A new art exhibit has been installed in CCV President Joyce Judy’s office featuring work from five CCV faculty members. Faculty work is regularly displayed in her office gallery, showcasing the talent of local artists who bring their real-world expertise to CCV classrooms. The new exhibit consists of work from instructors Stephanie Bush, Jean Cannon, Sarah Pike, Jenn Renko, and Jeremy Vaughn.
Below, find the artist statements and their artwork.
The winter series was inspired by the mysterious lure of the complex, naturally occurring structures I observed during walks in the woods. Winters in Vermont are long, and most folks tend to hibernate through the season. I’ve always found walks in the woods, bundled up tight against the cold, a balm for the inevitable cabin fever and seasonal depression, and a chance for my soul to find calm and center.
With each painting I’ve tried to capture the nearness and overwhelming presence of nature at its most beautiful and unforgiving.
The viewer is lured through serene, cold winter landscapes into mysterious dark nooks, complex winter puzzles or along rolling “waves” of snow. The dense weight of the snow and its muffling tendencies, in the sheltered secret places and play of mazes, can either block or invite the viewer. A human or animal presence is purposefully absent from the series as I want the viewer to find their surrogate in nature and thereby connect more deeply with the environment.
Winter Island and Winter Allegro
These two paintings were made while sitting on a rocky shore in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, with the intention of capturing the ethereal, dense, and frequently present north Atlantic fog. The bulk of both paintings was done directly outside and on site. I added the boat to Atlantic Fog #1 in the studio later, thinking I had just a little too much etherealness and not enough shapes.
Watercolor is my main medium, with occasional forays into acrylic. I have been teaching drawing, painting, design and art history at CCV for more than 20 years. My motivation to teach comes from a recognition that there are many aspiring artists and art appreciators who, like my younger self, could use some guidance and support.
Atlantic Fog #1 and Atlantic Fog #2
Are you a lover of local trails and rivers like me?
You may have seen me perched on a rock balancing my sketchbook and watercolors in my lap. I probably ignored your presence, keeping my focus on the scene in front of me. Please take no offense. At these times I am lost in the rhythm of the water, my daily meditation.
When spring arrives I begin the daily ritual of walking my favorite trails with my sketchbook. I have yet to reach the end of some of these trails, there is too much to record with my pen or watercolors.
When winter descends and the cold keeps me inside, I thumb through my drawings and turn them into large scale silkscreens. This seasonal cycle of using the summer to draw outdoors and the winter to re-envision the sketches in different media has become for me a source of continual renewal.
Untitled and Untitled
Land in relationship to time and space.
Overlaps with no focal point or center, like dreaming.
Boats, skimming silently on the surface of a large lake, cutting time into horizontal stripes of experience.
A gossamer, woven silk grid laid over the fluorescent green, spring landscape.
Nests of cat hair.
These are some of the concepts and images that I create and feelings which I attempt to capture in my work. My influences range from graphic design to poetry to music. Most recently I have been painting with encaustic, which is beeswax and colored pigment. The transparency is appealing and the layered textures are satisfying. Ancient Egyptian Fayum portraits were made on coffins, to represent the life of a person and to bind the living to the dead- the inner world to the outer one. Robert Gwathmey, an artist who has influenced me greatly, wrote that as we age, our inner world no longer corresponds to the outer one, so I attempt to regain synchronicity or equilibrium with my work.
Rooftops and Things Fall Apart
I take great comfort and find endless fascination knowing that with a single line of ink or paint on paper or board, a dynamic space can be formed. When I sit at my table, I am not in need of a grand idea to spur this process, and sometimes being over-determined can bungle the process of discovery. My process begins with my history of experiences and asking many questions that may not have answers. Because my work is highly technical and, quite possibly decorative, I find that making drawings lends a sense of formal achievement and intentionality to my questions, but often creates a paradox in what the subject matter may portray.
The subject matter I choose directly relates to my experiences growing up in Southern Ohio, with it’s ravaged rural industrial landscape of flat spaces and abandoned factories. Although I do not see my drawings as linear narratives, I make visual choices based on my social and economic experiences as they pertain to geological ruin. I navigate through the history of mechanical engineering and drafting, comics, humor, and my own contradictory thoughts and feelings about large topics such as environmental collapse, post-colonialism, and capitalist critique. I draw in order to further my understanding rather than portray to the viewer a clear narrative or prescribed solution.
Someplace Between Barre and Ocean City and 1976