Headlining the new set of exhibits, which will remain on display through February 21, is “Drawing Itself: A Survey of Contemporary Practice.” This group show offers a glimpse of the amazing scope and variety of contemporary drawing. The list of featured artists includes such major figures as Romare Bearden, Charles Burchfield, Paul Cadmus, Rackstraw Downes, Rico LeBrun, and Whitfield Lovell, as well as scores of lesser-known yet highly regarded artists based in New York, Boston, and southern Vermont. Among those artists with ties to our region are Jason Alden, Madeline Fan, Barbara Garber, Gordon Meinhard, and Ethan Murrow.
Complementing “Drawing Itself” are solo shows featuring the work of Eric Aho, Marcy Hermansader, Bill Long, and Joseph Fichter.
Eric Aho’s “Ice Box” is a sampling of the Saxtons River-based artist’s recent paintings of, and inspired by, ice. In confronting these dramatic new works, the viewer can almost hear the crunch of snow underfoot, the chattering of ice on branches, or the heaving groans of a frozen river. Accompanying Aho’s paintings is a short film by Rachel Portesi depicting the once common practice of ice harvesting.
“Back Through Black” is an exhibit of collages by Putney resident Marcy Hermansader. According to Hermansader, these works were created in response to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. “For me,” she explains, “the subject of war provides a seriousness, a dark urgency that keeps me focused.”
The museum’s Activity Gallery showcases 32 original oil paintings by Bill Long, an artist and animator based in Chester. These whimsical paintings of quirky characters occupying a colorful fantasy world have been created for Long’s wordless picture book, “Through the View.”
Outside the museum stands “Clarion Call,” a rearing horse sculpture by Putney artist Joseph Fichter. It is the third and final Fichter horse to stand sentry outside BMAC during the 2009-2010 season.
To accommodate visitors during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, BMAC will stay open until 8 pm on Friday, November 27, and will host an ornament-making activity for families on Saturday, November 28, 1 to 4 pm. All ages are welcome to drop by to make a creative cut-paper ornament suitable for Christmas trees, window hangings or as gifts for family and friends. Also underway beginning November 27 is a special holiday sale in the museum’s gift shop, with discounts of 20% or more on art-related children’s toys, books, and crafts; Wolf Kahn calendars, note cards, and coffee table books; and a wide variety of art-inspired jewelry, handbags, accessories, and more.
Major support for the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center’s 2009-2010 season is provided by BMAC members and Entergy Vermont Yankee, Foard Panel, C&S Wholesale Grocers, Sam’s Outdoor Outfitters, and Chittenden Bank. The museum’s exhibits and gift shop are open 11 am to 5 pm, except Tuesday and Wednesday. Regular admission is $6 for adults, $4 for seniors, and $3 for students. Members and children 5 and under are admitted free of charge. For more information call (802) 257-0124 or visit www.brattleboromuseum.org.