Vermont Special: Southern Vermont Arts Center

I’m vacationing in Vermont with family this week, but any vacation I’m on usually includes some art! We spent the morning at the Southern Vermont Arts Center, which is home to a museum, galleries, and a sculpture garden.

My favorite piece in the Wilson Museum was a sculpture by Leslie Courtney Adler called “The Mindful Compass 2013.” The sculpture is at the top of the main staircase and explores the “collective directional changes” of flocks of birds. I like the way that Adler combines abstraction and data representation, creating a “web of geometric shapes,” an “informational field.”

Over at the galleries, I was inspired by Leslie Peck’s paintings that glowed with the inner light of traditional still lifes, while maintaining a contemporary freshness.

But my favorite artist by far was Leslie Parke. Parke’s paintings at first seem abstract, but when you inspect the titles, you find that they are actually incredibly specific. The painting above, for instance, is called “Silo.”

Parke’s subject matter includes grain silos, insulation boards, tire tracks, and pool chemicals, but through her hand they become monumental and elegant.

Parke blends technical perfection with sweeping complexity and such intense feeling that it was hard to leave her paintings behind.


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