BRATTLEBORO — Mitchell-Giddings Fine Arts hosts an artist opening and reception for Lyell Castonguay: Tributes, an exhibition of woodblock prints, on Saturday, June 15, from 5 to 7 p.m.
The show continues through July 28, and an artist talk is scheduled for July 14 at 5 p.m.
Castonguay is co-founder, along with Carand Burnet, of Big Ink, a unique, travelling, nationally recognized woodblock printmaking partnership providing audiences an opportunity to create large - up to 8 feet - hand pulled woodcuts.
Castonguay's woodblock prints invoke disparate influences including Japanese ukiyo-e, the naturalist works of Audubon, the expressionism of Baskin, and traditional Chinese brush paintings.
He contextualizes the natural world through the filter of his imagination as he fills his paracosm with familiar animals made beholden with human emotions. Being a birder himself, most of his images are avian or strangely bird-like, bold personalities seemingly at odds with each subject's intrinsic wildness.
The artist's distorted narratives often incorporate covert references to environmental decline, natural resource commodification, and displacement.