Dedicated to covering the visual arts community in Connecticut.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Saturday night opening of "Effable" at Hygienic in New London

Hygienic Art
83 Bank St., P.O. Box 417, New London, (860) 443-8001
July 2—30, 2011
Opening reception: Sat., July 2, 7—10 p.m.

Press release

Effable is a show of hard-core beauty. Bright colors and movement and texture infused with a deep sense that everything just works out. Effable will be on view July 2—30 with an opening Sat., July 2, from 7—10 p.m.

Featuring recent paintings, prints, drawings and photographs from artists: Kim Abraham, Troy Zaushny, Bart Jeczmienny, and Adam Campos.

Kim Abraham (see image above) makes bright colorful paintings incorporating acrylic, watercolor and collage. Images are shaped from her lifelong fascination with biology, evolution, and the way things naturally fall into place.

Troy Zaushny creates prints and paintings using original processes. His polyfresco paintings showcase his abilities in engraving and painting with beautiful colors, graceful lines, and a love of nature.

Bart Jeczmienny's (see image below) pen-on-paper drawings are a spontaneous expression of his imagination and memory. From a surrealistic perspective, his imagery depicts a multifaceted experience with the people he meets and the places he has been.

Adam Campos (see image below) is an artistic photographer. Because of his biology background, Adam took to photographing flowers, landscapes, and chasing around small critters with his macro lens. His favorite types of shoots are unplanned - even accidental, involving people he has just met or friends unaccustomed to having their picture taken in an artistic manner.

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Shelby Head sculpture show opens Thursday, reception Sat., July 9

City Gallery
994 State St., New Haven, (203) 782-2489
Shelby Head: Between the Lines
June 30—July 31, 2011.
Opening reception: Sat., July 9, 3—6 p.m.

Press release

City Gallery presents Between the Lines, a sculpture exhibit by Shelby Head from June 30 through July 31. The Opening Reception is on Sat., July 9, from 3—6 p.m. with live music by Russ Becker, Stephen Roane and Max Head.

The latest sculptural compositions by Shelby Head employ the vocabulary Head developed while creating a visual language for the mapping of music through design and color. The sculptures are composed so that energy is made visible, adjusting, approaching and receding forms that imply continuous expansion. A “tonic” color cord equivalent is used as the starting point that determines all other colors in many of the compositions. Borrowing from the principals of Synchronism, Dada, Constructivism, Assemblage and Minimalism, touching the sublime is at the heart of this new body of work by sculptor Shelby Head.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Art show opening next Wednesday at Bridgeport Arts & Cultural Council

The BACC Gallery in the Historic Arcade Mall
1001-12 Main St., Bridgeport, (203) 552-4154
A Unique Perspective
June 29—July 8, 2011.
Opening reception, Wed., June 29, noon—2 p.m.

Press release

The A Unique Perspective Art Exhibition features Unique Perspective calendar artists and talented clients from The Kennedy Center. Opening reception is on Wed., June 29, noon—2 p.m. This free exhibition runs from June 29—July 8 at BACC. Gallery hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m.—3 p.m.

The Kennedy Center is a nationally accredited, non-profit, community-based rehabilitation organization that currently serves over 1,800 individuals annually. The agency actively responds to the needs of the community by offering innovative, comprehensive service options to persons with disabilities and special needs, from birth to senior years. The Kennedy Center operates 21 community experience programs, 16 group homes, an industries program composed of six businesses, supported and competitive employment and job placement services, a family support and respite service, travel training, and a variety of children's programs.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Willard Lustenader's pure hybrids

Fred Giampietro Folk Art, Antiques and Contemporary Art
315 Peck St., New Haven, (203) 777-7760
Willard Lustenader: Areas of Refuge
Through July 1, 2011.

The first word that comes to mind as I contemplate Willard Lustenader's paintings in the Areas of Refuge show is "pure." There is an understanding of essence—whether it's line, shape, color or light—that is refreshing. The exhibit showcases a series of work based on Lustenader's study of still life geometric forms. Primarily a show of paintings, the exhibit also includes several drawings and a few sculptural works derived from the same themes.

Lustenader is a realist painter and this set of works began with paintings of paper cut-out still lifes. While continuing with the cut-outs, which call to mind simplified pitched-roof building forms, Lustenader has more recently begun painting bent wire sculptures. The bent wires resemble the definitional contour lines of the paper cut-outs. But where the cut-out paintings offer the illusion of naturalistic depth, the wire paintings suggested a flattened visual field.

