Dedicated to covering the visual arts community in Connecticut.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Two-painter show opening Saturday night at the Hygienic

Hygienic Art
83 Bank St., P.O. Box 417, New London, (860) 443-8001
Will Holub + Nathan Lewis
May 30—June 27, 2009
Opening reception: Sat., May 30, 7—10 p.m.

Press release

Both gravity and wit are at play in the storytelling paintings of Nathan Lewis coupled with a beautiful selection of "pairings" by visual artist Will Holub. There will be an opening for this two-person show this Saturday from 7-10 p.m.

Visual Artist Will Holub's exhibition at the Hygienic Galleries pairs his figurative oil paintings with textural abstractions made while living in New York City (1975 to 1991) and Santa Fe (1992 to 2006). These pairings invite the viewer to go beyond the assumed differences between varied approaches to art making to discover shared and unifying characteristics, a process that in itself mirrors Holub's on-going artistic explorations.

The paintings of Nathan Lewis weave historical reference, pop culture, religion, and politics into complex narratives that speak to the present. Both gravity and wit are at play in this storytelling. Text and image are employed in the work which ranges from intense naturalism to painting inspired by collage and vintage poster design. These works beg for interpretation. Lewis is an alum from Lyme Academy and School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Currently he is an Assistant Professor of Art at Sacred Heart University.

Starting in early childhood, Will Holub began sketching and painting the people and things around him. After many years of private art instruction, the study of Old Master painting techniques in college and post-graduate coursework in Illustration at the School of Visual Arts, he moved to New York City in 1975. Holub lived and painted there for 17 years, varying his approaches to art-making to include abstract and non-objective work and eventually becoming an active participant in the East Village art scene of the 1980s. Once established in Santa Fe, NM, where he relocated in the 1990s, his paintings were frequently exhibited in its galleries, museums and colleges.

In 2008, Holub returned to New England and settled in southeastern Connecticut. He is a member of the Hygienic Art Galleries and the Cambridge Art Association, where he most recently received a Best In Show Award from Jen Mergel, Curator of the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston.

Labels: , , ,

Opening Saturday for real Art Ways public art commissions

Real Art Ways
56 Arbor St., Hartford, (860) 232-1006
Four Public Art Projects in the Parkville and Frog Hollow Neighborhoods
May 30—Fall, 2009.
Opening Sat., May 30, 2—5 p.m., free bus tours 3—5 p.m.

Press release

Real Art Ways will present four public art projects in Hartford's Frog Hollow & Parkville neighborhoods, by artists Margarida Correia, Satch Hoyt, Sofia Maldonado, and Matthew Rodriguez. Projects will open Saturday, May 30, 2009 and will extend through the fall. Activities associated with the projects include artist talks, audio guides, bike tours, and a neighborhood map. For more information, call 860.232.1006 or visit The four public art projects, each created specifically for Hartford, will make use of the existing culture, creativity, and vibrancy of the Parkville and Frog Hollow neighborhoods.

From 3—5 p.m. on Saturday there will be free bus tours of the four projects leaving every 10 minutes from Real Art Ways. At 3 and 4 p.m. there will be free bike tours leaving from Real Art Ways. In addition, on or after May 30, one can have a self-guided cell phone audio tour by dialing (860) 760-9979.

• Photographer Margarida Correia has been working with members of Hartford's Portuguese community. Two Parkville billboards will display photographs of Hartford youth embracing their Portuguese heritage, and of the Praia da Nazaré, Portugal's famous beach. Street lamp banners on Park Street will display album covers of famous Fado singers. There will be an accompanying audio component. Artist Talk: TBA

Correia was born in Lisbon, Portugal. Margarida's work explores the relationships that people from her generation develop with things they collect and care for. She is interested in how inherited objects are interwoven with personal stories to develop our understanding of history, how they can go beyond their simple physical existence by linking the cultural values of successive generations.

• Satch Hoyt will create a labyrinth in Frog Hollow's Pope Park. The labyrinth, constructed from clotheslines, will address the migratory voyage of the residents who reside in the neighborhood. Upon completion, the public will be invited to traverse the labyrinth's path. Artist Talk: Thurs., May 28 6 p.m., with Matthew Rodriguez.

