Dedicated to covering the visual arts community in Connecticut.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

New shows open at Silvermine Sunday, January 5

Silvermine Guild Art Center
1037 Silvermine Rd., New Canaan, (203) 966-9700
Director's Choice: Jak Kovatch
Grace Shanley: Circle of Life – Then and Now
New Members Exhibition
Solo Borglum: 90th Birthday Celebration Exhibition
Jan. 8—Mar. 4, 2012.
Opening Reception: Sun., Jan. 8, 2—4 p.m.

Press release

The exhibits for the new year at Silvermine Arts Center, located in New Canaan, CT, brings the highly anticipated annual New Guild Members show plus exciting exhibitions featuring Director’s Choice, Jak Kovatch and works by multidisciplinary artist Grace Shanley. All are welcomed to the opening reception on Sunday, Jan. 8 from 2—4 p.m. The exhibits will run through Mar. 4, 2012.

Since 1992 Director’s Choice, Jak Kovatch, has been working on a series of mixed media paintings, combining ink etching with oil painting technique, on printmaking or water color papers. His new exhibit at Silvermine will explore this on-going series in multimedia works which will include paintings, sculptures and works on paper created by the artist. About his work, Mr. Kovatch says, “For me, the boundaries between pure drawing and pure painting are difficult to define in any exact terms. When I work, I consider both ways of presenting images, regardless of the medium used. Using both drawing and painting in a single work, I think I achieve the best of two worlds.”

Multidisciplinary artist Grace Shanley’s new exhibit Circle of Life – Then and Now, focuses on images of her six children and husband as her subject. The selection of work ranges from printmaking and pastel to painting. The idea of her love and connection to her large and growing family has been a continuing theme in the artists work. Through the use of a variety of mixed media, she presents portraits and landscapes that relate to family, place, memory and relationships. One might say that her choice of imagery is highly personal, but at the same time it speaks universally to the sense of parental love.

Each year in the spring and fall, new members are selected through a jurying process into the Silvermine Guild of Artists. The Guild of Artists is a distinguished group of professional artists comprised of over 300 members who work in a wide array of media and are represented in museums, and prestigious private and corporate collections. Selection into the guild is based on several criteria such as creativity, uniqueness or timeliness, excellence of technique, compelling notion or idea, cultural or social relevance, professional presentation of work, clarity and continuity of style, and professional accomplishment. The New Members Exhibition will showcase the works of 12 new Guild Artist members inducted in the spring and fall of 2011, representing a variety of media. The new members include: Margot Bittenbender from Old Greenwich, CT – printmaking; Lucienne Buckner from New Canaan, CT – sculpture; Carlos Davilia from Ridgefield, CT – assemblage; Kevin Ford from Norwalk, CT – sculpture; Hanneke Goedkoop from Rowayton, CT – watercolor; Barbara Harder from New Haven, CT – printmaking; Barbara Korman from New York City – sculpture; Hally McGehean from Norwalk, CT – mixed media; Mary Jo McGonagle from Southport, CT – installation; Bob Miranti from New Rochelle, NY – ceramics; Karen Neems from Stamford, CT – photography; Angie O’Brien from Stamford, CT – mixed media.

Silvermine Arts Center turns 90 this year and the celebration begins with a special exhibit, 90th Birthday Celebration Exhibition, featuring the work of the arts center found, sculptor Solo Borglum.


Two openings at Charter Oak Cultural Center next Thursday

Charter Oak Cultural Center
21 Charter Oak Ave., Hartford, (860) 249-1207
Jackie Doucot & Dwight Teal: Black and White in Color
Greg Orfanos: ep.i.sod.ic.
Jan. 5—27, 2012.
Opening Reception: Thurs., Jan. 5, 5:30 p.m.

Press release

Two separate art shows open at the Charter Oak Cultural Center in Hartford Thursday of next week.

Jackie Doucot & Dwight Teal: Black and White in Color: The premiere exhibition of two accidental friends. Artist Jackie Allen-Doucot met Dwight Teal in the North End of Hartford when he was 8 years old and she was 28. She recognized a fellow artist and they have been painting and creating art together for 17 years.

