Nancy Weis, Castleton
I work in encaustic, which is basically painting with melted wax.It’s on boards, sometimes Masonite. I’ve done a few that were on really heavy matte board, but that’s too absorbent. I didn’t like the result. It’s a very ancient technique that was used by the Egyptians and the Greeks, and probably years before that, that we don’t know about. I’ve been doing it for probably close to 10 years now. Before that I was working in a very similar fashion but using paper, using handmade paper.
RH: Why do you art?
NW: Why do I art? I don’t know! I’ve always arted.
RH: What do you get out of it? Let me ask you this: Do you like the process, or do you like the finished product?
NW: I mostly like the process. I like working with materials. I like taking things and making them into something more. I’ve always liked making things. When I was a small child, like 8 or 9, I liked making doll clothes or doing any kind of craft. I was the oldest of many children, and so, since all the other children were younger than me, I wasn’t allowed to have dangerous materials ... like scissors and paint, and small objects that could be swallowed, and large amounts of paper. And I just never got over the need to make stuff and to make something out of nothing. Most of my artwork has to do with found objects. I’m always going along, picking up little things from the side of the road or out of the driveway. I have a 16-foot-long table in my studio that’s basically my pallette, that’s covered with little tiny things, pieces of rust.
Kate Pond, Burlington
Well, what I’ve noticed is that I’m doing work in all different mediums. After I turned 80, I decided that I wouldn’t go out and look for huge commissions in steel work. I decided I’d just do what feels more pleasurable and less competitive. I’ve brought four collages to the show. I have a sculpture project that I did around the world, and whenever I was in a certain country, I would find certain posters, you find beautiful posters, and then in my journal I’d do collage. My sculpture is made of steel usually, but I just enjoyed using things I’d find in the environment wherever I was and using them in my journal. Found objects. Wire and feathers and beautiful colors on the posters, political posters. I was in Italy, and there were a lot of political posters.
Ruth Hamilton, Benson
I make whatever the spirit moves me to make, which is usually nature. Something in nature, a beautiful vision that I see, color is something that I love. It brings me balance and joy in my life. I feel very much over the years that I appreciate how much art is a counter to violence and hatred in the world, and fear — mostly fear — that it connects people to our interconnectedness. I think if we honored art — not just visual art, but all arts more as an expression for people, then it does help eliminate fear. It’s always troubled me that it’s getting cut in the schools ... that people are way too focused on going out today and making a buck rather than the real essence of life’s experiences. And maybe we have to get to be in our 70-pluses to really appreciate that. I hope not. Because I do hear a lot of young people speaking the same way — that they want something more meaningful and more caring, and more generous-hearted to be happening in the world. That’s what I’m looking for.
Barbara Garber, Putney
RH: When I began talking with Bill (Ramage) about this show, he said it was his idea that people of age have a different perspective on life that’s represented in the art you make. What do you think accounts for that?
BG: Well, you know, it’s been 50 years of studio practice, which is not a short amount of time. I mean, not that I didn’t do a lot of other things. I definitely did — I taught and I raised kids ... but the studio is a daily practice and the more you do it, the more you realize that it’s every day. Sometimes the days are wonderful, and sometimes the days are really hard, but it’s a daily thing, and it’s taught me a lot about myself and about life, and that continues. That’s the pleasure of it right now, this ritual of going to the studio.
Mary Fran Lloyd, Rutland Town
I’m doing collage now. I’ve done all kinds of art all through my life. It’s acrylic and collage now, more abstract now is what I’m doing, and I like it because I can put my feelings out onto the canvas. And this show I’m very pleased to be involved with. It really made me think a lot because all the things we have witnessed in our lives, all through that, I’ve been doing art. I started out doing more traditional art. I’ve done watercolor and all kinds of mixed media art. By doing this show here, it made me think a lot more about what has happened throughout my life, through our lives, and how fortunate I’ve been to have art in my life. It gives me pleasure. And I can share how I feel about things better in my art than often speaking up front with people. I think it brings things all together for you. And the older that you get, the more you grow with it. And that’s, sort of, my theme for this show.
Opening reception for the 77ART exhibition “70+: ‘Gero-Transcendence’” at 77 Gallery, 77 Grove St., is set from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 6. Visit bit.ly/0406ArtistsReign to watch this week’s Street Talk video.