Art in the state of Connecticut

Fall is the time of year known for the abundance of apples growing, the Oktoberfest events happening everywhere, Thanksgiving plans stewing, and the bright alluring colors of the foliage.

If you are an artist you are probably enjoying all these great attributes of the season, but you are also probably very busy creating work for one or multiple autumn art festivals.  For now I am keeping my head afloat with new work, but the first show is coming up in three weeks and there’s still so much to do!

This is the time to get organized to be efficient.

So what is happening in Connecticut that has me excited and busy all at once, you ask?  This year I am first-time participant of Open Studios in Hartford, a city-wide event where.  This will be happening Saturday & Sunday, November 14 & 15, 2015.  There are close to 250 artists participating in this event, it is sure to leave your art yearning satisfied!!

There are 22 locations throughout Hartford that will be featuring art and artists from around the area.  Below is the list of locations with addresses:

#1 Oak Hill Art Studio, 120 Holcombe Street
#2 Hartford Weaving Center, 40 Woodland Street
#3 Connecticut Historical Society, One Elizabeth Street
#4 Venom Vintage & Creative Art Space, 11 Whitney Street
#5 Passages Gallery, 509 Farmington Avenue
#6 Majorca, 2074 Park Street
#7 Arbor Arts Center, 56 Arbor Street
#8 Real Art Ways, 56 Arbor Street
#9 30 Arbor Street, 30 Arbor Street
#10 The Dirt Salon, 50 Bartholomew Avenue
#11 1429 New Park & Bartholomew
#12 Trinity College Fifth Year Fellows, Trinity College
#13 Kempczynski Gallery & Studio, 130 Washington Street
#14 Colt Gateway, 140 Huyshope Avenue
#15 Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts @ Colt Gateway
#16 First Presbyterian Church, 136 Capitol Avenue
#17 Hartford Artisan Showcase, CT Convention Center
#18 Hartford Dada Art Show, Capital Community College, 950 Main
#19 Hartford Prints, 42 1/2 Pratt Street
#19 Lindsey Fyfe Studio, 75 Pratt Street #504
#19 The Tobacco Shop Gallery, 89 Pratt Street
#20 ArtSpace Hartford, 555 Asylum Street
#20 Union Station Great Hall, One Union Place
#22 M. D. Robertson Photo Arts, 69 Myrtle Street C2

Here is a postcard that has been going around, but if you need more information, be sure to check out their website at: openstudiohartford.com/  

Hope to see you there!  I have been working on a lot of new work for this show.  At my table you can find some awesome sculptures, big and little, as well as some great practical pieces like coffee mugs, bowls, pitchers, tumblers, etc.  I want to leave you all wanting more, so come see me at the Colt Gateway (#14)!!

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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!

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!