Several things stand out about Lustenader's paintings. They are notable for the strength of his technique. His colors are luminous. I would say there is an intuitive understanding of the nature of light and shadow but more likely that is a hard-won skill. While these works all deal with similar subject matter, Lustenader's keen compositional sense imbues each with a strong individual identity.

Lustenader, when asked, is clear. He is painting what he sees. Yet—because he is painting geometric forms rather than, say, a bowl of pears—the paintings seem more like abstract than representational works. This is most pronounced with the "Areas of Refuge" series—specifically the bent wire paintings, as distinct from the show of the same name—where the harder linear forms of the wires are juxtaposed with the soft background traversed by translucent shadows. (Lustenader sets up his wire still lifes on a table in his studio. Working in layers over a period of time, he paints the twisted forms and the soft shadows from the crossbars of his studio windows.)

But this blurring of the line between abstraction and presentation is true of the cut-out paintings also. While Lustenader is painting from life—so to speak—the formalist nature of his shapes alludes to a Modernist tradition most associated with geometric abstraction.

For me, the standout paintings in the show are "Cut-outs, Warm and Cool" (upper image) and "Areas of Refuge #6" (lower image). The former is a tour de force of bold colors and authoritative shapes that situates the viewer within a funhouse mirror architecture. The latter painting has a far more subdued feel. Lustenader's twisted blue line forms are (seemingly) suspended over an evocative wash of diagonal shadows. Where the bright colors and cartoon-like shapes in "Cut-outs, Warm and Cool" model a playful sensibility, the muted palette and envelopment by shadows of "Areas of Refuge #6" suggests a late afternoon melancholy.

So while the first word that came to mind was "pure," there is in fact a great deal of hybridity to Lusenader's approach. Realism flirts with abstraction and formalism intermingles with feeling.

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Sunday opening at Kehler Liddell Gallery

Kehler Liddell Gallery
873 Whalley Ave., New Haven, (203) 389-9555
Jason Friedes: Domi-cells
Hank Paper: Cuba, Arrested Splendor
June 23—July 24, 2011.
Opening reception: Sun., June 26, 3—6 p.m. Artist talk at 3:30 p.m.

Press release

Kehler Liddell Gallery is pleased to present Domi-cells, an exhibition of steel sculpture and mixed media installation by guest artist Jason Friedes, and Cuba: Arrested Splendor, an exhibition of photographs by street photographer Hank Paper taken over the past 10 years.

Friedesʼ work responds to the metaphor of the various cages that we build around each other and ourselves. The work questions whether these boundaries are a means of identification and protection, or stereotyping and isolation.

Select works invite public interaction. “Cage for Family,” for example, is made up of 3 cramped cells—one large, one medium and one small, the ideal accommodation for a father, mother and child. Participants must crouch and bend sideways to fit into their personal cages, which can be bound by a padlock. Inside, visitors can reflect on their own family experiences or childhood memories.

Other works suspend and bind ordinary objects in steel grids. In this context, sentimental objects, such as school desks, a rocking horse and a highchair undergo revision. Perhaps these icons of education, play and nurture are outdated or romanticized. Can memories, like the cages, manufacture superficial constructs of our culture and society?

Friedes received his BFA from Rhodes College in 2005. He currently lives and works in New Haven, and will pursue an MFA in the sculpture program at the School of the Arts Institute of Chicago this fall.

Hank Paper traveled to Cuba in 2001 to study with Constantine Manos, a landmark artist recognized for introducing color to street photography, and returned this March to document the change. A comparison of the old and new reveals a country that has actually changed very little. But beaming through the seams of Cubaʼs majestic crumbling architecture and repressive socialist economy is an optimistic inner rhythm of the Cuban people, who maintain their legendary vintage Cadillacs, dance in the streets and embrace sexy fashions, while awaiting normalization.

For his recent trip, Paper navigated the streets of Havana, Santa Clara, Trinidad, Cienfuegos, San Francisco de Paula and beyond with handheld Leica camera. The photos are cropped with his lens in the style of the eponymous New York street photographers of the 70ʼs and 80ʼs, Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand and Diane Arbus. The invention of digital imaging has not fundamentally changed his craft.

