BRATTLEBORO, Vt. — Five new exhibits open at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (BMAC) on Thursday, March 18, including an exploration of flowers as a way to mark loss; new work by Jennifer Mack-Watkins that, in the artist’s words, “(uses) aesthetics as a form of resistance against the erasure and invisibility of African American culture,” a kinetic sculpture installation by Adria Arch, drawings by Kenny Rivero and the biennial “Glasstastic” exhibit, including a look back at the first 10 years of this popular collaboration between K-6 students and glass artists. A reception with the artists and curators will take place later in the spring. All five new exhibits will be on view through June 13.
Curated by Mara Williams, “All Flowers Keep the Light” was postponed for nearly a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Originally focused on artwork that harnesses the symbolic potential of flowers to represent personal loss, the exhibit was expanded to include work commemorating communal and societal ruptures as well. Featured artists are Miles Chapin, Clare Elliott, Anna Schuleit Haber, Amy Jenkins, Colleen Kiely, Cathy Osman and John Willis, whose multimedia work was created in collaboration with poet Robin Behn and musician Matan Rubinstein.
“Children of the Sun” is Jennifer Mack-Watkins’s first solo museum exhibition. It was inspired in part by “The Brownies’ Book: A Monthly Magazine for the Children of the Sun,” a groundbreaking periodical co-created by W.E.B. Du Bois 100 years ago featuring stories, art, poetry and images celebrating African American identity.
“Adria Arch: On Reflection” is an immersive installation of undulating sculptural shapes suspended from the ceiling of the museum’s Mary Sommer Room, inspired by the movement and reflectivity of the Connecticut River as it flows past Brattleboro. The work is accompanied by a sound piece from composer Ken Field.
Kenny Rivero’s “Palm Oil, Rum, Honey, Yellow Flowers” is a collection of drawings with themes that include masculinity, love, depression, sexuality, Afro-Caribbean faith, Anglo-Caribbean sensibilities and Afro-Futurism.
“Glasstastic” features works of art that were conceived and drawn by children from across the country and turned into three-dimensional sculptures by glass artists.
The BMAC is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday; admission is “pay-as-you-wish”; for more information, go online to www.brattleboromuseum.org or call 802-257-0124. The BMAC is in historic Union Station at the intersection of Main Street and routes 119 and 142.