Maud Bryt ‘83
“In my current work I use the simplest means to explore relationships between forms: ink, colors, paper, plaster. I find that a world of harmony and tension opens up in the play between a few simple forms and a few colors, and working toward a dynamic equilibrium is a good metaphor for life. I carry my watercolors wherever I go, and I use them to take notes from life to start a conversation on the paper.... The plaster sculptures are more involved in terms of time and technique, but it's the same form-to-form play.”
I Can't Listen, 2020, Plaster, 9"x6"x5"
Candy Chang ‘95
“There is a war on our attention. Each day we’re bombarded with so many distractions that it’s easy to neglect our emotional health. As the world has felt more uncertain, more tribal, and more alienating, I often find myself feeding my worst habits and yearning for rituals to help restore perspective. This has led me to think about the future of ritual in public life—new ways we might find emotional communion with one another, to remember that we are all walking wounded and that our shared struggles and desires far outweigh our differences.”
A Monument for the Anxious and Hopeful, 2018, New York, New York, Vellum, wood, acrylic, ink, 31'x12′
Through the activation of public spaces around the world, Candy Chang ‘95 creates work that examines the dynamics between society and the psyche, the aesthetics of handwriting, and the value of anonymity in a performative age. Trained as an urban planner, she channeled her emotional questions into her work after struggling with grief and depression. Her participatory public artwork Before I Die reimagines our relationship with death and with one another in the public realm, and has been created in over 5,000 cities worldwide. Her most recent work, Light the Barricades, is a series of electrified shrines for contemplating inner obstructions and will be traveling to The Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina in 2021. She is a TED Senior Fellow, Urban Innovation Fellow, and World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. Her work has been exhibited in the Venice Architecture Biennale, Tate Modern, and Museum of Modern Art.
Light the Barricades, 2019, Los Angeles, California, Chinese ink, photomontages, solar panels, aluminum, polycarbonate, vinyl, LED lights, hourglasses, and concrete, 8 x 27′x 3′ d each (series of three)
Barbara Rita Jenny ‘84
“Dura Mater—the literal translation from the Latin being ‘Tough Mother’—is the outermost, protective lining of the brain. It is also what I call, and how I categorize, my current body of work. Laser-cut reliefs that reconstruct astroglial brain cell forms into lacey orbs. Digital prints of the voids between those forms that morph into mono-chromatic continents. All mixed media output created from the input of downloaded open-source high-res brain microscopy.
[The] symbiosis of art and science, cross-fusion of Baroque and high-tech aesthetic, and intertwining of innovation with hope — bolstered by the buzz of maternal anxiety — is what drives this Tough Mother work. Worried research about Alzheimer’s for my mother, OCD/PANS for one son, and ‘mental’ health for the other, seeped into my studio time and then into the work itself.
My studio process has become an amalgamation of fierce love combined with obsessive curiosity, and the compulsion to do something when told nothing can be done. The work is now an effort to understand the misfiring, inflammation, and deterioration involved in the specific brain disorders and diseases that have beset people I love. A desperate effort to make sense, make order, cut and realign and paste, and somehow heal with this busy-ness, this placing of ephemeral bandages on invisible wounds. Knowing always that solutions and our evolution lie not wholly in the fixing or surmounting of human flaws via technology, but in embracing — with awe! — our imperfect humanness while we harness science and technology to save us.”
Astroglial (re) alignment, 2019, Laser-cut hand-chromed PET-G, 48"x48”.
Barbara Rita Jenny ‘84 is a digital media artist and art educator. She is a recipient of numerous awards and grants, including the coveted NH Charitable Foundation’s Artists Advancement Grant. Jenny is an arts and community advocate, having served on Portsmouth, NH’s first Blue Ribbon Committee for Arts & Culture, co-founding the Islington Creek Neighborhood Association, and coordinating the Rock Street Park stage project—one of the first community art projects in Portsmouth. In 2009, Jenny established an artists’ residency program in Nova Scotia to support artists from Maine College of Art (MECA).
