"From the River, to the River"
The Town of Brattleboro and the artist team of Elizabeth Billings, Evie Lovett and Andrea Wasserman invite the Brattleboro community to bring a picnic and enjoy ice cream floats by the river during Gallery Walk on July 1 to celebrate the opening of "From the River, To the River," a public art project funded by the National Endowment for the Arts "Our Town" grant awarded to Brattleboro.
Town officials and the artists will welcome the community at 6:00 p.m. at the Brattleboro Transportation Center (77 Flat St.) against the backdrop of "River Wall," a kinetic sculpture of 38,000 sequins imagining water patterns on the Transportation Center. "Projected Water," a video of images of over 300 people in the Brattleboro community and water imagery, will play at the site throughout Gallery Walk.
At 6:15, dancers from the Southern Vermont Dance Festival will lead those assembled to the Riverfront at Depot Street to gather at 6:30 on newly installed granite benches for viewing "River Portrait"—an 8'x25' photographic collage—and for remarks, poetry, ice cream floats, and performances. Legible Bodies Dance Company will present an excerpt from "NarcissUS," which will be performed during the Southern Vermont Dance Festival, July 14-17, 2016 in Brattleboro (www.southernvermontdancefestival.com).
"From the River, To the River" is a series of site-specific art installations considering the unique relationship between Brattleboro and the Connecticut River by three artists committed to exploring the relationships of people and place. Invigorating two locations—the Brattleboro Transportation Center and the Riverfront at Depot Street—with sculpture, photographs, video projections, poetry, public events, and social media, the project connects the river and the Brattleboro community through art.
The project was launched in November 2015 with a volunteer effort to clear a view to the Connecticut River by the Riverfront at Depot Street. Responding to Facebook and press appeals, more than 35 volunteers gathered and spent the day cutting brush and pulling debris from the river's edge.
Over the course of the winter, the artists held three Portrait-Taking events. Over three hundred people in the community came to be photographed. Their silhouettes were combined with water imagery and transformed into "Projected Water," a seven-minute video to be projected nightly on the hour from dusk through 11:00 p.m. in the driveway to the right (east) of the Transportation Center on Flat Street. For the July 1 Gallery Walk, "Projected Water" will be shown in the Transportation Center lobby.
In the event of rain, everyone is asked to meet at 6:00 p.m. at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center for parading to the Transportation Center.
The many facets of "From the River, To the River"—the new view of the river, "River Wall," "Projected Water," "River Portrait," mirrored poetry panels, and twelve granite benches—have the combined intent of fostering a closer visual, physical, and emotional connection between the town of Brattleboro and the Connecticut River. Community members are invited to join in the collaboration by sharing their interaction with the river and the artwork on the project's Facebook page— www.facebook.com/fromtherivertotheriver/ —and by posting their photographs to Instagram with the hashtag #fromtherivertotheriver.
A celebration of the river to include discussions, art, dance, and music is planned as the culminating event of the "From the River, To the River" project in 2017.
Copyright 2016, Gallery Walk, Brattleboro, Vermont