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Hours: Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday & Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday 1 p.m.-5 p.m. (November-April)

 

Past Exhibitions


Jump to: 2015 / 2014 / 2013 / 2012 / 2011 / 2010 / 2009

 

SHADOW CASTINGS: A STUDY OF
GEOMETRY IN PAPER AND LIGHT
Christine Dalenta and Benjamin Parker

January 13-February 26, 2017
Opening Reception: Friday, Jan. 13, 6 to 8 pm
Artists' Talk:  Wednesday, Feb. 15, 5 pm

Photographer Christine Dalenta and paper sculptor Benjamin Parker collaborate and practice an innovative combination of paper folding and photographic techniques, creating cameraless images through the action of light on folded light-sensitive paper.

Since the very beginning of photography, artists have placed three-dimensional objects onto light-sensitive paper to form a representation in two dimensions. This technique and its resulting images, known as photograms, are currently enjoying a resurgence in contemporary photography. Dalenta and Parker’s images are similar to photograms, but employ an original method where not only is there no camera, there is no object. The paper itself both modulates and records the light simultaneously.

 

 

 

Fiber Alchemy: Two Viewpoints

October 14-November 27, 2016

Sandra Bender Fromson is primarily a fiber artist whose work incorporates felting, weaving, quilting, embroidery, and dyeing  and she takes her inspiration for materials, colors, and textures from nature. Her textile pieces are presented in the context of their creation; her floor loom, shuttles, and garment patterns are part of the display.

 

Ellen Schiffman, a fiber artist working sculpturally, spent a year filling a shadow box per week with explorations of methods and materials. The resulting 52-box visual diary, presented as a cohesive whole and employing both traditional and experimental techniques, questions the boundaries of what fiber art can be. 

 

 

 

 

LOVE NOTES TO BANNED BOOKS

A Participatory Art Project

September 13-October 1, 2016

The books that challenge us are the ones that change us. Hartford Public Library invites you to reflect upon how your life would be different without these frequently banned and challenged books—and to share your love for them with the world.

Our Hall of Banned Books presented 20 influential and much-loved books that have been formally challenged in counties and school districts across America. We invited guests to overwhelm the calls for censorship with their own stories of how these books changed their lives.

Each book on display was accompanied by suggested reading: additional frequently banned and challenged books we felt our guests would also love.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

During Banned Books Week, libraries across America highlight books that have been both challenged and banned. A challenge is a formal attempt to restrict materials, by removing them from curricula or library shelves, and a ban is the successful removal of those materials.

The individuals and groups that challenge books usually do so as an attempt to protect others—children, teenagers, communities—from “offensive” ideas. The issue is not that specific individuals do not want to read certain books—the issue is the attempt to restrict the access of others.

Please consider as well: challenges are not always transparent. The American Library association has repeatedly found that "books by authors of color and books with themes about issues concerning communities of color are disproportionately challenged and banned."

In this exhibit, we contextualized each banned book with a brief example quotation reflecting why it was challenged in that location at that time. However, many of the books on display have been challenged repeatedly and for a variety of reasons. The ALA maintains lists of the most-challenged books by decade. Hartford Public Library encourages you to investigate these lists of Banned Books and investigate for yourself these materials deemed too dangerous.

Most of the quotations in this exhibit were drawn from the ALA website’s repository of information on Banned Books. (#11) was drawn from Arizona House Bill 2281, which effectively destroyed the Mexican-American studies program in Tucson, Arizona, as “Ethnic Studies” were made illegal.

 

HEADSTRONG
Mark-Yves Regis I

June 3-July 15, 2016

ARTIST'S STATEMENT

This photographic exhibit, “Headstrong,” stems from the deep passion that Marc-Yves Regis feels for street vendors who carry Haiti’s economic burden on their heads. Despite their constant struggle with bone-crushing labor, their faces show a mixture of determination, pride, sorrow, fear and joy. Regis’ unique style of photojournalism provides viewers a window into a different kind of life, a life of resiliency and tremendous ef­fort that does not equal the minuscule reward.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Marc-Yves Regis’ dream of becoming a photojournalist became a reality years after a friend gave him a 110-model instamatic camera as a Christmas gift. His love of photography led him to seek a career in that field. He is a graduate of the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale with an associate degree in photography.

Over the years, Regis worked for the Miami Herald, Los Angeles Times and the Hartford Courant newspapers. However, photojournalism does not sum up his entire career. He is the author of five books. The most recent is “Headstrong Children: Carrying Haiti’s Economic Burdens.”

Regis’ artistic photographs have been exhibited in many museums, including the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, Zilkha Gallery at Wesleyan University, New Britain Museum of American Arts, New Haven International Arts & Ideas, The Discovery Museum and Bates College Museum of Arts in Maine. He was the photographer for the book We Belong Here: Freedom Dreams, a celebration of local immigrant artists (Hartford Public Library).

Regis is also the founder and director of Camp Hispaniola, Inc., which provides a week of summer camp for hundreds of children in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. 

Click here to view Marc-Yves Regis I's artist video

 

ELEMENTS OF CREATION

Sarah Paolucci

April 1-May 13, 2016

ARTIST'S STATEMENT
In this series, these oil paintings tell the story of each artist/musician/craftsperson. I am painting hands, which are creating their own narrative. I am merely giving them a platform to display their knowledge. Hands are how we interact with the world around us, and connect us to the physical and the sensory. Hands that are playing, building, digging, planting, making or creating intrigue me; the creation of one’s own loving art, made with the tools that we all possess. From musicians in the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, to potters, to hair stylists, to chefs, each story is different, and yet each is just as sincere. These paintings portray genuine artists, doing what they love.

