Dedicated to covering the visual arts community in Connecticut.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Saturday evening opening at the Hygienic in New London

Hygienic Art
83 Bank St., P.O. Box 417, New London, (860) 443-8001
May 28—June 25, 2011
Opening reception: Sat., May 28, 7—10 p.m.

Press release

The story goes that a child, sitting on his mother’s lap, wished that future generations would be able to see her beautiful eyes. He touched her eyes, then waved his hand over the ground, and blue flowers appeared—what we now call “forget-me-nots.”

The pieces selected for this exhibition, like the forget-me-nots in the story, bring forward ideas, memories, and images gleaned from the artists’ pasts. The triggers for the work on display include a childhood love of old-fashioned books, an uncle’s story about a young boy playing with a revolver, the innocence of Victorian-era silhouettes, a generation of dealers in the New York art world, traditional African textile patterns, and paintings made by a young girl’s father. Each artist transforms transient thoughts and vague private recollections, allowing them a place in our shared memory and collective history.

All the artists in Forget-Me-Nots are members of the art faculty at Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic.

Artists include: June Bisantz, Lula Mae Blocton, Sharon L. Butler, Ted Efremoff, Tom Hébert, Jane Rainwater.

June Bisantz creates thought-provoking public art on billboards, buses, movie theater screens, shopping mall advertising panels, architectural facades, traffic-control devices, and solar-powered street signs. She has received commissions for public art projects, in New Haven, CT, Pittsfield, MA, and Charlotte, NC. In 2011, Bisantz founded the Willimantic Screen Project, an urban screens public art program sponsored by the, an international organization based in New York City. An accomplished musician and singer, Bisantz has co-produced collections of original jazz, all of which have received national recognition.

Lula Mae Blocton is fascinated with color, structure, and the illusion of transparency. She was among the first in her family to attend college, where she studied painting and African-American art history. She has served as a delegate for People to People and the Citizen Ambassador Program of Art Educators on missions to Egypt, Israel, and Turkey, and traveled to Africa and Europe to study major museum collections and vernacular art. Her work is in numerous collections, including those of the Albright Knox Museum, the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Eastern Connecticut State University, Prudential Life Insurance Company, and the Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture.

Sharon L. Butler is a cross-disciplinary artist whose work comprises abstract painting, Web 2.0 social networking media, and writing. In Forget-me-nots, Butler presents paintings based on the structure of isolated observation towers that were inspired by the paintings her reclusive father, who worked as a stockbroker in New London for more than forty years, made in the Sixties. The small size (18" x 24") and pictorial language reference abstract easel paintings from the postwar era. Butler is the founder of the award-winning art blog Two Coats of Paint.

Ted Efremoff, born in Moscow, Russia, is a cross-disciplinary artist engaged with performance, video, installation and social sculpture. His primarily interest lies in exploring how storytelling has the capacity to overcome the immediate constraints of space and time. Efremoff has performed and exhibited at Chashama performance spaces, Sideshow, and PSII Galleries in New York City; the Museum of American Art in Philadelphia; the Gongju National Museum in South Korea; the National Center of Contemporary Art in Moscow; the Night of Museums in Belgrade, Serbia; and the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Tom Hébert, whose recent work includes photorealist paintings and collages that combine digital images and wood construction, has exhibited at OK Harris, Semaphore, and Exit Art in New York; Real Art Ways in Hartford; and many other galleries throughout New England. He has work in collections throughout the USA and Europe, including Aetna, Mobil Oil, Slater Museum, Stux Gallery in New York, Center for the Arts Museum in Vero Beach, Lewis and Clark Museum in Oregon, and Gesamthochschule Universitat in Kassel, Germany. Hébert has received several awards, including a Pollock-Krasner grant and three fellowships from the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism.

Jane Rainwater explores the paradox of “horrible beauty” in drawings, diagrams, installations, sculpture, performance, and prints. Her aim is to engage the viewer with seemingly innocent decorative pleasantry, which upon closer examination reveals darker truths. Her work has been included in exhibitions at the Aldrich Museum in Ridgefield; ArtSpace in New Haven; the Housatonic Museum of Art in Bridgeport; and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

(Top image: "Love in a Cold Climate" by June Bisantz. Bottom image: "Tower Series #16" by Sharon L. Butler.)

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Nurturing the creative, positive spirit in prison

John Slade Ely House Center for Contemporary Art
51 Trumbull Street, New Haven, (203) 624-8055
Prison Arts Program Annual Show
Through May 29, 2011

Their bodies may be caged but their imaginations are running free.

