Musick's art featured in pair of exhibits

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MANCHESTER — Local artist Pat Musick has a pair of shows coming up this month, with a career retrospective at the Bennington Museum starting next Saturday, Sept. 15. and an exhibit at the Equinox Village Gallery in Manchester beginning on Thursday, Sept. 20.

Her show at the Works on Paper Gallery at the Bennington Museum is "Where Did You Come From Anyway?" Musick's painted wall sculpture of the same name is the signature artwork of this exhibition. She is scheduled to appear at an opening reception in the Works on Paper Gallery on Saturday, Sept. 22 from 3-4:30 p.m.

In a news release from the Bennington Museum, Musick says of the sculpture, "I looked up from addressing museum announcements to see my mother looking at me quizzically. Then she asked, 'Where did you come from anyway?' These were almost the last words she spoke to me before she died. They burned into my psyche, and I knew I would someday paint an answer to her question."

Her answer, then, is a statement about her roots.

"My family came from Iowa farmland, were conservative and typical, but I was always different. I stand alone on an island beside a blue cornstalk. Although my feet are firmly rooted in the land, my head is in a pink cloud. The world, both vibrant and dark, swirls around me." she said, according to the release.

Musick's show at Equinox Village will kick off with a reception on Thursday, Sept. 20th from 5:30-7 p.m. Gallery hours are daily 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

The series, titled "The Shape Of Her Words," was inspired by the poem "On the Pulse of Morning," written and read by Maya Angelou on the occasion of Bill Clinton's first inauguration as President of the United States. Musick was deeply affected by the haunting nature of the words, the way in which they addressed themes that run through her visual art world and her concerns with the needs of our planet and its inhabitants.

She decided to look at the words as though they were symbols painted on a blank canvas. Pat first drew an outline around the shape that each stanza made on the paper, which divided it into a positive (the image) and negative (the remaining blank) space. Using 72"x39" sheets of handmade kozo paper, she transferred the outline to the paper and began to paint visual interpretations of the poem's message inside the form. The end result was the poem interpreted visually within the shape of her words. When the six large scale works were completed, Musick created six smaller pieces which are also shown in the exhibit.

Musick has been a professional artist for forty-five years. Known as an environmental artist, she creates large and small sculpture, collages, and works on paper. She attended the University of Southern California on an art scholarship and received an MA and PhD from Cornell University. She taught art at SUNY Oswego, Syracuse University, University of Houston, and Arkansas University Her artwork is in the collections of over fifty museums and public spaces in the United States. Musick has written four books on art, one of which, Yokes on the Trail of Tears, was co-authored by her husband, NASA astronaut Jerry Carr. In 2013 she received the Vermont Governor's Award for the Arts and was designated an Artist to Watch in 2018. Her archives are housed in the Cornell University Koch Library of Rare Books and Manuscripts.A documentary on the lives of Musick and Carr will be released in 2019.

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