Resident Artist Exhibitions


Riddles and Lies: charged by desire

Opening reception: September 10th, 5pm-9pm

September 10th – October 1st, 2010


180 Flynn Avenue (through the SEABA entrance), Burlington

September 6, 2010

Burlington, VT—-

Ian Burcroff "New Leaf" acrylic on canvas, 34" x 38"

Philip Hardy "The End of the Stork" Oil on canvas, 54" x 44"

Shawna Cross "Meter Maid (bending windows)" Oil on canvas, 54" x 44"

Opening as part of the South End Art Hop, Borough Gallery & Studio presents their most recent exhibition, Riddles & Lies: charged by desire, created around 4 artists whose focus is reinterpreting the psychology and emotional logic of their surroundings and circumstances while also drawing heavily from the imagination and art of manipulation. Featuring book art, paintings, mixed media and drawings by Haley Bishop, Ian Burcroff, Shawna Cross and Philip Hardy; the exhibit is based on improvisation, deconstructing established notions, filling the voids of reality and layering, stacking, removing and recreating the truth until only the expressiveness of riddles is left behind.

An opening reception for Riddles & Lies: charged by desire will be held during the South End Art Hop on Friday, September 10th from 5 to 9pm and Saturday, September 11th from 10am to 5pm. Simultaneous events abound in our 180 Flynn building.

Riddles & Lies: charged by desire opens on September 10th and will be on display by appointment until October 1st. For more information or to schedule a tour please contact Borough Gallery at, 802-393-1890 or visit our website at


As we noted earlier, Borough has been on the hunt for a new studio member, an “other-worldly creative type”, as we said, who was down for getting involved in our artistic community. Well, our hunting has resulted in quite the catch, and we’re excited to kick off July by welcoming our newest resident artist, Krista Sanders! We’re really excited to work with her in the studio, and really look forward to what she (and her Guerrilla Arts background!) will bring to our upcoming exhibitions. So meet Krista, Borough’s newest member!

I am so excited that I am lucky enough to join the extremely talented co-op of artists who make up Borough Studios. One of the biggest reasons I decided to plunge in and join a community studio is because I am relatively new to Vermont and really want to get into the local art scene and meet other artists. So please if you are in Borough Studio, come and say hi! Here is a little info about my art and me so you can get an idea of who I am….

How I got to Burlington…

I was raised in Seattle, Washington where I obtained my BFA in Sculpture and Public Art from the University of Washington. I received my Masters from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, I have a brilliant son so upon graduation I decided to move somewhere that he could ride his bike, play in the woods, catch frogs, and be an innocent kid rather than live in a concrete jungle learning how important it is to never make eye contact with anyone, ever. So Burlington here we are!!!

Art Works…

I have been creating in various mediums for many years in both Seattle and Chicago’s art scenes, however, for the last few years I have focused on my career and my art work has been unfocused and a little neglected. Now that things are pretty settled, I am ready to focus on finding my clear vision and voice through art creating works that are coherent and conceptual. Here are some examples of things I have done recently.

“2010 Taste of Stowe Festival Poster” PhotoShop+Illustrator, 11x17, 2010 One of the poster designs to be used at this year’s Taste of Stowe Festival.

“Imagination” (in process) created with students, mural paint, 23’x8’, 2010

“Make Art” mural created with students in Graffiti Arts Class, permission wall, spray paint, 2005

”Found Egg Project” Guerrilla Arts Project with Graffiti Arts Class, 1000 easter eggs, 1000 community question slips, Streets of Little Village, Chicago, 2005. (This project was created for students to experience a temporary and more legal form of Guerilla Arts.)

“Elliot” pencil on paper 24”x36” 2010

“Street Crusher” (Elliot’s comic alter-ego), PhotoShop+Illustrator, 2010

Borough’s own Emily Wilson currently has her show up at Studio Place Art in Barre.  She’s got site specific works crawling the walls, a chandelier in the stairwell, a quilt that can’t stop gazing at you and perhaps her most novel series to date, “Odds N Ends.”  We could certainly go on about why you need to see this show, maybe while hitting up BASH this coming Saturday, but we won’t.  Emily was also interviewed in the latest Art New England and we decided to ask her some questions ourselves, her as in us, like she and we… oh you get the idea.

"Patience." Braids, paper and yarn. 2010

Borough Gallery: You say the new works in Springing Through Space are unabashedly intended for visual pleasure and also to create awareness of space they hang in.  So what is the pleasure of space?  How is space exciting in a way material objects are not?

