FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Shelburne, VT, September 30, 2013—October 4 - October 20 Shelburne Farms will host Of Land & Local, a Burlington City Arts (BCA) and Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing state-wide multidisciplinary exhibition designed to initiate a dialogue about the Vermont landscape. Vermonters’ shared history in land and pride for local lay the groundwork for this exhibition, featuring works from international and Vermont-based artists.
Of Land & Local begins with known connections between culture and place. The projects explore the notion that culture helps define place, but also that place plays a significant role in establishing culture. “Land is intrinsically tied to history and memories,” Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing Commissioner Megan Smith said. “Of Land and Local asks Vermonters and visitors to explore these connections, what formed our perception as well as use of Vermont’s land and landscape, and how that shapes us as individuals and as a community.”
The work of 28 Of Land & Local artists – in a variety of mediums – will be featured at the Coach Barn at Shelburne Farms. “Artists and farmers are key components of our state’s social and cultural fabric,” BCA Curator DJ Hellerman said. “Artists search for new ways to question the world we live in to nourish our minds while farmers search for new ways to enrich the world we live in to nourish our bodies. As an educational nonprofit and working farm, Shelburne Farms is committed to deeply investigating the practical and philosophical issues of land stewardship, sustainable agriculture, and education in the 21st century. I don’t think there could be a stronger partnership between contemporary art and agriculture than at Shelburne Farms.”
Of Land & Local artists featured at Shelburne Farms include Barry Underwood, Bill McDowell, Brian Collier, Carolyn Shattuck, Christopher Griffin, Denis Versweyveld, Don Ross, Duncan Johnson, Elliot Katz, Fran Bull, Gowri Savoor, Janet Fredericks, Jean Luc Dushime, Jessie Pollock, Kat Clear, Kadie Salfi, Mary Zompetti, Meara McGinniss, Michael Mercil, Nori Morimoto, Pamela Fraser, Renee Lauzon, Rob Rock, Rotem Tamir, Susan Wahlrab, Tari Swenson, Tom Cullins, and Wendy Copp. Some highlights:
Brian Collier's projects, installations, and public interventions range across a wide variety of media, including websites, video, sculpture, photography, drawing, artist's books, and performance. Through this diverse practice he focuses on ways in which elements of the non-human natural world exist, or have reinserted themselves, in severely human-altered habitats. Through his projects, he disseminates information about these sites, often proposing strategies to re-evaluate the weedy margins of the human-dominated landscape. Collier is founder and president of The Society for a Re-Natural Environment. For Of Land & Local, Collier will introduce an Eat Local Invasives, a project focused on finding ways to eat Vermont’s edible invasive plant species.
Meara McGinniss’ interests in history and narrative have recently converged with her interest in cloth making. Currently, she’s exploring the intersection of cloth, landscape, memory, and home. The places we live and the bodies we live in are vessels that hold both our memories and our hopes for the future. By making houses of all sizes and forms McGinniss explores the idea of “home,” an ideal space that may never materialize in reality but can be a driving force in how we live and interact with the world around us. There is a connection between material and subject, form and content. McGinniss’ current work uses cloth as structure and metaphor to explore intimacy, work, and identity, especially in the context of industrialization and the American quest for utopia.
Jean Luc Dushime
Jean Luc Dushime is an adventurous and worldly storyteller. His personal work focuses on capturing the resiliency of the human soul, documenting social and cultural issues, the effects of migration and integration on small communities and vice versa. When Jean Luc is not traveling making photographs or shooting videos, he is inspiring communities through his public speaking engagements, mentoring the youth and spending time with family. For Of Land & Local, Dushime will produce a series of photographs capturing the stories of New American’s farming in Vermont.
The Of Land & Local opening at Shelburne Farms will take place Thursday, October 3 from 5:00 - 8:00pm at its Coach Barn. During the opening, there will be a screening of Michael Mercil's film, Covenant; locally grown light hors d’oeuvres, prepared by the Inn at Shelburne Farms; and a cash bar. Saturday, October 5 from 10:00 - 11:30am Brian Collier of the Eat Local Invasives project will lead a guided workshop at Shelburne Farms teaching local edible invasive plant species identification. On Saturday, October 12 from 3:00 - 5:00pm there will be a panel discussion, Nontraditional Approaches to Photography and the Landscape with a selection of Of Land & Local artists at the Coach Barn.
The Of Land & Local website features all events, artists and components of this state-wide exhibition. Information about Of Land & Local artists and events at Shelburne Farms is available online at http://www.burlingtoncityarts.org/OfLandAndLocal/ShelburneFarms/. Of Land & Local is a partnership between Burlington City Arts and Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing, in association with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets. This exhibition is sponsored by Seven Days Newspaper and Community College of Vermont. Celebrating over 30 years of supporting the arts, Burlington City Arts is dedicated to the promotion of excellence, experimentation, and education in all forms of contemporary art. Integrated with a 1,400-acre working farm and campus for learning, Shelburne Farms is a nonprofit education center working to cultivate change for a sustainable future.