Dedicated to covering the visual arts community in Connecticut.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Cheshire Art League call for entries: Postcard Art Show; Deadline—Dec. 31, 2008

The Picture Framer Artshack Gallery
96 Elm St., Cheshire, (203) 272-2500
Call for Entries: Postcard show
Entries deadline: Dec. 31, 2008.
Show: Jan., 2009

Press release

The Cheshire Art League calls for entries for a postcard art show to be held during the month of January, 2009. All work will be exhibited. No jury and no returns. Postcards become property of the Cheshire Art League and will be for sale, with the proceeds benefiting C.A.L.

Mail art was popularized in the '60s by Ray Johnson of the New York Correspondence School, and many contemporary artists use the art form to express themselves. It's easy to participate in a mail art show, and there is no jury and no fee to enter. Also there are no limitations placed on the materials and techniques an artist can use. He or she simply makes the postcard and mails the work.

Create the postcard on an existing 4"x6" post card or start from scratch on a blank 4" x 6" piece of card stock. A card of this size is the largest that can be mailed in the United States without having to add extra postage. The art does not have to be done on an "official" post card, just something of similar weight and size. Print your first and last name, street address, e-mail address, city, state, zip code somewhere on your entry.

Materials will vary, depending on the technique you choose. You may create the art with any technique, and all media are acceptable, including collage, markers, crayons, pen and ink, colored pencils, rubber stamps, tempera, acrylic, watercolor and printmaking. The only consideration is that the artwork cannot have a raised surface.

All work will be on display at the Picture Framer, 96 Elm Street, Cheshire, in January. A reception will be held on Tuesday, January 13, 6:30 to 8:30. This reception is free and open to the public.

Mail postcards to the Picture Framer, 96 Elm Street, Cheshire, CT 06410.
Postcards must be postmarked by Dec. 31, 2008. Questions and/or a copy of prospectus call Tom @ 860-628-9104 or Ann @ 203-272-2500 or e-mail cheshireartleag [AT]

The Cheshire Art League is a non profit organization dedicated to individual and community awareness of the Arts and how they reflect and affect our culture.

"Material Differences" opening Saturday at Amy Simon Fine Art in Westport

Amy Simon Fine Art
275 Post Road East, Playhouse Square, Westport, (203) 226-8232
Material Differences
Nov. 22, 2008—Jan. 3, 2009
Opening reception: Sat., Nov. 22, 5—7 p.m.

Press release

Amy Simon Fine Art, located at 275 Post Road East, Playhouse Square, Westport, is pleased to announce its latest exhibition Material Differences. The show features work by five artists who utilize nontraditional mediums in their work.

The artists in the show include: Meg Bloom, Barbara Harder, Nancy Lasar, Lauren Luloff and Robin Rapoport. These artists use a variety of unconventional materials, both from nature and manmade. Boundaries are broken and traditions are challenged.

Meg Bloom, primarily a sculptor, experiments with three-dimensional forms on two dimensional surfaces. She is concerned with space, color and texture in large and small scale work. Her imposing abstract forms, mounted on cardboard, are monumental reliefs that allude to organic forms in nature. They challenge the viewer to question what is being observed.

Barbara Harder is a process driven artist. She refers to her work as "excavations." Though she begins with pre-conceived notions of color and design, the process of making art transforms surfaces into surprising textures, shapes and tones. With the simplest of forms and materials, Harder creates extraordinary works of imposing stature. Surprises abound in her choices of medium, as well as the surfaces she works on.

Nancy Lasar's work incorporates abstraction and nature. Her calligraphic and gestural works are full of surprises. She paints, prints and even sews objects onto her open and fluid canvases.

Lauren Luloff, a young Brooklyn artist, creates explosive paintings on sheets which are cut, sewn and painted. They are awkward and emotional bursts of energy. Figurative forms are camouflaged by color, brushstrokes and patterns. Her works play an aesthetic game of hide and seek with the viewer.

Robin Rapoport incorporates wood, copper, rope, mesh and steel in her monumental works. As the founder of the Headless Whorse Dance Company, there is a natural flow of movement and rhythm in these unique and provocative pieces. In the tradition of Duchamp, they are both playful and complex. There is much beneath the surface of these works.

This is an exhibition for the curious minded. Preconceived notions of art mediums will be questioned. Visitors are invited to leave their traditions at the door and challenge themselves.

"Material Differences" is on view from Nov. 22—Jan. 3. There is an opening reception Saturday, Nov. 22, from 5 to 7 p.m.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Silvermine Craft USA opening Sunday

Silvermine Guild Art Center
1037 Silvermine Rd., New Canaan, (203) 966-9700
Craft USA '08
Nov. 16—Dec. 23, 2008
Opening reception: Sun., Nov. 16, 2—4 p.m.

