Recent grad lands BTV artist residency

Recent+grad+lands+BTV+artist+residency

Kyle Elms

Sophia Venturo, Assistant Culture Editor

Although a pandemic forced Burlington Artist Erin Bundock, ‘20 to uproot her studio, mid-project, the artist is now hitting her stride in the Burlington arts scene. 

Bundock’s studio is laced with second-hand bed sheets, sewn as textiles and saturated with vibrant colors stretched out over studio walls to show an artist’s journey through spring.

Bundock’s works can be found around Vermont businesses like ArtsRiot and Lawson’s Finest Liquids and recently landed a new gig as an artist in residence in Burlington’s South End Arts District. 

Her series of works about reproductive health and sexuality are being created through an artist-in-residency program which will be open for viewing at Burlington Arthop this Labor Day weekend.

Last March, Bundock was in the middle of her senior studio art thesis when a pandemic forced her out of the University’s art department and into her old roommate’s vacant bedroom to complete her mixed media series “A Stitch Between.”

“A Stitch Between” is a three-piece body of large textile pieces, sewn like a quilt and embellished with marker, paint, prints, and embroidery, giving shape and texture to a story exploring intersectional feminist themes, she said.

I use fiber as a lens, speaking to the way it’s used by feminism and other intersectional topics to critique what we consider art and show the value of what’s considered women’s work,” Bundock said. “It’s something that’s also used to talk about immigration, race and sexuality.”

One piece from the set, “Letter to my Mother,” a commentary on the barriers that prevent mothers and daughters from sharing their experiences about love and life, was printed and distributed by UVM to the graduating class of 2020.

With Bundock’s spring exhibition at Colbern Gallery canceled, members of Burlington’s art community came together to support a young artist.

“Basically in a pinch, I was allowed to put up my exhibition at ArtsRiot so I could take pictures of them for my online exhibition,” Bundock said. “That was definitely a silver lining to the whole thing. Just like feeling supported by a place and community.” 

Since then Bundock secured the Vaults Studio Residency program, funded and overseen by the South End Arts & Business Association in partnership with Unsworth Properties.

The residency will give Bundock studio space to work on her projects free of charge, she said.

Christy Mitchell is the Executive Director at SEABA and facilitated the application process for artists in search of residency. 

Bundock’s thesis project, a clear vision of the next steps for her projects and a source of outside funding for her materials made Bundock’s application stand out, Mitchell said.

“The large textiles were really interesting and took up space in a dynamic way. Her application showed us that she needed a larger studio to work in,” Mitchell said. “We also wanted an artist interested in making a conceptual storyline that we could all follow throughout the year.”

Bundock’s Arthop exhibition will be a continuation of “A Stitch Between,” centering around reproductive health, rights and sexuality with tie-ins to relationships and how we relate to our bodies when we relate to others, Bundock said. 

However, Bundock said she hopes to bring some fun to the project’s weight by bringing eye-catching vibrancy to depictions of uteruses, ovaries and early stages of fertilization.

“It’s fun because they’re cool to look at but they represent reproductive processes and menstruation and stuff,” Bundock said. “It’s kind of fun to have people just enjoy them and it’s normal, it doesn’t have to be gross.”

Eliza Fehrs, 22’ is a lifelong Arthop-goer, and is excited to see the community come together through art this fall.

“Arthop is where artists get to show off their work and we get to see all the amazing things being created in our city,” Fehrs said. “I am grateful to still have that service in place during the pandemic, and for that to create opportunities for artists like Erin.”

Bundock’s work will be available for distance viewing at her studio starting Fri. Sept. 11. Space and capacity are limited and reservations can be made through Seven Days Tickets.

Bundock’s exhibition will also be available for online viewing and purchase at SEABA.com/shop.