Paper has documented contemporary society, mining the streets of North America, the UK, Western Europe, the Middle East and Cuba for the past 35 years. He has exhibited in museum and gallery shows around the world, including The African American Museum in Philadelphia (2006), The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel (1999), The Jewish Museum of New Jersey (2008), the High Point Historical Museum in North Carolina (2001), and the Leica Gallery in New York City (2002). He received the Piedmont Award from the Somers Juried Photography Show in 2009 and a grant from the CT Commission on Culture and Tourism in 2006. He currently lives and works in Hamden, CT where he runs the acclaimed independent film store, Best Video.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bob Gregson retrospective reception tomorrow at City Lights Gallery in Bridgeport

City Lights Gallery
37 Markle Ct., Bridgeport, (203) 334-7748
Just a Phase: Artist's Retrospective of Bob Gregson
June 16—July 30, 2011.
Opening reception, Thurs., June 16, 5:30-8 p.m.

Press release

Bob Gregson, of Orange, has many sides to his artistic personality, but his best-known may be that of a creator of participatory art -- pieces that have movable parts that viewers are encouraged to touch and move, continually altering and changing the piece's composition.

The story of Gregson's creative career includes drawings, paintings, playful interactive constructions and "art situations." Viewers of all ages are invited to come and play with the art. Join us for an artist's reception, Thurs., June 16, 5:30—8 p.m.

A retrospective gives the viewer and the artist an opportunity to reflect back over decades of creative efforts. Themes and content are reworked. Ideas and imagery can be observed in different stages and forms. Gregson considers art an ever-changing process with various threads, phases and reoccurring connections he calls "art echoes," Featured works include, "The Bicker Box" and "Turning the Tables" and constructions called "Offshoots" that encourage creative play.

The "Bicker Booth" is divided into two sections with a small window between. Two participants enter either side of the booth and come face to face. Each side has a Rolodex file with approximately 300 theatrical clichés inspired from soap operas and movies. For example, "We'll never resolve this," "It's time you grow up," to "I don't care anymore," and I've had enough of your crap." A dramatic sound track sets the theatrical tone to bicker.

"Offshoots" are designed with moveable modules that the viewer can pivot to rearrange the composition. Also on exhibit are 2d and 3d plans for architectural environments to be set in nature. These plans include designs to be constructed over water, high grass or in the treetops. The architectural models and 2d renderings (fine pieces of art in and of themselves,) invite the viewer to take what is presented a step further, to imagine these clean, playful designs in nature, seeing and smelling the water and waves below, feeling the sea breeze, or hearing the leaves rustling in the wind. Then imagine yourself and others within these environments. Gregson's dream is to actually construct these environments in public places.

Under "Turning The Table" visitors discover a traditional-looking table rendered useless with four circular cut-outs and a spinning X-shaped bar. Four "monkey-boards" (used for automotive repairs) invite people to lie down and slip under the table. Underneath visitors find mirrors reflecting them and other participants and colors. The spinning bar can be seen as it passes over the holes creating another optical effect.

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Artist reception at New Haven Public Library Thursday evening

New Haven Free Public Library Art Gallery
133 Elm St., New Haven
Tearing Silk: Recent Silkscreens by Miguel Trelles
Through Jul. 12, 2011.
Artist's reception: Thurs., June 16, 5:30—7:30 p.m.

Press release

Tearing Silk is an exhibition of recent silk-screens that showcase contemporary Pop interpretations of Meso-American icons. The show will also include "gestural" silk-screens depicting Afro Caribbean rhapsody, and a colorful rendition of "Bayamanaco," the Taino deity for fire. Miguel Trelles' work approaches contemporary Latino portraits as well as Pre-Columbian icons through the lingua franca of American visual pop.

Miguel Trelles is a painter with a studio presence in Manhattan's Lower East Side. His ongoing Chino-Latino painting series addresses Caribbean and Latino subjects through Chinese references. He is also an adjunct professor of Visual Arts, Modern Languages, and Comparative Literature at CUNY, where he teaches at Hunter College and Baruch College.

"Rather than merely pursuing radical innovations, I favor revolutionary archaism in painting," writes Trelles, "Personally meaningful references and amenable formats from the history of art help me to depict and to frame those intuitions about nature and humanity which I have been rendering with crayon, ink and brush since infancy. Those references are then 'telescoped' into new conceptual contexts and combinations, but always within the purview of traditional painting/printmaking methods."

Tearing Silk consciously straddles “the tremendous potential energy of difference” Europe unknowingly and willfully instilled between the four Americas. These silkscreens reflect a respectful and well-informed appropriation of Meso-American icons, Afro-Caribbean literary sources, and American Pop. They constitute yet another rough draft towards a Pan-American suma, a model that will not deny Europe but which will encompass more.

