Randolph Artist Erica Sears Brings Unique Talent to Hometown Hospital

Randolph artist Erica Sears

“Untitled in Blues” is among Randolph artist Erica Sears’ works now in the Gifford gallery.

Three panels stretch from floor to ceiling. A painted image of a woman on sandstone is just inches tall.

Renowned local artist Erica Sears’ works are in the Gifford Gallery in a month-long show that does not disappoint.

Sears is a Randolph native who graduated from Randolph Union High School in 1985. She went on to receive her bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design in Los Angeles, where she lived for 15 years before returning to Randolph in 2000.

She has previously shown her work in Los Angeles and throughout this region at Chandler, First Light Studios, Gifford years ago, in Bethel and currently at the White River Craft Center. Three panels also hang in the upper Ester Mesh Gallery at Chandler as part of its permanent collection.

Sears, who has had a varied career, including making, selling and teaching art for 25 years, has a studio in her home and works full-time at Gifford in the Food and Nutrition Services Department.

“My art is how I express, celebrate, explain or push through what happens in my life. Many different things inspire me, influence me, call to me. Each piece is a visual page in my journal. Each idea that needs to be expressed has its own medium that tells the story. Some in paint, some in clay, cloth, pastel, ink, metal or rock. “

Her Gifford show includes 10 pieces, including “garlic moon,” which is made of garlic skins, coated in gloss and set upon a painted block of wood. The three long panels took about two years to create. Wax, birch bark, oil pastel, pencil, ink and charcoal make up other works. “Untitled in Blues” and “Untitled in Reds” – acrylics on canvas – are more recent works.

“I am a very tactile artist,” Sears notes. “I love color and texture. I love all mediums. I love watching how the images take shape. I love watching people interact with the pieces. The conversations that happen between the viewer and the piece are amazing.”

Interact with Sears’ work at Gifford now through Sept. 24. The gallery is located just inside the main entrance of the South Main Street medical center.

Gene Parent in Gifford Gallery

Gene Parent in Gifford GalleryLocal artist Gene Parent’s watercolors, pen and ink drawings, pastels and more are in the Gifford Gallery until May 28.

Largely self-taught, Parent is a fourth-generation Vermonter who spent his youth in Richmond. He now lives in Brookfield with his family.

A member of the Vermont Watercolor Society, The Pastel Society and The Paletteers, Parent brings of diverse show of Vermont landscapes, farm animals and more in a variety of media.

Perhaps best known for his watercolors, he has received many first and second place awards for his works. He has shown throughout northern Vermont, including solo shows at Copley Woodlands in Stowe, the Cobblestone Café in Burlington, LaBrioche in Montpelier, the Chelsea Public Library, the Kellogg-Hubbard Library in Montpelier, the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Barre and at Gifford.

“Art brings me intimately closer to everything I paint, from the rustling leaves to the flutter and song of little birds, the subtle sounds of running water and the distant mournful calls of a fledging crow,” Parent says. “I enjoy several media. Watercolors are the most exciting and challenging and pen the most fun, followed by pencil sketching.

Parent’s show is free and open to the public. The Gifford Gallery is just inside the main entrance of the Randolph hospital at 44 S. Main St. Call Gifford at (802) 728-2324 for more information.

Photographer Lisa Wall in Gifford Gallery

Lisa Wall photography

This image is an example of photographer Lisa Wall’s work, now on display in the Gifford Medical Center art gallery in Randolph. (Photo provided)

Local photographer Lisa Wall has returned to the Gifford Medical Center art gallery

Wall is a Randolph resident and the owner of a hair salon, Drop Dead Gorgeous, which she opened in Randolph in 2003.

She has been taking photos since high school, including two years spent at the Randolph Area Vocational Center (now the Randolph Technical Career Center) studying graphic arts with an emphasis on photography and dark room skills.

She went on to cosmetology school but never gave up photography.

“My camera never leaves my side. (It is) always ready for whatever nature might present to me,” says Wall, who also gardens, fishes, hikes and cooks.

Wall works under the name Looking Glass Photography.

Her striking images of nature can be viewed at the Gifford gallery until Nov. 27. Visit her anytime on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LWallPhotography.

The Gifford Gallery is located just inside the hospital’s main entrance at 44 S. Main St. (Route 12) in Randolph. Call Gifford at (802) 728-7000 or Volunteer Coordinator Julie Fischer at (802) 728-2324 for more information.

Visit www.giffordmed.org for directions or to learn more.

Harriet Chase Brings ‘Photo-Art’ to Gifford Gallery

Harriet Chase, Bulldozer

A bulldozer dangles in this 2007 photo of new bridge construction in Randolph. Provided by Harriet Chase

RANDOLPH – Randolph resident and historian Harriet Chase brings her love of the area to the Gifford Medical Center art gallery Jan. 30-March 27 with a show of local photographs.

