Wildlands


FROM VERMONT ART GUIDE #6

In Springfield, Artists Reflect on National Parks

Art critic Robert Hughes once observed, “Landscape is to American painting what sex and psychoanalysis are to to the American novel.” In the early 1800s, when artists of the budding nation sought to distinguish themselves from their European counterparts, they left the city and traveled up the Hudson River to paint romantic scenes of the Catskill, Adirondack, and White Mountains. The generation that followed went deeper into New England, up the Acadian coast, and West. And even as Modernism pushed American art into the terrain of “sex and psychoanalysis”, artists routinely returned to the land as a source of regional and national inspiration. Those art movements inspired policy. It was these paintings that drew people into the wilderness and encouraged them to see the nation’s land as a terrestrial treasure, that encouraged Theodore Roosevelt to conserve 230 million acres and Woodrow Wilson to create the National Park Service. It is why a laccolithic butte composed of igneous rock in an isolated corner of Wyoming is talked about as a National Monument.

Vermont Art Guide #6 has nearly two hundred places to see art around the state. The full-color, printed magazine has artist and venue profiles as well as articles and news about Vermont Art. Our goal is to document and share the state’s incredible art scene. SUBSCRIBE TODAY

As Modernism pushed American art into the terrain of sex and psychoanalysis, artists routinely returned to the land as a source of regional and national inspiration. Those art movements inspired policy.

Today, as society struggles to “live in balance with natural resources in a time of climate change, development and political stresses that threaten our wild places,” artists are once again showing us the mystical beauty of our collective terra firma treasures. The exhibition “Wildlands” at The Great Hall in Springfield celebrates public lands and national parks. Ten artists present work that shares “a deep love of the land and capture the breadth and feel and temporal fragility of open spaces in their art.” Vermont artists include Susan Abbott, Rich Cofrancesco, Ailyn Hoey, Joan Hoffmann, Charlie Hunter, Pat Musick, Oliver Schemm, and James Urbaska. They are joined by Jessica Houston of Quebec and Walter Cudnohufsky of Massachusetts. The exhibition is an opportunity to reflect on how artists’ portrayal of the land can inform our thinking and experience of it.

“Wildlands: A Celebration of Public Lands, National Parks, and Wilderness” ran through March 30, 2018 at The Great Hall.

The Great Hall
A dynamic, public art space that creates conversations about the arts, culture, history, the environment and social conditions.
100 River Street, Springfield 05156
(802) 258-3992
Facebook: GreatHallSpringfield

Vermont Art Guide #6 has nearly two hundred places to see art around the state. The full-color, printed magazine has artist and venue profiles as well as articles and news about Vermont Art. Our goal is to document and share the state’s incredible art scene. SUBSCRIBE TODAY

Image:
Man looking at work from Jessica Houston’s “Horizon Fell” series at “Wildlands”.
Courtesy of The Great Hall, Springfield.