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<B>&rdquo;More Like You Than Not&rdquo; is a companion piece to &ldquo;Engage&rdquo; at the Bennington Museum. (Supplied photo)</B>
&rdquo;More Like You Than Not&rdquo; is a companion piece to &ldquo;Engage&rdquo; at the Bennington Museum. (Supplied photo)
”More Like You Than Not” is a companion piece to “Engage” at the Bennington Museum. (Supplied photo) ()
Thursday February 28, 2013

BENNINGTON -- On Saturday, March 2, at 2 p.m., Jamie Franklin, Curator of the Bennington Museum will lead a gallery tour of Engage and "More Like You Than Not" at the Bennington Museum. These complementary exhibitions seek to recognize that artistic talent and creativity knows no boundaries. Both look at art created by new and established artists with disabilities, as well as works that were created over the past 200 years. Both bring the work of 51 Vermont artists with various disabilities to the forefront of cultural life in Vermont. Artists across Vermont participating in Engage include Robert Gold, Willow Bascom, Alexis Kyriak, Robert McBride, Margaret Kannenstine, Beth Barndt, Steve Chase, Lyna Lou Nordstrum.

Engage is a VSA Vermont exhibition curated by Greensboro artist Paul Gruhler, whose works have been exhibited throughout the United States and Europe, and are collected internationally. Gruhler's selection of artwork for the show includes paintings in acrylic, oil, and watercolor, drawings in ink, pastel and charcoal, as well as mixed media and assemblage. With the help of Renee Wells, an accessibility consultant for the Vermont Arts Council, and other program partners, VSA Vermont has provided assistance to artists by creating digital imagery of artwork and artist statements as well as with framing where needed.

"More Like You Than Not" examines some of the varied and constantly evolving contexts in which artists with disabilities have worked in Vermont and the surrounding region during the last 200 years. Individuals with real or perceived disabilities have long been ostracized from mainstream society due to their supposed "differences." The art in "More Like You Than Not"--a quote from Vermont artist and autism activist Larry Bissonnette--reminds us that we all share a universal humanity and are all more alike than different. "Like all great art, the works on view have the power to bring our shared experiences of the world to the fore. The artists represented, like all great artists of all abilities and disabilities, have found creative solutions to obstacles, allowing them to communicate their personal perceptions of the world. This exhibition highlights the artists' abilities rather than their disabilities and seeks to recognize that artistic talent and creativity knows no boundaries." states Franklin. "More Like You Than Not" features artwork arranged in three categories: "Rare and Singular Artists": Itinerant Artists with Disabilities, Art and Vermont's Mental Health Care System, and Progressive Studios.

Reservations and Accommodations

Reservations for this gallery talk are requested as are accessibility and accommodation requests. Sighted guides are available by appointment to tour this exhibition. Requests for sighted guide or ASL interpretation must be made by February 27. Both can be made by calling Deana Mallory at 802-447-1571 or write dmallory@benningtonmuseum.org For relay call 711. The cost for participation in this group is free with admission to the museum.

The Bennington Museum, located at 75 Main St. (Route 9), Bennington has the largest public collection of Grandma Moses paintings in the world as well as the largest collection of 19th century Bennington pottery. In the other eleven galleries, the museum presents a 1924 Wasp Touring Car, one of only twenty produced, military artifacts, one of the earliest ‘stars and stripes' in existence, decorative arts and folk art, 18th c. to present and more. The museum is open every day, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. but closed on Wednesday. Regular admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and students over 18. Admission is never charged for younger students or to visit the museum shop. Visit the museum's website www.benningtonmuseum.org or call 802-447-1571 for more information.