His exhibitions have been reviewed in various art publications such as Arte al Dia, Art in America, Art Nexus, and YISHU: Journal of Contemporary Art.

Trelles' work has been exhibited extensively in New York, New Haven, and San Juan. His paintings have traveled to Miami, Havana, Santo Domingo, Tegucigalpa, Lima, Rio de Janeiro, Beunos Aires, and Paris.

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Five solo shows open at Real Art Ways tomorrow

Real Art Ways
56 Arbor St., Hartford, (860) 232-1006
Jarrett Min Davis: Guts and Glory
Michael Donovan: Senseless Utility: Sculptural Constructions
Amy Theiss Giese: Light in Sound: Concealed at first at last I appear
Asuka Goto: Space as inventory, space as invention
Nicole Ratos Enerson: In and Out
June 16—Aug. 14, 2011.
Opening reception during Creative Cocktail Hour: Thurs., June 16, 6—10 p.m.

Press release

Real Art Ways presents five solo shows by emerging artists Jarrett Min Davis, Michael Donovan, Amy Theiss Giese, Asuka Goto and Nicole Ratos Enerson, opening Thurs., June 16. The artists were selected for solo exhibitions as part of Step Up 2010, Real Art Ways' annual open call to young and emerging artists in New York, New Jersey and New England.

An opening reception on Thurs., June 16, from 6—8 p.m. will be held as part of Creative Cocktail Hour, Real Art Ways' monthly third Thursday gathering. Creative Cocktail Hour is from 6—10 p.m.; admission is $10/$5 Real Art Ways members.

The five solo shows span a wide range of media: painting, experimental photography, video, site-specific installation and sculpture. Real Art Ways, which is committed to supporting artists, has shown the work of emerging artists through an open call program since 2003.

About the Exhibitions

Jarrett Min Davis: Guts and Glory

Jarrett Min Davis' figurative oil paintings in linen depict forlorn soldiers struggling in battlefields littered with helmets, bodies and geometric orbs (see image). These images are a departure from traditional and historical representations of war that highlight the heroic and victorious virtues of conflict. "This work isn't about judging the morals or politics of war, but rather it is intended to highlight the soldiers who sacrifice their lives and psyches for these political aims," Davis says.

Michael Donovan: Senseless Utility: Sculptural Constructions

Michael Donovan will exhibit constructions of finished oak, welded metal, pulleys, steel cables and other hardware that plays with notions of stability and flexibility through the use of extreme tension. Donovan says, "Each piece performs a designated task with no true purpose other than sustaining the level of energy generated within it." Donovan's work appears to bend and manipulate itself, as if the sculptures themselves could break under their own tension.

Amy Theiss Giese: Light in Sound: Concealed at first at last I appear

Amy Theiss Giese will create an installation of photographic murals and sound. The imagery has been generated through the use of a camera obscura she constructed in a room at 56 Arbor Street, Hartford. Although traditional camera obscuras function during the daytime, Amy's images come from the shadows cast at night. The resulting image is haunting and structural at the same time.

Asuka Goto: Space as inventory, space as invention

Asuka Goto will build a site-specific installation composed of rotating walls, requiring the viewer to move pieces of the room's architecture in order to navigate the space of the gallery. "I am interested in the way that we interact with architectural space and the degree to which our physical surroundings can manipulate our perceptions of ourselves." Her installation further explores the complex relationship between humans and the constructed space we occupy.

Nicole Ratos Enerson: In and Out

Nicole Ratos Enerson's exhibition is composed of paintings and video played on wall-mounted screens. Her oil paintings are representational depictions of mouths and nostrils in various stages of breathing. The video works depict the shapes created by breathing on a piece of frosted glass, resulting in ghostly forms that slowly emerge and recede. Her paintings and videos hinge on manifestations of breath and breathing as a way to reflect upon multiple dualities of existence.

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Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Open House Day at Still River Editions in Danbury Saturday

The Gallery at Still River Editions
128 East Liberty St., Danbury, (203) 791-1474
Photographs by Keith Johnson and Mark Savoia
June 11—Aug. 26, 2011.
Open House Day: Sat., June 11, 11 a.m.—4 p.m.
Artists' Reception: Thurs., June 23, 5:30—7:30 p.m.

