December 29, 2014
Johnson State College will present Harmonics, an exhibit of work by Morrisville sculptor Judith Wrend and Craftsbury artist Paul Gruhler, Jan. 12 through Feb. 14 at the Julian Scott Gallery in the Dibden Center for the Arts. A gallery talk on their work will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 29.
Wrend, who creates painted sculptures out of aluminum, is very active in the River Arts scene. Gruhler has been deeply involved with Vermont’s state collection of art, compiling a list, photographing and mapping all of the artwork.
“Putting these two exceptional and hard-working Vermont artists together is a pleasure and an opportunity for wisdom-sharing,” said Leila Bandar, director of the Julian Scott Gallery. “Harnessing the power of color, shape and form is what their exhibit will share in various important iterations.”
Wrend’s work crosses a painter’s regard for color with a sculptor’s sense for object placement, Bandar said.
“Although similar in some ways to the paintings of Joan Miro and the sculptures of Alexander Calder, Wrend’s sculptures are different for a number of reasons,” she explained. “First, they are made by a woman who raised three children and discovered her passion for sculpture as an adult. Secondly, they embody observations on nature, life and time. And third, they are deceptively simple while pointing us to the greatest complexities of the cosmos.”
Wrend has been a sculptor for more than 40 years. “Kinetic sculpture has been my primary focus, although quite a few stabile works also ask to take form,” she said. “Through my work I explore ideas of relationship and balance via the ever-changing dance of abstract space and form, color and motion, light and shadow. I am deeply concerned about the imbalance we have created in our environment and in our society, and am increasingly aware of the interconnectedness of all things.”
Gruhler’s work draws on influences ranging from the art of Sung and later Chinese dynasties to the history of the mountains near his home. “I’m a person who lives by questions and awe,” he said. “Listening to music, holding a conversation, lingering at sunsets and mountain streams, looking up at tall buildings, are all incorporated into my work and support my craving for passionate consciousness.”