Unveiling lineage through art at the Firehouse Gallery

Terry Hauptman and Jerry Geier each had an artistic goal: Geier wished to promote unity and the aura of the indigenous world, while Hauptman sought to transmit spirit and visual music. Alive with celebration of ancestry and questions of cultural identity, the Firehouse Gallery presents “Veiled Lineage” – an assortment of totems, instruments and scrolls by two Vermont artists through February 14.”Veiled Lineage” seeks to align the various cultural identities of Vermont residents with their ancestry. On the eve of the 400-year anniversary of European arrival in Champlain Valley, “Veiled Lineage” puts human geography at the forefront.Hauptman and Geier demonstrate that human experience of place shapes one’s understanding of the world, but also a lesser-acknowledged and unfortunate reality- people are more likely to associate with people of similar social identities.Geier’s work, totems functioning as instruments, attests to the idea that true unity is not an unrealistic outcome. “I stripped back bark on the totems to create variation – a sense of abstraction and color that connects you to a sense of universal oneness,” Geier said.Strip the bark of human skins, peel away the superficiality, and Geier points out that one will discover the same human anatomy. “My work revisits the essence of mankind – a more indigenized, close connection with nature which we have lost touch with,” Geier said.Geier’s collection references Greek naturalism and German expressionism, highlighting the link between primitive art forms, natural elements, and humanity – and revealing the psychological impact of art in all its variety.Geier’s sculptures are an interactive lens into the past and other cultures; he welcomes viewers to rap on the totems.Hauptman’s work captures an aura of sound through visual harmony and rhythm. Her work expresses a musical vision that dwells within people from various cultures. “I work with a spiral energy that carries the movement of my pieces,” Hauptman said. The colorful linear flow of Hauptman’s scrolls represents the never-ending essence of life and the spiritual braid that travels through people of different cultures. “The scrolls capture the beauty and mystery of what you don’t see. You only see one ‘moment’ of the scrolls; most of the piece is still concealed,” Hauptman said.Beside one particular scroll reads, “The singing of the soul, is the nature of Art, herself.” Hauptman’s scrolls act as “song lines,” chronicling the hardships and triumphs of people from all backgrounds. Geier and Hauptman, through their art, attempt to act as a reminder that as members of the human race, all are indigenous peoples of the earth.