Hoyt, born in London to a white British mother and a father of African-Jamaican ancestry, is currently living and working in Berlin, Germany. The sculptural trope in Hoyt's work addresses the facts on the ground, so to speak, of black experience, while his drawings tap into a spirit of fantasy, refuge, and transcendence. Hoyt is also an accomplished professional musician and composer. His visual art often draws from his musical background.

Sofia Maldonado's mural, on the Pelican Tattoo building in Frog Hollow, will blend elements of female aesthetics and street cultures. Maldonado will also collaborate with young people in Parkville and Frog Hollow neighborhoods resulting in the creation of uniquely designed murals and events that celebrate youth culture. Artist Talk: Thursday, August 27, 6 p.m.

Maldonado was born in Puerto Rico. During her undergraduate studies she painted numerous murals, with or without permission, in abandoned buildings, barrios and indoor spaces as a way to bring beauty to each site. Sofia's artwork is a blend of fashion trends, the Latina female aesthetic and various street culture elements, such as skateboarding, graffiti, public art, reggaeton and punk music.

Matthew Rodriguez will install a series collages and murals that use found materials, staged photographs, and paintings, including 70 characters on trees in Pope Park and one on the side of a local Parkville bakery. The results will be playful "characters" residing in the neighborhood's neglected spaces. Artist Talk: Thursday, May 28, 6 p.m., with Satch Hoyt.

Rodriguez was born in Houston, Texas. His childlike creations encapsulate urban anxieties while ridiculing them by standing out in stark contrast to their decaying surroundings. He draws out and celebrates the character of these overlooked spaces, asking the viewers to recognize the potential in the world around them.

Kristina Newman-Scott, Real Art Ways' Director of Visual Arts, explains the artist selection process: "The world of contemporary art can sometimes be very insular, its audience limited to those who seek it out in galleries. The artists we selected for this program have a particular interest in working in the public realm, and their works simultaneously connect people to the art and to each other. Therein lies the magic."

Will K. Wilkins, executive director of Real Art Ways, says, "Frog Hollow and Parkville are two urban neighborhoods with a lot to offer. Real Art Ways is sponsoring this new art, but we are also trying to make people aware of what is already in the neighborhoods."

Labels: , , , , , ,

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Photography opening at Guilford Art Center this Friday

Guilford Art Center
411 Church St., Guilford, (203) 453-5947
Built: Architects Taking Pictures
Through May 29—July 24, 2009
Opening reception: Fri., May 29, 5—7 p.m.

Press release

Guilford Art Center will present the exhibition Built: Architects Taking Pictures, May 29 through July 24 in the Center's Mill Gallery.

This group exhibition presents photographs by architects, selected by guest curator Roberto Espejo, who teaches photography at the Yale School of Architecture. These photos do not necessarily take architecture as their subject, explains Espejo; rather, they demonstrate the range of ways architects perceive their surroundings through the camera's lens, and present their images as art. Built will include works by nearly 50 architects, many of whom work locally, as well as many from around the world who are living and practicing in the Connecticut shoreline area. "We are from everywhere but practicing here," says Espejo.

The opening reception for Built will take place Friday, May 29, 5—7 p.m.; it is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday noon to 4 p.m.

A closing reception on Fri., July 24, 5—7 p.m. will feature a Cuban lechon asado (pig roast) and salsa music. Cost is $25/per person at the door, with proceeds benefiting Guilford Art Center.

Creative Arts Workshop Biennial Faculty Show opens Friday evening

Creative Arts Workshop Hilles Gallery
80 Audubon St., New Haven, (203) 562-4927
Faculty Show
May 29—June 26, 2009
Opening reception: Fri., May 29, 5—7 p.m.

Press release

Creative Arts Workshop (CAW) presents new work of its faculty in the biennial CAW Faculty Show from May 29 to June 26, 2009. The exhibition features the over fifty professional artists that make up the CAW faculty with a diverse selection of work including oil, acrylic, watercolor, collage, metals, fiber, photography, pottery, printmaking, sculpture and more with styles ranging from representational to abstract (image of painting by Eileen Eder). An opening reception will be held on Friday, May 29 from 5—7 pm.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Saturday opening at New Haven Public Library

New Haven Free Public Library Art Gallery
133 Elm St., New Haven
Centuries of Inspiration: Memorial Exhibition of paintings by Jules L. Szemanczky
Through June 17, 2009.
Artist's reception: Sat., May 23, 2:30—4:30 p.m.