I love creating new things, and in this series, I’m creating hands. Hands that, in turn, are creating their own story, but told through my own lens, the way I know best how to tell a story: through painting.

ABOUT THE ARTIST
Sarah Paolucci lives at Artspace in Hartford with her husband (also an artist) and her dog (not an artist, but a work of art himself). She received a BFA in Illustration from the Hartford Art School and has been working as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer ever since. Sarah started drawing at an early age and was always intrigued by hands. Realizing that hands were a common theme in her work, she did the natural thing and decided to make them the focus of this series.

Sarah is co-founder of Hand Drawn Hartford, a community of artists who get together to do urban sketching within the city walls. Her piece, “Green Onions” was recently featured in Nor’Easter, a juried members show at the New Britain Museum of American Art. In 2015, she was featured in a juried show of only nine artists hosted by Jerry’s Artarama. She has been featured in numerous other juried shows over the past several years. Sarah is available for commission work. You can find more of her artwork online at www.SarahTheArtist.com

Click here to view Sarah Paolucci's artist video

 

EXPRESSIONS IN SOUND AND MOTION

Maurice Robertson

January 22-March 4, 2016

ARTIST'S STATEMENT
Through this photo project I am attempting to convey to the viewer both the meditative qualities and the outward, flowing dynamism of musicians at play.

I have been on the set, bearing witness with my camera, since the late 1970's.  I am a student of the school of trial and error, no formal art training - just an avid listener, who grew up in a household where all types of music, notably jazz, calypso, rhythm & blues, and movie soundtracks were played and appreciated.

Coming out of UConn in 1975, for me the Hartford jazz scene was highlighted by Paul Brown’s Monday night jazz series, the early years of the Artists Collective, Real Art Ways, Mr. Jackie McLean’s jazz program at Hartt School, the Hartford Jazz Society offerings, and area clubs like the 880 Club, T Boe’s Lounge, Jackie O’s and trips to New York City and Boston.  Those in the scene told me about Hartford’s Club Sundown, the State Street Theater, the Heublein Hotel and other venerable platforms for jazz from past generations.  

Hartford has an ongoing love affair with jazz, and this exhibition is a quest for displaying the energy of performance and an intimate portrait of some of the past and present contributors to this art form.

ABOUT THE ARTIST
Maurice Robertson began his rapport with photography in 1983. Through an occasional workshop, informal mentoring with area professionals and consistent shooting, Robertson has developed an eye for composing with light. Robertson has an affinity for professionally documenting music, particularly jazz and dance and theater performances, as well as candid street portraiture in the United States, the Caribbean, Brazil and North Africa. He also explores patterns in nature and is a dark room technician, to further enhance his photographic vision. His work has appeared in the New England Jazz News, Downbeat, The Jamaican Magazine, Reach New England, Bass Musician Magazine, Shots, the Hartford News and the University of Hartford’s Observer.  Since 1990, Robertson has been the recipient of several National Arts Programs Awards and has been reviewed by the Hartford Courant and the Hartford Inquirer. Celebrating the African cultural experience and drawing attention to social themes common to all, Robertson demonstrates a sense of intimacy and empathy with the people and scenes he depicts. 

 

VOODOO MARASA (ROOTS & SPIRITS)

Pierre Sylvain

October 30-December 18, 2015

ARTIST'S STATEMENT
Voodoo Marasa (Roots and Spirits) by Haitian artist Pierre Sylvain celebrates the joy of voodoo, including Creole words, color combinations and international symbols infused throughout most major world religions. In this series, each painting depicts a different "Loa", or "little god" of the Haitian people and their voodoo culture. Each Loa is omnipotent and functions differently to support its believers. 

As an artist, Pierre Sylvain is inspired to enlighten others about voodoo culture beyond the general association to voodoo dolls and zombies. Voodoo is more than a religious practice, it is about creating community, unity, healing, and finding peace and belonging. Voodoo is among the world's most misunderstood religions, due in part to popular portrayal by Hollywood. Voodoo practitioners have deeply committed beliefs that higher powers enhance their lives, offer protection, show love to the earth and enrich the history of the Haitian people. 

Each piece in Voodoo Marasa (Roots and Spirits) includes texture, found objects, and mixed media combinations.

ABOUT THE ARTIST
Pierre Sylvain is a self-taught artist and has exhibited throughout New England and the United States. His works are in private and public collections throughout North America, Europe, and the Caribbean. Sylvain is the founder and curator of Art for Haiti, an annual collective show of community artists partnering with CT/Haitian Non-Profits. In addition to showing his work, Sylvain enjoys teaching art for individuals and in the community. 

The pieces to be exhibited in Voodoo Marasa (Roots and Spirits) at Hartford Public Library's ArtWalk will include different textures, found objects, and mixed media combinations. For more information on the artist please visit his webpage at www.pierresylvain.com

Click here to view Pierre Sylvain's artist video

Eli yamin
 

OPPOSITE SIDES OF THE WORLD: CONNECTICUT TO SINGAPORE

Janette Maxey

August 28-October 9, 2015

ARTIST'S STATEMENT
Things you notice when entering a new culture - people, food, everyday items in a store, street signs, the textures and colors of a place. No filters and all overwhelming. A short time passes, curiosity takes hold, you go deeper into that place and form answers to questions starting with the reference points in your own past. 

A lifetime resident of Connecticut, I left for an adventure abroad to live in Singapore, the Island/City/State/Country one degree north of the equator in exotic, (or so I thought), South East Asia. Upon my return, I rediscovered my own Town/State/Country realizing it was more curious and unusual than I ever thought possible. 

This exhibition compares and contrasts people, places, and everyday objects in Singapore and Connecticut. This series of gouache paintings tells a story of these two places, and my connection to them, as an informed insider and a curious outsider. 

