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The Arts

Vermont artist-farmers speak about their work at BMAC

BRATTLEBORO—The Brattleboro Museum & Art Center presents “Back to the Land Redux: Vermont’s New Generation of Artist-Farmers” on Thursday, Sept. 12, at 7:30 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

Six southern Vermont artist-farmers will discuss the intersection between their art and their farm work. Photographer Dona Ann McAdams and her husband, Brad Kessler, the author of Goat Song and several novels, are the owners of Northern Spy Farm, a goat farm in Sandgate.

Artist Louisa Conrad and poet Lucas Farrell run Big Picture Farm, a goat dairy and farmstead confectionery and creamery in Townshend. Oil painters Greg Bernhardt and Hannah Sessions raise Alpine and LaMancha dairy goats and produce goat cheese at Blue Ledge Farm in Salisbury.

Each artist-farmer duo will discuss their background in art and farming and will share samples of their farm products and artwork.

The group will then delve into such questions as: How does the apparent proliferation of artist-farmers relate to broader changes in the landscape of Vermont agriculture? In what ways do art-making and farming complement or conflict with one another? Is there a connection between today’s artist-farmers and the “Back to the Land” movement of the 1960s and 70s?

The conversation will be moderated by BMAC Director Danny Lichtenfeld and Simon Renault of Sun Hill Farm in Putney, and there will be ample opportunity for audience participation.

This event is offered in conjunction with “Dona Ann McAdams: Performative Acts,” a retrospective of McAdams’ work that includes images of Northern Spy Farm goats, Appalachian farm women, nuns who work with farm animals, and other farm portraits, including images of Lou and Bill, a pair of oxen at Green Mountain College whose planned euthanasia became a national news story in 2012.

“Performative Acts” is on view at BMAC through Sept. 23. For more information, call 802-257-0124 or visit www.brattleboromuseum.org.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #526 (Wednesday, September 4, 2019). This story appeared on page B3.

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