Dedicated to covering the visual arts community in Connecticut.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Opening Reception & Creative Cocktail Hour at Real Art Ways tonight

Real Art Ways
56 Arbor St., Hartford, (860) 232-1006
Ellen Shattuck
Apr. 17—May 11, 2008
Opening Reception & Creative Cocktail Hour: Thurs., Apr. 17, 6—10 p.m.

Press release

Real Art Ways opens an exhibition of prints by Ellen Shattuck Thurs., Apr. 17, 2008, during the monthly Creative Cocktail Hour, from 6—10 p.m. Admission is $10 for the general public, $5 for Real Art Ways members. Gallery hours are Tuesdays through Thursdays, and Sundays, from 2—10 p.m; and Fridays and Saturdays from 2—11 p.m. The gallery is closed on Mondays. Ellen Shattuck's exhibit runs through May 11, 2008.

The phrase "domestic arts" takes on new meaning in the work of Ellen Shattuck. While that phrase conjures up a vision of tranquil perfection, Shattuck's work exposes a truth more familiar to many mothers: homemaking is code for "organized chaos." In the midst of chaos, emotions run high.

While her two young sons nap, Shattuck retreats to her kitchen to create prints full of spite, self-pity and selfishness—the flip-side emotions of motherhood. For example, in some prints, she represents her personal struggle with homemaking in the form of human figures, overwhelmed and vengeful as they work, who battle human-sized kitchen utensils.

Shattuck explores quieter emotions—concern, frustration and even monotony—in her wallpaper. Basing this work on the repetitive style of 18th Century toile textiles, she explores the never-ending and minutiae-focused aspects of her daily childcare routine.

"In my wallpaper," Shattuck says, "the pleasant garden scenes [shown in 18th century wallpapers] have been replaced with work: laundry, nursing, expressing breast milk, dishes, feeding, and cooking."

Shattuck grew up in Rutland, Vermont. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a B.A. in Art and Women's Studies and received an MFA from York University in Toronto. Her work has been exhibited in Ontario, Vermont, Massachusetts, Arkansas, Wisconsin and New York. She lives with her husband and two boys in Boston.

Ellen Shattuck is one of six artists selected from 236 who submitted work to Real Art Ways' 2007 open call for emerging artists living in New York and New England. Each of the six artists receives a solo exhibition, a print publication documenting their work, and participates in an artist's talk.

Ellen Shattuck's artist talk will be at Real Art Ways on May 1, at 6:00 p.m. This is a free event, and is open to the public.


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