ABOUT THE ARTIST
Janette Maxey was born in California and lives and works in Connecticut. She holds an AS in Fine Arts at Tunxis Community College, and a BFA (magna cum laude) in painting from The Hartford Art School. Before finishing her BFA she studied abroad in Cortona, Italy. In addition, she has studied at the Art Students League of New York, New York Studio School and The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts. 

Maxey has received the following residencies: The League Residency at VYT Campus - part of the Art Students League of New York, Vermont Studio Center, and the Urban Artist Initiative studio residency at the Farmington Valley Arts Center. She has also been awarded grants from the Ruth Katzman Scholarship in loving memory of her parents Lillian and Max Katzman for Artist-in-Residence Program, Middletown Commission on the Arts, The Urban Artist Initiative through the Institute of Community Research, and Banca Popolare of Cortona, Italy. 

She has exhibited throughout New England, Italy, and Singapore. Her works are included in private and public collections in North America, Europe and Asia.

Click here to view Janette Maxey's artist video

Sinan Bakir
 

THE SCULPTURES OF DAVID HAYES

June 5-August 7, 2015

ARTIST'S STATEMENT
In a career that spanned six decades, Connecticut modern master sculptor David Hayes worked with cutting torches and arc welders to create art that has been exhibited all over the world, including at MoMA and the Guggenheim Museum. 

Hartford Public Library is already home to Hayes' six-ton, seventeen-foot "Large Vertical Motif" steel and paint structure that stands prominently on Main Street. 

His son, David M. Hayes, presents his father's artistic legacy with select works of a smaller scale at the Downtown Library's ArtWalk space.

 

A HARTFORD PUBLIC LIBRARY SCRAPBOOK: THE WONDERS WITHIN

Gwen Reed

April 15-May 11, 2015

ARTIST'S STATEMENT
In celebration of National Library Week, Hartford Public Library presents a sampling of collections and memories from its Hartford History Center with a look back at the Library's history. Selected pieces from the archive highlight Hartford's history as well: an artist rendering of humorist Mark Twain, an iconic poem of Wallace Stevens, and recognition of the accomplishments of Hartford activist Gwen Reed.

 

HEAD TO TOE

Joe Bun Keo

February 13-April 8, 2015

ARTIST'S STATEMENT
Being Asian-American is a "mixed blessing". Despite my rich heritage, I experience cultural taboos and faux pas daily. My nationality is American, my ethnicity is Cambodian (Khmer), yet I speak a dialect of Thai, but I can't read or write Khmer or Thai. English is the only language that I can comfortably utilize, but I still don't feel accepted as an American. Learning English was one of the most difficult things growing up. Silent letters, homonyms, idioms, slang, SMS text-talk and other facets of the contemporary vernacular are so complex.

The phrase "head to toe" implies a sense of completion, a sense of a whole; something that I've been trying to attain in regards to my cultural identity. 

I use this adversary relationship with foreign tongues as the inspiration behind my work. There's just conflict; a perpetual tension that I wish to showcase. I hope the results will manifest in clear presentations of my trials and tribulations of ironically verbalizing my life as an Asian-American.

"Head to toe" also implies two points. "Point A" is the head and "Point B", are the feet. The head is the most sacred part of the human body in Southeast Asian culture. The feet are considered the most vulgar. It represents two extremes.

This exhibition will explore both of the title's meanings in the form of installation, sculptural and conceptual works.

Click here to view Joe Bun Keo's artist video

 

UPCYCLED SAMPLER

Anita Gangi Balkun

December 5, 2014-January 9, 2015

ARTIST'S STATEMENT
I am a collector of the commonplace. My work reuses stuff headed for the recycle bin or trash and transforms it into unexpected forms. The straightforward integrity of the materials allows the sculptural and sometimes interactive aspect of the artwork to highlight extraordinary qualities of the objects. I search for content within the history of the object - its use or its journey - and use that information as a springboard to the form. Abundance, multiples, texture and generosity also have their place in the artworks. 

While the "stuff" is familiar, its juxtaposition to a particular space or daily activity adds potency and intention to its artistic transformation. This sampling of artwork demonstrates the ability of throwaway materials to transform the spaces they occupy, availing you to see them in a new context and in large-scale formats. They fuse recognizable materials to the tempo of life, and often originate through situations of personal serendipity.

Click here to view Anita Gangi Balkun's artist video

 

FAMILY TRAITS

Isabel Acosta

September 12-October 24, 2014

ARTIST'S STATEMENT
My strong will pushed me to pursue my dreams, so with pain in my heart and body and with tears in my eyes, I moved to the United States, leaving my family behind. 

The feeling of displacement is shared by many others around the world who have left behind their roots. I am a Latina woman who is trapped in two worlds, the one that gave me birth and raised me up, and the one I now stand in.

When I create, I picture my family and each of their distinct personal features from my memories. I strive to bring them close to me by depicting certain gestures, feelings and moods in my work. Reflected in my work are intimate details that I reveal. Through my work, I express my wonder at how many women feel the inequality between the sexes in all spheres of life, no matter how far they went with their education. 

My voluptuous sculptures are intended to represent the human figure - embodied in a guitar shape - and to capture the sentiment of its sound. Each of them has their own distinct echo; the most profound can be spoken.

Click here to view Isabel Acosta's artist video

 

YOUNG @ ART!

Joe Young

July 3-August 25, 2014

ARTIST'S STATEMENT
Joe Young uses his pen to inspire and encourage others – embracing the lives and outlooks of inner-city youth and the community-at-large. As a cartoonist and community activist, Young first introduced the comic strip Scruples in 1988, featuring childlike characters with billiard-ball-size eyes who reflect upon thought provoking messages on current topics such as: AIDS, drugs, teen pregnancy, prejudice and violence. 

