Thursday, February 8, 2018

Raise the Spirits

Corpse Reviver #2
Rhonda Ratray

Raise the Spirits Opening reception

Presented by Harvest Brewing 

FRIDAY Feb. 9th 6pm-9pm

  Artwork by Rhonda Ratray an ongoing series exploring the botanical,social-historical and spiritual influence of Alcohol

201 South Street// Bennington VT//

Saturday, January 20, 2018


Leather Postcard circa 1910

Hearts on Fire:

 Valentine Ephemera and Tokens of Love

This show features local artists work as well as Valentines and tokens of affection from private collections.

Please join us for a reception at The Left Bank in North Bennington,  Jan 27th 4-6pm On view till Feb 17th

Friday, December 1, 2017

Tempus Fugitive

Each year the Bennington Museum’s Festival draws its inspiration from one of the objects in the Museum’s outstanding collection. For 2017, the annual festival of the season celebrates the creativity of a wide range of regional artists as they respond to Nichols Goddard’s Musical Tall Case Clock, ca. 1810, one of the centerpieces of the Museum’s newest exhibition, Early Vermont.
When I was in elementary school I had a watch that belonged to my grandfather that played the song “Yesterday” by the Beetles. After I heard the lyrics...I was struck, it was both funny and tragic, a watch that played a song about another time.

My Piece Tempus Fugitive, incorporates technology from the early 1800’s. The Phenakistoscope was developed in the 1830’s, the name comes from the Greek root word 'phenakisticos' , meaning "to deceive" or "to cheat", and- รณps, meaning "eye" or "face.  
It was invented simultaneously by a physicist and a mathematician independently observing optical illusions created by moving cogs when viewed through an aperture. Their successful prototypes were marketed as novelties that created fluid illusion of motion in the form of looped animations. These were mass produced on paper in several iterations. This concept is known to be the precursor to motion pictures. These optical studies remind us that our eyes can be tricked.

Tempus Fugit comes from the latin verse Georgica, written by the Roman poet Virgil: fugit irreparabile tempus, translates as ”but it flees irretrievable time” or simply put, “time flies”  This notion is often portrayed as the winged hourglass which has been used as a memento mori
(remember that you have to die) and is used here as a front and is the main static image of the piece. It is through our mortality that we embrace the illusion of time.

The images on the large wheel of my phenakistoscope are directly inspired by the Nichols Goddard Musical Tall case clock, ca.1810. The Nichols Clock face features a rotating image dial that shifts slowly from a glowing full smiling moon to a burning ship on the water. The song (Heathen Mythology or Hunting the Hare) was surreptitiously buffed from the clock face, and is brought to life here through a section of it’s own on the phenakistoscope. Hounds hunting a hare morph into Diana Goddess of the Hunt, Cupid riding Pegasus and Pan looking mischievous. By turning the handle and spinning the image wheel then spinning the “frame” wheel the viewer can speed up and slow down the animations  watching the quickening of the moon in it’s 28 day cycle, the hopping hare swarmed by gods and dogs, and observing the endless cycle of the ship igniting, raging and immolated. The viewer can be a time flier, a tempus fugitive.

Excerpt from the Lyrics of
Heathen Mythology or
Hunting the Hare
A Favorite Song
Songs of Shepherds in rustical roundelays,
Form’d in fancy, or whistled on reeds,
Sung to Solace young nymphs upon holidays, Are too unworthy for wonderful deeds,
Sottish Silenus
To Phoebus the genius
Was sent by dame Venus a song to prepare,
In phrase nicely coin’d.
And verse quite refin’d,
How the states divine hunted the hare.
Stars quite tired with pastimes Olympical,Stars and planets that beautiful shone,
Could no longer endure, that men only shall swim in pleasures, and they but look on,
Round about horned
Lucina they swarmed
And her informed how minded they were,
Each god and Goddess
To take human bodies,
As lords and ladies to follow the Hare

Reading the Signs

This body of work is currently on view at the Bennington Free Library  as part of the Wall works program, till Jan 2018

This show features a combination of prints and paintings that present  messages that seem direct and others that are are warnings if you only know where to look for them.

The Canary Warnings are a series of paintings inspired by the practice of keeping a canary in a coal mine as an early warning system for miners. When the bird dies the air will soon be too toxic for humans as well. The canary serves a kind of guardian, like a life force monitor. This series considers a myriad of possibilities about the ways in which one could be warned of tragedies or other dangerous situations.  

Sunday, October 22, 2017



Hauntings! Visions! Illuminations!

Tag along with you subconscience to
The North Bennington Train Depot for an art show you won't want to sleep through...Paintings, Sculptures, Prints and More!! 
Support local creeps!
Opening October 27, Begining at DUSK (6-8)pm
***ALL LUCID DREAMERS and astral bodies welcome

"On such a night, when Air has loosed 
Its guardian grasp on blood and brain, 
Old terrors then of god or ghost 
Creep from their caves to life again;" 
Low Barometer,(excerpt) Robert Bridges

Saturday, August 19, 2017


Honey Hex, Intoxicate 2017

When I first thought about this show I wanted it to celebrate the magnificent abundance that is Vermont in the summertime, a sweet land of plenty. Fortunately or not, things are never simple.
My series of Honey Hexes are similar to Pennsylvania Dutch hex paintings in that these are made to welcome good luck and good fortune.The Honey Hexes, are talismans meant to foster sweetness, harmony, abundance and fertility and vision through altered consciousness. The designs that I have painted incorporate a honeycomb format that frames the icons within. Symbols such as cornucopias, and similar mead horns, udders, beehives and symbolic flowers and of course, bees adorn this ongoing series. As it has become profoundly clear that the majority of life on the planet depends on some of the tiniest pollinators these hexes attempt to pay tribute where it is due.

In a similar vein the series of Botanical heads symbolize rebirth and regeneration and abundance.They are inspired by “green men” variations of folate heads that have adorned architecture and gravestones across cultures. My botanical heads range from Foliate style head that which is completely covered in leaves, to the Disgorging Head which spews vegetation from its mouth, as well as the Bloodsucker Head which sprouts vegetation from all orifices (Facial) such as the eyes nostrils and mouth. In addition my botanical heads  are multi faceted images that when rotated 180 degrees reveal a new “face.”  The heads represent animals, plants and male and female “gods.”

Canary warning #3

There are always signs and warnings...if you are listening. Speaking of warnings, the Warning (canary) is part of an ongoing series of guardians. The “See Wheat (sweet)” depicts cornucopia eyes with wheat... endless sweetness.This was inspired in part by Amy’s vintage blue Pyrex Bowl.  Not a sickly sweet but, a sweet like a sunny Vermont summer day. “Milk Made,” a little Vermont Dairy truth in advertising... connecting milk to where it comes from.
The Hobo Hankies, created as part of the series, Mythos Merch. These hankies incorporate some hobo symbols (jail, Safe water, Danger) and commemorate some of my favorite attractions/characters from Big Rock Candy Mountain. I love a good story and the tale of Big Rock Candy Mountain is just that, a fictional land of Milk and Honey, with its straight up tourist trap hucksterism and charm and when you have a moment look up the last verse of Big Rock Candy Mountain!

“The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they are felt with the heart.”
“One sees clearly only with the heart. The essential is invisible to the eye."  Antoine de Saint-Exupรฉry these are Lessons from The Little Prince, The Rose and the Fox, which speak for themselves. To me these speak to bittersweet experience of opening oneself to friendship and love and the ways in which the senses can be fooled.

Currently on view at the the South Street Cafe in Bennington, Vermont.