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“Akumal Beach VII’ (2018), a collage and mixed media piece by David Kapp.

The Arts

Six new exhibits open at BMAC on June 22

Works will include beach scenes, activist photography, and immersive installations

BRATTLEBORO—Six new exhibits open at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center on Saturday, June 22, at 11 a.m. An opening reception, free and open to all, will take place the same day at 5:30 p.m. Many of the exhibiting artists are expected to attend.

The new exhibits include the summer-themed “Ocean’s Edge,” consisting of three artists’ depictions of life at the beach; a retrospective of the work of social documentary photographer and activist Dona Ann McAdams; new installations by Barbara Takenaga and Angus McCullough; photographs of North American bridges by David Plowden; and a selection of steel sculptures and works on paper by Timothy Segar.

The new exhibits will remain up through Sept. 23.

“Ocean’s Edge” features three artists with widely divergent styles, according to a news release.

Isca Greenfield-Sanders’ layered compositions, derived from found images, illustrate at once how time by the sea is remembered as well as the wonder of being at the ocean’s edge.

David Kapp’s collages in saturated colors use simple strips of cut paper to portray bathers at leisure under the hot sun of Mexico.

Graham Nickson renders the changing dynamics of the beach in all seasons, deftly capturing moments of contemplation.

“Dona Ann McAdams: Performative Acts” spans more than four decades of the social documentary photographer’s work.

Curated by John Killacky, the exhibit features McAdams’ black and white photographs of performance artists, nuns, race track workers, people with schizophrenia, working farm animals, and anti-nuclear, pro-choice, war protest, feminist, queer liberation, and AIDS activism protests.

In the news release, BMAC Chief Curator Mara Williams describes “Barbara Takenaga: Looking at Blue” as “a full-body experience.”

To create the four central works in the installation, Takenaga, a faculty member at Williams College, began with faux abstract-expressionist backgrounds of poured and dripped paint, then used a labor-intensive approach of applying a visual vocabulary of dots, tracings, outlining, and painting around splashes.

“Angus McCullough: Coincidence Control” was curated by Jonathan Gitelson, who says the exhibit “invites viewers to reimagine their relationship with time, to unplug and reflect.”

Housed in BMAC’s Ticket Gallery, formerly the Union Station ticket office, the exhibit presents alternatives to standardized time through the mediums of video, sound art, artist books, drawings, and an interactive time capsule that visitors are welcome to enter.

“David Plowden: Bridges” constitutes a selection of photographs from Plowden’s book, Bridges: The Spans of North America, which historian David McCullough has described as “a work of imagination and scholarship that would qualify [Plowden] as someone of note had he done nothing else.”

Plowden has lived in the Midwest for 40 years, but he fondly remembers his childhood in southern Vermont, including the Putney train station, where he attempted to take his first photograph at age 10, and the Putney School darkroom, where he learned to print photographs. He has authored or co-authored 29 books of photography.

“Timothy Segar: Character Development” consists of steel sculptures on view outside the Museum and works on paper displayed in the South Gallery. Williams describes Segar’s sculptures as “powerfully built and pulsing with vitality.”

In conjunction with the new exhibits, BMAC has planned a robust schedule of events — artist talks, guided tours, workshops, community conversations, and more — designed to delve deeper into the ideas, issues, and practices reflected in the exhibits. A calendar of events is available at www.brattleboromuseum.org.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #515 (Wednesday, June 19, 2019). This story appeared on page B1.

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