Sunday, August 17, 2014

Break It! Build It! Exhibition at BCA

There is so much art to see in Burlington, but if you have time to get yourself to one more show before summer is out, please get to the Break It! Build It! Exhibition at Burlington City Arts in the Firehouse center on Church Street.
This artwork offers up varying motivation phrases when you pull the handle. Image via BCA's website.

This show features artwork by lots of amazing makers.  I am choosing to not use the word artist here, because several of these folks identify as scientists or engineers instead, but in this show are using that knowledge to create wired-up, beeping, buzzing, motion-sensing little wonders.

When you enter you are greeted by the now-permanent Project Floorish that arrived as part of User Required, a BCA show from last year. A collaboration of several minds, including local marvel John Cohn, it looks like this underfoot at the entrance:
The whole show is inspired by the terrifically popular summer camp program called Break It! Build It! which BCA has been running for many years now. Children arrive for a week of demolishing old machines, toys, and appliances for the purpose of, well, repurposing them. With a little tape and hot glue, things magically turn into fan-and-soda-bottle helicopters, or suitcase apartment/dollhouses. The work the kids do is very wonderful, and many children from this summer's camps have work included in the exhibit. 

It is all very interactive, and will inspire you to play and make something that before simply wasn't. Artists include Christopher Abrams, Colin Brahmstedt, John Cohn, Maxwell Cohn, Eric Hall, Beatriz Herrera, Ken Howell, Jenn Karson (co founder of Vermont Makers along with John Cohn), Keegan Kuvach, and Kristin Rogers. 

This quirky assemblage by Christoper Abrams opens and closes tiny umbrellas while you watch, thanks to motors and wiring hidden underneath.

If you missed the recent Vermont Edition on the Maker Movement here in the Green Mountain State, you can listen to it here on the VPR archive. 

Still want to know more about what the makers, thinkers, artists, and engineering whizzes of Vermont are up to?  Here are a few useful resources:

The STEAM-e-zine is an online magazine on all things Maker in Vermont. STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math.

If you feel inspired to make something, on your own or in a class, visit Generator in downtown Burlington under Memorial Auditorium, or visit their website.

The Vermont FabLab workshop sounds like the most incredible professional development ever, coming this Spring 2015 via UVM, taught by Jenn Karson.

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