BRATTLEBORO — The Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (BMAC) welcomes museum members and the public to celebrate the opening of four new exhibits that feature ceramics, textiles, and cardboard sculpture on Saturday, Oct. 14, at 11 a.m.
The new exhibits include "Home Bodies," a collaboration between ceramic artist Fawn Krieger and textile artist David B. Smith; "And To This World" by printmaker Michael Smoot; "Sounds Deep" by sculptor Art Costa; and "Paper Made," a group show by nine artists working in fiber and paper.
Each of the exhibits makes "unique use of materials and methods," according to BMAC Director of Exhibitions Sarah Freeman. They all "attempt to make sense of our world and our place in it, whether that's the physical world around us, or our own interior worlds."
Costa uses reclaimed cardboard to portray the deep sea, where so much remains unknown and undiscovered. Smoot combines traditional printmaking techniques with digital technologies to create images that evoke the possibilities of human capacity for change.
The works of Krieger and Smith reimagine ceramics and textiles around the idea that "home is found not only in our physical environments, but also within our own bodies and imaginations." The group exhibit uses paper to express ideas and images from nature, ritual, cultural exchange, and consumerism.
There is surprise and hope within each of the exhibits, Freeman observes. "To put something you have made out into the world is brave, and inherently optimistic," she says. "I think people will see lots of things that provoke questions and conversation."
BMAC closes on Tuesday, Oct. 10, to install the new exhibits and re-opens with a brunch celebration on Saturday, Oct. 14, at 11 a.m. The brunch, with complimentary baked goods from Fire Arts Bakery & Café and a cash bar by Windham Wines, is free. The new exhibits will remain on view through March 9, 2024, with the exception of "Paper Made," which will close Feb. 11, 2024.
In "Home Bodies," artists layer, collide, and collapse physical materials and visual forms to reimagine ceramics and textiles, respectively. The exhibit was conceived during the pandemic, when the idea of home was being redefined. Both Krieger and Smith "explore themes of attachment, association, relation, embodiment, and perception. They consider how society documents and celebrates creative labor, which generates new ideas about organizing and understanding the world."
Printmaker Smoot demonstrates a variety of traditional techniques and digital tools in "And To This World," which "delves into ideas of interconnectedness and the systems and structures we put in place to fulfill our needs. Inspired by concepts and imagery from chemistry, physics, biology, geology, economics, anthropology, and sociology," organizers say, "Smoot considers the connection between models of the physical world and their potential to serve as a meditative tool as we confront ecological, political, and cultural calamities."
In "Sounds Deep," Costa "enters a world of strange, sightless creatures that inhabit the darkest depths of the ocean. Inspired by Sy Montgomery's book The Soul of an Octopus, Costa makes his forms from reclaimed cardboard, paper mache, and a variety of natural materials." organizers say his art encourages viewers to protect Earth's fragile environments.
Tearing, cutting, binding, stitching, and rolling, the artists in "Paper Made" manipulate paper to create diverse works that challenge the notion that paper is only a surface to be drawn or painted on. Selected from a juried exhibition by Fiber Art Now, a magazine for fiber artists, the work of the featured artists is "meticulously crafted and visually compelling."
The relationship that most people have with paper is utilitarian, states the news release, "yet these creations provoke an understanding of paper that transcends function and generates thoughtful, creative visual narratives." The artists include Linda Colsh, Barbara De Pirro, Amy Genser, Virginia Green, Karen Gubitz, Barbara Hocker, Libby Raab, Jo Stealey, and Marcia Vogler.
The four new exhibits join three current ones remaining on view: "Lela Jaacks: micro/tele SCOPE," which closes Oct. 31, 2023; "Aurora Robson: Human Nature Walk," which closes Feb. 11, 2024; and "Hannah Morris: Moveable Objects," which closes next April.
BMAC will hold numerous events throughout the fall and winter in conjunction with the new exhibits, including artist talks, workshops, and more. For more information, visit brattleboromuseum.org.
This The Arts item was submitted to The Commons.