Press release

Jules L. Szemanczky taught Art in the New Haven School system for 33 years, teaching courses in painting, art history, graphic lettering, ceramics, wood-work design and carving, and metal engraving at both James Hillhouse and Wilbur Cross High Schools in New Haven, CT. Jules Szemanczky passed away on May 16, 2008.

Szemanczky was born in New Haven in 1926 and later recalled, "My memories of early life were dominated by the "Era of the Great Depression." Enlisting in 1943, he served as a Technical Sergeant in the Army Corps of Engineers. In 1950, he graduated from New Haven Teachers College (presently Southern Connecticut State University) and taught Art until his retirement in 1983.

Mr. Szemanczky's students have swept both civic and state art competitions for decades, and many have gone on to successful careers in the arts, inflamed by his passion for beauty and form, and inspired by his gift for liberating the bounteous muse.

After his retirement from teaching, he continued creating his own collection of oil and acrylic paintings. His study and deep admiration of the vision and invincibility of the great Renaissance-Mannerist and Baroque European traditions led to a decade in which he reproduced many Masters' works: Tiepolo and Son, Caravaggio, Correggio, Bierstadt, and others. "Each work took 3 or 4 months to paint, and employed various technical styles of painting that I discovered in books revealing these Masters' individual techniques and preferences." These artwork reproductions still pour out his love in many homes and institutions. Stepping into his living room is like walking into a room at the Uffizzi Gallery in Florence, Italy.

Mr. Szemanczky was a vibrant leader and caring man, absorbed by social issues and ancient philosophical forces and transformations. In philosophy, his models were the Greek Stoics, who lived life truthfully and rightly, with great patience for those who didn't.

The various experimental styles in his earlier paintings relate to themes and subjects he discovered in literature and art books, and influenced his themes in painting.

"In earlier works, casein paints applied with brushes dominated my style for a time," he wrote, "then my style gradually made the quantum leap to my oil paintings of the 1970s which reflect both the traditional style of glaze painting and a mixture of Direct (Alia Prima) methods. These are good examples of oil paintings that prepared me for the much larger and more difficult works to come after my retirement."

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Greater Hartford Arts Council sponsoring marketing workshop for arts administrators June 3

Greater Hartford Arts Council
45 Pratt St., Hartford, (860) 525-8629
Building Your Lighthouse: Marketing Planning for Difficult Times
Wed., June 3, 9 a.m.—4 p.m., $25.

Press release

The Greater Hartford Arts Council and The Lincoln Financial Group are hosting a full-day workshop for only $25, focused on marketing planning in a tough economy. The workshop is designed for marketing coordinators and directors at regional arts organizations.

Building Your Lighthouse: Marketing Planning for Difficult Times

Wed., June 3, 9 a.m.—4 p.m.
Mark Twain House Museum, Hartford

Presented by: Susan Koblin Schear, Americans for the Arts, National Arts Marketing Project

• This seminar will provide the tools to craft an effective and efficient marketing plan. From the step-by-step planning process, to the use of market research techniques, to creating a powerful brand identity, participants will leave this seminar with a deeper understanding of how to connect the artists they represent with larger audiences that appreciate the art. The presenter will utilize interactive exercises, case studies from the arts world, and the National Arts Marketing Project's latest consumer research to illustrate the impact better marketing can have on artists and arts organizations.

• $25 to attend, lunch provided.
• Click here to register:.

This workshop was developed for the Arts & Business Council of Americans for the Arts' National Arts Marketing Project under the sponsorship of American Express.


Registration open for City-Wide Open Studios; register by June 1 for ALL the artist benefits

50 Orange St, New Haven, (203) 772-2709
City-Wide Open Studios registration

Press release

Registration has opened for the 12th annual City-Wide Open Studios sponsored by Artspace. Information on registration and CWOS is available at the City-Wide Open Studios Web site. All artists who register by June 1 will:

• Be exhibited in one of two unjuried Member's Exhibitions this summer: June 25—July 25 or July 30—Aug. 29.

• Be considered for the juried exhibition this fall by guest juror Dina Deitch of the DeCordova Museum. Sept. 17—Nov. 21.

All registered artists—even if you register after June 1st—will:

• Have their own editable online portfolio and profile;
• Can choose to attend networking events and programs;
• Be a part of the Open Studios weekend in October;
and much more!

