REVIEW: Hugh Joudry at Gallery In The Woods, Brattleboro

by Arlene Distler

The sculpture and drawings of Hugh Joudry will be at Gallery In The Woods during June in a show titled “Visionary Art and Sculpture.”

Joudry has been going about the business of sculpting for many years, but staying under the radar, living a life more like a monk than a scion of the art world. He would not have it any other way. But it is also an exciting time for the artist. His work is getting attention from the “Outsider Art” movement, and soon will be featured in Raw Vision magazine.

Joudry is a mystic and a mathematician (in the winters he teaches math at the Mount Snow Academy), as well as artist. This multitude of beings somehow fit into a short but stout frame, topped by a shock of white hair. Although he’s in his 70’s, and complains he can no longer move logs as he once could, he nevertheless moves massive hunks of wood into and around his studio. He happily accepts the logs that people leave at his home. “People just bring me these great pieces of wood. A short time ago the Town of Stratton had to cut some Elms. They brought me the logs…I was thrilled because Elmwood is the hardest of woods, and lasts forever. Henry Moore used only Elmwood.”

The winter months are for sculpting as summers are taken up with the forestry work. There is the house’s porch, but most of the sculpting takes place in a yurt just outside the door. Clear plastic over a wood frame keeps out the elements. He’s kept warm, he says, by the heat created in just wielding the chisel and mallet against the hardwood.

When Joudry talks sculpture it’s just as likely to bring up the mathematics of the Golden Mean and Fibonacci harmonics, as Brancusi. In fact, he has written a book on the subject of these mathematical and mystical equations. But, says Joudry, “for me, it is constricting to think too much about this – in truth, as a sculptor, it is something I’d wish to arrive at, intuitively. If you pre-calculate it you’re dead.”

Joudry’s sculpture is far from dead! Dancing, lunging, striding, contorting, they inhabit their space with an assertive presence that seems as ancient as the shaman and modern as Giacometti. The “Great Cackler”, with its undulating lines and mass of smoothed and glistening birch, seems to be lifting its head right off its shoulders, reminding me of “the trickster,” that can be found in the myths of tribal cultures.

“Horus”, Joudry’s sculptural interpretation of the falcon-headed god of ancient Egypt, looks totemic but liberties are taken, especially with the lower half, an elongated spherical form with the middle carved out. These negative spaces, prevalent in many

of Joudry’s sculptures, he describes this way: “The holes serve as background to the resultant shape that forms around them, and there is a metaphysical reason too - that matter has the power to condense out of nothing except pure energy.” For this reviewer, the “holes” create a dance with the space…the pieces become ethereal, as if they are being formed before our eyes and can disappear just as easily.

He says he is especially fond of spirals in the wood, which many pieces take advantage of, such as “Wave,” “Warrior,” “Dancer,” or “Liberation,” the form wrapping around itself. He adds that the spiral has the added attraction of “a whole cosmology of rigorous mathematical thought behind it.” It is also an ancient symbol of the goddess, continual change, the life journey, and evolution of the universe, showing up in Celtic, Native American, Japanese art and culture, to name a few. Carl Jung calls it an archetypal symbol representing cosmic force.

In addition to the sculptures there are a selection of drawings in the gallery. Joudry’s drawings have elicited quite a bit of excitement recently, by, among others, the editor of “Raw Vision.” I am especially taken with the older black and white drawings. They have the muscularity and inventiveness of a Picasso, and are possessed of a stark and haunting presence. The artist compares them to “automatic writing,” writing that comes from the subconscious. But the newer ones, employing color, are intriguing for other reasons. Joudry says he is just “discovering color,” and the drawings are giddy with it. These newer drawings sculpt the flat plane bit by bit, as if the repeated shapes were marks of a chisel. They surround an embedded figure, the background as alive as the page’s protagonist. The artist works on them repeatedly, relating them to the sculptures he has in mind.

