Opening Reception: Friday, December 9, 6:00 – 8:00 PM
Gallery Open: Tuesday – Sunday from 1-5 PM, and by appointment
Mio Akashi • Talya Baharal • Cat Balco • Matthew Best • Power Boothe • David Broawski • Donald Bracken • Peter Busby
Robert Calafiore • Harriet Caldwell • Melanie Carr • Patricia Carrigan • Susan Clinard • Susan Clinard • Cynthia Cooper
Eric Forstmann • Joe Gitterman • Zbigniew Grzyb • Susan Hackett • Barbara Hocker • Brigid Kennedy • Nayana LaFond
Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe • Sydney Morris • Chris Perry • Tim Prentice • Jack Rosenberg • Erika Gabriela Santos
Dee Shapiro • Kim Sobel • Sally van Doren • John Frederick Walker • Anna Webersen
MAGNOLIA IN CELADON VASE - from One Stem One Branch Series
How many times have I tried to capture the essence of the flowers in my backyard? I have never fulfilled my desire. They bloom abundantly but fade away quickly.
Spring comes late and Winter returns early at my backyard located in the north-west corner of Connecticut. Year after year flowering plants and shrubs follow their routines in a very limited time.
The blooms are always too many and too ephemeral. So I decided to clip only one stem from the many remembering the episode of Asagao/Morning Glory of Sen no Rikyu who is the founder of the Japanese Tea Ceremony in the 16th century.
Against the expectation of his master who wanted to admire Rikyu’s famous Asagao hedge covered by hundreds of flowers, he cut all of them away and chose only one stem. He arranged the one single stem of Asagao in his tea room and entertained his master with his tea ceremony.
One represents all. One is many. That is my interpretation of the essence of flowers.
Born in Japan and moved to New York City in 1986. Graduated from F.I.T. with a BFA in Interior Design and Fine Arts, practiced as an interior designer and started photographing architectural and
Concentrated in photography from early 2010's and have exhibited
work since 2013. Currently represented by Holly Hunt in their
New York, Los Angeles and Chicago showrooms. Various works can
be found in both private and public collections.
Using a wide range of expressions and methods depending upon the subject matter. Traditional film photography with gelatin silver
prints, digitally captured or processed from traditional film
and producing large scale prints.
Recently developed the skills of 19th century alternative
processes with a 21st century digital approach.
Talya Baharal - BIO
Born and raised in Tel Aviv, Israel, and London England. Worked in television production in London and then for CBS News in Tel Aviv during the peace process with Egypt and the historic visit of President Sadat’s to Jerusalem in the late seventies. In late 1979 moved to work on the Foreign Desk at CBS News in New York and as a researcher on “universe” with Walter Cronkite.
A long standing passion for the art of jewelry led me to develop my wearable objects body of work in 1984. Over almost 3 decades my sculpture work was widely exhibited, published and sold nationally and abroad, garnering awards and grants.
In 2007 I was a NYFA (New York Foundation for the Arts) fellow and in 2011 a juror for NYFA sculpture/craft category. In 2011 I curated a contemporary book, "500 Silver Jewelry Designs", published by Lark Books/Sterling Publishing.
In 2013, while living on the coast of Maine, I began to focus exclusively on developing my painting practice and have never looked back. Now back in my home in the Hudson Valley I work daily in my painting studio in Kingston NY.
A solo show of my recent painting work will open at First Street Gallery in Chelsea, New York, in February 2023. Another solo show is scheduled for Novemeber 2023 at Lulo Gallery, Healdsburg CA. A solo show of my paintings was exhibited at Five Points Gallery in Torrington, Connecticut in 2021. Several small group shows included my paintings in Chelsea, Hudson Valley and California over the past few years.
October 28, 2022
I make my paintings with push or hand brooms of varying sizes, never smaller than 12” across. The brooms are significant to me because they are laborers’ tools, not fine artists’ tools, and they speak to my personal background as the descendant of working class immigrants. I love the paradox that a painting – potentially one of the most valuable man-made objects - can be made with lowly workman’s tools: push brooms, inexpensive canvas, and paint.
The paintings are constructed of a limited sequence of marks – usually about 9 per painting - that are gestural but minimal. The paintings are painted quickly but conceived slowly, their compositions distilled from sections of earlier paintings that are themselves distilled from even earlier paintings before that. Their minimal compositions, and the scale of the industrial tools that I use to make them, suggest something quite large; viewers feel small in comparison. Elements of my compositions suggest landscape: a blue reads like a bright sky, a pair of colors – their hues slightly shifted - evoke a distant vista. Sometimes the paint flows and drips like water caught by wind.
When I am painting, I look for painted moments that feel specific yet wholly unnamable, abstract and yet resonant. I enjoy the poetry of the gestural paint stroke and the harmony of colors speaking to each other. I try to paint the exact moment when something profane becomes sacred, when something that I’ve looked at many times becomes the most beautiful thing that I’ve ever seen and then – quixotically – retreats again to ordinariness. I wonder: did the transformation even really happen?
