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!

 

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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!

Photography Artist: DeAnn Desilets

So here I am, in snowy Connecticut, stuck at home.  Though, truthfully, I am grateful for having a snow day and some time to write.

Today I picked DeAnn Desilets to focus on.  She made it into CAFA’s very selective online photography exhibition with both of her entries.  Her story telling is just what I needed in this cold, windy, and wintry day.  Below are her entries.

These two photographs came from Desilets’ body of work titled “Landscapes Through the Looking Glass.

Waiting for Alice - DeAnn Desilets
Waiting for Alice – DeAnn Desilets
Magic Mirror - DeAnn Desilets
Magic Mirror – DeAnn Desilets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t you think these photographs have an eerie sort of dreamlike quality to them?  If you felt as I did, like I dropped into the set of a magical fairytale, it’s because the artist was trying to do just that.

Photographer Desilets has, as the opening of her artist statement, a quote by Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax:

     “It’s not about what it is, it’s about what it can become.”

Through her imagery, Desilets tries to twist your ordinary, familiar perspective to evoke an inquisitive feeling of possibility and exploration meanwhile creating a sense of mystery.  If you visit her site and see the entire series, you can all see the settings she created.  The context in which she places the viewer changes wildly from photo to photo, leaving the viewer puzzled and widely open to interpretation through own experience.

One aspect of her work that really makes me appreciate it more so is her awareness about our responsibility for sustainability, and subtle hints of it found within her work.

What kind of emotions does her work evoke from you?  I’d love to know! Please comment if you thought her work was interesting and/or insightful.

January Cold Keeps Us Motivated

Good morning readers! It’s bright and early on this Thursday morning, still bitterly cold outside as the sun slowly comes to cover us all with its sheer warmth.  As the second full week of January comes to a close, I find myself going and going like the energizer bunny.  My theory?  I’m just trying to keep warm.

Things are moving along with CAFA, and at CCSU we are on the brink of another exhibition opening a week from today.  But I don’t want to write about that (yet…I will just not now).

Today I wanted to write about fine art photography artist Cynthia Matty-Huber.  She was awarded the 1st place in our Online Photo Exhibition for her image “John Hoiland in his Livingroom” which you can see in my recent post New Year = New Possibilities.

Matty-Huber, a Montana-based photographer, has a grasp on the harsh reality that is the rancher’s life and the everyday hard chores that make up their  livelihood.  Somehow she has been able to capture the strong hardship, the years of hard labor in a quick, in a snap of the camera.

The following was Matty-Huber’s second entry into CAFAs competition, which is another beautiful depiction of the american rancher in the rugged north-western landscape.

Cynthia Matty-Huber, "John Hoiland an 87 year old lone rancher of McLeod Montana"
Cynthia Matty-Huber, “John Hoiland an 87 year old lone rancher of McLeod Montana”

Every distinguished wrinkle line on his face that contrasts against the lighting really seems to bring the viewer’s focus to his deep complex expression.

Photographer Matty-Huber has a great body of work, please check out her full portfolio here, you won’t be disappointed.

Comments are always welcome…

New Year = New Possibilities

Hello readers, happy new year 2015!!  I hope wonderful things come your way in the coming year!

Let me tell you about our Online Photo Exhibition if you haven’t read about it yet.  It is the very first of its kind for Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts who is finally making an online presence.  Well, I’m happy to announce that our online exhibition was successful.  It’s juried and up for viewing here!!

In case you didn’t click on the link just yet….Spoiler Alert! Here’s the first place winner.

matty.j1
John Hoiland in his Livingroom by Cynthia Matty-Huber (Livingston, MT)

It means so much to us at CAFA that we were able to reach so many fine art photographers to participate in this competition.  We had photographers from Australia, Norway, and nearly 25 states from the USA were represented.  This is the kind of results I want to see for our competitions.

Our juror Michael Yurgeles was magnificent at electing a diverse group of highly skilled compositions.  I encourage everyone to take 5 to 10 minutes to integrate yourself with the photographs we are presenting in our exhibition.  You won’t be disappointed.

In the coming weeks, I will write a piece about some of the artists in the exhibition.  I want to give you a more in-depth look into their passionate work.  Until then, I hope your eyes feasts on the beauty of each image we present.