Started in 1978, Community Partners in Action's Prison Arts Program is holding its 33rd Annual show of artwork by inmates—and some former—inmates of Connecticut's correctional system. The Prison Arts Program affords inmates a positive, creative outlet for expression, a means to channel pent-up energy, thoughts and emotions in a constructive rather than destructive manner. Community Partners in Action, established in 1875, is dedicated to the successful reintegration of returning inmates into the community. The art program is just one of the many things the organization does. CPA services also include educating clients in life skills, monitoring clients for the criminal justice system, substance abuse counseling and education and overseeing community service commitments. While some of the inmates with work in this show will never leave prison, most will get out. Both for those who remain incarcerated and for those who complete their sentence, the art program offers a way to contemplate their life and possibilities.

That being said, it is understandable that there might be people—particularly family and friends of crime victims—who might take offense at this show. But I think one of the things this show demonstrates is that human beings are complex; our natures aren't black and white. John Slade Ely House director Paul Clabby says the response to the show has been overwhelmingly positive. He notes that many families of inmates have come to the show, which offers them a way to see their loved one represented in a positive light.

As imagery goes, it is a decidedly mixed bag. There is a fair share of kitsch and a lot of work derived from fantasy and tattoo iconography. That makes sense. Jeffrey Greene, who coordinates and manages the program as well as leading some of the workshops, encourages inmates to draw on their imaginations. The inmates create art that references that with which they are familiar. Many of the drawings have a decidedly folk art feel, albeit with an edge.

But much of the work in the show evinces rich, technical skill and an accomplished eye. Two drawings by Vincent Nardone—"Year of the Fin" and "Breakfast Family Style," rendered in stippled ballpoint pen—are vivid recreations of moments in a day back in 1959 when Nardone was eight years old and on his way to go hunting with his father and uncle. There is almost a spookiness to the level of detail: the swirl of reflections on the chrome bumper of the garishly tailfinned 1959 Cadillac and the 1957 Plymouth and 1959 Chevy in the background of "Year of the Fin;" the diagonal rays of sunlight coming through diner windows and the Knights of Columbus patch on the jacket of one customer in "Breakfast American Style."

A diner also figures in another powerful work—Andrew Wilson's "Orange Whip Diner." It's an interior scene of customers at a counter from a perspective behind the counter and in the foreground. Perhaps inspired by the experience of prison confinement, the drawing has a dark, crowded, claustrophobic energy.

Not all the works are drawings or paintings. There are a number of sculptural works, some of which—particularly given that they are made with tight constraints on the materials and tools the inmates have access to—are among the most impressive pieces in the exhibition.

Christopher Blanks' "1987 Mack 'R' Model 6x6 Highway Plow Truck" is just what its title says it is: a scale model of a truck crafted out of paper and cardstock. But it's also more. Blanks resisted any temptation to color the sculpture. Left completely white, the viewer is free to appreciate the intricacies of the form, the attention to detail. This is powerful machinery as ghost-like presence.

Scott Deojay has several sculptural works on both the first and second floors of the Ely House. His "Queen of the Dragons: Gathering of the Bones" on the second floor is stunning. Although fashioned out of paper and soap, it looks like a sword and sorcery fantasy carved out of ivory. "The Dream House," composed of mixed media, is a masterful work of the imagination, a multi-tiered doll's house diorama for which Deojay even created artwork for the walls and faux children's drawings to post on the refrigerator. Deojay is serving a life sentence for the kidnapping and murder of middle-school social worker Judith Nilan in 2005.

Other impressive works:

Kelly Donnelly's "Nameless" and "Where Chakras Meet" are crafted out of sheets of paper towel colored with watercolors and rolled into yarn-like lengths of twine. "Nameless," in particular, reminded me of Van Gogh's "The Starry Night."

John Wagner's "Super Nova" is an almost psychedelically detailed color drawing composed of countless concentric illustrated circles.

Jason Peters' "The Spetuagint—Freedom and Liberty" is a fine point pen drawing of 70 men's faces, mostly African-Americans including Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr., over which is drawn the three hands of a clock. Peters is a talented portraitist and a fine draftsman.

• Although Ross VonWeingarten considers himself a Buddhist, he created an Islamic temple out of paper. "Temple" has a deeply contemplative beauty.

The 33rd Annual Prison Arts Program Show will be on view through this Sunday, May 29.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Fairfield Arts Center announces "FACes and Places" art tours

Fairfield Arts Center
70 Sanford St., Fairfield, (203) 319-1419
FACes and Places: Art Behind the Scenes
$75 for FAC members, $95 for non-members.