While I’m working, I think about the tradition of Trompe L’oeil painting – beloved in early America - which is simultaneously kitchy and delightful in its attempts to trick viewers into thinking a painted representation is “real”. Trompe L’oeil’s signature move, the drop shadow, sometimes appears in my work. I also think of Abstract Expressionism, the quintessentially “American” painting attitude of bravado, that is both inspiring for its celebration of the individual and deeply troubling for its darkly macho, aggressive, and colonialist implications. I look at painters as diverse as Ed Clark, who painted with push brooms, and Richard Tuttle, who claimed to be able to infuse even the most minimal gesture with the power of art. Others like Stanley Whitney, Marina Adams, and Judy Ledgerwood, all artists who work with color, gesture, and minimal, “efficient” form, also serve as guides.
Hartford, Connecticut based artist Matthew Best received his BFA in Painting from the University Of Hartford Art School and his MFA in Painting from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Formerly a Resident Studio at the Arlington Arts Center and has been in numerous shows on the local and national level. Best teaches at Three Rivers Community College in Norwich, CT.
My work aims to use the vocabulary of painting to find new ways of depicting the body, or more accurately, being a body; one that is subject to internal and external forces, desire, pain and pleasure. Shapes and colors within the paintings alternate between conflict and unity, push and pull, support and instability. The inspiration for this work has been my study of yoga which has deepened and expanded my awareness of my body, both positive and negative. Yoga requires great mental focus and physical strength to maintain the poses, if one of these elements is missing, you fall. These paintings strive to achieve this same balance. The body is represented metaphorically as an awkward and complex structure. Varying weights of color, shape and line balance against one another; removal of any one element would result in the collapse of the painting. The body is also depicted as a particular kind of space. This space exists in-between the micro and macro, natural and artificial and of the interior (the mind) and exterior (the body and/or landscape). Layers alternate between an opacity that obscures and a revealing translucency. Some shapes are completely hidden; other shapes are more deeply embedded in the picture plane, exposed by scrapped and sanded the painting down. In this way, the conflicting spaces are collapsed into one another.
Power Boothe has exhibited his paintings for over four decades. His work is represented in public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art,
the Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His work is also represented in the collections of the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, the Baltimore Museum of Art, and the British Museum in the UK, as well as many private collections nationally and internationally.
Boothe has received numerous individual grants, including a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Pollock/Krasner Foundation Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship for painting. He has received awards for his designs for experimental theater, dance, and video productions, including a Bessie Award for set design, a Film/Video Arts Foundation Award for film, and several Art Matters Grants for theater. He has been the co-recipient of numerous collaborative grants including several NEA Inter-Arts Grants and NY State Council Grants, as well as a Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest Grant. In addition, he has been awarded a Yaddo Artists Colony residency, a McDowell Colony residency, and an Asian Cultural Council Grant for travel and study in Japan.
Boothe is currently a Professor of Painting at the Hartford Art School, University of Hartford. He served as Dean of the Hartford Art School from 2001 to 2010, where he led a successful campaign to build the Renée Samuels Center, a studio facility focused on teaching art and technology. As Director of the School of Art at Ohio University from 1998 to 2001, he produced a symposium on cognitive theory and the arts: Art/Body/Mind. As Co-director of the Mount Royal Graduate School of Art at the Maryland Institute College of Art from 1993 to 1998, he curated the exhibition, Art + Necessity. The Maryland Institute awarded him the Trustees Award for Teaching Excellence in 1998. Boothe served as Lecturer in the Humanities at Princeton University from 1988 to 1994 and served on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts from 1979 to 1988.
Boothe grew up in Lafayette, CA. He studied painting at the California College of the Arts and the San Francisco Art Institute, then received a BA in Painting from Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO. He came to New York as a student in the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program in 1967, He continued to live and work as an artist for three decades in New York City. He studied classical archeology at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, Greece, and linguistics and philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1989 he received an Honorary Doctorate of Arts degree from Colorado College for his mid-career accomplishments and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts.
my installations are responses to specific spaces. part of my practice has been the incorporation of virtual space, and the use of the internet and photoshop. digital images of gallery spaces become virtual playgrounds, an arena to combine new and old pieces to scale. these are a few digital renderings and proposals that may be realised in the future.
Don Bracken is inspired by nature and incorporates many natural materials in his art. As a process-oriented artist, his process includes the discovery of materials, which he then synthesizes and formalizes in the studio. Much of his work refences the World Trade Center and 9/11 ( such as in the above photo) drawing directly from his artist residence experience with a studio on the 91st floor in 1997. His work derives heavily from both the physical landscape and the archeological traces of civilization, he often combines materials such as clay and acrylics with local earth, natural pigments, vines, leaves, roots, and seed pods. He incorporates rich texture, evocative form, and elements of color, light, and kinetics in pieces that describe both life’s ephemeral transience and its constant evolution, as well as documenting the human capacity to cause decline, disorder, and chaos in the natural world. Bracken has received many awards, and his pieces are in numerous American and international collections.
I strive to create works of art that are elegant, yet simple, foster a sense of place, achieve a sense of timelessness, and pay homage to the natural world around us. The materials I use and the open style of my sculpture allows me to work on a grand scale, often creating artworks that are monumental in scope.
