Et Tu, Art Brute?

Andrew Edlin Gallery

“Et Tu, Art Brute?,” a new exhibition that will open this fall in the basement of Andrew Edlin Gallery in New York, is accepting submissions from anyone who has work to send in, so long as it fits into an envelope no bigger than 16 by 20 inches. The work can be in any medium, and the submission process is open to artists of all statuses. As an announcement states: “everyone—no matter their background, ability, level of success or anonymity.”


"WE THE PEOPLE" Exhibit by Artist-in-Residence Bouchard

at Southern Vermont College Gallery


Renee Bouchard, 2017, Oil, watercolor, pastel, wax crayon, graphite and Sharpie, 33" x 49".

BENNINGTON, Vt. —An exhibit of new paintings and sculptures titled "WE THE PEOPLE" by artist Renée Bouchard is now on display at Southern Vermont College’s Burgdorff Gallery through April 7th. A reception honoring Bouchard, who is currently Artist-in-Residence at the College, will take place on Thursday, Feb. 16, from 4 – 6 pm. This reception is free and open to the public.

Bouchard’s mixed media new works range from large-scale paintings created domestically with children, to sculptures and collages using recycled materials to inspire provocative messaging. The artist likes to uses titles such as "Small New Universes," "Gallantly Cowboys Stride," and "Planned Parenthood (I Miss You)" to constrain the viewer within the ambiguity of her abstract representational work. The exhibit also includes an unfinished painting hanging in the exhibit that anyone from the community is invited to work on, using provided materials.

As Artist-in-Residence at SVC, Bouchard is teaching a class this semester called "Art, Making and Meaning." Students in this class are collaborating with children involved in the PAVE (Project Against Violent Encounters) program and Bennington Early Childhood Center on large-scale canvas paintings and a repurposed sculptural installation titled "The Beginning of the Last Suckle," which Bouchard began in 2008 funded from an individual artist grant from the Vermont Arts Council.

Bouchard says that her work with children is a means to expand her visual vocabulary while emphasizing the importance of early childhood education. "Children’s art is very much like tribal art. The experience of making it is more important than the actual product, since its purpose isn’t intended as commodity. The meaning then comes from the intention for ritual, and /or from the lure of magic," Bouchard said. The artist sees children’s art as the earliest and most abstract search for language. She believes that when art is made for the experience of making it, it then becomes quite possible for the viewer to experience it subconsciously. "This happening can change one’s perspective on a particular atmosphere and/or place in time and history," she stated. "Escaping the confines of one reality and entering a new reality is often where I find meaning within the complexity of the mind and the emotions it houses."

Bouchard attended the Phoebe Flory Watercolor School in New Hampshire, the Cleveland Institute of Art, and graduated from the Maine College of Art (MECA) in 1999. In 2014, Bouchard received the MECA Emerging Artist Award from "Down East" magazine, which included one of her paintings on their 60th anniversary cover, and MECA was the beneficiary of $10,000 in her name. Bouchard has received many other honors and awards from institutions such as Burlington City Arts, the Vermont Arts Council, The Lab School/Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, The Cooper Union, and Kate Millett’s Women’s Art Colony Farm. Her paintings have received recognition from Janet Bishop, curator at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Stephan Phillips of the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. and have been published in "Folk Art Messenger" and "Art New England." She lives and works in Bennington, Vermont. For more information on Bouchard and to view her work, visit

Bringing students young and old together through art

Southern Vermont College Artist-in-residence Renée Bouchard to Offer "Art, Making and Meaning"

Kaleidoscopic Pathos paintings by Renée Bouchard

Governor's Gallery Montpelier VT

Join us for the Art Walk Reception September 2 from 4-7pm

Please read the following review:

Berkshire Eagle, Artist in Focus, From Small Town to State House, Review


The opening reception for "Salvage" is Jan. 30 from 5 to 7 p.m. The show runs through March 19.

Saturday, Jan. 30 at 5 p.m. - RANDOLPH - Chandler Gallery is thrilled to announce the opening of "Salvage." This thought-provoking group show features more than 20 Vermont artists working with found materials. From assemblage and collage to large-scale sculpture, artists mix mediums and blur the lines between art and daily life.

