Shelburne Museum volunteers get sneak peek at upcoming exhibits

Offbeat ice shanties, including this one by Peregrine Design, celebrate the art of winter at Shelburne Museum.
Offbeat ice shanties, including this one by Peregrine Design, celebrate the art of winter at Shelburne Museum.

By Joanne Calhoun

A sure sign of spring is the gearing up of the Shelburne Museum for the reopening of the full campus. The museum is buzzing with folks inside and out getting things in shape. The museum curatorial team entertained volunteers this Monday with tales of wonderful things to come, so as to get them ready for visitors beginning May 1.

They began with a reintroduction to exhibits that have been ongoing all winter. The first was Birds of a Feather, the exhibit featuring a sample of the carved birds that the museum owns, running until June 19. This exhibit serves to whet the appetite for the completion of the renovated space in 2017 where the whole collection will be on display.

The other winter exhibit carried into spring is 32 degrees: The Art of Winter, which closes on May 30. The show is designed to examine the complexities of examining snow and ice and the things they inspire. A wide variety of artists and art forms from Monet to Snowflake Bentley, to games, digital art, ice shanties and, of course, snow globes–these are not your ordinary snow globes–should not be missed.

Several exhibits will open this spring and summer. On May 1 Dominique Ehrmann’s Once Upon a Quilt opens, one of the most unusual quilt exhibits yet displayed. This internationally known artist, who uses a solar paneled sewing machine, has created freestanding, three dimensional and kinetic displays. Viewers will be invited to touch. Her background as a chocolatier and cake baker perhaps shows up in creating works that entice.

Also on May 1 is Wind, Waves and Light: Kinetic Sculpture. Get ready for a metal disc of a sunflower, another sculpture inspired by a flock of birds taking off, terns, and pieces of acrylic materials lighted from behind and dramatically hung. Then in June comes Grandma Moses, American Modern, running until October. This exhibit is in partnership with the Bennington Museum, and showcases many works from each museum.

In July, Papering the Town, Circus Posters opens. This exhibit features many very large posters; some are 16 feet or more tall. One was discovered in a trunk in Portugal and made its way to the USA. Some were discovered on the siding of a house and were plastered one over another.

In November the Routhier Print Collection will open. This includes modern prints such as Kadinski, pop art, and op art among others, and examines similar threads from technique to form to ideas running through the prints.

The volunteers left feeling very privileged to be part of such a vibrant, fun institution. If you or your business would like to be involved in volunteering, there is always a need. At the present time the biggest need is for people to work in the gardens and on the grounds. There are numerous other ways to get involved, though. The volunteer coordinator is Laura Need and she can be reached by calling the museum at 802-985-3346.

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