Material Pursuits

September 4 - December 14, 2007
East Gallery

Pipe cleaners, paper, plasticine, embroidery, quilting, and mosaics are among the media that will be featured in Material Pursuits, a large-scale exhibition exploring how contemporary American artists are creating conceptually based artworks utilizing methods, materials, and strategies usually associated with craft. Material Pursuits presents the work of a new generation of artists who, more than thirty years after craft materials were appropriated into the domain of American art, are unfettered by the longstanding debates that defined the boundaries between art and craft. Instead, their chosen techniques are driven more by their interest in exploring both the conceptual and material potential of these unconventional media. The resulting works reflect a new fascination, even obsession, with the particular and mundane, while offering views that range from whimsical to critical. As part of the exhibition, the Fleming Museum has commissioned three site-specific projects: Alisa Dworsky,a Montpelier artist and architectural designer, will create a series of crocheted sculptures on the trees on the Museum's Colchester Avenue lawn; Sheila Pepe, from New York, will transform the Museum's Marble Court with an elaborate web comprised of a variety of fabrics and found materials, such as tulle, thread, fabric tape, and shoelaces; and Elana Herzog, also from New York, will embed and then deconstruct a chenille bedspread in the East Gallery's wall.

The other participating artists include: Lee Boroson, Lucky DeBellevue, James Esber, Sabrina Gschwandtner, Kirsten Hassenfeld, Jason Middlebrook, Jessica Rankin, Kathleen Schneider, Jane South, Devorah Sperber, and Anna Von Mertens.

We are grateful for the generous support provided by the Kalkin Family Exhibitions Endowment Fund; the 1675 Foundation; Dr. Burnett Rawson '37, M.D. '39 in honor of his late wife, Jessie Rawson; David Beitzel '80; the Walter Cerf Exhibitions Fund; Stephen Kelly '85; Creative Habitat at Ben Franklin, South Burlington, Vermont; and, for support of Alisa Dworsky's installation, the Successful Communities Fund of the Vermont Community Foundation. This project is supported in part by the Vermont Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Material Pursuits artists' Websites
Lee Boroson
Lucky DeBellevue
Alisa Dworsky
James Esber
Sabrina Gschwandtner
Kirsten Hassenfeld
Elana Herzog
Jason Middlebrook
Sheila Pepe
Jessica Rankin
Kathleen Schneider
Jane South
Devorah Sperber
Anna Von Mertens