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John Bisbee: New Blooms Opens on January 18

SHELBURNE, Vt. (Jan. 10, 2014)—An exhibition of contemporary sculpture by artist John Bisbee opens in the new Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education at Shelburne Museum January 18.

John Bisbee: New Blooms features new work by the inventive sculptor from Maine. Bisbee’s works are created out of 12-inch bright common nails that are wrought individually and then welded together for the finished form.

“For 28 years I have been exclusively welding nails together, and for the last decade, just 12-inch bright common spikes,” said Bisbee who describes his work as, “the ubiquitous object blown open into an expansive new existence that its original utility never dreamt of.”

For New Blooms Bisbee has created several floral-inspired pieces that include Thicket, a densely tangled cluster of flowers – the stems made from elongated spikes and the blooms from the nail head.

Each of the gallery’s walls is hung with monumental works, including Pelt, made with approximately 5,000 spikes placed at varied angles and spacing so as to evoke an animal’s coat.  Hearsay is a large- scale, funnel-shaped piece in which the artist’s welding creates a brocade-like effect.

“John’s sculptures are some of the most creative and impressive contemporary work I’ve seen,” said Shelburne Museum Director Thomas Denenberg. “His ability to make something new and beautiful out of a material as overlooked and seemingly inflexible as the common nail is awe-inspiring. This work is a fascinating present-day artistic interpretation of collections and materials that are abundant at Shelburne Museum.”

Bisbee, a sculptor in residence at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, has had solo exhibitions at the Albright-Knox Museum, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and the Portland Museum of Art.  John Bisbee: New Blooms opens on January 18 in the Cynthia O. and Donald B. Murphy Gallery of the Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education at Shelburne Museum. Opening reception with the artist is 7 to 9 p.m., Friday, Jan. 17. The exhibition runs through May 26.

On February 8, Supercool Glass will open in the Diana and John Colgate Gallery of the Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education. The exhibition will explore the world of cutting-edge glass design by viewing the work of contemporary artists through the lens of Shelburne Museum’s historical collection. Supercool Glass runs through June 8.

About Shelburne Museum: Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont is one of North America’s finest, most diverse and unconventional museums of art, design and Americana. Over 150,000 works are exhibited in a remarkable setting of 38 exhibition buildings, 25 of which are historic and were relocated to the museum’s beautifully landscaped 45-acre campus.  Shelburne’s collection includes works by the great Impressionists Claude Monet, Edouard Manet and Edgar Degas as well as a prized collection of folk art including trade signs, weathervanes and quilts.  During the winter season, which runs through May 10, the Museum’s main campus is closed except for the Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education and Museum Store, which are open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. Please visit for more information.

IMAGE CAPTION:  John Bisbee, Hearsay (detail), 2013, welded nails. On loan from the artist. Hearsay is included in the new exhibition John Bisbee: New Blooms on view at Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, Vt., January 18 through May 26, 2014.

IMAGE CAPTION:  Hearsay, a monumental sculpture made of nails by John Bisbee, in the foreground, with Bisbee’s Floresco in the background in the Cynthia O. and Donald B. Murphy Gallery of the Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education at Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, Vt. The sculptures are included in the exhibition John Bisbee: New Blooms on view from January 18 through May 26, 2014.

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