Press release

The Fairfield Arts Center presents a new program for the community called FACes and Places: Art Behind the Scenes. With this new program series, FACes and Places strives to give art collectors, arts enthusiasts, and the general public access to Fairfield County’s vast arts community by introducing the faces behind the art and the place where their art is created. The program will kick off with three studio tour events featuring artist studios or live/work spaces in Bridgeport. Known for its empty factory buildings, Bridgeport has become artistic home of many area artists from around Fairfield County who have worked with building owners to repurpose the factory spaces and turn them into hubs of creative energy. The three studio buildings that FAC will showcase are the American Fabrics Arts Building, 305 Knowlton, and Read’s ArtSpace, a live/work space downtown Bridgeport.

Each tour will guide a limited number of guests from studio to studio. At each stop, the guests will have the opportunity to hear the artist talk about their background and their work. Guests will have an intimate look at the artists work in their studio. A light catered lunch and wine tasting will be provided in one of the artist’s studios. Guests are invited to linger after the program to visit with the artists and explore the studios. Each FACes and Places tour will be $75 for FAC members and $95 for non-members. Due to the limited number of spaces, guests are requested to purchase tickets in advance by visiting the Fairfield Arts Center Web site or calling (203) 319-1419.

The first tour will take place on Thurs., June 2 from 10 a.m.—3:30 p.m. at the American Fabrics Arts Building. 15 Studios will be featured and include Denyse Schmidt Quilts (Bridgeport), Lisie Orjuela (Trumbull), Brechin Morgan (Milford), Judith Corrigan (Shelton), Ulla Surland Interior Design (Fairfield) among other noted artists in the area. Lunch will be held in the studio of Janine Brown who is also from Fairfield.

The American Fabrics Art Building, once housed the American Fabrics Company. The factory was built around the 1920's, and was once a hub of the textile industry, specializing in the manufacture of linen, lace and knits. The factory buildings at that time were built with large windows to provide light and fresh air during the summer months, which provides a perfect setting for an artist loft building. Manufacturing activity at the factory began to decrease in the 1960's and by the 1970's the entire industrial complex was abandoned. A handful of artists started to rent space in the building several years ago and in 2009, the current owner of the building, Westrock Development, LLC., renovated the building turning the second, third and fourth floors into artist’s studios.

The Fairfield Arts Center (FAC) is a not-for-profit, local municipal arts agency dedicated to enriching the cultural experience of the members of its community. In support of Fairfield’s arts and artists of all disciplines, FAC seeks to integrate the creative process into the daily lives of the Town’s 60K residents by providing access through opportunity, education and outreach. FAC is funded in part by the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Fairfield County Community Foundation.

(Image: "Sienna Aspens," linoleum cut print by Janine Brown.)

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Oil and Wax: Sunday opening at Kehler Liddell Gallery

Kehler Liddell Gallery
873 Whalley Ave., New Haven, (203) 389-9555
Joseph Adolphe: New Paintings
Rod Cook: New Work
May 19—June 19, 2011.
Opening reception: Sun., May 22, 3—6 p.m. Artist talk at 3:30 p.m.

Press release

Kehler Liddell Gallery is pleased to present new paintings by Joseph Adolphe that measure the speed, agility and muscularity of two stoic beasts: the horse and the bull. For his third show, Adolphe works in a classic Expressionist style, building exaggerated palettes and movements with his brush and palette knife that relate his unique vision and emotional response to these creatures. At 5 x 5 feet, the paintings make profound impacts on the viewer and reward those who linger long enough to reflect on the freedom and vitality of nature operating at full force.

The new work relates to Adolphe's interest in making paintings that measure the relationship between movement and stillness-- between solid forms and transient, ephemeral forms. A curiosity of "what is real!—or more specifically, how one can pursue the unreal through the real drives his practice.

Adolphe was born in Calgary, Alberta Canada in 1968. He moved to NYC in 1992 to attend the School of Visual arts, where he received an MFA in 1994. His work is in several corporate collections, but mostly in the homes of some very good people. He currently teaches drawing and painting in the Department of Fine Arts at St. John's University in New York, and lives with his wife and six children in the Westville section of New Haven.

Kehler Liddell Gallery is pleased to present new photographs by Rod Cook that convey the subtle role of the pose, jest and gaze in full body portraiture. With references to Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Pre-Raphaelite Renaissance painting, the Classic Pinup, Studio Fashion and Pictorialist Photography, Cookʼs female nudes, draped in rich, exotic fabrics stretch across his compositions in dramatic, choreographed positions that idealize the feminine form. Ranging in size from an intimate 8 x 16 inches to a life sized 36 x 70 inches, his models communicate diverse personas, from the commanding blue-eyed femme fatale to the gentle portrait of a seated woman.