By definition, "Salvage" is a rescuing, a saving of things, and the work included achieves much more; it transforms, re-imagines and reassembles. From the past to the page, pedestals and the gallery, viewers will be taken beyond the banality of the decay to a place where remarkable beauty lays within discarded gems rescued from waste. The opening reception for "Salvage" is Jan. 30 from 5 to 7 p.m. The show runs through March 19.

"Salvage" includes works by Janet Van Fleet, Elizabeth Fram, Nina Dubois, George Murphy, Phil Godenschwager, Meg Savage, and Renee Bouchard.

The Chandler Gallery is a year-round, non-profit art gallery operated primarily by volunteers. It is overseen by Chandler Center for the Arts and an active Gallery committee. The Gallery is located in the same building as historic Chandler Music Hall.

Chandler Center for the Arts is located at 71-73 Main Street, Randolph. For more info, visit


Painting Interrupted

Opening reception July 25th 1-3 PM -November 30th Bennington Free Library 101 Silver Street

The artist Renee Bouchard has lately been inviting her 2-year-old son, Ensor, to share in her creative process. The result is a series of paintings that will be on display at two locations in downtown Bennington this summer and fall. Courtesy photo/Jamie Franklin

For Renee Bouchard, the path to visual art began in melodies and harmonies

When she was growing up in Mont Vernon, N.H., she covered her music lesson books with colorings. Her parents sensed a future painter in their midst and set her on the path she has stayed on to this day.



Big Town Gallery Rochester Vermont

October 3-November 22

BigTown Gallery is especially proud to present this exciting group of painters, all of whom have pushed deep creative roots into our Vermont landscape. These artists have been selected for the remarkable combination of vision and dexterity that characterizes their work. Together they represent some of the most accomplished contemporary landscape and abstract painters working in Vermont today.

For Bennington artist Bouchard, it's more than lines

Bennington Banner

‘Ex Utero (It’s Always Hard Letting Go)’ by Bennington artist Renée Bouchard. (Jack McManus / Bennington Banner)

For Bennington artist Renée Bouchard, painting is all about communication, embracing the unexplainable and just making marks.

Although she was formally trained in watercolor painting at Maine College of Art in Portland, many of Bouchard's recent works are inspired by her interest in self-taught or outsider art, a term for artwork produced outside the jurisdiction of any established artistic community. She is also inspired by artists who technically aren't old enough to do anything at all professionally, such as her 20-month-old son, Ensor, and other young children. These unique influences combine with her own sophisticated artistic abilities and original ideas to form engaging, hypnotic and deeply personal paintings that have recently been featured in several exhibits around Southern Vermont and the Berkshires.

Last fall, Southern Vermont College hosted a solo show of Bouchard's works, "Baby Ensor: Recent Paintings," which included paintings that revolved around her new motherhood.

"I was painting from observation of him, and I had moments of time to paint when he was a baby, so then I had this body of watercolors that I worked on," she said. Since then, Bouchard has invited Ensor to participate in her painting.

"He was about 10 months old when I started letting him have a pencil and crayon and making marks. He had been in my studio since he was born, so he seemed like he was interested in it," she said. "He can clearly make a zig-zag line now. He can make a beautiful arc, I have to say. That's much different than just his vertical and horizontal lines."

A former elementary school art teacher, Bouchard said there's something essential and impossible to describe about children's art.

She has embraced these inexplicable elements as inspiration for her own painting.

"I'm very interested in intuitive mark making. It's helping me develop my vocabulary," she said. "I like the idea of somebody saying, ‘Did Renée do that or did a child do that?,' and not knowing."

Bouchard's fascination with children's art also relates to her interest in outsider art. Bouchard and her husband -- Jamie Franklin, curator of the Bennington Museum -- have decorated their home with a mix of Bouchard's own works and an extensive collection of outsider art. Both her works and their collection have been featured together in recent exhibits like "Inside the Outside: Reconsidering Our Views About Art" at MCLA's Gallery 51 in North Adams this past spring. Tony Gengarelly, MCLA Art History and Museum Studies professor, organized the exhibit and he said Bouchard's paintings capture the fundamental originality of outsider art.

"She admires outsider artists because they are unfettered," said Gengarelly. "That is, they aren't terribly influenced by models that have already been established, and they seek their own way of expressing what they need to say."

While he said Bouchard herself wouldn't be considered an outsider artist, he explained she has an incredible ability to create images based on content from her own mind.

"It's almost as if she goes inside herself and finds what she needs to say, then finds a way to say it," he continued. "It's a very intuitive and meditative process for her."