Mr. Young received the prestigious Daily Point of Light Award in 1999 from the White House for volunteering his time in bringing the Arts to disadvantaged children. He and his work has appeared in People, Ebony, GQ and Jet magazines, the Boston Globe, New York Times, C-Span, US Weekend, CNN and other national media outlets.

Featured pieces in this show include a section of the “The World’s Longest Comic Strip,” created in 1997 and recognized by Guinness World Records. The entire piece was 6 feet high by 100 yards long and featured contributions from celebrity artists such as CBS Morning Show anchor Gayle King and NBA basketball star Ray Allen. 

Also featured is the Scruples Apartheid Comic Strip, which was awarded first place in the CRT's National Arts Program in the 1990’s and later commissioned by the Desmond Tutu Refugee Fund to help raise money for South African refugees.

Click here to view Joe Young's artist video

 

LIFE OF IMAGES

David Holzman

May 9-June 20, 2014

ARTIST'S STATEMENT
A life of images. An unending series of pictures and objects that transcribe the points in a life. One image leading to the next, series within series, each a story leading to another. I'm a native of NYC, having grown up in the museums, looking at pictures and objects from the world's cultures. Like any artist, I have developed a belief system about what is worth doing. A work of art must say something on a human level. It should encourage the viewer to look at it because it is stimulating to look at. It should be able to stand alone. My own work of the last 30 years has been inspired by two great formats- the woodcut narrative and surrealist automatic drawing. The art of indigenous cultures and the work known as outsider art have also contributed to my sensibilities. The idea of a collective unconscious suggests that it is possible for an artist to play an interpretive role in society. I want to blend archetypical symbols with a personal surrealism to present images that illustrate the human spirit. Each day is an opportunity to return to an inner source. The goal is to drink from this continuous fountain of imagery, every day, as long as I'm alive.

Click here to view David Holzman's artist video

 

CONNECTICUT WOMEN'S HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES PORTRAIT EXHIBIT

March 17-April 27, 2014

ARTIST'S STATEMENT
The Inductee Portrait Exhibit is a beautifully executed collection of framed images and biographies honoring Connecticut women, past and present, women of great achievement who have broken new ground or have emerged as leaders in their fields of endeavor. The exhibit consists of 65 framed black-and-white portraits of CWHF Inductees (1994-2002). Each portrait is accompanied by a short biography of the Inductee. It is elegant and eye-catching in its simplicity and makes a wonderful addition to Hartford Public Library’s other ongoing exhibits and programs honoring work and women in Connecticut.

 

DIALOGUES: IMPROMPTU CONVERSATIONS IN COLOR

Carlos Hernandez Chavez

February 7-March 15, 2014

ARTIST'S STATEMENT
From my earliest memory, color has always been my guide and companion in discovery. It's been there silently, an undeniable presence in everything that I see and do. It brings consciousness into things that may be insignificant to others: the iridescence of a bird's plumage, or the morning's pink and yellow sunbeams washing on my bedroom wall; the orange glow of streetlights on freshly fallen snow; the shiny rainbows flowing in an oil slick washed by the rain; the refreshing, diaphanous blue and cadmium orange pigment of pre-dawn light; the screaming neon of street cones; the wind-blown red and yellow leaves on a wet road; and so much more.

I see color as a symbol to many emotions and feelings; to joys and sorrows; to wonderment and spirituality. Color continues to be an energizing force for me, at once silent and with a strong, loving voice, that makes whole what might be an otherwise incomplete existence.

Color is Life.

Click here to view Carlos Hernandez Chavez's artist video

 

AT THE START OF THE END OF HISTORY

David Borawski

December 13, 2013-January 17, 2014

ARTIST'S STATEMENT
Iconic societal events can define a time, a place, a beginning and an end. We sit in front of glowing screens and watch in helpless awe as democracy plays out its endgame. Corporations were given constitutional protections while humans are being denied those same protections. All the while, the escapades of celebrities-gone-wild and murderous psychopaths are held up before our eyes like shiny objects in the hands of hypnotists.

The work in this exhibition seeks to draw upon and highlight a select group of those game changing events, suggesting connections, similarities, oddities and mysteries, as the viewer navigates the veiled layers of information and follows the bread crumb trail out of the forest.

Click here to view David Borawski's artist video

 

THE WANDERLUST OF SED MILES

Sed Miles

October 18-November 15, 2013

ARTIST'S STATEMENT
The Wanderlust of Sed Miles is a reflection of the artist’s visual life spanning 20 years. His journey from rural South Carolina to his diasporic passages through the Americas, Europe and Africa is presented in three acts: Yonda: A reconstruction of his Southern roots; Moment of Passage:  Journaling Diaspora and Global Citizenship, and Black Gold: Dark male bodies in Frantz Fanon's infernal circle (An offering to Trayvon).   With rich, large scale monochrome, color, mixed media, and installations, this collection forces a negotiation of gaze between the image and viewers that is simultaneously both comforting and unsettling. 

“Authentic cultural aesthetics” is how Sed defines the guiding framework behind his image making. Focusing on global and humanistic criterion, he is quickly developing a collection of photographic art that wanders between genres.  His work expresses a spiritual link between documentary, fine art, and portrait narratives. Making great use of a double-voiced rhetoric, the signifying style of cultural critique, he cleverly initiates his view of this world with a formal visual vocabulary applied to the African Diaspora.

Framing each image as a  veracious set of sensual data, a visual account of the  quintessential humanity of  life within dark bodies both facing and behind the camera, he not only exposes the verve of his own and his subjects' lives,  but primarily introduces the viewers to their own empirical doubts and interpretive dilemmas, inhaling both aesthetic and political data.