Over the past eleven years, City-Wide Open Studios (CWOS) has drawn thousands of visitors to explore New Haven's neighborhoods while discovering artists, galleries, and the treasures of our city.

City-Wide Open Studios celebrates contemporary art in all its myriad forms, and is undoubtedly Connecticut's leading visual arts event. Art dealers and curators from the region and beyond have used CWOS as a resource to discover new artists, plan upcoming shows, and buy art. As one of the largest Open Studios programs in the country, CWOS connects hundreds of local artists with the Greater New Haven community.

The 2009 CWOS program provides opportunities throughout the year for artists and visitors to connect via open studios, exhibitions, programs and events, and our new dynamic website.

Labels: ,

Three solo shows opening at Real Art Ways on Thursday

Real Art Ways
56 Arbor St., Hartford, (860) 232-1006
Corey D'Augustine
Chris Taylor: Small craft Advisory
Beth Krebs: Wild Blue Yonder
May 21-Aug. 23, 2009.
Opening reception; Thurs., May 21, 6-8 p.m.

Press release

Real Art Ways presents three solo exhibitions by artists Corey D'Augustine, Chris Taylor, and Beth Krebs, opening on Thursday, May 21, 2009. The three exhibitions require intensive installations: Corey D'Augustine's sculptural pieces include half of a car, Chris Taylor is installing a glass blowing studio built into a seven-foot boat, and Beth Krebs is creating an artificial ceiling and sky. The opening reception is on Thurs., May 21, 6—8 p.m., during Creative Cocktail Hour. Admission to the opening is $10/$5 for Real Art Ways members. After May 21, admission to the gallery is free for members and cinema patrons, and is otherwise a $3 suggested donation. The three shows run through Sun., Aug. 23.

Corey D'Augustine

Artist Talk: Thurs., July 23, 6 p.m. (with Chris Taylor)
D'Augustine's show, which involves the installation of half of a car in the gallery, will feature large-scale sculptures of lights and car parts, and paintings that remain wet (the paint is mixed with ingredients from Revlon makeup products). The artist says, "by highlighting the extraordinary qualities of everyday materials and the commonplace properties of fine materials, for example, or by locating refined qualities in the most prosaic techniques, I try to use perceived difference against itself toward a blank aesthetics... Art can be awareness and can change our relationship to what surrounds us."

Chris Taylor: Small Craft Advisory

Artist Talk: Thurs., July 23, 6 p.m. (with D'Augustine)
Taylor will install a self-sufficient, traditional glass blowing studio built into a seven-foot boat. The glass blowing in that studio will be influenced by the motion of the boat, and the artist will document the process of re-learning a traditional craft skill in a new environment. Other projects by the artist include upside-down glass blowing and recreating a 16th century goblet from the collections room of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, which he then placed next to the original in the collection. His version was perfectl identical: the museum was forced to keep both because their staff could not identify the original.

Beth Krebs: Wild Blue Yonder

Artist Talk: Thursday, July 9, 6 p.m.
Krebs is creating a sky in the gallery ceiling, complete with clouds, birds, with an accompanying video element. Krebs, who describes her work as "extraordinary interruptions in ordinary spaces," asks viewers to "notice where they are, and, with humor, to imagine what else might be possible there." Previous installations have included a dropped ceiling in the woods, burping papier mâché standpipes on sidewalks, and a tiny vinyl boat sailing across a waterbed.

• Support
All three exhibitions are part of Real Art Ways' Step Up program, an open call for emerging artists in New England, New York, and New Jersey. Step Up is made possible with support from Real Art Ways Members, the National Endowment for the Arts, Sandy and Howard Fromson, and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Artspace openings tomorrow

50 Orange St, New Haven, (203) 772-2709
Upheaval: An installation by Laura Moriarty
Lovely, Dark and Deep: Photographs by Carolyn Monastra
Sculptural Installation by Steve Novick
Paintings by Zachary Keeting
Site-specific installation by Alison Owen
May 12—June 20, 2009
Opening reception: Thurs., May 14, 6—8 p.m., with artist talks at 6:30 p.m.

(Un)spoken continues in the main gallery at Artspace, Gallery 1. Five new exhibits are opening in the subsidiary galleries this Thursday.

