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CURRENT EXHIBITIOn

Harmony in Hues

Featuring TNAS 2023-24 Resident Artists 

Alejandra Gonzalez, Mclee Mathias, and Brie Miyoko,

with visiting 2021 Resident Artist Remy Sosa and 2022 Resident Artist Tiara Trent

Opening Reception

Thursday, March 14th  |  6 - 8pm

The Westhill Road Band will perform at 7pm and 7:45pm

Poet Alex Erbsland will perform throughout the evening

The Exhibition will run:

March 14, 2024 - May 16, 2024

In the heart of our TNAS community, the Resident Artists embark on a transformative journey similar to the growth of a vibrant garden. The canvas of the artist’s experiences mirrors the stages of blooming flowers, where seeds of learning and creativity are sown, nurtured, and eventually shared, creating a rich tapestry of cultural exchange and artistic diversity. Within this exhibition, “Harmony in Hues,” the audience will witness both beauty and tremendous leaps of exploration. The flowering of the artists’ journey intertwines with the concept of giving back. Throughout this year-long residency, Resident Artists led free art classes for the youth of Norwalk, as well as workshops open to the local community. This relationship extends beyond the studio walls, flourishing as they teach and learn from each other. Resident Artists become gardeners, sowing seeds of inspiration and engaging in collaborative endeavors. The impact of these interactions goes beyond the realm of art, pollinating the birth of new ideas and perspectives. The viewer will inherently see this transcendence throughout each artwork in the exhibit. Each piece is a brushstroke in the collective stories the artists have written. Look for the vibrant hues that symbolize their narratives. Within the artistic haven that is “Harmony in Hues,” the growth of a Resident Artist is not only an individual journey but a collaborative palette. Their studios have fostered an environment where they blossomed collectively through mentorship and shared interactions. Korry Fellows and visiting artists are the sunlight that illuminates their artistic paths, generously sharing knowledge, experiences, and techniques with each Resident Artist.

 

Each piece uniquely reflects the multifaceted nature of their identities, resilience, celebration, and self-discovery. Through various styles and media, Resident Artists are challenging the complexities of who they are. The exhibition is a garden of voices, each contributing a distinct hue to the thriving artistic ecosystem.

 

As you navigate the gallery, ponder the intricate symbiotic relationships between the Resident Artists and their creative ecosystem. “Harmony in Hues” beckons you to experience the beauty that arises when creativity harmonizes within a thriving community of constant watering and caring for each other. Your presence completes the dialogue between the artworks and the community, making this exhibition a celebration of boundless possibilities with diverse voices harmonizing for that beautiful bloom of color.

PAST EXHIBITIONS

2023-24

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Mama's Baby, Daddy's Too 

Featuring TNAS Korry Fellow Recipient Aisha Nailah and invited artists Melida McKenzie-Alford, Clymenza Hawkins, Shaunda Sekai-Holloway and Linda Mickens

December 14th, 2023 - March 7th, 2024

Mama’s Baby, Daddy’s Too is an exploration of how ancestry influences artistry... My first thought when developing this exhibition was to honor the women who shaped me, namely my mother, grandmothers, and aunt. The phrasing that popped into my mind was the saying “Mama’s baby, Daddy’s maybe”. But, in reflecting on my life, I didn’t feel it applied to me because I am very much my father’s daughter. He was an artist and musician whose influence affected my musical taste and motivated me to become a visual artist. 

 

This reflection changed the direction of the whole exhibit and made me think at a deeper level as to how we are all influenced knowingly or unknowingly by our ancestors. Particularly in the African spiritual religious traditions, whose ancestor worship is paramount to its culture. In these traditions, ancestors, their practices, songs, likes, thoughts, hobbies, and skills are always present to learn from and to build on. So many things we believe we think up are simply ancestral memories coming forward. The artists in this exhibit showcase that ancestral influence and in many ways represent the multiple planes of information handed down from generation to generation.

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A Journey Through The Planes of Being  

Featuring TNAS Korry Fellow Recipient Carlos RM and invited artists Jon Blank, Diana R, and Alex Rane

September 14th - December 7th

How did we get here? How real is the universe? Why are our shared human experiences so uniquely personal? What are we learning? When did we grow and change?

