City Lights hosted its second “Make ART Not WAR, Artists Against Violence” opening Thursday August 14, with an artists’ reception 5:30-8:30 p.m. at 37 Markle Court, Downtown Bridgeport, CT 06604. This group exhibit was up until September 21st. Other public events will include an artists’ talk on Thursday September 11 at 6:30 and a poetry reading on Sunday September 21 at 4 p.m., recognizing the International Day of Peace.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS:
Artists Reception Thursday August 14, 2014 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Artists Talk: Thursday September 11, 2014 Artists Talk at City Lights: Participate in the conversation as artists discuss their work in the current exhibition: Make ART Not War, Artists Against Violence
Words for Peace Sunday: September 21, 2014 – The International Day of Peace doors open at 3:30 p.m. Poets, writers and acoustic musicians are welcome to participate in an open mic
The theme “Make ART Not WAR” provokes artists and viewers to react in a range of expressions. Artists who make work against violence responded to the prospectus producing a strong exhibit of visual and projected art.
“Acts of violence are committed globally and locally, in our communities, homes and families and to ourselves. This exhibit invites artists to manifest their thoughts and feelings against violence as a counterpoint to the violence occurring daily, causing physical and psychological harm. This exhibit is designed to contrast art forms and entertainment that glorify violence, as in movies, television, video games, etc.”
This is a serious issue, viewers should expect a number of rather macabre images… but for many game, media and entertainment consumers, a regular psychic and visual diet of violence is the norm, leading to a desensitization or possibly normalization of violence and tragedy.
Featured art included a large scale painting by Gerald Saladyga called “The Hills Are Alive With…” and Drone Videos compiled by Lisa Seidenberg projected on an installation of military issued mosquito netting and camouflage.
Other artists include: Lynne Arovas, Kofi Ayissi, Penny Cook, Camille Eskell, Patty Eljaiek, Teresa Fortsch, Evelyn Harris, John Kovalsky, Heidi Lewis Coleman, Mitzi Lyman, Julia Liptak, Mia Lipstick, Robert Liseck, Iyaba Ibo Mandingo, Janice Mauro, Shanna Melton, Jack Nork, Michael Quirk, Colleen Reilly Rees, Don Reynolds, Lisa Seidenberg, Debbie Gilbert Taylor, Karene Thames, Jack Tom, Gustavo Azael Torres, Ruth Kalla Ungere, Louise Washer, Danya Wenzel, Francesca Winfield.
Article in the Connecticut Post regarding this Exhibit:
Artists against violence unite for peace exhibit
Phyllis A.S. Boros
Published 4:04 pm, Tuesday, August 26, 2014
For Bridgeport’s City Lights Gallery, its current exhibition may be the most significant of the year.
Especially during the unsettled times in which we live.
“Make ART Not WAR II/ Works by Artists Against Violence” features a variety of pieces from many artists throughout the state, according to gallery director Suzanne Kachmar. The show runs through Sunday, Sept. 21, and will include two special events.
“For me … this theme is the most important show we do,” Kachmar said. “I hope to impress upon the community the need to nurture a peaceful soul, and a peaceful way of acting and reacting to people and events.”
This year, the group exhibit includes paintings, sculpture, and projected and audio art forms, Kachmar said. Featured digital artists include: Peter Bochan and his mixed audio collages; filmmaker Lisa Sedenberg presenting a compilation of “Drone Ops” projected on an installation of mosquito netting and camouflage; and the looping video of John Kovalsky. Painting and sculptural works include the art of Camille Eskell, Gerald Saladyga, Janice Mauro and Gustavo Azael Torres.
Public events will include an artists’ talk on Thursday, Sept. 11, at 6:30 p.m. A poetry open mic with the theme of peace and nonviolence is slated on Sunday, Sept. 21, at 4 p.m., in conjunction with the United Nations’ International Day of Peace. (http://www.un.org/en/events/peaceday/)
“In an effort to expose City Lights visitors to a calming experience that connects mind, body and spirit,” Jonathan Davis of Tawawa Wellness will lead a brief Tai Chi demonstration preceding the poetry reading, Kachmar said.
From New Haven artist Saladyga comes “The Hills Are Alive With The Sound Of …” , a 60-by-40 inch painting. A frequent participant at City Lights shows, Saladyga began his career in Bridgeport as an Elm Street artist in the 1980s, while commuting to the Arts Students League in New York City. “I consider myself a landscape painter, but not in the traditional sense,” Saladyga said in his artist’s statement. “For me, landscape means everything about the cosmos — within, on and outside the planet on which we live.
“I look at my work not only as a political, environmental and ecological statement, but also as a complement to and continuation of an already developed and defined genre of landscape painting.”
Sculptor Camille Eskell said in her statement that she focuses on body parts.
“For me, the damaged body is a metaphor and a testimonial, exploring duality, transformation and transcendence,” Eskell said. “With underlying references to threat, violence, and disharmony woven into the work, I examine themes of vulnerability, confinement, transcendence and rebirth.”
email@example.com; Twitter: @PhyllisASBoros
City Lights Gallery, 37 Markle Court, Bridgeport. Free. Through Sunday, Sept. 21. Wednedays-Fridays 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thursdays to 7 p.m.; Saturdays noon-4 p.m. 203-334-7748, www.citylightsgallery.org.