Bouchard explains that, especially in her collaborations with Ensor, creating visual art is also an interesting process of communicating with the world.

"Art is really a form of communication," she said, explaining she often thinks about how 90 percent of the information we receive comes in through the eyes and is decoded by the brain. "Just think about cave paintings, and how we can still understand them -- it's incredible to think about how powerful they can be. And if I could put myself in my son's perspective, I would definitely say that he's having a dialogue with me and my marks on the canvas."

Although she considers her artwork an important form of communication, Bouchard also said there are limits to what she is willing to communicate to her audience.

Pointing to an old door covered in marks and three-dimensional textures, she explained she sometimes includes more private detail in her work than she means to.

"I was using this as a working surface, and then I showed it [in the Baby Ensor show at SVC]. It had all these words and everything on it, and I was so horrified that people were reading what went through my mind -- I had to paint over them. I don't always want to share."

Renée Bouchard selected for Down East anniversary cover, names MECA to receive $10,000 from the Down East Magazine 60th Anniversary Art of Giving Gala

Original artwork by Bouchard to be part of a raffle raising funds August 14

IMAGE BELOW: Renée Bouchard Burnt and White Heads, Monhegan Island 16x18 inches Oil on Canvas 2011

Bennington, VERMONT – Artist Renée Bouchard has been selected as the winner of Down East Magazine’s Maine College of Art (MECA) Emerging Artist Contest. Bouchard’s winning art will be featured one of the interior commemorative covers for Down East Magazine’s 60th Anniversary issue in August. In addition, Bouchard named MECA’s Scholarship Fund the beneficiary of a minimum of $10,000 raised by Down East Magazine at the Art of Giving Gala on Thursday, August 14 from 5:30-9 p.m. at the Portland Company, 58 Fore Street, Portland, Maine.

To help raise funds, the original work Bouchard created for the August issue of Down East will go home with a lucky guest the night of the Art of Giving. Proceeds from the tickets to the gala and additional raffle tickets for the art will help raise the $60,000 committed to six different charitable organizations, each selected by the six participating artists.

Tickets to Art of Giving are $100 per person. The participating artists are Angela Adams, Eric Hopkins, Alex Katz, Barbara Ernst Prey, William Wegman and MECA alumnus Renée Bouchard. Each ticket to the party provides the opportunity for the ticket holder to leave with one of these works of art.

A limited number of tickets are available online through or

“I was excited to learn that I would be able to have one of my paintings as a cover of Down East Magazine,” said Bouchard. “The MECA Scholarship Fund is important to me, and I’m thrilled to be able to support them in this way,” added Bouchard. “While I am inspired by work created by people with mental illness, “outsider” art, children’s art, folk art and other types of art created beyond the boundaries of the traditional “art world” I deeply value my education from MECA.”

Kathleen Fleury, editor in chief of Down East, talked about the Art of Giving Gala, “We’re very lucky to have the opportunity to work with such incredible and generous artists to celebrate the magazine’s 60th anniversary. In every issue we try to share what a special place Maine is and this is a great example of how Mainers support each other to enrich the state that we all call home.”


MECA alumnus Renée Bouchard, of Bennington, Vermont, was selected as the winner of Down East ’s MECA Emerging Artist Contest. She graduated from the Maine College of Art in 1999 and attended the Cleveland Institute of Art and the Phoebe Flory Watercolor School prior to that. She has received numerous awards and honors, including from the Vermont Arts Council, Vermont Studio Center, Cooper Union, Kate Millet Art Colony for Women, Montana Artist Refuge, and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. McDaris Fine Art in Hudson, New York, and Moberg Gallery in Des Moines and Chicago currently represent her work.


Maine College of Art (MECA) delivers a demanding and enlivening education in visual art and design within an intimate learning community. We teach each student how to transform aspirations and values into a creative practice that serves as the foundation for a lifelong pursuit of personal and professional goals.

Founded in 1882 and located in the heart of Downtown Portland's thriving Arts District, MECA offers BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) in 11 studio majors, MFA (Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art), and MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching) degrees. Pre-College and Continuing Studies programming are available for adults and youths.

The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at MECA, Joanne Waxman Library, and Visiting Artist and Guest Lecture Series are free and open to the public.

