Travels with Bryan Memorial Gallery

By Mickey Myers, Executive Director

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.

I’ve always loved this quotation by Ralph Waldo Emerson, ever since first coming across it in the days when travel was but a dream.  There was something about its impetus to find beauty in the ordinary that stirred my stay-at-home soul, sending my imagination soaring whenever I read it.

Like everything else, travel means different things to different people: business trips, family vacations, destination events, finding new places to paint and escape from just about anything. At the conclusion of these winter months, there are days when it seems that everyone is going somewhere, even for just a change of winter scenery.

This year, travel seems to be a theme among many things we are doing at the gallery.  We didn’t really plan it this way, but it developed out of exhibits we wanted to offer and programs we considered providing.  All of a sudden, we found ourselves with a thread of an idea, twisting through the programs on the schedule, and the theme of travel was born.

The travel theme has landed squarely in three major Bryan Gallery undertakings.  They are:

TMNicholas_ItalianHarborTraveling Artists, the Main Gallery exhibit, opening May 4 through June 25.  When originally suggested, we wondered if we could get any of our artists to share their travel pictures, and after we announced this exhibit were we surprised, in fact dumbfounded!  There were more entries to this exhibit’s jury than to most exhibit juries, and the countries represented were more far away and exotic than ever, some we had not heard of:  from Provence to Portugal, from Croatia to Argentina, to the Kjollefjord, the Black Desert in Egypt, to Myanmar.  Traveling Artists will take you around the world several times over. To say the least, our bucket list just grew in response to the checklist for this exhibit.

Chagall_nDF_159_RR

Chagall: Colour and Music:  Little did we expect when we looked around to see “what’s playing” nearby, that the largest exhibit of Marc Chagall’s work ever mounted in Canada was a bus trip away at the Museum of Fine Arts in Montreal.  Remember when Charlie Nardozzi came last year to speak about the gallery’s ROMANCING THE GARDEN exhibition?  He dazzled us with the story of his upcoming trip to the gardens of the British Isles and one of our board members took the trip with him.  She came back, singing the praises of Goodspeed and Bach, the Burlington-based travel company that organized the trip.  So we approached G + B, and we’re going to Montreal.  Deb Flanders of Goodspeed and Bach is planning our trip and coming with us, and I’ll go along to fill in with stories about Chagall – a man of many countries, many talents and many colours – spelled the international way.  The trip is May 23.

Chagall_nDF_053_RR

Frank Mason:  Artist and Teacher:  Frank Mason (1921 – 2009) left his mark on art and artists in so many varied ways, it is a toss up to know where to begin his story.  In Vermont, however, we can begin his story in Vermont.  Frank loved Vermont.  He loved to teach in Vermont.  He considered the rolling vistas perfect for how he wanted his New York City-based Art Students League students to think about landscape and paint landscape.  So every June for 40 years, Frank and his Art Students League students would come to paint for the month in Vermont.  It created such a momentum that today, 8 years after his death, the students – now many established painters – are coming to the same rural communities to paint in a group.  Vermont and its mystical perspective does it again.  This exhibit represents travel from the point of view of the destination, which Vermont wears proudly.  22 of Mason’s Vermont paintings will hang alongside the works of at least 40 of his students.

L476_Goodrich Silos, Peacham, VT

Finally, as the year comes to a conclusion around the various holidays, an exhibit is in the planning stages that represents a different kind of travel – the travel of the imagination – the twilight zone.  Fantastical Landscapes and Imaginary Places (November 9 – December 30) will represent works, limited only by the dreams of our artists.  More will be available about this exhibit soon.

So this exhibition year will conclude as it is starting, with visits to places that are new to us:  new landscapes, new light, new terrain, new ideas, with the thread of skill, tying it altogether.

Vermont Watercolor Society – Mickey Myers

Bryan Memorial Gallery Executive Director Mickey Myers spoke to the Vermont Watercolor Society on the topic of artist/gallery relations. She was on a panel with Rob Hunter of Frog Hollow and Edward Bank of Gallery NorthStar at Killington Mountain Lodge on May 22, 2016. Following are her prepared remarks in response to questions provided by the Vermont Watercolor Society.

