Detail from Thelma Appel's Desert Sage

"Desert Sage" (1973) by Thelma Appel—oil on canvas, 75 x 97 inches, courtesy of Vermont State Curator's Office

Felted burlap by Fafnir Adamites

Detail from "Interfere (with)" (2019), a felted burlap installation by Fafnir Adamites

Gordon Meinhard's Red Dining Room

"Red Dining Room" (2018) by Gordon Meinhard—10 x 11 inches, mixed media

Fall BMAC Exhibits Open During Gallery Walk in October

Five new exhibits open at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (BMAC) on Friday, October 4, with an opening reception beginning at 5:30 p.m. These new exhibits explore the essence of birch trees, the concept of inherited trauma, the personalities of tables, the tarot, and more. Several of the exhibiting artists are expected to attend the opening reception, which is free and open to all. Three of the exhibits will remain on view through February 9, 2020, while the other two will be up through March 7.

Birch roll by María Elena González

Still from María Elena González "Skowhegan Birch #2" (2012-2015), single-channel digital video with sound, courtesy of Hirschl & Adler Modern, New York

MARÍA ELENA GONZÁLEZ: TREE TALK is a multisensory, multimodal rumination on nature and art. The basic building block of the installation is the birch tree. Noting the similarities between the striations on birch bark and the perforations on player-piano rolls, González uses rubbings and tracings of birch bark as templates for laser-cutting paper piano rolls. BMAC Chief Curator Mara Williams said, "In each segment of the installation, the artist's mind and hand are evident—observing, sorting, editing, choosing—as she crystallizes the physical, spatial, and spiritual essence of the birch tree and this aesthetic moment."

In conjunction with "Tree Talk," Michael Wojtech, author of Bark: A Field Guide to Trees of the Northeast, will present a tree identification workshop on Thursday, October 24, at 7:00 p.m.

DOUG TRUMP: BY RAIL is a suite of twelve intimately scaled abstract paintings. Trump repurposed window trim and sash boards from a studio improvement project as his painting ground. He covered the narrow boards with old Polaroid photographs, then layered a full range of energetic mark making, flowing brushwork, and color. "Although small, these works have a rugged physicality that invites us in for a closer look at their materials, their making, and their meaning," Williams said. Trump will speak about his work on Thursday, January 16, at 7:00 p.m.

FAFNIR ADAMITES: INTERFERE (WITH) is a sculptural installation created from felted wool and burlap that focuses on intergenerational trauma and the emotional turmoil inherited from past generations. Curator Sarah Freeman said, "Adamites' installation feels overwhelming and potentially suffocating. However, her use of highly tactile materials and repetitive, contemplative techniques allows the work to function as a tool for acknowledging, examining, and making sense of painful memories and experiences, thereby diffusing them." Adamites will speak about her work on Wednesday, December 18, at 7:00 p.m.

Untitled work by Doug Trump

Untitled 1 (2016) by Doug Trump—5.5 x 19.5, oil and mixed media on panel

In addition to Adamites' talk, BMAC will present two other events in conjunction with the installation. On Tuesday, November 12, at 7:00 p.m., Holocaust scholar Dr. Hank Knight will present "Legacies of Trauma," a talk on the the cumulative harm experienced by an individual or a generation due to a traumatic event. On Tuesday, January 21, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., artist Eva Camacho-Sanchez will offer a workshop titled "Slow and Mindful Stitch," a contemplative exploration of line, color, and stitch for sewers, embroiderers, and felters.

THELMA APPEL: OBSERVED/ABSTRACT surveys the career of one of the co-founders of the Bennington College Summer Painting Workshop. Early in her career, Appel worked as a landscape painter. "I was interested in the patterns formed by light cast on organic forms in the landscape," Appel said, "and I tried to convey, through overlapping strokes of color, a sense of physical connection with the contours of nature."

After September 11, 2001, Appel's imagery shifted from pastoral to apocalyptic, and then she developed a body of work based on the tarot. "My tarot images became the beginning of a new series in which I explored my feelings about time and endless space, transcendence and inner joy, while depicting cosmic phenomena," she said. In conjunction with the exhibit, Margaret Shipman and Stacy Salpietro-Babb, creators of the Wayfarer Tarot, will present an introduction to tarot on Wednesday, October 30, at 7:00 p.m. Advance registration is required.

Artist Gordon Meinhard, who has painted in Brattleboro for more than four decades, was one of the volunteers who helped to launch the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center in the 1970s. As such, GORDON MEINHARD: THE LIVES OF TABLES is a coming home of sorts, "a conversation around the family table," according to Williams. While the works in the exhibit could be described as Modernist still life paintings of tables, Williams noted that "as the series progresses, the tables become more animated, ultimately seeming almost sentient."

The Museum's galleries and gift shop are open every day except Tuesday, 11-5. Regular admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, and $4 for students. Members and children 18 and under are admitted free of charge. Located in historic Union Station in downtown Brattleboro, at the intersection of Main Street and Routes 119 & 142, the Museum is wheelchair accessible. For more information, call (802) 257-0124 or visit

Major support for BMAC is provided by its annual members and Allen Bros. Oil, Brattleboro Savings & Loan, C&S Wholesale Grocers, the Four Columns Inn, Sam's Outdoor Outfitters, and Whetstone Station Restaurant & Brewery.

Copyright 2019, Gallery Walk, Brattleboro, Vermont

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