Greg Orfanos: ep.i.sod.ic.: Greg Orfanos’ work includes mixed media pieces which represent the very nature of an episode–occurring sporadically and incidentally.

The two shows will be on display through Jan. 27. There will be an opening for both shows on Thurs., Jan. 5, at 5:30 p.m.

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Mercurial Gallery opening reception on New Year's Eve in Danbury

The Mercurial Gallery
11 Library Place, Danbury, (203) 417-2215
Open Studios
Dec. 31, 2011—Mar. 2, 2012
Opening Reception: Sat., Dec. 31, 4—8 p.m., Dance performances: 6—6:30 p.m.

Press release

The Mercurial Gallery is excited to present an evening of tropical beauty on Danbury's First Night with the artist opening reception of Selva Fantasma: Images from the Undeforestation Project by photographers Marissa Macias and Summer Moore and two dance performances by the traditional Ecuadorian dance troupe, Juventud Latina.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Open House, exhibition of Robert Perron's aerial photography this Saturday in Branford

Branford Artists Cooperative
211 Montowese St., Branford, (203) 589-6995
The Aerial Photography of Robert Perron showing at 491 Main Street, Branford.
Dec. 17, 2011—Jan. 4, 2012.
Open house: Sat., Dec. 17, 1—6 p.m.

Press release

The Branford Artists Cooperative (BAC) is pleased to announce an exhibition of the late Robert Perron's aerial photographs at 491 Main Street. A Branford artist and dedicated conservationist, Perron's passion was photographing the earth and its waters from above. The large photographs in this exhibit showcase his inspiration of the landscape below, its contours, sun-struck colors and surprising patterns. Seeing his work in these proportions, one can imagine Robert flying his Cessna and hanging out the window with two cameras hung around his neck, ready to capture moments.

See for yourself how Perron’s camera caught the contrast and the harmony of this alive and changing world. Join us for an open House with 491 Main Street businesses on Saturday, Dec. 17, from 1—6 pm. 491 Main Street is open from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday. This event is free and open to the public. The exhibit runs through January 4, 2012.
The Branford Artists Cooperative supports emerging and established artists and promotes the arts in the town of Branford. We encourage greater appreciation and awareness of the arts among businesses, organizations and the general public. The Branford Artists Cooperative and its membership of artists and supporters aspire to illuminate, educate and entertain.

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Institute Library show opening and greeting of the artists this Saturday

The Institute Library
847 Chapel St., New Haven, (203) 562-5045
Out of Nature: An Exhibition of Alternatives
Dec. 17, 2011—Jan. 14, 2012, 2011.
Greeting of the Artists: Sat., Dec. 17, Noon—2 p.m.

Press release

W.B. Yeats, "Sailing to Byzantium":

Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing...

Curated by Stephen Vincent Kobasa, Out of Nature: An Exhibition of Alternatives will feature works in various media by Amy Arledge (Web), Mia Brownell (Web), Paul Daukas (Web), Brian Huff (Web), Barbara Marks (Web), Laura Marsh (Web), Kim Mikenis (Web), Michael Oatman, Amy Jean Porter (Web, see image) and Joseph Smolinski (Web).

The exhibition will be on display through Jan. 14, 2012. A greeting of the artists will take place this Saturday, Dec. 17, from noon to 2 p.m.

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Thursday, December 08, 2011

Hope Gallery Tattoo opening reception Saturday night for "Heroes and Villains"

Hope Gallery
835 Woodward Ave., New Haven, (203) 467-1622
Heroes and Villains
Opening: Sat., Dec. 10, 2011, 7—11 p.m.

Press release

Celebrate Hope Gallery Tattoo's anniversary in style with the Group Show entitled Heroes & Villains featuring over 30 International artists portraying Good vs Evil.

The opening reception will be filled with action movies, food, and good ol' booze. And we will have tons of giveaways provided by our sponsor—Gentle Giant! So be sure to arrive early and get your free raffle ticket to win tons of goodies!

