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woodstock Sculpturefest

  • A newly completed sculpture by Sculpturefest featured artist Jamie Townsend in the fields adjacent to the home of Charlet and Peter Davenport in Woodstock, Vt., on August 27, 2013. <br/>Valley News - Sarah Priestap

    A newly completed sculpture by Sculpturefest featured artist Jamie Townsend in the fields adjacent to the home of Charlet and Peter Davenport in Woodstock, Vt., on August 27, 2013.
    Valley News - Sarah Priestap Purchase photo reprints »

  • Jamie Townsend, a sculptor, painter, and woodworker, stands beside one of his recently finished sculptures at the home of Charlet and Peter Davenport in Woodstock, Vt., on August 27, 2013. Townsend, who lives in Springfield, Vt., is the featured artist at the upcoming Sculpturefest. <br/>Valley News - Sarah Priestap

    Jamie Townsend, a sculptor, painter, and woodworker, stands beside one of his recently finished sculptures at the home of Charlet and Peter Davenport in Woodstock, Vt., on August 27, 2013. Townsend, who lives in Springfield, Vt., is the featured artist at the upcoming Sculpturefest.
    Valley News - Sarah Priestap Purchase photo reprints »

  • A newly completed sculpture by Sculpturefest featured artist Jamie Townsend in the fields adjacent to the home of Charlet and Peter Davenport in Woodstock, Vt., on August 27, 2013. <br/>Valley News - Sarah Priestap
  • Jamie Townsend, a sculptor, painter, and woodworker, stands beside one of his recently finished sculptures at the home of Charlet and Peter Davenport in Woodstock, Vt., on August 27, 2013. Townsend, who lives in Springfield, Vt., is the featured artist at the upcoming Sculpturefest. <br/>Valley News - Sarah Priestap

Jamie Townsend exhibited at Sculpturefest for the first time last year. This year, he’s the featured artist, with a handful of new, large, site-specific pieces already in place.

The show isn’t exactly a coming-out party for Townsend, but it represents a steady progression for the 41-year-old Springfield, Vt., native.

“He’s really just jumped in. It’s wonderful,” said Charlet Davenport, who has hosted Sculpturefest with her husband, Peter, on their Woodstock property for decades. As usual, this year’s show opens with a reception on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend from 4 to 7 p.m., and stays open until the leaves fall off the trees. Picnicking is encouraged.

After adding a second nearby venue, the Vermont Land Trust’s King Farm, a few years ago, Sculpturefest continues to grow. This year, in addition to the Davenports’ place (which Charlet calls “the land”) and the King Farm (“the farm”), Sculpturefest will reach into Woodstock village, with a small show at the Woodstock History Center.

And for the second straight year, BarnArts will produce a play in conjunction with Sculpturefest. A production of ART , by Yasmina Reza, opens for six performances in the King Farm Barn on Friday evening.

The most intriguing event planned for Sculpturefest’s run is a talk by Charlet Davenport on the local afterlife of sculpture from previous years’ shows. A lot of it moved to nearby properties or neighboring towns, Davenport said.

“We’ve been doing this so long,” she said, that it raises the question of “where did all this work go?”

Townsend is the latest of many artists to have his work featured at the annual festival. He graduated from Springfield High School a few years after another prominent artist, Vermont cartoonist laureate James Kochalka, and went to Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Fla.

Back in Springfield, Townsend works in agriculture and at his family’s sawmill, although art is starting to take a larger share of his time. He has painted some large-scale murals in his hometown, and his painted sculptures have found a home at Sculpturefest. Since last winter he’s spent one day a week working at the Davenports’.

The angular work of Picasso and other abstract painters such as Gustav Klimt and his protege Egon Schiele are prime influences on Townsend’s work.

In all, he made five new pieces for Sculpturefest, all of them large and colorful, and the pieces he exhibited last year remain on view at King Farm.

“I think it’s a privilege to be asked to do this,” he said.

Townsend is one of more than two dozen artists who will have work at this year’s Sculpturefest. Among the highlights, Davenport said, are models of Pleistocene animals by sculptor Bob Shannahan, who uses found materials to make his woolly mammoths and prehistoric camels.

Admission to the exhibition is free, and while the show is nominally open through foliage season, the art isn’t going anywhere. People occasionally tromp through on snowshoes, Davenport said.

The exhibition at the Woodstock History Center opens Sept. 12 with a reception at 5 p.m. and Davenport’s talk at 7.

For tickets to the BarnArts production of ART, ca ll 802-332-6020 or go to www.barnarts.com.

Directions to the Sculpturefest sites are available at www.sculpturefest.org.

Of Note

As of Wednesday, the Main Street Museum’s Kickstarter fundraising effort had ra ised more than $5,000 toward its modest $7,000 goal. The money is intended to renovate the museum’s small stage, which hosts lectures, bands from far and near, and other performances. The project has been named a “staff pick” at Kickstarter.com, the fundraising website. The museum’s supporters have much larger goals, and money raised beyond the initial $7,000 would pay for further upgrades, to seating, lighting and recording equipment that would permit live Internet streaming of museum events. The Kickstarter drive continues through Oct. 7.

