Creating new work: Shelburne visual artist receives Creation Grant

Partial Map with Weather Flag (Cold Wave)”
Courtesy photo
Steve Budington, “Partial Map with Weather Flag (Cold Wave),” installation view with “Shadow over Signal” (Oil on canvas over wood panels and wall painting, 2017-2019)
Steve Budington
Steve Budington

Artist Steve Budington of Shelburne is one of 15 artists who have been awarded a Creation Grant from the Vermont Arts Council. With the goal of creating new work, the grants enable recipients to spend more time in the studio, purchase materials or rent rehearsal space. More than 150 applications were received for the highly competitive fiscal year 2020 Creation Grant round.

Budington received his Master of Fine Arts in painting from the Yale School of Art. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including in New York at Exit Art, Fordham University and Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs and in Italy at the Fondazione Ambrosetti Arte Contemporanea.

“My work improvises with cultural fragments and the limited points of view that comprise a relationship to the world,” said Budington. “Maps, anatomical diagrams, weather flags and other systems of representation embody a desire, however absurd, to create a ‘big picture’ out of things. Such formal systems are utopian in spirit, usually inherited, and often no longer functional. In this way, like painting, they are open to new uses.”

The artist’s recent work includes shaped paintings based on fragments from Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion Map, wall paintings based on maritime flags and a collection of “assisted documents,” informal collages made from found materials presented in plastic document sleeves.

Budington describes these pieces as exploring “scientific, cultural and lived experiences of the natural world.”

The $4,000 Creation Grant will support further investigation of his recent work, including the creation of a group of shaped paintings, one in the complete shape of the Dymaxion Map and three other paintings based on well-known world map projection shapes like the Goode Homolosine.

Budington is an associate professor of art at the University of Vermont. He plays guitar in a Middlebury-based collective dedicated to improvised music.

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