Environmental Artist Tapped For SPA’s Residency Program

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Arts / Dec. 24, 2015 9:52am EST


Shown is an exploratory sketch for “Disposable?” by Shannon Lee. (Provided) Shown is an exploratory sketch for “Disposable?” by Shannon Lee. (Provided) Studio Place Arts (SPA) has selected artist Shannon Lee Gilmour to participate in its new Studio Residency Program, which begins this month and concludes in late October, 2016. Gilmour is an emerging environmental artist from Montpelier, who creates work from post-consumer plastic debris.

SPA received a small grant that provides support for an emerging artist to work from a small private studio at the art center at no charge for 11 months. The artist will exhibit their work in the Second Floor Gallery space from late September to early November, 2016.

This type of long-term residency affords an emerging artist with access to the extensive community of visual artists who affiliate with SPA; in addition, the residency will allow the artist to integrate making art with their day-to-day lives.

Gilmour will be creating a largescale installation of sculptural interpretations of New England rare or endangered plants constructed from post-consumer plastics. In her project, named “Disposable?” she will investigate the link between vanishing species, pollution, climate change, and the future through the re-use of man-made materials.

Previously, Gilmour developed a community arts project, the Orikaso Memorial Project, with the goal of reducing plastic waste via a hands-on, community art project. Orikaso is the art of plastic folding. Orikaso is derived from ori meaning “folding” and kaso meaning “plastic.” This ongoing environmental art project aims to create more than 1 million orikaso as a memorial for the many sea birds and marine animals that die each year from plastic ingestion.

According to Gilmour, her new body of work to be constructed at SPA during the residency is, “intended to inspire and awaken memories of connection and belonging in the natural world while increasing awareness of the urgency to move collectively toward transformative solutions.”

“Shannon’s residency at SPA and her culminating art installation will resonate with people around our region,” noted Sue Higby, SPA’s executive director.

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