Home News and Features ‘INTERPLAY’ Exhibit Opens at the Kent

‘INTERPLAY’ Exhibit Opens at the Kent

Art at the Kent presents “INTERPLAY,” a thoughtful exploration of diverse creations that illuminate time, memory, and personal story. Twenty Vermont contemporary artists express themselves in paintings, prints, photographs, and works of metal, glass, fiber, and wood. 

Art at the Kent hosts a lively conversation among these artists, their work, and the unforgettable historic buildings which contain the show. Especially evident this year will be the enhanced interplay between these key elements of an Art at the Kent experience.

In this once-a-year exhibition, Art at the Kent showcases a carefully curated selection of Vermont artists, from September 9 through October 9, 2022. Visitors can view these works inside the rambling historic structures of the Kents’ Corner State Historic Site — as well as throughout the grounds. An opening celebration will feature music, food, and drink on Saturday, September 10, from 3 to 5 p.m.

“The theme of ‘INTERPLAY,’ expressed and woven throughout the exhibition, appears as a visual dialogue among the works of individual artists as well as with the buildings. For example, visitors will see current events graphically depicted in fabric by Cabot artist Rosalind Daniels next to West Brattleboro artist Marta Bernbaum’s magnificent glass peplums, both shining a spotlight on 21st-century happenings. Half a dozen furniture artists turn traditional forms on their heads by reimagining seating in surprising and playful ways. The complex geometry of Charlotte artist Clark Derbes’s polychromed wood sculptures draws attention to similar patterns in paintings by James Secor, Cynthia Kirkwood, and others. Floral imagery is at once powerful and larger than life at the hands of painter Sara Katz, while Bristol artist Pamela Smith’s fanciful blooms create an almost hypnotic pattern. Westminster West artist Evie Lovett’s detailed silver-gelatin photographs of ancestral journals are juxtaposed with early 20th-century writing scrawled onto the plaster on one of the Kent’s iconic walls, bringing attention to both art and building. Works by artists exhibiting in “INTERPLAY” span a broad variety of media and genre and are brought together throughout the beautiful rooms at the Kent, challenging visitors to see in new ways,” said curators Nel Emlen and Allyson Evans. 

“In many ways this show exudes all the strengths for which Art at the Kent exhibitions have achieved renown,” states Vermont State Curator David Schutz. “We start with the empty, somewhat deconstructed historic buildings — and add the artists who we feel have work that might resonate in some way with that setting — but also with one another. And because many of these artists are long-held favorites who have never exhibited with us before, the passionate voice of enthusiastic curators also comes through.” 

In addition, Art at the Kent hosts a variety of associated events that visitors can experience, including Words Out Loud, our popular Sunday afternoon reading series (September 18, 25, and October 2) at the nearby Old West Church, as well as an illustrated talk by acclaimed author/artist David Macaulay. 

Art at the Kent is a partnership of Historic Kents’ Corner, Inc., the Vermont State Curator’s Office, and the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation. For over the past decade and a half, contemporary art exhibitions have been presented that engage and challenge audiences by providing unusual exposure to mid-19th century architecture enhanced by the art of our time. 

The Kents’ Corner State Historic Site is administered by the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation. Visitors are encouraged to check the Kent website kentscorner.org for current COVID recommendations and guidance prior to arrival.

The artists exhibiting include James Secor of Montpelier, Drew Clay of Calais, and Cynthia Kirkwood of Warren.