Artists Include Joe Capobianco, Phil Young, Eric Merrill, Julio Rodriguez, Tim Harris, Christian Perez, Adrian Dominic, Amber Carr, Bili Vegas, Brennan Freemantle, Chris Lowe, Christopher Uniguo, Clint Danroth, Myke Chambers, Nic Skrade, Sket One, Patrick Cornolo, Jeff Ensminger, Jesse Smith, Justin Weatherholtz, London with Mike DeVries, Nikko Hurtado and ZAM.


Reception this Sunday at John Slade Ely House for "Going the Distance" show

John Slade Ely House Center for Contemporary Art
51 Trumbull Street, New Haven, (203) 624-8055
Going the Distance
Through Dec. 23, 2011
Reception: Sun., Dec. 11, 2—5 p.m.

Press release

Going the Distance is the third in a series of exhibits celebrating 50 years of Art, Culture, and Music at the John Slade Ely House.

There will be a reception for the show this Sun., Dec. 11, from 2—5 p.m.

Featured artists:

John Arabolos
Alexis Brown
Patricia Carrigan
Jeanne C. Criscola
Paul Duda
Ellen Hackl Fagan
Joe Fekieta
Frank Gardner
Joan Gardner
Mari Gyorgyey
Tony Juliano
Bob Keating
William Kent
Eric Litke
Fethi Meghelli
Lawrence Morelli
Hank Paper (see image)
Cynthia Beth Rubin
William Saunders
Claudine Burns Smith
Raymond W. Smith
Michael Stickrod


Blake Shirley show opens at Real Art Ways next Thursday

Real Art Ways
56 Arbor St., Hartford, (860) 232-1006
Blake Shirley: Skull Couch
Dec. 15, 2011—Feb. 12, 2012.
Opening reception during Creative Cocktail Hour: Thurs., Dec. 15, 6—8 p.m. Admission is $10/$5 Real Art Ways members.

Press release

Real Art Ways presents Skull Couch, an exhibition of large-scale paintings by Blake Shirley, who explores the disparate and fragmented nature of memory in contemporary society.

An opening reception on Thurs., Dec. 15, 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.

Shirley focuses on memories of everyday objects that the brain registers but doesn’t absorb. These unnoticed small details, in accumulation, define our perceptions of the physical world. How can we create meaning in a perpetually changing environment when we are constantly over-saturated with stimuli? Shirley states, “We all have filters that distort the way in which we perceive the world, of which we are mostly unaware. We simply cannot take it all in all the time.”

Shirley’s large-scale canvases depict carefully rendered objects that float in and out of geometric skulls, against a diffuse background of gestural strokes of color. They reside in a space between abstract and representational. He breaks up the spatial relationships between objects, between foreground and background. He plays with scale, creating a space that is both messy and chaotic. These paintings evoke the structure of memory, layered and fractured combining both moments of clarity and blurriness.

Blake Shirley is a painter and video artist currently living and teaching in eastern Connecticut. Traveling far from his roots in the deserts of New Mexico, Shirley earned his MFA in painting from the University of Connecticut in 2007 and a BFA from the University of Utah in 2005. Recent personal achievements include the honor of a full fellowship to study at the Vermont Studio Center, which he participated in during the month of June. Shirley also received a 2010 individual artist grant from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, and was awarded acceptance into the Radius program at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum. His work has been exhibited in several solo shows in NY, MA, GA, and CT as well as several group exhibitions throughout the United States and abroad. His work is in collections at Poland's Akademia Sztuk Pieknych in Krakow Poland, and The London College of Art, School of Printing and Publishing. He currently teaches at the University of Connecticut.

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Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Grants available through CT Artist Fellowship program, deadline January 25, 2012

Press release

The Connecticut Department of Economic & Community Development Offices of Culture and Tourism announce the CT Artist Fellowship program.

The CT Artist Fellowship program provides grants to encourage the continuing artistic development of Connecticut's artists. Awards are made each year in the amounts of $5,000 or $2,500.

Artist working in the following categories may apply:
Crafts, New Media, Painting, Photography, Works on Paper, and Sculpture/Installation.