 

STAGECRAFT: 50 YEARS OF DESIGN AT HARTFORD STAGE

September 6-27, 2013

ARTIST'S STATEMENT
In celebration of Hartford Stage’s 50th Anniversary Season, the STAGECRAFT exhibit consists of a selection of costumes, props and scenic elements from the company’s extensive collection.  A hallmark of the theatre’s work is the quality of the work that appears on stage, all of which is built here in Hartford.  Scores of locally-based artists, craftspeople, and technicians created these pieces to animate the visions of some of the world’s most prominent theatrical designers.

Hartford Stage has earned many of the nation’s most distinguished awards, including a Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre, the Margo Jones Award for Development of New Works, OBIE awards, and two New York Critics Circle Awards, and has produced nationally renowned titles, including the New York transfers of Enchanted April, The Gershwin’s Fascinating Rhythm, The Carpetbagger’s Children, The Orphans' Home Cycle, Tea at Five and Resurrection (Through the Night).

Michael Stotts, Managing Director at Hartford Stage, said, “Hartford Stage designs, and the execution of those designs, have been highlighted and featured in national trade publications for decades.  We have 50 years of history that have been in storage, that we are now bringing out to show to the world.  It is especially important that our local audiences and constituencies know and recognize the unique contributions Hartford Stage has made to the American Theatre.”

 

ART FOR THE REST OF US

Joe Sam

June 14-August 9, 2013

ARTIST'S STATEMENT
Renowned American painter and mixed-media artist JoeSam’s “Art for the Rest of Us” includes paintings and mixed-media artworks that have been exhibited around the country, particularly in California, where the artist lived before moving to Hartford and establishing a home and studio. “My work reflects the fact that I am a Black artist,” JoeSam says. “My colors, patterns and designs are multi-faceted and combine many parallel elements in a single piece of work, analogous to the way African-derived music combines parallel rhythmic and melodic elements. The content of my work reflects issues and ideas concerning people of color.” Born in Harlem, JoeSam studied child psychology and had a career in social services before devoting himself full time to his art beginning in the late 1970s. His vibrant work is included in many public and private collections, and he has created numerous public art installations.  JoeSam also illustrated several books, including The Invisible Hunters/Los Cazadores Invisible, a bilingual children’s book about a tribal group in Central America. He has worked on art projects in Europe and South America, and served as an artist in residence in California. The opening of JoeSam’s exhibition on June 14 has been scheduled to coincide with The Amistad Center’s June 15 gala celebration of Juneteenth, the oldest known celebration of the end of American slavery and a historic date for many African Americans.

 

LIFE: A JOURNEY THROUGH TIME

Frans Lanting

April 8-May 13, 2013

ARTIST'S STATEMENT
Frans Lanting has been hailed as one of the great photographers of our time. His influential work appears in books, magazines, and exhibitions around the world. For more than two decades he has documented wildlife from the Amazon to Antarctica to promote understanding about the Earth and its natural history through images that convey a passion for nature and a sense of wonder about our living planet. Lanting's work has been commissioned frequently by National Geographic, where he served as a Photographer-in-Residence. In 2006, Lanting launched The LIFE Project, a lyrical interpretation of the history of life on Earth, as a book, an exhibition, an interactive website, and a multimedia orchestral performance with music by Philip Glass. Lanting’s books have received awards and acclaim: “No one turns animals into art more completely than Frans Lanting,” writesThe New Yorker. His books include LIFE: A Journey Through TimeJunglesPenguinLiving PlanetEye to Eye,BonoboOkavango: Africa’s Last EdenForgotten Edens, and Madagascar, A World Out of Time, all produced in collaboration with his partner, editor Christine Eckstrom. Lanting serves on the National Council of the World Wildlife Fund and the Chairman’s Council of Conservation International; he is a Trustee of the University of California Santa Cruz. Lanting has received top honors from World Press Photo, the title of BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year, and the Sierra Club’s Ansel Adams Award. He has been honored as a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society in London and is a recipient of Sweden’s Lennart Nilsson Award. In 2001 H.R.H. Prince Bernhard inducted him as a Knight in the Royal Order of the Golden Ark, the Netherlands’ highest conservation honor.

 
 

THREE WOMEN: VISIONS IN CONTRAST

Linn Bae, Lindsey Fyfe, & Nan Runde

August 28-October 9, 2015

NAN RUNDE
A glimmer of light in darkness, random masses coalescing into pattern, a ragged shoreline between the familiar and the formless:  this is the territory Nan Runde explores in her drawings and paintings.  With a visual vocabulary derived from the natural world, she strives to embody the way of nature in her own creative process, letting images evolve from within.  Her work challenges viewers to enter that process—to search for what is only barely discernible.

LINDSEY FYFE
Lindsey Fyfe’s drawings, paintings, and photo-based collages bring viewers from coast to coast, continent to continent, and back to Connecticut, from the perspective of both a local and a tourist. Highlighted works present an imaginative spin on landscape photography, through which she investigates returning to her home state, the land of unchanging habits. Hand-carved photographs of incongruent imagery combine lyrically across horizons. Each work is a meticulously crafted world that hovers between real and implausible.

LINN BAE
Linn Bae doesn't want her paintings to look calculated or intellectual, but rather raw and emotional. She paints with a palette knife, subconsciously, without thinking. Her goal is to create a spontaneous canvas with an immediate intense feeling. The texture and the color show her emotion. If she's lucky, the result is a good painting and a satisfying feeling. If nothing good is created, maybe tomorrow. Another day, another hope.

 

THE HOG RIVER COLLECTION

Peter Albano & Joe McCarthy

December 7 2012-January 20, 2013

ARTIST'S STATEMENT
The Hog River Revival Collection is about adventure.