Emily Wilson: Looking at spaces create opportunity. I have done so many projects over the course of my short lifetime. I have tried so many new materials, worked and reworked old projects, worked academically, worked independently and can sustainably operate a studio space, have worked within a variety of art institutions- under artists and personal career endeavors.I feel trapped not incorporating all that I have learned from each endeavor that I have had artistically and creatively. Looking at spaces give me a chance to incorporate the many areas that I find of interest. When I encounter a new space or opportunity to show or create within a space- I take it on as a privilege and in a sense want to be able to expose all that I discovered of interest within the space and in turn visually expose all that I can do with it  to viewers. With each endeavor that I have with a new space, I learn something  that in turn inspires, limits or expands ideas I had originally planned for. Which stimulates new interests and  need of obtaining some more the necessary skills in order to create the works I want to. Things that are essential to me as an developing artist.

"Mustard" from Odds N Ends series. Mixed media on glass. 2010

BG:For this show, where have you pushed yourself?  What is it about this space, or what you’ve done with your new work that both integrates what you know and pushes you someplace new?

EW:This show has been a tremendous test of my ability to plan, organize, manipulate and devise ideas. The work incorporates and expands on all these areas and the physical installation of the show challenged me in new ways. Not only was my focus on building new works in the studio, I had to plan for transportation and manage time well, once arriving on site. Each piece became a series in itself, explicitly because of the process and agenda of getting it to Studio Place Arts. I was forced to figure out what was the best order of operations as far as construction, transportation and installation goes. I used my experience from hanging previous shows for Borough and what I have witnessed as an artist assistant during Fleming exhibitions, in order to prepare for my first solo-show. Watching other artists methods of installation allowed me to problem solve the issues and constraints of my pieces. The fact that this is a solo show, really pushed me to think about what exactly I wanted to express to viewers and made me realize I have an opportunity as an artist to showcase what it is that I do. For me, having this show to work on brought my methods to a whole new level and allowed me to look at myself as a developing artist and realize all that I hope to learn in order to show at the level I am interested in.

BG: How does seeing other artists hang their work, wether that art is or is not as concerned with the gallery space as your work, affect your own?  What are some “positive” realizations and some “negative” realizations about your own work from looking at others?  Perhaps an example?

EW: From my experience and from watching other artists I have learned being an installation artist, perhaps being any type artist- that your skills are developed from a variety of areas and everything that you do learn, from one thing to another is multifaceted and re- purposed for your specific creative needs. Carpentry skills, hardware, surfaces and finishes, safety, ladders; are all new things to me in the last years. I am lucky I have gained some experience with various building methods and a tremendous capacity to problem solve from my parents and UVM, but I am yet to feel truly confident in the wood shop. There are things I want to build and install, that I know I can’t do because I don’t have the skills yet . I am looking to refine my focus on craftsmanship and quality pieces. Things that can exist beyond a one time installation. For example, “Move Past 2, to 3.” better known as the wooden box- installation, is the first site specific piece I designed for the studio and when I realized my carpentry skills lacked. The piece consists of 9 wooden boxes suspended by hook and eye hardware with certain embellishments lineally placed within the edges. I would not have been able to build this piece solo. I had designed the project explicitly on paper and shared it with a friend of mine who works for Wanamaker Restoratoration, who has access to a great salesroom and wood shop on Pine Street, conveniently around the corner from the studio. We created a sort of assembly line to complete the project, and I learned the ropes as far as hook and eye hardware and drills go. Now, I own a drill. Which enables me to do things like I have done at Studio Place Arts. I have also taken an intro class to PhotShop, which has enabled me to take spaces home and try examples of my work on the walls so I don’t get to a space with a quilt that’s three inches longer than the wall or realize that hanging 10 bike rims in 8 foot space might be a little crowded. Because of these developments, I have seen the quality of my work rise. However, it makes me realize how far I have come as a developing artist. In addition to the realization of how much more I am going to make, because I have time to learn the necessary skills and explore the things that interest me, I just have to pace myself.

Untitled. BLUES. SPA site specific Installation. Fibers and nails. 2010

BG: Have you ever considered taking your art outside a gallery, into a public or out-of-the-way space?  Is there some space you see your work going?