On behalf of Bryan Memorial Gallery, thank you for inviting my participation and the opportunity to bask in the rich focus of the VT Watercolor Society once again.

32 years ago, Bryan Memorial Gallery was founded as the Mary Bryan Gallery in memory of the artist by her husband painter Alden Bryan. They had arrived in Jeffersonville, VT in 1939 to participate in an intensive winter painting workshop led by the legendary Charles Curtis Allen, and they never left. Buying a dairy farm, introducing milk pasteurization to the area, establishing a bakery, a cafe, an inn, and a fine dining restaurant, Alden Bryan was never idyll, while Mary painted daily, even before she drank her morning coffee.

The purpose of the gallery was to show the original works of artists who came to the area, at the base of the other side of Mt. Mansfield, to paint landscapes. Alden said the unique value of the area for painters was that the paintings composed themselves. An inventive hanging system in the gallery allowed works to be installed and removed quickly, as Alden catered to artists who lived elsewhere, which included just about everyone, and tourists coming through the area. It is fair to say that Alden did not immediately envision the gallery’s popularity as a cultural destination, nor the need to double its size within the first 10 years. Nor did he care about practicalities such as storage space and a shipping area. It was the splendor of the camaraderie with artists, giving them a place to show their work that thrilled him.

When Alden died in 2001, the decision to continue the non-profit gallery was made by a Board of Directors, and a more typical non-profit profile emerged: a membership structure, annual giving campaigns, an annual fund raising event, silent auctions, sponsorships, donations at the door and all other such means. That Board decided to continue the primary mission of showing New England landscape painting, and while that distinction has broadened, it dominates today.

The Bryan remains a non-profit, a membership gallery. The first and foremost way to get its attention is to join. At $40 per year it’s a low rate for which there are approx. 400 members at any given time, mostly artists, and also many supporters and volunteers.   The exhibition schedule takes place over 10 months with January and April dark.

Continue reading Vermont Watercolor Society – Mickey Myers

Cabin Fever? We’ve Got The Cure!

Bryan Memorial Gallery’s “Cabin Fever” series of workshops and demonstrations kicked off in high gear this past weekend, with a portrait demonstration by Vermont artist, Karen Winslow. This was the first of a series of workshops and demonstrations this winter to chase away cabin fever and keep your artistic spirits high. Close to forty people braved the sub-zero temperatures on Sunday to come watch and learn from one of Vermont’s finest artists.

Karen Winslow explaining the finer points of portrait painting

Karen has been painting  since 1973, when she began studying oil painting, alongside her husband Jack Winslow, with Frank Mason at the Art Students League of New York and in Frank’s landscape workshops in Vermont. She has been painting, and teaching workshops ever since.

The crowd was delighted with the wisdom and talent on display as Karen walked them through, step-by-step painting of a complete portrait in just 2 hours. From bare canvas to finished study, she brought her audience along, explaining her approach, choices, challenges, and techniques.

Karen Winslow portrait painting

If you missed it, don’t despair. The next several weeks are full of additional demonstrations and workshops at the Bryan Memorial Gallery, including a full day still life workshop this coming Saturday, February 20th by none other than Karen Winslow. The rest of the schedule is equally engaging. Demonstrations are free, and all workshops still have openings, although you will want to reserve your spot before they are filled. To register, and for more details, visit the Bryan Gallery Workshop page.

Here is the full schedule…
February 20th: Karen Winslow –  “All that Glitters” Still Life Workshop
February 21st: Karen Winslow  – “Still Life Demonstration”
February 28th: Chuck Helfer – “Wildlife Photography, Wildflowers Lecture”
March 5th: Andrew Orr  – “Painting Skies & Clouds” Workshop
March 6th: Andrew Orr –  “Porcelain to Plein Air” Presentation
March 12th: Eric Tobin – “Winter Light” Painting Demonstration
April 2nd: Robert O’Brien – “Painting the Beauty of Spectacular Flowers in Watercolor”

We hope you’ll come out, brush off the cold, and enjoy some great art with friends and fellow artists. There is no better cure for Cabin Fever!

Finished portrait in just two hours!