My artwork has evolved from the concept of space being defined by a single line, to structures defined by woven surfaces. I work with steel rod in a way that echoes lines drawn by pencil, only my metal markings are free of paper and, thus, create three-dimensional drawings. It is the fluidity of the line-like, hand-bent rods that gives my pieces a strikingly graceful, organic feel.
My particular attention to line results in sculptures comprised of both positive and negative space. This spatial interplay causes the sculptures to feel both full and empty, and invites viewers to complete the volume that the framework suggests. The negative space, which has become a fundamental aspect of my work, allows viewers to visually pass through the work, thereby incorporating the surrounding environment. This interaction and interplay between the artwork, the viewer, and the environment is, for me, the purpose of public art, and what I continually strive to achieve with my own work.
Robert Calafiore uses a hand-built pinhole camera to create large-scale unique c-prints. The nude male subject is placed within a large stage set. It is transformed by the distinctive characteristics of the camera’s wide-angle, long exposure, and the light-sensitive paper's recording characteristics and limitations. The scene is manipulated during in-camera exposure to control the results. An interest in the process, traditional materials, the reaction between light and chemistry, and the personal and universal stories told through everyday objects and intimate relationships drive his practice
This work is visually complex, luscious, decadent, and indulgent. It is influenced by art history, mythology, religion, and his personal experiences and relationships. These images are statements of love, desire, lust, identity, and friendship, illustrated through fantasy and dream-like scenes. A long-term investigation of the relationship between the figure and its surrounding environment provides the structure for this series.
In every case, elevating the ordinary to the extraordinary... every day to a magical place…is one of the primary motivators. These pictures are made directly to paper revealing the subject in the negative. Each one is unique. The inverted image is like seeing something he wasn't meant to see. Something too grand for human eyes. Something that can’t be understood. It is about seeing something in a way that can’t otherwise be seen. It's otherworldly. It transforms the world and allows for the longing for these unspoken, to be revealed. It keeps him and the viewer wanting.
No digital tools are ever used. Reflecting on the endless flood and speed of changing technology, Calafiore steps back and invests in prolonged experimentation with the most basic of tools, investigation, and hands-on making that speak to a change in how we use our bodies in today’s digital world. Noting the change in the physical dexterity of younger generations and in the way that technology has altered the manner in which we all see and experience the physical world has been a fascinating influence. The way we interpret and react to the world around us has shifted. Everything from our smartphones and augmented realities, to complex artificial intelligence, are dramatically altering our relationship with our physical and knowledge-based world. His work is about a pause, a break in the pace, and a longer look into, through, and across the subject - our everyday lives. A merging of passions; one for his muses and the other, an observation of a dramatically new understanding of what it means to be human going forward...what it means to be a real person in a real-world gone digital.
More at robertcalafiore.com
My work explores themes of discrimination, grief, and frailty of the body and life.
The concept for this exhibition was to engage the gallery space as a playground of color, shape and form, a space for lingering, exploring - and if the stars align, one for daydreaming. The work is abstract and playful and invites the viewer to experience the artwork both visually and physically.
The work includes abstract, loosely geometric, and brightly colored puffy paintings, a bookshelf, and an interactive sculpture, all situated between art and design. It’s intuitive, with a heavy dose of playfulness, but grounded in a consistent process with a central goal of challenging preconceptions.
Each work starts out as a series of simple, sometimes awkward, pencil sketches—more than a gesture, less than a precise design— which is then further developed through color, maquettes, and considerations of scale, ultimately leading to a finished work of art.
In Deconstructing Constructs, I ask: when is a painting a sculpture; or a sculpture, a bench? How much do we allow our collective preconceptions to dictate what something is, or can be? Creative investigation ought to be without fear or assumption; there are no “wrong answers.” It’s a process of searching that welcomes new ideas and challenges existing perceptions, while employing the freedom of artmaking to manifest abstract concepts as physical objects, landmarks of exploration. In sculpture, anything is possible.
Overcoming Hopelessness Series
My brain lies to me a lot. As an individual who has battled depression my whole life the concept of being hopeful has always been a challenge for me. I tend to see only the bad side of situations and life’s challenges – the glass is always half empty. It is hard but necessary work to be and stay hopeful especially during challenging times.
This series of recent work, “Overcoming Hopelessness” is about choosing to be hopeful. I decided to use everyday items and/or daily situations for images and titles, a colorful palette, patterns, textures and layered surfaces to infer that there is more than one way to see and interpret life challenges, anger and everyday occurrences. Simple situations have vast possibilities.
My process of painting and drawing allows me to trust in the unknown. Adjusting, re-arranging, shifting and compromising images, layers, and colors enables me to control some imagery while simultaneously discovering new ways of organizing and seeing. Through this process I am striving to show hopeful growth and survival.
By carving wood, forming clay, bending wire, collaging paper, and using found objects, I hope to reveal something that you already know but have never felt or considered before —- someone else’s story or beauty —- so that in turn you see yourself reflected. I am captivated by the subtle nuances in life, the mundane flipped upside down to reveal the poetic, what hope might look like, how a piece of artwork brings one to tears, finding joy in an object’s form, how anxiety might be a knotted ball of twine while openness and acceptance might be represented by a concave space, how art can initiate change … all of this gets woven into my art making.