Straddling, like one of his long-legged sculptures, two worlds –– tribal-shamanic, and modern, Joudry’s work does not fit easily into a “school” or gallery-ready label. And yet they are valued for their originality and power, a vision that is untainted, as some see it, by art school training. This description of African sculpture well suits Joudry’s ouevre: In these carvings there is no mistaking the energy and playfulness with which the human body is turned, by confident distortion, into such a gallery of wonderful creatures.

It is a rare thing to have a show in town devoted to sculpture. Joudry’s work is not in the mainstream of the current cultural take on sculpture, which in recent years has been all about installation. Installation art can be cold and antiseptic and intellectual. Not that I have anything against intellectual. But I think we are very thirsty for the human factor – even bird-human, the fantastical human! These “wonderful creatures” say something about potential, about transformation, suffering and freedom. Joudry may not be in the mainstream but clearly he swims comfortably in the ancient ocean of soulful human expression.

Arlene Distler is a freelance writer on the arts, based in Brattleboro, Vt. Contact for more information. Review first appeared in the Brattleboro friday gallery guide “Gallery Walk.”

Dessin Fournir: New Designer Products For Spring!

Dessin Fournir is a trade company with 14 showrooms nationwide. They represent Gerard, Classic Cloth, Palmer Hargrave, Kerry Joyce, Rose Cumming and of course Dessin Fournir. Below is a sampling of some of their new products for Spring 2010. We have chosen some of our favorites for your viewing. Contact us for more information or your interior designer.

Essen Armchair by Dessin Fournir - This beautiful chair comes as an armchair or side chair. It has tight seat and back and is shown in Classic Cloth's Silk Stripe in Seafoam. The finish on the chair is Antiqued Paint. Other finishes and sizes available. Size: 36" high x 21" wide x 27" deep. COM is 3 yards.

Atwood Cabinet by Dessin Fournir - This beautiful mahogany cabinet has antiqued restoration glass with antiqued 22k moon gold leaf details. The eight shelves are adjustable and the finish shown is M-1. Other sizes and finishes available. Size: 82" high x 39" wide x 15" deep.

Pierre Shelf by Dessin Fournir - This unique shelf is all hand forged iron and is shown in the Antiqued Iron finish. It has five shelves that are 48" long. The overall size is 95" high x 89" wide x 11" deep. This unit could be modern or traditional! Custom sizes and finishes available.

Anson Folding Garden Chair from Gerard - This unique outdoor chair is hand forged iron with brass finials and folds for ease of storing. Loose cushion included and available with COM. Size: 41" high x 19" w x 23" deep. Other finishes and custom sizes available.

LeClere Sconce by Dessin Fournir - This unique sconce is hand forged iron with wood details. Shown in Antiqued Paint. Holds one 25w bulb and is 28" high x 10" wide x 5" deep. Available in custom sizes and finishes.

Diaz Bookcase by Kerry Joyce - This beautiful modern bookcase is made of rosewood veneer and mahogany. The rosewood is finished in M3 and the mahogany is finished in M4. Other finishes and sizes available. The bookcase has seven shelves and the overall size is 84" high x 42" wide x 13" deep.
Photos courtesy of Dessin Fournir. To the Trade.

PRESS RELEASE: 100 artists at Penny Cluse Cafe, Burlington

One hundred artists will participate in WATER, a group show, at Penny Cluse Cafe, Burlington, for the month of June.
The art show is curated by Laura Green and Karyn Vogel, both Essex residents. "We had been talking about organizing a show for years," says Green. Green and Vogel gave each artist one 6"x6" wood panel on which to create their piece. "Artists were free to use the medium of their choice, including paint, pencil, charcoal, photograph, fiber, or mosaic. We love the range in a group show like this. One artist is submitting stained glass which will hang in the window," says Green.
The project was inspired by Jordin Isip and Rodger Stevens' Panorama Project and Dime Bag 3 art shows, which brought together large, diverse groups of artists with a unifying device (the Panorama Project utilized a horizontal line running through the entire body of work). In WATER, artists' work is connected by the small square format and the topic. "Water is such an important part of our lives," says Vogel. "and a finite resource on our planet. We drink the same water the dinosaurs drank millions of years ago. It's something to celebrate and protect."

