Dedicated to covering the visual arts community in Connecticut.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sunday afternoon openings at Silvermine

Silvermine Guild Arts Center
1037 Silvermine Rd., New Canaan, (203) 966-9700
Spring Exhibits at Silvermine
Feb. 28—Apr. 9, 2010
Opening Reception: Sun., Feb. 28, 2—4 p.m.

Press release

Winter brings exciting exhibits to the Silvermine Guild Arts Center, located in New Canaan, CT. Opening on Feb. 28 and running through Apr.9, are four new exhibits from a juried Guild group show to a visual dialogue between two artists and two solo exhibits. All are welcome to the opening reception on Sun., Feb. 28, from 2—4 p.m. in the Silvermine Galleries.

An exhibition that witnesses ongoing visual dialogue between artists Susan Newbold and Alex Rheault is what viewers will experience in Natural Overlaps. For almost two years, these artists have explored drawing and printmaking techniques in both collaborative and solitary practices. Both practices have resulted in a body of work that is unique unto itself as it reflects both artists' sensibilities. Newbold and Rheault studied and responded to several of the same photographs taken individually. The common denominator: originating in Maine's natural landscape. Sometimes, the artists would draw from observation together and rework those initial drawings into one large scale response. Other times, they would draw the same subject, swap drawings or prints, and work on each other's work. Newbold and Rheault's work provides windows into moments of making, reflecting, and processing the natural and the sensory, the imagined and the perceived. They made discoveries about subjectivity, control, boundaries, and flexibility. This work bolstered their friendship and expanded their insights about the value of their work and collaboration.

The juried Guild Group show, Inside/Out, explores the many ways in which the concept of inside or out can be interpreted. It could be literally indoor or outdoor landscapes, or it could refer to inner thoughts, emotions, and dreams, versus the actual world as represented by objects and events. Artists were encouraged to stretch their imaginations and create work that visually expresses their notion of what "inside" or "outside" implies. Works in all medium were submitted to the show.

The focus of Softening the Edge: 1964-2009, an exhibition by Alberta Cifolelli (Web), is to look back at over 40 of the artist's works from the 60's through the 90's. By pairing recent work with key examples of her past work, the exhibition will create a forum for discussing key elements and reoccurring themes. Specifically, these pairings will focus on her use of color, line and form and how these elements have evolved, and will also serve as a springboard for discussing the connections between her more representational contemporary work and her older more abstract work.

A set of prints that began as meaningless drawings, miniscule in size, acquired a second existence in The Doodle Series, a new exhibit of works by Washington, D.C. artist, and Silvermine Guild Artist member, Natasha Karpinskaia. Each drawing was enlarged, giving the artist a sense of importance and beauty not seen in their original incarnation. By placing these drawings in a particular environment, they turned out to be a sort of landscape, with a definite horizon line but unidentifiable in terms of direct location. The doodle drawings were etched through a paper lithography process and incorporated into what the artist calls "surrealist landscape." According to Karpinskaia, "Humor is an essential element in my work. I like to laugh at myself and at the ridiculousness of human nature, and I like the viewer to share this experience with me and have a good time. Sometimes a serious concept can be turned into a laughing matter. However, the sense of aesthetics is also important; I try conveying a certain sense of beauty and elegance through my work."

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Department Show opens at CAW on Sunday

Creative Arts Workshop Hilles Gallery 80 Audubon St., New Haven, (203) 562-4927
Department Show I
Feb. 24—Mar. 17, 2010
Opening reception: Sun., Feb. 28, 2—5 p.m.

Press release

Creative Arts Workshop (CAW), New Haven's community art school, presents its first ever series of Department Shows, featuring new work by CAW faculty and students displayed side by side. The first show, featuring Book Arts, Drawing and Painting, Jewelry, Pottery and Printmaking, runs Feb. 24 to Mar. 17 with an opening reception and Annual Open House on Sun., Feb. 28, from 2—5 pm. The second show, featuring Design, Drawing and Painting, Fiber, Photography and Sculpture, runs Mar. 26 to Apr. 16 with an opening reception on Fri., Mar. 26, from 5—7 pm. Work from the Young People's department is on view throughout both shows.