Press release

On Sat., June 11, 2011, the Gallery at Still River Editions will be re-opening as part of Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism's Open House Day 2011. Across the state on that day art galleries, historical properties, museums, parks, and other organizations will be offering free or discounted admission, tours, refreshments, and activities.

The inaugural re-opening exhibition at the gallery will feature the work of photographers Keith Johnson (Hamden, CT) and Mark Savoia (New Fairfield, CT). Both Johnson and Savoia were 2010 Artist Fellowship Recipients from the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism. Johnson is a photographic educator and fine artist from Hamden, CT. Savoia is a fine artist and co-owner of Still River Editions and Connecticut Photographics in Danbury, CT.

Savoia and Johnson’s work is harmonious—they both have a subtle sense of humor that guides their photography.

On June 11, the Gallery at Still River Editions will feature:

• Special Saturday gallery hours 11 a.m.—4 p.m.

• 1 p.m. Artist’s talk and printmaking discussion with Mark Savoia.

• 2:30 p.m. Be a part of “Faces of Danbury”, and be photographed by Catherine Vanaria, fine artist and Adjunct Professor of Photography at WCSU.

• Refreshments

In addition to the Open House Day festivities, The Gallery at Still River Editions will be having an artists’ reception for Photographs by Keith Johnson and Mark Savoia on Thursday, June 23, from 5:30—7:30 p.m.

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Darkness visible: "War Making" at A-Space Gallery

A-Space Gallery at West Cove Studios
30 Elm St., West Haven, (203) 966-9700
War Making: An Exhibition of This Time
June 21—July 2, 2011.

The wars go on and on but are mostly invisible. The media hides the carnage, covers for the criminality. A tiny percentage of the population bears the burden—some reluctantly, some with relish—of carrying out the orders to kill and of sacrificing their bodies and psyches to our rulers' bloodlust and greed. The televisual screens chatter in a fog of mindless clichés like "They fight for our freedom." Meanwhile, freedom evaporates like a splash of water on summer's sidewalk.

War Making, an exhibition gathered by art critic and peace activist Stephen Vincent Kobasa and now showing at A-Space Gallery in West Haven, is one effort to resist the invisibility of the wars. This is war as maiming—of the physical body, the landscape and the human spirit.

The maiming of the body is manifest in works like Fethi Meghelli's (Web) "War Series," a collage and manipulated Xerox. Among the dark claustrophobic imagery are representations of brawny men—one wearing an "Army" t-shirt—with their prosthetic legs. Chris Alexiades' (Web) "Jar and Bones" accumulates stoneware bones in a large glass jar, the rawness of mass death as collective depersonalization. The individual is reduced to component parts.

Gerald Saladyga's (Web) "Playground in Rwanda," dating back to 1994, is a raw expressionist image of a child trying to jump rope with just bloody stumps where his hands and feet were. In modern warfare, it's not only the active combatants who suffer. Far from it. In fact, in drone warfare, the combatants slaughter civilians and purported "militants" while enjoying air-conditioned, videogame comfort. Point-and-click snuff film moviemaking.

The attacks on the landscape, including the built landscape, is referenced in Bradley Wollman's photographs, Nathan Lewis' painting "Orange Was the Sky" and in Nomi Silverman's drawing "Elysian Fields." Wollman uses models and toys to create diorama-like representations of war. In "Bunker Busters," the blinding sky shines through a hole blown in a building, illuminating the inner darkness to reveal the rubble. "UAV" shows a drone—"unmanned aerial vehicle"—high over a mottled desert landscape. Silverman's "Elysian Fields" from the "Mud Flat Drawings" is an abstract drawing that evokes a rending of the earth, a furious disturbance. A procession of haggard refugees trudge through a winter's landscape in Lewis' painting, the sky the color fire and elevated threat levels.
Joseph Smolinski (Web) brings together the themes of body and landscape mutilation in his spooky "Trepanned Skull—Civilian Casualties" (ink, watercolor, charcoal and graphite on paper). An upended blown-out skull births the skeletal remains of a bomb-eviscerated bus. This drawing suggests that the thought of war consumes both the individual who puts it into effect as well as war—or terrorism's—victims.

This conflagration is a maiming of the human spirit. The distortion of what it means to be human may be the ostensible subject of Brian Kavanagh's "For they have sowed the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind," Steven DiGiovanni's "Desert Sketch: Drone Pilots" and John Bent's "KYEO (Keep Your Eyes Open)."

