And the winner is ... Gregg Blasdel! The Burlington artist and retired St. Michael's art prof is the recipient of the 10th annual Barbara Smail Award, which is granted to a mid-career artist and named for a beloved Vermont painter who died in 2001. It is supported by her friends and family along with Burlington City Arts.
Like the nine recipients before him — this past year it was sculptor Kat Clear — Blasdel will receive $1000 and the use of BCA's facilities for a year. Those include the print and clay studios and darkroom.
In recent years Blasdel has focused on printmaking, often collaborating with his wife and fellow artist Jennifer Koch. A former sculptor, Blasdel is now "exploring new mediums." He'll have several at his disposal at BCA, and I look forward to seeing what he comes up with over this next year.
Blasdel, Koch and fellow artist Sumru Tekin will be coordinating, and working on, the 30/30 Anniversary Print Project, a joint effort of BCA and the Flynn Center on their 30th anniversary year. It will open January 6 at the Amy E. Tarrant Gallery at the Flynn.
Blasdel, who has been involved in the Vermont arts scene since the 1970s, will likely have public visiting hours during his BCA residency, as other Smail recipients have before him. It's a good opportunity to see an artist's creativity in progress, and I recommend stopping by.
Photo of Blasdel courtesy of Burlington City Arts.