By representing the work of the professional artists who teach at CAW as well as that of students of all ages and experience levels, the Department Shows present a complete picture of the creativity that takes place at Creative Arts Workshop. All aspects of creating art are evident—from the exploration of materials by young people to the skillful application of technique by those who have practiced for years. The Department Shows also serve as inspiration for visitors to explore their own creative sides through art making at the Workshop.

CAW offers over 300 classes and workshops each year; areas of study include book arts, design, drawing, fiber, jewelry, painting, photography, pottery, printmaking, sculpture, and a young people's program. During the opening reception of the first Department Show on Sun., Feb. 28, from 2—5 pm, Creative Arts Workshop also hosts its Annual Open House. Visitors are invited to tour CAW's studio facilities, to take part in hands on demonstrations, to meet the faculty and even to register for Spring Session, which runs from Mar. 15 to June 5.

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 since 1961. Each year, CAW offers a wide range of classes in fully equipped studios to more than 2,000 adults and 1,000 young people, and more than 30,000 people visit exhibitions in CAW's galleries. CAW is supported by its membership, tuition, donors, arts-related fundraising events and a dedicated group of volunteers. Additional funding comes from the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Opening Thursday at Atticus Bookstore & Cafe

Atticus Café
1082 Chapel St., New Haven, (203) 776-4040
Leticia Galizzi: Unplanned Cities
Through Apr. 4, 2010
Opening Reception: Thurs., Feb. 25, 6:30 p.m.

Press release

Leticia Galizzi was born and raised in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. She has lived in the United States for four years and exhibited her work in several venues in Belo Horizonte and New Haven.

Artist Statement:

I have always been fascinated by unplanned cities, generally the product of the uncoordinated work of thousands of people across generations, a process of relatively slow accumulation of layers. In these spaces, people build houses and streets that just happen wherever there is an empty space. The result of this collective effort is a cluster of organic shapes, shapes that are commonly identified with the natural world, commonly imagined as the contrary of the world of culture, the world created by human beings and the formal grids they create.

From afar, these parts of the city always looked tranquil to me: the multitude of colors and tortuous lines blends into one general tone and shape. The closer you get to them, the more complex they become, a breathtaking complexity that verges on but always stops short of chaos. The buildings dissolve and you see an incredible variety of lines and angles, shapes and volumes, colors and textures.

This exhibit is the result of my sustained interest in these cityscapes. It is also the result of a painter's exploration of printing and woodcarving. Finally, as it happens with all my work, it is a sincere attempt to establish a dialogue with you, the viewers. I hope you enjoy!

There will be an opening reception for Unplanned Cities on Thurs. evening, Feb. 25, at 6:30 p.m.

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Thursday night openings at Artspace

50 Orange St, New Haven, (203) 772-2709
Phil Lique: Traces of Things That Are Alive and Dead
Fritz Horstman: Guerrilla Trees
Elaine Kaufmann: International Design
Conspectus I: New Work from the Flatfile Collection
Cecile Chong: Unspoken Word
Peter Konsterlie: Medical Systems
Feb. 25—Mar. 20, 2010
Public Opening: Thurs., Feb. 25, 6—8 p.m.

Press release

Artspace announces four new solo exhibitions with works by both Connecticut and Brooklyn-based artists. Fritz Horstman, Elaine Kaufmann, Cecile Chong, and Peter Konsterlie explore ecological concerns, issues of sustainability, and the relationship of the human form to nature, tradition, and mortality. Artist Phil Lique's exhibition, Traces of Things That Are Alive and Dead, previously opened in January and continues to cast a flame over Gallery 1 with a large-scale performative sculpture and five equally assertive paintings.

Phil Lique's collaged paintings of bears, sharks, and deer juxtaposed with laptops and SUVs speak to a generation of artists concerned with the way the Internet and Google affect our everyday lives. Lique's performance, "Evidence of Competitive Natures," took place at Artspace this past January and is featured in our artist directory (

Part sculpture and part performance, Fritz Horstman's Guerrilla Trees is an interactive, urban planning project that invites visitors to take an elm sapling from Gallery 2 and plant it in the city as an environmentally proactive gesture.

Visitors are invited to Gallery 3 to view Elaine Kaufmann's International Design, a series of arresting pencil drawings that connect the fantasies of first-world affluence with the production of third-world poverty (see image).