There will be an opening reception tomorrow evening from 6—8 p.m., with artist talks beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Press release

Gallery 2 • Upheaval: An installation by Laura Moriarty

In her sculptural paintings, installations, and works on paper, Moriarty explores the relationship between art and science both aesthetically and in the creative process. Her sculptural paintings are a play on plate tectonics, where landmasses drift apart and crash together, piling one episode upon another in precarious ways.

Gallery 3 • Lovely, Dark and Deep: Photographs by Carolyn Monastra

As a landscape photographer, Monastra blends inspiration from fairy tales, myths, and the fragmentary space of dreams with her own experiences of the environment to discover and create mystery in the natural world. In contrast to the sweeping, pristine vistas of photographers such as Ansel Adams, Monastra prefers to capture the darker, enigmatic beauty of smaller, somewhat sinister worlds that exist off the beaten path.

Gallery 4 • Sculptural Installation by Steve Novick

Using a broad range of found objects and materials including rubber, plastic, cloth, wood, mirrors, paper, and paint, Novick's sculptures and installations playfully use and subvert the geometric shapes, strong colors, and "pure" abstraction of Modernism. Novick also explores humor, perception, conceptualism, and the relationship between nature and culture in his work.

Gallery 5 • Paintings by Zachary Keeting

Keeting's exuberant and prolific work in painting, drawing, and photography explores a broad range of aesthetic sensibilities, from abstraction to figuration, vivid color to shades of gray, and the organic to the geometric. Despite this formal range, all of Keeting's work intends to make his inner life tangible and to provide artifacts of time, risk, and improvisation.

Gallery 7 • Site-specific installation by Alison Owen

Owen's subtle work includes installations, paintings, drawings, and wallpaper that draw attention to peripheral spaces that are normally overlooked. For her installations, she uses simple materials such as thread, thumbtacks, and paper to slightly alter the space. For her wallpaper, Owen uses the dirt, dust, and lint she gathers while cleaning the installation site, fusing domestic labor with the installation process and creating a new environment with the almost invisible detritus of everyday life.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, May 11, 2009

Here's the Status Update

Haskins Laboratories
300 George St., 9th floor
New Haven, (203) 772-2788
Status Update
Through August 1, 2009.
Hours: Wednesday through Friday, 10am to 4pm.
Opening reception Thursday, May 14, 5-7pm

Curated by Debbie Hesse and Donna Ruff, Status Update explores how contemporary artists are using emerging social networking technologies. Artists include Kevin Van Aelst, Cat Balco, Sharon Butler,Heather Freeman, Greg Garvey, Matt Held, Keith Johnson, Katie Ring, Jeremiah Teipen, Lee Walton, Rachel Perry Welty and An Xiao. (For artist links, click here.)

This Thursday, May 14, from 5-6 pm, please stop by and take part in a panel discussion
curators Hesse, Ruff and I are hosting called "Big Love: Artists and Social Networking Technology." Panelists include Matt Held, Paddy Johnson, Sharon Kleinman (editor of Displacing Place: Mobile Communication in the Twenty-first Century), An Xiao, and others. See the press release below for details.

Press Release:
About the panelists:
Sharon Butler (that's me), who organized the panel discussion via a Facebook Event Invitation, is an associate professor in Eastern Connecticut State University’s Department of Visual Arts, and maintains the art blog Two Coats of Paint. According to Butler, online social networks such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter represent “undefined territory in the art community.” In April she wrote about the artworld's embrace of Facebook in The Brooklyn Rail.

Matt Held’s Facebook group, “I’ll have my Facebook portrait painted by Matt Held,” has more than 3,000 members, each of whom hopes to have his or her portrait painted as part of a collection of 200 works.

Paddy Johnson is a Brooklyn-based writer whose work has been published in numerous art journals in this country and abroad. Her blog, Art Fag City, has been linked to by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and New York Magazine, among others.

Sharon Kleinman, a professor of communications at Quinnipiac University, earned her B.A. degree in English and American literature from Brandeis University and her M.S. and Ph.D. in communication from Cornell University. She is the editor of Displacing Place: Mobile Communication in the Twenty-first Century (2007, Peter Lang Publishing).

An Xiao is a conceptual artist who uses online social networks as her medium. The Guardian’s (London) Ruth Jamieson recently included her in a “who’s who” of the Twitter art world alongside Yoko Ono, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Tate.

