Mary Admasian: Boundaries, Balance, and Confinement

June 23 - October 8, 2017

With an uncanny eye for composition and a spirit attuned to place, person, and community, multimedia artist Mary Admasian explores the physical boundaries between objects as well as the implicit boundaries of familial and social covenants and conventions.

Barbed wire often marks the border between the natural world and cultivated land. Tellingly, Admasian uses rusty, scavenged wire as a unifying material in this body of work. She fashions sculptures and wall-reliefs from materials she gleans in the Vermont woodlands and finds in more domesticated settings. Combining gnarly barbed wire with delicate feathers, butterflies, and branches, she deftly balances the natural and the manufactured. This contrast evokes both physical and metaphorical associations.

Weighted Tears, the newest work in the series, hangs from Union Station’s eaves. Admasian fabricated oversized teardrops from new wire and gave them a blue powder-coat finish. Their surface elegance is heightened by the soft glow of blue lighting. In the evening they hover at the side of the museum—the smallest tear glistening with a tiny, bright white light. We are left to wonder, Are they tears of joy or sadness? Are they beacons meant to warn, or candles meant to mourn?

— Mara Williams, Chief Curator

Rusted objects have always interested me, particularly the connective yet alienating beauty of barbed wire. In this series I have assembled collections of materials from the natural Vermont landscape, from flea markets, and from other sources to create a body of work that illuminates our efforts to find balance amid the cultural, social, and psychological restraints that both contain and free us. I feature barbed wire predominantly because it acts as a powerful metaphor that can evoke personal narratives of life experiences. It represents both negative and positive associations that shape our attitudes, feelings, and behavior.

By prompting viewers to reflect on their individual interpretations of this collection, I hope to foster a deepening awareness of the issues surrounding boundaries, and to stimulate conversations about breaking through them to effect social and personal change.

— Mary Admasian


Photo Gallery


June 23, Friday, 5:30 p.m. – Opening of Six New Exhibits
September 7, Thursday, 7 p.m. – Artist Talk: Mary Admasian