EW: I have done two pieces in public in out of the way spaces. One of which, I think includes “Looking Inside Out”, outside our gallery door and the other was, in my then backyard on Weston Street in 2007. I did a site specific piece that was best viewed from an aerial perspective, and designed to be seen explicitly from my bedroom, which was at the very top and in the eave of the three story Victorian style-duplex. I have been thinking about this installation recently and the things that explicitly worked about and within this site. I think looking at non-traditional, public, or independent sites has a lot of possibility for my work and might enabled me to extend my palette in a new and unique direction. I like the idea of incorporating art in nature. Especially organic images created from clearly non-organic materials or essentially purposeless items. My parents were landscape designers and had the capacity to transform outdoor spaces, just by highlighting a few key elements. Whether it was aesthetic purposes, structural, conservation or environmental, landscape design takes on some of the same roles as installation design. I would like to find a blending of these areas and possibly capitalize on the essence of surprise and freedom viewers have when you liberate art to the other side of the gallery walls.

Drawing on Inspiration. BLUE. mixed media on paper. 2010

BG: Have you ever been in a social situation and thought, “I’m bored.  I’d rather be working on my art,” and then mentally disengaged with your physical self and the engagement you were trapped in?  Have you ever gotten caught in the act?

EW: That very situation happens everyday. Especially in the afternoons after I have been working all morning. When my flow is abundant and I have been able to engage in one project or one aspect of a project for hours, my mind will stay actively part of it for hours. This also happens most frequently when I am someplace where I feel trapped or stuck. I daydream of my new projects or ways to enhance the projects I am working on now. I haven’t got caught per say, but people definitely know I am thinking about my own things and have mentioned so. Ive never been so fixated that I can’t do the task at hand, but it is possible that’s all that I have been thinking about while I have been there. Im good at multi -tasking, so sometimes I feel like I am always tyring to find something useful for my projects from my “life” situations. I kinda use life skills and the things that work within the sturcture of day to day life to structure my life for art.

Emily’s show “Springing Through Space” will be hanging at Studio Place Arts, 201 North Main Street, Barre VT, until April 17th.

Happy February, Borough friends! 2010 has started with a bang over here at 180 Flynn, and our residents have been busy, busy with many of our own projects underway. We’re also in the process of preparing for our next group exhibition, opening on March 27th. We’re going to keep you in suspense for a little while, shrouding the details of this show in mystery for another week, but you definitely won’t want to miss it. For the moment, let’s fill you in on what our Borough residents have been up to:

Stephen Orloske has been putting his nose to the ground of Vermont’s art scene, scoping out what’s new around town and investigating what artists are saying about their recent exhibitions. The recent discussion by video game designer Jonathan Blow,

screen shot of Braid's game

whose work was part of Burlington City Art’s “Game(Life)” exhibit, particularly struck his fancy, and you can read Orloske’s review for the Vermont Art Zine HERE. Iraqi-American artist and NYU professor Wafaa Bilal’s controversial exhibition “Wafaa Bilal: Agent Intellect” at Helen Day Art Center in Stowe was also reviewed by Orloske and is worth reading a few times over. Read it here, as it appears in the VAZ.

Shawna Cross has been on a mission to display her paintings across Burlington’s downtown area. A new exhibition is currently up at Red Square, at 136 Church Street.

Shawna Cross "And it Was Glorious" 54" x 35" Oil on canvas

This show will be up for the remainder of February, and in April Cross will have another show at Radio Bean, 8 North Winooski Avenue. Keep your eye out! She also has a painting and written piece featured in the new literary magazine “Route 7“, featuring the work of Vermont artists. The magazine release party will be held this Saturday, February 20th from 4m-6pm, at STAART Gallery in St. Albans where Cross will perform her written piece.

Emily Wilson has a brand new series of work ready to be revealed to all! She has a new show opening on March 2nd at Studio Place Arts, 201 Main Street in Barre. Her New “Odds N’ Ends” series

Emily Wilson, "Blue", mixed media on window pane,part of her series "Odds N' Ends"

is featured in the February/March edition of “Art New England“, where she is interviewed about her SPA exhibition. The opening reception of “Works by Emily N. Wilson” is on Saturday, March 13, from 7pm-9pm, and will run until April 17th. You won’t want to miss it! Here is Wilson’s description of her new series:

Emily Wilson, "Turquoise" mixed media on window pane. Part of her series "Odds N' Ends"

