"Youth is in a grand flush, like the hot days of ending summer; and pleasant dreams thrall your spirit, like the smoky atmosphere that bathes the landscape of an August day." - Connecticut essayist Donald G. Mitchell

Ever growing, the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut's year-long, multi-site program, Accessible Art,  joining Business with Art, continues to catch the eye with an upcoming 10 exhibitions of visual arts, opening on Monday, August 28th. Pour Me Coffee & Wine Cafe at 274 Main Street, Danbury,  is the newest presenter, featuring the works of Bethel artist JOSEPH ANNINO in an exhibition entitled "Diffractions." 

The artist is inspired by works by Agnes Martin, El Lissitzky, Yayoi Kusama, and Mark Rothko, and each piece results in varying moods and impressions as lines and forms "diffract" through the aperture of the mind of the viewer. Signing works as JoViAn, the artist has been painting for the past two years in a variety of mediums, techniques, and styles, believing that each informs the others along a path of creative development. Joseph has presented works in solo shows at Molten Java in Bethel, and has also shown in Boston, Redding, Danbury, and New Milford.

Accessible Art exhibitions, running through Friday, October 20th, also include:

KATIE TYNAN HELU, CityCenter Danbury, 268 Main Street, (203) 792 1711  "As a ceramic artist and potter, I employ a meticulous gas-kiln firing process to bring out the beauty of the glazes I use, adding a unique depth to the color as the flow of the flame directs its attention to each piece.  My creations include hand-built and sculptural pieces as well as pottery thrown on the wheel. My pieces are never exactly alike, but each piece carries an essence from the potter's hand."        

SUSAN KEOWN, YMCA's ESCAPE to the Arts, 293 Main Street, Danbury, (203) 794-1413 "I gather parts of my life through painted and drawn papers, discarded and found objects  As a life is woven together, balanced with many parts, I combine these pieces together to form my coherent visions."

SCOTT LEWIS, Filosa/Hancock Hall, 31 Staples Street, Danbury, (203) 794-9466 "As a professional artist's model, I have been the subject of many works of art on display over the years. Now I am pursuing my interest in photography and travel, and drawing on my creative background in film making and writing to create my own narrative images." 

KARIN MANSBERG, Mothership Bakery & Cafe, 331 Main Street, Danbury, (203) 417-6914 "In my art, the final versions rarely seem to resemble their source, which I guess can be the case for many observations. We see the world how we want to, and perhaps, not as it is. My art is an extension of my own reality or lack thereof."

CYNTHIA O'CONNOR, Bethel Public Library, 189 Greenwood Ave, (203) 794-8756 "I've been a photographer all my life. My camera is always with me, my eye, always open. Essentially self-taught, this is my gift, for which I'm so grateful. Yet, for true fulfillment, it's sharing my discoveries, moments that gave me a thrill, a lump in my throat, those that make me stop, sigh, and completely captivate me."

CHRIS PLAISTED, Danbury Public Library, 170 Main Street, (203) 797-4505 "My works tend to focus on forms of contrast. It may be in the concept: man vs. nature, social vs. emotion, or it may be the tension created by the use of materials. I connect with the juxtaposition of different materials; steel with copper and concrete, wood with metals. I believe that the opposing materials, forms, or colors in my work, intensify each element's properties to produce a more dynamic form of expression."

STEPHANIE SAFARIK, Danbury City Hall, 155 Deer Hill Avenue, (203) 797-4511 "Perseverance is how I describe my life and photography.    I love getting lost in black and white photography.  For me, it lets my imagination wander while still being elegant and simple.  Most of my work is concentrated around water since that is where I feel the most alive yet  peaceful."

GARY STANFORD, CityCenter Danbury, 268 Main Street, (203) 792-1711 "The very essence  of photography is the ability to create an historical record of an event  at a precise moment in time.  Events may involve people, places and things and be literal or figurative.  My purpose as a photographer is to depict the world around me and to offer my interpretation of that event."