For people who can't physically make it to New Haven, An Xiao is setting up a Twitter hashtag #hlsu (haskins lab status update) so farflung friends can follow live tweets. For more information about "Big Love: Artists and Social Networking Technology," Status Update, and Haskins Laboratories, please call the Greater New Haven Arts Council at (203) 772-2788.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

I Do (review the Artspace shows)

50 Orange St, New Haven, (203) 772-2709
Through May 9, 2009. Gallery 1 show (un) spoken runs through June 6, 2009.

A fine and related set of shows wraps up this weekend at Artspace (the main gallery show continues through June 6). The galleries are filled with art by six artists comprising three wedded couples. The couples include locals Karen Dow and Christopher Mir as well as Linda Ganjian and Jesse Lambert of New York and Dan Steinhilber and Maggie Michael of Washington, D.C.

It's the practice of all six artists to work individually, and each artist has one of the auxiliary galleries to show their individual work. Gallery 1 is reserved for collaborations commissioned specifically for this show. Both Mir and Dow are painters. But the exhibited work of the two other couples splits between abstract painting (Michael and Lambert) and sculpture/installation
(Steinhilber and Ganjian).

In one of his installation works (all untitled), Steinhilber approximates an abstract painting in an ingenious way. Using a modified Weedwacker, he shredded multitudes of plastic shopping bags. Steinhilber fused the colorful shards onto a large white plastic backing with an iron. It's a striking work, painterly, rich with texture and depth (like a soft rolling landscape). It reminds me of an artist's well-used palette, accruing blobs of color, the scratchpad of creativity. There is strong balance to the work; my eyes kept searching throughout, investigating the disparate tidal pools of plastic color juxtaposition. This same impish fascination with the creative possibilities of everyday materials animates the other sculptural work in Steinhilber's gallery. He created a giant black balloon by tearing apart a couple of dozen garbage bags and ironing them together. They are inflated by a desk fan hanging from the ceiling. It looks like big, spiky black cloud of smoke rising from the floor to the ceiling.

Michael's two abstract paintings combine stenciled text with dripped, spray-painted and thinned oil paint. There is a restless urban energy. I write "urban" in part because Michael includes metallic paint in her palette, an urban signifier. Also, the combination of text—"To Heaven and Back" and "Nothing Says More" in the respectively named paintings—with layers of drippy, sprayed and fluid paint brings to mind urban walls covered with flyers and graffiti, worked on by weather, time and light. Of the two, I found "Nothing Says More" the more effective. It is less chaotic, although chaos is not necessarily a negative quality. More importantly, there is a striking balance between the strength of gestural paint application and the low key range of color. It screams but understatedly so.

Jesse Lambert also uses metallic colors in some of his paintings. But with his affinity for bold colors, patterns and hints of natural forms, his works don't suggest the urban environment don't me in the way Michael's do. There is almost a decorative quality to his canvases. Lambert exercises a lot of control over his compositions but not tightness. He takes a Pollockesque delight in spotting and flinging his latex, enamel and acrylic paints.

The brash physicality of his paintings stands in contrast to the precise, architectural sculptural compositions of his wife Linda Ganjian. Using cut, twisted and folded cardboard and paper, Ganjian offers ornate structures evocative of Middle Eastern design. "Avestan," a work on the floor of Gallery 4, is a miniature urban center. In the combination of geometric forms and delicate curlicues of lines, it seems at once both intensely modern and breathtakingly ancient. The sculptural details are enlivened by a considered use of color. The base and largest structures are rendered with cream, details are elaborated with black, a wood-like mustard and, most eyecatchingly, Ganjian includes a few well-placed instance of a rich purple.

I have written about Karen Dow and Christopher Mir before (Mir several times). Dow creates her abstract compositions in reference to photographic imagery. The five paintings in Gallery 5 are each named after a month. Her source material was still lifes in an old calendar. Although flowers, i.e. natural forms, were the starting point, Dow's technique leads her toward compositions that feel more architectural than organic. Colors are broken into planes, textures are suggested by more detailed geometric forms. In looking at "March," it was as though I was standing on the second floor inside a brightly lit Modernist home. There is depth and shapes suggestive of doors and windows. Dow paints without using rulers or straight line masks. I felt that the paintings might have been even stronger had the geometries been pushed harder, if the lines didn't have the hand drawn feel.

