Dedicated to covering the visual arts community in Connecticut.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Artist's reception Saturday at Gallery at Still River Editions for Chris Durante's baseball drawings

The Gallery at Still River Editions
128 East Liberty St., Danbury, (203) 791-1474
Ball Players: Drawings by Chris Durante
Through May 31,, 2013.
Artist's Reception: Sat., Apr. 6, 4—6 p.m.

Press release from The Gallery at Still River Editions

Ball Players is a solo exhibition of new drawings by Chris Durante of Redding, Connecticut. Durante uses ink and collage elements to express his nearly life-long interest in baseball, in particular the characters that inhabit its "cathedrals," the ballparks. The comic book-influenced, stylized figures convey the attitude and soul of players past and present, real and imaginary.

Durante says in his artist's statement, "I love the game of baseball, its lore, history, and aesthetic. Statistics and teams, while interesting, are secondary considerations. I am equally at home in a sold-out cathedral of baseball or watching a group of kids hash it out in an abandoned lot. It seems that our lives are spent trying to regain the innocence of that first experience when everything was new, mythic and unsullied by quotidian demands. These drawings are my attempt to get back to that place."

Chris Durante: "Ballplayer #1"

Durante teaches drawing as an Adjunct Professor of Studio Art at Norwalk Community College in Norwalk, Connecticut. Durante also owns Chris Durante Framing in Danbury, Connecticut. Durante is a member of the Silvermine Guild of Artists.

Much of Durante's work shown in recent years has been abstract. In 2012, his work was shown at Silvermine Guild in New Canaan, CT and the Haviland Street Gallery in South Norwalk, CT.

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Collage show reception at Stamford Art Association Sat., April 6

Stamford Art Association Townhouse Gallery
39 Franklin St., Stamford, (203) 325-1139
Piecing It Together—Contemporary Collage
Mar. 31—Apr. 25, 2013.
Opening Reception: Sat., Apr. 6, 4—6 p.m.

Press release from Stamford Art Association

Connected by a unique teacher and mentor, Piecing it Together–Contemporary Collage, showcases the work of four female artists from Fairfield County. The women met, bonded and found a common love for collage in the "Fragments into Wholes" classes taught by artist Barbara Rothenberg at the Silvermine School of Art. The show will be on view from Mar. 31—Apr. 25 with an opening reception on Sat., Apr. 6, from 4—6 p.m.

Elizabeth Nagle, Mary Elizabeth Peterson, Amy Schott and Ruth Kalla Ungerer are each exploring the medium of collage and pushing boundaries. For them, this involves the use of non-traditional materials, found objects and everyday household items. They share a belief in collage as a vehicle for altering the familiar, bridging the past, present and future, using universal themes and revealing aspects of life that make us all human. Collage is alluring to these artists because it is spontaneous, forgiving, expressive, descriptive, immediate and expansive.

Nagle’s work is inspired by abstraction and the free spiritedness that goes with it. Concerned with color, gesture and composition her process is mostly intuitive, unplanned and free flowing. She works on multiple pieces at a time, adding, subtracting, doing and undoing, layering, covering and uncovering until eventually a dialogue develops with the work. Each piece becomes a journey with its own life and language. Her works are often grounded in narrative. They are inventive, mischievous, witty, pleasantly offbeat and often populated with weird and wonderful characters.

Peterson takes a painterly approach to collage. She incorporates unusual materials in her works including roofing tiles, plastics and driftwood along with found and handmade papers. In addition to painting, she uses a variety of techniques including drawing, printmaking and sewing. Her works echo her love of nature and capture its energy, tension and organic elements. Led by instinct, her multilayered collages have wonderful depth and complexity. They are elegant, open ended and free flowing. There is a visual poetry to be found in them.

Schott with her background in graphic design took to collage like a duck to water. She is a true scavenger and only uses found materials in their original form. She favors timeworn ephemera such as weathered scraps, used stamps, old maps and advertisements. She is a deconstructionist who removes items from their original contexts and reconstructs them in new and unexpected ways. Some of her works are elaborately layered and composed while others are designed with efficiency and an understated elegance.