Cook uses his photographs as source material. His inventive process involves applying layers of wax to the surface of each photograph, encasing the image in a soft balm that he hand dyes to highlight specific areas. The use of carefully appointed color references early hand-painted photographs, and acts as a metaphor for the aesthetic preparation of his models.

Cook worked in commercial and fashion photography in New York for the first twenty-five years of his career. He has had one person shows at galleries in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Petaluma, Houston, New Orleans, Aspen, Woodstock, Norwalk, and New Haven. His work is represented in the Graham Nash, University of Chicago, and the Cherye R. and James F. Pierce Collections. He has been published in BXW Magazine, 21st, The Journal of Contemporary Photography, Photo Design Magazine, Popular Photography Annual, Photo District News and In Celebration of Light. He currently lives and works in Bridgeport, CT.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Photo Arts Collective annual members' show opens tomorrow in New Haven

Sumner McKnight Crosby Jr. Gallery
70 Audubon St., 2nd floor, New Haven, (203) 772-2788
Photo Arts Collective: Spectra 2011
May 19—July 8, 2011.
Artists' reception: Thurs., May 19, 5-7 p.m.

Press release

The Arts Council of Greater New Haven presents Spectra 2011 in the Sumner McKnight Crosby Jr. Gallery, at 70 Audubon St., 2nd floor. The exhibition will be on display from Thursday, May 19 through Friday, July 8. An artists’ reception is scheduled for Thurs., May 19, from 5—7 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

Spectra 2011 is the annual members show of the Photo Arts Collective, an Arts Council program whose mission is to cultivate and support a community of individuals who share an interest in photography, through workshops, lectures, exhibitions, portfolio reviews, group critiques, and special events.

Penny Cook, who organizes the annual show, said this year’s exhibition is highlighted by a diverse variety of genres and styles that come together to create a “surprisingly cohesive array of views through each photographer’s unique lens.”

Open to Arts Council members, the Photo Arts Collective meets the first Thursday of each month at the Kehler Liddell Gallery, 873 Whalley Ave., New Haven.

(Image: "Afghan-Pamirs" by Ken Hanson, 2011.)

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"Hammered & Nailed" open call and reception at ArtSpace Hartford Friday, May 28

ArtSpace Hartford
555 Asylum Ave., Hartford, 06103
Hammered & Nailed
May 28—June 8, 2011.
Opening reception: Fri., May 28, 6—10 p.m.

Press release

Art can be REVOLUTIONARY! That is one of the goals behind Hammered & Nailed: Free Creative Open Call to be held on Sat., May 28 from 6—10 p.m. at The Hartford ArtSpace Gallery located at 555 Asylum Street in downtown Hartford, CT.

Event organizers, Joe Bun Keo and Ashleigh Kay are Hartford Art School Alumni Class of 2009, Connecticut natives and affiliates of the group NLUV (Now Let Us Vindicate). After graduating, it was quickly realized how difficult it is for artists to work and progress in The Greater Hartford area. Being the go getters that they are, Bun Keo and Kay felt they had the power and even more so, the responsibility to change this.

Hammered & Nailed is exactly that, the initiative to change the status quo and create an opportunity. An opportunity in which artists, poets, performers, musicians and the like can come together for a gathering of creativity and social networking. We want creative collectives and organizations to come together and build resources and a think tank to help further inspire and motivate the arts and invest in the untapped creative energy here in Connecticut.

Through the organization of Hammered & Nailed, Ashleigh & Joe have reached out to local businesses in the Hartford area, while emphasizing the positive impact to the art community and city of Hartford that the event will have. Generous sponsors of Hammered & Nailed now include Blick Art Materials of Plainville, Wood N Tap of Hartford, City Steam Brewery and Cafe of Hartford, The Half Door of Hartford, WineWorks of Southington, Square Root of Food Creative Catering of Manchester & The Flatbread Pizza Company of Canton.

One of the biggest aspects of Hammered & Nailed is that of community, not only the local business side but community in the sense of every artist has to hang their own work, bring potluck to the reception, and assist in taking down the show. It’s all volunteer based and about having the spirit to want to participate in an event where you can meet other creative minds and just connect and collaborate. There are no fees to the artists and participants of Hammered & Nailed, just the opportunity to be actively engaged in a growing artistic environment.

It is the hope and vision of Ashleigh, Joe, and the rest of the NLUV crew that Hammered & Nailed will truly be revolutionary in the sense that this could be the start of something huge, the start of an art movement and the revitalization of how people think of art in Connecticut.