There’s no place on earth that you can’t map. The Park (Hog) River, encased in over 9 miles of concrete conduits, is America’s largest underground waterway. Over the course of 18 months, Joe McCarthy and Peter Albano traveled the underground river in an attempt to map, document, and spotlight Hartford’s darkest passage.

The Hog River Revival Collection is the result of those trips.

This body of work was created by combining narrative aspects of documentary photography with romantic expressions of being underground. Albano and McCarthy combined their experiences in filmmaking, photography, printing, and painting to capture a fully realized sense of space and experience of their urban exploration.

The final product is a series that relays both a realistic record of the physical space, as well as an autobiographical expression of the artists’ interaction with the Hog River.

Today, the Hog River remains un-gated and easily accessible.

 

REFLECTIONS IN DUST

Mary Anne McCarthy

October 5-November 11, 2012

ARTIST'S STATEMENT
Reflections in Dust represents an allegory of a personal narrative, a literal representation of a person or object. Many of McCarthy’s pieces are self-portraits.

The technique ranges from a free, impulsive brush stroke; to the sanded down point on a .5 mm pencil lead.

It is not necessary that the viewer knows specifically what inspired the work. In fact, perhaps the combination of detail and mystery allows for it to be more empathic and relatable.

Reflections in Dust is a poetic reflection about inspiration, introspection and the physical aspects of the media in this two-dimensional work. The beholder should consider pencil, silver, and paint as pigment or "dust" arranged on paper or canvas. 

 

THERE'S A MAP FOR THAT!

June 11-August 31, 2012

There's a Map for That! was organized by Connecticut Explored and the Hartford History Center in celebration of Connecticut Explored's tenth anniversary.

 

A WALK DOWN PARK STREET

Jack McConnell

April 13-May 20, 2012

ARTIST'S STATEMENT
A Walk Down Park Street represents a collection of Jack McConnell’s photographs that capture the essence of Park Street, through Frog Hollow and Parkville from Main to Prospect. It’s the exuberant commercial spine of a working class neighborhood representing 20 Latino cultures from the Caribbean, Central and South America.

Each image in this exhibit represents a fraction of a second, a simple slice of life in the midst of a cultural melting pot. For 400 years, Hartford has welcomed immigrants, from Dutch adventurers who sailed up the Connecticut River in 1624, to the French, Italian, Irish, German and Scandinavians who worked in Victorian-era factories, building Pratt & Whitney machines, Colt firearms, Columbia bicycles, Remington typewriters, and Pope electric cars. The Latino population today comes for the same reason—freedom and a better life for their families.

McConnell uses 400mm and 500mm lenses to isolate details of the neighborhood, capturing the vibrant Caribbean color palette of the streetscape---filigreed iron railings, painted porch furbelows, and rambunctious after-dark activity seen through storefront windows. His digital Canon 5D enables him to focus at low light levels, shooting lampposts, traffic and nightlife.

As he concentrates on street portraits, McConnell finds residents generous about sharing their energy, letting him see their self-confidence, peace, and worries. They seem to say, “Here I am, I exist, I’m OK, or I’m not OK.” In one photo a young woman throws her hands into the air in a celebratory gesture, yelling, “Hey, Mr. Photographer, take my picture.”

 

IMPROVISED REFLECTIONS

Andres Chaparro

February 30-March 18, 2012

ARTIST'S STATEMENT
Improvised Reflections represents a collection of paintings that celebrate and define the evolution and experience of jazz music.

This series of work was created with absolute, expressive freedom. Chaparro’s use of various techniques and mediums, as well as his innate ability to let go of traditional conventions allows for a creation of work that is fluid and free.

His paintings may first appear to use random color and distorted matters, but upon closer study, reveal depth and evoke emotion.  For example, one may take notice of the color yellow, used to create halos or a saintly glow around depictions of subject matters no longer living.

Chaparro’s work exudes energy that passes through each and every one of his paintings. As you experience each work you will find a spontaneous accumulation of visual elements. Improvised Reflections captures the imagination and provides a glimpse at history and beauty that embodies America’s classical music we have come to know as Jazz.

 

FLIGHT, FLORA, & FANTASY

Amy Xie

December 2 2011-January 15, 2012

ARTIST'S STATEMENT
Flight, Flora & Fantasy represents abstract paintings of beauty, freedom, purity and hope created by Chinese–American Amy Xie.

Ms. Xie began studying art in China, where she specialized in watercolor on rice paper. Her paintings are influenced by traditional Chinese motifs fused with elements of her spiritual Eastern background and Western culture.

The artist creates realistic details through meticulous brushwork.  Ms. Xie’s favorite subjects can be found in nature: the lotus flower, representing purity and peace; the plum flower, signifying dignity and the dawn of spring and hope; and the eagle, representing success and heroism.

Her works combine traditional Chinese brush techniques with Western styles, carrying beautiful movement and energy throughout Ms. Xie’s designs.

The rich, exquisite colors and lofty symbolism of her work form Ms. Xie’s distinct and vivid artistic style.  Her watercolors elegantly translate themes of nature into distinct and vivid art.

 

THE GOOD EARTH

Joy Floyd

October 7-November 13, 2011

ARTIST'S STATEMENT
Joseph Cornell said that collage is the work that comes from “the sacred search”; the seeking and finding of used and abandoned materials.

For example, during a recent visit with her daughter in California, Ms. Floyd found small plastic bags of Japanese kimono scraps for sale.  Those cloth bits, along with odd crochet pieces, a Chinese doily, and the corner of a discarded paint drop cloth became a collage.  From something old came something new.  This transformation is her work.

Ms. Floyd’s process begins with the search, opening her eyes to see the beauty of discarded fabrics, papers, rusted metal, scraps of wood, even buttons and feathers that can be rescued and restored.  Then follows the mysterious puzzle of fitting the parts together, using a background of foam core or plywood instead of canvas, and paste and polymer rather than paint.

