A 1934 alumnus of the University of Vermont, Francis Colburn developed his painting skills at the Art Students League in NYC in the mid-1930's. He soon returned to northern Vermont where he remained for the rest of his life. A former chair of the art department at UVM, his styles developed from the "social realism" of the 1930's to his own form of cubism and surrealism, as expressed in his portraits, landscapes and still life of his native state.

Colburn also worked in the federally funded Works Progress Administration project (WPA) which ran from 1935 to 1943. The gallery on the second floor of Williams Hall named in his honor hosts exhibitions of students, faculty and visiting artists throughout the year.

Noah Zhou: FRENZY October 26-November 16, 2020

artwork by Noah Zhou

Exhibition Statement from the Artist, UVM Senior and Art Education major Noah Zhou:

In today’s sociopolitical climate a number of tensions exist that complicate the cultural identities of Chinese-Americans. Celebration and practice of Chinese heritage, customs, and traditions are inhibited by the stain of American racism dating back to the very introduction of Chinese individuals on US soil. Following the various 20th century campaigns against the Philippines, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam, American racism has shifted to target all Asian people in general, reducing groups with unique cultural and ethnic differences to a common category—defined and discriminated against by virtue of their physical appearance and a set of cruel stereotypes. The capacity of Chinese-Americans to take pride in their heritage is further compromised by an authoritarian Chinese government that remains an inciting factor for emigration as it continues to crush political dissent, notably in Hong Kong. Seeking to be freed from the regime’s human rights violations, many Chinese will instead find social persecution.

Recently, American politicians have mobilized against China—painting them as a threat to the global economy, a draconian communist state, and as a source of blame for failure to contain the spread of the coronavirus—falsely mislabeling it as the “China Virus,” thus playing into racial stereotypes. The result has been disastrous for the perception of everyday Chinese-Americans trying to establish lives in a society that can quickly turn hostile, pushing many to renounce their cultural practices in favor of assimilation. The complicated nature of Chinese-American identity is the subject which my artwork seeks to define.

Harlan Mack: In Light of Disuse

Harlan Mack

Mack’s work employs blacksmithing, steel fabrication, painting, and storytelling to build an expanding, constellated narrative that invites viewers and listeners into an imaginary future. His current body of work incorporates brightly painted reclaimed wooden fence and blackened forged steel, constructed in to symbolic references to waste caused by turmoil within his narrative future. Through this type of distillation and combination, Harlan, invites the viewer to contemplate the many forms of waste in contrast with the potential of disuse as a cornerstone to what comes next. An exhibition of his work was featured at the Francis Colburn Gallery Jan.14-Feb. 1, 2019.

Estefania Puerta '10: Woe Hoe

Estefania Puerta

Estefania Puerta graduated from UVM in 2010 and received her MFA in painting at Yale School of Art, In New Haven, Conn. in May 2018. Estefania's work delves into organic and inorganic materials to form new poetics of transformation and translation. She is interested in “what is gained and lost in the process of making and the new worlds that can emerge from fickle metaphors.” Estefania works in various mediums such as sculpture, painting, writing, and performance and is deeply invested in the web created through working in multiple forms that do not have a fixed center or hierarchy. She presented her exhibit Woe Hoe Sept. 25-Oct. 5, 2018, at the Francis Colburn Gallery and also delivered an artist talk Oct. 1.