Abrams, Scherer to talk 3D collaboration

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BRATTLEBORO — Jackie Abrams and Deidre Scherer will discuss their collaborative work in the exhibit "Connections" at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The talk is free and open to the public.

Abrams and Scherer's talk is part of the museum's occasional "Dialogue" series of collaborative exhibitions. "Connections" is on view in the Museum's Ticket Gallery through June 16.

In a recent article in Artscope, reviewer Elayne Clift praised the exhibit, describing the two artists as "pioneers in their media for many years" and noting that their collaborative vessels "beautifully and uniquely reflect the human image."

"Age, wisdom, the accumulation of experience, and their imprints on the vessel we call the human body have interested each of us for decades," the artists said in a release from the museum. "Deidre's thread-on-fabric portraits of elders and Jackie's sculptural baskets representing aspects of women's lives made it seem natural for us to collaborate on a series of three-dimensional objects that reflect the human form."

To create the objects for "Connections," Abrams and Scherer first agreed on the general shape and size of each vessel. Scherer intricately reconfigured multiple images of her original thread-on-fabric works and printed them onto heavy cotton paper. The printed images were cut into strips, and Abrams carefully wove them back together as three-dimensional vessels. Sometimes other materials, such as copper wire or transparent plastic film, were incorporated into the weaving. The resulting vessels' strong forms and subtle textures reflect the character that the human body acquires with experience and time.

"By virtue of Abrams's weaving, Scherer's pictorial faces and hands become abstract as well as representational, the sitters both present and absent," said Mara Williams, chief curator of the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center. "Scherer and Abrams's portrait baskets metaphorically become repositories of experiences and memories."

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Since 1975, Abrams has worked with materials such as archival and recycled papers, sand, acrylic paint, silk and cotton fabrics, wire, recycled plastic bags, thread, buttons, and stones.

"I create textured and colorful vessels, in forms that are woven, stitched, layered, and constructed as distinctive individuals," Abrams said in a release from the museum. "Each vessel can stand alone or can be connected and related with other pieces in support and unity, often representing a community of women with stories to share."

Abrams' work has been collected by many museums, most notably the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Museum, the Racine Art Museum, and National Museums Scotland.

Scherer's thread-on-fabric work has been shown in over 200 exhibitions worldwide, including solo exhibits at the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Maltwood Art Museum, Brattleboro Museum & Art Center, and the Everson Museum of Art. She created the renowned cover of "When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple."

Founded in 1972, the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center presents rotating exhibits of contemporary art, complemented by lectures, artist talks, film screenings, and other public programs. The museum's galleries and gift shop are open every day except Tuesday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.. Regular admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, and $4 for students. Members and children 18 and under are admitted free of charge.

Located in historic Union Station in downtown Brattleboro, 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 brattleboromuseum.org.

Major support for BMAC is provided by its members and Allen Bros. Oil, Brattleboro Savings & Loan, C&S Wholesale Grocers, the Four Columns Inn, Sam's Outdoor Outfitters, and Whetstone Station Restaurant & Brewery.


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