Sew Real - Surreal
Art on Main, 25 C Main Street, Artists' Alley, Bristol, VT, presents an exhibition of the textiles of Ellen Howard and the paintings of Mark Benton. The show runs from January 4-January 31. Saturday, January 8, there will be an artist chat from 2-3 p.m. when the artists will discuss their work and respond to questions. Following, from 3-5 p.m., there will be a reception including live music. The talk, exhibition and reception are part of a yearlong series at Bristol's community art center and cooperative artists' gallery, which each month features two of the artists whose work the gallery represents. The series is free and open to the public.
Ellen Howard now resides in Pawlet, Vermont, but her sewing began at age eight with the help of several 4-H volunteers in Oakham, Massachusetts. Soon, sewing and fabric collecting became her passion and throughout her youth she continued to develop her skills, never dreaming sewing would become a career. After moving to Vermont in the late seventies, she further developed her sewing skills working for a local ski wear manufacturer after attending college. Over the years Ellen worked with several designers, artists and fine clothing boutiques all the while compiling an extensive collection of antique, vintage and new textiles.
With her family now grown, Ellen is following her dream by sewing her own creations, using vintage fashions and design techniques for inspiration. Her art is both wearable and decorative, ranging from silk ties and vests in silk and brocade and velvet for men to a wide range of woman's fashions including dresses, jackets, simple outfits and accessories. In addition, she creates exquisite and unique quilts, throws and pillows in silks and velvets often embellished with beads and silk ribbon and sometimes using antique kimonos.
Walking down what is now known as Artists' Alley approaching the gallery of Art on Main in Bristol, Vermont, your eyes alight upon five commissioned murals depicting the spirit of Vermont. The first of these is a view of Brigham Hill created by Mark Benton. This is but one of the murals Mark has created for both private homes and public spaces.
Mark says he has "been practicing art for most of my natural born life." He received a BA in Fine and Professional Arts with a concentration in drawing from Kent State University. His senior project explored the visual system of closure or "subjective contour" (the art definition referring to the tendency of the eye to fill in the gaps of an incomplete image) using an installation placing lines and shapes of an image only where lines intersected. He enjoys the surreal style and one oil painting series involves the manipulation of children's art using adult perspective or realism aimed toward surrealism. His most recent watercolor paintings are stylized renditions of movie stills which explore color/emotion relationships.
Currently, Mark resides in East Middlebury, VT
For directions or more information; please call Art on Main at 453-4032, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The gallery is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10-6 and Sunday and Monday by chance or appointment beginning in January through May.