In conjunction with these five solo exhibitions, Artspace presents Conspectus I, a group exhibition of Flatfile drawings, paintings, and photographs in Gallery 4. The exhibition showcases the diverse techniques and approaches of 40 Flatfile Collection artists working in diverse mediums and subject matter that range from small-scale drawings to large-scale photographs. This group exhibition represents the first of many of Artspace's upcoming Flatfile exhibitions.

Cecile Chong's Unspoken Word series recalls the fantastical foreign worlds frequently found in children's books in her intricately designed painting assemblages in Gallery 5. Chong's pictorial vignettes speak to notions of cultural identity and assimilation in the age of globalization.

Peter Konsterlie's Medical Systems series in Gallery 7 juxtaposes the technical precision used in anatomical drawing with the emotional content of color.

These exhibitions are on view from Feb. 25—Mar. 20, 2010. Please join us for the public reception on Thursday, February 25, from 6—8 p.m.

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Crude cobblings of text, cute animals, weaponry, extreme sports...and much, much more

Takeout Gallery
15 Green St, New London,
an installation by John O’Donnell
Feb 20 — March 17, 2010
Opening reception: Feb. 20, 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Press Release:

"Fuck yeah!" is an expression of delight in imagery or instances that would commonly be deemed perverse, juvenile or absurd. An exclamation of  discovery, it is similar to “Eureka!” but without the implication of utility or import. It is a common response to crude cobblings of text, cute animals, weaponry, extreme sports, food items, 80’s celebrities and other pop cultural motifs found on amateur websites, blogs and YouTube. John O'Donnell's new installation, FUCKYEAH, is an exhibition of video, collage and mini-installation, attempts to produce the momentary euphoria that elicits such a response.  Image: John O'Donnell, "Cornasaur."

Hours W,TH, F 6:30-8:30 or by appointment

Monday, February 15, 2010

Joy Bush photo show opens at Jennifer Jane Gallery Thursday

Jennifer Jane Gallery
838 Whalley Ave., New Haven, (203) 494-9905
Joy Bush: Abesse
Feb. 18—Mar. 13, 2010
Opening reception: Thurs., Feb. 18, 6—8 p.m.

Press release

Joy Bush's artist statement:

The Latin word abesse, which means absent, away, wanting, provides the intellectual and emotional structure for these photographs. I find that I am drawn to places where I feel the visual echoes of human presence places that people seem to have left and that hold no certainty of their return. The photographs are structured from shadow, light, and color, and often use some barrier, however abstract. These images are from trips to Bonaire and England, as well as from walks I took in Connecticut during the last two years.

Joy Bush is a current Jennifer Jane Gallery Photographic Society Member. Bush has decades of experience as a documentary and fine art photographer. Her photographs have appeared in The Village Voice, The New York Times, Connecticut Review, and many other publications. She is represented in the permanent collections of the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, the Yale Medical Group Art Place in New Haven, Connecticut, and in many private collections. Along with the work she is presenting in the series Abesse Joy also makes black and white Pawtraits. "Pet Portraits of Distinctions" grew out of her love for animals and her fascination with the Rembrandt-esque black and white photography of Hollywood in the heyday of great studio portraiture of the 1930s and 1940s.

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Two openings Thursday at Middlesex Community College

Middlesex Community College The Niche
100 Training Hill Road, Founders Hall, Middletown, 1-800-818-5501
Jessica Schwind: Cultivated Castaways
Through Mar. 6, 2010.
Opening reception, Thurs., Feb. 18, 5—7 p.m.

Press release

Jessica Schwind's mixed media works synthesize animal and vegetal worlds into unexpected juxtapositions that express an existential view of the natural world. Animal imagery, as in "Pigeon," is transformed to harmoniously dwell within the color infused realm of the backyard garden. Schwind writes that:

Cultivated Castaways brings focus to the lives of creatures that are commonly regarded as nuisances or irritants in our culture. We sometimes celebrate the death of these creatures as a result of our victory to control nature. This exhibition attempts to highlight their existence as part of our interconnected eco-system.

Her works have been included in exhibitions at the Fresno Metropolitan Museum, (CA), Contemporary Art Center of Virginia, (VA) The Hudson River Museum, (NY), McDonough Museum, (OH) and The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, (CT).