HELGA RUOPP, Hodge Insurance Agency, 283 Main Street, Danbury, (203) 792-2323 "In my artwork I seek to capture 'innocence' and 'beauty' in everyday sightings using the  colors of  nature."

For information about Accessible Art and other programs offered by the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut, call (203) 798 0760 0r visit www.artswesternct.org

Published in PLACEMAKERS NEWS

CULTURAL ALLIANCE OF WESTERN CONNECTICUT

CONTINUES 10TH SEASON OF "ACCESSIBLE ART" EXHIBITIONS 

 8 VISUAL ART SHOWS IN 8 VENUES OPENING JUNE 26TH

"I always thought it would be a great thing to do an art carwash. So you can actually go and get your car washed, but while you're sitting around waiting you can walk in that hallway where you look at the cars going through the window, and that could be changing exhibitions." - visual artist Kenny Scharf

Summer is upon us, and with it, a sense of playfulness and ease. Art pops up in unexpected places, public visual art installations and performances appear on town sidewalks or in farmers' fields, and festivals abound. And with it, too, the Accessible Art program, now in its 10th season under the curatorial eye of the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut, provides leisurely summer strollers and curious arts enthusiasts plenty of opportunity to pause, reflect, and enjoy. The 3rd mounting of 2017 Accessible Art exhibitions opens on Monday, June 26th and runs through Friday, August 18th in 8 venues. People love to visit and live where the Arts thrive, and the Accessible Art program underscores that belief. So, as you take some time off to escape the everyday, consider visiting some of the exhibitions listed below.  

This round of Accessible Art, a year-'round, multi-site program, joining Business with Art, features the works of Debra Burger (Danbury, CT), Barbara Courtian (New York, NY), Justin Farigiano (Bethel, CT), Victoria Harriott (Norwalk, CT) Chris Kiely (Danbury, CT), Toni Miraldi (Sandy Hook, CT), Betsy Post (Newtown, CT), and Charlene Schosser (Danbury, CT).

Hours at the venues vary, so call ahead. For more information about Accessible Art, call (203) 798 0760 or visit www.artswesternct.org  (All exhibitions are subject to change.) 

Debra Burger

Danbury City Hall, 155 Deer Hill Avenue, (203) 797-4511

Throughout the years, Debra has been capturing images from her other creative passion - her garden. Challenging herself to create a body of work from the objects in her garden, she has created larger-than-life images that examine the color, shape, texture, and life of each plant and flower. They provide the viewer with a unique perspective on the fragile, yet bold impression each flower offers. She is President of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, Western New York Chapter.

Barbara Courtian

Mothership Bakery & Cafe, 331 Main Street, Danbury, (203) 417-6914

"The nature of watercolor, my chosen medium, demands a certain spontaneity", says Barbara.  "There is a lot that is unpredictable, whether it is the way the colors flow together or how they dry on the paper. They seem to have a mind of their own and possess a certain freshness. That is what makes watercolor unlike any other medium and such a challenge." She enjoys exploring neighborhoods, whether they be amidst the quick pulse of a city or the tranquility of the country. "Both offer such wonderful contrasts and are a never ending source of inspiration".

Justin Farigiano

Danbury Public Library, 170 Main Street, (203) 797-4505

Justin believes the human brain is the most complex thing in the universe. "It can create poetry or destroy itself alive, and sometimes it considers the two the same, he says. "It can build the great pyramids of Egypt and at the same time just want to spend a whole day in bed. It's essentially a computer that runs a mass of plumbing. And even though we all have the same mess of electric charges and chemicals, we perceive the world differently. Through my photography, I strive to formalize the surreal qualities of the mind, and how it interacts with people, places, and its host."

Victoria Harriott

YMCA's ESCAPE to the Arts, 293 Main Street, Danbury, (203) 794-1413

Before Victoria found painting, music was her escape. But during Victoria's junior year of high school, she was taking an art class specific to painting where her teacher introduced her to the monochromatic / pop art style that her work is done in currently. She recalls being so amazed by how a few different tones of color could make a complete photo. She says, "My work is the place where my love for music and passion for painting meet."

