BELLOWS FALLS — Now through March 4, Canal Street Art Gallery presents “Heroes & Villains,” an exhibit with artwork by Clare Adams, Thomasin Alyxander, Debi A. Barton, Jean Cannon, Mindy Fisher, Corinne Greenhalgh, Gregory Damien Grinnell, Yevette Hendler, Su Lin Mangan, Charles Norris-Brown, Gretchen Seifert, and Linda Udd.
“The story of the hero and villain is told in many ways,” gallery organizers wrote in a news release. “Through art, music, performance, writing, and everyday life, the hero and villain come alive. The quest of the hero often includes the villain, and the villain’s story may even be told as well as or even better instead.
“Many of the hardest decisions a hero must make are revealed by villains. The internal struggle of the hero becomes clear only after encountering, then revealing the true nature of, and finally conquering, the part of the villain which resides in the hero themselves.”
How do these artists tell these stories?
“As a bead weaver I try to stitch sculptures that tell stories about society, weaving together elements from folklore, history, literature and mythology,” Alyxander said.
“I have collected vintage textiles, buttons, and ephemera which tell stories of people, especially women, who came before me. What stands out most to me during these strange times is not, however, the Villains who wish to control, but the strength and perseverance of the Heroes who will not be controlled,” said Barton.
“Are they heroes or are they villains?” Grinnell asks. “What parameters are ascribed to each? They are indeed heroes in their own reality but what of our reality as observers?”
“Escape depicts the underground railroad routes that escaping slaves traveled, from the southern territories to the northern territories,” said Mangan. “The heroes are not only the escaping slaves but the people, the large network, who risked their lives to help them on their way to freedom.”
“One of the most heroic acts one can undergo is taking on one’s daimon/demon. To battle the inner chaos and untangle the knots, to have the courage to look at the shadow that personifies everything one refuses to acknowledge about oneself; within this dark seeming abyss lie the possible jewels of the authentic self, the discarded self tangled in darkness,” said Udd.
Canal Street Art Gallery is located at 23 Canal Street, and is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about the “Heroes & Villains” show or the gallery, go to canalstreetartgallery.com, call 802-289-0104, or send emails to [email protected].