NEWPORT — The MAC Center for the Arts will host an Exclusive Opening for its new exhibit, “Portrait of a Forest: Men and Machine,” on Friday, from 5 to 7 p.m.
The opening is in conjunction with the annual Holiday Reception at the MAC.
The exhibit, on loan to MAC from the Vermont Folklife Center, combines contemporary photographs by Weybridge photojournalist, George Bellerose, with historical photographs and commentary by the logging and forest products community, will run through December 31.
“Unlike Vermonters of the past, many of us no longer have a direct connection to the working landscape,” Bellerose said of the origin of his project. “We see logging trucks and the occasional roadside log collection, but rarely do we have contact with loggers or fully understand their importance to the state.”
Coverage ranges from solo loggers with a chainsaw to multi-machine chipping operations, from backyard sawmills to state-of-the-art flooring mills.
“My hope is that this documentation will help everyone better understand the challenges facing the industry today and appreciate its role in preserving a healthy forest,” Bellerose added. “This project is an essential part of the Vermont Folklife Center’s mission to help people become visible to one another,”
Greg Sharrow, co-director of the Center commented, “George Bellerose’s photography opens a powerful window into the lives and work of loggers in Vermont.”
The exhibit and projected book are companion pieces to an earlier Bellerose and Vermont Folklife Center project, Forty-Six Years of Pretty Straight Going: The Life of a Family Dairy Farm.
“Both occupations involve long days and hard work,” Bellerose commented. “Both are often a generational way of life and a tough way to make a living. Both have shaped the landscape and culture of Vermont. Both face economic challenges today, and both often feel that the work they do is not understood or appreciated.”
This exhibit and reception is free and open to the public.
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