Curated by Rachel Moore
Exhibition dates: July 11 – October 14, 2015
Opening Saturday, July 11th at 4:00 pm for a reception and walkabout with progressive hors d'oeuvres.
Helen Day Art Center in Stowe, Vermont presents our 24th annual outdoor sculpture exhibition.
For 24 years Exposed, Helen Day Art Center’s annual outdoor sculpture exhibition, has been a part of the community of Stowe, Vermont. Please join us as once again we celebrate sculpture, site-specific installations and participatory work from thirteen sculptors and poetry on storefront windows by the late former Vermont Poet Laureate, Ruth Stone.
Lucas Cowan, Public Art Curator at Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy
Sarah McCutcheon Greiche, Public Art Consultant and Curator
Stowe native Scott Boyd has been working in various media, including wood, marble, steel, and bronze, since 1980. He received a BA from Reed College and an MFA in sculpture from Yale University School of Art. He also studied wood sculpting at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, and marble carving in Tinos, Greece and Pietrasanta, Italy. His work has been shown in New York City; Garrison, New York; Boston; New Haven, Connecticut; Portland, Oregon; Stowe; and Paris.
I think of my sculpture, Intention, as a dialectic between form and motive. Generally speaking, dialectic is a mode of thought, or a philosophic medium, through which contradiction becomes a starting point (rather than a dead end) for contemplation.
For me, creating this sculpture has been a matter of establishing a formal premise and conflicting this with my own artistic process. I developed two identical geometric forms that are measured in whole numbers. The intercepting part dividing the two is measured, for the most part, in fractional numbers and operates under its own set of conditions. I used shifts in symmetry and alignment to create a competitive tension between the two boxlike shapes. While dividing these two heavyweights, the central fractional development suggests a dialectical process that results in synthesis, resolution and aesthetic balance.
A student of acclaimed artists Marc di Suvero and John Henry, John Clement’s geometric work follows in a similar tradition of large-scale Constructivist-inspired sculpture, and yet breaks the boundaries of the genre by constantly playing with the ideas of form and space in curvilinear compositions. After receiving a BA from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992, Clement studied briefly at New York’s School of Visual Arts before moving on to work with di Suvero and Henry. In addition to numerous gallery exhibitions, Clement has also completed many important public commissions and installations across the United States and abroad. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn.
JOHN CLEMENT SAYS OF HIS WORK: I built Tiller in 2007 at my studio on Metropolitan Avenue in Brooklyn. Initially, I had been struggling with the form of the sculpture; I felt it was lacking cohesion. Then, I had the idea to incorporate straight lengths of pipe. As soon as I laid the parts in place and took a step back, I realized that the long pipes reminded me of a tiller from a sailboat. They gave the work direction.
As a child I spent a good deal of time sailing the waters north of Boston in a 28-foot Cape Dory sailboat, which had a tiller. I vividly recall my father commanding me to take the tiller as he headed forward to wrestle with the sails, and feeling the boat immediately react to the tiller’s movement. I was awed that this large vessel could be controlled by a mere stick of smooth wood. In a similar sense, when I added the straight piece to this sculpture, it seemingly took full control of the work and steered it towards completion.
Christopher Curtis, 64, is a stone and metal sculptor working in Stowe. While studying sculpture and fine art at the University of Vermont, his mentor Paul Achenbach insisted he develop a broad range of sculpting skills. So he began exploring a wide spectrum of media, including stainless steel, bronze, wood, glass, and fine metals. But the moment he carved into a piece of stone, he knew he had found his passion. He has been a sculptor for over 40 years now, and his works reflects a persistent interest in using science and technology in the creation of his art.
Gnomon, X-Bench, and Quiet, although very different in their initial appearance, share a common trait that, along with the overall designs, reveals an important aspect of my work: Each piece combines a highly finished surface with the natural, unworked skin of the original stone. This blend of refined and raw materials refers both to mankind’s propensity to alter our environment and to our fleeting place in the course of geological time.
In particular, Gnomon (a gnomon is the part of a sundial that casts the shadow) underscores this theme. Composed of a slender standing stone whose base is encased in modern stainless steel and aggrandized with a timeless gold shield, Gnomon’s shadow marks the passage of hours as the earth completes a single daily rotation. It is intended to honor the Earth’s annual revolution of the sun, and reflect a worship for Ra, our four billion year old star.
Murray Dewart is an internationally recognized sculptor who, during his 40-year career, has built large public and private pieces across the U.S. Sculpture Magazine named him "one of Boston's premier sculptors," and he has work displayed in more than 30 permanent collections, among them the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, The Boston Athenaeum, The DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Harvard University, and the San Marco Museum in Peru. Dewart has also built public sculptures in Beijing and Fuzhou, China, as well as in Ra'annana, near Tel Aviv. He is a co-founder of the Boston Sculptors Gallery.
There is a town near Stowe called Jerusalem Four Corners, and the name triggered my imagination. I began building gate-like forms, and titled the first ones after the gates of the Old City in Jerusalem, Israel, and and later ones after gates in Ireland (like the sculpture shown here, Donegal Gate). I would sometimes say, "There is a part of me traveling toward Jerusalem in a way I cannot explain." These gate forms have become a metaphor for pilgrimage and a kind of yearning. One day I stopped by the general store in Jerusalem Four Corners where a red-headed girl was sweeping, and I asked her where Jerusalem was. She smiled, pulling back her braid, and said, "There's nothing really there."
Susie J. Gray could never decide what she wanted to be when she grew up. Consequently, she wears multiple hats. Thank heavens she adores hats! Artist. Craftsperson. Designer. Educator. She loves life and all of creation.
When she is not substitute teaching or working as a counselor at the Live Y'ers after-school program, she spends her time designing edible landscapes and weaving willow, doing graphic design and illustration, painting, crafting with various fibers, and writing.
Seven years ago, during a period of personal struggle, I came upon "The Story of the Emperor Moth," a short, inspiring tale about the miraculous transformation that takes place through metamorphosis. In the story, I learned that the intense effort a moth expends in order to emerge from its cocoon is precisely what allows its wings to fully expand in all their glory—making flight and, thus, its very life possible.
Since then, I have experienced a metamorphosis of my own, as a woman, differently abled human being, traditional craftsperson, and artist.
Cocoon represents a new beginning. To all who enter, I hope you find it a sanctuary—a place to read, draw, or simply sit enveloped by the willow and dream big dreams.
With profound joy and thanksgiving to the One, and the ones, who make this life journey with me.
Andrea Lilienthal grew up in the San Francisco Bay area and now lives in Brooklyn. Although she has been in an urban environment for years, an early exposure to pastoral landscape had a strong effect on her work. Her outdoor site-specific installation, Six Ladders, was on exhibit throughout 2014 at the Katonah Museum in New York. Last February, she also installed Roundabout, 137 painted white birch saplings, at the Helen Day Art Center. During the past few years, her work has been displayed, among other places, at Wave Hill in the Bronx and The Gallery at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, where she had a solo show entitled Outside In.
Ladders are both utilitarian and universal. They extend our reach, making it possible for us to go beyond our natural limits. In art and literature, from prehistoric to modern times, ladders have carried symbolic associations. Positioned on the balcony high above the entryway to the Helen Day Art Center and leaning against the building's triangular facade, this bamboo ladder is not for climbing in a physical sense. The only way to climb Tip Top is with the imagination.
I have been intrigued with bamboo's linear and sculptural qualities ever since I saw bamboo construction scaffolds and spindly 30-foot ladders in India. I was struck by their minimalist forms and the simple geometry of their rhythmic rungs.
In Tip Top, I highlighted the bamboo's segmentation with a colorful palette of high-gloss enamel paint, accenting the natural growth patterns of the bamboo. The colors and patterns are chosen to create a strong sense of silhouette against the white peaked roof, and cast a shadow at different times of the day.
Kathryn Lipke Vigesaa is an artist and filmmaker whose work spans the natural and built worlds. She finds connections in the materials and forms of each of these environments, and uses their duality to point to the strange suspension of humanity between them.
Vigesaa has exhibited her art in Canada, the US, and Europe, and has participated in sculpture symposiums in Finland, Germany, Mexico, and Argentina. She was born and educated in North Dakota, then completed her graduate studies in the College of Environmental Design at the University of California, Berkeley. She presently lives and works at her studio near North Troy, Vermont.
For the past 18 years, I have been living on the edge of the North Branch River, where water and its flow has become the subject of much of my artwork. Water is reflected in sculpture, video, sound, and photo as movement, nurturing and life giving. Water is economics; it represents sustenance; it reflects space and time. The river can be both beautiful and threatening; it is dreams and memory; it is light absorbed and reflected; it is power. Rivers are pathways for travel and motion. I build vessels, forms, and environments based on these experiences that allude to our own brief journey through life as part of a more universal, seemingly illusory context and continuum.
A native of Mohawk River Valley in upstate New York, John Matusz was born in the late 1940’s, a child of the postwar baby boom. His childhood knack for drawing combined with high school visits to the Munson Williams Proctor Institute (a fine arts center in Utica, New York) shaped his early artistic interest.
Matusz’ focus progressed from drawing to painting to sculpture. He underwent formal welding training in 1969 in Schenectady, New York, which accelerated his sculptural development and is now the main focus of his attention. He currently lives and works in Northern Vermont.
Three Sisters is composed of a stainless steel stem and three solid granite spheres. I cut and welded the stainless steel myself, and had the granite carved and machined in Barre, Vermont. Then, I did the final assembly and polishing at my studio in Waitsfield—no easy feat considering this massive sculpture weighs one full ton.
Raised in the Boston area, Evan Morse has been pursuing a career in sculpture since graduating from Wheaton College in 2009. He studied sculpture and marble carving in Carrara, Italy, which inspired him to combine traditional practices with an exploration of various materials and forms. His work ranges from representational figures to enigmatic, geometry-based compositions. He received his MFA from Boston University this past May.