I have been a working artist for thirty years and a fervent observer of life for as long as I can remember. My work is an exploration of nature’s forms, distorted and perfect, found and inspired. It tells stories, helps us connect and speak about our shared fears, beauty, and struggles. In all my work, I am most concerned with staying honest to myself, to the process of creation, to my materials, and to the subject matter I choose.
Susan started sculpting at age 19. Following a degree in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Michigan, Susan moved to Chicago in 1995 where her gift for storytelling took root. While exhibiting her art at multiple venues throughout the city Susan also taught stone carving at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, sculpture at the Palette and Chisel Academy, and Gallery 37. In 2007 Susan moved her studio to New Haven, Connecticut. Since 2011 she has also been the artist in Residence at the Eli Whitney Museum. Her sculptures can be found in galleries, in public parks, and in collections worldwide. Susan has received numerous awards, including most recently one of the nation’s top carving award -- The 2019 MH Hammerschlag Award, and the 2018 Art by the Northeast Award for Sculpture.
b.1954. Cynthia Cooper is a cheerful and energetic artist who lives and works in Connecticut. She has been making art pretty much forever, including throughout the time that she directed both an award-winning advertising/graphic design studio and a successful e-commerce website selling antique textiles. She is not what you would expect.
Aspects of my career as a graphic designer, where the obsession of arranging things on a page, cropping photos for best effect and organizing it all to serve the message of the piece, crept into my artwork. In addition to using pattern, repetition and color relationships as well as an inter- est in inventing random systems of iteration I have come to produce work that is meditative yet exciting.
Using math in my work is a wry nod to the fact that many artists, and also many women, often state that they hated math in school. I use prime numbers in my stripe paintings by applying brush strokes counted in layers of prime numbers. The subjects are my reactions to internal and external events such as environmental concerns, the status of women and inequality but because I believe in the resilience of humans, I am determined to make paintings that emanate hope and beauty.
In 2018 I went "off on a tangent", another math concept, by introducing slight curves into the straight lines that I'd been making for more than a decade. The addition of tangent curves also sparked a bright new palette along with even curvier curves. I imagine my time spent exploring stripes as being a time of particular openness to process. But my color breakout also turned into a breakthrough in my work approach, relying less on a system of iteration and more on color juxtapositions and emotions.
A small work in my tangent series reminded me of a Renaissance procession of people carrying banners and I now think of these paintings as parades. The light-drenched, joyful curves and col- ors are my vocabulary for movement, which I hope means “moving in the right direction". The im- ages burst outward with exuberant color resulting in paintings that are optimistic, light-drenched and transcendent. They show what I want for myself and for everyone. I hope my parade will pull in viewers to march alongside me, toward transformation.
It has always been my desire and intention to interpret the world around us in a way that causes a person to look more than once.
Eric Forstmann studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston under the tutelage of Barnett Rubenstein and Henry Schwartz. In addition to his many solo exhibitions, he has had five one-man shows at the following institutions: The Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio; The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Missouri; The Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science in Evansville, Indiana; and the Mattatuck Museum of Waterbury, Connecticut. Eric was featured at the Norman Rockwell Museum in the exhibition Rockwell and Realism in an Abstract World and in Naples Collects at the Naples Museum of Art, Naples, Florida in 2016. In the Spring of 2018, Forstmann had a solo exhibition at the Brenau Galleries at Brenau University in Gainesville, Georgia. His work has been featured in Architectural Digest, American Art Collector, and many other publications. He earned a residency scholarship at the Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT in 2019. In the Fall of 2020, Eric was the Artist-in-Residence at Silo Ridge, a Discovery Land Company Community, in Amenia, NY. Eric serves as the President of the Board of Directors for the Five Points Center for the Visual Arts in Torrington, CT. Eric Forstmann’s work is proudly held in many public and private collections. The artist works in Torrington, CT.
Gitterman's sculpture was initially inspired by a love of ballet and modern dance. He states, “I thought about the movements of dancers as a series of frames in an old celluloid film, and how just one of those frames could convey a fantastic sense of motion. I am working to capture this ‘single frame of motion’ in solid sculptures. For me, movement is the breath of life: it releases the power, or subtlety, of any form in repose - the promise of action. My sculpture examines the relationship between fixed form and movement: each sculpture attempts to suggest the transformation that is possible."
Sculpting maquettes in copper, wax, or acrylic, Gitterman chooses to cast in bronze or fabricate in stainless steel. His work ranges from intimate hand-size pieces to dramatic work well beyond the human scale. The surface texture and color of each piece accentuate either dynamic movement or sensual form. Whether they are clean, crisp stainless steel, bronze with a leather- like patina, or a vibrant yellow knot, they are abstractions and gestures; they are about fluid form. He does not make editions thus each of his works is an original.
Sails, knots, the movement of a dancer; these are the forms in motion that Gitterman attempts to replicate in his sculptures. With each series, he examines the movements of a given form, such as the gesture of a dancer, or the billowing curve of a sail. He then takes these moments and recreates them using a variety of materials. The result is an abstraction that hints at the possibility of movement.
