Blizzard of Beauty

With Mother Nature so stingy with snow for Vermont this winter, art lovers can find a blizzard of beauty, indoors.

"Art offers a new way of looking at snow and ice, and I think that really shines in this exhibition," said Carolyn Bauer, a curator at Shelburne Museum, describing the museum’s new show, "32 Degrees: The Art of Winter."

The exhibit spotlights artworks across a variety of styles and media. Each piece in the show depicts or takes inspiration from the cold, from Monet's frosted grain stacks, to video of shifting icebergs, even the recorded sounds of melting. The show invites visitors to not just observe the season, but to experience it.

Artists Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz created curious little worlds in water, under snow globes. They may look innocent at first, but one houses a woman with a shovel and a head mysteriously buried in a snow bank.

"They're asking us, the viewers, to be really interactive with their art and create a narrative to complete the story," Bauer said of the artists' snow globes.

Winter isn't just the subject of works in the show; sometimes, it's also the canvas.

Artist Sonja Hinrichsen works outdoors, "drawing" with footsteps on large fields with unspoiled snow on the ground.

"It's a community art project," she said of one project this month, which saw her guiding museum staff on the frozen golf course at Sugarbush Resort.

The paths the museum employees walked, using snowshoes, left swirling shapes in the snow that were photographed aerially. Drone footage will also be exhibited in the gallery.

The point, Hinrichsen said, is to spark new appreciation for the magic of the natural world.

"We really need to get reconnected to nature, otherwise we are sort of doomed," the artist told necn.

Another piece in the exhibition is "January" from composer and sound designer Rich Vreeland. In it, users move a character around a snowy landscape and have the figure catch snowflakes on his tongue. Each time the character licks a snowflake, the game generates a musical note, creating a snowy symphony.

To continue the exhibition outside the gallery, Bauer asked architecture firms to imagine upscale versions of ice-fishing shanties. Six of those structures are now sitting on the museum grounds for visitors to explore.

"32 Degrees: the Art of Winter" is on view at Shelburne Museum until May 30. Check out the museum's website for more information.

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