If the stones that make up the facade of Vermont’s Brattleboro Museum & Art Center had been able to chose their fate, what would they have dreamed of becoming?

Michael Townsend and Leah Smith of the Tape Art collective answer that there’s “no more noble calling for a quartzite stone than to become a headstone,” writes Danny Lichtenfeld, the director of the museum. 

So the artist duo spent a few days last week covering each of the stones of the museum’s front exterior with a small scene, hundreds of tiny temporary murals each depicting a cross-section of a landscape of a rolling green hill with trees and clouds and a tombstones above, and coffins and skeletons underground.

The museum’s exterior is assembled from quartzite stones that were quarried more than a century ago from Mount Wantastiquet, in New Hamsphire, across the Connecticut River from the museum.

“According to Michael and Leah, there’s another idea behind the gravestone imagery: Humans commit great violence on stone to quarry it from the earth, but in the end, it is the humans that end up in the earth, their place marked by stone.”

Tape Art which was founded in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1989, and has had various lineups over the years since. They use low-adhesive painter’s tape and markers to make temporary murals that get peeled off at the end.

“The murals will remain on view through Sunday, Aug. 27, at noon,” the museum’s website explains, “at which time all are welcome to help the artists peel off the tape and bid farewell to their temporary artwork.”

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Categories: Art