I have not worked toward any preconceived literal content. Every painting creates a new challenge for me; each one is a new mystery I have to solve. Inspiration comes from many places; it is constantly part of my creative process. The meditative time I spend in nature influences my unconscious. I notice images and let them be absorbed for further interpretation, and they re-emerge when I am in the studio. Before I begin a painting I do not have a specific goal or idea for the finished work. The ideas flow during the painting process and the image emerges as its own reality. No one part of the painting is important for itself, it is only important as a part of the whole.
When I look closely: Exploring Elizabeth Park
Like the universe, life is made of tiny things--particles, atoms, molecules, cells, pollen, dust, flashes of energy and moments in time. Given the scale of the universe, we are not grand beings of material, but tiny, ephemeral beings of energy, surrounded by even tinier beings and expressions of reality and life.
With this body of work, my goal is to retrain our focus to here, to now, to these small expressions of our material reality that so frequently escape our perception because of the difference in the scale of our being.
My hope is in some small way, this work helps the viewer and contributes to a sense of wonder in the ordinary that surrounds our ephemeral, tiny, yet absolutely amazing lives. The image used in this quilt was taken from a decayed rose blossom found of the ground of Elizabeth Park with a portrait of a tiny resident of that blossom.
Christmas was coming in 2019 and my husband wanted ideas for a present to buy for me. I had seen this tiny, toy-like microscope on Facebook and asked ‘Santa’ to bring that. As so many of us entered the covid-19 lockdown in early 2020, the world truly became so much smaller for many of us. But within the pandemic confinement, I was able to find a new window on the world using my digital microscope. I took hundreds and hundreds of pictures of anything I could find as a way to both re-examine the world and to develop my skills using this tool. It came with me on hikes and daytrips to the beach. And what an incredible world I found!
Spices from our kitchen cabinets, vegetables and fruits, decaying leaves, sand, hair, weeds, lichen, moss and the interior of both blooming and decaying flowers all became available to me in a way I had never seen or had been able to appreciate. I saw tiny creatures hard at work foraging on soft, wet, rotting wood. There is a grace in decaying thistles and dandelions. I learned every blossom carried its own kind of sacred geometric beauty at every stage of its existence-even as it rendered itself back into the earth. The unexpected white lights of the LEDs from my scope startled a more than a few tiny beings residing inside these blossoms and small ordinarily unseen places . And I learned that some responded by running and hiding behind petals and others by staring back into my lens (startling me in the process!). Is it possible that the human personality divisions of introvert/extrovert extend to beings we simply don’t know very well?
For this set of images, I spent a day exploring beautiful Elizabeth Park-not to admire the rose garden, or the greenhouses, or to admire the rock gardens and perennials,-but to see some of the magic of life and death, we miss only because its not built to human scale, and to share it with you.
I see my life’s vocation as being an ambassador for the natural world through my art. The depth and extent of the crises facing Nature right now are overwhelming. There is so much to do it can be difficult to start, but the Earth needs our love and care. I express my experience of the beauty of nature in my work to inspire that attention, love, and connection in viewers. Let us start where we are.
The feeling of nature “bathing” is what I try to bring into my art making. I am inspired by the things I learn about nature and energy thru my practice of Tai Chi & Qi Gong, ancient Chinese forms of moving meditation and internal martial art. They teach me how to connect to nature and feel the world instead of just looking at the surface of things. Yin and yang, being and nonbeing, stillness and movement, light and dark, sea and sky, surface and depth, artist and viewer, self and nature - I am interested in exploring how one can see beyond polarities to sense the invisible and mysterious unity underlying them. That sense of presence, inner quiet, and dynamic stillness that I find in meditation is what I want to communicate through my artwork.
I begin by capturing images with various digital cameras and lenses. I shoot skies, waterfalls, streams, rivers, lakes, and the sea. I always look for a flow state of mind to match the flowing water when I am out enjoying the serenity of the woods or shore. I am most interested in details, textures, and patterns that verge on abstraction. Sometimes, I also write haiku inspired by the scene intending to find the feeling of the moment and place.
I print the photographs, pull abstract monotypes, and paint watercolors on thin sheets of rice paper, infusing them with encaustic wax. I use the images and haiku to explore various book formats and bookbinding techniques ranging from hardcover accordion fold books, to obsolete historic Chinese Whirlwind bindings, to book sculptures. Seriality, repetition, and the encoding of time are all present in the building up of the book stitch by stitch and page by page.
Trained as a Fiber Artist, I am attuned to how many small actions can build up to larger effects. In the same way, our seemingly small personal actions can combine to begin to heal us and the Earth.
My work is a way of questioning, re-examining and forging meaning; it is anchored in lived experience, memory, and point of view. Since my early formative field research in West Africa, I have used biomorphic language in my sculpture and much of my drawing and painting. Prior to 2018, my work centered on abstract sculpture.
Over the past several years I felt compelled to develop a new, innovative - for my artistic practice, and for my viewers - body of work: healing and narrative paintings that chronicle the social issues of our time. Fear and conflict have gripped our nation and the world reminding us all of our shared human frailty.