Being. Being human, being an artist, being alive – Being is quite a journey. We learn to walk, then to speak, always striving to express our inner dialogue. As life gets more complicated and interesting, and our emotions begin to take center stage, we recognize that our hearts are filled with desires and fears. Big questions show up. We sense that being can be more than a state of mere existence; being is a choice. Being is multi-layered. Being is a common, shared experience and, at the same time, intensely personal. Being is a journey, a compilation, an opportunity. Being is a memory suppressed or a story told. Being is a constant, creative act.

For some of us, our very being compels us to become artists. We paint or sculpt or hammer or mold. We assemble, deconstruct, and reassemble. In our artwork, we express the structure of our being, the fabric of our character, the shape of our soul – in short, our journey through the planes of our being. And when we do, we change, grow, and heal. 

We present A Journey Through the Planes of Being featuring the art of 2023-2024 Korry Fellow Recipient Carlos RM, who has invited three additional artists to complement this exhibition: Alex Rane, a native of Newtown, CT, and now a resident of Carrara, Italy; Jon Blank, a native Norwalker who currently resides in Brooklyn, New York; and Diana R, of Miami, Florida. 

We invite you to join our journeys. As you view the show, perhaps you’ll ponder abstract riddles and recognize snapshots of dreams, snippets, or recollections of a distant time. And when you return to a piece you’ve experienced, you may see it anew and reflect on your journey through your own plane of being as a never-ending source of discovery, curiosity, inspiration, and wonder.  

Contributing Writers Carlos RM and Meg Reilly

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If You’re ____ & You Know It: Identifying Emotions  

 

Curated by Korry Fellow Isabella Montenegro  

And featuring artists June Ahrens, Melissa Benedek, Casey Correra, Kasimir Comunale, Chelsea Danburg, Erin Dolan, Britt Garth, Brett Masterson, Nadia Martinez, Russell Miyaki, Chris Sainato, Sharon Smalls, Brea Thomas-Young, Kelly Walters 

 

June 16th - September 7th, 2023

If we don’t tell people how we feel, how will they know? Communication is key. There are five types of communication: verbal, non-verbal, written, listening, and visual. All of which you can experience through this exhibition. As you wander the exhibition, you may question pieces and their meaning. However, take the time to be open-minded and accept that the first thing you see, hear, watch, etc., is an experience that is a more personal feeling or emotion for your own self. Understanding that there is no right or wrong answer in art is powerful, and using this practice to openly and freely communicate complex emotions could create the key to unlocking a more compassionate and open-minded society.

 

If You’re ____ & You Know It: Identifying Emotions is a group exhibition with artwork examining the concepts of feelings and emotion through art; not just through paintings but also through music, creative writing, dance, poetry, etc. The contributing artists were asked to consider the following theme: "Identifying Emotions''. The artist's responses will be presented in The Norwalk Art Space in an effort to show how they have used their practice to communicate their feelings and emotions through art. During the exhibition artists' work will be sold, if they so choose, with thirty percent of the proceeds donated to The Norwalk Art Space in support of its mission.

 

The Norwalk Art Space strives to increase opportunities and equity in the local arts community by offering free art and music education and mentorship to under-served students, sponsoring and promoting local artists through its Resident Artist program and Korry Fellow exhibitions, and providing the public an exciting venue to explore art and music, all free.
 

Featured artwork on promo:"Every Single Hope and Dream" Brett Masterson

exhibitions archive

2022-23

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The Meaning Of Us

Featuring Resident Artists Greg Aimé, Lily Morgan and Tiara Trent & Visiting Teachers Tim Cronin, Darcy Hicks, and Aisha Nailah

April 20th - June 1st, 2023

The Norwalk Art Space started with the primary intention of giving under-served students free art education and opportunity. The classes would be taught by emerging artists in our Resident Artist program, giving these artists teaching experience to build their careers and resumes. This year, we invited other talented artists outside our Resident Artist program to help teach. With this larger group of artists, we grew our program to offer 14 semester-long classes, giving 168 students opportunities to learn about art and activism, collage, color theory, character design, drawing as meditation, and installation art. These classes not only taught artistic craft and process but also focused on creative thinking and the importance of each student finding their own voice. Strengthening these life skills leads to stronger individuals who can be more confident in any career path they choose. 

 

During the last 22 months, we at The Norwalk Art Space have watched how transformational our space can be to our community, and we are encouraged to create more programming. However, we wouldn’t be able to do so much without the support of our artists, teachers, volunteers, sponsors and students, who help to define who we are.

