Spotlight on Small

June 27 - October 26, 2014

Click here to view a slideshow of images from the exhibit.

Spotlight on Small showcases small-scale art by five artists. Inspired by XS, a 2012 exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that highlighted small works from its collection, this exhibit offers BMAC’s version of small-scale contemporary work by regional artists Laura Christensen, Adrienne Ginter, Altoon Sultan, and Jen Violette, and Elizabeth Sheppell of Atlanta, Georgia.

Altoon Sultan, a resident of northern Vermont, has in recent years scaled down her works to an intimate size. She asserts that her egg tempera paintings on calfskin parchment are “small in size but large in scale.” Although her initial inspiration often comes from close-up photographs of farm machinery, Sultan does not paint a literal copy of the original. Rather she focuses on how the shapes and colors work together, and the image becomes its own entity through her intuitive and intellectual process.

The most abstract work in the exhibit is offered by Elizabeth Sheppell, presently living in Atlanta. Sheppell’s tiny paintings seduce us with their layered color and texture. From her “Fat” series, the six-inch-squares are both rugged and luscious, each like a fossil of gaudy frosting.

Multiple layers also characterize a body of work by Adrienne Ginter of Wilmington, Vermont. For this series, Ginter cuts intricate details in several colors of paper, which she then overlaps to create a slight relief. Her narratives are humorous and mysterious—an amalgam of personal stories, myths, and observations of the natural world.

Laura Christensen embellishes antique postcards and enshrines them in hardwood boxes as contemporary icons. The Williamstown, Massachusetts, artist alters these vintage images of anonymous people with surreal additions and art historical references. She says that the scale of her work is predetermined by the size of the found image.

Jen Violette, of Wilmington, Vermont, creates life-size fruits and vegetables, sprouted seedlings, and miniature minimalist landscapes out of blown glass. Like the other artists in this exhibit, Violette notes that small objects invite us in for a closer look—a look at details. Savor the small.

— Susan Calabria, Curator