I chose to work representationally so my message would speak clearly to the viewer. My themes include healing, memory, systemic racism, mental health, war, immigration, the plight of child refugees, public health and the learning of young students - at home and at school - during the pandemic.
The translucent painting surfaces - Dura-Lar or Yupo - illuminate color and allow the emergence of images that engage visually and shine a light on societal challenges.
In the process I examine my own relationship with race, racism and class through a series of paintings drawn from memory and archival family photos. In this way I invite the viewer to engage and reflect on their own lived experience.
My recent work examines today’s social/cultural challenges. After years in NYC, I moved to Central Connecticut. I’ve exhibited my sculpture, drawings and paintings nationally/internationally and have lived/worked in South America and Europe exhibiting unique, site-specific sculptures.
My work is in the permanent collections of The Burchfield Penney Art Center (Buffalo, NY); The New Britain Museum of American Art (New Britain, CT); Pratt Institute (Brooklyn NY); and Trinity College (Hartford, CT).
Recent solo exhibitions include: Five Points Gallery (Torrington, CT); Ely Center of Contemporary Art (New Haven, CT); Barnes-Franklin Gallery, Tunxis Community College (Farmington, CT); Sculptors Guild/site-specific installation (Governors Island, New York, NY). Recent group exhibitions include: Carriage Trade Gallery (New York, NY); The Painting Center (New York, NY); EBK Gallery,(Hartford, CT); Mattatuck Museum (Waterbury, CT).
As an artist/educator I’ve received numerous awards including the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s Individual Artist Fellowship Grant, a Fulbright Scholar Lecture/Research Award to Chile, a State of Connecticut Commission on the Arts Artists Project Grant, a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award, multiple National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artists Grants and fellowships at Yaddo and MacDowell.
After leaving art school I went on to own and run a cafe and record label as well work as a curator for over 20 years in various galleries and museums, 8 of which as Chief Curator. Through my work as an art organizer I have been honored to now sit on the executive board for Artist Organized Art as well as several other arts and cultural boards. My paintings and sculptures can be found in galleries, museums and private collections around the world.
My Art is primarily acrylic paint on canvas, sometimes integrating ink, cloth, thread and other materials into my work.
I paint paintings & sculpt using epoxy, metal, glass and concrete as well as found objects and my old medical supplies.
Life has been my inspiration. Through challenges and surviving seemingly insurmountable odds art has been my outlet and the place I could express that which could not be said. The majority of my work carries themes of social justice and as such I have been labelled as an "Artivist" (art-activist). My work reflects themes from my experiences as a woman of mixed race and a Domestic abuse and cancer survivor.
KAMIAH BIRD OBITUARY
Kamiah Cali Bird was born on October 30, 1982 in Grand Coulee, WA. Her early years were spent on the Colville Confederated Tribes Reservation, Portland, OR, Pojoaque, NM, Spokane Indian Reservation; and Spokane, WA. She lived with her grandparents in Nespelem, WA for a number of years steeped in the Nez Perce Longhouse traditions that she held close throughout her life. She graduated from North Central High School in 2001. She graduated from Spokane Falls Community College in 2008. For many years she worked in the service industry in Spokane. She was employed at Northern Quest where she held varied jobs before taking dealer training and began as a tables games dealer. She moved to Las Vegas, NV in 2018. In Las Vegas she held two jobs working seven days a week. During that time, she went on a group tour of China, but her bucket list vacation was to travel to the Virgin Islands, which she did in 2020. Tragically, she was killed on a Las Vegas freeway just after midnight while driving home from work. She was minutes from her home. The LVPD believe it was an act of road rage. Her senseless loss has left a tsunami of grief in the hearts of many who loved her. She leaves behind her mother, Gloria Bird, and siblings, Elima Bird, Chamisa Radford, John Bird and Reyes Bird, and a large extended family. Due to gathering restrictions, her funeral was attended by family and people of the Nez Perce Longhouse, who sent her on her journey in Seven Drums tradition. She was preceded into the spirit world by her grandparents, John and Marie Grant and was laid to rest next to them in the Nez Perce Cemetery in Nespelem on October 2, 2020. As a tribute to her life, when the news was made public, numerous friends shared memories and wrote of their love for Kamiah on Facebook. The impact of her loss was felt in Spokane, Las Vegas and in Nespelem. Her many friends remembered countless acts of kindness and thoughtfulness, her feistiness, fierce hugs, and beautiful spirit. The outpouring was overwhelming to learn how deeply she touched everyone who knew her. Friends in Spokane organized a vigil for her in a south hill park, and the Botanical Alchemists constructed a memorial in her honor in Polly Judd Park in Spokane. The family is grateful to the many people, friends and family who helped us during this difficult time, including her employer, coworkers and friends in Las Vegas, and the Kalispel Tribe Victim Assistance program and Spokane Tribe that helped to bring her home.
Light is the essential enabler of every painter’s and every photographer’s art. The great Impressionists – Monet, Degas, Renoir, Bonnard – known as gifted painters, especially in their ability to capture the essence of light, all studied photography first. Every photograph represents not just a specific moment in space, but a specific moment of light. I pursue light’s constantly changing qualities, trying to find, to capture and to preserve what light reveals and what it hides. What I work with is not really film or mercury or emulsion or gelatin silver or digital files – what I work with is light.
