Barbara Ackerman.jpg

Barbara Ackerman in front of a triptych she created.

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MANCHESTER — A Bennington artist’s work expresses a conversation between color and texture, and her solo exhibition will be available for viewing until the beginning of November.

Barbara Ackerman’s exhibition is called “Conversations” and it will be on view at Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester from Sept. 17 to Nov. 6. On Sept. 17, SVAC will host a meet-the-artist opening reception from 2 to 4 p.m.

Ackerman will show about a dozen pieces in this exhibit that feature her many styles of art. Her last piece for the exhibit was finished Sept. 3 — just in the nick of time. The exhibit includes two triptychs and one diptych. Ackerman said the triptych, three pieces of art, and diptych, two pieces of art, are “meant to be seen together.”

She also created collagraphs, a type of art created by pressing different textures and paint colors onto a flat surface to be used to host the painting. “Some of the more interesting pieces come about from running it through the press more than once,” said Ackerman. The textures, like leather, bubble wrap and other textiles, create a unique design on the substrate.

During her MFA, Ackerman began creating stamps out of styrofoam and stamping repeating patterns in her work. Repeating patterns can still be seen in her recent work at the exhibit.

Ackerman found inspiration for her art through Krista Tippett’s podcast, “On Being.” Tippett invited John O’Donohue, an Irish poet, theologian and philosopher, and he spoke about a living landscape.

“He talked about this ancient conversation between the ocean and the Choc mountains. And I kind of feel the same way by having the opportunity to be outside to listen to wildlife to just observe and see what’s happening there,” said Ackerman.

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The title of the exhibit — “Conversations” — stems from this story and Ackerman’s experiences.

When she lived in town years ago, she yearned for the country. She would go for runs in the countryside and pass a small farmhouse with a large green field that faces a large hill. She now resides in that tiny farmhouse she was enamored with years ago. “I feel very privileged,” she said.

“I spent a lot of time outside and walking the field, watching what happens, you know, just to the grass, the wildflowers and it reinforces that idea of minor patterns,” said Ackerman. “Sometimes the changes are so subtle that you don’t realize until after what happened that it’s actually been going on for all the time you’re there.”

Her environment directly impacts a vast amount of her work. Although some of the conversations are subtle, “when I walk in the outdoors, I feel those conversations, for sure,” said Ackerman. A conversation also occurs in her art. “The marks in the shapes and the colors are talking to each other.”

Ackerman’s inspiration comes from many sources, but that shouldn’t discredit all of the work she puts in. “I think there’s inspiration but there’s hard work,” she said. “I spend time in the studio sketching, drawing, reading.”

She hopes that this exhibit will be a “great way to introduce myself to that larger community and continue to be involved.”