15 Kimball Hill
Putney, VT 05346
Next Stage Gallery
Feb 17 – May 15 | The opening reception is Saturday, Feb. 17, 4-6 pm, with a poetry reading by Whitney at 5 pm.
Thaw: A Conversation in Words and Imagery
Encaustic paintings by Evie Lovett
Poems by Diana Whitney
Artist Evie Lovett and poet Diana Whitney have each drawn inspiration from the Connecticut River in their work. In this multimedia exhibition, entitled Thaw, they share their points of intersection on the muse of the river, as friends and fellow artists. Lovett’s encaustic paintings and several of Whitney’s poems show in the gallery at Next Stage Arts Project in Putney, Vermont, February 17 – May 15. The opening reception is Saturday, Feb. 17, 4-6 pm, with a poetry reading by Whitney at 5 pm.
Lovett photographed the Connecticut River for the 2016 From the River, To the River public art project in Brattleboro. Patterns and rhythms of the river seeped into work she was creating in the encaustic studio at that time. Serendipitously, Lovett’s friend Diana Whitney had given her two poems–both unfinished, works in progress–and the poet’s language captured the contrasting forces of calm and peril, freeze and thaw that compelled Lovett to the river. Lovett tacked Whitney’s poems up in her studio and returned to her words again and again as she navigated her own work.
For Diana Whitney, too, the river is a presence that has resurfaced repeatedly in her writing. Since living along the Connecticut in college, she has written poems informed by its changing moods and states. Witnessing the river’s seasons has become a source of imagery, consolation, and insight. Even during early motherhood, when she essentially stopped writing, a single river poem emerged. Somehow she gave a draft to Lovett, one of the two poems pinned on her studio wall. In 2017, the two artists, who had talked about collaborating since 2005 when they met at the Vermont Studio Center, realized that they shared a common muse.
Thaw is the outcome of these two artists discovering a felicitous connection with each other and seeking to connect with others through their shared contemplation of the river: solace, muse, companion, place of freeze and thaw, danger and beauty, surface and unplumbed depths.
Evie Lovett is an artist and educator who lives in Westminster West, Vermont. Most of her personal work is in documentary portraiture, encaustic and mixed media. Recently, she has been interested in creating public art, accessible to all and with community input. In 2016, Evie and two collaborators created From the River, To the River, a creative place-making public art project of five interrelated art installations for the town of Brattleboro, funded by a National Endowment for the Arts Our Town grant. She is a Teaching Artist with the Vermont Arts Council, a digital media instructor with the Vermont Folklife Center, and she teaches photography at Vermont Academy.
Diana Whitney writes across the genres in Brattleboro, Vermont. Her first book, Wanting It, became an indie bestseller in 2014 and won the Rubery Book Award in poetry. She’s the poetry critic for the San Francisco Chronicle and her work has appeared in Glamour, The Kenyon Review, The Washington Post, and many more. She has received grants and awards from the Sustainable Arts Foundation, the Vermont Arts Endowment Fund, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. A Creative Writing instructor at CCV, she’s currently finishing a memoir-in-essays about motherhood, sexuality and generational patterns of female silence.