The materials themselves are Ms. Floyd’s inspiration.  She does not aim to make a realistic “picture”.  Her goal is to honor the materials with a new identity while retaining the elements of their old life.   

Creating the collage with its bits and pieces, textures, and colors, is Ms. Floyd’s joy.

As a working artist who lived in Hartford for over 20 years, Floyd continues to work in her studio in the Arbor Art Center in Hartford.

 

BOYS AND THEIR TOYS

Nancy Masters

April 8-May 22, 2011

ARTIST'S STATEMENT
Boys and their Toys represents the realistic automotive oil paintings created by artist Nancy Masters.   

Masters studied with a trompe l’oeil artist for many years and that experience is reflected in the photo-realism of her paintings.  There is an abstract quality to some of her work where she only paints a portion of the car or motorcycle.  The artist wants the viewer’s mind to finish the painting.  Masters enjoys the challenge of taking the flat surface of the canvas and turning it into something dimensional, where the cars appear to drive off the canvas with realism and bold color.   

Creating chrome is one of Masters’ specialties.  She creates it through multiple coats of black and white paint that are blended together.  Other areas of chrome are created by painting in reflections of surrounding objects.  Notice the self portrait of the artist squatting down taking of a picture of the ‘1956 Chevy,’ as well as the reflection of the car parked next to it. 

Because automotive painting is so demanding and needs to be accurate, Masters always has a non-automotive painting on her easel.  She particularly likes painting flowers from her garden with the same bold colors as her automotive paintings.  Masters’ portfolio also includes paintings of animals and landscapes. 

 

BIRTH/PLACE

Adrienne Gale

February 4-March 20, 2011

ARTIST'S STATEMENT
Birth/Place is an installation that examines the idea of home as a place into which we can be born and also a place that we can create for ourselves.  Ms. Gale uses her art to demonstrate the choices we have (or may not have) about where those homes are located, what they are made of, or who they include.

Initially drawn to eggshells for their visual appeal, Ms. Gale found them to be a natural vehicle for addressing choices.  The artist uses roots, trees and seeds incorporated in a variety of media including printmaking, drawing, handmade paper and book arts to illustrate the many connections in the world that inspire her creations.      

Ms. Gale made a specific choice to move back to Hartford where she was born to be with her family who have chosen to stay in the City and contribute to the community.  Not all people who live in Hartford had the luxury of making such a choice; all too frequently, homes are created or settled on due to a lack of options.  In defending her choice, Ms. Gale set out to create art that will encourage those who live in and visit Hartford to think about the people who live here and why they live in this City, and to also consider their own choices.

 

THE ADMIRATION SERIES

Kyle Andrew Phillips

October 15, 2010-January 7, 2011

ARTIST'S STATEMENT
The Admiration Series is a body of work that pays homage to painters that Mr. Phillips deeply respects. He makes a point to look past bias to recognize passion and genuine depth in an artist’s work and frame of mind. From Piet Mondrian’s pre-abstracts to Wayne Thiebaud’s colorful pop art, the artists that Mr. Phillips has selected span many artistic movements and represent varying aesthetic styles.

A celebration of vibrantly shimmering colors, all tightly woven together with layers of energetic brushstrokes, Mr. Phillips has taken great care not to create contrived paintings, but rather work that is fun and insightful.

While oil on panel makes up the majority of work, Mr. Phillips branches out to canvas, linen and also watercolor and acrylic on paper. This was done intentionally so each painting was started with a fresh approach.

Living and working in the City of Hartford has played a significant role in the construction of the series. The landscapes can be seen around the City and the portraits depict people who live and work here. Mr. Phillips strongly believes that art is a result of one’s experience and that to create work with substance an artist must draw direct inspiration from his/her life.

 

HARTFORD TREASURES: THE ART AND ARTIFACTS ON THE ARTWALK

June 4-September 30, 2010

Hartford Treasures: Art and Artifacts on the ArtWalk, an exhibit showcasing some of the wonderful holdings in the Library’s historical Hartford Collection, will be on display from June 4 through September 30, 2010 with an opening reception Friday, June 4 from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

The exhibit will also pay tribute to Hartford artist and Hartford Public Library corporator Richard Welling (1926-2009). Welling chronicled Hartford’s changing landscape with pen and ink drawings for more than 40 years, capturing the essence of our community, landmark structures and city that continues to be a remarkable blend of past and present.

 

THE IDEA OF THIS PERFECT EDENIC PLACE

Dawn Holder

February 19-April 16, 2010

ARTIST'S STATEMENT
This installation explores the concept of the garden, which contains numerous metaphors: for desire, abundance, growth, fertility, youth, possibility, community, stability, wealth, or the passage of time. The garden is an infinitely malleable space of unrestrained beauty and hopefulness, a sensory explosion, a quiet moment of escapism, a joyous collaboration with nature, a perfect edenic kind of place. 

In this fabricated garden, handmade plants bud forth from Ms. Holder's innovative recipe of porcelain paper-clay. She sculpts her fragile and detailed forms with porcelain because of its purity of color, supple quality, and history of preciousness. The trees, plants, and flowers are not meant to replicate actual varieties of plants, but rather to capture the idea of flowers, as they live in the imagination. 

Gardens, like all living things, transform over time, reacting to the elements, growing, flourishing, fading, and withering. Similarly, this installation will change as Ms. Holder creates and plants new vegetation in the garden. As a result, return visits to the gallery will reveal new experiences to the viewer. 

Ms. Holder gives special thanks to her students, Hailey Schumacher, Katie Linke, Jess Schillinger, and Casey Hanrahan, for their contributions to this project.