Bent's painting presents the physical maiming of a soldier, in particular the mutilation of his face, as a metaphor for the spiritual mutilation of war. In DiGiovanni's oil on masonite sketch, war is almost play. Shirtless soldiers in the desert next to a trailer fitted with a satellite dish sit bored or act out gestures like they are flying, disconnected from the fact that their mission is technologically-inflicted, long distance death.

Kavanagh's ink drawing, which has the feel of a woodcut or block print, depicts generals and business-suited civilians plucking bombs, bombers and submarines out of a goody bag and dropping them willy-nilly into a churning sea. These are humans turned monsters, playing deadly power games devoid of compassion.

There is much more. Susan Nichols' (Web) two etchings hint at the disruption of the sanctity of the home by soldiers. Two artists riff on the plastic toy soldiers of childhood. Margaret Roleke's (Web) "White Men" features painted toy army men mounted on a large circular slab of wood. Mark Williams' (Web)three painted floor sculptures depict cutouts of posed military figures topped by contrasting playful forms—a bunch of bananas, a rooster, an elephant—derived from Play-Doh molds. The use of toys as a touchstone for both artists critiques the indoctrination in war that begins in childhood.

Considerations of the causes of war animate the works of Greg Haberny and Ronnie Rysz. Haberny's miniature assemblage "Gulf War Syndrome (with gold screw)" includes the word "Gulf" depicted in the oil company's logo. Ronnie Rysz's two linoleum cut prints, "Paper Economy" and "Shadow Banking," allude to the role of economic interest and greed in fomenting war.

Some of the artists represent the implements of war. Elizabeth White's sculpture is a disquieting visual pun: "Stickershock and Awe" encloses a hollow grenade in a cloak of burrs. Phil Lique's (Web) wall drawing "Out of Stock" employs cut vinyl to depict the silhouettes of three automatic rifles and the apology "Sorry…This item is temporarily out of stock." Jonathan Waters and Martha Lewis offer two very different takes on tanks. Waters' "Tank," dating back to 1980, is a small wedge carved out of ebony wood on a squat white pedestal. Martha Lewis' untitled pencil and watercolor drawing envisions the tank as intricate design of mechanical engineering. This raises a deeply uncomfortable truth: War, like art, is also a product of human imagination and creative ingenuity albeit turned to sulfurous, destructive ends.

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Sunday, June 05, 2011

Photographing the unseen places, unseen faces

City Gallery
994 State St., New Haven, (203) 782-2489
Tom Peterson: Out of Sight
Through June 26, 2011.

If the essence of photography is light, in Out of Sight—an exhibition of Tom Peterson's photographs at City Gallery in New Haven—texture would come in a close second.

The show alternates between images of rundown urban environments and facial close-ups of the people who inhabit those environments.

In the urban landscapes, Peterson captures the rough stippling of painted concrete, the weathered grain of a wood door, the stolidity of brick and the jagged line of broken glass. The diagonal lines of scorched wooden boards on a fire-gutted house in "Yesterday's Footprint #2" contrast with dark fractal-like swirls of grain in a panel sealing a window opening. Color enters the equation in a bold way in "Crack," an image of a concrete wall painted in bold blue and green. From the top right center a meandering thin crack—a wayward tributary or stream through a verdant forest—wends its way toward the center of the image, bordered by a white glow.

The portraits are new for Peterson. He photographed individuals he has met on his walks, primarily in New Haven. (One portrait was shot in Boston.) According to Peterson, his subjects asked him for money. Peterson, in turn, asked permission to photograph them. With their consent, he did so and reciprocated with more money than they expected. But it was important for Peterson that the interaction didn't end as a mere transaction. He engaged his subjects in conversation to try and get to know them.

Texture signifies here as well as in the landscapes. Their faces reflect tribulation and the weathering of hard times but also a fierce pride. In the portrait of "Robert," the wiry explosion of his gray Afro frames his large face. By choosing to move in close on his subjects, Peterson closes some of the visual distance that so often exists between those who live on society's margins and the rest of us. Their eyes appear to fix ours, returning our gaze. It is an illusion, of course. But to engage and not turn away is a start.

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Thursday, June 02, 2011

Open studio art show in Gaylordsville this weekend

Artist Liz Mullins will be opening her studio for a show of her artwork this Saturday and Sunday, June 4 and 5 from 1—5 p.m., rain or shine. Mullins' studio is located at 50 Browns Forge Road in Gaylordsville. From the images on her Flickr Web site it appears Mullins' style is informed by such movements as Futurism and Pop.

