EITHER I WOKE UP, OR COME BACK TO THIS EARTH
“My imagination makes me human and makes me a fool; it gives me all the world and exiles me from it.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin
The exhibition looked at how we mediate the past—through the potency of objects, digital and physical archives, and ever-reaching technologies—to contend with our present conditions.
A_Marcel’s On the Clock is a video composite/remix of a guerrilla street performance–a carnivalesque processional and migratory feast (hot dogs abound) in spite of, and to spite, the current US Administration, ICE and our general state of emergency. Marcel deploys and celebrates the language of memes to subvert our crisis of modernity. Can a politic of joy, of collaboration, dismantle the rearing hydra head of fascism? The future is here, and now, and it is absurd.
Melissa McClung’s Elevator of Earthly Destruction draws footage from the Prelinger Archive, taking the viewer on an elevator ride that tracks extinctions from the geologic to the human-made, lacing farce with catastrophe. That protagonist escapes to another future in a pink rocket ship, whereas Louie, in McClung’s documentary piece Louie’s Antiques, delves into the past. Louie recounts his dreams–one of which the exhibition title draws from–and muses on the whimsy, difficulties, or even supernatural properties, of his antique objects.
The deliberate use of material in Corey Pickett’s sculptures, specifically the African and European textiles that comprise his Revolver series, collapses a vast timeline of gun violence toward African Americans. Georgian and Victorian eras mingle with the present, pointing at a contemporary experience that is all too like the past and nervously anticipates more of the same. This tension is further explored in 100 Miles and Runnin, where Pickett weaves together news snippets, cartoons and movie clips to layer American gun policy debate, with the ongoing deaths of black bodies, and an eerie local news story about a flock of dead crows.
These artists make tools of playfulness and humor to challenge histories of political violence and the anesthetic of nostalgia. The work nudges (or pushes) us to wrestle with past worlds, while we co-imagine and hurtle forward to new ones.
SHEILA PEPE – Gender Riot curatorial statement
We all work from our own subject position and thus, reveal—intentionally or not—what we know, how we think, and what we see in the world. We all share the condition of gender in a society that demands a clear expression from each individual. In this context many of us intentionally make work that addresses our experience of gender, both as an embodied, subject/self, as well as one acting in, and formed by enculturation.
As a white lesbian feminist who came out during the era of the “androgynous dyke”(1981), I am lastingly aware of the complexities of gender as we have lived them during the late 20th century and as they have progressed into the 21st. As a student of “difference” I am also alert to the added factors of race, able-ness, and age that have come to the fore since the early 2000s. I have lived mindful of what we now call “intersectionality.”
Gender as a condition/construction is shared by all humans, and so the work of all who address gender should be considered. As such, this exhibition should prove a powerful common ground for the VCFA community.
Heidi Blunt (2021 MFA in Visual Art)
Kim Darling (2010 MFA in Visual Art)
Feral Fagiola (2020 MFA in Visual Art)
Vincent Kral (2020 MFA in Visual Art)
Kayla Leach (2020 MFA in Visual Art)
Dannell MacIlwraith (2017 MFA in Graphic Design)
A_Marcel (2018 MFA in Graphic Design)
c. marquez (2018 MFA in Visual Art)
Anastaci Pacella (2019 MFA in Visual Art)
Marcy Rosenblat (2010 MFA in Visual Art)
Alma Woodsey Thomas, Fred Wilson, and William Carlos Williams are among a long and storied roster of people who have held day jobs while moonlighting as artists, writers, musicians, filmmakers and other culture producers.
Moonlighting artists collectively have held a multiplicity of jobs bringing them into contact with experiences and interactions that include teaching, construction work, driving a cab, and cat sitting. These jobs are most often entered into out of necessity and the very real and precarious consequences of choosing to live and work as an artist.
Although the works in the exhibition now occupy the physical space of a gallery, their origins lie elsewhere. Paying close attention to the world through and within daily routines, interactions in our communities, and work places, artists create alternatives to what is.
“…art is a weaving of meaning-making activity with any or all parts of our lives.” — Allan Kaprow
Curator: Sumru Tekin
Angela Paladino (2021 MFA in Graphic Design)
RaRoCo — Rachel Reynolds Z (2007 MFA in Visual Art), Robert Zahorsky, Corrie Baldauf
Craig Stockwell (2000 MFA in Visual Art)
Animals are regarded a multiplicity of functions in contemporary human society & culture, serving as pets, food, clothing, medicine, surrogates, life-savers and proxies—to name a few. Their role is hotly contested, as what it means to support animal stewardship and still acknowledge our collective dependence upon them is a murky, and often political, ground.