The Niche is located on the first floor of Founders Hall and open: Mondays through Thursdays 8:30 a.m.—6 p.m., Fridays & Saturdays 8:30 a.m.—4 p.m.


Middlesex Community College Pegasus Gallery
100 Training Hill Road, Chapman Hall, Middletown, 1-800-818-5501
Jorge Costa: Dystopia
Through Mar. 6, 2010.
Opening reception, Thurs., Feb. 18, 5—7 p.m.

Press release

Jorge Costa's process derived imagery evolves out of a morphological exploration of perception. Paintings and drawings twist, spin and distort imagery to reside indeterminately between the recognizable and the highly abstract. Viewer visual cognition is thoroughly exercised by these works as they propel tangible forms through an intriguing series of fun house mirror effects and mutations. Costa's work has been included in exhibitions at Westfield State College, (MA), Artists Space. (NY), Real Art Ways, (CT), Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, (Kobe, Japan), and Oporto Foundation for Artists, (Oporto, Portugal).

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Show of Joan and Frank Gardner's work opens this afternoon at John Slade Ely House

John Slade Ely House Center for Contemporary Art
51 Trumbull Street, New Haven, (203) 624-8055
Joan & Frank Gardner: A Life's Work
Through Mar. 7, 2010.
Opening reception: Sat., Feb. 13, 2—5 p.m.

Press release

Come celebrate the careers of New Haven's most respected artist couple, Joan and Frank Gardner, at the John Slade Ely House, Sat., Feb. 13 from 2—5 p.m.

The couple has continuously produced the highest quality artwork for over 35 years. The Ely House is proud to present the Gardner's individual achievements as well as work created collaboratively.

A recent highlight of the Gardner's was the filming of their 16mm Film, The Robot at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in November of 2009 as part of the film series Machine Made Man along with Woody Allen's Sleeper. The Robot as well as over sixty, watercolors, paintings, drawings, and prints will be on display through Mar. 7, 2010.

Frank and Joan Gardner were previously written about on Connecticut Art Scene here.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Thursday opening at Hull's Gallery at One Whitney


Real Art Ways' "Rockstone and Bootheel" exhibit showcases richness of contemporary West Indian art scene

Real Art Ways
56 Arbor St., Hartford, (860) 232-1006
Rockstone and Bootheel: Contemporary West Indian Art
Through March 14, 2010.

Rockstone & Bootheel, the show of contemporary West Indian art on display at Real Art Ways is a glorious, overwhelming labor of love. Real Art Ways Director of Visual Arts Kristina Newman-Scott, who co-curated the show with Yona Backer, is originally from Jamaica. The exhibition features the work of almost 40 artists from the West Indies—the English-speaking Caribbean islands—and the diaspora. More than half the artists are being shown in the United States for the first time. Real Art Ways is a fitting venue for the show as Hartford has the third largest West Indian population in the United States (after New York city and Miami).

There is no overarching theme but there is an organizing principle: the mashup. Newman-Scott says the use of the mashup aesthetic for the exhibit appropriately reflects life on the islands. Culture in its various manifestations—visual arts, music—is woven into the fabric of daily existence.

This curatorial decision makes for a challenging viewing experience. Videos run on continuous loops, offering a nonstop soundtrack of background noise not always conducive to concentration. (A Rasta man's declamation's in Jayson Keeling's wall-projected video "Listen Without Prejudice" makes particularly insistent claims on one's attention.) I had walked through the show at the opening and returned for an extended view last November. Even then, having the gallery to myself for an hour or more, felt insufficient. To do justice to this exhibit necessitated a return visit the beginning of this month.

That's largely due to the fact that this is a show fully within the mainstream of contemporary art. Which is to say that the emphasis as much on the play of ideas as it is on the display of visual creations. Rockstone & Bootheel—the title is derived from a Jamaican "dub metal" track and alludes to taking a journey—can certainly be appreciated on a surface level; there is a lot of well-made art here. Among the media on display are sculpture, paintings, photography, installations, video (the latter being a notably time-based medium).

But just as important are the animating constructs and what they say about contemporary West Indian identity. These works explore the fraught racial history of the British West Indies, class, gender and sexuality issues and the problem of rampant violence and crime.