Mir's paintings blend myth, sci-fi, horticulture and hints of conspiracy and surveillance. These new works continue in that vein, suggesting fantastic narratives without the least chance of resolution.

Each couple used a different strategy for their collaborative work. Painters Dow and Mir created the painting "Untitled" together. Each had portions of the canvas real estate. Compositional unity comes from Mir's incorporation of spiderwebs and utility pylon structural imagery with Dow's geometric forms. Steinhilber and Michael took a different tack, fashioning a joint photographic installation, "Untitled (Compass Series)." The 66 photos—many shot in their hometown of Washington, D.C. including a number among the crowd at the Obama inauguration—range from abstract shots to street photography to architectural images and images of art. Many of the photos include images of the other partner, either as central focus or subsidiary detail. The photo installation speaks to a way of looking that informs individual, and in this case collaborative, artistic practice.

I was most taken with Ganjian and Lambert's floor sculptures. Inspired by children's toys, the imaginative forms combine Ganjian's architectural precision with Lambert's joy in lively color. Their fully realized aesthetic identity is a true synthesis of the couple's individual approaches.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Opening reception for historic May Day 1970 photos show in Westville

Jennifer Jane Gallery
838 Whalley Ave., New Haven, (203) 494-9905
May Day: 1970
Through May 31, 2009.
Opening Reception: Fri., May 8, 6—8 p.m.

Press release

There will be an opening reception this Friday evening for May Day: 1970, an exhibition of photos by Tom Strong and John T. Hill documenting the historic protest on the New Haven Green. The reception coincides with Opening Night of Westville's ArtWalk.

Tom Strong and John T. Hill were two of many photographers who documented this event. Their photographs exhibited at the Jennifer Jane Gallery give a glimpse of the time and place - showing many of the leading participants, the banners, and general atmosphere of the event.

For more information, see this previous post.

Labels: , , ,

Prison Arts Program Annual Show 2009 opens Saturday at Ely House

John Slade Ely House Center for Contemporary Art
51 Trumbull Street, New Haven, (203) 624-8055
Art from Connecticut's Prisons
Through May 31, 2009.
Opening Reception: Sat., May 9, 5—7 p.m.

Press release

The 31st Annual Show of artwork from Connecticut's prisons will open at the John Slade Ely House in New Haven on Sat., May 9, with a reception from 5—7 p.m.

The show features over 150 artists from 15 correctional facilities. A tradition within the Connecticut prison system, inmates work all year towards this amazing show.

The Prison Arts Program was initiated in 1978 by Community Partners in Action. The Program provides arts workshops in correctional facilities throughout Connecticut, as well as exhibition and publication opportunities to all inmates incarcerated in the State. The Program publishes an Annual Journal and assists in the publication of many public educational materials for use by the Department of Public Health, the State Department of Education and the State Department of Correction.

Community Partners in Action (CPA) is a nonprofit agency created in 1875.

Opening at Kehler Liddell Friday night during Westville ArtsWalk Opening Night

Kehler Liddell Gallery
873 Whalley Ave., New Haven, (203) 389-9555
Susan cLinard & Alexis Brown: Paper Wood Bone
Through May 31, 2009
Opening Reception: Fri., May 8, 6—9 p.m.

Press release

Paper Wood Bone is an exploration of nature's forms—animal and human, distorted and perfect, found and inspired. Susan Clinard and Alexis Brown share a mastery of their individual crafts and mediums and present a thrilling emotional tour of nature's truths. Here are the fine lines between human and animal behavior, art reflective of life which contains the ugly and the beautiful without interruption.

Susan Clinard's sculpture expresses a strong affinity with nature and a compassionate connection with humanity. Whether sculpting from life forms in resin and terra cotta or carving wood, she strives to reveal nature's truths - the duality of chaos against perfect symmetry. Her inspiration is often in life cycles.

"I am continually humbled by how people find inner strength; the breathe to continue living and loving even when conditions seem unbearable." Over the past decade, Clinard has moved from sculpting figures for the figure's sake to experimentation with a wider range of materials; primarily found natural objects. This integration has simplified her forms and figurative elements. The resulting sculpture is open to the intuitive and interpretive response of an audience, rather than the single narrative intention of the artist. The work draws on and layers nature's puzzles with personal and political themes of inherently deep emotion.

