Five Points Annex | August 14th, 2021
Gallery Open: Saturday August 14, 1-5PM
Five Points grew out of the Torrington Arts and Culture Commission’s 2012 initiative, Art Space Torrington, a temporary 840 square foot summer storefront gallery located in the heart of Torrington’s historic downtown district. The success of the summer initiative led to the founding of Five Points Gallery, a permanent non-profit 501(c)(3) visual arts organization dedicated to the belief that contemporary art is a vital component of human understanding. In 2013, the new gallery, named after its location at the five-point intersection in the heart of downtown Torrington, expanded to an adjacent storefront creating a contiguous 3800 square foot space composed of three beautifully renovated galleries. The Gallery mounts new exhibits every six weeks showcasing professional regional, national and international visual artists. Since its opening, the Gallery has exhibited over 800 artists, and boasts artists’ submissions from around the globe including China, Russia, Japan, Israel, Greece, England, Denmark, Germany, France, and 49 states in the US. The guest book is similarly impressive. Five Points Gallery’s success has become symbolic of Torrington’s rebirth as an arts destination. The innovative curatorial stance and commitment to excellence have made the Five Points Gallery one of Connecticut’s most sought-after exhibition spaces. Art New England has lauded Five Points Gallery as” One of 4 New England Galleries Worth the Drive.”
In answer to the growing needs of art school graduates, and to encourage the cross pollination of ideas, The Launchpad, a strategic partnership with Hartford Art School, University of Hartford was formed in 2016. Emerging artists who have been severed from the umbilical connection of guidance, direction, community and art facilities found in a degree program, often face an uncertain future that, for the most part, has to be negotiated independently. Often working in their parents’ basements or garages, many promising young artists find themselves isolated without intellectual and creative stimulation. The Launchpad program offers participants access to affordable shared studio spaces above Five Points Gallery, a serious arts community, mentorship, exhibition and gallery management opportunities, as well as a biennial exhibition in Five Points Gallery.
After a complete renovation, The Annex, a non-juried first come first served community pop-up gallery opened its doors in 2017. The Annex offers Launchpad artists the experience of managing a professional gallery space, adding business experience and community relations to their resumes. The Annex is available to regional artists and artisans, and provides an affordable professional space to showcase their work. Since its opening, The Annex has exhibited more than 400 local and regional artists and artisans. The Annex hosts the annual Draw-A-Thon, juried shows, school groups and other organizations.
In June of 2020 after more than two years of negotiation, Five Points finalized the purchase of the former University of Connecticut Torrington Regional campus. Located 4 miles from downtown Torrington and two hours from New York and Boston, the property includes a 30,000 square foot building and 90 acres of land. When the campus opportunity came to Five Points’ attention in 2018 – Judith McElhone acted. “This came out of left field and it was so right to continue our mission to support artists and the community, and to give artists and community members the equipment, facilities and support they need to make their art.” Envisioned as a dynamic fulcrum for cutting edge exploration and community driven activity, Five Points is in the process of transforming the property into a world-class art center the likes of which have not been seen before in Northwest Connecticut. Connecting emerging artists with recognized established artists will be a crucial part of the new center, namely through the Lynchpin Program, a think tank through which artists can share ideas and create thought provoking innovative art. When the Center is fully operational artists will have access to workspaces equipped for Printmaking, Alternative Photograph Processing, Ceramics, Digital Art, Sculpture, Painting, Drawing and 3-D fabrication.
The 245-seat auditorium will offer artist talks and documentaries. Visitors will be able to enroll in workshops, drop their kids off at the Children’s Lab, enjoy a snack from the Café, explore the library with over 1000 publications, browse the gift shop, meditate in the Courtyard Sensory Garden, walk the Art Park’s paths and trails (with four legged friends), create, explore, relax and learn!
Five Points has significantly contributed to the revitalization of Torrington through the establishment of the Five Points Gallery as a premier art venue in Connecticut. Art enthusiasts are drawn to the region from all over the United States and nine countries. The Art Center is a transformative multi-year project that will further the positive impact of the arts in this area. The initiative has already drawn collaborative interest from the University of Hartford, Parsons, Rhode Island School of Design and other colleges and universities, and organizations.
Supporting arts, culture and tourism is a cornerstone of Northwest Connecticut’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy. The Art Center will attract young people to the region, create jobs, and strengthen Northwest Connecticut’s identity as a center for arts innovation.