Kate Gridley ‘74
“Old agricultural tools; blacksmithing tools; woodworking tools; kitchen tools… My studio is full of tools and voices.
The tools are worn, stained, wooden handles smooth and shiny with the patina of oil from hands and use. There is a small pitchfork rusted into boney wire fingers; there are handmade planes, drill bits, augurs, tiny saws, pliers, black-smith tongs. There are kitchen tools from an ancient relative in Wisconsin, and others sent by friends far and near. I marvel at the shapes and colors, the shadows cast, the play of light on different surfaces. Who held these tools, who sculpted the dwellings and the land, farming, logging and mining it into its current habit? If the tools could speak, what stories might they tell?
One of the tools is completely reconfigured: a file that has been fashioned into a chisel is attached to a handle made of a small forked branch that fits easily—comfortably—into the palm of my hand. Imagine the excitement at the discovery that the tool fits the handle that fits the hand—as an anonymous woodworker puts it together for themself; unique, personal, random. In the company of other machine cast tools, this tool stands apart, a ‘sport’ in the biological sense, which is to say, ‘an animal or plant showing a striking variation from the parent type, especially in form or color as a result of a spontaneous mutation.’
I learned the biological definition of ‘Sport’ in a histology and cytology course at Exeter in 1973, back when I thought I would be a biology major. The original desire to understand how things work, form and function, still informs much of my observations and meditations through the crucible of drawing, pigments and oil.”
Sextet, 2019, Oil on linen, 20” X 20”
Elizabeth Gardner ‘83
“I walk, take photographs, write; I can’t do one without the other two. There’s been no better way for me to stay grounded and keep moving through the tougher stuff of life than to just get outside for a walk — and trust in the simple magic of ordinary things, the rhythms of the natural world, and the wisdom of trees. … I chose these five images out of the thousands I’ve taken over the past several years mostly because of the way I remember feeling when I captured each of them. I remember what was swirling in my head, my heart — the softening I experienced in each moment as I stood transfixed by a certain kind of light as it hit the water, illuminated the barn, the skies, me.
I don’t own fancy camera equipment. If I did, I might lose the spontaneity of my captures, the way I see. I’ve used three different iPhone cameras to take these images, tucked into a pocket as I’ve set off to clear my head, chase a rainbow, lose myself in the eloquence of the concrete. I often visit the same spots over and over again, enabling me to notice the tiniest, subtle shifts and quiet harvesting of the season as the landscape is once again tenderly transformed into something new. Each time different — echoes of myself, and back again.”
Evie Lovett ‘84
“Since 2015, I have been making public art informed and inspired by the nearby Connecticut River. In my encaustic work I found myself incorporating patterns that I saw and photographed, as well as a feeling of both ease and peril that I felt when I was on the river. I sensed the patterns of freeze and thaw of the river in myself, in my relationship to my work and to the world around me. I spent days at the Brattleboro Historical Society researching historical photographs of the Connecticut River, mesmerized by glass plate negatives of minuscule figures skating on the long-ago frozen river – a river that rarely freezes over now. Forgotten people. Long-gone time. I wove these thoughts and threads into the work in the encaustic studio."
Thaw #45, 2019, Encaustic and mixed media on panel, 12”x12”
Evie Lovett ’84 is an artist, teacher, teaching artist, photographer, Vermont Folklife Center media educator, facilitator of story sharing, encaustic painter, collaborative maker of public art, dedicated to connecting people to each other and place through art, story, and active participatory engagement.
Thaw #78, 2020, Encaustic and mixed media on panel, 10”x10”
Tiffanie Turner '88
“I create large and small scale botanical based sculptures, meditations on our tolerance of aging and imperfection, on what we consider ugly and what we consider beautiful, and on the high cost of these pursuits on our society and the natural world. Through the heads of flowers, I study environmental and social issues, using representational art to express conceptual ideas, as the natural world is so accessible to most humans it provides an easy ‘in’ to explore the themes of the work more deeply.
