BRATTLEBORO – Eight new exhibits open at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (BMAC) Saturday, March 14, with an opening reception at 3 p.m. All the exhibiting artists are expected to attend the reception, which is free and open to the public. The exhibits will be on view through June 14, except for the new installation in the museum’s window bays, which will remain on display for a year.
Taking its name from the number of people who were unsheltered in America in 2018, “Steven Kinder: 552,830” features portraits of people experiencing homelessness that Kinder has met over the years in New York City. Kinder’s large-scale monochromatic canvases are suspended, unframed, from the gallery ceiling.
“To see these images, we need to lift our chins and eyes, as if we were looking at a historical portrait in an institution,” said curator Katherine Gass Stowe. “Through Kinder’s art we not only see (the people depicted), we feel their humanity as we register their steady gaze right back at us.”
Complementing Kinder’s portraits of people experiencing homelessness in New York City is Brattleboro artist Liz LaVorgna’s multimedia project “Coffee & Conversation: Stories of Homelessness,” on view in the Museum’s Ticket Gallery. In 2015, Lavorgna began working on the project in collaboration with filmmaker Wyatt Andrews and with support from Groundworks Collaborative. For this exhibit, LaVorgna revisits the project, updating some of the original stories, introducing new stories, and documenting how the landscape has changed for un-housed people in Brattleboro in the past five years.
In the Center Gallery, “Alison Wright: Grit and Grace, Women at Work,” supported in part by a grant from the Vermont Women’s Fund, consists of approximately 30 large photographs printed on aluminum panels that showcase the strength and perseverance of women around the world working to survive and to transform their communities.
“Roger Clark Miller: Transmuting the Prosaic” is an installation featuring video, sound, and modified vinyl records mounted on the walls of the Museum’s Mary Sommer Room. Miller is a co-founder of the art-punk band Mission of Burma and a member of Alloy Orchestra, a three-person ensemble that Roger Ebert called “the best in the world at accompanying silent films.” This is the first-ever exhibition of Miller’s visual art.
Inspired by an experience in 2011 with a 5.8-magnitude earthquake, artist Steven Rose has created an immersive environment in the Museum’s East Gallery designed to reflect the beauty of syncopated movement. The installation “Steven Rose: For/While (2020.01)” gives viewers the opportunity to experience the artist’s interpretation of a phenomenon he witnessed on that unsettling day, which he describes as a “sublime folding of chaos into order.”
“Postcards to Brattleboro: 40 Years of Mail Art” features postcards, cut-outs, drawings, and poems sent and received over nearly 50 years by Stuart Copans, known in the mail art world as “Shmuel.” The items are drawn from Copans’ extensive mail art archive, estimated to include over 25,000 artifacts.
Massachusetts glass artist Wesley Fleming sculpts molten glass into lifelike, brilliantly colored replicas of the wildflowers and insect pollinators native to our New England woodlands. Tucked into BMAC’s Spotlight Gallery, “Wesley Fleming: Silvestris, Wild and Untamed” features Fleming’s exquisitely detailed glass creations, including wild columbine, jack in the pulpit, and other woodland signs of spring.
“John Gibson: Jazz” is a yearlong installation in the five large window bays extending across the front of BMAC’s Union Station. For more than 30 years, Gibson has focused primarily on paintings of balls, often decorated with dots or stripes.
Hours are: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Tuesday; admission is $8, $6 for seniors, $4 for students, 18 and younger free; call 802-257-0124 or visit www.brattleboromuseum.org. The BMAC is located in historic Union Station, at the intersection of Main Street and Routes 119 and 142.