It just takes someone or something to start a revolution and the rest…is history.

About the producers:

Ashleigh Kay:
Experimentation has always been essential to my process, driving and forming my work, it requires abandonment of doubt and willingness to let go. I’ve learned how to work without restrictions and to allow myself to make mistakes. This process has manifested itself as a necessary channel for my emotions. Through the abstraction of texture and color, a time and place is created that is without words, evoking emotion, critical to the outcome of the works.
Joe Bun Keo:
It's like coming midway into a conversation; finding yourself in that awkward silence with a soundtrack of crickets chirping, and blank faces asking "um...okay...what now?"

You're stuck trying to find a resolution; whether it's by attempting to catch up to speed with everyone else or interjecting with a hasty subject change or an offbeat icebreaker. Things may go awry and fail miserably or they can just move on without consequence.

I flip my misunderstandings and shortcomings in language to turn them into experiments with wordplay. There will be clichés, punch lines, pop culture references and contemporary youth vernacular involved. I also enjoy the reexamination of what people take for granted. The most mundane of utilitarian objects or overlooked situations can be taken out of the comfort of their given context and shown in a new light. The end result could be clean, quick, clever, dry, sarcastic, but nevertheless accessible and relevant. The dialogue between the work and audience may seem short, but remnants resonate.

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Photo show opens Friday at Creative Arts Workshop

Creative Arts Workshop Hilles Gallery
80 Audubon St., New Haven, (203) 562-4927
Seeing Seeing: Capturing a Moment
May 20—June 24, 2011.
Opening reception: Fri., May 20, 5:30—7:30 p.m.
Gallery talk: Wed., June 1, 12:30 p.m.

Press release

Creative Arts Workshop (CAW) presents Seeing Seeing: Capturing a Moment, a national photography exhibition that focuses on how artists see and capture the world around them. Juried by renowned science photographer Felice Frankel, Seeing Seeing features 48 artists from across the United States.

The exhibition is on view in the Workshop’s two-story Hilles Gallery from May 20 to June 24. An opening reception will be held on Fri., May 20 from 5:30—7:30 pm. In conjunction with the exhibition, a gallery talk with participating artist and CAW Photography Department Head Harold Shapiro is scheduled for Wednesday, June 1, at 12:30 p.m. The exhibition, opening and gallery talk are all free and open to the public.

The jurying process for Seeing Seeing was highly selective, with nearly 350 entries submitted by well over 100 artists. Ms. Frankel selected a wide range of images for the exhibition, emphasizing photographs that offer unique points of view. “With the proliferation of cameras of all sorts, it’s no wonder everyone sees themselves as a photographer of one form or another,” explained Ms. Frankel. “But how many of those images introduce a new way of seeing something, perhaps even something familiar?”

Creative Arts Workshop holds a juried exhibition each year to showcase the work of both emerging and established artists from around the world, reinforcing its mission of fostering creativity through participation in and appreciation of the visual arts.

The participating photographers are:
Mary Abraham (New Haven, CT), Stephanie Anestis (Hamden, CT), Marcia Babler (Libertyville, IL), Ioana Barac (Meriden, CT), Susan Bender (Branford, CT), Mike Callaghan (San Francisco, CA), Susie Cappezzone (Guilford, CT), Donald Carlson (Deep River, CT), Lauren Casselberry (Ocean Grove, NJ), Isabel Chenoweth (Hamden, CT), Van Chu (Salt Lake City, UT), Pinque Clark (Boulder, CO), Jeremy Coleman (New York, NY), Julian Davie (Hamden, CT), Dwayne Ellis (North Haven, CT), William Frucht (Danbury, CT), Justin Ginsberg (Dallas, TX), Suzanne Grella (Milford, CT), Jackie Heitchue (Madison, CT),Sharon Hirsch (New Haven, CT), Dan Hittleman (Melville, NY), Lesley Holford (Branford, CT), Clara James (Ashfield, MA), Madison Marie Johnston (San Diego, CA), Steven Lindner (Woodbridge, CT), Jim Lustenader (Bonita Springs, FL), Mica McCann (New York, NY), Bob McDermott (Wallingford, CT), Roslyn Meyer (Guilford, CT), Art Murphy (Catskill, NY), Tony Murray (Cobleskill, NY), Sean O’Brien (Milford, CT), Martha Penella (New Hartford, CT), Penny Perkins (Delmar, NY), Tom Peterson (Hamden, CT), Jan Portwood (Lititz, PA),Christopher Randall (Bridgehampton, NY), Jerry Reed (Essex, CT), Eric Rennie (Cromwell, CT), Lawrence Russ (Southport, CT), Dawn Sanford (Durham, CT), Peter Schwartz (Hamden, CT), Michael Seif (Watertown, MA), Harold Shapiro (Guilford, CT), Alan Shulik (Guilford, CT), Pam Willmer (New Milford, CT), Marjorie Wolfe (Cheshire, CT), Stefan Znosko (West Haven, CT).