The two roses included here also explore the idea of embracing imagery of female body parts (genitalia, curves, weight, etc.), and the conditions that can afflict them. Although these pieces make me blush, they are a reflection of the real flower specimens they were modeled after.”
Specimen C (Ranunculus), 2019, Paper mâché, Italian crepe paper, stain, 33” diameter x 19" deep. Photo credit: Shaun Roberts Photography
Tiffanie Turner '88 was raised in the woods of New Hampshire. She received her Bachelor of Architecture from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1995 and worked as an architect for over 15 years before beginning her career as a botanical sculptor. She has had solo exhibitions at Eleanor Harwood Gallery, Saint Joseph's Art Society, Rare Device, and the Kimball Gallery at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, at which she attended a month-long artist residency in 2016. Her work has been written about in the New York Times T Magazine, Gardens Illustrated, Vogue, and the San Francisco Chronicle, among others, and was recently featured in the new book Flower; Exploring the World in Bloom from Phaidon Press. Turner is also an instructor in the art of paper flower making in the United States and abroad, and is the author of The Fine Art of Paper Flowers. She lived in San Francisco for over 20 years before moving to Fairfax in west Marin County, California, where she currently lives with her husband and two children.
Orchid Vignette, 21st Century, 2020, German crepe paper, glue, wire, floral tape, stain, chalk, ribbon, 24.5" x 18" x 18"
Rebekah Wostrel ‘87
“My functional ceramic work is informed by the traditional Japanese aesthetic of wabi sabi, characterized by simplicity, intimacy, and refined imperfection. I want my pots to feel good in the hand and be easy to use. It’s my hope that people who engage with them experience a sense of connection and comfort—that my pots ‘make special’ the everyday-ness of daily use.
Big Binks, is a collection of over-sized porcelain pacifiers. Some of them hang on the wall at eye-level, others are freestanding. Some of the pieces mimic the simple bulbous pacifier, others are subtle subversions of the form—pointy, angular and planar. The surface treatments include etching, piercing, encaustic, and felted angora. The rings are forged iron and rubber-coated stainless. Sometimes the combination of materials effects a tension or dissonance, where surfaces are in part welcoming and even delectable—but also (a la Meret Oppenheim’s Fur Cup) off-putting.”
Double Ring Bink, 2015, Porcelain and steel, 6” x 4” x 4”
Rebekah Wostrel '87 was born and raised in Gloucester, MA and holds an MFA in Ceramics from Pennsylvania State University and a BA in Anthropology from Smith College. She’s exhibited her work at museums and galleries internationally and received numerous grants including a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Grant and a Fulbright Fellowship to Indonesia where she studied ceremonial terracotta wares, and worked with potters and offerings experts in Ubud, Bali. Rebekah has taught at Princeton University and The University of Pennsylvania and is currently a resident at the McGuffey Art Center where she teaches clay and design classes for all ages. She is the founder and director of the Mobile Art Share Initiative (MASI) – an outreach program that brings art experiences to Charlottesville elementary school children and refugee families. She’s currently partnering with International Neighbors, raising funds to provide hands-on art workshops and exhibitions for refugee kids in the Charlottesville area.
Petals 1 Bink, 2015, Porcelain, steel and encaustic, 7” x 5” x 5”
Anne Fishbein ‘76
"My photography is rooted in the real world as part of the tradition of documentary photography. The real world evolves. It changes and this interests me both as a thoughtful concept and as a photographic study. My photographs look at the real world, how it is gradually altered and how it references its past. My projects do not have an end point unless the idea itself completely disappears. I continue to add to all the projects. What I’ve ended up with is an interesting archive of images which allows me to ponder the way places change over time or blur the indictors of the photograph’s date of origin.