Project Description

This show represents a cohesive collection of site specific pieces, as well as a unique variety of two-dimensional pieces. The works on exhibit have been stimulated by and designed for the Third Floor Gallery of Studio Place Arts in Barre, Vermont. Showing in this space has been a tremendous opportunity for me, and designing these pieces reflect months of preparation and time spent interacting with the physical space and literal mission of Studio Place Arts as an establishment and environment for cultivating artists. The building houses artists, shows, and educational outreach programs, as well as serves as a networking platform for artists of greater Vermont, which makes it the central location of all artistic energy in Vermont. Some aspects of this project have become particularly interesting to me, including the fact that I have been given an entire floor and space within this building to create a show, with my work, that enhances and speaks to the entire mission of the space.

I began with drawing the blue print and measuring the limitations of the space. I found out how much footage I had to work with, what sort of structural limitations I had, and most importantly, how the space felt and what sort of energy it alluded. The space consists of many limitations. Limitations for foot traffic, limitations for wall space, and limitations due to overhead fixtures. In my case, these limitations are more than welcome and are the true source for the overall conception of the series. The next inspiration came from the multiple studio doorways and what is housed behind them. Janet Van Fleet’s studio sits opposite the entries from both the stairs and the elevator, and has one of my favorite site specific installations. She resides as the first Vermont artist I found inspiring when I moved to Burlington, and is one of the most influential resident artists at SPA. The stained glass studio, proudly at the end of the corridor facing Main Street, houses Chris Jeffrey ‘s vivid and organic constructions. Not only does my work stem from my interest in stained glass, but the day I visited the space, his studio emanated great energy and the Grateful Dead, which truly enhanced my overall experience. The final component of interest about the space is that it has two entrances, which create multiple focal points and many vantage points. Each area has equal weight.

From these observations I developed a five-part installation series including works on glass, paper, built cut-paper and found objects. The works are centered on concepts of positive and negative space, SPACE? and what sort of things can come from the limits of space, and the basic elements and principles of design. The series consists of site specific pieces, including a bicycle rim mobile embellished with yarns and threads and installed over the stairway entrance, a six-part window installation compiled of found objects and painted surfaces, and a built-on-site installation made from yarn and ribbon opposite the elevator. There will be a series of two-dimensional drawings, hanging opposite from the mobile, that will serve as a template for the window project. Lastly, and most tedious will be a paper quilt compiled of sewn, cut-paper individually designed based on color and materials.

Each piece represents concrete thoughts about design, collections/series and installation processes. Although each piece can stand on its own, as a whole they were designed for this space and represent a complete and specific artist’s interaction with space, and perspective on the opportunities of space and exhibition.

emily n. wilson
Borough  Gallery and Studio
Studio Place Arts
Spring 2010

Emily Wilson, "Mustard" mixed media on window pane. Part of her series, "Odds N' Ends"

Emily’s work will be on display at Borough Gallery & Studio as part of the exhibition “The Place You Hang Your Hat” until Friday, December 4th.

Emily Wilson "Looking Inside Out" 8' x 12', ribbon, yarn and nails, site specific installation Borough Gallery & Studio Entrance

Emily Wilson "Looking Inside Out" 8' x 12', ribbon, yarn and nails, site specific installation Borough Gallery & Studio Entrance

Borough Gallery & Studio: Your instillations seem to burst, like they’re in the process of organic growth, yet they also have a careful, mathematical structure to them. What’s it like creating that effect?  Is it mostly play, or agony to get it right?

Emily Wilson: This piece exemplifies the true process of site specific installation and the overall transformation of space, materials and limitations. I worked mostly from inspiration of the physical space. Responding to the layers of mortar and brick as well as the skylight, overall wall height and the room layout. I essentially was bursting during the actual installation. It was very physical. Full of movement, rhythm, gesture. It represents the energy, enthusiasm and ethic I have for my work. I wanted to create something that allowed others to step into a world that is completely created by me. The layering of colors, values of buttons and repetition are all intentional and especially constructed for this piece, in this space, for this show. At the end and nearer to its full completion I began to edit and add various components, which was challenging and the only part that became grueling. I was looking for a specific balance, simplicity and overall startlingly affect, which initially was hard to achieve. But as I became more familiar with the piece, with in the space I was able to finally distinguish what needed to be done in order to finish.

