Saturday Night Hartford Outing

Last Saturday was one of the coldest nights we have had in Connecticut.  The day before Valentine’s, which had a record this year of being the coldest Valentine’s Day since they started to record the highs and lows.

But, for one reason or another, we decided it was a good night to take in some culture from around town.

My husband and I put on a bunch of layers and made our way to Hartford’s Artspace gallery.  If you live in CT and don’t know about it or have never been there, you should.  The gallery resides in the first floor of the beautiful apartment building right across the train station in Hartford.  The apartments are beautiful, just the kind I dream about converting into a studio, high ceilings, lots of natural lighting, and a bit of an industrial feel.

The Artspace gallery is volunteer-run by Tao LaBossiere and his wife.  They are both active in the art scene all throughout Hartford County.  And the shows they put on at the gallery are well worth the trip downtown.

Some friends met us at the gallery for the opening exhibition of “Elsewhere” which featured: Andres Chaparro, Hong Hong, Jourdan Joly, Terrance Regan, Sarah Rohlfing, Adam Viens, Amy Vensel.  Let me tell you, this show did not disappoint.

From Chaparro’s emotive and musical mixed media paintings to the simplified paintings but full of depth and texture by Amy Vensel and a great installation piece by my friend Terrance Regan, the show couldn’t have ever let me down.

Check out some of the photos I snapped:

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Connecticut Arts

From museums one weekend to gallery visits the next is how I spend my free time in the lovely state of Connecticut.

Two weekends ago (already!) I made my way to the Slater Museum in Norwich, CT.  They were having the opening reception for their Annual Connecticut Artists Juried Exhibition.  A fellow ceramic artist, with whom I work a lot, Monica Hewryk, was juried into the exhibition so we ventured to the reception to see the rest of the CT artists’ skills.

Check out Monica Hewryk below next to her piece:

Monica Hewryk

To my delight, I was able to recognize so many artists in the exhibition.  I saw the work of many who are also members of CAFA (Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts).  These members are very active in the annual exhibition and repeated recipients of the awards too, so it doesn’t shock me that they are active elsewhere.  Check out the beautiful work below.  And if you get a chance to see it in person, it’s even better!!

With these beautiful imagery, I leave you to write another post about another exhibition, and other artists also pouring their hearts out onto canvases and installations.  Until my next art stop!

 

Quick Update

Today I’m posting some photos of my work. The following pieces were accepted into some juried exhibitions and I wanted to share my excitement here.

Like crazy, I have been entering some competitions for 3D artwork.  Last week I found out three of my pieces made it in.  The first was one of my “rhino” minis.  It’s about 3.75 by 3.5 by 3.75 inches.  It’s pretty tiny.  It was accepted to a “small works” exhibition put on by the Clay Studio in Philadelphia.  Since I used to live in Philly, this was such exciting news!!!  If you’re in the Philadelphia area, be sure to check it out, Small Favors XI opens on March 25, 2016 but you can find more information here.

The same day I found out about the small piece getting accepted into that show, I also found out two of my other pieces were accepted into a different juried exhibition.  These pieces were both made last year, one in the spring and the other in the fall.  It makes me happy to finally have my pieces be shown.  These two were juried into an exhibition for the National Association of Women Artists.  You can check out the exhibition artists’ work on their website.  Please check it out and feel free to share the link with the world.

Soon I will post the photos of all my new works since last summer.  For now, I need to finish my many works in progress and make new pieces.  Thanks for stopping by.

Review of my Open Studio experience

Hello Friday and everyone out there.  It has been a few days but I am still feeling the energy from this past weekend.

In this post I am more than excited to at least show you how this past weekend’s exhibition went.

Let’s review: The event was called Open Studio Hartford and it was featuring close to 250 artists from across the state.  This was their 26th year organizing the city-wide event.  There were 20-something venues that opened up their free space to artists.  I was in the beautiful industrial and historic Colt building (Yes, as in Samuel Colt firearms).

Again and again I go over the same thoughts after finishing a weekend of exhibiting my artwork.  As exhausting as the whole event seem to be, I still love every minute of it.  It’s amazing to hear such great feedback from your viewers, but also fellow artists.  It pumps energy back into my little body to keep creating artwork.

Preparations for Open Studio started at least a month and a half before the exhibiting dates.  Spinning clay on the wheel, drying the pieces, putting together forms and adding textures to their surfaces, bisque firing pieces, glazing them, firing them once again, photographing finished pieces, and pricing pieces is some of the work happening in my basement studio.  Included in that month, or two, were some sleepless nights and long days and hours.  All of which, in my mind, paid off when I was able to relate to others through my artwork and my experiences.

My work was well received.  Many commented on my display, something I built up to after a few attempts and many tips from other artists who so graciously offer advice.

People had plenty of interesting comments and many were attracted to the horsehair pieces as well as the pit fired finishes.  These were my biggest sellers.  Some of my newest mugs were taken which makes think my craftsmanship and my forms (think a good/comfortable handle) are improving.

Here are some pictures from my display:

The downside of the weekend was that I had very little chances to escape my post to visit other artists’ displays.  Especially because it was spread out so much throughout Hartford it was impossible to be there for your clients versus escaping to other locations to see fellow artists.

I would love to hear comments on my display, but mostly I’d love to hear back from anyone who attended Open Studio Hartford and their thoughts on the city-wide event.

Rewind…

It’s always a busy time in September when school is once again starting and here I am trying to push my artwork as much as I conceivably can.

So let’s rewind just a bit to the late spring/early summer time when I went kind of crazy on ceramics work in my studio, tried to do as many shows as I had inventory, and tried to submit my work into juried competitions all over.

