Burlington City Arts

UVM Medical Center

University of Vermont Medical Center (formerly Fletcher Allen) has been exhibiting the work of Vermont artists on the main medical center campus in various locations for several years, thanks to its ongoing partnership with Burlington City Arts.


August – December 2017

Lee Garrison

A prolific artist, Emily O. “Lee” Garrison (1928–2014) revisited certain subjects—flowers, grasses, water, her friends’ gardens, familiar landscapes—and painted them time and again, each canvas capturing a new emotion, a change in season, or the play of light at a particular time of day. An avid traveler, she captured subjects in places as far-flung as the gardens of Positano and the mountains around Chiusaforte in Italy to the archeological excavation at Sardis in Turkey. Garrison often claimed inspiration from the Chinese artists of the Sung (Song) dynasty, not so much for their style but for their creative process of long meditation and contemplation followed by rapid execution. Color, too, became such a key element in her work that virtually every painting she created from the 1970s on contained a shorthand along the very edges of the canvas, recording what particular paint and colors were used, as well as the specific date/s the painting was worked or reworked, the season, and time/s of day. A close friend and fellow artist once observed that Garrison “studied colors in a systematic way. For as long as I knew her, she had sheets of color references and explorations. … Besides being a dedicated, empathetic observer of the energies of nature, she always worked on her sober craft—how to get a color combination just right, with some daring and surprise.” Lee Garrison embraced life and approached her work with a tremendous passion for exploration, life-long learning, people, and nature. Though she lived variously in Boston (her long-time home), New York, Italy, and elsewhere in the world, she spent her summers painting and sketching on the shores of Lake Champlain for more than 30 years. Prior to her death, Garrison made arrangements to leave her life’s work to the Burlington City Arts Foundation (BCA). For the last two years, BCA has been working to inventory, curate, catalog, and photograph thousands of oil paintings, watercolors, sketchbooks, and other items from Garrison’s studio into a collection that now comprises more than 500 digitally archived artworks. BCA is grateful for this generous gift, which, through its sale, will continue to support the arts and regional artists.


Susan Larkin

I paint primarily in and around the Champlain Islands, where I live, with an occasional trip to the east, towards Mount Mansfield and the surrounding farmlands and rivers.  My primary motivation is to record the effect of light on land and water.  I think of my paintings as expressive impressionism.  My paintings are very personal; through them I am trying to communicate what daily life is like living on an island, with the landscape illuminated by the reflection of the lake.  I try to communicate what the day felt like to me, the air, the sounds, the light, colors, and conversations with my painting companions.  I want to capture what exactly it was that made this view, this day, to shine for me. The magical something that made my mind say, “Look at that!”  My attempt is to keep in the forefront that essence of the scene and communicate this through the painting to the audience. As I continue to work on the paintings in the studio, they become a narrative of my memories of that particular day in my life.​


Mike Farnsworth

Nature is wicked awesome.  To appreciate the energies of the natural world and depict inspiring scenes is nothing new.  That drive in an artist is probably as old as art itself.  To truly commune with nature and go beyond the beauty -into the sense of place- is my goal. Painting in acrylics or oils is such a wonderful medium for expressing my vision.  Whether it is a misty autumn morning in Vermont, a crisp 40-below afternoon in the Canadian Rockies, or a warm breezy day on the Atlantic, I place brush to canvas and let the appreciation flow.  Sometimes I work from a photo I took, sometimes I set my easel up where I’m inspired.  Sometimes it’s a joy, sometimes it’s agonizing, but it is always worth it. In my work I try to honor the gifts I have been given as an artist by balancing my view of the natural world with how it deserves to be seen.  I rarely incorporate buildings, roads or other structures, because I feel they distract from the core of naturalism.  I hope my work evokes a love of nature, and a respect of place.  My highest hope is that it fosters appreciation for what we could lose if we are not mindful of our choices as a people.  But I’m happy with “beautiful” too.

Ever since he was a tiny baby strapped to his father's back and enjoying weekend hikes in The Green Mountains, Michael Farnsworth has known the natural world and felt a connection to places.  To this day he searches for places that speak to him, and most often those places are wild or close to it.  How he feels above tree line or on at a lakeshore is hard for him to put into words.  And luckily he doesn't have to; he puts that feeling into paint or photographs. Michael's passion is for the places we live in and the mark we leave on the land. He strives to help people see the importance of place and the gift of living within such a beautiful world. Whether you live in the heart of Burlington, or in a quiet retreat in Stowe, Michael's artwork calls you home to nature.


Olga Verasen​

I am a writer, artist and a coach. I live in wonderful place, S.Burlington, Vermont. This is my happy home! I wrote my first story at seven. The beauty of nature, the wisdom and love of my Mother helped to make me have feel freedom and the beauty of the world in which we live. I've always painted and always the pages of my elementary, high school and university notebooks turned into paintings. I was educated at two universities and became a coach. I worked and raised my three children, but always I had colors, pen and a piece of paper. Gradually, step by step, there were books, magazine articles, plays, scripts for TV programs, illustrations and paintings. When people ask me how I paint, I will answer simply: "I feel color and each painting for me is like a journey in both the outer and inner world". I can say the same about my books. I am happy to share these with you!


Michael Strauss

Strauss has been painting and drawing since his teens.  After forty years as a professor of chemistry he began devoting full time to painting in 2003.  His primary interest is in how color and value create the illusion of light and shadow.  For example, when he paints landscapes depicting early morning or late afternoon, the light is often filtered by dust or moisture, resulting in a warm red-orange glow.  In this circumstance, portions of objects lit by orange light reflect warmth in the viewer’s eye, even if the reflection is from snow.  The cooler blue, purple and green shadows in these warmly lit scenes build depth. This is reinforced using linear perspective, which is most evident in the lines of lanes, houses, poles, trees and wires in his street scenes. 

Strauss’s work is strongly influenced by the Canadian and California colorists, both in style and subject matter. He is particularly indebted to Mike Svob, Nicholas Bott and Min Ma for inspiration in the subject matter and style of the paintings in this small collection. Like these artists, he sometimes uses bright, bold, color shapes, often with hard and sometimes black edges, to create interesting patterns and design.  Though the colors and lines he uses are sometimes not found in nature, the resulting images retain the logic of light and shadow. He often tries to make the brightest objects seem lit from within as well as from incident light, to create an otherworldly glow, like electrified neon in glass.  It is this luminous quality of saturated and impressionistic color that pleases him most.


f/7 Simplicity 

The photographs exhibited in this section of the hospital were taken by the members of the central Vermont-based group "f/7."  The theme of the exhibit is Simplicity.  Simplicity implies a directness of image, shorn of complexity, ornamentation, and artifice.  At the same time, it leaves ample room for beauty, introspection, and ambiguity.  We believe that there are  many different ways to see the world, and this collection of images presents a diverse yet complementary take on the theme of simplicity.

The artists are:

Elliot Burg:

Annie Tiberio Cameron:

Lisa Dimondstein:

Julie Parker:

Sandra Shenk:

John Snell:

Rob Spring: