Five new exhibits to open at BMAC
Thelma Appel “Desert Sage” (1973), oil on canvas, 75 in. x 97 in.

Five new exhibits to open at BMAC

BRATTLEBORO — Five new exhibits open at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center on Friday, Oct. 4, with an opening reception at 5:30 p.m.

The new exhibits explore the essence of birch trees, the concept of inherited trauma, the personalities of tables, the tarot, and more. Several of the exhibiting artists are expected to attend the opening reception, which is free and open to all.

Three of the exhibits will remain on view through Feb. 9, 2020, while the other two will be up through March 7.

“María Elena González: Tree Talk” is a multisensory, multimodal rumination on nature and art. The basic building block of the installation is the birch tree. Noting the similarities between the striations on birch bark and the perforations on player-piano rolls, González uses rubbings and tracings of birch bark as templates for laser-cutting paper piano rolls.

BMAC Chief Curator Mara Williams said, “In each segment of the installation, the artist's mind and hand are evident - observing, sorting, editing, choosing - as she crystallizes the physical, spatial, and spiritual essence of the birch tree and this aesthetic moment.”

In conjunction with “Tree Talk,” Michael Wojtech, author of “Bark: A Field Guide to Trees of the Northeast,” will present a tree identification workshop on Thursday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m.

“Doug Trump: By Rail” is a suite of twelve intimately scaled abstract paintings. Trump repurposed window trim and sash boards from a studio improvement project as his painting ground. He covered the narrow boards with old Polaroid photographs, then layered a full range of energetic mark making, flowing brushwork, and color.

“Although small, these works have a rugged physicality that invite us in for a closer look at their materials, their making, and their meaning,” Williams said. Trump will speak about his work on Thursday, Jan. 16, at 7 p.m.

“Fafnir Adamites: Interfere (with)” is a sculptural installation created from felted wool and burlap that focuses on intergenerational trauma and the emotional turmoil inherited from past generations.

Curator Sarah Freeman said, “Adamites's installation feels overwhelming and potentially suffocating. However, her use of highly tactile materials and repetitive, contemplative techniques allows the work to function as a tool for acknowledging, examining, and making sense of painful memories and experiences, thereby diffusing them.”

Adamites will speak about her work on Wednesday, Dec. 18, at 7 p.m.

In addition to Adamites' talk, BMAC will present two other events in conjunction with the installation.

On Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 7 p.m., Holocaust scholar Dr. Hank Knight will present “Legacies of Trauma,” a talk on the cumulative harm experienced by an individual or a generation due to a traumatic event.

On Tuesday, Jan. 21, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., artist Eva Camacho-Sanchez will offer a workshop titled “Slow and Mindful Stitch,” a contemplative exploration of line, color, and stitch for sewers, embroiderers, and felters.

Artist Gordon Meinhard, who has painted in Brattleboro for more than four decades, was one of the volunteers who helped to launch the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center in the 1970s. As such, “Gordon Meinhard: The Lives of Tables” is a coming home, of sorts, “a conversation around the family table,” according to Williams.

“Thelma Appel: Observed/Abstract” surveys the career of one of the co-founders of the Bennington College Summer Painting Workshop. Early in her career, Appel worked as a landscape painter.

“I was interested in the patterns formed by light cast on organic forms in the landscape,” Appel said, “and I tried to convey, through overlapping strokes of color, a sense of physical connection with the contours of nature.”

After Sept. 11, 2001, Appel's imagery shifted from pastoral to apocalyptic, and then she developed a body of work based on the tarot.

“My tarot images became the beginning of a new series in which I explored my feelings about time and endless space, transcendence and inner joy, while depicting cosmic phenomena,” she said.

In conjunction with the exhibit, Margaret Shipman and Stacy Salpietro-Babb, creators of the Wayfarer Tarot, will present an introduction to tarot on Wednesday, Oct. 30, at 7 p.m. Advance registration is required.

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