Alexis Brown draws and paints animals as objects. Much like a taxidermist she asks, "How can I recover the essence and vitality of an animal that is implied, what is absent in skeleton and present only in skin?" She favors careful proportions, gestural aspect, and the implied movement of open lines. Drawn, painted, etched and printed, the animals move from object to subject as attitude overlays draftsmanship. This deliberate anthropomorphic manipulation by Brown invites the viewer to look more carefully at what is human as well as animal.

There will be an artist reception on Fri., May 8, 6 - 9 p.m. during the Westville ArtWalk Opening Night. Join the artists, Kehler Liddell Gallery members and community in celebrating this exhibition. Gallery Admission and Reception are free.

There will be Artist Talks with Susan Clinard & Alexis Brown on Sun., May 17, at 2:30 p.m. Technique, process, personal vision—how it all comes together. Meet the artists and join the conversation!

Labels: , , , , , ,

Monday, May 04, 2009

Tuesday opening at Gallery 195 in New Haven

Gallery 195
195 Church St., 4th floor (NewAlliance Bank), New Haven, (203) 772-2788
Claudia Cron and Barbara Hocker
May 5—Aug. 7, 2009
Opening reception: Tues., May 5, 5—7 p.m.

Press release

The Arts Council of Greater New Haven presents an exhibition of works by Claudia Cron and Barbara Hocker at Gallery 195 at NewAlliance Bank, 195 Church St., 4th floor, New Haven. The exhibition will be on display during bank hours from May 5 through August 7, 2009. An artists' reception is scheduled for Tuesday, May 5, from 5 to 7 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

This exhibition showcases visual meditations on nature by Connecticut artists Claudia Cron and Barbara Hocker.

Claudia Cron's work has been exhibited in solo and group shows throughout Connecticut, and in Alabama, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington, D.C. An Essex, Conn. resident, Cron participated in the Arts Council's 2007 members show, Inclusion. Her work is represented in the Flatfile collection at Artspace in New Haven.

Barbara Hocker, a resident of Coventry, Conn., has exhibited her work extensively in solo and group shows in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. Last year, Hocker received a grant award through the Greater Hartford Arts Council's New Boston Fund Individual Artist Fellowship Program. In 2006, she participated in Artspace's City-Wide Open Studios.

Works by both Cron and Hocker were included in the Arts Council-curated 2008 Player's Lounge Invitational Exhibition at the Pilot Pen Tennis tournament in New Haven.

For further information about the exhibition and Gallery 195 at NewAlliance Bank, please call the Arts Council at 203-772-2788.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

CAW seeks CT artists for exhibition

Creative Arts Workshop Hilles Gallery
80 Audubon St., New Haven, (203) 562-4927
Call for entries for What's Art Got To Do With It?
Deadline: May 22, 2009

Press release

Creative Arts Workshop (CAW) is accepting entries for its third biennial show, Cultural Passages, this year entitled What's Art Got To Do With It?, which runs Sept. 13 to Oct. 9, 2009. CAW invites artists throughout Connecticut to submit art that relates to their personal, social, and cultural connections. A brief statement addressing these ideas will also be considered by the Selection Committee, comprised of local community leaders and artists. This reflective exhibition will communicate the many ways that we define our culture today.

CT artists may submit up to three digital images of work for consideration by May 22. The entry fee is $20. All media will be considered, from traditional to contemporary forms including fine art (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.), folk art (quilting, embroidery, jewelry, etc.), and new media (film/video, installation, etc.). Interested artists can obtain a prospectus with complete information on submitting work from, by visiting or sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Creative Arts Workshop, 80 Audubon Street, New Haven, CT 06510, or by calling (203) 562-4927.

Creative Arts Workshop is a non-profit community art center devoted to fostering creativity through participation in and appreciation of the visual arts, serving the Greater New Haven area and beyond since 1961. The Workshop is a premiere community resource center for the visual arts, offering a wide range of classes in fully equipped studios to more than 2,000 adults and 1,000 young people annually. Thousands of visitors enjoy national, regional, and local exhibitions in CAW's galleries. CAW is supported by its membership, tuition fees, donors, arts-related fundraising events, and a dedicated group of volunteers who give their talent and energy to the Workshop in every facet of its operation. Additional funding comes from the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism. CAW is located at 80 Audubon Street in downtown New Haven, with easy access off I-91/I-95. Parking is available in the parking garage adjacent to the Workshop.