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Alternative Realities

Curated by Korry Fellow Susan Hardesty

Featuring artwork by Alex Churchill, Naomi Clark, Jessica Dowling, Kevin Ford, Brian Kaspr, Sophia Konstantin, Sarah LeMieux, Denise Minnerly, Aisha Nailah, Sain’t Phifer, Lyman Richardson, Carlos RM, Remy Sosa, Rebecca Stern, and Lydia Viscardi.

Feburary 16th - April 13th, 2023

"Two years ago, I was writing a Curator’s Statement for a Korry Fellowship application. In it, I referenced the 2019 Venice Biennale title, “May You Live In Interesting Times.” Now, I think that title has changed to “We Live in All Too Real Times.” After three years of pandemic living, the world is too much with us. Art is the antidote to living in this “continued state of emergency.” Thinking this way, I began visiting studios to curate an exhibition for The Norwalk Art Space. Meeting artists and exploring their work was compelling - a brilliantly painted house; a village of small, clay dwellings; large, floating, painted swathes of fabric; small, intimate collages; abstract paintings; figurative painting; and more. Connecting such a diverse group of artists into a cohesive show was challenging until I realized all art is an ALTERNATIVE REALITY. The 15 artists selected have imagined, invented, and created their reality, an alternative reality to ours." -- Susan Hardesty

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Layers Revealed

Featuring Korry Fellow Jerri Graham and invited artists Melissa Newman and Tim Holmstrom

 

December 15th, 2022 - Feburary 9th, 2023

“Slowly, the layers of our lives are revealed and once they are, we fully come through,” writes photographer and Korry Fellow Jerri Graham. In the new exhibition “Layers Revealed” at The Norwalk Art Space, Graham invites artists Tim Holmstrom and Melissa Newman to explore the many cycles and layers of humanity, nature, beauty, creation, and decay. “Each frame of the camera," Graham states, "is a fraction of a second of a life that will be lived for a time unknown. Within these fractionated layers, we find our lives and ourselves.” Melissa Newman works in several mediums including clay. Newman writes, "I see artists as 'little gods' who translate the world around them, creating their own worlds in response." Her sculpture, reflecting an immersion in nature, music making, writing and traveling, provokes multiple layers of interpretation and tension. According to Tim Holmstrom, his work “excavates cultural and personal themes, stories, myths or delusions we often recycle and return to …out of habit, comfort, and nostalgia. The repetitions and patterns of decay, rebirth, and the entropy and chaos found in nature - our own nature as humans and artists. Accepting and embracing the beauty, darkness, twists, folds, scars, and revelations borne of that process. It attempts to illustrate that most of all we all labor under a collective delusion that we are evolving, escaping or progressing.”

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SARAH KING EXHIBITION

Featuring Korry Fellow Sarah King
with Maryna Bilak and Judy Glantzman

October 20th, 2022 - December 8th, 2022

Exhibition Statement by writer and mother of three Nikkya Hargrove
In my recent essay called Making Space, I explain, “Over the years, I have worried that there was no way I could be both a mother and a writer and do either well. But as far back as my memory goes, I wanted all of it - the morning sickness, the indigestion, those stretch marks across my belly - because the end result, if all went as planned, would be a baby. That’s also how I feel about writing; rejection is the morning sickness of the writing process and each response is one step closer to an acceptance.” 
 
Judy Glantzman, Marnya Bilak, and Sarah King’s respective works take us to a place of understanding those moments in time that bring us to a closer sense of acceptance as both mother and artist. Standing in front of their work, we are in a place where we can see ourselves, and our journeys reflected. In this exhibit, you will see, through mediums ranging from painting to sculpture, how these artists articulate the intersectionality of artist and mother. Sarah King, the curator of this exhibition, says, “I wanted to showcase people who are parents who are working in this field who have embraced parenthood and it is their form of empowerment. I felt that these two artists were empowered by parenthood, by their work, by the generational complexities.” 

Maryna’s work begs us to dig deep, to search within and understand a particular moment in time. As we grapple with those feelings, of being, of stewing in those moments, we get a glimpse into the world which reminds me that as mothers, and caregivers alike, we have an obligation that never gets time off. We have a mandate to show up as our best selves in every single moment. And yet, I wonder, who will show up with us along the way?

Leaning into life, and leaning on others is part of being in the moment, living through the moments and leaning on a community of people. For me, in Judy Glantzman’s “Dark Prayer,” I come face to face, quite literally, with both the beauty and complexities humanity has to offer. We are transported, it seems, through time and space, and demand that the world take us for who we are at face value, and that we are not alone.