She is calling the show “photo-art” after learning to apply graphics to her photographs.

“I first learned computer graphics and was pleased with the simple effects that a few enhancements could give to a really nice photograph,” Chase says. “None of these enhancements ever overpower the image itself, but subtle actions that perhaps highlight an area, a frame consistent with the picture or a computer ‘matting’ make a good photograph all the nicer.” Continue reading

Unique Kari Meyer Landscape Paintings In Gifford Gallery

Gifford Medical Center

This photo shows one of Kari Meyer’s paintings now on display in the Gifford Medical Center art gallery. Called “Morning Meadow,” it is acrylic on canvas and painted on Beaver Meadow Road in Marshfield.

Montpelier painter Kari Meyer’s unique landscapes are in the Gifford Medical Center art gallery through Jan. 30.

Born and raised in the Northeast Kingdom, Meyer’s love of nature started at an early age. She spent much of her childhood playing in the woods and rivers near her rural home.

She attended high school at St. Johnsbury Academy. The school offered in-depth classes in art and Meyer says she fell in love with acrylic painting. She went on to earn an associate degree in multimedia and graphic design from Champlain College and then her bachelor’s degree in studio art from the University of Vermont.

Her knowledge of graphic design, she says, continues to be integrated into her artwork. Her studies at UVM also sparked an interest in sculpture. On close inspection, viewers of Meyer’s work can see her love of texture and three dimensions.

“As an artist I see art as a form of communication that has a power beyond that of words. Through imagery I attempt to portray ideas that words cannot, like the archetypal beauty that connects all things,” Meyer says. “I attempt to create a positive experience for the viewer, while also hoping to make a positive commentary on the world.”

Meyer works from photographs. She estimates a third of her time creating a painting is spent in the woods and walking the back roads of Vermont in search of the places that portray the magic and beauty of the landscape.

She works in digital photography, using a computer to alter colors, lighting and even composition of some of her images. By incorporating different textures and materials into her paintings, she creates an even more dynamic image that changes with lighting, casting its own shadows and creating a depth and mystery within each image.

Meyer says her imagery demonstrates an abstraction of nature, with her inspiration coming in part from the ideals of wabi-sabi, a prominent philosophy of Japanese aesthetics.

“For me wabi-sabi changes the worldview of Western civilization. Things we normally view as negative become beautiful. Loneliness, old age and death become beautiful because they are inevitable and represent the constant flux of the universe,” Meyer says. “I attempt to address this idea of the movement of eternity, of everything either coming from or returning to nothingness. My work urges the viewer to contemplate the relationship between oneself, nature and the universe.”

See Meyer’s work for yourself at Gifford. The show is free and open to the public. The gallery is just inside the main entrance of the medical center, located south of Randolph village. For directions and more information, visit www.giffordmed.org.  Learn more about Meyer’s work online at www.karimeyer.com.

‘Threadscapes’ by Northfield fiber artist Pamela Druhen coming to Gifford Gallery

Pamela Druhen "Threadscapes"

Fiber artist Pamela Druhen of Northfield brings her unique quilts to the Gifford Medical Center art gallery beginning Oct. 3, including this piece titled “Lamson Pond.” The piece measures 21 ¾ by 15 ½ inches and features fence posts emerging from the snow. “Vermont winters are filled with gray days when the mountains and woods emerge from the dim light and then disappear without a moment’s notice,” Druhen says.

RANDOLPH – Northfield fiber artist Pamela Druhen brings her unique quilts to the Gifford Medical Center art gallery on Oct. 3. Druhen creates intricate, realistic quilted landscapes and florals, which she calls “Threadscapes.”

Glowingly reviewed in Seven Days and the Vermont Sunday Magazine, Druhen got her start in fiber, specifically fabric and thread, in 1996 and since has gone on to win awards for her work. In 2001, she began winning ribbons in competitions and has competed internationally since 2002. In 2010 she took a second place in the Art Quilt Miniature category at Houston’s International Quilt Festival. The following year, she won an honorable mention at “Celebrate Spring” in Cincinnati and a first place in Houston’s International Quilt Festival – A World of Beauty.

Druhen uses the fiber medium to explore the relationships between light, depth, color and texture in the natural world. Her work is defined by the four seasons as she experiences them in Vermont. The viewer, she notes, begins from a position standing on the edge of each piece, ready to step in and explore the landscape and beyond.

She uses quilting and heavy threadwork as design elements, which enhance the texture, movement and depth of each piece. Newer work incorporates silk or procion dyes that she applies with a brush on silk or cotton to create the image that she then embroiders with rayon or trilobal polyester threadwork and highly detailed quilting.

“My designs are all original,” Druhen notes. “I work from photos, which are mostly taken by my husband. At times I work in a series, and I occasionally will repeat a design using a different season or a different orientation, but each piece is one of a kind.”