When making a photograph, I adhere to a process that relies heavily on intuition (or intuitive knowledge). This process can often precipitate a photograph that is not predicated on rational thought or preconception, rather it comes from some unknown internal wellspring. In tapping that, the most successful photographs capture more than simply what is there, some other energy pervades the images: something glorious, something heavenly, even, perhaps, divine.
Sydney Morris is an alternative process photographer, website designer, and digital media marketing manager. In 2012, she attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City with a concentration in Photography; continuing on to receive her BFA from the Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford in 2015.
In 2017, she began a residency within the Five Points Gallery Launchpad program located in downtown Torrington. This led to management of the new community pop-up gallery, the Five Points Annex, where she volunteered her time as a Public Relations liaison, and eventually going on to develop and design the new Five Points Arts website. Through her involvement with the gallery, she brought her skills and expertise to work at Eckert Fine Art as Gallery Manager for two years.
In addition to her affiliations with Eckert Fine Art and Five Points Gallery, she has long been embroiled in the world of digital media marketing. For over three years, she worked as a Brand Manager and Digital Media Specialist for renowned art supply distributor
and manufacturer, Alvin & Co., Inc. as well as providing graphic design, commercial photography and videography, and website development and design on a freelance basis.
In 2019, she was brought on full time at the Hartford Business Improvement District
and Hartford.com overseeing marketing, communications, and social media. Within the first year, she redesigned, developed, and implemented a robust website garnering
over 40,000 users per month and worked her way up to Marketing & Communications Manager. In 2020, she brought her background in non-traditional creative marketing to the International Downtown Association’s Annual Conference as a panelist.
Morris’ experimental work has been described as “works that are windows into a liquid chaos that are both materially menacing and sublime”. This alternative process photography is created by manipulating dark room chemistry and development techniques onto light sensitive photographic paper. This cameraless approach to image making results in highly abstract surfaces that are color infused, fluid, topographical, and profoundly suggestive.
I alter unwanted books to impart information without the use of words or images; the books themselves are the idea, the shape of the paper the information. These ideas are conveyed by selecting the number and size of the volumes, by how the filaments are employed, and where and what, if anything, happens inside the assembled mass. The focus is always on water in its many forms and effects on other things.
In my current work in kinetic sculpture, I am trying to concentrate on the movement, rather than the object.
I take it as an article of faith that the air around us moves in ways that are organic, whimsical, and unpredictable. I therefore assume that if I were to abdicate the design to the wind, the work would take on these same qualities.
The engineer in me wants to minimize friction to make the air visible. The architect studies matters of scale and proportion
The sailor wants to know the strength and direction of the wind.
The artist wants to understand its changing shape.
Meanwhile the child wants to play.
Artistic Approach & Inspiration
I’m a classically trained artist (New York Academy, Florence Academy). And as much as I inspired by and love the Old Masters, I don’t live in the 16th century....I live in the 21st, and utilize technology as a major part of my process. I create the original composition in Photoshop, and make most of the initial artistic choices on the computer. The “drawing” is then transferred to the canvas/panel, and the painting begins. I have a general idea of what direction I want to go; the painting has its own idea of what it will become. This dialogue continues throughout the painting process, and it finishes with an accommodation between what I want, and what the painting suggests.
This new (2020-) series of paintings is an exploration of deconstructing the composition into organic pixel shapes, as well as evolving from a traditional realistic to a vibrant and contemporary palette of colors. Both components; the shape and size of the pixels, and the colors together are needed to describe the original imagery in a new way. I vary the palette and the subject matter from painting to painting to see what evolves.
This particular painting subject is based on a series of photos I took in Florence, Italy. It is a group of musicians in a square on a sunny afternoon—high-key in color and atmosphere. The atmosphere is festive and inviting (at least I think so); painted whilst isolated in my studio during Covid. I think it kept me good company, and reminded me of good times past and future.
To take something apart, only to use the pieces from that destruction to rebuild and create something new and magical is the perfect way to define the human experience. I like to think that we all share this in common, rebuilding. Life is a series of birth and growth and rebirths. An endless cycle of positive and negatives. I have taken this same approach with my photography. I have decided to distress my 35 mm negatives after they have been developed to create pieces of destructed and rebuilt beauty. This is a simulation of life and death, chemical paintings made to remind us that from fragments we can recreate and reassemble ourselves.
I began my career as a pattern painter and was included in the Pattern and Decoration
at P.S. 1. I was interested in mathematics and geometry in patterning and the Fibonacci
Series. This led to experimenting with paintings within a grid and then off
the grid. I began to observe the geometric intricacy of architectural designs which led
me to create small horizontal oil paintings of cities and landscapes.
I moved back to pattern and focused on drawing in ink and Flashe´ paint with imagery that related more to biomorphic forms patterns that occur in nature, craft, and work associated with women. The relationship to pattern and geometry has always been a focus from my earliest work to my current work. Pieces that are drawn in ink, paint and collage create color and form with endless possible variations.
