The experience of the annual Juried Exhibition at the Catamount Arts Center begins about an hour before you get there. Sure, you could take the highway for most of the route, but you would miss out on immersion into the desolate beauty of this northern life. If you opt for the back roads, unplug from your devices, and listen only to the white noise of your radiator fan, you’ll find yourself surrendering to the pleasures of quiet contemplation. You will be guided by the meandering curves of the road that offer up snow-encased hills and valleys, the occasional red barn leaning into the wind, signs of agrarian routine on winter’s hiatus, an old farmhouse with a 1950s fridge and life’s detritus relegated to the front porch and, of course, a satellite dish arching toward news of the outside world.
Winter in this part of the country is harsh and living here requires a good bit of coping skills and introspection. Isolation, especially after three years of pandemic-imposed restrictions, challenges the mind to search for those inner threads of strength, like a prospector searches for a vein of gold. An affirmation of life.
The Eighth Annual Catamount Show is such an affirmation. Close to 60 works are in this year’s show juried by Devon Zimmerman, who is Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary American Art at Maine’s Ogunquit Museum of American Art. Zimmerman also held posts at New York City’s Cooper Hewitt and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This year, landscapes and abstractions dominate a show that includes mixed media, sculptures, objects and constructions, and one outsize digital photograph.
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