A work like Sonya Clark's "Iterations" is an example of how meaning must and can be teased out of these pieces. "Iterations" is a floor installation made up of hundreds of black plastic combs. Fastened together, the combs fan out from the wall like the spreading branches of a tree or its roots, the tool evoking the object worked upon. It inspires a plethora of associations: linguistic, cultural, visual. On the cultural level, the installation brings to mind the nature of hair as a cultural signifier, both because it uses combs but also because it looks in some ways like an upside-down Afro hairstyle. By suggesting the notion of "roots," it layers further meanings: hair roots, the roots of trees, the notion of heritage and the reggae gloss on "roots" as signifying authenticity.

Mounted on the wall next to "Iterations" is Nadine Robinson's "Laquita," a sculpture made of synthetic hair fiber, mbf board and hairpins. "Laquita" was inspired by Robinson's memories from her youth of a girl with fantastic hair—Laquita—but also of a memorable block party. As with Clark's "Iterations," the piece highlights the importance of hair and hairstyle in the culture. But, according to curator Newman-Scott, it also references the ornate facade of a building Robinson recalls from the block party. It is an intricate weaving, a landscape of braids and interconnection. That interconnection has a symbolic dimension. It speaks to the way people are "woven" into places, culture, time.

Hair also plays a role in the prints by Joscelyn Gardner, a white artist from Barbados. Her series of hand-colored stone lithographs on frosted mylar succeed as disciplined drawings. But they are also a powerful example of an aesthetic in which tradition, culture and nature are enlisted in a reproach to the oppression of slavery. Each print consists of three elements: a representation of an intricate African braided hairstyle, symbolic of proud femininity; a type of metal slave collar used to demean and punish women who resisted the control of their bodies; and native plants that were used as abortafacients to deny the slaveholder another generation.

In the depictions of the hairstyles and the slave collars, the viewer sees the human creative impulse in both its Eros and Thanatos forms. The inclusion of the abortafacient plant completes the image. Symbolic of the way slavery perverts human relationships, the plants represent a perversion of the human relationship to nature—seeking solace in nature's capacity to prevent life rather than enrich life.

Two works in one gallery evoke different migrations in different media. Barbadian artist Annalee Davis' 30-minute video "On the Map" is a documentary on "intra-regional migration." It depicts the struggles of migrants within the region in an era of ideological "free trade." In reality, "free trade" is a regime in which capital moves freely across borders—disempowering and impoverishing masses of people—while bureaucratic, legal and cultural barriers to human movement remain strong. An analogy could be made to the slave trade that forcibly relocated Africans to the Caribbean under the auspices of that era's reigning economic system. Slave traders were "free" to move humans (capital) across borders while the enslaved had no rights at all.

If the African experience in the West Indies began in the oppressive rupture of slavery and the Middle Passage, Christina Leslie's portraits of family and friends ("EveryTING Irie") represent a different type of passage, freely chosen emigration to Canada. Leslie interviewed her subjects about their struggles and successes in Canada. Their recollections, in patois, are quoted as text at the bottom of each image. The 20x24 color prints are styled like old reggae or ska LP covers, the portraits of proud black faces situated within the pan-Africanist tints of red, green, gold and black.

The ubiquity of these tints might be the one formal aspect running through the exhibit. They recur in Lawrence Graham-Brown's "Ras-Pan-Afro-Homo Sapien," a mixed media mannequin displayed in the center of the main gallery. Like many of the works in the show, this piece deals with the charged issues of gender and sexuality. An openly gay Jamaican artist residing in the U.S., Graham-Brown confronts the island's notoriously homophobic culture with a mashup that co-opts and subverts its iconography.

A mannequin torso is outfitted in a tunic—painted in the Garveyite colors of red, black and green—of the militant style popular in reggae dancehall culture. Effecting a militant synthesis, Graham-Brown bedecked the tunic with buttons depicting icons of Black Power in both its political and cultural manifestations (Frederick Douglass, Malcolm X, Bob Marley, presidential campaign pins for Jesse Jackson and Barack Obama) along with gay signifiers—Diana Ross, Boy George. A button reading "I [Heart] Boys" sits just above a pin reading "Free At Last" with an image of Nelson Mandela. The "Jackson for President" button is something of a two-fer, with its rainbow and "Follow the Rainbow" exhortation, evoking both Jackson's Rainbow Coalition and contemporary gay culture's embrace of the rainbow.

