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Project: AN ORDER

Dates: August 20, 2015

Location: St. Joseph’s Orphanage, Burlington, Vermont

Description: In August of 2015, the austere rooms of a former orphanage on the grounds of Burlington College were transformed into artworks for the exhibition titled, An Order. Five Vermont-based artists, Wylie  Garcia, Abbey Meaker, Sarah O Donnell, Rebecca Weisman, and Mary Zompetti each created art installations in both the domestic and religious spaces of the former Saint Joseph’s Providence Orphan Asylum.

The exhibition invited artists to investigate the space, using photography, video, sound, and light to explore the building’s spaces and history. The artists installed the works just prior to the exhibition, and de-installed them following the closing, making space for the planned housing developments that will reshape the orphanage.

Garcia's installation transformed two rooms into fantasy dissociative worlds intended to allow momentary respite from the intensity and history of the Orphanage's past and present.  The Warm Room was inspired by a child's play fort with Vince Guraraldi's "Christmas time is here" instrumental music softly playing in the background. The Bathroom was meant to feel like a magical safe haven from reality like a warm maternal embrace.  Painted with ink and decorated with prisms in a west facing window, the room would be cast rainbows as the sun set.  Soothing calming  sounds of birds, water, a kalimba, and a vibraphone played softly in the background.

Photo Credit : Daniel Cardon

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