Emily Wilson detail of "Looking Inside Out" 8' x 12', ribbon, yarn and nails, site specific installation Borough Gallery & Studio Entrance

Emily Wilson detail of "Looking Inside Out" 8' x 12', ribbon, yarn and nails, site specific installation Borough Gallery & Studio Entrance

BGS: If your installations start with the space, have you ever walked into space where you’ve been asked to create and felt intimidated or stumped?  Have you ever had a space where you and it just did not get along?

EW: Only once that I really, really remember. Actually, it was one of the more important learning experiences in my artistic career. There was a project  I was committed to in a corridor space. It was two walls outside of a gallery space and was a travel way for students to and from the stairs. There were two staircase that led up to this area, and two stairways that went to the level above. The walls were 10 feet high by 22 feet long, on both sides of a set of double doors that were in the middle, that led to the gallery. It wasn’t a challenging space, per say. It was relatively familiar. However, I thought I had developed this great plan, and I had, on paper. I had designed a piece that I thought was powerful, uniform, responded to the movement of the space, reached for simplicity, but had an overall impact. When I got there, I unpacked and took out my drawings and plans. And I had planned it so carefully I did exactly what I planned on paper… measured down to nails. 8 or 10 hours later, I stepped back. Done. Excited, because it looked exactly like my drawing, exactly what I wanted this planned, conceived project phenomenon to be. I left satisfied. The next day, as I approached the stairs as any other student would that day, I looked at the piece. And was so unimpressed. So lifeless, so perfect, so idealized. It didn’t respond to the space or communicate with it. Rather, it sat, placed on the wall, like a drawing. Planned, mediated, framed, matted, and hung. That night I took it down. I Used the materials to build something within the limitations of space as well as trying to mimic an excitement and energy, Williams, the Art Building had. The next day when I approached the same stairs as I had the day before, I was psyched because it worked, beyond the capacity it was intended to… I was interested in my own work on a whole new level and realized how essential the total engagement with the space is, and more so realized that the space is just as much a material as paint or paper is… it has color, depth, texture, mass amount… you respond to watercolor one way, you respond to brick in another.

BGS: Your windows and paintings still have the same energy as your installations, yet they can’t start with a space. Where do you start with those pieces?

EW: They still start with space. In a sense I build my works from the medium I have, the limitations of the space I can work within, and other constraints. For example, I usually approach a new project with a very simple idea or inspiration. A quick thought about something I’m curious about or find appealing, and then I turn to what I have. Whether it be an 8′ by 10′ canvas, a postcard -sized piece of watercolor paper or a new storm window, I choose something to spark  my interest further. Then I turn to unique materials and try to catch the specific energy, inspiration, and innovation in a two -dimensional or three -dimensional form, specifically in a design -oriented manner. Drawing is the best way for me to capture the exact product that I hope for or urge for in painting, installation and sculpture. I learn from my drawings the path to building other things. Even if they are not exact replicas of each other, they stem from each other and in turn progress each other.

Emily Wilson detail of "Looking Inside Out" 8' x 12', ribbon, yarn and nails, site specific installation Borough Gallery & Studio Entrance

Emily Wilson detail of "Looking Inside Out" 8' x 12', ribbon, yarn and nails, site specific installation Borough Gallery & Studio Entrance

BGS: Is there any non artistic, or non creative activity that you do that in turn inspires or aids your art?

EW: I am not sure anything I do is non artistic or creative. Ive realized that I approach most of what I do as a project, maybe even an installation project. Most of my daily tasks have the goal of being aesthetically pleasing and completed timely- in order to create a living environment I can flourish in. From folding clothes, to putting away the dishes to making my bed; each activity becomes a project in itself. I also have a lot of collections. I collect scarves, bags, funky jewlery, tea cups, small dishes… Each one of those have been inspirational in one way or another. I am also active. I like to run and hike… which might enhance the overall physicality of my pieces.

BGS: When you were five what did you think your life at twenty-five would be like?

EW: I think I pictured myself as a grown up. Thinking it was much like playing house and setting up my dollhouse. I had mature hobbies at a young age, which enabled me to develop an extreme taste in home decoration and design. I remember thinking of grown up outfits and shoes… I never really thought of exactly what I would be doing for a job etc. Maybe thats why I am  struggling now! But, the real answer is I think I always pictured myself being a grown up version of what I was then. Doing the same things I did then, but better because I could have my own house to set up in and car to drive. Ive been on an artistic journey since I was born. Going through phases of interest, talent, motivation and development.

