Jon Roberts has been a Generator member for over 3 years now, and is a multimedia artist using the laser cutter, plasma cutter, and woodshop for some interesting applications in sculpture. We first talked to Jon about his art installation for the total eclipse event in Lake Champlain this April.

We’re excited to bring you his full Generator story in his own words.

I found my way to Generator when I was looking for space to make art and a community to fend off the isolation that one can feel as an artist. But I had no idea the ways my 2D artwork would be transformed into large public sculptures over the next few years at Generator.

When I first came to Generator I was mostly making paintings and works on paper. The woodshop allowed me to make panels for paintings and the laser cutter offered interesting possibilities for cut paper works. As I watched people bring ambitious dreams into reality it helped me to think bigger.

As the 2024 eclipse was approaching this past year, I had an idea for a sculpture that was unlike anything I had previously done. I used the laser cutter and woodshop at Generator to fabricate a temporary 10 ft. x 40 ft. installation of floating faces. The sculpture was placed offshore in Lake Champlain and glowed during the eclipse and at night with phosphorescence.

My eclipse installation has received positive attention and helped inspire new works. I was recently accepted as the Generator Artist-In-Residence for the fall and I plan on using the CNC driven plasma cutter to cut large scale sculptures out of sheet steel, and the computer lab to help design my sculptures. It’s not just the tools that help enable projects like this, it’s the community and the other members.

I often describe Generator as feeling like an MFA program at a major university for a tiny fraction of the cost. Being a studio member and the work I make here has also helped me to secure a competitive residency at The Vermont Studio Center, and I am currently writing a proposal for the BCA Community Art Fund for a large public art project in Burlington. I am very grateful to what Generator has done for me, and what it does for creative culture and business in Vermont.

Jon Roberts

Thank you so much for sharing Jon!

As a nonprofit Generator relies on community support to continue to offer our impactful programs and resources to artists like Jon. Will you give today to support Generator?

We currently have a fundraising goal to raise $20,000 in community donations to unlock an additional $20,000 match from our generous sponsors – which means if you give today your gift will have twice the impact!

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