Exhibit takes viewers on outdoor excursions

“Outdoor Excursions,” guest-curated by “Art in America” writer Gregory Volk, explores the adventures found in nature across the globe as interpreted by 13 international artists. Visitors are taken from the very literal landscapes of Icelandic volcanoes to unconventional renderings of Mount Mansfield on all three floors of the Burlington City Arts Center until Dec. 3. Originally from upstate New York, Volk started working with the BCA after receiving word of the Phish-sponsored art residency program housed in Trey Anastasio’s barn. “He is just a huge Phish fan,” gallery manager and assistant curator Kerri Macon said of Volk. “He volunteered, made visits [and] lectured.” According to Macon, he made this exhibit possible through connections with artists around the world. Berlin, Switzerland, Iceland and Vermont are a few of the locations represented. Various media, themes and styles deliver incredible takes on what excursions are to be had in our distant backyards. Swiss artist Roman Signer has transformed the contemporary fourth floor gallery with video sculptures on each wall. Flat screen televisions are mounted, each film creating a material confrontation with nature. A double-ended umbrella is tossed and skewed by harsh coastal winds. A table is carried on the back of a river. In a stream, Signer is shown securing a swivel office chair. As he steps away over and over again as the film repeats, the rush of freshwater spins the chair with a static current all its own. The noises of all six frames are played continuously. “It so contrasts with the very modern, minimalist space,” BCA administrative assistant Melinda Johns said. This idea of mobility through each artist’s focus is further explored on the second floor. In front of Brooklyn-red buildings, two ballerinas with wings fixed to each arm are filmed flying through the city. “I love the spin … of an industrial, altruistic environment,” Johns said of the Brazilian choreography duo and filmmaker Phil Harder. “I am most drawn to ‘Flying Lesson.'” Loading docks and gritty street art change scenes to city parks and water. An airborne, urban expedition is different, yet no less satiating, than Sebastiaan Bremer’s more conventional nature photography of the Swiss Alps. Bremer makes his photos especially exceptional with the direct application of paint. The Dutch artist creates warm light in wildflower fields at the bottom of snow-capped mountains. “Outdoor Excursions” is mobile in each depiction of varied landscapes. “You are auto-transported,” Johns said. From inside the studio, Volk has ripped us from our feet to the foreign canvas of artists around the world.