For more information on Emily Wilson go here. See her work in person at Borough until Friday, December 4th.

Shawna’s work will be on display at Borough Gallery & Studio as part of the exhibition “The Place You Hang Your Hat” until Friday, December 4th.

Shawna Cross "Worth It For the Mending (chant's end) Oil on Vintage Sheets and Canvas

Shawna Cross "Worth It For the Mending (chant's end)" Oil on Vintage Sheets and Canvas

Borough Gallery & Studio: You use writing to kind of tap your memory, so are your paintings representative of your memory, or of the writing you do?  That is to say, do the images bubble up while you write, or does the process come in stages?

Shawna Cross: My writing and my paintings are one in the same. Neither is complete without the other, but I wouldn’t say that one is a more dominant reflection than other, in the same way that I wouldn’t say lyrics in a song simply represent their accompanying melody; they’re coming from the same emotion and string of thought. My mind tends to move quickly, wander far, and become cluttered with the relationships between a variety of differing ideas. When it comes to expression it can be disastrous to get a clear idea out since its roots are under so many layers of ideas that came so quickly afterwords, and since my emotions change so quickly. When it comes to painting the process usually starts with me listening to the same song on repeat to stay focused, scribbling furiously within a notebook to channel the core of what I’m trying to express. The images are already in my mind, but writing taps further into my passion, shaping up the colors and forms I already envision, webbing a structured relationship between them. The colors become richer as I understand where they’re coming from, the movement becomes clear as I understand why I was initially led to feel the way I do. Rhythm is really important to me, and without writing-purging and exploring these pent up ideas that come out only in abstracted phrases which hold no place in common conversation-my paintings have none, they look as chaotic as my palette and no solution is ever found.

BGS: Sounds like painting is a fraught journey through yourself.  How do
you know and how does it feel when you’ve arrived at a finished work?

SC: Knowing when a painting is done is always complicated. The very last portion of the process always comes down to pure aesthetics, stepping back and stepping away for a few days to see if, visually, anything can be improved, or if the painting has successfully captured the moment I was trying to create and will evoke emotions from the viewer. But sometimes that point comes before I’ve fully resolved what I’m personally expressing, which is when a series is born and multiple paintings wander through the same theme. When a series is finished it feels huge…like gaining closure on a period of time and closing a chapter. Sometimes it feels invigorating, and sometimes it feels unsettling, it depends on the subject matter. It’s just like life; often you feel like there is more to be said or done within a situation or within a relationship, but you know within yourself that it’s time to walk away because nothing more can come from it and it’s time to open your eyes to something new. Finishing a painting or a series is one of those moments that’s hard to define, it’s a complete combination of mental, physical and emotional satisfaction. How do you know when you’re done with a certain location and are ready to move, or when you’re ready for bed, you’re full, you’re done having sex, or you’re finished with a relationship? You’re either satisfied, exhausted, or your mind starts to wander elsewhere-but either way, you know you’re done.

Shawna Cross "Mute To Our Own Desires (hushed stories and sincere promises)" Oil on canvas, 33" x 30.5"

Shawna Cross "Mute To Our Own Desires (hushed stories and sincere promises)" Oil on canvas, 33" x 30.5"

BGS: Is there a period of release after you’ve finished a painting, or an
intense series, where the next work has yet to form?  What do you do when creative energy is at a shallow point?

SC: Yes, definitely. After I’ve finished a series of paintings it takes some time to move towards the next one. Sometimes it takes a few weeks, but there have been times where it’s taken months. Those periods of time are so intense for me. At first I feel kind of beat and I’m happy to take a break, but then I get so restless. I find myself traveling and exploring the most during those times, staying really busy and fully engaging myself in foreign and familiar surroundings, activities and people. You have to live and experiment in order to grow and have anything to say that’s worth mentioning. The paintings I do in the in between moments seem lifeless to me. I end up taking a little hiatus until my inspiration is at its peak and then I paint with a fury. I also have a lot of half started projects that come about while I’m not painting…that’s when I decide I’m going to learn to cook, or re-paint my room, or teach workshops; anything to maintain a creative outlet.

BGS: Is there a time of day or place when the muse is particularly close?
Do you find sunrise, or midnight, home or a hilltop that has an energy
that jives with your brain?

