BCA hosts annual show


Molly Perry

Vermont community members admire the art at the fifth annual “Of Land and Local” art show Oct. 6 at Shelburne Farms. This year’s exhibits focus on watersheds and their impact on the environment.

Addie Beach, Senior Staff Writer

As the recent hurricane season has shown us yet again, the environment is a powerful force.

In the upcoming exhibit “Of Land and Local: Watershed,” Burlington City Arts highlights how this force plays out in the Vermont community with a special focus on water.

This year’s exhibit is the second part of the watershed exhibit. The first took place last year and was inspired by the flooding caused by Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, according to the BCA website.

The entire “Of Land and Local” series is designed to initiate a dialogue about issues surrounding the Vermont landscape, the website states.

For “Watershed,” BCA has selected pieces for the exhibit mainly from artists who specialize in environmental art, like Georgie Friedman.

Her work focuses on how violent natural events, like storms or tsunamis, interact with human fragility, Friedman said.

Friedman usually works with video, occasionally incorporating sculpture and photography into her pieces, she said.

The work on display in the BCA center will mostly be projected footage of water, spanning the gallery walls.

One of these pieces nicknamed “Rorschach Water” focuses on not only the symmetry and motion of water, but also the different images and experiences people may draw from it, Friedman said.

“It reflects back on us,” she said. “[It forces us to think] about our individual relationships with nature.”

Rebecca Hutchinson’s work will also be shown at the exhibit.
Hutchinson is creating large-scale sculptures out of ceramics and handmade paper.

“I’ve been trying to use the material in ways that are conscientious, but also beautiful,” Hutchinson said, adding that the paper used in the exhibit is made from old garments.

“It makes you think about and reflect on the environment as a fragile state of affairs,” she said. “There’s a lot of what looks like fragility, but not actually fragile.”

Hutchinson has also been looking at the way these themes of nature and sustainability intersect with gender, using women’s handicrafts as inspiration, she said.

While she doesn’t think the art process is about dictating a message, Hutchinson hopes people will reflect on the beauty of the art and the experience of viewing nature-inspired art, she said.

“I know within me is the passion, and I hope that passion is passed onto the viewer,” Hutchinson said.

Friedman expressed a similar view that art helps the audience reflect on their experiences.

Exhibits like this help us pay attention to things we might not normally notice, and they help “highlight those small moments,” she said.

Kylie Fleming, a UVM student currently on leave, also said art connected to social issues can be valuable.

“Art helps people see the beauty in the everyday,” Fleming said. “When they see something on a day-to-day basis, they don’t think about how awesome it is.”

“Of Land and Local: Watershed” will be held at Shelburne Farms Oct. 6-29 with an opening reception the first night from 5-8 p.m. It will open at the BCA Center Oct. 20 with a reception from 6-8 p.m. and will stay until Jan. 7, 2018.