Applications are now available for the FY 2012 Artist Fellowship Program. To be eligible for Fellowships, artist must have lived and worked in Connecticut for a minimum of one year at the time of application and are current full-time residents of the state. Ineligible applicants include students who are currently enrolled in full-time degree-granting institutions and prior Fellowship recipients who have received an award within the past five years.

Applications materials must be submitted through the Connecticut State Office of the Arts's online portal by 11:59 PM on or before January 25, 2012.

For full details, program guidelines, online application process please visit:

Questions about the applications and support materials, please contact Tamara Dimitri at (860) 256-2720 or tamara.dimitri [AT symbol]

The CT State Office of the Arts develops and strengthens the arts in Connecticut and makes artistic experiences widely available to residents and visitors. Through its grant programs, the office invests in Connecticut artists and arts organizations and encourages the public's participation as creators, learners, supporters and audience members. Through its program and services, the office connects people to the arts and helps to build vital communities across the state.

City Gallery Holiday Party this Sunday

City Gallery
994 State St., New Haven, (203) 782-2489
Give Art
Through Dec. 23, 2011.
Holiday Party, Sun., Dec. 11, 2—5 p.m.

Press release

City Gallery is presenting its annual holiday Give Art exhibition. All works of art by gallery artist-members will be for sale at $100 each. This is an excellent opportunity to shop for a friend or add to a collection.

Enjoy a festive atmosphere while you peruse art for holiday gift-giving? Then check out City Gallery's Holiday Party this Sunday, Dec. 11, from 2—5 p.m.

The exhibit features paintings, prints, sculpture, mixed media, and photography by Amy Arledge, Judy Atlas, Meg Bloom, Phyllis Crowley, Jennifer Davies, Nancy Eisenfeld, Freddi Elton, Roberta Friedman, Barbara Harder, Jane Harris, Shelby Head, Sheila Kaczmarek, Kathy Kane, Mary Lesser, Tom Peterson, Paulette Rosen and Karen Wheeler.

The exhibit runs through December 23.


Monday, December 05, 2011

Historical photography show reception at New Haven Library Saturday

New Haven Free Public Library Art Gallery
133 Elm St., New Haven
Forgotten Futures/Persisting Pasts: The New Haven Waterfront across Four Centuries—Art & Historical Photography by the Yale Department of American Studies
Through Dec. 30, 2011.
Artist's reception: Sat., Dec. 10, 2—4 p.m.

Press release

The life of a city is forged in the uncertain spaces where economics and power meet diverse people’s visions of better ways to live. Forgotten Futures evokes some big ideas that failed to carry the day in New Haven; Persisting Pasts takes notice of how the city’s earlier lives as port city and factory town still remain visible in the landscape today. As an act of civic remembering, this exhibit invites you to look at the city with fresh eyes, to ponder its unrealized futures, to notice anew the markers of its deep and conflicted history, and to give voice to your own dreams and to your understanding of the city as you find it.

Guest curators from the American Studies Department at Yale University are Matthew Frye Jacobson (Professor of American Studies, Yale University), Taylor Jardno, Kurt Karandy, Yukimi Masui, Kate Peisker and Daniel Pizarro.

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Opening and Gallery Talk Wednesday for "Deliquescence" at New Haven Museum

New Haven Museum
114 Whitney Ave., New Haven, (203) 562-4183
Colin Burke: Deliquescence
Dec. 7, 2011—Jan. 28, 2012.
Opening and Gallery Talk: Wed., Dec. 7, 5:30 p.m.

Press release

What do you do with half a million feet of microfilm destined for the dump? "Make art, of course," says New Haven artist Colin Burke, one of seven local artists commissioned by Artspace New Haven to create site-specific art for Library Science, an art exhibition running until January 28, 2012.

Deliquescence, Burke’s site-specific installation at the New Haven Museum, includes microfilm from the New York Times collection. Burke repurposes media from Connecticut libraries to create a connection between the past, the present, and the future of how we experience the library. On Wed., Dec. 7 at 5:30 p.m., Burke will present a gallery talk about his newest installation.