Artists O'Neil Lawrence and Jayson Keeling appear to address sexuality issues in more oblique ways. Keeling's short video "Jesus speak of me as I am" pairs slowed-down footage of Rasta men walking through the ghetto with Lou Reed singing "Jesus" with the Velvet Underground. Slowed-down, the Rastas' purposeful walk reads more like a sashay, imbuing the macho strides with a suggestion of femininity.

In O'Neil Lawrence's large color photographs nude black men stand on the shore, their backs symbolically turned on a culture that rejects gay people. That's one reading, an essentialist interpretation in which nude men=homoeroticism. (Lawrence, according to Newman-Scott, does not identify himself as a gay man.) Another reading might be that the men are looking back toward Africa. Their nakedness, in this take, could represent a disrobing of imposed European culture, symbolized by a discarded bolt of white cloth in one of the pictures.

Several artists, including Simone Leigh, Jamie Lee Loy and Renee Cox, address women's place in West Indies society. Cox's photographs depict the artist as an upper middle class black housewife, struggling to keep it together within the constraints of class and gender roles. Leigh's installation features a metal "Cage" enclosing a kiln-like setup, "Yellow Stack," and a number of basins, "Containers," filled with ceramic and metal replicas of West Indian produce like plantains. There are shapes evoking gourds, breasts. Several of the latter objects have boot sole imprints. The installation invokes the dualities of oppression and abundance, nurturing and violence.

Domestic violence is also the subtext of Jamie Lee Loy's "The Roach," a wall sculpture. The large fat cockroach climbing the wall is composed of live flower petals stuck to the wall with silk pins. It represents the anguish and violence inherent in some domestic settings, the roach symbolic of the invasion of a supposed safe place. Flowers are often used as a bribe or apology in the wake of an act of domestic violence, their beauty hijacked to an agenda of control. Pinned to the wall last November, the petals are decaying. Their beauty fading daily, more and more they symbolize death rather than life.

Ebony G. Patterson's "Endz-Khani & Di Krew I-III," described in the press materials as either part of her "Gangstas for Life" or "Disciplez Series," is an installation that takes up much of the back wall of the main gallery. The work portrays three young men, gangsta wannabes perhaps, in large photos made up of nine panels each. Each young man stands as if on display but with a "don't fuck with me" countenance, trying to project machismo. It is this macho pose that Patterson is out to critique and deconstruct.

Each of the youths has their faces bleached—alluding to the practice in Jamaican dancehall culture of skin bleaching. But Patterson goes further. She has colored their lips to look as though they are wearing lipstick and decorated them with pink and red sequins and glitter. She cut stencils, many in the shape of fish, out of the lower photo panels. "Fish" is Jamaican slang for a gay man. Their heads are surrounded by lace and gold doily halos. At their feet are strewn deep piles of fake flower petals and "pussy bullets" - painted tampon dispensers. I wonder how the subjects of these portraits would react to their fanciful portrayal.

It's hard to do justice to such a sprawling show. Among the other works that intrigued me:

Zak Ové's "A Land So Far," a transfixing video of night scenes during Trinidadian Carnival. Carnival dancers illuminated by blasts of fire from their mouths. Ritualized abandon. Painted faces and bodies. Grotesque masks. Evocative of spirits and spiritual energy, the taming of terror, crashing through to joy.

Makandal Dada's "Birth-rite of restoration." This work portrays a totemic figure fashioned out of nails and animal horns protruding from fabric. It fairly bristles with anger - a porcupine, armored and defensive, warning one not to touch.

The Rickards Brothers' (Peter Dean and Peter John Rickards) short video "Proverbs 24:10," in which footage of a couple of dancers undulating to an outdoor sound system is slowed down. The mournful recording of "All Things Beautiful" by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis is substituted for the original soundtrack of pounding dancehall music. The work has a deeply elegiac feel.

Sheena Rose's "Town," a short video of a young woman going about her daily business in Barbados created from a conversation of touched-up photos, line drawings and text.

Adele Todd's "Police an' Tief." Todd's embroidery on linen depicts scenes of police, arrests, victims of violence crying. The folk art simplicity of the harsh subject matter is particularly affecting.

Rockstone & Bootheel is up through March 14, enough time to see it twice. Or more.