I managed to get rejected a few times as well as successfully set up and take down shows, sell some pieces, get some great feedback, and even make it into some of those juried exhibitions.  The rejections did leave a mark.  Instead they motivate me to be bigger and do better for the same competition next year.

This past Saturday was the opening of the “Untitled: AbEx 2015” in Hartford, Connecticut. I was honored to be included in this abstract exhibition artist list with one of my ceramic pieces and one of my old cyanotype photographs, both of which you can see here.

It was a great celebration of artistic talent in our local area.  And talent we have.  There were some very strong abstract paintings and mixed media on their walls.  My artist friend Monica Hewryk was also part of the exhibition with two of her ceramic pieces.  You can see our excitement in the images below.

Paola @ Hartford Artspace
Me next to “Missing Pieces” sculpture.
Monica @ Hartford Artspace
Artist Monica Hewryk next to her pieces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Later that same night before we walked our way to dinner we stopped by EBK Gallery, their small work gallery situated on Pearl Street in Hartford.  It was my first time visiting, and to my surprise, we found this great one piece show.  You might ask one piece show?  Yes!  It was the opening for a mural piece by Tim Wengerstman.  And yes, it was the only piece of artwork there, however, it was a big mural covering the main wall of the tiny gallery.

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Tim Wengertsman (image from EBK gallery website)

The mural was strong, assertive in its message, and it spoke of the generational awareness of our times.  It was a busy gallery with mounds of people outside of the gallery trying to get their questions answered.  My friend overheard the artist reveal that many of his artist friends were getting ready to relocate or move on with their lives in one aspect or another, a rite of passage kind of thing.  This impactful series of events brought on this painting, adequately titled “The Last Supper in Hartford,” is so politically charged it’s one of the main reasons I loved it so much.

Besides being stylistically strong (he works in woodcuts), one must study this mural with some time at hand.  It has much to decipher besides the obvious political punches he inserts with symbolism and some words.  I highly recommend anyone in the Hartford area to go see it.

It will be showing until September 28th, 2015.  Go See it!!

Tell me what you see.  Tell me what you feel when you look at this mural.  Aren’t all your senses on edge??

Exhibiting Natural Forms

We have entered the last week of our current exhibition and I recommend for all of you (within reasonable distance of central Connecticut) to come and visit “Natural Forms” before it closes on April 9th.  That’s this Thursday, so hurry up!

As I get back into the rhythm of writing, I can’t help but feel a bit guilty for not having written in two months.  So I am hoping that this post reaches the masses so they can discover the beautiful artwork we presently have installed in our CCSU Art Galleries.

It was a chaotic few weeks prior to the opening of Natural Forms on March 23, 2015.  Logistics for transporting artwork to our gallery took a bit of communication, team work and lots of energy.

The four exhibiting artists were Josh Axelrod, photographer from Vertmont; Amelia de Neergaard, installation artist living and working in Connecticut; Raphaela McCormack, a fiber artist originally from West Ireland living in Rochester, NY; and finally Bryan Nash Gill, a Connecticut artist who worked making relief prints and sculptures.

Raphaela McCormack - Of The Sea
Raphaela McCormack – Of The Sea

All the artists’ work relates so well to each other in this exhibition, it is as if they spoke the same language or carried the same spirit.  And it’s how we relate to all of it that makes for an important insight.  Come and sit on our bench and enjoy the serene movement of de Neergaard’s “River of Trees,” it will clear your mind.  Need a breath of fresh air?  Axelrod’s landscape photos can provide you with that as well.  Or you can get lost in any of Gill’s etchings which seem to have endless layers to them.  As for McCormack’s forms, you can almost picture her vessels drifting on the water toward the horizon.

Amelia de Neergaard by her "Gyre Locust" pods
Amelia de Neergaard by her “Gyre Locust” pods
Josh Axelrod next to his photographs "Taking the Turn" & "Arc"
Josh Axelrod next to his photographs “Taking the Turn” & “Arc”

McCormack’s abaca pulp (made from banana leaves) forms were the original inspirations for Cassandra Broadus-Garcia, the curator (my boss), to put these four artists’ work together and create a very raw escape from the concrete and technological.

Hoping that you will appreciate browsing through the pictures from the exhibition, I leave you, also, with a short video of Bryan Nash Gill from Martha Stewart’s American Made series.

Call for Artists from CAFA

Phew, it’s hard to believe the whole first month of the year is already behind us.  And yet I find myself thinking about June.  Can anyone out there believe I am already thinking about June?!?  As the blizzard cold creeps into the house, I cannot help but wish for the June sun and heat.

So what’s so special about June?

CAFA’s Annual Exhibition opens June 19th at the Mystic Arts Center (MAC) in Mystic, Connecticut.  So what does that mean for artists out there?  Get your art ready, we are already receiving art work submissions online.  Visit: www.ctacademy.org for all the details.

The online entry deadline is April 10, so while you have a little bit of time, those months seem to fly by when you are having fun.  The carry-in entry date is June 14 & 15.

Expect CAFA’s 104th Annual Exhibition to be bigger and better.  Why, you ask?  For starters, we have two great jurors, Jaclyn Conley and Mark Patnode.  Click on their names, check out their websites, you will not be disappointed.  Another reason for bigger and better, we have increased some existing awards and we have added some awards, including President’s Award for $250.

If you are not an artist but are interested in visiting the gallery for an amazingly interesting and diverse collection of art, don’t miss our Awards Reception on July 2, 2015.  Details will be posted here and on our website: www.ctacademy.org, and in the Mystic Arts Center website: www.mysticarts.org.

Good luck to all who enter the competition!