AVA Gallery and Art Center will host the first installment of The Mudroom, a social gathering for adults that’s based on public radio’s The Moth Radio Hour, on Sept. 19. The evening will feature five spoken-word stories on the subject of “Getting Schooled.” The deadline for submissions is Sept. 1, and should be sent to mudroom@avagallery.org. The Mudroom is the brainchild of several young members of the Upper Valley culturati. Check them out on Facebook. The September event is the first of a planned quarterly series.

Last Chance

AVA Gallery and Art Center in Lebanon shows new work by 50 or so artists who have won awards in the annual juried show over the past 20 years. Through Friday.

∎ Norwich Public Library shows “Travels Around,” photographs by father and son Doug and Steven Lufkin, through Friday.

Summer exhibitions at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center include fabric figures by Linda Rubenstein, photographs by Kelly Michaelsen, mixed media by Carolyn Enz Hack, oil paintings by Alison Vernon, collages by Barbara Newton and paintings and sculpture by Gowri Savoor. Guides to the exhibitions are available at the hospital’s information desks. The shows are on view through Saturday.

∎ “Top of the World — Paintings and Artist’s Books of the Arctic,” work by Vermont artist Ken Leslie, is on view at Randolph’s Chandler Gallery through Sunday. Leslie painted and made unique book structures while inside the Arctic Circle. Also on view will be paintings by Toronto-based paleoecologist and artist Bianca Perren and Inuit prints from the collection of Norwich University’s Sullivan Museum.

Ongoing

Dartmouth’s Hood Museum of Art is hosting a pair of exhibitions that examine Cubism. Foremost of the two is a show of Picasso’s “Vollard Suite,” a series of etchings made between 1930 and 1937, when Picasso was at his most fertile, along with prints by Rembrandt and Goya that inspired the Vollard prints. Accompanying the Picasso show is “Cubism and Its Legacy,” which features work by artists who developed cubism and others who followed their angled path. An opening party for the Vollard show is planned for Oct. 2. Also at the Hood; “Shadowplay: Transgressive Photography from the Hood Musem of Art,” an exhibition organized by Dartmouth studio art professors Virginia Beahan and Brian Miller, and “Evolving Perspectives: Highlights from the African Art Collection at the Hood Museum of Art.”

∎ “Service to the Birds: Meriden’s Bird Story,” an exhibition at the Aidron Duckworth Art Museum, celebrates Meriden’s pivotal role in the effort to protect wild birds from commercial harvest. The show includes materials from historical societies, the Upper Valley’s national parks, art museums and the Meriden Bird Club and is on view through Sept. 15. Aidron Duckworth Art Museum also hosts an installation by Randolph artist Mark Goodwin that pulls together work in a variety of media to create “a study in collecting, paying attention and relationships,” and “Interiority,” large works on canvas from 1979-1981 by Aidron Duckworth. An outdoor exhibition of sculpture by Fitzhugh Karol, an Orford native now living in Brooklyn, N.Y., remains on view into the fall.

∎ “Chisel, Brush and Pen,” an exhibition of work by Winkie Kelsey, is on view in the stone carving studio at AVA Gallery and Art Center in Lebanon. The show is a benefit for AVA. Also, AVA has organized “A Celebration of Upper Valley Artists,” a group show at Pompanoosuc Mills in East Thetford, through Sept. 22.

∎ Tunbridge Library hosts an exhibition of photographs by Tunbridge native Emily Ferro.

∎ Giovanna Lepore shows “New Small Works,” recent oil and watercolor paintings at Galleria Giovanna Fine Art in Canaan. Sales benefit the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. The gallery is located at 313 River Road, Canaan. For more info visit giovannalepore.com.

∎ Windsor’s Cider Hill Gardens and Art Gallery hosts a mixed media exhibition featuring limited edition prints by Gary Milek, pottery by Susan Leader, Holly Walker and Stephen Procter, and sculpture by Patrick Johnson, through Sept. 15.

Gifford Medical Center in Randolph shows watercolors by Greg Crawford of Stockbridge, Vt., through Sept. 25.

Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site is commemorating the 150th anniversary of the death of Col. Robert Gould Shaw with an exhibition dedicated to Saint-Gaudens’ Shaw Memorial. The original memorial is on Boston Common, but the historic site at Saint-Gaudens’ former home in Cornish has the only other bronze casting of the massive relief sculpture. An exhibiti on in the site’s Picture Gallery incorporates some of Saint-Gaudens’ preparatory work, as well as historical artifacts from the period the memorial represents. Admission to the park is $5 for visitors ages 16 and up.

∎ Scavenger Gallery in White River Junction shows recent paintings, sculpture and woodware by Ria Blaas, and jewelry and work in bronze by gallery owner Stacy Hopkins.

∎ The Woodstock Gallery hosts an exhibition of oil paintings by John Olson.

∎ BigTown Gallery in Rochester, Vt., exhibits “Folk Vision: Folk Art from New England and Beyond.”

ArtisTree Gallery in Woodstock hosts “Unbound III,” a juried exhibition that encourages artists to reconsider the idea of the book, through Sept. 7.

“A Garden Bestiary,” macro photographs by Peggy Richardson, is on view at the Hotel Coolidge’s Zollikofer Gallery. A reception is planned for Sept. 6.

∎ “Watercolor Stories,” paintings by members of the local chapter of the Vermont Watercolor Society, is on view at West Lebanon’s Kilton Public Library.

Art Notes appears in the “Valley News” on Thursday. Send email to artnotes@vnews.com .