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Prindle Wissler’s artwork on display in Brandon

BRANDON — The Compass Music and Arts Center offers a great opportunity to see a selection of work by one of the area’s most beloved artists. Prindle Wissler was a lifelong artist and teacher who studied art at Skidmore College and Columbia University but was a lifetime learner, making discoveries and messes, as she would say, right up to the time of her death in 2011 at the age of 99. 
Wissler taught in New Hampshire after college but settled in Middlebury when she married her husband, Ben, who taught physics at Middlebury College while she taught art at the Mary Hogan Elementary School.
Regardless of being classified as legally blind in her later years, Wissler continued to create work, simply adapting her technique by working very close to her paper, making abstract drawings. That spirit, sense of fearlessness toward experimentation and love for what she did, says a lot about the woman and a lot about the body of work she created. The collection of work she left behind reflects a lifetime of learning and experimenting, resulting in pieces that show a great range of artistic styles, mediums and influences.
The title of the exhibit, “The Inhabited World of Prindle Wissler,” speaks to this variety seen in her work, but also to her incredible sense of humor and fun. Wissler chose not to create realistic representations in her art and she didn’t teach that either. She taught and lived the notion of using one’s imagination. 
The pieces on display were selected by her son, Richard Wissler, an artist in his own right, to show the breadth of her work over the course of roughly nine decades of artistic endeavors.
Richard says he hopes that the exhibit will continue to evidence Prindle’s distinctiveness as an artist and give prominence to her position as a key artist in Vermont. Ask those she influenced the most, her students, and they will be the first to say she is not someone who should be forgotten.
The exhibit of over 20 pieces continues through October. All works are for sale.
Compass Music and Arts Center is open seven days a week from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and is located at 333 Jones Drive in Brandon. Visit www.cmacvt.org or call 802-247-4295 for more information. 

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