Kalla Ungerer powerfully blends images, text and pieces from nature into works that evoke larger than life sentiments. Primarily a printmaker, she seamlessly incorporates pieces from her prints along with found objects into her work giving her collages tension and a compelling tactile quality. Her works are very personal, provocative and sensitive to the wonders and disappointments of everyday life. She describes her art as "the window I open to my feelings and values. In today’s complex world, my work affords me an opportunity to seek and realize personal significance."

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Reception Friday evening for Cunningham show at Giampietro Gallery

Giampietro Gallery—Works of Art
315 Peck St., New Haven, (203) 777-7760
Jan Cunningham: Recent Paintings and Photographs
Apr. 5—27, 2013.
Reception: Fri., Apr. 5, 5—8 p.m.
Artists' Talk: Sat., Apr. 13, 2 p.m.

Press release from Giampietro Gallery

Fred Giampietro Gallery is pleased to present new work by artist Jan Cunningham. This show will be on view from Apr. 5—27 with an opening reception Fri., Apr. 27, from 5—8 p.m. and an artist's talk on Sat., Apr. 13, at 2 p.m.

Jan Cunningham, in a recent statement, describes how her work in the studio moves through cycles of expansion and compression. At present, the paintings are in a period of compression. For the past year, Cunningham has come back to making very simple paintings—using as few elements as possible, and letting each element play its role fully. In the course of making the painting, Cunningham seeks to generate as much light and depth, using demarcations, densely layered color, and a few lines. The lines, or slots, depending on the painting, serve as a kind of aperture in the work—an opening that light passes through, and through which one can see the history of the making of the painting; they can be a way into the painting, or posts to mark the landscape. Cunningham thinks of these paintings as emptied-out—scraped clean of any non-essential distraction, ready to serve as a chamber in which the simple elements can resonate.

Jan Cunningham: "Fence XII"

In 2010, Cunningham integrated photography into her practice in a formal way. She feels that as a matter of interest, the practice of photography has entered into a dialogue with the work in the studio, to the benefit of both. Her eye has led her to the things that she captures with the camera, and those things in turn affect the work in painting in the studio. Bringing photography into her practice has liberated the paintings from having to be “everything”—and therefore freed them to be more.

Jan Cunningham received her Masters of Fine Arts degree from Yale University and her Bachelors of Fine Art from the Rhode Island School of Design. Cunningham’s work has been exhibited internationally and throughout the East Coast. Jan has been awarded many residency opportunities including the Yale University Art Gallery Lewitt/Doran Residency and Yaddo. She completed a fellowship in Photography through the Connecticut Artist Fellowship and was invited to the American Academy in Rome as a Visiting Artist.

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Friday reception for printmaking show at Creative Arts Workshop

Creative Arts Workshop Hilles Gallery
80 Audubon St., New Haven, (203) 562-4927
Chad Erpelding & Megan Moore—Prizewinners of the 2012 National Juried Exhibition Boundless: New Works In Contemporary Printmaking
Apr. 1—22, 2013.
Opening reception: Fri., Apr. 5, 5—7 p.m.

Press release from Creative Arts Workshop

Creative Arts Workshop (CAW) features new work by Chad Erpelding (Boise, ID) and Megan Moore (Chico, CA), prizewinners of the 2012 exhibition Boundless: New Works in Contemporary Printmaking, juried by Anne Coffin, founder and director of International Print Center New York. The exhibition will be on view in CAW’s Hilles Gallery from Apr. 1—22, 2013. An opening reception is scheduled for Fri., Apr. 5, from 5—7 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

While the core techniques of printmaking are centuries old, this medium continues to evolve and offer artists a wealth of opportunities for imagination, innovation and experimentation. The jurying process for Boundless was highly selective, with nearly 400 entries submitted by over 125 artists. From the forty-five artists featured in the show, Erpelding and Moore were chosen for the depth of concept and strength of technique in their work, ideal examples of contemporary printmaking.

In this exhibition, Chad Erpelding presents a selection of work from his series Sister Cities, a project that explores the complexity of communication and connectivity in our increasingly globalized world. The artist collects information from maps and satellite images and places the visual material regarding one city in the form of the respective sister city. For instance, a satellite image of Villa Carlos Fonseca, Nicaragua is cut into the shape of Moscow, Idaho. These images are then stacked between thick layers of resin, emphasizing a separation of place that is countered by the overlap of information. Erpelding describes his work as an investigation of "the physical and mental spread of culture on a global scale through references to maps and charts. I am interested in the movement of people, business, and organizations, and the effect this has on contemporary perceptions of place."