The Closing of Another Year

As we come to the end of another semester at CCSU, it brings with it the excitement of the holidays.  But, as the story always goes, we are also thinking ahead to the new year, new semester, new responsibilities, and goals to achieve.

A busy time for CAFA too.  We are in the midst of jurying the entries to our 1st online show.  It’s a big step for our organization who, with a little help, is stepping into the 21st century.  Art, I believe, should be readily available to all, rich and poor, regardless of religion, color, orientation, etc.  The world wide web helps us, artists and art organizations, bring fine art closer to all of you.

It’s a busy time for all, but I wanted to post some photos because it’s one of the easiest forms of art to share online.  And, before I forget, take a look at this article which explains how art is great for our physical health.

Until next time!

Playing Catch-up: Art and Artists in Connecticut

These past two months became the busiest for me.  Everything seemed to happen during this time.  Birthdays, reunions, concerts, side projects, plus work which never ends.

I must admit I let this blog slow down a bit.  However, I didn’t stop going to galleries, seeing art, and meeting artists.  Today’s post is dedicated to telling/showing you a little about what has been going down.

First, there was Spectrum Gallery with Monica.  It was an exhibition my friend entered because I had sent her information months earlier.  Fellow ceramic artist Monica Hewryk, whom I met in ceramic class at Central Connecticut State Univ.  She is one of the hardest working people I know and she is full of energy, a dynamic impulse which propels her closer to her goals.  Monica started working as an assistant at the CCSU ceramic studio, and she’s been making use of her free time to make more ceramic pieces and showing them at exhibitions, festivals, and wherever else she can find.

These are her pieces at Spectrum Gallery:

Spectrum Gallery, as I am just learning, is an extension of the Arts Center Killingworth, in southern Connecticut.  The gallery is located in Centerbrook, CT in a little fork intersection.  Barbara Nair, the director of it all, is a wonderful host at these exhibitions and festivals she and team put up.  She packs her gallery at opening receptions, she works the floor talking to guests so much it’s hard to cut in, and she works well with artists.  These are a few pieces in her gallery:

Then there was Maria’s exhibition in New London, CT.  Maria Colombo was the artist-in-residency at Expressiones Cultural Center from Argentina in October.  This was her second time around, and her work really evolved from the first exhibition she put on last year to the one she created last month.  Her medium is simply paper, however she never spends money on paper.  The paper she uses for her pieces are always taken from recycling bins or trash cans, she always finds multitudinous of magazines, newspapers, printing paper, etc that people discard.

Maria’s pieces are reactionary layers upon layers that transform from a two-dimensional form to a sculptural growth in the space in which she works.  Check them out for yourself:

While at Expressiones, I was lucky enough to bump into one of Hygienic Gallery’s resident artist and she was nice enough to give me a quick after hours private tour of the gallery.  It’s a great space and I liked the pieces I saw there.  Of course I couldn’t help but take some snapshots, here they are:

A group of exhibiting artists, of which I knew 95%, were exhibiting at the Dirt Salon in Hartford, CT.  My friend and artist Carolanne Pinto was presenting her Master’s Program body of work, and I offered a couple of hours of time to help her install some of her pieces.  The exhibition opened the same day as the Richard Welling show at CCSU, but I was able to catch the last little bit of it and I was glad I did.  Check out these awesome pieces:

November also marked the end to my dry spell because I finally put some of my work to showcase.  When I met Barbara at Spectrum Gallery, she didn’t miss a beat, immediately she asked me if I wanted to put work in for the next show.  A couple of weeks ago I brought her my four pieces which are now on sale in her gallery, just in time for the holidays.  She will also be selling those pieces online, you can check them out here.

Then, of course, came the making of the dress which some of you might have already seen from this post so I won’t go into detail about it.

This past week I met with CAFA president, Robert Frink, and artist Gigi Liverant, recipient of ‘Best in Show’ in CAFA’s Annual Exhibition this past summer.  Robert and I wanted to get a feeling from a member artist as to how we could make CAFA even more engaged with the artists, and how we could improve our leadership with our members.  She thought it was wonderful that we are trying to create additional exhibitions during the year.  Our 1st Online Photo Exhibition is still ongoing, so submit here.  It was a great meeting as we got some great feedback.  This is Gigi Liverant’s ‘Best in Show’ piece:

bestinshow