Dedicated to covering the visual arts community in Connecticut.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Three shows open Thursday evening at Real Art Ways

Real Art Ways
56 Arbor St., Hartford, (860) 232-1006
Johannes DeYoung: Ego Loser
Steffani Jemison: Such is Your Luck
Phil Lique and Laura Marsh: Half Off
Ego Loser and Such Is Your Luck on view Apr.19—Jun. 17, 2012; Half Off on view Apr. 19—Jul. 8, 2012.
Opening reception during Creative Cocktail Hour: Thurs., Apr. 19, 6—8 p.m. Admission is $10/$5 Real Art Ways members.

Press release

Real Art Ways opens three exhibitions Thurs., Apr. 19, during Creative Cocktail Hour.

Ego Loser, by Johannes DeYoung, explores shifting identities in a series of short videos.

Such is Your Luck, by Steffani Jemison, investigates how luck, faith and accidents impact moments that matter and make up a person's life.

Half Off, an exhibition curated by John O'Donnell of work by Phil Lique and Laura Marsh. Half Off examines experiences and products of American consumer culture through sculpture, works on paper, video and documented performance.

Johannes DeYoung's videos are essentially portraits. The characters in his videos occupy dream spaces that reflect, distort and magnify reality. Ego Loser features composite animations of talking heads that spout affirmations, esoteric advice, spam, and legalese from online sources. Humor is an entry point in the work: absurd narratives expand to confront failure and mortality. The final results are images and sounds that teeter between humorous and grotesque.

Steffani Jemison's Such Is Your Luck is concerned with the ways that we make sense of the matter of our lives——the values and the raw materials; the episodes, the contingencies, and the accidents.

Several pieces in Such Is Your Luck are part of a larger body of work that uses an inspirational text, "If I Could," as the starting point for interventions. This body of work began, in 2009, when Jemison read an article in the Chicago Sun Times about the brutal beating and murder of Derrion Albert. The family struggled to understand how their honor roll student's life could have ended in such violence. His grandfather said Derrion spent most of his evenings studying. He had copied a poem called "Affirmations for Living" and posted it where he could view it while doing homework. Each phrase begins, "If I could…," and the final line triumphantly concludes, "If I could…and I can…so I WILL!" The Chicago Sun Times reported that he was a victim of random violence; he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Laura Marsh and Phil Lique share a similar focus: to critique misguided American inclinations. Half Off treads the line between patriotic nostalgia and dissonance. The artists overtly employ icons such as sneakers, twenty-dollar bills, the American flag and decorative patterns to reference consumer illusions and product promises. A blind celebration of the American way informs their work as notions of discounts and deals are positioned in relation to ideals and identity.

"When looking at Laura and Phil's work I was immediately struck by the perfect balance of profundity and superficiality. Subtlety is not the aim; dissonance is rarely subtle," comments John O'Donnell, Visual Art Manager at Real Art Ways.

An opening reception will be held on Thurs., April 19, from 6—8 p.m. 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.

Ego Loser, by Johannes DeYoung and Such is Your Luck, by Steffani Jemison, will be on view through Sunday, June 17, 2012. Half Off, by Phil Lique and Laura Marsh will be on view through Sunday, July 8, 2012.

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Monday, April 16, 2012

Opening reception Saturday at Gallery at Still River Editions

The Gallery at Still River Editions
128 East Liberty St., Danbury, (203) 791-1474
Gene Gort: Intellectual Property
Through June 29, 2012.
Opening Reception: Sat., Apr. 21, 4—6 p.m.

Press release

The exhibition Intellectual Property at the Gallery at Still River Editions features archival digital print editions of new work by multi-disciplinary artist Gene Gort. His new series reveals a hidden beauty that emerges from his interaction with the technology meant to keep people from illegally copying movies. Some of the prints have elements that look familiar, while others are pure geometric abstracts.

Gort says of the project in his artist's statement:
Intellectual Property focuses on the visual noise generated from attempting to extract video from copyright encrypted commercial DVD's. As an educator who uses video clips as a mainstay of my classroom practice, I am always showing samples from various sources.

Recently, while attempting to extract sequences from mainstream movies, I was struck by the endless variation of intentional visual noise this process generates in order to keep me and everyone else from illegally copying movies. Through various encoding and decoding software, I found that the variability and randomness of the encryption algorithms produced remarkably unpredictable distortions and abstractions of the images. So much so that it was nearly impossible to get the same results twice.

The images in this series are screen-grabs from this process; a kind of performance that I do responding to the real-time events I am watching on screen. The titles are an ironic pairing of 'intellectual property' and the film title, like 'Stolen', 'Catch Me If You Can', 'Precious', 'Babel' or 'Gone with the Wind'. The work has nothing to do with plot or characters depicted in the movies nor do they mimic any of the imagery or scenes.