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.

(Top image: "Arctic Sun" by Roslyn Meyer. Bottom image: "Arch, Jerusalem" by Harold Shapiro.)

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Two shows open Thursday night at Artspace in New Haven

50 Orange St, New Haven, (203) 772-2709
Marie Celeste
May 12—Sept. 9, 2011.
Out of Line
May 12—June 30, 2011.
Opening Reception for both shows: Thurs., May 12, 6—8 p.m.

Press release

From May 12 through Sept. 9, 2011, Artspace presents Marie Celeste, a thematic group exhibition that uses the recent environmental phenomenon of “Colony Collapse Disorder” (CCD) or “Mary Celeste Disorder,” in which bees mysteriously disappear from their hives, as a metaphor for environmental consciousness and an exploration of the ethical sublime in our post-industrial era.

Ranging from site-specific installations to painting and photography, the diverse works in this exhibition enter a broad, polyphonic discourse on contemporary art practice and the environment that has been ongoing since the 1970s. The eleven artists participating in the exhibition ask viewers to see and think about humankind’s relationship to science, and Nature—both as a physical environment and an idea. Their works probe the boundaries that encompass our moral and ethical obligations to care for our surroundings, now, and in the future, and make manifest the interconnectedness of ecology and technology in the 21st century. And, while the artists in Marie Celeste explore the conflicts between individual and collective actions, preservation and transformation, production and reclamation, and notions of disenchantment and optimism, their works are created from a deeply personal artistic practice that is grounded in the production of emotional affect rather than in the production of meaning.

Artists include: Erika Blumenfeld, Stephen Bush, Nick Lamia, Jason Middlebrook, Shari Mendelson, Mayumi Nishida, Jessica Schwind, Joseph Smolinksi, Eva Struble, Tattfoo Tan, Alison Williams. Organized by Liza Statton.

Marie Celeste debuts new works by Stephen Bush, Nick Lamia, Shari Mendelson, Jessica Schwind and Joseph Smolinski, and Alison Williams. With the support of Artspace, the City of New Haven, and the Buildings Materials Reuse Association, Williams will realize "Homage to Guerilla Gardening": a new public art installation in the nearby Chapel Street greenspace, The Lot. Working with a team of students and local volunteers, Williams will design and install a community garden using donated household materials from throughout New England. The public will be invited to participate in the growth and care of the garden as it gradually transforms the space during the 4 months long exhibition.

Marie Celeste opens Thurs., May 12, with a reception for the artists from 6—8 p.m.

On May 15, Marie Celeste will be the setting for the welcome kick-off for Decon' 11, the annual conference of the Building Materials Reuse Association. The BMRA is national non-profit educational and research organization whose mission is to facilitate building deconstruction and the reuse or recycling of recovered building materials.

Marie Celeste is made possible thanks to the support of Blue State Coffee, The UI Company/Southern Connecticut Gas, Zinc Restaurant, and The Study at Yale. Urban Miners, The Devil’s Gear, and Habitat for Humanity/ReStore have provided generous in kind support to "Homage to Guerilla Gardening."

Also on view at Artspace, and opening May 12, is Out of Line, featuring works on paper from our Flatfile by Caitlin Foster, Elizabeth Gourlay, Sarah Gustafson, Nina Jordan, Janet Lage, Elizabeth Livingston, Willard Lustenader, Alyse Rosner, Lucy Sallick, Gerald Saladyga and Nomi Silverman. Out of Line has been organized by Leslie Nolan and will be on view May 12 through June 30.

In collaboration with Yale University’s Marsh Botanical Garden and the Whitney Humanities Center, Artspace co-presents The Gardener's Shadow, a film series featuring five environmentally-conscious, complex films, July 14, 19, 21, 26, and 28. Screenings will take place at 7:30pm at the Whitney Humanities Center auditorium, 53 Wall Street, New Haven, and will be followed by a wide-ranging discussion session, with audience-generated topics about each film. Free and open to the public.

Artspace is a visionary and dynamic non-profit organization supporting emerging artists and building new audiences contemporary art. Artspace's exhibitions and programs are made possible with the support of the Andy Warhol Foundation, the City of New Haven Office of Economic Development, the Community Foundation of Greater New Haven, and the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, and individual Friends of Artspace.