The sculptural process of Warp was driven by a curiosity of unknown results. When I initially conceived this design of taut cord on an aluminum frame, I did not know exactly how it would look when finished, but I did know that it would appear different from every angle. I was also intrigued to see how the idea I’d drawn up on paper would translate when constructed with actual materials. The result of this composition was that the tension of the nylon cord caused the aluminum to bend.
Warp echoes the practical concerns of engineers, architects, and designers, while the sculpture itself serves only an aesthetic or philosophical function. The red lines on a rigid frame are reminiscent of computer imaging, yet they exist in three-dimensional space in real materials. Warp was constructed in wonder of our physical world, the beauty of geometry, and the mysteries of physics.
explores the relationship between material and process. His work can be found in private and public collections throughout the U.S. and abroad, and a collection of his pieces is currently on view at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center.
Nava maintains a residence in Putney, Vermont, where he is the head of the sculpture program at The Putney School. He regularly frequents New York City to gain new inspiration and continue his exploration of process-oriented art using steel and explosive-forming techniques. He is represented by Yellow Peril Gallery in Rhode Island.
My work is rooted in a continual exploration of form, as well as a commitment to process-oriented art. My most recent series—including the two shown here, Infinity Form Large and Reverse Trapezohedron Form—consists of large, closed steel forms that are expanded using a controlled explosion. This series is the result of a persistent need to continue the dialogue of contemporary sculpture. I have developed a unique method that allows me to create nonrepresentational sculptures that are the pure, authentic result of the relationship between the material, process, artist, and viewer. When I expand my work, I am attempting to dismantle my tie to an object by allowing it to become its own object. These are not sculptures fabricated to look like they are "inflated;" they are the remnants of a real experience.
Burlington-based sculptor Kate Pond has created a body of work that encompasses universal principles of art and science. Her public and private sculptures invite engagement from young and old. After growing up in the hills of Vermont, she graduated from Skidmore College, studied art in Paris, and has been a working artist since 1972. Her pieces include Sunfix, US Port of Entry, in Highgate Springs, Vermont; Kiss II, in Burlington; Wellspring, at Brandeis University; ZigZag in Quebec; Solekko in Norway; All One, in Hawaii; Himeguri in Japan; Telling Stones in New Zealand; and others in Vermont, California, and Florida.
Kate Pond says of her work: SENTINEL (formerly Hidden Agenda), a concrete and Corten steel sculpture, is part of a series of work I did in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The entire series has a definite reference to the rectilinear—and SENTINEL in particular is centered and archetypal, with the two materials meeting in a curve. The rust pattern connects the steel and concrete visually and was intentional. The top section’s Corten “weathering steel” has evolved to a permanent patina. It is an outdoor piece with no maintenance requirement.
Bruce White was born in Bayshore, New York, and grew up in New Jersey, where he spent most of his summers on Long Island and the Jersey shore, and developed a keen interest in boat building and sailing. He earned a BA at the University of Maryland, followed by an MA and PhD at Columbia. After years of teaching art at schools around the country, he finally settled at Northern Illinois University due to its proximity to Chicago—the city internationally recognized for contemporary public sculpture—and recently received the Distinguished Research Professorship award.
He works primarily with stainless steel and aluminum, although he has also created pieces in bronze and granite. In addition to sculpture for residential and commercial interiors, he has crafted numerous large-scale exterior public works.
My sculpture has been described as "an elegant union of ancient symbolism and contemporary science." : When I’m conceiving a new work, I don’t usually begin with a specific idea in mind; rather, I rely on the manipulation of paper or thin sheet metal to generate a "surprise" solution, which can only be fully realized three dimensionally. At that point, I’ll pursue the idea on a larger scale.
In recent projects—including Light Ring—I take advantage of an open interior by randomly piercing the surface so that during the day, sunlight is captured within and "bounces" around to make the sculpture shimmer from the sun's movement as it reflects on the different angles.
Michael Zebrowski was born in Buffalo, New York in 1978, the son of a truck driver and a quilter. His work explores art, architecture, and science through the lens of material culture. After earned an MA in architecture from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2003, he went on to teach art, design, and architecture at various institutions. He is currently an assistant professor of fine arts at Johnson State College in Vermont. Zebrowski has exhibited installations, public interventions, and documentation in Buffalo; Baltimore; Geneva, NY; Detroit; and Rotterdam in the Netherlands.
My creative practice investigates the concept of architecture as an instrument to record time, space, and light. I am inspired by the developments in physics, astronomy, and astrophysics from Newton through Einstein, as well as the current thought explorations of theoretical scientists. Observatory focuses on the human perception of the fundamental laws of the universe acting on architecture. In other words, architecture is an instrument and our phenomenological experience of it provides a reading of the calibrated device.
My theoretical and built work intentionally explores various forms of output, including but not limited to: video, photography, installations, public interventions, and furniture-scaled constructions. Drawing has served as a conceptual probe to find ground and support for my making; my rigorous sketchbook practice is the backbone of this probe.
Presented by Petra & Stephen Levin and The Helen Day Art Center
Steve & Mary Jean Beimdiek
Gail & Steven Blumsack
Diane Arnold & Dean Goodermote
Frank & Elaine Ittleman