Gene Gort is a visual artist whose artistic practice is concerned with making the ordinary significant. He is keenly aware of the role of whatever medium he uses in this process be it video production, installation, digital printmaking or multi-media performance.

The exhibition will be on display through June 29. There will be an artist's reception on Sat., Apr. 21, from 4—6 p.m.

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Reynolds Fine Art "Wheels" show opens Friday, car show on Saturday

Reynolds Fine Art
96 Orange St., New Haven, (203) 498-2200
Apr. 20—May 11, 2012.
Opening Reception: Fri., Apr. 20, 5—8 p.m.
All-Day Car Show: Sat., Apr. 21, Noon—8 p.m.

Press release

Reynolds Fine Art is pleased to present Wheels, a fine art exhibition and car show. The first of its kind in New Haven, this exhibit will feature art work that revolves around the theme of wheels.

Join us on Friday night, Apr. 20, from 5—8 p.m. for a gallery opening reception. This group exhibition will feature work in a variety of media, including painting, photography, and sculpture. In some cases the work itself is created of recycled car parts or road signs. Bruno Ratensperger, Connecticut based classic car photographer, will be exhibiting; commissions available. In addition, on display in the gallery will be handmade motorcycles by Lock Baker. Bikes will be displayed curtesy of Devil’s Gear, New Haven Power Sports, and Zane’s Cycles. This unlikely and exciting juxtaposition will serve to bridge the gap in the viewer’s mind between form and function of art.

Sat., Apr. 21, from 12—8 p.m. will be an all day auto show. Antique and performance cars will be on view in the parking garage adjacent to Reynolds Fine Art. A section of Orange Street between Chapel Street and Crown Street will be closed off to road traffic to allow additional cars and motorcycles to be displayed. Surrounding businesses will be participating in this event as well. Be sure to stop by Arpaia Lang, located at 806 Chapel Street, to join in a raffle of jewelry custom made for this event!

This event is free and open to the public. A portion of proceeds from sales will go to benefit Autism Speaks.


Opening at Gallery 195 in New Haven Tuesday evening

Gallery 195
195 Church St., 4th floor (First Niagara Bank), New Haven, (203) 772-2788
Tim Nikiforuk & Blinn Jacobs
Through June 15, 2012.
Opening reception: Tues., Apr. 17, 5-7 p.m.

Press release

The Arts Council of Greater New Haven presents an exhibition of works by Connecticut artists Tim Nikiforuk and Blinn Jacobs at First Niagara Bank, 195 Church St., 4th floor, New Haven. The exhibition will be on display during bank hours from Mar. 20, 2012 through June 15, 2012. An artists’ reception is scheduled for Tues., Apr. 17, from 5—7 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

Nikiforuk’s more recent work focuses on both portraiture of self-posting/social media sites and the abstract nature of biological entities and systems. Jacobs focuses much of her work on a dialogue between polygonal “shaped” canvases and the use of “painterliness” in regard to the interaction of color.

Tim Nikiforuk is a graduate of the University of Connecticut. His work can be seen in private collections throughout the Northeast region, as well as art exhibitions throughout Connecticut. Currently, he is an adjunct professor of Quinebaug Valley Community College, Gibbs College, and the University of New Haven. He currently lives in Middletown, CT.

Blinn Jacobs studied at the Yale School of Art as a special student for four years and received her MFA in painting from the University of Pennsylvania in 1993. She has received awards from the Connecticut DECD—Office of the Arts, the Slivermine Arts Center, as well as fellowships from the Virginia Center for Creative Arts and the Oberpfalzer Kunstlerhaus in Schwandorf, Germany. She currently lives and works in Branford, CT.

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Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Saturday greeting of artists at Institute Library "Material Measure" show

The Institute Library
847 Chapel St., New Haven, (203) 562-5045
Material Measure: Use and Reinvention of Maps
Apr. 7—May 5, 2012.
Greeting of the Artists: Sat., Apr. 7, Noon—2 p.m.

Press release

The artists brought together in Material Measure, which is curated by Fritz Horstman, share an interest in maps. Each artist approaches the subject uniquely, employing different aspects of our cultural understanding of the cartographical form. The artists combine the factual knowledge we expect of maps with the non-empirical knowledge of a place—the feeling of a particular location—that rarely is expressed in more traditional maps.

Using a variety of materials, these artists chart and represent lived, imagined, or observed experiences of the land through their creative use of maps. The collective effect bridges forms of knowledge based in the dialectically opposed schools of idealism and materialism, presenting the option of a third way of thinking, which takes information from both views simultaneously.

The participating artists are: Leila Daw (Web), Billy Friebele (Web), Mike Iacovone (Web), Martha Lewis (Web), Larissa Nowicki (Web), Gerald Saladyga (Web), Karin Schaefer (Web) and Kevin Van Aelst (Web).

There will be a greeting of the artists on Sat., Apr. 7, from noon—2 p.m.

(Image by Leila Daw: "Ancient City in the Sky.")

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