Thursday evening reception for "Bridgeport Prints"

The BACC Gallery in the Historic Arcade Mall
1001-12 Main St., Bridgeport, (203) 552-4154
Bridgeport Prints
May 12—June 23, 2011.
Opening reception, Thurs. May 12, 5—7 p.m.

Press release

The Bridgeport Arts and Cultural Council (BACC) is pleased to present Bridgeport Prints: An Exhibition of Original Prints from May 12-June 23, 2011. The works in the exhibition were selected by Master Printer, Artist and Collector, James Reed.

The public is invited to meet Mr. Reed and the artists at the opening reception on Thurs., May 12th from 5—7 p.m. At 6 p.m., Mr. Reed will give a talk about printmaking and the selected works. The BACC is located inside the historic Arcade Mall at 1001 Main Street in Bridgeport.

Featuring 24 artists, Bridgeport Prints gives the public a snapshot of the variety of fine art printing techniques and styles used by artists. Historically, "printmaking" refers to the process of using a matrix, or a single original surface, which is used to apply a medium, such as ink, to its surface; the medium is then transferred, or pressed, onto another surface creating an impression of the original on the final surface. Although an artist can make more than one impression or print, each print is considered original due to the nuances of the printing process that creates "multiple originals."

When selecting the pieces for the exhibition, Mr. Reed wanted to show a range of talent from young emerging artists, such as Perry Obee and Andrew Murdoch, to more established artists, such as Ann Chernow, Michael Torlen and Alberta Cifolleli. The thread that ties all of these works together is that all of the artists work, live, or print their artworks in Bridgeport. Other artists included in the exhibition are Roland Becerra, Kelly Bigelow Becerra, Thurston Belmer, Janine Brown, Richard Byrnes, Helen Cantrell, Xenia Fedorchenko, Andre Junget, Kate Larocca, James Meyer, Gus Moran, Brechin Morgan, Misty Morrison, Yolanda Petrocelli, Ronnie Rysz, Nomi Silverman, Tyson Skross and Liz Squillace.

Mr. Reed, who holds a Bachelor of Arts from University of Missouri and a Master of Arts from San Francisco State University and Tamarind Institute, is the owner and Master Printer at Milestone Graphics in Bridgeport, CT. As a master printer, he has worked at print shops throughout the United States, Mexico and France and has collaborated with over two hundred artists during a career that spans over forty years. Also an accomplished artist, Mr. Reed's personal work is included in the collections of IBM, General Electric, Tamarind Institute, Achenbach Print Foundation, New York Public Library, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among others. He has received a Ford Foundation Fellowship and a Rockefeller Research Grant.

The Bridgeport Arts and Cultural Council, a non-profit organization, was founded to advocate for cultural and arts organizations by promoting participation of the community in arts and cultural activities in Bridgeport. In addition, the BACC provides exhibition opportunities and promotion for area artists and artisans. Exhibitions and events at the BACC are sponsored by private and public funding partners.

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Reception for Prison Arts show this Sunday at John Slade Ely House

John Slade Ely House Center for Contemporary Art
51 Trumbull Street, New Haven, (203) 624-8055
Prison Arts Program Annual Show
Through May 29, 2011
Reception: Sun., May 15, 2—5 p.m.

Press release

The John Slade Ely House presents 33rd Annual Prison Arts Program Show of artwork from Connecticut’s prisons. The exhibit features over 750 artworks created by over 200 artists from 12 correctional facilities.

A tradition within the prison system and the State of Connecticut, inmates work all year towards this amazing show.

The Prison Arts Program was initiated in 1978. Community Partners in Action is a nonprofit agency founded in 1875.

This exhibition is funded by: Beatrice Fox Auerbach Foundation Fund at Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, J. Walton Bissell Foundation, Concerned Citizens for Humanity, Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, Connecticut Department of Correction, Fisher Foundation, Greater Hartford Arts Council, George A. and Grace L. Long Foundation, Robert and Margaret Patricelli Family Foundation, The Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation and many individuals and collaborating organizations.

(Top image: "A Matter of Trust" by Rick Celso. Bottom image: "Untitled" by Kelly Donnelly.)

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Artists' reception this Saturday at City Gallery

City Gallery
994 State St., New Haven, (203) 782-2489
Jane Harris & Sheila Kaczmarek: High/Line
Through May 29, 2011.
Artists' reception, Sat., May 14, 2—5 p.m.

Press release

City Gallery is presenting High/Line, an exhibit of new work by Jane Harris and Sheila Kaczmarek from Apr. 28 through May 29. There will be an artists' reception with live music on Sat., May 14 from 2—5 p.m.