And then the question: which animal? Pointing to an unspoken hierarchy, we revere some, loathe others, and barely even think of many (are you as devoted to the starfish as the dog?). The artists in Ecstatic Beasts consider our complicated relationship to animals, and consequently, the natural world.
David Alm (2017 MFA in Music Composition)
Elizabeth Bisbing (2004 MFA in Visual Art)
Gail Gregg (1998 MFA in Visual Art)
Maria McMahon (2008 MFA in Visual Art)
Randall Nelson (2006 MFA in Visual Art)
IT WENT LIKE THIS: THE SKYLINE WAS BEAUTIFUL ON FIRE
The Vermont Studio Center and Vermont College of Fine Arts are united in their belief that the arts are central to the human experience and have the ability not only to reflect reality but to also create it. For this show, alums of both institutions were invited to submit artwork that was created in response to our current contemporary political upheaval as an expression of the potential of creativity to shift consciousness, because all progress and change has been achieved through a radical reimagining of what is and what could be. This show seeks to present a vision of a future that has yet to be determined, understood, or adopted by any position of power or control. The works presented were chosen by juror Meg Onli, Assistant Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania.
The exhibition title is text compiled from lyrics and a screenplay written by Efrim Manuel Menuck:
“It went like this:
The buildings tumbled in on themselves
Mothers clutching babies
Picked through the rubble
And pulled out their hair
The skyline was beautiful on fire….”
Curator: Meg Onli
Renee Couture (2010 MFA in Visual Art)
Patricia Denys (2003 MFA in Visual Art)
Samantha M. Eckert (2015 MFA in Visual Art)
Clea Felien (2007 MFA in Visual Art)
Rosa Naday Garmendia
Judith G. Levy
Adam Liam Rose
Ellen (Jing) Xu
I LOVE YOU. I HATE YOU.
DON’T LEAVE ME.
We need to talk. We’re growing apart. We should see other people. We should just be friends. We can’t be friends. I don’t know who you are anymore. I don’t know who I am anymore. I love you. I hate you. Don’t leave me.
Subject of countless songs, films, novels and therapy sessions, break-ups are universal and yet the sting of one can feel so very specific. Are the clichés true? Are the formulas for recovery accurate—one month per every year you were together? Does this hurt me more than it hurts you?
I Love You. I Hate You. Don’t Leave Me. features the work of current students and alumnx across VCFA programs. Using a variety of media, the artists examine the culture of breakups, its messiness, heartache, and triumph. They expand the definition of what it means to end a relationship, asking—can you break-up with family? Friends? Yourself?
Also check out the I Love You. I Hate You. Don’t Leave Me. playlist of breakup anthems! The artists and exhibition organizers selected their top picks for the best songs that let you cry, scream, and move on.
Paula Allen (2016 MFA in Film)
Muriel Angelil (2000 MFA in Visual Art)
Elizabeth Bisbing (2004 MFA in Visual Art)
Ed Asher Briant (2006 MFA in WCYA)
Judith Brisson (2016 MFA in Visual Art)
Heather Bryant (2006 MFA in Writing)
Larry Caveney (2005 MFA in Visual Art)
Scarlett Decker (1993 MFA in Visual Art)
Samantha Eckert (2015 MFA in Visual Art)
Linda King Ferguson (2012 MFA in Visual Art)
Samantha Flora (2018 MFA in Graphic Design)
Jason Fowler (2019 MFA in Graphic Design)
Mary Hanrahan (2013 MFA in Graphic Design)
Jeffrey Jennings (2014 MFA in Visual Art)
Katie Krcmarik (2018 MFA in Graphic Design)
Sarah LeMieux (2019 MFA in Music Composition)
Jackson Mann (2019 MFA in Music Composition)
Benjamin Metzger (2020 MFA in Visual Art)
Tiffany Pfeiffer (2019 MFA in Music Composition)
Marcy Pope (2009 MFA in Visual Art)
Heather Quinn (2018 MFA in Graphic Design)
Rodney Reyes (2016 MFA in Film)
Kat Schneck (2008 MFA in Visual Art)
Dayni Staddon (2016 MFA in Writing)
Don Swartzentruber (2000 MFA in Visual Art)
Leslie Tane (2013 MFA in Graphic Design)
David Warner (2017 MFA in Visual Art)