‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’: Black History Month meets Vermont winter
The latest Chaffee Art Center exhibit lived up to its name the night it opened, but despite the freezing temperature on Jan. 14, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” turned out a good crowd.
“I did my best to stick with the theme,” said artist Heather Wilson, who has a featured solo gallery, along with photographer Lowell Snowden Klock.
Wilson’s pieces include a mix of her existing work and some new acrylic on canvas pieces.
“I do primarily pin-up art and my focus is portraits of women,” she said by phone.
Her work has titles like “Hotties and Hot Rods,” depicting a girl in front of a red T-Bird.
“My work has a retro vibe to it,” Wilson said. “I had a lot of fun with it.”
“I get inspiration everywhere,” she explained. “My background before fine art was in theater costuming, so I get a lot of inspiration remembering some of the things I worked with in theater.”
“Sometimes I see something or hear something, and I get a flash of inspiration,” she added. “But sometimes I just start doodling, and it’s a little glimmer that turns into something.”
Wilson uses several mediums, depending on the subject matter; in this show: pen and ink, acrylic on canvas, and some giclee prints, all ranging in size.
Photographer Lowell Snowdon Klock is a regular exhibitor at the Chaffee and her vivid pictures draw out the brightness in the cold and dreary season.
“The appeal of the title of the exhibit is that it evokes winter — ice and snow — which I love as a photographic background,” Klock said by email. “It’s a time when I get an urge to use my camera to show how snow and ice can create compelling photographic effects. It changes the ordinary into the extraordinary and everything looks different.”
“I found most of my subjects very close to home,” Klock said. “Four of my photographs were taken from my studio window which faces southwest, and several were shot from another window facing southeast, and some from outside my building at the Gables.”
Objects people may notice but don’t focus on, become her subject matter, she explains in her artist statement. Such as a lost woolen glove stuck on a stick after a snowstorm. “I strive to take what I see in different perspectives and often use filters along with other digital tools to interpret a picture somewhat differently from what the eye sees,” she said.
A favorite of hers is “Frozen Berries” — red fruit against a plain wall, taken on the north side of Tops Market in Rutland. “The ice crystallizes the still-red fruit and encases it to make a glittery pattern,” she said. “I changed the color of the dirty tan wall and emphasized the berry laden branches using filtration in Photoshop which gives it a slightly Japanese look, I think.”
The exhibit also includes an installation celebrating Black History Month, as well as work from Chaffee artist members within the theme. The exhibit will be up until Feb. 25.