The lines that Jane Harris uses in her work meander like streets, pushing and pulling slightly off grid. The streets and parks of Brooklyn are still her internal map. Using silk aquatint process with water-based inks has brought brighter color to her work.

In contrast, the inspiration for Sheila Kaczmarek's clay sculptures were the pillars of the Jain temples in Ranakptur, India. These "towers" attempt to give the impression of a struggle to reach up towards the sky. The works on paper relate to and echo the tower theme.

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Thursday, May 05, 2011

Paper New England artspace (Hartford) opening reception Friday evening, May 6

Paper New England at Artspace
555 Asylum Ave., Hartford, 06103
The Digital Palette
Through May 28, 2011.
Opening reception: Fri., May 6, 6-9 p.m.

Press release

Paper New England presents The Digital Palette.

The Digital Palette presents a selection of prints created by artists who utilize digital technology in their creative process. This exhibit includes artists from a digital art community that is worldwide, yet connected with only a few keystrokes.

Just as the computer has enabled advances in virtually every technical field, it has also empowered artists to explore and visualize in ways that were unimaginable only a short time ago.

Digitally generated imagery encompasses a wide range of techniques, from digital painting created with virtual brushes, to fractal art generated by algorithmic calculations. It enables artists to mix media and techniques in unlimited ways.

As computers and software become more powerful, artists will employ an almost magical power in the virtual world. We’ve only begun to see the possibilities.

Artist include Thomas Demuth, Rich Hollant, Steven Huczek, James Knowles, Dorothy Krause, Karin Kuhlman, Bonnie Lhotka, Adam Martinakis, Cyd Miller, Kasahiko Nakamura, Alex Ruiz, Paul Selwyn, Hal Tenny, Bogdan Zwir and others.

The Digital Palette will be on view from May 2—28, 2011. An opening reception will be held on May 6, 6:—9 p.m.

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Westville ArtWalk this Friday and Saturday

Westville Village Renaissance Alliance
838 West Rock Ave., Suite A., New Haven, (203) 285-8539
14th Annual ArtWalk
Fri., May 6, and Sat., May 7

Press release

Westville Village Renaissance Alliance, or WVRA, is a non-profit organization dedicated to the revitalization, celebration and enhancement of historic Westville Village and all its amenities.

WVRA is holding its 14th Annual ArtWalk this weekend, one of the organization's largest events in the heart of Westville Village. ArtWalk attracts thousands of people each year. Admission is free, and with a wide variety of activities, families are given the opportunity to spend time together in the quaint vicinity of Westville Village. A full schedule can be found at WVRA's Web site.

This year’s ArtWalk will be held on Mother’s Day weekend, rain or shine, on Fri., May 6, and Sat., May 7. Kick-off events will begin Friday night from 5—9 p.m. including art gallery openings, artist receptions, ribbon cuttings, merchant open houses, musical performances and refreshments at over 20 merchants throughout the village.

The fun continues throughout the day on May 7 from 11 a.m.—5 p.m. with live music, theater and dance, open studios and gallery exhibitions, fashion displays, all-day activities for kids including arts & crafts and a rock climbing wall, dining, a craft corridor, and great sales throughout the village.

There will be numerous visual arts-related events as part of ArtWalk. Kehler Liddell Gallery will be sponsoring The Exquisite ArtWalk landscape, a community art project:

In the 1920's, the Surrealists played the parlor game "cadavre exquise" or "exquisite corpse" in which they passed around a sheet of paper to three or four players who would collaborate on drawing a picture of a body. The first participant would draw the head and shoulders of the "corpse" and then fold over and hide his portion and pass the paper onto another player who would create the torso. The upper portions of the work were folded and hidden before being passed onto a final player who would complete the composition by adding the legs and feet.

The Exquisite Artwalk Landscape is our spin on this age-old game. The Landscape will include the participation of 200 artists to create their individual drawings on 10 x 10 inch squares that, when assembled, will create a outdoor scene that relates to Artwalk. Upon arrival, each visitor will be asked to randomly draw 1) a number and 2) a color from a hat. The number will correspond to a square that may contain a hint of a body part, animal part, or bit of nature. The back of the square will give the visitor a prompt to help guide them in how they choose to design the square.

The squares will be collected until and placed in a secure box out of sight. After all of the squares have been drawn upon, the project is over. When assembled, the squares will combine to form a large landscape mosaic, created by gallery painter Jason Buening. Like all good puzzles the final composition will remain an exciting mystery until its unveiling on Sat., May 7 at 6 p.m. The mural will remain on display through Mother's Day on Sun., May 8 until 4 p.m.

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