Art of Sound – Group Exhibition

The exhibition is created by Kelly Holt, Spruce Peak Arts Curator, and  features the work of artists: John Bauer, Susan Calza, Sean Clute, Otto Muller and Kathryn Lipke Vigesaa.

View the virtual exhibition here.

This exhibition is in participation of 2020 Vision: Reflecting on a World-Changing Year, a statewide initiative of the Vermont Curators Group.

The exhibition opens with a variety of ways to interact with sound, from ambient to immersive, inviting the viewer to both play and contemplate. The exhibition is created by Kelly Holt, Spruce Peak Arts Curator, and features the work of artists: John Bauer, Susan Calza, Sean Clute and Otto Muller (of the Rural Noise Ensemble) and Kathryn Lipke Vigesaa.

Artists are responding to the following curatorial statement:
The richness of sound is often hard to perceive…through the ocean of noise coming from all of our devices. And yet there is beauty in creative ways of sharing sound. It just takes a minute to slow down and take the time to listen…to interact…to play. Artmaking with sound often forms a unique dance – a call and response.

This exhibition addresses some aspects of sound that include:
• sounds from nature
• motors and trees
• strings and soundboards
• a chorus of human voices

Experience sound installations taking many forms in the Gallery.

Artist John Bauer, inspired by the prepared piano pieces by John Cage and the exploded piano pieces by Michael Zelehoski is transforming an old H. Lehr & Co. piano, deconstructing it and inviting the viewer to make sound with it in new ways. Susan Calza’s “our hour” installation with projection and sound invites visitors to think about “our voices as the texture of our lives”. Sean Clute and Otto Muller of the Rural Noise Ensemble have exhibited and performed many collaborations together. Their sound installation may be experienced by entering a space as their work Duet for Tree Branch and Oil Drum sonifies a single point of contact in the production of rural space. Katherine Lipke Vigesaa’s sculpture From the Meadow’s Edge is both elegant and intimate – moving images and sound can be found by opening one if its drawers.


John Bauer

Looking beneath the surface reveals the science behind the mystery, the substance behind  the art, or the art behind the art.

The piano sits and waits to be discovered, it’s mystery of function known to only the few who are curious to inquire. Its wonder manifests when a player sits to ask it to bring forth sound, or when looking at the pieces and parts.

My intention is to bring a different attention to the piano by flattening it to be experienced in new ways.

Countless hours of practice and rehearsal combine with determination and inclination to create an artist with skill and ability, if not acclaim. Countless hours of careful work go into the creation of the instrument, the internal artistry typically unseen while heard.

For now we listen with our eyes to the crafts-person-ship of the piano. I invite you to touch, to explore, the pieces and parts in your own way  – just as you do in your life. To be succinct: bring your joy and  your own noise.


Susan Calza

“Our Hour”
It’s a short time that we’ve been here.
We’re still here.
For a short time.

It’s all speculative.
The earth is 4.6 billion years old.
Humankind has been here for 150,000 of those years.
That’s 0.0033% of the time.
For just 0.0033% of the time
since the earth has been in existence,
have human voices been heard.
It’s kind of a miracle and it’s not miraculous at all.
Our voices are the texture of our lives.
They are fleeting notes entering air and penetrating our consciousness.
All this to communicate.
All these notes form words in the hope that we know,
we are not alone.

It’s a short time that we’ve been here.
We’re still here.
For a short time.


Sean Clute & Otto Muller, Rural Noise Ensemble

The rural is a concept, a projected edgespace between “civilization” and its other, something that is often termed “nature.” It is produced through a settler-colonial project based upon the irreconcilability of these two concepts. At one scale, these edgesspaces encompass entire communities and cultures.  On a smaller scale, these edges exist as a matrix of forgotten lines, marked with discarded tires and rusted fuel cans: the line where some forgotten dweller decided “up to this point is my yard, beyond it: my junk pile.”

This piece sonifies a single point of contact in the production of rural space.  A barrel of Tuff-Kote sealant and a tree branch, both harvested from a creek bed in Woodbury, Vermont, are tethered to the grid and automated in perpetual friction. 


Kathryn Lipke Vigesaa

I’m drawn to the edge of the natural and manmade worlds. The details of that precarious and tranquil perimeter are one of the oldest and most sacred abodes; a complex and textured ecosystem that binds people and the planet together.

I listen to the sounds of nature, see the details of the plants and landscape from close up – all of this has affected the way in which I think about and understand my environment.  I see the cycles of nature throughout the seasons – making me more fully understand the larger system – that includes mankind his/her memory and sense of place.  To perceive nature and translate it into an aesthetic statement is to try to get inside the processes of nature than work out from that point – not to just present a static view of nature.  It is to respond to nature.

This file box is part of my series of Artist Book/Objects – like a book the pages within the file are of handmade paper, the objects included were found near the edge of the meadow, birds nests that had blown or fallen from a tree, bird feathers picked up from the ground. The robin’s nest was started on top of my entrance light fixture – then abandoned – I waited two weeks then took it down including the three, now cold, eggs.  A wasp nest which is made from chewed wood – paper made from wood pulp was inspired after seeing these nests. Sadly many of our bird species and pollinators are disappearing mainly due to overuse of pesticides, habitat loss or climate changes. 

The video and sound were recorded near my home in Belvidere, Vermont and in North Dakota while working on “Shadows on the Land”.


Thank you to our Gallery Sponsor Sushi Yoshi for supporting all of our art openings.