Chad Erpelding: "Sister Cities: Port Townsend, Ichikawa"

Work in the exhibition by Megan Moore uses the technique of collage to re-examine and reconstruct images of plant material that has been visually distorted by the artist. Drawing on a small library of botanical images she has collected from various landscapes, Moore assembles micro images of plants into gorgeous abstract constructions that speak to the ephemeral nature of dreams and memory. She explains, "In some sense my process is an attempt to re- organize and contextualize the world while the conglomeration of images I use are the pieces of an unconscious narrative. In putting them together I seek to create an environment that is beautiful, richly layered and intricately woven."

Megan Moore: "Garland"

Concurrent with Prizewinners: Chad Erpelding | Megan Moore, photographs by Bart Connors Szczarba will be exhibited in the Creative Works Gallery. Box Shots! features photographs from Box 4A at the New Haven Open, capturing an instant in time when form and athletic elegance intersect.

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Soon to be a memory: "Multi-focus Memoryscapes" at Seton Art Gallery

Seton Art Gallery at the University of New Haven
Doods Hall, University of New Haven, 300 Boston Post Rd., West Haven, (203) 931-6065
Multi-focus Memoryscapes
Through Mar. 28, 2013.

Multi-focus Memoryscapes, which closes tomorrow, is a three-artist show—painter William McCarthy, painter/mixed media artist Graham D. Honaker II and photographer Hank Paper (objectivity alert: this writer's employer)—hung to exploit the complementarity of the varying imagery. And the variations are substantial—comprising Paper's perceptive and witty street photography, McCarthy's austere and spiritual landscapes and Honaker's unique mélange of collage, painting and assemblage.

One wall serves as a perfect example of how slyly this show was put together by curator Laura Marsh. Facing the entrance, the wall displays, left to right, a McCarthy painting ("These Dreams"), a Honaker mixed media work ("The stewardess") and Paper's photograph "Terminal."

Multi-focus Memoryscapes: from left to right, "These Dreams" by William McCarthy, "The Stewardess" by Graham D. Honaker II and "Terminal" by Hank Paper

The three works could barely be more different. But—Honaker's "The Stewardess" acts as the fulcrum, the hinge connecting the three works. Like all Honaker's pieces, "The Stewardess" is dense with imagery—old magazine photos, advertisements and product packaging are layered in a clear epoxy resin with abstract drips and smears of paint and his hand-cut repeated stencil image of a stewardess. As a composition—despite the fact that it employs representational imagery—it is an abstraction, defying the viewer to create narrative meaning out of the panoply of juxtapositions. It contains multitudes. Do its disparate images relate to each other in a coherent way? At least formally, they do. It is exciting to look at.

Compared to Honaker's "The Stewardess," McCarthy's "These Dreams" and Paper's "Terminal" are quiet. But there is a subliminal sense to their side-by-side display. Splashes of teal and orange paint in "The Stewardess" are answered by the presence of similar pigments in McCarthy's misty, mysterious landscape. That teal is also hinted at in the shadow in the corner of a wall abutting a window in "Terminal." And, of course, a stewardess—or flight attendant, in contemporary parlance—could be found prowling the corridors of an airport terminal.

Each of these works in their own way shows off the strengths of the individual artists. McCarthy's paintings are works of imagination rather than depictions of specific locations. They appear to be as much about the pleasures of working with paint and color as they an idealization of nature. Detail is as important to McCarthy as it is to Honaker. But for McCarthy, that attention to detail manifests itself in a completely different way—in layering colors, in the textures afforded by varying brush strokes.

