Birds chirp, piano strings make new sounds, a human voice honors nature, drawers reveal surprises. Experienced together in a small, innovative exhibition called “Art of Sound” at the Spruce Peak Arts Gallery in Stowe, Vermont, four artists share their dedication to sound as an art form.
Gallery curator Kelly Holt, an artist herself, explained what drew her to mount the unusual exhibition. “The richness of sound is often hard to perceive. And yet there is beauty in creative ways of sharing sound. It just takes a minute to slow down, take the time to listen and interact. Artmaking with sound often forms a unique dance of call and response.”
As Holt pointed out, the exhibition invites viewers to experience sound in both grand and intimate settings. Susan Calza’s “Our Hour,” for example, which includes video and voice, is projected in the gallery’s vaulted ceiling with ambient sound, but it can also be viewed while sitting quietly to watch visual movement while listening to the artist speak. A poem by Calza, which opens and closes with these lines — “It’s a short time that we’ve been here. We’re still here. For a short time,” helps explain her work. “Our voices are the texture of our lives. They are fleeting notes entering and penetrating our consciousness … All these notes form words in the hope that we know, we are not alone.”