BRATTLEBORO -- Opening at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center on Friday are three new exhibits featuring sculpture, painting and video.
"Cloaked and Revealed: Sculptural Paintings by Marela Zacarias," "Opposing Forces: New Paintings by John Gibson" and "All the Days of the Year," a video installation by Walter Ungerer will be on view through June 22, along with the continuing "Flora: A Celebration of Flowers in Contemporary Art." A free, public opening reception for the new exhibits will take place at 5 p.m., Friday at BMAC.
In "Cloaked and Revealed," artist Marela Zacarias forms window screens into large, sinuous shapes which she paints with bold colors and geometric patterns. Her "sculptural paintings" billow across walls or envelop everyday objects -- a television, a child’s tricycle -- evoking both sumptuous textiles and Depression-era public murals, while reflecting Zacarias’ interests in the histories of objects and sites and in politics and current events.
Chief curator Mara Williams says of Zacarias’ works, "They are incredibly physical objects with tremendous energy ... at once dynamic and intimate, imbued with an animating presence."
Gibson paints pictures of balls, individually and in groups, each colorful orb covered in designs of dots, stripes, swirls or other patterns. Gibson, based in Easthampton, Mass., and a professor at Smith College, says, "I paint balls because they are the most simple and fundamentally different thing from the flat surface of a painting that I can think of. I like that elegant opposition of forces. Every day I try to wring a ‘real’ ball out of a flat surface, and every day I can’t quite do it." To the contrary, "Opposing Forces," a collection of new paintings never before exhibited, offers at least a compelling illusion of the balls’ substance and three-dimensionality on their flat surfaces.
"All the Days of the Year" by experimental filmmaker Walter Ungerer is a visual and aural meditation on place. Ungerer recorded 10-second segments describing a 360-degree view from a single point on a hillside overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in Maine. Filming at different times of day and night, in all seasons, in varying weather, simply taking in the sights that entered the camera’s eye for a year, Ungerer draws attention to the often overlooked everyday beauty of a place.
Now based in Maine, Ungerer began his career in the New York City underground film scene of the 1960s. In 1969 he moved to Vermont to teach filmmaking at Goddard College. He continued making experimental films there for 33 years, shifting to digital video and computer editing in the 1990s. Ungerer is the recipient of many honors and awards, including from the Athens International Film Festival, the American Film Institute, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Vermont Council on the Arts.
During May and June BMAC will present or collaborate on events related to these new exhibits. Gibson will give an artist talk at BMAC on Thursday, May 15, at 7 p.m. Over the weekend of May 16-17, Ungerer will host an exhibition of his works at the Center for Digital Art at the Cotton Mill in Brattleboro; visit centerfordigitalart.com for more information. On Thursday, June 5, at 7 p.m. at the museum, Zacarias will discuss her work. All events are open to the public and free.
The Brattleboro Museum & Art Center, founded in 1972, presents rotating exhibits of contemporary art, complemented by lectures, artist talks, film screenings, and other public programs. 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. Regular admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $4 for students. Members and children under 6 are admitted free.
Located in historic 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.