A lunar moth on a lock of blonde hair. Honey drips over the image

VLM (Virginia L. Montgomery)

December 17, 2022
August 27, 2023

About the Exhibit

VLM (Virginia L. Montgomery) describes herself as an artist who “thinks in symbols.” For over a decade, she has worked as a graphic facilitator, mapping concepts in diverse settings ranging from health care conferences to the launch of an app at South by Southwest in Austin. Graphic facilitation—a niche field developed in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1970s—involves distilling ideas into words and pictures on giant white boards so that participants can better absorb the content being shared.

In her video practice, VLM similarly choreographs symbols and sounds. Recurrent motifs in her short, dreamlike videos include visual images such as dripping honey, butterflies, moths, disembodied long, blond ponytails, and ASMR-like soundtracks of her recordings of Texas thunderstorms, wind chimes, and dripping water. In contrast to the shorthand legibility of the illustrations VLM uses as a graphic facilitator, her videos invoke multifaceted associations. She describes being drawn to butterflies, for example, because of their historical association with rebirth, but also because of their connection to the “butterfly effect”—the theory that small gestures in the natural world can generate big changes. Whether magnifying the eyespots of a butterfly, the eye of a storm, or a gooey cheese danish, her lexicon of circles and holes offers portals into other ways of being and seeing, potential sites of transformation and healing.

The works by VLM featured inside the Film and Video Gallery are part of the major exhibition Day Jobs, on view in our Butler Gallery from February 19, 2023 through July 23, 2023.

Organized by Veronica Roberts, Former Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, with Lynne Maphies, Former Curatorial Assistant, Blanton Museum of Art

ADDITIONAL READING: Read our blog post “The Butterfly Effect: Creative Connections in VLM’s Work” to learn more about the artist’s creative process. Written by Meg Burns, Curatorial Administrative Assistant, Blanton Museum of Art.

Members get free admission.

Watch this talk presented by Texas Talks Art featuring VLM in conversation with Veronica Roberts. This talk took place on 9/14/21.

Image Credit

VLM (Virginia L. Montgomery), Pony Cocoon (video still), 2019, Digital video with sound, 5:05 min, Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Purchase with funds from Beverly Dale, 2020.304 © VLM (Virginia L. Montgomery)

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