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"War Making" show at A-Space; gathering of the artists this Sunday

A-Space Gallery at West Cove Studios
30 Elm St., West Haven, (203) 966-9700
Wa Making
June 21—July 2, 2011.
Greeting of the Artists: Sun., June 5, 2—4 p.m.

We live in an era of war—wars declared and undeclared. Wars for purported high purpose leaving blood and carnage in their wake. Resources wasted, pillaged. Close schools and open the bomb doors. Our leaders and media are rank fabulists, realtors specializing in flipping stinking charnel houses.

Does this have anything to do with War Making, the new show at A-Space Gallery over at West Cove Studios in West Haven? We'll have to go and see.

Gathered together by art critic and resolute peace activist Stephen Vincent Kobasa, it features work by Chris Alexiades, John Bent, Edward Castiglione, Steven DiGiovanni, Greg Haberny, Brian Kavanagh, Martha Lewis, Nathan Lewis, Philip Lique, Fethi Meghelli, Susan Nichols, Margaret Roleke, Ronnie Rysz, Gerald Saladyga, Nomi Silverman, Joseph Smolinski, Jonathan Waters, Elizabeth White, Mark Williams, and Bradley Wollman.

Open Tues.—Sun., 1—4 p.m., or by appointment: (203) 627-8030.

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Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Photography show reception at City Gallery Saturday afternoon

City Gallery
994 State St., New Haven, (203) 782-2489
Tom Peterson: Out of Sight
June 2—26, 2011.
Opening reception, Sat., June 4, 3—6 p.m.

Press release

City Gallery presents Tom Peterson‘s Out of Sight, a Color Documentary Photography exhibit from June 2—26, 2011. The Opening Reception is Sat., June 4, from 3—6 p.m. Peterson will be available for a “Meet the Artist” session on Sun., June 19, from 3—4 p.m.

Tom Peterson’s documentary photographs feature urban structures and people that often go unseen. The photographs in this exhibit feature the effects of weather, time, ware and perseverance. Peterson’s images are a continuation of documents from his weekly walking tours. They often provide an abstract view of every day structures we pass by, but rarely notice. Peterson sees his photographs as a bridge for future generations to view our present everyday culture and surroundings. All the photographs are framed, archival inkjet prints.

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Lustenader show reception this Saturday

Fred Giampietro Folk Art, Antiques and Contemporary Art
315 Peck St., New Haven, (203) 777-7760
Willard Lustenader: Areas of Refuge
June 4—July 1, 2011.
Artist reception: Sat., June 4, 4—8 p.m.

Press release

Areas of Refuge, a show of paintings by Willard Lustenader (Web), opens at Giampietro in New Haven this Saturday. The show will be on view through July 1, 2011.

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One night only: Rough Around the Edges in Windsor on Friday

Rough Around the Edges Art
102 Skitchewaug St., Windsor, (860) 428-9792
Rough Around the Edges 2011
One Night Only: Fri., June 3, 2011. 6 p.m.—Midnight.

Press release

On the heels of last year’s success, Rough Around the Edges is again featuring local as well as non-local artists from across the U.S. and England. Last year’s one-day event brought folks from all over. The music was perfect, the artwork amazing and varied, and the food and drinks a perfect complement to the evening. One of the highlights of the evening included an eclectic and fun installation and the silent auction where nearly every work sold and raised a few hundred dollars for Autism Awareness.

Passion is the theme of this year’s unique and compelling one-day artistic event. Rough Around the Edges brings some of the most talented and prolific native Connecticut artists together with invited guest artists (Los Angeles, Portland, Oregon and Boston) to share their works and their passion for art The eclectic collection will include prints, paintings, sculptures, photography, short art films, installation and more. Live folk music, as well as instrumental world fusion, featuring John Parson, Heirlooms and String Theorie will add to the unique flavor of the show.

Participating artists are Alivia Atwood, Dean Batteson, Marc Burns, Christopher Creath, Francesco Cupolo, Elizabeth Dargie, Calla Donofrio, Jeff Fitzgerald, Heather Stabile Groenstein, Leonard Hellerman, Alexia Lalande, Catalina McKay, David McKay, Sarah McKay, Terese Newman, Landon Richmond, Andre Rochester, Matthew Francis Rubino, Molly Shaughnessy.