The majority of participating artists live in Vermont, but other geographic locations are represented as well, including New York, California, Pennsylvania and Ohio.
An artists' reception will be held Friday, June 4 from 7-9pm at Penny Cluse Cafe.

The show will travel to the Brownell Library in Essex Junction for the month of July, to coincide with their summer theme: Water.

A list of artists is available at Artwork will be viewable online in June.

PRESS RELEASE: Steve Hogan at VCAM in Burlington

On exhibit at VCAM, 208 Flynn Avenue 2-G, from June 1 - August 30, 2010:
The Lowbrow Art of Steve Hogan
Opening on Friday, June 18th, 5:30 - 8:30 PM.

Can art be fun and in your face at the same time? Drawing from a misspent youth, Steve channels hazy memories of Goofy Grape drink mix, Saturday morning cartoons, second-hand sixties mod, Japanese monster movies, old album covers and supermarket package art (His Dad worked at A&P) to try and create pieces that redefine their surroundings in a more playful fashion. "Cartoony art for cartoony people" is his motto.

Self taught, Steve has spent the past 12 years as an animator and commercial illustrator, creating art for children's educational software, books, magazines, newspapers, t-shirts, concert posters and other media. Steve also makes comics, with work appearing in alternative anthologies and on the internet. His strip "Acid Keg" was nominated for a Cartoonists' Choice award and was selected by The Webcomics Examiner website for its "Best of 2004" list. Strips from it were included in the Barron's educational book Webcomics: Tools and Techniques For Digital Comics. Slathering paint on canvas is his newest thing.

PRESS RELEASE: A 10 Year Retrospective: Sage Tucker-Ketcham

Event: A 10 Year Retrospective: Sage Tucker-Ketcham

Where: The S.P.A.C.E Gallery, 266 Pine Street, Suite 105 Burlington, VT 05401

When: Opening June 4 5pm-9pm

Contact: Sage Tucker-Ketcham: Phone: 802 578-5763 Email:


Fine artist Sage Tucker-Ketcham will be displaying her work at The S.P.A.C.E gallery in Burlington, Vermont June 4- June 26. The work will be a selection from the past ten years.

“Her new works reveal her increasingly sophisticated process: Tucker-Ketcham works and reworks her surfaces with sanding, scumbling and glazing and applies paint in varied consistencies to build dynamism. Her bold use

of flat color in background fields is balanced by subtle passages of layering in the biomorphic forms that populate those spaces.”- Marc Awodey, Seven Days May 2010

Sage Tucker-Ketcham is a tenth generation Vermonter who has her BFA from Maine College of Art and her MFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She has exhibited work at venues such as The Amy Tarrant Gallery, The Firehouse Gallery, Shelburne Museum (all in Vermont), ICA Portland of Maine, Hudson Walker Gallery, Provincetown Art Association Museum and Berkshire Community College of Massachusetts. These works and others have been reviewed in a variety of publications such as Art New England, Seven Days, artscope, The Burlington Free Press and community newspapers.

above: Left VS Right 2000 Pen and oil on canvas 24 inch By 24 inch
below: Detail Field Study 7 2010 Pen and oil on Wood Panel 18 inch x 24 inch
Sage Tucker-Ketcham

PRESS RELEASE: Works by Gregory Gomez

The Brick Box at the Paramount is pleased to announce the opening of an exhibit of work by Gregory Gomez on Friday, June 11. The exhibition brings together relief works, and charcoal drawings representing two themes that Gomez has been interested in for the last several years. Graphic images of Early World Maps and the footprints of old world Fortifications have each been translated to heavily-textured cast bronze with a dark patina. The charcoal drawings are of potential sculptural images and are created to explore the graphic weight of the found designs in contrast to the spaces between and around the imagery held in sculptural form. "What these images share is the genesis and evolution of their designs as determined and influenced by multiple factors, including: their function; human ordering and imagination; and the shape of the landscape in which they reside. They are each fantastic speculative intentions of an unknown world as well as designs in the landscape as protection from the unknown."

