The Sculptors’ Work
Seven artists created pieces for The State of Scupture 2019 . . . an overview of Vermont sculptors. The exhibition―curated by Matthew Perry, executive director of the Vermont Arts Exchange and Joe Chirchirillo, curator of the North Bennington Outdoor Sculpture Show―will be in the Arts Council’s sculpture garden through autumn 2021. The team remarked, “As curators we want to showcase a wide variety of materials and techniques. The works represent the traditional skills of stone carving and woodworking, as well as casting and fabrication using stainless steel, iron, and concrete. Most importantly, we are committed to creating an intimate environment for the public, one that is friendly and engages you to sit, rest, and reflect.”
For a Spoon Full
maple, elm, and ash with boat paint
Ria lives in Norwich. She works mainly in wood, also often exploring stone, bronze, clay, and two-dimensional mediums. Her studies began overseas in the early 1970s. Since then, her pieces been exhibited up and down the East Coast. While Ria has employed different approaches to art-making over the years, her output remains distinct and significant. Three of her sculptures were included in Fleming Museum’s exhibition In Grain: Contemporary Work in Wood, Burlington’s Flynndog gallery in 2014, and the Helen Day Art Center’s 2011 Exposed outdoor sculpture showcase. Ria’s larger sculptures are seen year-round at the Path of Life Sculpture Garden in Windsor.
The Forces of Denial
Joe lives in North Bennington and mainly works with steel and concrete. He began creating sculpture in the early 1970s. After attending college he moved to the New York Metro area and settled in Jersey City, New Jersey. He was among the first wave of artists moving to this outpost across the Hudson and building the budding art scene there. He relocated to Vermont twelve years ago and has mainly focused on outdoor sculpture since then. Joe has participated in many exhibits and has curated the North Bennington Outdoor Sculpture Show for the last seven years. He has also received many commissions and is in numerous private collections in North America and Asia.
Clark lives in Charlotte. He has, for over a decade, salvaged large hardwood trunks from arborists working in the area surrounding his studio. He carves the trunks with his chainsaw, honing them into raw shapes, then meticulously paints them using a variety of complex visual systems, patterns, and patina processes. Clark asks his viewers to question their perceptions and remain constant as the separation between the public and the personal is dissolved by the joy of color and the delight of the unexpected. Clark earned a bachelor of fine arts degree at Louisiana State University and exhibits extensively throughout the U.S.
Building the Empire
Peter lives in Bomoseen. He studied sculpture under Brower Hatcher, receiving a master of fine arts degree from Bennington College in 1985; he had graduated from Skidmore College in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. In 1986 he bought his current home, and in the 1990s apprenticed sculptor Mark di Suvero for seven years. Since 2000 Peter has focused on private and public commissions in cast concrete or cast bronze. The concrete works are made in earth molds, often built onsite. He has won the Nord Art Prize in Germany and the top prize at Sculpture by the Sea in Australia twice. He has public works of art in China, Australia, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Canada and the United States.
Chris lives in Calais and works in granite, wood, and marble. His work, for indoor or outdoor installations, is figurative and representational. Chris began carving in 1976. Although largely self taught, he studied art in college and then anatomy and sculpture with the late Lothar Werslin of Sandgate, drawing and anatomy under Billy Brauer of Warren, and worked alongside and collaborated with several of the country’s top stone sculptors in nearby Barre. His recent sculpture adorns the State House dome in Montpelier.
Andrew Hamilton Reiss
Come One, Come All; Stay Awhile
Vermont cedar and steel; Vermont oak and steel
Andrew works primarily in metal and wood, using salvaged materials exclusively and bringing a crazy wisdom in sculptural beauty to the world that bridges form and function. Andrew has a background in landscape design, bilingual studies, business, and education. His love of the natural world and eye for unbridled form brought him to begin creating sculpture and artisan furniture, a true artist evolving out of a practical life in the trades.
The Wealth of Fools
Gregory lives in North Pownal. He began his sculpture studies with Isaac Witkin and Brower Hatcher at Bennington College, then later studied with Paul Aschenbach at the University of Vermont. Gregory has worked with wood, clay, and bronze, but his media of choice is welded steel and more recently, copper. His sculptures are at once whimsical and entirely serious; reserved, yet resonant. His use of line creates a sense of solidity while letting the space breathe, setting up a dialogue between the line and the negative space, and his use and application of color give an added sense of depth and dimension.
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