Editor’s note: This weekly review is by Ric Kasini Kadour is a writer, artist, former gallerist and the editor and publisher of Vermont Art Guide.
Burlington’s annual South End Art Hop celebrates its 25th anniversary this weekend, starting Friday night through Sunday.
Art Hop is the largest event of its kind in Vermont, attracting more than 30,000 visitors over the weekend. More than 600 artists are exhibiting in 100 locations from the Waterfront in the north to Industrial Parkway in the south.
The event also includes the “Strut” fashion show, a Kids’ Hop, live music, an Artist Market, outdoor sculpture displays and a whole lot more. Various sites will host live music. Organizers publish an extensive program available at various locations in Burlington’s South End Arts District. To get more info visit the Art Hop website.
1. Founders Exhibit at Union Station
Union Station at Main Street Landing will host an exhibit of artwork by some of festival’s original artists and organizers. Many of the artists in the exhibit are fixtures of Vermont’s art scene or have found success out of state. Art on view will include work by Conant Metal and Light principal and Soda Plant owner Steve Conant and Lake Champlain Chocolates’ founder Jim Lampman. Architect John Anderson, whose SkyGates is a permanent installation at Burlington International Airport, will be exhibiting along with Leslie Fry, whose concrete sculptures can be seen at Pomerleau Neighborhood Park on the corner of Shelburne Road and Home Avenue.
One of the original organizers, Peter Perez, will show his Day of the Dead art. After a legendary career in graphic design, Perez, who now lives in Santa Rosa, California, has been using his retirement to curate and celebrate El Día de los Muertos.
David Griffin, one of the founders of the Pine Street Arts and Business Association (now known as the South End Arts and Business Association or SEABA) has since moved to Venice, Florida. His tropical paintings are informed by surrealism and the graphics of Push-Pin Studios.
Lars Fisk designed the original Art Hop logo and has gone on to become a prominent sculptor in New York City. He is known for his art direction for the band Phish and for sculptures that reconfigure large everyday objects–think, a red barn or a Volkswagon Bus–into spheres. His “balls” are permanently installed at the Fleming Museum of Art, in front of the Innovation Center on Lakeside Avenue, and the Train Ball on the lower level of Union Station.
Art by prominent area artists, such as photographers Jeff Clarke and Todd Lockwood, painter Linda E. Jones, and printmaker Cami Davis will also be on view.
2. Sculpture Garden at Switchback Brewery
As a descendant of many generations of steelworkers in the Midwest, the process of working with the medium feels natural to Gerald K. Stoner, the artist at Underhill Ironworks. His working artist studio and sculpture park displays more than 50 welded steel sculptures on scenic River Road in Underhill.
At Art Hop, Stoner will install an outdoor sculpture park at Switchback Brewery on Flynn Avenue. Three rings balance on a folded piece of steel that balances on its corner. A sheet of steel, the remnant of some industrial process, is bent into a wave as if it is laundry blowing in the wind.
“The versatility of steel inspires constant exploration in my work, celebrating the material. The permanence and the ability of steel to be whimsical, brutal, and ethereal are embraced by my pieces,” said Stoner. “The sculptures are constructed from steel yard remnants that are first composed with sketches, evolving intuitively in the studio. All sculptures are to be exhibited on their own, but I have found that displaying them as a group creates an atmosphere of personalities.”
3. Traveling Mobile Museum
A few years ago, Eden artist Matt Neckers opened the Vermont Museum of Contemporary Art + Design, a four-by-four foot gallery “at a secret location” in Vermont that became, in his words, “destination for sophisticated art travelers.” (Neckers can be a bit of a character.) Motivated by a desire to expand his audience, Neckers purchased “a dilapidated vintage camper off of Craigslist for $500” and spent a year turning it into the Traveling Mobile Museum.
Neckers spent another two years creating hundreds of miniature pieces of art for the Mobile Museum’s various galleries. The museum show artwork in a variety of media. A colorful, wood assemblage hangs on the wall next to a monochromatic red sculpture on a white table. In another gallery, a metal mobile hangs in front of a painting. The exhibits read like dioramas and the art works on view are sophisticated and diverse.
The Museum debuted at City Hall Park in Burlington, Vermont in August 2017 and since then it has popped up at various sites around the state. The museum will be open to visitors at the South End Art Hop.
4. Mobile Art Gallery
And since we are on the topic of art on the go….When the 14 artists of Brickworks Art Studios in Burlington’s South End Arts District were evicted earlier this year, there was a scramble to find new studio space. Burlington artist Johanne Durocher Yordan moved back to her home studio, but had to think of a way to get the work in front of the public. She got a trailer and made a mobile gallery.
“I decided after being knocked down that I was getting up and fighting harder than ever for what I believe in, creating Art,” said Yordan. “No longer do I want to be bound by a landlord who could decide at anytime that they had other plans for the space. The possibilities are endless.”
Yordan is known for using maps, sheet music and text to create paintings and collages, small and large, of florals and birds that are lively and full of color. She also does abstract collage work using papers that she designs.
5. Frank DeAngelis
Frank DeAngelis is one of the newer artists to hit Vermont’s art scene. The owner and operator of the successful decorative plumbing and hardware store, Close to Home, took up painting in April 2016.
“An awesome talented artist friend invited me to her studio to paint on a cold rainy Saturday … and I was addicted from then forward,” DeAngelis said.
DeAngelis took up residence in a studio at S.P.A.C.E. Gallery in the Soda Plant and began showing his work. It’s not unusual for a middle-aged dilettante to pass through Vermont’s art scene, but that’s not what is happening here. A day rarely goes by in which a new work isn’t posted to social media.
DeAngelis has thrown himself into painting and his diligence is paying off. Working primarily in acrylics and spray paint, he attacks a canvas with the raw energy of a brut outsider. In the past 18 months, his compositions have become increasingly sophisticated and his techniques refined.
“Disaster,” for example, looks like a gestural chaotic muddle, but as you sit with the 40-inch by 40-inch canvas, you can see how DeAngelis uses the space made by messy blue and yellow drips to showcase intimate doodles and markings. An airplane, a primitive mask, esoteric symbols invite the viewer into a narrative. The viewer becomes investigator, sifting through the ruins.
ABOUT VERMONT ART FIVE
The Vermont Art Five is a collaboration between VTDigger.org and Vermont Art Guide, a quarterly printed magazine about the state’s contemporary, visual art scene. In each issue, Vermont Art Guide Editor Ric Kasini Kadour shares exhibition highlights, venue profiles, news, reviews and, at times, commentary. Feedback, tips, and submissions, email [email protected]
ABOUT VERMONT ART GUIDE
Vermont Art Guide is a quarterly, printed magazine about contemporary art in Vermont. We offer a curated list of places to see art and publish profiles on artists, art venues, and public art. Each issue is a celebration of the state’s great art scene. Learn more about the magazine and subscribe at www.vermontartguide.com.
VTDigger.org is a statewide news website that publishes watchdog reports on state government, politics, consumer affairs, business and public policy. VTDigger.org is a project of The Vermont Journalism Trust, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. www.vtdigger.org
Correction, Sept. 11, 11:02 a.m.: Conant Metal and Light was originally referred to by its former name, Conant Custom Brass.