Thousands of feet of microfilm envelope two of the museum’s columns in the entrance rotunda. This sculpture illustrates the celebrated landmark pair of elm trees planted in New Haven more than 300 years ago. Between the columns is a transparent pedestal supporting a vintage six-drawer wooden card catalog. Visitors are invited to explore the contents of the catalog drawers, where they will find printed cards allowing digital access to more information about the project, the library and museum collections via QR codes designed for smartphones.

Part of the project included a research residency. Burke spent several weeks mining the collections of both the Whitney Library and the New Haven Museum online and onsite. Through primary source materials, including thousands of illustrations and photographs of New Haven, he found the basis of what would become the theme of his artwork—The Elm City.

"I’m still relatively new to the area and still exploring New Haven. I’ve been wondering about the 'Elm City' and the lack of elm trees for a while now—how this ties in to the identity of a place and the way we perceive and preserve the history of our surroundings," explains Burke.

Deliquescence has several definitions, Burke says. “In botany, it describes the branch patterns of trees, including the elm. As metaphor, deliquescence means to vanish into thin air, which also works in describing the demise of the elms and the usefulness of materials like microfilm. I found the word through my research which brings it all together. I also just love the sound of the word."

Library Science is an exhibition curated by Rachel Gugelberger, Senior Curator at Exit Art, New York. Bringing together a selection of work by 17 international artists, and seven artists from the New Haven area, Library Science contemplates our personal, intellectual and physical relationship to the library as this venerable institution—and the information it contains—is being radically transformed by the digital era.

Colin Burke is a visual artist creating work featuring analog, antique photographic processes and methods. Through this work, he explores the themes of liminal space, time and proximity. He is currently the Artist-in-Residence at Artspace New Haven, where he has a dedicated studio space to further explore his analog photography practice.

Deliquescence is on view at the New Haven Museum, located at 114 Whitney Ave. The New Haven Museum, founded in 1862 as the New Haven Colony Historical Society, continues its tradition of preservation with a collection that includes folk, decorative and fine arts, an extensive photographic archive, and a unique manuscript collection and research capabilities in the Whitney Library. Open Tues.—Fri. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat 12—5 p.m. Free on the First Sunday of the month, 1—4 p.m.

Library Science is generously supported with funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the David T. Langrock Foundation and a Strategic Initiative Grant from the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism.

Artspace is New Haven’s largest independent visual arts venue, showcasing a mix of local and national artists in a downtown corner storefront in the historic Ninth Square district. Our mission is to catalyze artistic efforts; to connect artists, audiences and resources; and to redefine art spaces.

(Photo by Mia Orsatti, Courtesy of Artspace New Haven.)

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Thursday, December 01, 2011

Opening reception for "Slipstreams" at Franklin Street Works in Stamford tonight

Franklin Street Works
41 Franklin St., Stamford, 06901, (203) 253-0404
Slipstreams: Contemporary Artistic Practice and the Shaping of Time
Dec. 1, 2011—Jan. 21, 2012.
Opening Reception: Thurs., Dec. 1 5—8 p.m.
Other events:
Fri., Dec. 2, 12—5 p.m., Anna Lundh Interactive Art Project
Sat., Dec. 3, 12—3 p.m., Anna Lundh Interactive Art Project
Sat., Dec. 3, 4 p.m., Anna Lundh performance

Press release

The perception, measurement, and manipulation of time in our everyday lives is a performance, both personal and shared. We agree on the indications of clocks and calendars, yet often disagree on the length of collective experiences, such as prayer or a television program. Language also influences how we “feel” a moment’s passage. Phrases such as “running out of time,” “wasting time,” and “on time,” cause us to feel hurried or relaxed, even responsible or irresponsible. Rituals, both societal and self-made, do the same.

Exploring these ideas through contemporary artworks made between 1964 and today, Franklin Street Works presents Slipstreams: Contemporary Artistic Practice and the Shaping of Time, curated by Terri C. Smith and Joseph Whitt. This group exhibition features artists who consider how time is shaped and made visible through performed acts, unique measuring systems, and other uncommon means. Artists include: Pierre Bismuth, Tehching Hsieh, Tara Kelton, Anna Lundh, Samuel Rousseau, Stephen Sollins, Conrad Ventur and Andy Warhol. The exhibition is on view from Dec. 1—Jan. 21, with an opening reception on Thurs., Dec. 1 from 5—8 p.m.

