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:

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??

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:

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Richard Welling Visuals

Back in September I posted a visual recap for our last show, the art faculty exhibition, and it was a successful post.  I imagine the reason being that, just as myself, my visitors are mostly visual.

This time, again, I won’t ramble on about what cool artwork we have in the gallery, I will just show you the work of Connecticut artist Richard Welling.  Enjoy!

“You can see Rome”

Before the Art Faculty Exhibition comes to an end at CCSU Art Galleries, there is one more piece of art that I must show that I did not include in the visual recap post.

The reason I waited to post images of this particular piece was because, first, I needed to take good pictures of it and it was sort of tricky to do so.  Secondly, this one needed to have just a little background information.

The artist is Adam Niklewicz, who is an adjunct professor of illustration and painting at CCSU.  His piece being exhibited in our CCSU Art Galleries is titled ‘Rome’.  Here are some images of his piece.

As Adam spoke of his work, he explained an old polish saying for when somebody is cutting a slice of bread too thin. “You can see Rome through the holes of this [piece of] bread”.

That was all the explanation needed, but without it many people took the piece of bread for granted and passed it by even though there was a sign indicating the viewer to look through the bread.  However, once given a little more information, viewers left in wonder because the piece of art was more than just a piece of bread.  It was a well thought out concept on Niklewicz’s part, and left some people in awe as many of the comments from students’ mouths were “Aw, cool!”

This is the kind of work that Niklewicz likes present in galleries, though he is highly skilled in drawing, and illustration.  Check out this mural art he created in Hartford, CT.

Not only is it beautiful but it is über creative in the way it’s presented (it comes alive when [rain]water hits it) but it fits well within the Hartford historical context, while simultaneously adding dynamic public art to decorate our capital city.  Click here if you’d like to learn more about the Charter Oak Tree project.

If you are in the Connecticut area and would like to come see it, you can until October 9th, check out the CCSU Art Galleries website for directions and hours the gallery is open.  I know it isn’t the same as seeing it in person, but what do you think of this piece of contemporary artwork?  Would love to read your feedback!

Photo #2 & #3

This weekend went by and I feel like it was wasted on me because I wasn’t feeling 100%.

Sadly, I missed an opening reception in White Plains, NY I wanted to go see. No worries, I will get there before the show is taken down. However, for now I don’t have a post to write, but I will, the events this week start on Thursday.

So, today I am posting two photographs I took the other morning while walking the dog. I would love to hear comments about these two snapshots, like which one do you prefer?

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