I borrow from many sources for collage material including other artist’s work in a
collaborative effort where the results form an integrated piece as well as appropriating
art historical works.
Painting allows me to explore and consider otherness and the surrounds. What I have seen and experienced for almost 60 years unfolds and informs. On my canvases figures parade in an arena with new confines giving rise to an entirely unforeseen dance and calling. "Innerness, what is it? If not heightened sky, scattered through with birds and deep from winds of hometurning." Rainer Maria
Rilke, Summer, 1925
Being in my studio during these cataclysmic times shapes my search. I am striving toward recognizing beauty staying cognizant of today’s horrors: war, racism, injustice, inequities, crimes against humanity, global warming, famine and so much more spiraling inconceivably out of control– igniting long overdue pushback. Hoping that awareness will allow vision and perspective.
Constructing painted paper explores color, touch and form in literal space. It affords configuring and reconfiguring how I see - the intensity of mark, saturation of color and interruption of collaged, layered surface. My paper cuttings interject, entangle in an atmospheric terrain questioning wall, ceiling, floor, arriving at a new vantage.
My constructions and canvases converse with one another in harmony and discord. Easy and uneasy conversations here in my studio to inspire the difficult conversations our times require.
Kim Sobel ~firstname.lastname@example.org~www.kimsobel.com
Sally Van Doren is an American poet and artist. She has published three collections of poetry, Promise (LSU Press 2017), Possessive (2012) and Sex at Noon Taxes (2008) which received the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American poets. Her poems have appeared nationally and internationally in literary journals such as: American Letters and Commentary, American Poet, Barrow Street, Boulevard, Cimarron Review, Cincinnati Review, Colorado Review, Crazyhorse, december, Lumina, Margie, The Moth, The New Republic, No Tell Motel, Poetry Daily, Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry London, Pool, River Styx, Southern Review, Southwest Review, Storyscape, 2River, and Verse Daily, and Western Humanities Review. Her poem, “Preposition,” is featured as an animated film in the Poetry Foundation’s Poetry Everywhere.
Van Doren’s lyrical art explores the fertile cognitive territory between word and image. Her drawings and poems arise from the same source: over 12,000 notebook pages of illegible handwriting. Her new work employs an expanding personal iconography of calligraphic gestures, letters, geometric forms, design motifs and handprints. Layered upon each other, they engage in a dialogue fundamental to a poet’s relationship with language and an artist’s relationship to line, color and form.
Her ongoing written and visual text, “The Sense Series,” was part of a multi-media performance at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. She has exhibited at the Cornwall Library in CT and a solo show opens at the Longview Art Gallery in St. Louis in June 2021. Her art is featured in the literary magazines december and The 2River View and appears on the cover of her book Promise. Recent work is being shown at Furnace Art on Paper Archive.
A graduate of Princeton University (BA) and University of Missouri-St. Louis (MFA), she has taught creative writing at the 92nd Street Y, Washington University in St. Louis, the St. Louis Public Schools and the St. Louis County Juvenile Detention Center. She curated the Sunday Poetry Workshops for the St. Louis Poetry Center and serves on the board of the Five Points Center for the Visual Arts in Torrington, CT.
John Frederick Walker began incorporating book forms into his art in the mid-1990s. These works derive from actual books, or book fragments, radically altered, and range from table-top sculptures to large wall reliefs. All feature open book spreads from which pages have been torn or cut, and turning what remains into graphic meditations on hidden, missing or destroyed information, memory and loss.
Walker’s art has been exhibited in solo and group shows nationally and is represented in a number of private and public collections, including Yale University Art Gallery, Brooklyn Museum Library, and the National Gallery of Art.
I’m fascinated by the way choices connect us, redirect us, and create a rippling effect on those around us. These concepts are the basis to my paintings - Splashed & Layered, which I have been working on since 2020.
In Layered, I explore how the choices we make and the barriers we encounter direct our journeys and propel us in new directions. Our deliberations are influenced by our relationships, environment, aspirations and dreams - the layers of our lives - and have a rippling effect that impacts others. These paintings are colorful and energetic but with a certain weight. Most paintings in this series are on panel or canvas. The durable surface allows me to paint several layers, often sanding or scratching away parts and reworking.
In Splashed, I create paintings using minimal colors and broad marks that, at first, appear like the ampersand and infinity symbols. This represents the ongoing conversation and infinite time - like a splash, life changes and the effects ripple on and on. I play with ideas of spontaneity and the give-and-take that we engage in as we navigate life and relationships. Fences, vines and links represent how we are bound and committed to each other. The paper’s raw surface is an integral part of the painting - a quiet open space to which I give a voice.
Anna has been practicing art since receiving a BFA from the University of Georgia. Following nearly two decades of professional life as a graphic designer, sales executive, and decorative painter, she transitioned to her own creative pursuits. Her paintings and sculptures have been exhibited in numerous juried and group shows. Currently Anna is working on a varied series of abstract mixed media paintings. When not in the studio, Anna devotes her time to her family and supporting education, health and the arts in and around the Hartford community.
Anna serves on the executive board with Five Points Arts in Torrington, CT and the HAS Endowment Board at the University of Hartford.