Burlington City Arts

JoAnne Carson: A Sense of Wonder

July 22, 2020 - October 10, 2020

First floor, BCA Center
Open Wednesday-Saturday, 12-5 pm

A Sense of Wonder features large-scale paintings and drawings created by JoAnne Carson over the past decade. Carson’s improvisational worlds of flora embody playful, surreal, and often dark connotations. Her exuberant compositions feature animated abstractions in the form of bushes, flowers, branches, and trees that are as beguiling as they are disconcerting. Richly patterned and pulsating with color, her imagery evokes the transformative and cyclical nature of life. 

Many of the works in this exhibition are inspired by the terraced garden Carson cultivates at her rural home in Shoreham, Vermont. The lush landscape becomes an imaginative extension of the artist’s studio where she experiments with form, composition, and color. Gardening and creative practice actively dialogue together as the artist transforms the natural world into fanciful characters engaged in a mysterious narrative. 

Carson’s paintings and drawings are defined by their sense of wonder – for nature that is abundantly wild and resilient, yet simultaneously fragile and distorted by human intervention. The artist observes that in our longing for an authentic experience amidst both the uncertainty and perseverance of nature, we are compelled to reframe our sense of wonderment in today’s world.

BCA Exhibitions are funded in part by a grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual ArtsNational Endowment for the Arts, and Vermont Arts Council.

Please review our full list of guidelines and protocols for protecting our community while visiting the BCA Center.

Above image: JoAnne Carson, Breezy (detail), 2019, 39x48, Acrylic on canvas




Take a 360-degree tour of the exhibition.