 

JOURNEY (2): A RENEWED CONSCIOUSNESS

Stanwyck Cromwell

November 6, 2009-January 15, 2010

ARTIST'S STATEMENT
Although I have spent most of my adult life in the United States, I consider myself a Guyanese born contemporary visual artist and art educator. My memories of Guyana are rich and abundant particularly the physical and aesthetic differences between the cultures of Guyana and the United States. 

A visual kaleidoscope from my native land is referenced in my work. These references serve as a visual footnote to my art making, by allowing me a rich palette of sights to draw from. The yellows of lemons and bananas are different, so are the oranges found in sunsets versus the hue of tangerines. Saturated colors, patterns, and textures reveal themselves in my work, whether paintings, drawings or mixed media. 

To say that I am a painter, collagist, or any specific type of artist, would only limit my abilities and potential. The creative energy that inspires my work has renewed my consciousness in ways that are hard to articulate but evident in my work. Journey (2): A Renewed Consciousness displays a gradual transition from traditional to a more contemporary form of visual expression where reality and myth intersect and sometimes merge. This transition has allowed me to create visual hybrids by incorporating both natural and man-made materials into my art. Most of the symbols and materials are used metaphorically and vary in interpretation based on the context in which they are applied. 

The arrangement and rearrangement of objects in my work is like an aesthetic chess game - one movement affects the other. This process allows me to stretch my imagination by dismantling cultural stereotypes and dogmas. My Guyanese heritage, including cultural and religious practices, is the foundation for my Guyanese-American experiences. Therefore my work is a total embodiment of all my experiences as a human being. I hope that you find my work visually and spiritually stimulating.
 

ABOUT THE ARTIST
Stanwyck Cromwell is a second-generation Guyanese-born artist currently living and working in the United States. He graduated from the former British Guiana Trust High School, with high honors in art and other foreign languages. Soon after graduation he worked at Guyana Lithographic Company as a graphic artist, with noted Guyanese artist, Angold Thompson. In addition, he also studied with his cousin and mentor, Maurice Jacobs, a noted Guyanese artist. 

In 1970, he migrated to the United States, in pursuit of an art career. He earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in Applied Arts, at Oak State College and also a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting from the University of Hartford. His memories of Guyana are rich and abundant, but the most striking are the physical and aesthetic distances of the Caribbean and the United States. Mr. Cromwell paints in series, incorporating a variety of themes that expresses, his ethnic, social and cultural experiences both in Guyana and the United States. 

Saturated colors, patterns and textures show themselves in his collages, sculptures, paintings, and drawings. The vibrancy of his colors is convincing evidence of his rich and illustrious Caribbean heritage. Despite his strong Caribbean roots, his work is non-traditional. Instead, he uses a combination of figurative, abstract, and surrealistic art forms. Mr. Cromwell uses symbols in his work as metaphors. The most frequently used are the black-eye-pea, seashell, and fish-like faces. In addition he uses repeated images as overlays in his compositions, to created depth and imaginary mindscapes. His work is very energetic and commands the attention of the viewer.

 
 

RETRO:WORKS

Chet Kempczynski

May 1-August 31, 2009

ARTIST'S STATEMENT
My paintings are executed from observation and memory. I set up the objects (stones, marbles and sand) in a shadow box and light them through a small opening. This becomes the stage for the composition of all the rock and agate paintings. Early study of tromp l’oeiltechnique with Master painter Ken Davies helped me to produce some of my most dramatic hyper-realist works. Each painting could take up to a few months to complete.

While living in Spain during the winter of 1980 – 1981, I started experimenting with the monotype process. I would paint on a glass plate in reverse and when the surface was covered with wet paint, I would place sheet of paper over the design, apply pressure to the back, and pull it off creating a unique print. This enabled me to finish a piece ala prima. On return to the USA, the images became larger and larger, up to 10 feet long and four feet in height.

I always practiced plein air painting, which is evident in the recent watercolor/gouache paintings that were done in the South of France and the shores of New England. I have eliminated all objects and strictly concentrated on the space above and below the horizon line with color and content.

My new series of large oils on canvas and monotypes was initially inspired by the post 9/11 color code alerts circulating in the media. These color signals represented a visual language intended to convey a security level to the public.

Although much of my work is referential, my focus has now changed; I moved to color field painting both from an art historical perspective, and from the viewpoint of an artist conveying an interpretation of current events. My search for pure color is not only related to my passion for abstraction, but also a representation of the meaning and usage of color in contemporary society.

ABOUT THE ARTIST
Chet was born and raised in Hartford, CT. He attended Hartford Public Schools and received his art education at Paier College of Art and the Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford. He has taught painting, water color and monotype at Loomis – Chaffee School since 2000.

Chet is a painter’s painter, mastering a wide variety of techniques. His work ranges from small portrait canvases to seven by seven foot oil paintings.

When a fire destroyed his studio, a portion of his home, and 121 pieces of his work in 1997, as he was preparing for a show at Westwood Gallery in New York, where he has been represented for decades, the arts community rallied to his aid and he was able not only to honor his commitments to shows previously planned, but create what some say is his strongest work.

Although his roots run deep in Connecticut, his work shows little trace of regionalism. The exception to that is his spectacular series of oil paintings of the city as seen from his third floor studio in his home on Washington Street. His worldwide travels, especially his months-long trips to Spain, have influenced his work as much as the shores of Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New York.

Color and light are a recurring theme in his paintings, large and small. His color is hot, rich and emphatic, and light rebounds from every surface.

He has shown widely in both solo and group exhibitions in New England and New York, as well as in Toulon, France, Paris, France and Cadaques, Spain, and Hyeres, France. He is the recipient of a Pollack-Krasner Foundation Grant.