FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kristen Levesque
Large-scale Environmental Sculptures by
Nancy Winship Milliken on view this Summer at Shelburne Museum
SHELBURNE, Vt. (May 3, 2022) Nancy Winship Milliken: Varied and Alive, commissioned for Shelburne Museum’s 75th anniversary, is a site-specific outdoor exhibition that embodies the museum’s commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability while also engaging in global and local ecological conversations. Nancy Winship Milliken: Varied and Alive is on view at Shelburne Museum May 15 through October 16.
Nancy Winship Milliken: Varied and Alive includes four monumental sculptures set in a pollinator meadow each featuring different natural materials intrinsic to the region, all of which explore themes related to sustainability: horsehair, wool, beeswax, and driftwood. Activated by the wind and sun, each sculpture uniquely moves, changes, and adapts to the environment, inspiring community conversation surrounding our relationship to nature. The four sculptures—Pasture Song, Meadow Breath, Lake Bones, and Earth Glow—are multisensory, multidisciplinary explorations of the natural environment. Unifying the distinct sculptures are allusions to Vermont’s agricultural buildings and bountiful fields.
Fabricated in collaboration with historic preservation and restorationist, Eliot Lothrop, each of the minimalist post and beam structures is joined with traditional mortise and tenon joints. Surrounding the sculptures is a pollinator meadow that provides habitat for bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, moths, and other insects, and was created and generously donated by the Vermont non-profit organization Bee the Change.
Winship Milliken describes her sculptures as “contemporary pastoralism.” They are evocative of abstract landscape paintings while also providing critical insight into contemporary environmental issues and conveying a reverence for nature. Winship Milliken welcomes the changes that will take place to the sculptures as fixtures in natural landscape throughout the duration of the exhibition, understanding that she is not the sole creator of this installation.
“These sculptures react, respond, and transition in their own unique ways, and in their own timeline, in the environment in which they are presented,” she asserts. “It is a goal to let the environment have the last say and make its mark.”
About the Artist
Nancy Winship Milliken Studio is an environmental art studio located in Shelburne, Vermont, that is committed to building community through collaborative expressions of reverence for the land, humans, and animals. Winship Milliken creates site-specific sculptures in both urban and rural settings using natural materials to engage in ecological and sustainability conversations.
Winship Milliken earned her MFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2008. Over the past decade, she has installed site-specific work in a variety of locations, from New England to New Zealand. Winship Milliken’s work has been included in international solo and select group exhibitions at many venues, including deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum (Lincoln, Massachusetts); Boston Sculptors Gallery; Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (Vermont); Burlington City Arts (Vermont); the Christian Science Plaza (Boston); Provincetown Art Association Museum (Massachusetts); and Qorikancha Museum (Cusco, Peru).
Hi-res images available upon request.
Image caption: Nancy Winship Milliken, Pasture Song, 2018-22. Charred wood post and beam, fishing net, white horsehair, and hardware, 15 x 17 ft. Courtesy of the artist.
About Shelburne Museum
Founded in 1947 by trailblazing folk art collector Electra Havemeyer Webb (1888–1960), Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont, is the largest art and history museum in northern New England and Vermont’s foremost public resource for visual art and material culture. The Museum’s 45-acre campus is comprised of 39 buildings including the Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education and Webb Gallery featuring important American paintings by Andrew Wyeth, Winslow Homer, Grandma Moses, John Singleton Copley and many more. For more information, please visit shelburnemuseum.org.