October 30 – November 21, 2021

Open Thursday – Sunday: 12:00PM to 5:00PM

Opening Reception: Friday, October 30th, 5:00 to 10:00PM

The group of subjects in this body of work occupy the same place in my mind, in relationships with physical distance yet emotional closeness. My level of realism requires me to spend hours inspecting and replicating another person's skin, even with that person being absent. The resulting tension between the subjects and my process keeps me engaged in the work.

These pieces are a form of collection. My method of categorizing people. I chose hands because they are both utilitarian and personal. As a part they infer a lot about the whole. They are the main vehicle of touch, both impersonal and intimate.

Using a transparent ground like glass is a way for me to put the paint into the viewer's space. This gives the illusion of three dimensions while remaining two-dimensional, informing the viewer of their own multiple perceptions. The pieces become specimens, like a slide for a microscope, asking to be examined. I am presenting to the viewer something I consider worthy of archival and close examination.


This body of work reflects all the inherent traumas that I have experienced from the rollercoaster that is 2020. From police killing unarmed black folks, to the protests and civil unrest, to the pandemic itself, it feels as though I am in a perpetual state of “fight or flight”. While we have collectively taken a stand against the many social issues and systemic racism that plagues this country, there’s still an uneasiness and uncertainty that permeates the air (along with COVID) regarding where we go from here. What happens next? Will it get better? When will we finally abolish the systems that constantly keep BIPOC oppressed? When will things go back to normal? More importantly, do we want to go back to normal?

My art is about my life. I try to be as busy as possible and work as quickly as I can without judging what happens on the canvas or in a sculpture until it's done. Even then, I enjoy the chance occurrences that exist in that chaos and want to share them with you. When someone looks at my work, I hope they experience it first and don’t read into what is written as an explanation of what is supposed to happen. Anything happens.

My current work explores the idea of time, memory, light, and color. I try and contextualize memories and influences into something tangible by negotiating the gaps of what I know to be true and the things that are unknown.

Artist Bio

Melanie Ortiz, I am a NYC based portrait artist. I primarily work in oil on canvas. Currently, I am interested in the concept of surrealism and inner thoughts. Finding the words to begin to describe feelings only I can experience is seemingly impossible. Creating imagery based on those emotions can invoke a relatable response in the viewer and that's the conversation I strive for through my work.

Artist Statement

In my art, I am trying to explore the depths of my mind and give clear imagery to my inner emotions. I am giving a lens to my introspection that's helping me re-learn myself. Using oil paint I can eectively capture the wet into wet motions and brush strokes that emulate the lack of permanence in my fleeting thoughts.

My current work is very much driven by my fear of death, and a desire to separate the consciousness from the physical body under the assumption that the latter is what drags the former to die. As the saying goes, “the captain goes down with the ship,” but if there is no ship then the captain could perhaps live forever. I, as a spiritual entity that lives within a corporeal self, don't want to be dragged into the Earth by my body. Within my pieces, I work upon and create this idea of how one might release oneself from the body, how it feels, and where we go.

In making these metaphors, I often repeat the visual of the face coming off, giving way to a stream of gold or gas in various directions. This symbolizes how I am able to choose so many things except for the very thing that represents me which is my face; it is one of many limitations brought on by the body. One’s identity is presented by a plethora of decisions but before these, one is usually introduced first by their face, which we don't really get to choose. In the moment where the consciousness becomes free, we would escape not only death, but every physical characteristic that one has been stuck with throughout life. Once the face is removed, the consciousness or soul is released, depicted as some type of fluid. I imagine it like liquid in a jar, in which the jar protects its contents, and its contents are forced into the form of its container. Ideally, if the liquid could find a way to exist free of its jar, it would truly have the freedom to take whatever shape it would like. My work makes many visual references to classical painting aesthetics, specifically in the times of Rococo. The paintings of that time were inspired by the euphoria of sex and, to an extent, the euphoria of life; on the other hand, my paintings are about the euphoria if I were to evade death. I am focused much less on the celebration of the current moment, instead thinking about the escape from an otherwise straightforward and predictable path into the grave, envisioning ways in which I might find a way out and get to keep going without the fear or burden of losing my body.Devon 

The goal of my art is to create work that follows the traditions and styles of classical paintings, but which focuses on the symbols and ideologies that comprise Americana. Throughout art history, the objective of master painters was to create visually striking scenes which conveyed different themes and messages to the viewer.  Whether it be religious, mythological or historical, all of these Masterworks Immortalize people, places and modes of thought from the past, a goal I wish to mirror within my own work. I employ a mix of identifiable American symbolism, with  visual motifs and subject matter from classical paintings. With each piece, I arrange these elements in such a way as to convey broader themes and values that are prevalent socially and politically within the US. In some cases such as the bald eagle, I will replace roosters or other animals to modify the meaning behind the symbol. I make my work with gouache on paper. The medium allows me to quickly render detailed reproductions In classical painting styles, while simultaneously giving the work its own distinct character apart from historical classical pieces. With this work I try to place Modern America within the classical art canon, while highlighting and deconstructing the ethos of American mythology. 

My work explores themes of inherent human existence such as love, suffering, and circumstance. I create drawings and paintings to be used as a "visual vocabulary" to communicate these obtuse concepts more efficiently and hope that others and myself feel less alone through the conversation. I render them with worldly accuracy, emphasizing the anomalies of Light, and physics. The contrast between these extraordinary ideas and realistic execution should convince the viewer that the metaphysical aspects of life are as tangible as those we experience every day.

Julie Wolman’s work consists of a series of energetic, colorful paintings in oil. These works emerge from a process of layering that entangles line, color, and space, as well as unexpected texts, all in one image. As an architect in her previous life, with a BFA and a BA in Architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design, it is not surprising that the feeling of exuberance and spontaneity Wolman achieves is grounded in geometry; a hidden geometry that allows her to explore movement and chance with abandon.

Ying Ye is an interdisciplinary Chinese artist. Ye incorporates “cooking” and “farming” into her materials and art by creating interactive installations, performance art, and site-specific art through neon, ice, brick, sugar, service, and cooking supplies to make people engage, experience, smell, and taste. She is concerned with cultural identity and how themes of place, home, and diaspora can cultivate form through the language of contemporary art. She is interested in exploring the themes of urban development and racial and economic justice in the art between China and America. She supports community building, community land trust, and collaboration with artists.
She creates an installation and site-specific art for community building where the communities and Immigrants can gather together. Her installations and contexts create a space for people to engage, socialize, reflect, and change their minds. And She makes projects that are persuasive and thought-provoking while creating ways to question and challenge social norms and conventional uses of ordinary objects between Chinese and American cultures to examine identity, language, empathy, and embodiment.
As an artist of color, she strongly believes that her body itself is already a place of politics.
Born in Fuzhou, Fujian, China, based in the Great Hartford Area in CT, Ying Ye received her BFA from the University of Hartford in Sculpture and Painting. In 2021, She worked as an artist for Brilliant Boba Project at Yale-China in New Haven, and She received Scholarships offer from the American Makes and Makerspace CT for industry training programs. From 2020 to 2019, She is an artist-in-residence at Farmington Valley Art Center. She works in between education, art, languages and symbols, Mural, design, and culinary art, and She presents her works publicly in the urban environment and educational resources.