Janet Van Fleet is a self-taught artist who lives and works in Vermont, where she produces two distinct bodies of work. Her freestanding figurative works, known as Curious Lifeforms, are assembled with wood, wire, and found objects. She also creates wall-hung works called Circular Statements using buttons and other disks in wire grids that have been described as “the architecture of spacetime.”
Van Fleet grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, studied briefly at the Art Institute of Chicago, then went on to earn a B.A. in Psychology and an M.A. in Education. She is a founder of Studio Place Arts (SPA), a three-story community center for the visual arts in Barre, Vermont, where her studio is located. She has been a reviewer for Art New England, and is co-publisher of Vermont Art Zine, an online state-wide journal devoted to the visual arts in Vermont. The Vermont Council on the Arts awarded her grants in 1996 and 2005 for the creation of three large installations, and she was chosen in 2008 to create the central gateway exhibit in the Environmental Exhibit Collaborative’s “Smart Art: Exploring Science and Art”, which is touring to museums in Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, and Quebec.
During January of 2010 she traveled to Nagoya, Japan to create a 36-foot long wall installation in her Circular Statements body of work in recognition of 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity. Later, in September of that year, she co-curated an exhibit called “On the Planet” in three Vermont venues that combined the work of Japanese and American artists.