Chris Kiely

CityCenter Danbury, 268 Main Street, (203) 792-1711

A photographer, Chris is dedicated to exploring and documenting the beauty in vacant buildings.  His inspiration is the solitude, tranquility, nostalgia, and sometimes eeriness of forgotten places.

Toni Miraldi

 Filosa/Hancock Hall, 31 Staples Street, Danbury, (203) 794-9466 

Toni Miraldi writes, "As a mural artist, my mission is to transform plain walls into stimulating walls. I believe our attitudes are subtly influenced by our environs. If we surround ourselves and our communities with small positive messages--whether they be art, nature, inspiring architecture or kind words--we will see the world differently than if we are surrounded by suspicion, fear and despair. This is why I love murals. They take a thing that literally surrounds us--a wall--and turn it into an encouragement."

Betsy Post

Bethel Public Library, 189 Greenwood Ave, (203) 794-8756

Though not a professional artist or even an 'artist' in the way you define it, Betsy can claim the title as a "needle artist," approaching 60 years old who has always found fulfillment creating beautiful pictures from a needle and thread. Working in her spare time, she finds that needlework "connects me to my female ancestors and hopefully those in the future who will chose to create art from fabric and thread." 

Charlene Schosser

Hodge Insurance Agency, 283 Main Street, Danbury, (203) 792-2323

"I have always been attracted to color", Charlene notes. "For over 10 years I have dreamt of using paint chips in artwork. Finally I was able to follow my vision, using colors that have body to them in different shapes and sizes, allowing me to explore the endless options of tiling these beautiful colors in a totally different art form. Paint chips, glue, artist board and a trusty knife or hole punch are combined to form each art piece, at first simplistic but, in viewing, quite complex. What was first intended for furniture, walls and floors, now dance around in my art pieces, expressing joy, life and light". 

Published in ArtsWestern News

8 VISUAL ART SHOWS IN 8 VENUES CURRENTLY RUNNING THRU APRIL 14TH 

“The main thing is to be moved, to love, to hope, to tremble, to live.” - Auguste Rodin

Appropriately hung to coincide within the week of Valentine's Day, the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut kicks off its 10th year of presenting the Accessible Art series with HE(ART). After all, Art and passion go hand-in-hand, following Auguste Rodin's belief that “The main thing is to be moved, to love, to hope, to tremble, to live.”  Eight exhibitions, currently running through Friday, April 14th, mark the first of five rounds of this year-long, multi-site program joining Business with Art. The year's schedule plans for 39 exhibitions showing through Friday, December 29th. Accessible Art is sponsored by Fairfield County's Community Foundation and the venues who are generously hosting the artists: Bethel Public Library, CityCenter Danbury, Danbury City Hall, Danbury Public Library, Filosa/Hancock Hall, Hodge Insurance Agency, Mothership Bakery & Cafe, and YMCA's ESCAPE to the Arts.

This year's premier Accessible Art mounting highlights the works of Brian Bardo (Danbury), Debra Burger (Danbury), Ted DeToy (New Fairfield), Maressa Gershowitz (Danbury), Renato Ghio (Danbury), Toni Miraldi (Sandy Hook), Helga Ruopp (Hawleyville), and Tara Tomaselli (Newtown).  Hours at the venues vary, so call ahead. For more information about Accessible Art, call (203) 798 0760 or visit www.artswesternct.org All exhibitions are subject to change.

Brian Bardo

INTERACTIONS: A photographic essay portraying the dignity of people who have multiple disabilities

YMCA's ESCAPE to the Arts, 293 Main Street, Danbury, (203) 794-1413

Brian Bardo is a retired Special Education Teacher with 39 years of experience in Danbury area. He was named Teacher of the Year in1986 for Unified School District #3, Connecticut State Department of Developmental Services. He has exhibited at the State of Connecticut Capital Building in Hartford and the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, DC, sponsored by CT Senator Lowell Weicker, and the Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC, sponsored by CT Representative William Ratchford.   

