Artist Talk: In Dialogue, She Spoke Up & Armed, Alarmed
Virtual Artist talk on Friday, June 3, 6:30 p.m., moderated by Matthew Best
Five Points Gallery
FREE VIA ZOOM
Click here to register: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_7dSCp_HJQMWf-JAFCEBQrA
Moderator: Matthew Best
Hartford, CT-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 working primarily in oil paint. He has exhibited in numerous local, national, and international shows. Best has taught at various colleges and universities in CT, MA & VA.
Margaret Roelke’s work explores sensationalism, consumerism, contradictions and the relationships that develop when popular culture mixes with war and religion. The exhibition Armed, Alarmed is composed of two bodies of work that call for dialogue in urgent response to these concerns. Living near Sandy Hook Elementary School, the site of a 2012 mass shooting, Roelke was inspired to create sculptures made out of shotgun shells to raise awareness of gun violence and gun control. Roelke’s cyanotype images in this exhibition are attributed to the violent insurrection at the nation’s capital and the subject of peaceful versus violent protest. A percentage of all Margaret Roelke’s sales will be donated to organizations that work for gun control.
Linda Pearlman Karlsberg’s charcoal drawings celebrate exceptional women, who have addressed inequities across society and wrought change through their work, and encourage viewers to contemplate better possibilities for all our futures. Birds paired with each portrait symbolically embody their spirit.
The group exhibition In Dialogue features a spectrum of social justice issues such as economics, politics, gun and war violence. Participating artists include Jacob Cullers, Jason Montgomery and Rita Valley
The imagery in Cullers’ mixed media paintings and sculpture refer to acts of violence that have occurred in America by white males. Using color to try to match the violence seems virtually impossible so Cullers often cuts into the paintings to try to convey the trauma. The artist’s use of found materials, recognizable images and paint encourages the viewer to consider these issues in ways words alone cannot do. Cullers’ states “I want to show the surface as a symbol of the history and the brutality of the American white male, through the scope of conceptual painting.” Cullers served in the United States Air Force and is an Iraq war veteran.
Montgomery’s work in this series he titled [de]RANGE seeks to draw attention to gun violence during the month of June 2021. These collaged based works act to engage and highlight the facts and potential solutions to the gun violence epidemic in the US. As an artist, gun owner and a survivor of gun violence JRM fully recognizes the complexity of the issue and how deeply rooted it is in our culture. His writing and visual art bridge the aesthetics and feel of the early cubist collage movement and the Russian abstract movement of the 1920s.
Valley is a textile-based artist whose work is fueled by her fascination with politics and social issues. Valley hand sews and embroiders bold statements dealing with issues of economics, income disparity, body image, politics. The physical expression and labor in these pieces refer back to “women’s work” even as her subject matter addresses current topics that affect us all. Bob Keating often collaborates with Valley by designing and forging hardware and accents for her finished work.
Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m., and by appointment (860-618-7222).