Gregory Gomez has recently been selected by the Vermont Arts Council as part of their Public Art mission to permanently install his work at the newly built Vermont Fire Academy Training Facility in Pittsford. Gomez worked in partnership with the Arts Council, Vermont Department of Buildings and General Services, the architects, building occupants and the local community to provide work that is responsive to the use of the buildings and its occupants. This project is expected to completed and installed at the Fire Academy in November of this year.

The opening reception will be held on Friday, June 11 from 5:00 until 8:00pm. The Brick Box at the Paramount is located at 30 Center Street in Rutland, Vermont. Exhibit of works by Gregory Gomez runs through July 5. The Brick Box is open 11am - 6pm Thursday - Friday and Saturday 10am - 2pm. and during Paramount Theater performances. For further information, please call Beth Miller @ 235-2734 or Wendy Fannin @ 235-2412.

Design 101: Decorative Accent Pillows!

The collection of pillows below are all found in the Travis and Company showroom in Atlanta. For more on this great company, see our preceding article on all the great fabrics they sell.  The pillows are all from companies in their showroom and hopefully you can get an idea or two!

This set of coordinating pillows are perched on an antique French sofa. The fabrics are textured linen weaves with beautiful trim. The floral is trimmed in a wide braid and the plaid pillows are trimmed in a ball fringe.

Both of these pillows are in a beautiful flocked pattern, trimmed in tiny fabric trim that outlines the pillows.

This floral print is surrounded by a raised velvet pattern in cream in a modern boxed style. All trimmed in small brown velvet braid.

One pillow in a beautiful tone on tone green velvet with fringed trim and the other pillow is silk striped fabric sewn in a unique pattern, trimmed in green glass beads.

I love this pillow! The unique modern print is trimmed in a small coral braid. There is just a hint of coral in the pillow. Designer secret: Choose the smallest amount of color in the fabric and play off of that color, for instance the coral.

Two pillows in a charcoal modern pattern and mixed with a silk stripe with fringed trim. Notice the modern pattern on the sofa. Who says modern has to be dull!

This beautiful linen fabric is trimmed in the same tone in a wide braid.

A beautiful color mixture of pillows on a neutral sofa!

Amish Polywood Outdoor Furniture

Nickel Decor: Using Nickel Finishes In Your Home

The nickel finish seems to be one of the more popular choices for our lighting and accessories. You can get natural nickel finishes, brushed nickel or shiny nickel. The choice is yours to fit into your own home's decor. See some of our more popular choices in the nickel finish found at The Designer Insider.

French Modern Nickel Headboard - King size headboard in a modern design all in nickel. Also you can purchase a mirror to match. Item #GV991428 for headboard and GV991261 for mirror.

Modern Nickel Wall Sconce - A large electric wall sconce with a unique modern design. Also available for candles. Item #GV991410 for electric and Item #GV990841 for candles.

Modern Nickel Chandelier - A modern brushed nickel chandelier with 6 lights at 28" round. Item #C09674.

Sunburst Mirror - A small 24" round sunburst styled mirror in a nickel finish. Item #GV990664.

Elegant Nickel Candlestick Lamp - This elegant lamp fits with just about any style decor! Slender candlestick all in nickel. Size: 30.5" high. Item #GV990440.

Nickel Candle Wall Sconces - Modern wall sconce pair featuring a progressive ring design for candles. Item #GV990319.

See more unique nickel products on our website, The Designer Insider. Find the style and nickel decor that is right for you!

