BRATTLEBORO -- Spring is about to burst into bloom at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center on Saturday when "Flora: A Celebration of Flowers in Contemporary Art" fills four of the museum's six galleries with vibrant work by 13 artists.
Opening alongside "Flora" are "Out of the Shadows: Paintings by Jim Giddings" and "Water Studies, Brattleboro," a site-specific installation by Jennifer Stock. The exhibits open to BMAC members at 11 a.m. and to the general public at 2 p.m.
The artists include Robert Kushner, whose large painting, "Indian Summer -- Homage to Bonnard," anchors one wall of the museum's Wolf Kahn & Emily Mason Gallery, and Bobbi Angell, whose botanical illustrations share space in the Ticket Gallery with living orchids on loan from Windham Flowers. Janet Fish's dazzling painted bouquets are complemented by Nan Montgomery's minimalist renderings of lilies. Anne Morgan Spalter's kaleidoscopic videos, displayed on large screens and on small, gem-like objects, create flower-like images from diverse footage. Marta Bernbaum's glass flowers and Floyd Elzinga's steel leaves and pine cones add dimension to a strikingly colorful exhibit.
Opening alongside "Flora" is "Out of the Shadows: Paintings by Jim Giddings." From 1982 to 2013, Giddings worked as BMAC's building manager and art handler, transporting, hanging and focusing lights on the work of other artists, while continuing to maintain his own painting studio and exhibition schedule. "Out of the Shadows" reveals some of the transformations Giddings's painting underwent during that time.
Rounding out the new exhibits is "Water Studies, Brattleboro," a site-specific audio-visual installation by New York City-based artist Jennifer Stock. The work offers an abstracted portrait of Brattleboro through images of the Connecticut River and its tributary the Whetstone Brook. Flowing together just north of the museum, their combined topography and energy define the town. Stock made photographs, often of reflections in the waterways, and ambient field recordings at sites near the museum, which she assembled, with synthesized music, to project an immersive composition that seeks to convey a unique sense of place.
"Flora" will remain on view through June 22, while "Out of the Shadows" and "Water Studies, Brattleboro" will close May 4. In connection with these new exhibits, BMAC will present a number of related events, including artist talks; a guided wildflower walk at Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center; a tour of the North Hill Garden in Readsboro; an orchid care workshop; a lecture on the status of Vermont's bumblebees; and more.
The museum's exhibits and gift shop are open Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, and $4 for students. Members and children under 6 are admitted free. Located in Union Station at the intersection of Main Street and Routes 119 and 142, the museum is wheelchair-accessible. For more information call 802-257-0124 or visit www.brattleboromuseum.org.