Saturday, April 23, 2016


Church Street, Burlington, VT

My husband and I spent a day looking at art in downtown Burlington while visiting back home in Vermont.  One of our first stops was New City Galerie.
The gallery is located upstairs at 132 Church Street.  We received a warm welcome from gallery curator Joseph Pensak as we entered.  We conversed about life and art.  I even had the chance to help out with some artwork photography while there.  Those are the types of experiences that stay with you forever.
This small gallery is well worth the visit if you are in the Burlington area.  Here is a glance at some of the work we had the chance to see:

Works by Catherine Hall

The above are works from Catherine Hall’s constellation series.  They are small and intimate, allowing the viewer to experience a vast subject matter in a personal sense.  There is a glow created by the use of glass beads which create pathways for the eye to follow.  These works are like little gems.

Meg Lipke,  "Grid", wool, muslin, silk, ink, fabric dye, polyfil,  59" X 36"

I have wanted to see Meg Lipke’s textile works in person for quite a while.  The silkiness of some works and the rougher texture of others left me reining in the urge to touch them. 
Close-up of one of the "Grid" sections.  Meg Lipke.

Meg Lipke, " Green Stairs", fabric dye, beeswax resist, muslin over polyfil, 31" X 22 1/2"

Close-up of Meg Lipke's "Green Stairs"

Lipke's stairway pieces have strong architectural shapes.  The green work seems to transform into a cityscape while the patterns add to the feel of trying to find one’s way around a city grid.  The close-up shows the textural elements.

Meg Lipke, "Blue Stairs", fabric dye, beeswax resist, muslin over polyfil, 32 1/2" X 23"

One thinks of blue as a calming color, yet the “Blue Stairs” overall shape and white lines give a sense of energy and movement.  I enjoyed the combination of these very different feelings.

Julia Kunin, "Bismuth Head", ceramic, 19" X 12" X 10"

Close-up of Julia Kunin's "Bismuth Head"

Julia Kunin’s  "Bismuth Head" consists of tiny frames stacked on top of each other.  It is an intriguing geometric work reminiscent of cubism.  There are layers upon layers, empty spaces between them to peer into and a beautiful glow as light hits individual sections.  The layering and angles allow for a new journey every time it is viewed.

Meg Walker, "Brain Unraveled", vines, wire, led lights

Meg Walker’s “Brain Unraveled” travels down the wall as if it just can’t keep itself together.  I think we’ve all felt like this at one time or another.  The poem next to the piece is oddly written, not quite together either.  Motion activated lights appear as firing neurons.  It leads to thoughts on how the brain functions.

Art speaks to us through experiences, color, texture, thoughts and other means.  It can lead us to see things differently and to discuss subjects we may not normally discuss.  Experience art from your own perspective, embrace others and have a great day.

Saturday, April 16, 2016


"Red Light in the City"  27" X 36"   Lori LaBerge  2015

"Red Light in the City" has been juried into "The CIty" exhibit at the Susquehanna Art Museum in Harrisburg, PA.  The exhibit will be held from May 13-August 11, 2016.

The exhibit will show works exploring the relationship between urban settings and their influence on art.  

Though I live in a rural area, I enjoy the structures and activity of urban areas.  How do we each view these settings? Do we view them differently if we live in them rather than visit them?  In our interpretation of them into artwork do we see them in realistic, abstract, surrealistic or other styles.?  I think it will be quite interesting to see how each artist selected for this exhibit expressed their view of "The City".

I recently received a few questions on entering exhibits and packing for shipment.   Here are a few tips: 

1.  Send only your best work.  Be honest about whether the work is appropriate for the show.   If there is a theme, stick with it.

2.  Send solid photos of work.  Plain white, gray or black backgrounds with no distractions.

3.  Carefully read all information on the prospectus.

4.  Pay particular attention to dates, these are important.

5.  Fill out all required information.  Not fully filling out forms can eliminate your work.

6.  If you have questions, ask.  I have found the majority of venues to be extremely helpful to artists.  However, do not ask questions that are answered in the prospectus as this will show you did not read the materials offered.  Do not take up the time of those working on the show with excessive questions.  If you can figure it out on your own or by asking those you know, do it.  Most info. is quite clear.

7.  Make sure the work has a hanging system.  Do not send work without a way for the venue to hang the piece.

8. Set up shipment to arrive on required dates.  Do not ask for special treatment. UPS is very good at shipping to arrive on specific days.  Be sure to include any return shipment forms that are required.  I usually include packing instructions in the box to make things easier for those packing for return home.

Here is how the piece above will be shipped:

A new, clean box at a size for the piece was reinforced with 1/2"  foam board on all four sides.  A piece of  convoluted packing foam was placed in the bottom of the box.  This particular box is safe for 200 lbs of pressure.  U-Line has a large variety of boxes and sizes for all kinds of shipping needs.

The work was laid face down on tissue paper and rolled.

The wrapped piece was then placed in two large bubble wrap envelopes to keep it from bouncing around in the box.

A second piece of convoluted packing foam is placed on the top.  Packing instructions and artist and work info. will be taped to the inside of the box lids and a return form will be placed in the box.

A good way to prepare for entering shows is to practice filling out prospectuses you find online.  Look at what information they ask for, practice writing an artist statement or a biography and have a great day.

Saturday, April 2, 2016


"Woodlands", 13" x 10"  Lori LaBerge  2016

This piece is an exploration of the background colors of nature.  While I love nature's sometimes subdued colors, I tend to revert to an exaggeration of color in artwork.  The division of color was also explored.  Here is how it developed:

The trees were hooked first with the right hand tree raised up to create the feeling of it being behind the left two trees.  The dark gray areas were placed in a triangular shape.

The bright yellow green was added in another triangular shape in the opposite direction of the grays.  When creating shapes to follow in artwork, the objects do not have to be directly on the lines (in this they are not all directly on the triangular line), but should keep to the shape intended.

The purples were added in a general zigzag shape carrying the eye throughout the work.

The green was interesting for me as it is not a shade of green I usually work with.  It is quite bold and leads to the intended idea of the background being important to the thought process of the work.  Backgrounds are usually more muted allowing the forefront to shine.  The green follows the general triangular shape of the dark grays.

Please check out Mary Jane Peabody's post on our plein air group this past week titled "Hooking in the Great Outdoors".  Mary Jane writes an informative blog well worth following.  

Think about what part of your work you want to emphasize , decide how to depicit it, don't be afraid to break the "rules" and have a great day.