Press release

Craft USA '08, the sixth national juried Craft Triennial competition at the Silvermine Guild Arts Center in New Canaan, Connecticut will be on exhibit from Nov. 16—Dec. 23. Celebrating craft as art, Craft USA is a juried triennial competition/exhibition showcasing original hand made works of art. The competition draws over 1000 entries and over 400 artists from coast to coast working in various mediums such as ceramics, fiber, glass, jewelry, metal, paper, wood, basketry and mixed media. This year's juror is Gretchen Keyworth, Director/Chief Curator, Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, MA.

Craft USA '08 Best in Show was presented to Judith Laffey from Mystic, Connecticut for her work titled "Desert Blooms" fiber, hand woven. Helen Otterson from West Palm Beach, Florida was awarded Second prize for her work in ceramic with "Balance." Third prize was awarded to Joyce Utting Schutter from Sandwich, Massachusetts for her work in mixed media titled, "Arcidae's Purse." The Jens Risom Award, Honorable Mention has been awarded to Mary Chuduk from Tempe, Arizona for "Anemone" enamel, sifted on copper and Anika Smulovitz of Boise, Idaho received the Gessewein Jewelry Award for "Body in Motion: Study 3" sterling silver, 18k gold and film transparency hand fabricated, and the Rio Grande Jewelry Award was presented to Michael B. Hays for "Tea Infuser with Stand" works in metal. All are welcome to the Opening Reception and Awards Ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 16 from 2—4 p.m. in the Silvermine Gallery.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Silvermine will be hosting an inspiring Symposium and Panel Discussion on Sunday, Nov. 30, from 3—4 p.m. The program will begin with a presentation of highlights from the Craft USA exhibition given by juror, Gretchen Keyworth, followed by a panel discussion which will include luminaries from the craft world Andrew Wagner, editor-in-chief of American Craft magazine, and Rhonda Brown and Tom Grotta, co-curators of browngrotta arts. The Symposium, "Blurring the Boundaries: Trends in Contemporary Craft," will survey and explore current trends in American Craft, how craft is defined and blends with fine art today. Audience participation and conversations with the panelists are encouraged. There is a $10 per person charge for the symposium. Tickets can be purchased by calling 203-966-9700, ext. 20.

Closing reception Sunday at Ely House in New Haven

John Slade Ely House Center for Contemporary Art
51 Trumbull Street, New Haven, (203) 624-8055
YUYANAPAQ: To Remember
Oct. 15—Nov. 16, 2008
Closing Reception: Sun., Nov. 16, 2—5 p.m.

Press release

A compelling look at political violence in Peru between 1980 and 2000, this selection of forty photographs from the exhibition organized by the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2003 sheds light on the human dimensions of a war-torn society. During this period, an estimated 70,000 people were killed or disappeared, and many more were raped, injured, or forced to abandon their homes. For more information and to view the exhibit photos, visit

There will be a closing reception On Sun., Nov. 16, from 2—5 p.m.

The exhibit is sponsored by the Council on Latin American and Iberian Studies, The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale, The John Slade Ely House, The Orville H. Schell Jr. Center for International Human Rights, and The Program on Order, Conflict and Violence.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Thursday night opening at Hulls One Whitney: CWOS Encore 2008

Hull's One Whitney
1 Whitney Ave., New Haven, (203) 907-0320
Open Studios Encore 2008
Nov. 13, 2008—Jan. 8, 2009
Opening reception: Thurs., Nov. 13, 5—8 p.m.

Press release

Thanks to you it has been an amazing first year at Hull's One Whitney Gallery. Due to your support, we are able to present our 2nd Annual Open Studios Encore. Four days and over 100 studio visits later, we are excited to bring you this year's selections from 23 of Connecticut's most promising artists.

The featured artists are: Anna Held Audette (Web), Riley Brewster, Susan Clinard (Web), Megan Craig, Geoffrey Detrani (Web), Steven DiGiovanni, (Web, see image on right), Silas Finch, Stephan Gunn, Brian Huff (Web), Daniel Huff, Jo Kremer, Ann Lindbeck, Evie Lindeman, Barbara Marks, Andrea Miller, Larry Morelli, Morel Morton (Web), Jason Noushin (Web), Liz Pagano (Web), Lyn Bell Rose, Kathryn Sodaitis, David Taylor, Jonathon Waters and Brian Wendler.

Please join us for the opening on Thurs., Nov. 13, from 5—8 p.m. Join us for refreshments and conversation with the artists.

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Art at Hull's at One Whitney

Hull's One Whitney
1 Whitney Ave.., New Haven, (203) 907-0320
Pilgrim's Progress

I just caught Pilgrim's Progress, a three-person show at Hull's at One Whitney, on its last day. The show featured works by painters John Keefer and Riley Brewster and pen-and-ink artist Jason Noushin.

I've written about John Keefer before. Most of the paintings he was showing at Hull's were based on news photographs and other images from the Iraq War. (This was material that was also engaging him back in 2006 when I visited his home studio during City-Wide Open Studios.) There were five untitled variations on a picture of uniformed men bearing a flag-draped coffin. Some of these were in black and white. A couple of these paintings were in color and painted as though replicating a photographic negative. In the classical style, Keefer works over a grid. He allows his paintings to remain "unfinished," though, the skeletal artifice there for all to see.