PRESS RELEASE: "Bailout" Ice and Penny Art Installation on the Vermont State House Lawn

Quint Welters will put his art piece "Bailout" on the State House Lawn on Thursday May 27th, 2010 starting at 8:00am. This installation is one of his projects that he has created as part of his education towards a Masters in Fine Arts in New Media from TransArt Institute. The medium used for this project is ice and 10,000 pennies and will be on display until it is completely deconstructed.

After growing up in Cabot, Vermont he moved to his parents/ homeland to attend college. After receiving his Bachelors in Fine Arts from ArtEZ in Enschede, the Netherlands in June 2009 he enrolled in the Masters degree program at the TransArt Institute. It is based on independent learning with two week residencies in Berlin and New York City. Last fall he returned home to Vermont and throughout the winter experimented with ice and snow to create his art pieces. "Bailout" is one of the works he created during this time.

"Bailout" was inspired by the current economic environment. Pennies are passed on the street on a daily basis and rarely picked up or saved. Quints piece shows that pennies may have more value than their reputation may suggest and the mere volume of pennies show their value from a different perspective. In this piece he has suspended 10,000 pennies in a block of ice. The public location was chosen because the core of Quints work is based on initiating narratives. As much as the actual ice is the artwork the reaction of the people that observe the meltdown of the ice is just as much part of piece itself.

Quint will be with "Bailout" until deconstruction is completed to be able to observe and engage with observers.

Quint Welters, artist
(802) 563-2462

Orange Decor: Let's Go Orange!

Some of our best selling orange items below!

Item 5002 - This unique secretary can be purchased alone or with the orange leather chairs. The inside of the desk is orange!

CP6036BR - This beautiful rug can be used outdoors! Browns, oranges, sages and cream.

GV2376 - See our set of two orange leather chairs in the new weathered finish.

CP3568 - A modern rug to use indoors or outdoors. Olefin base in a natural color with a great splash of terracotta!

GV880634 - Beautiful set of three pumpkin leather boxes. Perfect storage with style!

GV880702 - A beautiful set of two pumpkin leather waste baskets, matches our pumpkin leather storage boxes.

GV330849 - This orange ceramic tote bag makes the best flower vase!

All items can be purchased at The Designer Insider.

Kitchen Remodeling: Annie Selke's Design From House Beautiful!

This is a great kitchen redo shown at House Beautiful by Annie Selke. This was a long room that also needed the left wall removed to open up the space.

The wood used on the cabinets was cherry and were from Kraftmaid which helped her utilize the storage with a clean look. All of the appliances were Electrolux including an induction cooktop that visually disappears in the kitchen.

The dining area at the end of the long room was also a great place for matching storage cabinets. The dining table is a Florence Knoll base found in an antique shop with an added granite top. See more of these photos at House Beautiful! Dog not for sale!

REVIEW: Gregg Blasdel and Jennifer Koch at 215 College Gallery in Burlington

Panda’s Exercise

Collaborative Prints by Gregg Blasdel and Jennifer Koch

By Janet Van Fleet

There are 14 large collaborative block prints mounted in this exhibit at 215 College Gallery, six in the front room and 8 in the gallery’s larger inner room. Happily only one of them is framed, which allows unimpeded visual access to the rest of these engaging works.

In every piece, Jennifer Koch’s organic form (tooth? skeins of yarn? siamese cocoons?), carved on a large block of Shina plywood using traditional Japanese knives and a Dremel, appears in the same spot in the lower half of a sheet of Sommerset Heavyweight paper. Gregg Blasdel’s image (gem? router drill? head?), is printed on the upper half of the sheet using 38 pieces of cut birch plywood, each individually inked and then assembled in a custom tray for printing.

