Five artists respond to ecological concerns in “ReAct!” | Visual arts | Seven days

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  • Collage by Anne Cummings

A vintage book that Anne Cummings found in her father’s collection inspired her to make a series of collages which she titled “Sketches in Crude Oil: The Genesis and Legacy of Fossil Fuels”. In successive compositions, the faces of “all those rich whites”, which she cut out of the book, pile up against a background that appears to be in flames. It’s impossible to miss Cummings’ message about the oil baron’s greedy guilt for the dire state of the planet. Especially in an exhibition called “ReAct! An EcoArt Call to Action”.

Cummings and four other Vermont artists contributed works in a variety of mediums for this show at the Grange Hall Cultural Center at the Waterbury Center, presented by the non-profit organization Across Roads Center for the Arts. Intended to represent “responses to current environmental or social concerns,” according to an exhibit announcement, it also celebrates the 10th anniversary of Vermont’s universal recycling law. With Cummings, who organized the show, Kevin Donegan, Pamela Wilson, Dorsey Hogg and Jennifer Volansky pay more than lip service to the “reuse, reduce, recycle” mantra.

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"queen of speed" by Kevin Donegan - COURTESY

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  • “Speed ​​Queen” by Kevin Donegan

Hogg also uses images or pages cut from books and magazines but transforms them into 3D sculptures. About the source of her article “Bound by History”, she writes: “This book was printed in 1993, and towards the end of the text, a paragraph was devoted to the crisis of the lack of burial space. We We are in this crisis and we are still consuming and creating non-biodegradable waste that fills our lands and oceans all the time.”

Volansky’s assemblage “Connecting the Dots” looks, at first glance, like a display of cheerfully colored jewelry on and around a piece of driftwood. It’s deceptive: the curled confetti-like pieces are cut from tin cans – pretty but treacherous.

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"Receive cover #2" by Pamela Wilson - COURTESY

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  • “Receiving Cover #2” by Pamela Wilson

Donegan creates idiosyncratic sculptures exclusively from discarded and reused materials, along with a sense of humor. His wire-wrapped shopping cart on a handmade dumpster was exhibited last year in Burlington for the South End Art Hop. Among his new pieces in “ReAct!” is a striking assembly, “Speed ​​Queen”, made from the top of a found washing machine and other scrap metal and set on a bed of river rocks.

It’s not immediately obvious how Wilson’s weavings fit the theme of this exhibit, but Cummings explains that she leads by example, spinning and dyeing the wool of her own sheep and hand weaving wool. elegant abstract wall hangings. Additionally, Wilson makes functional porcelain pottery and has a psychotherapy practice “incorporating expressive arts therapy,” according to her website.

This whole exhibition could be called expressive arts with an ecological conscience. “React!” is visible until October 15.