In a way, he is exploiting this terrible imagery. But it's not for the purpose of self-aggrandizement. By leaving the works looking unfinished, the viewer is forced to see them anew. On the one hand, the Abu Ghraib paintings are beautiful, painterly. But at the same time that the viewer can appreciate them on that level, one is also confronted with the cruelty of the situation: a man's twisted nude torso, shackled to a metal prison bed frame, his head humiliatingly covered by a pair of underwear.

Noushin's pen-and-ink portraits were drawn on antique paper (pre-1850, chosen for its higher concentration of cotton fibers). There were two diptychsd referencing historical instances of miscarriages of American justice—the executions of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti. "Docked in the Hague" depicts the Bosnian Serb war criminal Radovan Karadzic flanked by his jailers. Noushin's draftsmanship is sharp, modeling and shading with a spidery network of energetically scratched lines. The eyes of the individuals in his drawings peer directly out at the viewer (with the exception of Ethel Rosenberg, who diffidently looks off to one side). This gaze fixes the visual transaction in the present—Sacco and Vanzetti confront us from the past with a look of immediacy. The discoloration of the paper that Noushin uses also signifies the past as does its dated printing and text. (Charts of export information for the United States from 1825 undergirds "Docked in the Hague.")

Brewster's work was by far the most enigmatic in the show. As in the works of Keefer and Noushin, some of Brewster's works betray an underlying grid. This is noticeable in "Untitled #5." Barbara Hawes, Hull's Senior Design Consultant and curator of the space, refers to Brewster's work as "Zen-like." Using watercolor and ink, Brewster has stained the Indonesian bark paper he is using. The paper is warped, permeated with mottled earth tone color. Each also feature minimally applied heavy black marks suggestive of Asian writing. While most were colored—or discolored—with washed-out green or brown (complementing the discoloration of the paper used by Noushin), "Untitled #5" was bluish in hue. It glistened and sparkled as though there was glitter in the paint. What was striking about Brewster's works was that they speak of choice and chance at the same time.

Monday, November 03, 2008

En Masse opening at Small Space Gallery on Friday

Small Space Gallery
70 Audubon St., 2nd floor, New Haven, (203) 772-2788
En Masse
Nov. 7, 2008—Jan. 9, 2009
Opening reception: Fri., Nov. 7, 5—7 p.m.

Press release

The Arts Council of Greater New Haven presents En Masse at the Small Space Gallery at 70 Audubon Street, second floor. The exhibit takes place from November 7 to January 9 at the Arts Council's offices, with a reception on Friday, November 7, 5—7 p.m. The public is invited to attend. Regular gallery hours are Monday to Friday, 9 a.m.—5 p.m.

En Masse has its roots in bucking convention as a collective mass. Each regional artist in the show takes his or her genre (from book arts to digital prints), material, concept or technique to the next level of its associated tradition. Participating artists include: Ron Abbe of Meriden; Jeanne Criscola of North Haven; John Favret of Uncasville; Yosiell Lorenzo of New York City; Irene K. Miller of Woodbridge; and Elise Wiener and Deborah Zervas of New Haven. The exhibition is curated by Suzan Shutan.

The Arts Council is a regional non-profit membership arts organization dedicated to enhancing, developing and promoting opportunities for artists, arts organizations and audiences throughout the Greater New Haven area. The Arts Council strives to build a vibrant artistic and cultural community that is representative of all disciplines, fiscally strong, supportive of all artists and organizations, rich in ethnic and socioeconomic diversity and accessible to all audiences.

For further information about this exhibition, please call the Arts Council at 203-772-2788.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Call for entries: Small Works at Picture Framer in Cheshire

The Picture Framer Artshack Gallery
96 Elm St., Cheshire, (203) 272-2500
Call for Entries: 4th Annual Small Works show
Submit enties: Nov. 18—29, 2008.
Show: Dec. 1—31, 2008
Opening reception: Fri., Dec. 5, 6—8 p.m.

Press release

The Picture Framer, 96 Elm Street, Cheshire, will once again be accepting entries for the 4th annual Small Works show and sale, December 2008.

The Picture Framer's annual Small Works Exhibit accepts artwork in any medium that measures no larger than 5"x7" or 12 united inches (h+w=12) not including mat and frame. All work must be wired to hang. Wires or sawtooth hangers only. No easel backs! Prints of original work are acceptable but no duplicates.

Each artist may enter up to 5 pieces. There is an entry fee of $2 per piece. Entries must be received between November 18 and November 29. Please note that the Picture Framer is closed on Sundays and Mondays. Artwork will hang throughout the month of December and unsold work must be picked up the first week of January.

An open house reception is planned for Fri., Dec. 5, 6—8 p.m. This reception is free and open to the public and will coincide with the "First Friday" holiday happenings in the Watch Factory Shoppe area of Cheshire.

Questions? Call Ann at (203) 272-2500, email artshack (AT) or stop in at The Picture Framer. 96 Elm Street, Cheshire.