Paper is a street photographer of uncanny perception, his antennae always up to serendipitous moments, some wry, some poignant. In "Terminal," the viewer see five jets in formation, presumably part of an air show, zooming past the floor-to-ceiling windows. But this evocation of unfettered motion and speed is counterbalanced by the appearance on the right of the frame of a wheelchair with its occupant's legs and clasped hands visible. Another photograph, "Where Are You?", was shot in a restaurant. A chic young blonde woman, sitting alone at a table for two, clasps her pink cell phone to her ear. On the wall behind her is a print of a Roy Lichtenstein comic strip-inspired painting of a similar blonde woman on the phone, the word balloon reading, "I don't know what to say." Paper has apparently never meta set-up he didn't recognize, camera in hand. Then there is the subtle social critique of the diorama scene in "Miss America Museum." A cutout of a young African-American girl in a red turtleneck and blue overalls clasps her hands together in delight as she surveys an array of Miss America dolls, games and photos while a crown is placed on her head. But all the images of Miss America are white.

Memory being the thematic hook of this show, it's notable that the concept is applicable to each artist's work in different ways. McCarthy's landscapes are works of memory and imagination, conjuring a sense of place out of his recollection of light, scenery and paint. Paper's photograph's capture moments in memory but do so in a way that invites deeper consideration and contemplation. The imagery in Honaker's works is treated much the same way memories are in dreams—as material to be reshuffled and re-contextualized, to be made strange and fantastic. Perhaps, like memories in dreams, these three artists' works shouldn't fit together. But they do.

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Saturday reception at Gallery on the Green in Canton

Gallery on the Green
Corner of Dowd and Route 44, Canton, (860) 693-4102
Word Art Show
Deborah Sacks: Cats, Etc.
Jim Koplar
Mar. 22—Apr. 21, 2013.
Opening Reception: Sat., Mar. 23, 6—9 p.m.
Evening of Readings: Sat., Apr. 13, 7:30 p.m.

Press release from Gallery on the Green

The Gallery on the Green in Canton presents the eagerly awaited Word Art Show running from Mar. 22—Apr. 21. In the fall of 2003, the Canton Artists’ Guild and the Writer’s Asylum joined forces to present the very first Word-Art Show at Gallery on the Green. Since then, this exciting and thought provoking show has become a biennial event.

The concept of the show is to explore the synergy between writing and the visual arts. Writers and artists collaborate with each other, and the visual artist creates a work of art in their choice of medium that is inspired by the written work. The show may also include paintings or sculpture that incorporate letters or text in the piece. This is a unique show that you will not want to miss. There will be an opening reception on Sat., Mar. 23, from 6—9 p.m. There will also be an evening of readings on Sat., Apr. 13, starting at 7:30 pm. Writers will recite their pieces while the audience views the corresponding art work. The public is warmly invited to both of these events. There is a handicapped access entrance to the Main (lower) gallery.

Jane Irene Johnson: "Grief"

Also showing at the same time are two new exhibits: Jim Koplar in the Spotlight Gallery and Deborah Sacks in the Upstairs gallery. Deborah’s show is entitled Cats, Etc.. Besides cats, her subject matter includes birds, natural objects and the human figure. Sacks concentrates in various methods of printmaking using steel plates, solar plates, linoleum blocks and digital prints. The prints are often further enhanced with pastels, charcoal or paint. Her images are mostly representational but also include the highly decorative use of color, pattern and design.

Collinsville artist Jim Koplar is showing recent work that reflects a mood of stillness and contemplation. Most of the work is done in pastels in his signature style that has been emerging over the years. He focuses on local subject matter which includes landscape, seascape and still life.

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Saturday, March 09, 2013

Reception for "War Books" at Institute Library Saturday, March 16

The Institute Library
847 Chapel St., New Haven, (203) 562-5045
War's Books: Collages by Qasim Sabti
Mar. 9—30, 2013.
Reception: Sat., Mar. 16, Noon—2 p.m.

Press release from Stephen Vincent Kobasa

War's Books, an exhibition of collages by Qasim Sabti, will be on view at the Institute Library from Mar. 9—30. There will be a reception on Sat., Mar. 16, from noon—2 p.m.

Sabti, an Iraqi artist, fashioned the works from the war-damaged remains of a Baghdad library.

Qasim Sabti: "Untitled"

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Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Murdoch prints show reception Thursday at A-Space Gallery

West Cove Studio Gallery
30 Elm St., West Haven, (203) 627-8030
Andrew Murdoch: Recent Work
Through Mar. 24, 2013.
Artist Reception: Thurs., Mar. 7, 6—8 p.m.