Her work has been featured in several special exhibits, and in June of last year she curated a special exhibit for the Vermont Quilt Festival titled “The Art of Quilt.” The exhibit showcased the current work of 12 Vermont quilt/fiber artists, including Druhen.

She can also be found teaching and lecturing at various quilt guilds and in the studio creating new pieces.

Her show at Gifford runs through Dec. 5 and art gallery coordinator Julie Fischer is thrilled to have Druhen’s work in the Randolph medical center’s gallery.

“It’s been some time since we’ve had a fiber artist come to our hospital gallery,” says Fischer. “I’m excited to bring such unique, high-quality art to our patients and visitors. I have no doubt these fabric landscapes will be a feast for the senses and evoke strong, positive reactions, mostly like awe.”

The Gifford Gallery is located just inside the hospital’s main entrance at 44 S. Main St. (Route 12) in Randolph. Call Fischer at (802) 728-2324 for more information.

Pamela Druhen's "Threadscapes"

Fiber artist Pamela Druhen of Northfield brings her unique quilts to the Gifford Medical Center art gallery beginning Oct. 3, including this piece titled “Fences.” The piece measures 23 by 30 inches and features early autumn light reflected in the still waters of Lamson Pond in Brookfield.

Photographer Bruce Small Coming to the Gifford Gallery

Vermont photographyRANDOLPH – West Brookfield photographer Bruce Small returns to the Gifford Medical Center art gallery on May 30 after a five-year hiatus, bringing his mix of the natural beauty and national history.

Known locally for his stunning photographs, Small’s works include lighthouses, hot air balloons, covered bridges, scenic areas and historic monuments.

Small first began taking pictures just out of high school while serving in the U.S. Navy, including on shore patrol in Naples, Italy. He returned to his native West Brookfield and began a career in the construction trades. His work required commuting around the state. He started keeping a camera beside him so he could capture the beautiful scenes he saw along the way. Then it was family vacations across North America that had him clicking away.

At first, the photos were just for him as he strove to bring the beautiful images he saw in his travels home with him to Vermont.

Chandler’s Local Artist Show first inspired Small to show his work. He has since shown his work in Northfield, Waterbury and at Gifford with resounding success. His photos have also hung in area banks and he currently has a collection at Eaton’s Sugarhouse in Royalton.

His favorite showing was a rotating display for his father when he resided at Mayo nursing home in Northfield. The show, he says, was an opportunity to share his travels with those no longer able to travel.

This has always been his focus – to capture the scene before him so he could share it with others.

His latest collection contains photos of Vermont as well as from Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Utah, Texas, Maine, Nevada and Arizona.

“What I’m trying to do is put out a show that people enjoy,” Small says. “That (viewers enjoyment) is the greatest thing for me. That’s what makes it worthwhile.”

Small’s show runs through Aug. 1. The Gifford Gallery is just inside the main lobby of the hospital at 44 S. Main St. (Route 12) in Randolph. Call Volunteer Coordinator Julie Fischer at (802) 728-2324 or visit www.giffordmed.org to learn more. The show is free and open to the public.

Photos by Jesse Orr Now in Gifford Gallery

Photos by Jesse Orr

Photographs of Vermont scenes by Bethel’s Jesse Orr are now in the Gifford Gallery. (Photo provided)

RANDOLPH – Photographs by Bethel’s Jesse Orr are now on display in the Gifford Medical Center art gallery.

Orr’s show titled “The Looks of Vermont and More” runs until March 28 and includes everything from fall foliage blazing above winter snow, to snapshots of Irene’s devastation and its survivors.

Orr got his start in photography when his grandparents gave him a digital camera as a graduation gift. He started taking pictures wherever he went, and then he started sharing those photos with family and friends.

Now many in the area know his photography.

He has shown in the Gifford Gallery for each of the last six years. He has been a vendor at the Bethel Farmer’s Market since its inception in 2006, and his photos have been featured at the Frog Hollow Craft Shop in Middlebury.

Orr’s works are currently hanging at Ketner’s Café in Randolph. He has cards at Chaplain Farms in Bethel and participates in local presentations of art at the Bethel Public Library and Bethel Historical Society Postcard Show.

Many of his images depict Vermont nature in changing weather and sunlight, such as rainbows and at dawn and dusk. He carries his camera wherever he goes, capturing images out the truck window on his way to work, off the back porch at home, driving around to look at nature, or even from the sky by plane.

To see Orr’s latest “Looks of Vermont and More,” visit the Gifford Gallery. The gallery is located just inside the hospital’s main lobby. Gifford Medical Center is at 44 S. Main St. (also Route 12) in Randolph. Call Gifford at (802) 728-7000 or Volunteer Coordinator Julie Fischer at (802) 728-2324 for more information.