For more information about Down East Magazine’s 60th Anniversary and Gala, visit

Gallery 51 show brings outside inside

By John Seven, Special to Berkshires Week & Shires of Vermont

NORTH ADAMS -- What happens when an artist creates from any material that moves her, without being afraid that a work is good or bad?

What happens when the people meant to teach art shame their students into fear -- and when that fear is gone?

A new show at MCLA Gallery 51 focuses on outsider art and includes an accomplished abstract artist, one more point on her creative journey embracing the outsider aesthetic.


The Art/Life Balance by Arlene Distler

SoVermont Arts & Living winter/spring 2013-2014

Vermont Arts Living Article

baby ensor: recent paintings by renee bouchard

Burgdorff Gallery Southern Vermont College

Friday November 1st 5-7pm thru November 26th 3013

Alternate Realities

North Adams, MA

Opening Saturday, 24 August

McDaris Fine Art, Hudson, NY


Recent Magazine Reviews

Art New England July/ August 2011 review


Southern Vermont Arts and Living Fall 2009 interview

Abstraction NOW

June 25 through July, 2010

July 9 &10, 2011


4:00 TO 6:00 P.M.


On the front: Top- Baptism, Watercolor, graphite, acrylic, and gold ink on paper, 2011 30"x22"

Bottom-"State of Craft" Console Table, Carved ash, painted poplar base arch, Tamo (Japanese Quilted Ash)

Top with hand rubbed poly-varnish finish, 2010, 32"x60"x16"




& SUNDAY 12 P.M. TO 3 P.M.


Towle Hill Studio

28 Center Road

Corinth, VT 05309

For directions visit the Towle Hill Studio Website (above)

Abstraction NOW

June 25 through July, 2010

Abstraction NOW

June 25 through July 18, 2010

Opening Reception: Friday, June 25, 6 to 8 PM


Eclipse Mill Gallery

243 Union Street

North Adams, MA

Gallery hours for this show

Saturday 12noon - 5PM

Sunday 12noon - 5PM


Media Contact: Brian Handspicker


The Eclipse Mill Gallery, at 243 Union Street, in North Adams, MA invites the public to an opening reception to celebrate the "Abstraction NOW" art show on Friday, June 25, from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. Abstraction NOW will show new work in abstract painting, sculpture and clay by artists from the Berkshires and Southern Vermont, with special guest artists from the Boston area. The Abstraction NOW show will run from June 25 through July 18, 2010.


artist statement:


My oil paintings are abstract-representational. They reference landscapes, in that they have depth and light, but they are more about my perception of the landscape than they are an attempt to depict reality. Mostly, I am concerned with color relationships and the physicality of paint.


It is important for me to record the process of making a painting. I do this by allowing an interaction to occur between myself and the canvas. In this way, I consider my paintings to be mindscapes as much as landscapes.


Having been focused on the concept of atmosphere for a period, I realize there are many ways of creating a house for emotions to dwell. At the same time, I have been developing a technique to convey humidity, or more specifically the interaction between water and light in the air.

two actors, ten painters

a theatrical portrait exhibition

"Two Actors, Ten Painters: A Theatrical Portrait Exhibition", will show at the Eclipse Mill Gallery in North Adams from June 25th through July 26th. An opening reception will be held June 26th from 6 pm to 8 pm.


Two actors from Main Street Stage in North Adams are represented by ten regional artists. For the past three months, the artists have been producing paintings and other images of these two actors. The results demonstrate the subjectivity of representation. The show deals with the theatrical quality of portraiture, especially of subjects who themselves assume other guises in their acting work.


Eclipse Mill and Main Street Stage are very excited about this joint project, which celebrates both theater and the visual arts, and the common ground shared by apparently different creative pursuits.


Opening night theatrics are anticipated at the June 26th Eclipse reception. A portion of the exhibition will continue at the Main Street Stage lobby at 57 Main Street in North Adams.


Eclipse Mill Gallery, 243 Union St # 102 in North Adams, is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 12 noon to 6 pm. More information is available at

Cultural Corridor

Storefront Artist Project, Pittsfield, MA

Featured artists are: Natasha Poleshuk Navidad, Katerina Lanfranco, Ruth Hardinger, Brece Honeycutt, Sandy Winters, Renee Bouchard, and John Maziarz


Exhibition runs from June 27 - July 26.


Hours: Sat & Sun: 12-5pm.

Storefront Artist Project

124 Fenn Street, Pittsfield.