Real Art Ways, Hartford

Real Art Ways in Hartford is a contemporary art organization that, since 1975, has been supporting artists and engaging the community by offering audiences thought-provoking art.  Not only do they present some great visual art, but they also incorporate live performance arts and film and video.

It has been a while since I have wanted to go to one of their events, but I was always busy, working, doing homework, or too tired to drive all  the way to Hartford.  This is one of the big reasons I decided to start a blog.  If I needed writing material, then it was imperative that I make myself go to such events.  So far, this experiment is going swell!

So last week, on the third Thursday of the month, they were having their monthly Creative Cocktail Hour and I thought “This is it, it’s a chance to finally see what Real Art Ways is all about.”  I have been curious about this art space for a long time.  Too long.

That morning I called my friend Ed, who feeds off art much the same way as I, and asked if he was free and wanted to venture off to Hartford with me.  He was delighted at the idea.  He had been to this art space a few times before, but he was always working.  He is in the catering business, that is actually how we met about five years ago.  We worked all kinds of events, art events, college graduations, corporate dinners, etc.  Ed and I always worked well together and we entertained each other with our creative ideas.

Anyway, that day I got out of work and picked Ed up on the way to Hartford.  We got there and the parking lot was full.  As we approached the doors to this place, I could hear the loud music.  Ok, I thought to myself, it feels a little like a club, but that is not necessarily bad.  We stepped in and paid our covers, and two more steps there was the bar in your face.  Everybody there obviously knew that a glass of wine enhances the art viewing experience.

In all, there were four different exhibitions throughout the space, very well separated from each other.  Two, of the four, exhibitions were solo artist exhibitions.  One of them was a duo with a sculpture/music/video/performance.  And lastly (not in the order I studied them), was a conglomerate  of artists.

It is not possible to talk about all of them at once because I might bore my reader away.  This post is already long enough, I know.

The first exhibition we came upon was “Sticky” by Julia Randall.  It was a magnificent collection of photo realistic drawings of chewing gum and blown bubbles.  The chewed up gum looked provocatively and deceptively like human skin.  The bubble part of her drawings were a little lighter of a subject but just as fascinating.  One of the best parts of Randall’s drawings was the perfectly large-scale in which she works.  The first drawing you see as you walk in was about 5 foot tall, in a ‘in your face’ kind of way, and I was able to appreciate the smooth surface which lacked any harsh color pencil markings.

Here’s a picture:

"Pinned Apricot" and "Strawberry" by Julia Randall
“Pinned Apricot” and “Strawberry” by Julia Randall

Overall, I enjoyed looking at this collection, it was very entertaining.  Her collection demonstrates the seductive characteristic of her work.  I would be interested to see what she does next.

Wow, this one was a long one anyway.  I am saving the rest of the exhibitions I saw for the next post.  Until then!

© 2014 Paola Evangelista

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