With support by iaspis, the Swedish Arts Grants Committee's International Programme for Visual Artists, an interactive art project and performance by Anna Lundh will also be part of the exhibition’s opening weekend. From 12—5 p.m. on Fri., Dec. 2 and from 12—3 p.m. on Sat., Dec. 3, Lundh will reside in the gallery and ask visitors about how they visualize time as part of her ongoing artwork "The Year is a Python that swallowed an Elephant." She will give a subtly humorous, 40-minute performance that is informed by that ongoing project on Sat., Dec. 3 at 4 p.m. in the Franklin Street Works downstairs gallery. The exhibition, interactive activities with Lundh, and performance are all free and open to the public.

In Slipstreams, a myriad of approaches to time weave throughout Franklin Street Works’ three galleries. Performances and documentation address controlled, chronological actions in Tehching Hsieh’s "Time Piece" and Anna Lundh’s "The Year is a Python that swallowed an Elephant." Hsieh’s work exhibits a brutal attention to discipline and endurance as a way of expressing the isolation of his early years as an “alien immigrant”. Curious about how others visualize time, Lundh mimics the systems and appearances of scientific research in her project, which has included more than 150 test subjects so far. Conrad Ventur and Pierre Bismuth (see image) mine pop culture’s recent past, including music and film, for source material. Ventur often collapses his images into immersive, hypnotic video installations, while Bismuth juxtaposes scenes from vintage cinema with the drawn line in his "Following the Right Hand of..." series.

The exhibition also includes works that focus on familiar objects, both everyday and iconic. Stephen Sollins alters daily newspaper TV guides with Liquid Paper and permanent markers in his "Static" series so that text is obscured and only the schedule’s grid is visible. Samuel Rousseau’s minimalist video installation, "Un peu d'éternité (a little eternity)," uses a candle and endless projection of a flame to convey an endlessness that our minds can grasp only speculatively; while Andy Warhol takes a characteristically deadpan approach with his film "Empire," placing a camera in front of the Empire State Building and shooting it for 24 hours. Tara Kelton’s "Time Travel" also relies on a stationary camera, pairing it with her laptop's lens to see a split second into the future. Slipstreams aims to allow its audience a unique exploration of multiple ways in which time can be visualized and reconfigured, prompting questions about how we perceive and maintain our inner imaginings of time.

Franklin Street Works is a new, not-for-profit contemporary art space, café, and social gathering place in Stamford, Connecticut. It produces original on-site and off-site exhibitions, artist projects, and related programming. Located in renovated row houses on Franklin Street, the two- story space includes three galleries and a café. Franklin Street Works embraces innovative art and exhibition practices, a DIY attitude, and a workshop approach to its programming, audiences, and organizational structure. The activities and attitudes of the café reflect and expand on the organization’s mission as a contemporary art venue.

Terri C. Smith is the Creative Director of Franklin Street Works. With approximately fifteen years of curatorial experience, she has created exhibitions and related programming for museums and other not-for-profit art institutions, including award-winning contemporary art programs for Cheekwood Museum of Art, Nashville, Tennessee. After more than ten years at the Museum, she returned to school, earning an MA from Bard College’s Center for Curatorial Studies in 2008. Smith has curated exhibitions for venues in Connecticut, Florida, New York, Oregon, and Tennessee. Other projects have included commissioned catalog essays and journalistic projects for print and radio.

Joseph Whitt is the Assistant Curator at Franklin Street Works and a frequent guest curator at several art venues in New York City. As former Assistant Curator at Vanderbilt University’s Fine Arts Gallery in Nashville, he was responsible for solo exhibitions by Harmony Korine and Jules de Balincourt, as well as a group exhibition pairing the Polaroids of Andy Warhol with the works of emerging artists Grant Worth and David Horvitz. His most recent curatorial project, "Magic For Beginners," at P.P.O.W. Gallery (NYC), was a critic’s pick in Time Out New York and garnered a prominent review in The New York Times.

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