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Thursday, February 04, 2010

New Members show opens Saturday at City Gallery

City Gallery
994 State St., New Haven, (203) 782-2489
Two New Members: Boxes, Drawings & Assemblages: Paulette Rosen and Karen Wheeler
Feb. 4—28, 2010.
Opening reception: Sat., Feb. 6, 3—6 p.m.

Press release

Paulette Rosen's pencil drawings and boxes housing natural objects strive to record snippets of the natural world, especially birds. The arrangements intend to reference early natural history specimen collectors. Her miniature box dioramas present both a playful and serious perspective on life from the point of view of a 1" figure.

Karen Wheeler's assemblages feature handmade paper vessels combined with richly textured painted panels, drawings, digital collage and found objects. Her work contains references to architectural enclosures, altars and reliquaries as she creates objects that reflect her own sense of sacred spaces.

There will be an opening for this show this Saturday, from 3—6 p.m.

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Saturday opening of abstract art at Kershner Gallery at Fairfield Public Library

Bruce S. Kershner Gallery at Fairfield Public Library
1080 Old Post Rd., Fairfield, (203) 256-3155
Linear Energy: Derek Leka & Mary Jo McGonagle
Jan. 31—Mar. 21, 2010.
Opening reception: Sat., Feb. 6, 5—7 p.m.

Press release

The Bruce S. Kershner Gallery in the Fairfield Public Library will be showing Linear Energy, the abstract paintings of Mary Jo McGonagle and Derek Leka, from Jan. 31 to March 21 during library hours. A reception will be held on Sat., Feb. 6 from 5—7 p.m. with a talk by the artists at 6.

Derek Leka has a Masters degree in Fine Art. He has exhibited in many juried group shows, including Silvermine Art of the Northeast in New Canaan, Creative Arts Workshop and Green Gallery in New Haven, Prince Street and Bowery galleries in New York. He recently won the Andrew Carnegie award in Painting at the National Academy Museum and won first prize for a violin design for the New Haven Symphony Orchestra anniversary event. (I previously wrote about Leka on Connecticut Art Scene here.)

Currently, Leka is an Adjunct Lecturer at Purchase College teaching Color and Drawing, and is also at the University of Bridgeport teaching Color. He also works for Liquitex Paint doing informational and product demos for Painting departments of universities in the New England territory.

Derek uses acrylics on canvas to create bright colors with clean sharp edges. He says his images involve "squares, rectangles, stripes, gradations, overlaps, deep and shallow spaces, hard and soft contrasts, traditional and non-traditional harmonies, heat, electricity, movement, growth, service, and dependency. The paintings explore Architecture, Nature, Music, Iconography, and Mythology. They have a slow methodical movement, and a logical progression."

Mary Jo McGonagle is currently a candidate in the M.F.A. program at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She has a BFA from School of Visual Arts in New York City in Graphic Design and has worked as Curriculum Coordinator and as a faculty member at Fairfield University in the Computer Graphic Design Program.

McGonagle continues to be active in graphic design and advertising. Her past clients have included: Conde Nast Corporate, Reader's Digest, Travel Holiday, Warner Brothers, GQ, House & Garden, Seventeen, Vogue, Glamour, Mirabella, United Media and Holland Advertising. Her awards and recognitions include Art Direction, Advertising Age, Connecticut Post, Communication Arts and Light of Day Awards. Mary Jo resides in Fairfield with her husband and four children.

She is at home with painting, printmaking, sculpture, photography and technology. She says, "Through a combination of monotype and painting, I have created a series of bold, large, graphic organic expressions, which explore the shape of lines, color arrangements, movement, and their relationship to each other to create a layered textured effect. They reflect the interactions, pressures, controlled chaos, randomness and conversations that are present in our everyday fate-filled lives. The paintings are a visual abstraction of the energies that fill our lives." Her goal as an artist is "to make compelling images, which are interesting to look at, regardless of the meaning."

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Monday, February 01, 2010

Review of Artspace Winter 2010 shows

I have a review in the present New Haven Advocate of the shows running at Artspace:

Ideas matter in art. But ideas without imagination and craft can be tedious — the cul de sac of much conceptual art. Fortunately, the six artists showing in Artspace's winter exhibitions share a commitment to work that is both thought-provoking and visually engaging.

You can read the rest here or pick up a copy of the paper.