Press release from A-Space Gallery

Through darker imagery and altered found photos, Andrew Murdoch depicts fragments of scenes, taken as snapshots through the filter of his psyche. Dreamlike and sometimes unsettling, the works force the viewer into the murky headspace of the artist. Works shown cover a variety of printmaking techniques including intaglio, lithography and woodcut. Murdoch is the Assistant Printer at Milestone Graphics in Bridgeport, CT.

Andrew Murdoch: "She Hates"

The exhibition of Murdoch's recent works will be on display through Mar. 24. An artist's reception will be held Thurs., Mar. 7, from 6—8 p.m.

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"Multi-focus Memoryscapes" show opens at UNH Thursday evening

Seton Art Gallery at the University of New Haven
Doods Hall, University of New Haven, 300 Boston Post Rd., West Haven, (203) 931-6065
Multi-focus Memoryscapes
Mar. 7—28, 2013.
Reception: Thurs., Mar. 7, 6—8 p.m.

Press release from Seton Art Gallery

The 3rd century Greek saying, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, is a phrase that not only discusses subjective attraction but can also be applied to artist intuition when choosing a subject. Whether it is a composition, juxtaposition of imagery, or imagining of an idyllic landscape, all three artists in Multi-focus Memoryscapes approach their work with a sense of intrigue and irony.

Memory, much like a dream, is never sharply in focus or detail but always suggestive, says William McCarthy.

A memoryscape is not an exact representation of a factual world, rather it is an impression or evocation of things remembered. Many of Graham Honaker's, Hank Paper's, and William McCarthy's memoryscapes invoke nostalgia while some share a subtle humor with the viewer. There are multiple themes that run throughout the exhibition including commentaries on popular advertising and culture, the longing for an imagined or once visited landscape, and a return to former values or ways of living.

From moments of quiet reflection with William McCarthy's soft-focus, dream-like landscapes, all of which are in fact painted from memory; to the urban-scape collage paintings of Graham Honaker II that—like layers of dreams rising up—combine disparate iconography from the past with abstract figurative work that evoke memories of a certain time and place and emotion, to Hank Paper's photographs of moments in time that showcase the off-kilter beauty of everyday life, turning the real into the surreal, "We offer a palate of projections that will hopefully move the viewer to a place deeper within him-or-herself," says Hank Paper.

In passing through the exhibition, the varied styles and approaches of each artist coalesce via color, references to culture and society, and the feeling of timelessness and weightlessness.

Originally from New Mexico, Graham D. Honaker II lives and works in Hamden, Connecticut. He received his BFA from Eastern New Mexico University. Influenced by Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, and Street Art, his paintings comment on contemporary society with subjects ranging from potentially harmful political structures to the simple poetics of everyday life. Also influenced by Existentialism, which emphasizes the act of creating, Honaker exercises his subconscious through auto-painting. He is currently represented by Eidos, LLC.

William McCarthy is originally from Columbus Ohio and works in a basement studio in Hamden, Connecticut. From memory, he paints variations of the Connecticut landscape, along with images of Cape Ann salt marshes and the flat countryside of Ohio. These landscapes coupled with an abstract sensibility are reappearing themes and devises that allow him to create the illusion of atmospheric perspective. His solo exhibition venues include The Center for Contemporary Printmaking in Norwalk, CT, Kehler Liddell Gallery in New Haven, CT, Middlesex Community College, Middletown, CT, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, Weir Farm Trust, Wilton, CT, Muse Gallery in Columbus, OH, and Trudy LaBelle Fine Arts, in Naples, FL.

Hank Paper documents contemporary culture and society in the streets of North America, The United Kingdom, Western Europe, the Middle East, and Cuba. He turns the quotidian into the quintessential, the real into the surreal, and the actual into a dream. His many solo exhibition venues have included The African American Museum in Philadelphia; Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel; the High Point Historical Museum in North Carolina; The Jewish Museum of New Jersey; the Morgenthal-Frederics Gallery, the Tamarkin Leica Gallery, and The Harlem School of the Arts in New York. He has also exhibited extensively in New Haven, where he is a member of the Kehler Liddell Gallery.

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