Show to Examine Environmental Folk Art
On Saturday, September 12, at 2 p.m. Gregg Blasdel, artist and collector of outsider art, gives a fascinating illustrated presentation on Environmental Folk Art – large-scale outdoor installations created, often over many years, by artists outside of the mainstream art world. The free talk will be in the Ada Paresky Education Center of the Bennington Museum. Such works are found around the country. The creators are often isolated, either by choice or by circumstance, from a more sophisticated cultural art community. They rely on a personal vision for their inspiration and create works from a variety of easily accessible materials – found objects, scrap metal, wood and concrete.
Blasdel, who has been studying such artists since the 1960s, exposed for the first time a group of unknown, self-taught artists to a wider community when he wrote an article for Art in America -in 1968, describing them as Grassroots Artists. They have also been referred to as Environmental Folk Artists since most of their work is of considerable scale and requires an outdoor space.
Blasdel received his MFA from Cornell University in 1967, and taught at the Whitney Museum in New York City. He came to Vermont in the 1970s to teach at the University of Vermont and then Saint Michael’s College. Blasdel has lectured around the country on art and architecture and his drawings, sculpture and prints have been exhibited around New England and in New York City. A contributing writer for Raw Vision magazine, he lives in Burlington with his wife, Jennifer Koch. A number of objects from the Blasdel/Koch Collection of outsider art are in in the current exhibition, ‘Inward Adorings of the Mind,’ on view through November 1. Prints created collaboratively by Koch and Blasdel will also be displayed in the museum’s Regional Artists Gallery through October 18 in an exhibition titled ‘Seven Collaborative Prints: Jennifer Koch and Gregg Blasdel.’
Bennington Museum is located at 75 Main Street/Route 9, in Bennington. Visit benningtonmuseum.org or call 802-447-1571 for more information.