City Lights honors 10 artists for their years of commitment, work, volunteerism, guidance and artistic excellence.
Sarah Beirne, Jason Coombs, Carlos Biernnay, Steve Gerber Robin Jopp, Dariusz Kanarek, Iyaba Ibo Mandingo, Ricky Mestre, Yolanda Vasquez Petrocelli Rick Reyes, Scott Schuldt
19th Anniversary Party Schedule
6-7:30 Enjoy Wine & Light Bites at City Lights Gallery, Meet the Artists in the Common Threads II Exhibit.
7:30 Doors open at the Bijou. Stroll down 1 block from the gallery, mingle and munch, get a drink and a plate for your seat.
8:00 Thank you’s and a word from CL board chair, Exec Director, and special guests.
8:20 Crabby Cabaret, enjoy a Crabby and playfully snarky twist to a night of Cabaret performances with featured guest artist Melissa Newman.
Sarah Beirne: Founder/Visionary/Producer of Crabby Cabaret, a founding volunteer of the Bridgeport Film Fest, and on the Greater Bridgeport Pride Steering Committee, Sarah produced the Crabby Cabaret featured in tonight’s anniversary celebration. She is working on another Crabby show for Bridgeport Pride on July 30, 2023.
Carlos Biernnay: A lead teaching artist for CL/BAT enrichment programs for youth, outstanding exhibiting artist for City Lights, creating indoor and outdoor installations in fiber art. Carlos is a prolific, sought-after artist stunning patrons and viewers with his fantastical fiber art creations throughout the NY-CT region as well as internationally, including his home country of Chile. Recent residencies include Espressiones Gallery Residency in New London and Sprouting Spaces through the Clementina Foundation affiliated with the Fernando Alvarez Gallery
Jason Coombs: Director/Founder of Bridgeport Film Festival, his recent leadership as chairperson of Greater Bridgeport Pride Steering committee has revitalized this important community event. Jason is a contributing editor of the bimonthly Bridgeport Art Trail newsletter. He is a filmmaker, actor and teaching artist, recent career highlights include Saturday Night Live, archival producer for Harry and Megan Netflix series and lead role in an independent film adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac.
Steve Gerber: Founding member of City Lights Gallery and the nonprofit organization City Lights & Company, gallery manager, exhibit installer, City Lights & Company board member, Steve has run the City Lights frame shop and managed the gallery for 19 years. Steve brings his excellent training from Pratt Institute to every design problem and task he meets, he is an instructor of design, drawing and perspective at the New York School of Interior design. His unique vintage postcard art is a frequent seller at the gallery.
Robin Jopp: For 7 years Robin worked on her vast Vintage knowledge and creative entrepreneurism skills to create, manage, and run City Lights Vintage, an offshoot of City Lights/Bridgeport Art Trail programs. The purpose was to extend the fun and fascination of collecting things of beauty and exercising critical observation skills and the appreciation of design (as one does in a gallery) to vintage objects of everyday life, with inventory from the pre-cell phone era. Robin is a multi-media artist, visionary, and teaching artist. CL/BAT thanks Robin for her years of hard work, unfortunately the lease for the vintage shop space cannot be renewed, therefore City Lights Vintage will close in July.
Iyaba Ibo Mandingo: Iyaba defines himself as a storyteller and a teacher, his media are poetry, puppetry, theatre, performance art, short stories, painting, sculpture, fabric, found objects and materials, and music. He performs and presents throughout the country, the Caribbean and Africa. Iyaba is a lead CL/BAT teaching artist who brings his passion and heart and soul to everything he does. He has collaborated with other CL/BAT artists and the artistic director to create compelling and relevant exhibits and educational programs.
Dariusz Kanarek: For over 5 years Dariusz has provided CL/BAT with superb professional services as a computer graphic designer, technician, an outstanding and energetic photo-journalist artist and videographer. His bag a tricks and skills as webmaster, creative collaborator, program documenter and problem solver infinite. He is a fun to work with and great support to many in artists creative community.
Ricky Mestre: Founder of Greater Bridgeport Pride and the OUTworks Queer art exhibit at City Lights, Ricky proposed presenting the first queer art show in Fairfield County 13 years ago to City Lights. CL/BAT is grateful to him and the community for entrusting this critically important program to City Lights & Company. Ricky has contributed countless volunteer hours to guide the direction and growth of the unique GBP event which melds art and activism. Ricky is a painter, performance artist and producer, videographer, managing the studio of Soundview Community Media.
Yolanda Vasquez Petrocelli: Yolanda Vasquez Petrocelli is the Grand Dame of the Bridgeport art scene. She is a known, loved and respected artist/photographer in the NY-CT region. She exudes the passionate creative spirit expressed through a mystical and cultural lens. She is the lead curator of the bi-ennial exhibit Latinissimo at City Lights gallery, producing 5 exhibits over the years.
Rick Reyes: For years Rick has collaborated with City Lights/Bridgeport Art Trail to teach, perform curate and produce music and cultural enrichment programs for the community. As a singer/songwriter Rick performs throughout the country. He is a leader of multiple bands and ensembles, producing records and musical series like the Puerto Rican Song Book. Rick is a recipient of CT Office of the Arts artists grants, who serves his community with passion and vision.
Scott Schuldt: When the qualities, thought process and skills of an engineer are entwined with the mind and heart of an artist, supercharged by the intellect of a scholar and a lover of nature, the art produced is extraordinary. This is the art and artistic problem solving of Scott Schuldt. He has saved the day multiple times for City Lights/Bridgeport Art Trail as an artist, teacher and art installer, and he’s just a good guy to have in your corner. His artform is bead embroidery, using millions of seed beads, Scott depicts relevant moments in history and the impact of man’s lack of good stewardship on our environment. His work is shown across the country, and in the collection of the Museum of Arts and Design in New York city.