Debra Burger

Bethel Public Library, 189 Greenwood Ave, (203) 794-8756

Throughout the years, Debra Burger has been capturing images from her other creative passion - her garden. Challenging herself to create a body of work from the objects in her garden, she has created larger-than-life images that examine the color, shape, texture, and life of each plant and flower. They provide the viewer with a unique perspective on the fragile, yet bold impression each flower offers. She is President of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, Western New York Chapter.

Ted DeToy

Mothership Bakery & Cafe, 331 Main Street, Danbury, (203) 417-6914

Ted DeToy’s paintings in acrylic on canvas offer sharp and colorful encounters with familiar imagery related to pop culture, race and gender, American politics and daily life. Rendered in expressive primary colors with contemporary neo-cubist flair, DeToy takes an innovative approach to painting, drawing from books, magazine, movies and the internet as he allows both the most intimate and the most universal aspects of modern existence to influence his art.

Maressa Gershowitz

Can Imagine That

Danbury City Hall, 155 Deer Hill Avenue, (203) 797-4511

Maressa Gershowitz claims her story is the same as always.  "No photoshop, no flash, no strobes, just me and the camera looking at the world," she says.

Renato Ghio

CityCenter Danbury, 268 Main Street, (203) 792-1711

Renato Ghio's collection is inspired by his continued fascination with mobile photography. He says, "My goal is to demonstrate that mobile devices are an extension of photography as an art form. I enjoy pushing the limits of what’s possible with mobile-created imagery by transforming seemingly normal snapshots into another world. All the photographs in this exhibition were taken and edited on my phone."

Toni Miraldi

Hodge Insurance Agency, 283 Main Street, Danbury, (203) 792-2323

Toni Miraldi writes, "As a mural artist, my mission is to transform plain walls into stimulating walls. I believe our attitudes are subtly influenced by our environs. If we surround ourselves and our communities with small positive messages--whether they be art, nature, inspiring architecture or kind words--we will see the world differently than if we are surrounded by suspicion, fear and despair. This is why I love murals. They take a thing that literally surrounds us--a wall--and turn it into an encouragement."

Helga Ruopp

Danbury Public Library, 170 Main Street, (203) 797-4505

Helga Jensen-Ruopp was born in a refugee camp in Czechoslovakia into a family displaced after WWII, Helga eventually emigrated to the USA.  Since she didn't understand English, she took to art as a way of expressing herself.  Later, she attended Adelphi University receiving Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in Education with a concentration in Fine Arts. She has taught at Danbury High School, Western Connecticut State University, and teaches cooking and painting to children at YMCA's Escape to the Arts.

Tara Tomaselli

 Filosa/Hancock Hall, 31 Staples Street, Danbury, (203) 794-9466 

Tara Tomaselli is a fine art photographer with over 20 years working in the industry. Primarily self-taught in photography, she has been professionally exhibiting and selling her photographs since 2012.  She notes,"When I come upon an interesting subject, I like to observe and take it in from all angles, then I hone in on what I feel is the most appealing part - most often a close up view of an object or section of something larger. I want to show the beauty in things no matter their current state, objects that are old, discarded, junked, rusted, decayed, interesting. Many of these rusty relics are transportation-related, exciting to find, and windows into the past."

 

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY with HE(ART)

 The Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut, with offices at 287 Main Street, Danbury, CT, is a leader in supporting a vibrant arts and culture community in Northern Fairfield and Southern Litchfield Counties. The Cultural Alliance promotes and advocates for arts, history, and culture as a primary driver of the economy and as an enriching influence for communities and people. The Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut, a 501c-3, is the largest and only regional service organization working to ensure better access to arts and culture for all residents and visitors in Greater Danbury. It is supported by public and private funding, corporate sponsors, and by its 290 members including more than 55 arts, history, and cultural organizations.  phone: (203) 798 0760

Published in ArtsWestern News
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