Those that appreciate art, self-expression and the creative process will not want to miss this exciting, albeit rough around the edges creative project. So get off your computer, get out of the house and join some of your fellow humans and explore the essence of Humanity, Anti-Apathy and Sincerity.

100% of all proceeds from the silent auction will go to the Connecticut Down Syndrome Congress.

As with last year, Rough Around the Edges is a one-night event on Fri., June 3, 2011 from 6 p.m.—Midnight. The schedule for the event can be found at the Rough Around the Edges Art Web site.

The work consists of oil paintings, acrylic paintings, photography, prints, collages, assemblages and structures. The works range from expressive, provocative, representative, landscapes, realism and irreverent art.

Admission is free. Bring your friends for a night of art, music and fun.


Thursday reception for CCT Artist Fellowship recipients

Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism
One Constitution Plaza, 2nd Floor, Hartford, (860) 256-2800
Second Glance
Through July 15, 2011.
Reception: Thurs., June 2, 4:30—6:30 p.m.

Press release

Second Glance is an exhibition of photographs, works on paper, paintings, sculpture/installations and poetry created by past recipients of the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism ("CCT") Artist Fellowship program. The artworks in this exhibit present multiple interpretations that reward viewers through prolonged experience.

Participating artists include Matthias Alfen (Norwalk), Frank Bruckmann (New Haven), Anne Cubberly (Hartford), Sean Kernan (Branford), Kristina Kuester-Witt (Woodbridge), Jeff Mock (New Haven), Jeffrey Pan (Stonington), Ronnie Rysz (New Haven).

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Cover songs: 138 artists pay tribute to The Misfits, Saturday night opening in New Haven

Hope Gallery
835 Woodward Ave., New Haven, (203) 467-1622
We Are 138: A Tribute to the Misfits
June 4—July 9, 2011.
Opening reception: Sat., June 4, 7 p.m.

Press release

Hope Gallery is proud to present a tribute to the World's greatest horror punk band 7x7 inches at a time. 138 artists will create special, one-of-a-kind works inspired by the songs of The Misfits. Food, drink, monsters.


Aaron Coleman, Adam Foreman, Adam Hathorn, Adam Pondozzi, Adam Walsh, Alex Mcwatt, Ant Iannucci, BJ Betts, BJ GiaccoBert Krak, Braden Kendall, Chad Koeplinger, Chance Isabell, Chris Dingwell, Christian Perez, Cody Meyer, Craig Foster, Dan Smith, Danny Knight, Dave Fox, Dave Kruseman, David Carbonell, Dennis M. Del Prete, Dennis Halbritter, DJ Minor, Durb Morrison, Eric Blair, Eric Merrill, Erik Russell, Esben L. Rey, Ezra Haidet, George Archer, Grant Cobb, Gunnar, Heather Martin Owens, Hoffa, J.J. Dunbar, Jason Bowyer, Jason Goldberg, Jason June, Jason Reeder, Javier Wolf Bettancourt, Jay Cavna, Jeremy Swed, Jesse Gordon, Jime' Litwalk, Jim Sylvia, Jimmy Snaz, Joe Capobianco, Joe Caro, John Massie, John McIntyre, John Vale, Josh Egnew, Josh Ford, Julio Rodriguez, Kimberly Reed, Kevin Collins, Kevin Powell, Lance White, Lea Vendetta, Lindsey Carmichael, Lisa Murphy, Lysa Rodriguez, Marina Inoue, Martin LaCasse, Mason, Matt Bivetto, Matt Kerley, Matty No Times, Maytee Bringas, Mike Belzel, Mike Stu Pfost, Mike Wilson, Myles Karr, Myra Oh, Nate Rodriguez, Needles, Nick Wagner, Nicole Lopez Quintana, Orrin Hurley, Phat Joe, Phil Colvin, Phil Young, Pooka Machine, Richard GP Armstrong, Ricky McGee, Robert Interian, Robert Kane, Rodney Raines, Ryan Kistenmacher, Sam Sanchez, Scott Milyanovich Jr. , Shag, Skott Lukacs, Stephen Zap, Steve Byrne, Steve Tiberi, Steve Whittenberger, The Gus, Thomas Asher, Tim Harris, Tim McAlary, Tim McGrath, Timothy Hoyer, Todd Noble Holloway, Todd Smithson, Turk, Vince Moisden, Vinny Battle, Wes Diffie, Zack Spurlock.

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