AVA Gallery and Art Center is pleased to announce our July 2023 exhibitions of three unique artists: Charlet Davenport, Drawing from Life and Sabrina B. Fadial, Material – Process – System – Knowledge, Rebecca Lawrence Gallery Entry, and Clifford B. West Gallery; Coralea Wennberg, Plant Stories, E.N. Wennberg Gallery, and Elizabeth Rowland Mayor Gallery.
Opening reception: Friday, July 21, 5-7pm. Exhibitions are on view July 21-August 26.
Charlet Davenport | Drawing from Life | Rebecca Lawrence Gallery and Clifford B. West Gallery. Several months ago, when responding to the invitation to exhibit at AVA during its 50th anniversary year, Davenport began to uncover work from as far back as 60 years ago. While looking at and thinking about this older work, she realized that it would partner well with artwork she’s been making in recent years as an installation artist. Unpacking this work from early in her career was a nostalgic and enjoyable journey drifting through vivid memories of her life. The artwork served as messages from the past. This early body of work includes a collection of lithographs, copper prints, woodcuts, and other print work. Davenport partnered the past with the present; using the new three-dimensional work and ideas generated from installations, in conjunction with older two-dimensional printmaking work, felt cathartic and necessary for the exhibition. Life drawing sessions have inspired subjects for her practice over the length of her career. These drawing sessions generated not only the prints but also ceramic work, marble slabs, vessels, and plates produced in recent years. This exhibition is inclusive of multiple mediums—an assortment of elements and ideas intended to be encountered as installations. Drawing from Life weaves the old and new, stitching together materials, personal history, and meaningful content.
Sabrina B. Fadial | Material – Process – System – Knowledge | Rebecca Lawrence Gallery and Clifford B. West Gallery. Material is the matter from which a thing is or can be made. It is important, essential, and relevant. Materials are how we learn about and experience life. A process is a series of steps, actions, and decisions involved in ways all work is completed. Systems are an organized set of processes, doctrines, ideas, or principles intended to explain the arrangement of a systematic whole. Knowledge is the sum of what is known, the body of truth, information, and principles acquired by humankind; it is intuitive, practical, and theoretical. Rooted in the traditions and concerns of critical art theory, Bricolage is a construction or creation from a diverse range of available things. Steel, silicone, pantyhose, sand, baby oil, found industrial detritus, cotton thread, Styrofoam, pistachio shells, balloons, modeling paste, gold leaf, graphite, epoxy, fishing line, Masonite, cellophane, acrylic paint, and paper used in harmony with labor and time produce new external representations. In Fadial’s work, what we think we know about a material is transformed and re-contextualized into a new form. The works of art in the exhibition mediate between the material and imagined worlds and reveal Fadial’s unique voice and knowledge set. For Fadial, material and process plus accidental circumstance spur the evolution of knowledge– and truth.
Coralea Wennberg | Plant Stories | E.N. Wennberg and Elizabeth Rowland Mayor Galleries. Plant Stories is a collection of paintings rich in color and composed with narratives sourced from history, observation, and imagination. The exhibition includes paintings in both oil and acrylic, inspired by two thematic ideas. The first is the inescapable presence and effect of climate change on our planet. Wennberg’s fascination with exploring contemporary landscapes that appear strange, trees and plants with unexpected colors and shapes presumed to be affected by humankind, is an abundant source of inspiration. A sampling of paintings includes compositions that illustrate the presence of manufactured materials which are rendered abstractly and are vaguely recognizable by the viewer. However, they are essential and purposefully included to signify human presence juxtaposed against the natural landscape. Trees are the artist’s priority and the hero of these paintings because of their unique ability to store carbon. Wennberg’s second inspiration comes from a book entitled, The Herbal of al-Ghafiqi, a 12th-century Arabic book that includes essays and illustrations of plants and their uses. The original text is a valued archive stored in a vault at McGill University, but a few years ago, she received a reprinted version of the original copy. There is little known about al-Ghafiqi, and most of the book has not been translated into English, however, the illustrations are what captured her attention and imagination. “Can you imagine a book about plants written 1000 years ago, before botany was even a science? I loved the simple, elegant drawings of the plants and soon began adding them to my global warming paintings. I wondered how many of these plants still exist; many of them looked unfamiliar to me. As I became more interested in the shapes of al-Ghafiqi’s plants, I tried different ways to represent and celebrate them.” All sales proceeds from this exhibition will be generously donated by the artist to benefit AVA’s Gallery’s Seed to Bloom Campaign.
Charlet Davenport | Biography
Charlet Davenport has worked as an artist in Vermont since 1963. Currently, her work in ceramic sculpture is influenced by many years of acting as Director of Sculpture Fest located in Woodstock, VT. Her outdoor art installations created on fiber, glass, and mesh have been installed in public spaces such as Saint-Gaudens Historic National Park; The Rotunda at Dartmouth College Hopkins Center; the Vermont Carving Studio and Sculpture Center; the bank of the Hoosic River on Williams College Campus, Williamstown, MA; Slater Mill, Pawtucket, RI; the TW Wood Art Center, Montpelier, VT; the Bennington Museum, and a variety of other public and semi-public spaces. Davenport was a panelist on the Transcendental Landscape Art Panel and Discussion at the Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, MA in September 2012. Click here to visit Charlet Davenport’s Sculpture Fest event website
Sabrina B. Fadial | Biography
In 1989, Sabrina B. Fadial earned her BFA in Textiles from Rhode Island School of Design. Choosing textiles gave her the broadest potential use of materials and processes. Skills learned in 1997, at Penland Craft School transformed the scope and scale of her art. In 2001, she earned her MFA in Visual Art from Vermont College of Norwich University. Residencies in 2006 (Venice Italy) and 2009 (Vermont Studio Center) were expansive and transformative. In 2010, Fadial moved her practice to VT. She has taught at the School of Architecture + Art at Norwich University, Rosie’s Girls welding for middle school girls, and AVA Gallery and Art Center. She was recently appointed as Executive Director at the T.W. Woods Gallery in Montpelier, VT. Click here to visit Sabrina B. Fadial’s website
Coralea Wennberg | Biography
Coralea Wennberg originally taught law and ethics at Dartmouth and Vermont Law School. She took a year off and reconnected with her love of drawing and painting by enrolling in art classes. Her father-in-law, Egmont N. Wennberg, had become an oil painter during the 30 years of his retirement, and his love of the challenge of painting completely inspired her. One of her first teachers was Clifford B. West, a long-time instructor at AVA Gallery. Wennberg’s love of painting landscapes continues, and she will often work en plein air whenever possible. Wennberg has participated in several juried, solo, and two-person exhibitions in New England, Wyoming, and California, but primarily at AVA Gallery and Art Center in Lebanon, NH. She has lived in Hanover, NH since 1980. Click here to visit Coralea Wennberg’s website
These exhibitions are on view July 21-August 26, with an opening reception on Friday, July 21, 5-7pm.
Artist Talk: Friday, July 28, 5:30-7PM: Please join us in the Clifford B. West Gallery for two gallery talks featuring Charlet Davenport at 5:30, followed by Sabrina B. Fadial at 6:20 pm.
Artist talk: Friday August 4, 5:30-6:30: Coralea Wennberg, E.N. Wennberg Gallery.
Exhibitions and all related events are free and open to the public. The exhibitions are generously sponsored by: Blackberry Hill Art Center