Dedicated to covering the visual arts community in Connecticut.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Hygienic Art Exhibition XXVIII this weekend in New London

Hygienic Art Gallery
83 Bank St., P.O. Box 417, New London, (860) 443-8001
Hygienic Art Exhibition and Festival XXVIII
Jan. 26—Feb. 10, 2007

It's the art party of the winter, if not the year. And this blogger is going to miss it because I'm going to Washington, D.C. to demonstrate against Bush's illegal, immoral war. At any rate, I'm talking about the annual Hygienic Arts Festival, which kicks off this weekend. Actually, most of the events—the gallery openings, the music, cabaret, Young Artists XVI exhibit and film screenings—are this weekend. Hygienic Poets: Voices in the Night will take place in the Hygienic Gallery the following Saturday, Feb. 3, from 7—11 p.m.

The centerpiece is the Salon des Independants art free-for-all at the Hygienic Gallery, which opens Sat. night, Jan. 27, at 8 p.m. The motto of this event is "No Judge, No Jury, No Fees & No Censorship." What that means in practice is a lot of outrageous art. All artists are welcome but there is a limit of one piece per artist. The sign-in and hanging begins at 9 a.m. Sat. morning and continues until 6 p.m. Expect almost any form of media imaginable, lots of scathing political commentary and a hearty dose of ribald—bordering on obscene—sexual imagery.

Also opening on Sat. will be the Hygienic Resident Artists Exhibition at the Golden Street Gallery at 94 Golden Street. That will take place from 6—11 p.m. In the afternoon, the Kente Cultural center (219 Bank St.) will host an opening for the Winter Art Show, featuring artwork by New London High School students, from noon—4 p.m. Young artists, aged 14 and under, will have their own show. Young Artists XVI can be viewed at the Garde Art Center Gallery (305 State St.) from noon—4 p.m.

The same night, artsy revelers can take in a Rock Fix at the legendary El n Gee Club on Golden Street. From 7 p.m.—2 a.m. some of the cream of the New London region's great crop of rockers The Paul Brockett Roadshow, The Liz Larsons, Low Beam, Can Kickers, Fatal Film) will churn out a clangarama din of thumping beats, guitar chords ands caterwauling. Or, head over to 16 Bank St. for the Cabaret, hosted by Joey Royale, offering a mix of music, magic and theater.

And don't forget Fri. night or Sun. afternoon! Friday evening kicks off with The Hootenanny from 6—10 p.m. at the Muddy Waters Café (42 Bank St.). This show of local acoustic folk musicians will present The Crew, Paul Brockett (he gets around), Dogbite, the Can Kickers (ditto), Liz Larson & Friends (double ditto—I'm starting to sound like Rush Limbaugh here, sans the oxycontin and fascist politics) and more performers to be announced. When The Hootenanny shuts down The Pre-Fix will gear up just down the street at Oasis (16 Bank St.). Psych-folk legend Gary Higgins headlines. Higgins' little-known early 1970's album Red Hash was reissued on CD a year and a half ago to widespread acclaim. Opening will be Roadside Attractions and Dan & Liz. The Pre-Fix show will run 10 p.m.—2 a.m.

On Sun. afternoon, make the scene at Screening Room 14, "New London's indie film event of the year," according to the Hygienic Rag. Like the Salon des Independants, the entry rules aren't rules at all: "no judge, no jury, no fees, no censorship." Work of national and local filmmakers is shown, shorts as well as features.

Lovers of free expression and rampant creativity, this is a festival for you. If I didn't feel compelled to try and stop Bush from killing even more people, I'd be there with bells on. Peace!


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