The Racetrack Project, Photograph
Anne Fishbein ‘76 received a B.S. in communication from Northwestern University and an M.F.A. from Yale University. Anne Fishbein continues to work on projects both with film and digitally while earning a living through a combination of editorial and corporate assignments and teaching. Her monograph On The Way Home was published by Perceval Press.
The Racetrack Project, Photograph
Rose Klabin ‘96
“In artworks that employ mixed photographical technique, sculpture and installations, I investigate the conflicts between opposites: rise and fall, nature and industry, man and machine, in order to expose the cyclical, co-existent movement of dependence of these elements.
In Sutartine, my last exhibition, I reflect upon the dual character of human existence and the necessary agreements to exist in harmony. The word Sutartine has its origins in Lithuania – homeland of my family – and designates an ancient polyphonic chant composed and sung by women only, in which the voices match and mismatch each other. Sutartine means, therefore, an agreement: a harmonic coexistence between two distinct elements. When entering the exhibition, the visitors will see a set of five sculptures of female bodies opposed to industrial gears. As the visitors walk through the sculptures, they will listen to the Sutartine, a Lithuanian chant, that attains a meditative sonority. Surrounded by this sound, in which the voices mismatch in perfect harmony, the female figures remain resilient in face of suffering.”
Alexandra Grounds ‘17
“This work has been made over the last few months, and mostly during the most intense parts of quarantine. It reflects the shift in myself, from looking outward onto the people and city around me for inspiration, to now forcibly looking inward and finding inspiration within. The work represents the times, the uncertainty, and the self-reflection of 2020.”
Golden Ticket, Quarantine Series, 2020, Oil on linen, 30”x24”
Alexandra Carter ‘04
“The cranberry, a tart, highly pigmented fruit, is a symbol of personal identity. Having grown up on a cranberry farm in New England, my life is intimately tied to this berry, which represents both abundance and fecundity but also tension with the patriarchal family hierarchy. The berry is a repeated icon in my visual lexicon: the fruit is like a garnet ambrosia, an exalted potion that seeps through my paintings and intoxifies its subjects. Photographs of berries and botanical illustrations replace and adorn parts of the female body. Breasts become globular appendages that bubble up, guzzle down, shrivel, leak, and lactate. Made with layers of puddled pigment and collaged imagery on translucent drafting film (a.k.a. mylar), my paintings mimic explosive, liquid bodies splashing out of their own skins. Influenced by folklore and mythology, I quote deities of jest, filth, lust, and light. Women embody the celebratory nature of the harvest alongside a certain burlesque attitude, performing a sumptuous dance between maiden, mother, and crone. Wanton figures of myth and fairytale embroil themselves within the monstrous feminine and the maternal grotesque.”
Brittany Otto '08
“Art is my language. Words often fail me, but the images I create allow me to speak clearly and honestly about what I feel. The challenge of transforming the hard, cold medium of paper into soft edges and warm lines provided me with an endless series of puzzles. I cut every line by hand, a process as complex as it is organic that makes the art feel timeless and meditative. The lighting is the capstone. I find it fascinating and liberating to rely on light to imbue my art with life and color. My work shines brightest when surrounded by darkness. For these pieces I sought to explore intensely personal topics including my own struggles with mental health.”
A Private Hell, 2020, Hand cut watercolor paper, vellum, and LED lights, 10" x 10" x 4.5
Brittany Otto '08 was born in Lee, NH and graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 2008. Though the art classes at PEA were some of her favorites, she dedicated herself to studying biology and environmental sciences in college. During her junior year of college, she realized she felt creatively unfulfilled and missed working with her hands. In 2012 she moved to Seattle, WA with her now husband Ian Otto (‘09) where she explored a plethora of artistic media through practical experience, trial and error, and self-study. Since 2016, she has been working with hand cut paper sculpture and light to create portals into fantastical worlds, pulling inspiration from her love of the natural world and fantasy. To date, her work has been featured in local Seattle galleries and the book Odd is Art published by Ripley Publishing.