Six new exhibits to open at Brattleboro Museum & Art Center on March 9

Six new exhibits to open at Brattleboro Museum & Art Center on March 9

Mystical abstract paintings, whimsical glass sculptures, collaborative fiber art, and more on view through June 16

BRATTLEBORO — Six new exhibits open at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center on Saturday, March 9.

They include large paintings by a reclusive Vermont artist who hasn't exhibited publicly in nearly three decades, glass creatures based on children's drawings, detailed narrative paintings, collaborative fiber art, an immersive mixed-media installation, and paintings documenting several generations of an African-American and Cape Verdean family on Cape Cod.

An opening reception and light brunch, free and open to all, will take place on Saturday, March 9, at 11 a.m. Many of the exhibiting artists are expected to attend. The exhibits will remain on view through June 16.

• Sandy Sokoloff's artwork was exhibited in New York and Boston from the 1970s through the early 1990s, at which point he withdrew from the art world to focus on painting.

“In the past 25 years, there are very few human beings who have seen my work - no more than nine, including my wife,” Sokoloff said in a news release. “I'm someone who has opted to live in isolation and try to realize my vision. I'm at a point in my life where I'd like other people to see it now.”

BMAC Chief Curator Mara Williams recently became the ninth viewer of Sokoloff's new paintings, but on March 9, the public will have the opportunity to view his work.

“Emanation” features large acrylic paintings, each approximately nine feet wide, most of which are from the series “Sephirot (The Quabalistic Spheres)” and one of which is from “Archangels,” Sokoloff's newest series of paintings.

• Glasstastic is the latest iteration of BMAC's biennial collaboration between New England glass artists and K-6 students. It features 20 glass sculptures based on kids' drawings and descriptions of imaginary creatures, each rendered in three-dimensional splendor by a different artist.

The creatures were selected from among more than 1,200 submissions by kids from around the world, each of which is available for viewing as part of the exhibit. As BMAC Education Curator Linda Whelihan puts it, the kids' inventive drawings challenge the glass artists to “stretch their abilities and allow them to experiment with new techniques.”

• “Amy Bennett: Nuclear Family” is a series of narrative paintings based on intricate 3D models. “'Nuclear Family' explores marriage, child rearing, and female identity,” Bennett says in her artist statement.

“The series considers the deep commitment of marriage and raising children along with the joys and entrapments of family life,” she writes. “My paintings are representations of a miniaturized world playing at reality. Painting from models helps me to process and extract bits of my experience in order to make what is imagined more concrete.”

• “Connections,” featuring the work of fiber artists Jackie Abrams and Deidre Scherer, is the latest installment in BMAC's occasional “Dialogue” series of collaborative exhibitions. Abrams is a fiber artist who builds colorful vessels from materials such as sand, silk fabrics, wire, and recycled plastic bags. Scherer works primarily in thread on cloth.

“The detailed patterning of printed fabric attracts me for its pointillist-like interaction that actively engages the eye for completion,” Scherer said.

In “Connections,” the medium for Abrams's vessels is Scherer's paper works. Abrams and Scherer have created richly textured structures that reflect the character gained by the human body as it ages. Abrams and Scherer will speak about their collaboration at BMAC on Wednesday, April 24, at 7 p.m.

• Joey Morgan's “Catch Release (2) Précis” is an immersive environment that fills the museum's Mary Sommer Room with mixed-media work and video embedded in sculptural elements.

“The central feature of Joey Morgan's immersive installation is a projected wall of fire,” Williams said. Other elements include a multi-panel abstract painting, a small sculpture, and a series of QR codes linking to short videos.

This work explores the reliability of memory and the nature of dreams. Morgan will give a talk about her work at the museum on Thursday, March 21, at 7 p.m.

• “Joseph Diggs: Proud 2 Be American” consists of oil paintings that memorialize and celebrate several generations of the artist's African-American and Cape Verdean family. Diggs was born in France as an Army brat; his father was in the military before settling down on the family's property in Osterville, Mass.

Diggs' ancestors were originally crop workers in the cranberry bogs, but they were entrepreneurial and bought the land that Diggs continues to live on today. Baseball, service to country, and Joe's Twin Villa, the family's once-celebrated bar and jazz club, feature prominently in Diggs' paintings.

“They are complicated compositions,” Williams says, “in which faces, text, or symbols provide clues to the family's place in the history of the United States.”

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