In each print the color used for printing the bottom image is also used as one of the colors in the faceted figure above. The challenge (and fun) for the artists was to decide which colors to choose and how to distribute those colors. In some pieces (such as Kansas Raspberry and Emerald Buddha) they used only one or two inks, creating further variation by inking one block with undiluted color, then inking a second (and even a third) block without picking up any more ink, creating progressively lighter values of the original color. In other cases (such as Untitled #11, shown at right, and Anthropology 1 and 2) that use completely inked blocks, they cruised magazines, exhibit cards, and artwork by interesting artists to assemble a palette of from 2-6 colors.

One of the pleasures of the exhibit is comparing pieces that use similar colors but employ the two different inking systems described above, such as Banknote (shown at left) and Silver, both of which are in the black/grey/white range, or several pieces using a variety of blues. Though similar in hue, very different effects are created, ranging from crisp to cloudy and evanescent.

It’s also interesting to compare the feeling-tones created by different color combinations. In most of the prints the bottom figure is printed in a dark pigment, creating a bit of a ponderous, serious tone. But in the few that are warmer and brighter – such as Untitled #11 (above) and Cherry (below right) – the feeling created is much bouncier. Cherry, which I found to be the most top-bottom integrated piece, is printed with only one color (modulated by the inking series method), also has (for unknown reasons) more white edges around the blocks, which recapitulates the striped red/white of the lower figure.

Another pleasure is speculating about what’s going on in these pieces. For example, what does the title, Panda’s Exercise, mean? One starts thinking about all the opposites and polarities in these prints: Panda ... black and white ... organic and angular, monochrome (below) and polychrome (above), male and female ... It’s hard to avoid focusing on the penetrating aspect of the top figure and the receptive quality of the one on the bottom. But wait, maybe the bottom figure is actually ejecting (or birthing) the upper one in a puff of crystalized breath? These works are the visual equivalent of an extended musical riff, and those shifting rhythms encourage the viewer to get into the act and play a little too.

Koch and Blasdel, who married in 2006, have been making visual music together since 2004, in a series of print collaborations collectively called The Marriage of Reason. It is comforting to know that they will continue to do so: During the course of printing Panda’s Exercise, the blocks began to break down at their points and, not ready to abandon the Panda project, Gregg turned them over and prepared the reverse sides of the 38 small blocks. They made one print with the refurbished blocks (if you look closely, you will find it in the exhibit), and plan to continue using them for a new series – tentatively entitled Panda’s Backside!

PRESS RELEASE: Garden Inspired at Art on Main in Bristol

Celebrate spring with an exhibit of artwork inspired by and created for the garden

Exhibit dates: May 15 - June 30
Reception: Friday May 28, 5-7pm

Featuring regular exhibitors and special guest artists as well as living art in an intimate, indoor garden space created by guest curator alena botanica, waterbury

alena botanica, tabbatha henry, nick mayer, raegan hough, sarah green, stacy bocskor, robert compton, laura gabert, cal williams, bethany farrell, aurora davidson, hannah roberts, jennifer ranz, heather stearns

Art on Main
25 Main Street
Bristol VT 05443

Designer Fabrics: Brimar's Silk Damask and Trim

Brimar is a family owned company that is a leader in the interior design industry renowned for exceptional quality. They are well known for their beautiful and unique window hardware as well as trim and fabrics. We are featuring one of their best selling fabrics below that is a hand printed silk damask that is made in South Africa. Leopoldt is 100% silk and made in 10 colorways:  Damask Rose, Gilded, Willow, Harvest, Afternoon Tea, Antique Porcelain, Croquet, Tapestry, Thistle and Winterberry.  See a few of these below with samples of beautiful trims to match. How easy is that!

 Leopoldt in Damask Rose. Trim:  Pendant 6 3/4" in Damask Rose;  4 1/2" bead trim in Damask Rose.

Leopoldt in Gilded.  Trim:  Three tiered rosette 3 1/2" in Gilded;  2" scalloped bell fringe in Gilded.

Leopoldt in Croquet.  Trim:  5 1/2" scalloped tassel fringe;  2" open gimp in Croquet.

All photos and information courtesy of Brimar Inc.

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