Mosaic: Sage Lewis | Beings: Torin Porter | Renewal: Helen Schmidt
Mosaic: Multimedia Installation by Sage Lewis, E.N.Wennberg and Elizabeth Mayor Galleries
Mosaic a multi-media installation by Vermont artist Sage Lewis. Lewis recently completed a Project Space Residency at the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York and 10-month Artist-in-Residence Fellowship at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar. While in Qatar she set up a darkroom for students to learn analogue processes and received a Faculty Research Grant to study and teach the process of carbon printing. Work that Lewis created in Qatar has spurred her current research into space analogues – places on earth that are analogous to other planets. She has taught at The Ohio State University, VCUQatar, and been a visiting artist at Denison University (Granville, OH), College of the Atlantic (Bar Harbor, ME) and Hartwick College (Oneonta, NY). Lewis holds an MFA in Painting & Drawing from The Ohio State University and a BFA in Painting and Art History from Maine College of Art. In video, collage, assemblage, and sculpture, Lewis works across media to piece together landscapes from disparate sources, including her own explorations in the deserts of Qatar and Southern California, archival geology specimens, and planetary images transmitted from Mars. In these works, the surface of the earth can be seen as a corollary to surfaces of other planets such as the moon and Mars. These works seem to be asking if the ground, and by extension the space of the image, can connect us to another place and time. “In occasional moments, we are allowed to see across the strata of geologic time, glimpsing parts or patterns that comprise a limitless whole. We can focus in on a fixed point where water becomes desert, or outwards across a cascade of chemical reactions folded into a mountain range. Working backwards from a panoramic view, we can locate the mosaic in image-forms composed of pixels, film grain, fabric weave, and paper structure. Taking this oscillating stance between the absorption of the picture at large and the materiality of imaging processes, my interest is in pursuing both the sublime, engrossing qualities of landscape alongside the elemental facts of dirt, dust, and stone.” -Sage Lewis.
Beings: Sculpture and Drawings by Torin Porter, Clifford B. West Gallery
Beings, an exhibition of sculpture and drawings by Vermont artist Torin Porter. Porter’s sculptures have been exhibited in New England galleries, in New York City, and in public spaces. His interactive sculpture installations have been featured at many Phish festivals. Growing up, he spent his summers with the Bread and Puppet Theater, and later performed with the MOMIX dance company and the rock band Jane’s Addiction. Porter was selected to attend several Vermont Week artist residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and has taught sculpture classes at The Carving Studio. Porter received his B.A in Studio Art from Dartmouth College and lives in northern Vermont. “There are many ways to be, and these ways can be called beings. And one person can experience hundreds of beings moving through the moments of a day and a night. To be a being in the general sense is to physically exist and have an embedded consciousness. When beings meet, their consciousnesses, as expressed through their physicalities, interact and that interaction can spark new ideas, feelings, and forms. This sharing of and creating of meanings is language, and art is a type of language. I want these sculptures to have the characteristics of beings which can contribute to a non-verbal dialogue; like three-dimensional writing or writing compacted until it is unreadable and has weight and mass, but we get the whole meaning all at once. The sculptures come from and embody thoughts and feelings which are then activated by the perceptions and interpretations of the viewer. Art lives in the experience each person helps create.” – Torin Porter.
Renewal: Prints and Sculpture by Helen Schmidt, Rebecca Lawrence Gallery
Renewal, an exhibition of collagraph prints and sculpture by artist Helen Schmidt. She grew up in Pittsburgh, PA at a time when the city was transitioning from an industrial hub to a more modern technological center. Schmidt went to Sarah Lawrence College, where she concentrated in Fine Art, Sociology and Religion; and spent a year in France, studying drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture at The Lacoste School for the Arts. After graduating, she moved to New York City, where she worked in the South Bronx as a housing advocate for homeless women and children, and rented space at the Robert Blackburn Printmaking workshop. In 1993, Schmidt moved to Vermont and received her MFA from Vermont College of Art in Montpelier. She co-created an expressive art class to at-risk teenaged girls called Expresso and taught art classes to people experiencing homelessness and incarceration. She currently teaches studio art and printmaking at the River Gallery School, and printmaking at The Putney School. Schmidt has exhibited her artwork throughout the Northeast in solo, juried and group shows, and has work in private collections in the United States and Europe. “I am drawn to what has been discarded, to birch bark found on walks in the woods or pieces of old rusty metal. I try to use what I find, what I am given, and repurpose it to let a new form emerge. It is this remaking from one thing to another, this dissolution of boundaries that interests me. My interest is in exploring and transformation, where the process of renewal is manifested in the sculptural forms and prints. I am interested in the role art plays in the wider social arena as an impetus for change, as well as its role in personal transformation. My work explores the intersection between the external and the internal as new connections are created, and we find alternative sources of renewal. I am drawn to what happens when one form morphs into another, and we move from a binary and divisive human reasoning to a more interconnected way of being.” – Helen Schmidt.