Walking into BigTown Gallery Vergennes, is like walking into a treasure chest where magical things have been stored—things you forgot you had and now lovingly remember, feast on, turn over in your mind and heart.
Like Hugh Townley’s huge, totem pole-like sculpture, “Townleyberrybush,” which towers temptingly overhead like some strange beanstalk. Or Varujan Boghosian’s intricate collages, where a bird might be winding in and out of a colonnade against a brilliant pink-rose screen. Or the mysterious blue/gray shadows of April Surgent’s cameo glass engraving, “Palinode,” that suggest dream-like exotica.
“The Baker’s Dozen” is the inaugural exhibition at BigTown Gallery Vergennes, sister gallery to the longtime BigTown Gallery Rochester, both owned, directed, and curated by Anni Mackay. Dedicated to Boghosian, this show brings together nineteen artists from Vermont to Washington state, each piece skillfully displayed so that it seems to occupy its own complete and utterly lovely space. The high, white, light-filled gallery in Vergennes bestows a deserved grace on works on art.
While Mackay’s Vergennes location will offer residents and travelers of the western corridor of Vermont access to the best of the art world, BigTown Gallery Rochester will remain a center for arts programming in addition to art exhibitions. Here, through BigTown Projects, Mackay and her board of directors offer a stunning array of artists’ talks, literary readings (through the Joan Hutton Landis Summer Reading Series), film (in partnership with the Fletcher Center at Dartmouth), puppetry, demonstrations, and—sneak preview—performance radio (in partnership with other organizations in Rochester), the Moth Radio Hour, which will offer residents of the region on August 26-27 the opportunity to perform their own stories of change and renewal.
Plan on celebrating BigTown’s new location in Vergennes on Saturday, May 13, 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. And don’t get sidelined by the hors d’oeuvres or your long lost friend who’s there, too. Look at the art. Try Marcy Hermansader’s big black round folded paper piece (does it remind you of a fan, a hat, or an ink spill?). Or Virginia Beahan’s photograph of a cactus nursery in California. Or Bhakti Ziek’s tiny weavings which look like maybe, just maybe, a fairy sprinkled gold dust among the threads. What is your favorite piece? Let your mind roam.