SC: Yeah, painting during the day is a total wash for me, it’s really rare that you’ll see me working in the studio when the sun is out, unless it has just come up. I don’t know if it’s just a lingering response to having been a student for so many years, when the beginning portion of the day is spent absorbing and collecting and the evening was my time to reflect and set loose energy in my own way or what, but when the sky starts to turn, usually between the hours of 7pm and 7am, that’s when my creativity lunges forward. There’s something about the serene quietness of nighttime and the unique energy of nightlife that I find particularly inspiring…the unique quality of chaos and urgency in getting the most out of the remainder of your day, simultaneously mixed with relaxation and reflection is something that I really respond to. I wouldn’t say there is a particular place that inspires me as much as movement and energy do. I’ll often leave parties or concerts and head straight to the studio and work for the rest of the night, or sometimes get out of bed at 2am and head in. The blanket of night makes everything seem secretive, like all actions and words are a shared whisper between me, my canvas, and a few very select ears, and I really dig that. Daytime just seems too loud, I don’t feel as free.

Shawna Cross "Steps in Patches (more wine)" Oil on canvas, 28" x 22"

Shawna Cross "Steps in Patches (more wine)" Oil on canvas, 28" x 22"

BGS: Shawna, as your gallery-mate, when the hell do you sleep?

SC: I don’t. I’m super woman you see, and earl gray is my defense against the sandman. I’ve just forgotten to mention it to you throughout the year. You should see the goggles I have, they’re so sweet, they accent my painting apron perfectly. And this is why I’m so spacey. Actually, if you ever came into the studio really early in the morning, between 4 and 5 maybe, it’s possible that you’d see me crashed out somewhere…somewhere where I can “just take a little break and get back to it”, like sitting upright in the chair by my painting space with my palette knives in hand. I’m actually really glad we have the futon upstairs now because let me tell you, no matter how many coats you shove under your head, that floor is not comfortable. Honestly, I usually have really bad nightmares most nights, so sleep isn’t really a priority for me, being awake is way more fun. Instead I space out during really inappropriate times, usually when someone is giving me directions.

Shawna Cross Studio

Shawna's studio in Burlington, VT

For more information on Shawna go here. See her work in person at Borough until Friday, December 4th.

Shawna Cross, exhibiting at August First ~ 139 South Champlain Street

Shawna Cross, exhibiting at August First ~ 139 South Champlain Street

Emily Wilson, Shawna Cross, and Borough Gallery & Studio are pleased to present their latest endeavor in a cross town, multiple venue exhibition this month. As Borough Goes Local!, you will likely find the possibility of encountering works by Emily Wilson or Shawna Cross, as their work spans from both the North to the South end of Burlington -including the upper half, on the University’s hill top to the lower areas, surrounding the greater Church Street blocks. Conveniently visit each of the sites on your daily bout around Burlington, whether it be for a hot cup of coffee as fall joins us, or a relaxing drink at the end of the work week. A detail of the tour is as follows.

For the early riser on the South end of town, enjoy works done in oil on canvas, hung beautifully on brick, by Shawna Cross at August First; the bakery and coffeehouse on South Champlain. August First is owned and run by Borough Gallery & Studio’s third resident artist, Jodi Whalen. On the hill, in the heart of the UVM campus, displayed in the Davis Student Center, Shawna Cross has a second series of oil paintings, presented through Arts Alive. On North Winooski in Burlington’s North side, Viva Espresso, a specialty coffee shop and great place to bring your lap top, presents a mixed media installation by Emily Wilson tittled “Day”, in her “Art by Day & by Night” series – “Day” being the first half of a two part installation designed to counterbalance the show at the last site on the Borough Goes Local! tour, the Daily Planet. At the Daily Planet, “Night” is installed in the bar space and includes works both on paper and canvas, as well a site specific sculpture designed to enhance the unique interior architecture of the space.

Borough Gallery & Studio hopes to emphasize through Borough Goes Local! that as a space and a group, we are dedicated to supporting local venues who support artists and give artists an opportunity for exposure in their establishments. Not only is Borough interested in creating good local relationships, but it is excited about presenting 180 Flynn Avenue as a exciting venue for local shows and hopes that in creating a foundation with the downtown scene, it will generate and create some exposure for Borough Studio & Gallery and the artists we support.

For more information please check out Borough Gallery & Studio at, or to schedule a tour please contact Shawna Cross via email or phone at, 802-782-1675, or Emily Wilson,, 207-459-4631

Next Page »