in Norwich, England, Aaron volunteered to take the next exhibition by the Collective to his more-or-less rural hometown in Vermont. He set parameters for his colleagues within the theme of spatial relationships, physical as well as psychological: all members' work must be able to fit into three checked bags and a carry-on for his flight from London.
Brattleboro's "Three Cases and a Carry-On" exhibit is being gathered up as you read this. After the Dianich show there will be further exhibitions, each with entirely new work by the Collective, at stops to include: Lisbon, London, Chicago, San Francisco and Seoul, Korea -- as well as presumably a few other less-urban locales.
The Chelsea Collective show at the Dianich Gallery will have its opening reception on Friday, December 21, from 3 to 5 p.m. Stop by to meet Aaron Distler and enjoy the Collective's work, which includes mainly paintings and sculptures but also a couple of video presentations and a sound piece as well.
From Saturday, December 22, through Saturday, the 28th, the show will be open from 1 to 4 each afternoon (except on Christmas, of course!), and from 1 to 5 on closing day, the 29th. The exhibit can also be seen by appointment at other times by calling Aaron at (802) 254-9595.
Copyright 2012-13, Gallery Walk, Brattleboro, Vermont