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A cyanotype from “Ask the River,” a new art exhibit at BMAC.

The Arts

‘Ask the River’ opening at BMAC celebrates the Connecticut

BRATTLEBORO—The Brattleboro Museum & Art Center presents an opening celebration for “Ask the River” on Saturday, Feb. 15, at 11 a.m. Admission is free and open to the public.

“Ask the River” will be on view at BMAC through March 7.

Artists Elizabeth Billings, Evie Lovett, and Andrea Wasserman describe “Ask the River” as “a community art and creative placemaking project that empowers us to reconnect with the Connecticut River and the water that flows through it, intertwining people and place.”

The exhibit includes large cyanotypes, a wall of reflective disks that form tessellations mimicking river patterns, and community-made cyanotype postcards. Viewers are encouraged to write messages on the postcards and place them within the exhibit. The postcards will be sent to the addressed recipients at the end of the exhibit.

“With the Connecticut River running alongside it, the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center is a resonant location for this project,” the artists said in a news release, “creating awareness of the river and making a direct connection between art, community, place, and environment.”

Billings, Lovett, and Wasserman noted that in addition to BMAC, their partners in this ongoing project include the Connecticut River Conservancy, the Downtown Brattleboro Alliance, and Rich Holschuh, a member of the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs.

“The project is guided by the Abenaki understanding that people and place are one,” the artists said.

On Thursday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m., Billings, Lovett, and Wasserman will join Holschuh and Kathy Urffer, Connecticut River Conservancy river steward, for “Ask the River: Imagine the Answers,” a free-form discussion of the Connecticut River, its history, and our relationships to the river and to each other.

“This is an especially critical conversation to have in 2020,” the artists said, “at the time of the relicensing of five hydroelectric facilities on the Connecticut River that provide over 30 percent of hydropower generation in New England.”

The talk will take place at BMAC and is free and open to the public.

To learn more, call 802-257-0124 or visit www.brattleboromuseum.org.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #548 (Wednesday, February 12, 2020). This story appeared on page B1.

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