Sarah’s work almost forces us to a standstill as we bear witness to parenting. In her installation, "A collection of things found in the Wash/Suck Eggs,” we can place ourselves in every single scene, and be who we are no matter where we are. When we look at their respective pieces, we are provided with choices, to look back or ahead, to rest or to work, to hold space or hold time, to mother or to create, and every time the answer is this - it can all be done in time. We can be a parent and. We can be an artist and. We can be a witness and. We can be who we are at every twist and turn and.

At the end of my essay, Making Space, I share, “The beauty of writing, the reason I love it, is because it travels life with me, gives me pause, helps me step back from the mess of it all, and puts things into perspective. And while the act of writing is done alone, it cannot be done without help. It is my community that keeps me whole, and supports me to be the best mother and writer I can be.” We celebrate Judy, Maryna, and Sarah and support them as both mothers, and artists. Together, we make up a community of humans, here to bear witness to the lives of these three talented artists.
 
Excerpts included above come from Nikkya’s essay Good Mom on Paper which can be found on Amazon. Nikkya’s memoir, Mama: A Black, Queer Woman’s Journey to Motherhood will be out in 2024 by Algonquin Books.

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

Curated by Korry Fellow Susan Hardesty

Featuring Korry Fellow Iyaba Ibo Mandingo, Greg Aimé and Zane St. Just

August 18th, 2022 - October 13th, 2022

Peek into the world of poet, painter, performer and teacher, Iyaba Ibo Mandingo and Heshima Moja, Composer, Songwriter, Bassist, Vocalist, Sound Alchemist, Sonic Storyteller, and Producer.

“The question, Where Do We Go From Here? arose from a conversation between Heshima and I while working on the beginnings of this performance piece amid the global pandemic. Reflecting on the times, from the 24-month lockdown to the January 6th uprising, the question ‘what happens now?’ naturally surfaced. I immediately felt the duty as an artist to explore that question, knowing that the things I found would be both pessimistic and optimistic, negative and positive, hopeful and dire. As people on this planet, coming out of the collective ‘go to your room’ edict from Mother Nature, I think it’s time for us to begin addressing this question.”  Iyaba Ibo Mandingo
 
We meet these two men in a setting resembling their workspaces. Heshima sits at a piano, composing, and Iyaba is in his space with several canvases, frantically painting. Through this window into their world, a narrative unfolds that reveals visual perceptions and ideas about human identity that are often misguided. The audience is challenged by stories, sonic invocations, and visual narratives (paintings) to see two men on a level beyond their skin and assumed ethnicity. They share their pain, joy, and gripping narrative to reveal the importance and power of vulnerability in a world that has placed clear and deliberate barriers in the path of genuine human interaction and connection. As the piece develops, we learn that they share more in common than meets the eye. Each of them share the legacy of conquistadores, the Caribbean, the language of music and the drumbeat of West Africa. 

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2022-23 GROUP EXHIBITION

Featuring New Korry Fellows:
Jerri Graham, Susan Hardesty, Sarah King and Iyaba Ibo Mandingo

New Resident Artists:
Greg Aime, Lily Morgan and Tiara Trent

December 15th, 2022 - Feburary 9th, 2023

“Slowly, the layers of our lives are revealed and once they are, we fully come through,” writes photographer and Korry Fellow Jerri Graham. In the new exhibition “Layers Revealed” at The Norwalk Art Space, Graham invites artists Tim Holmstrom and Melissa Newman to explore the many cycles and layers of humanity, nature, beauty, creation, and decay. “Each frame of the camera," Graham states, "is a fraction of a second of a life that will be lived for a time unknown. Within these fractionated layers, we find our lives and ourselves.” Melissa Newman works in several mediums including clay. Newman writes, "I see artists as 'little gods' who translate the world around them, creating their own worlds in response." Her sculpture, reflecting an immersion in nature, music making, writing and traveling, provokes multiple layers of interpretation and tension. According to Tim Holmstrom, his work “excavates cultural and personal themes, stories, myths or delusions we often recycle and return to …out of habit, comfort, and nostalgia. The repetitions and patterns of decay, rebirth, and the entropy and chaos found in nature - our own nature as humans and artists. Accepting and embracing the beauty, darkness, twists, folds, scars, and revelations borne of that process. It attempts to illustrate that most of all we all labor under a collective delusion that we are evolving, escaping or progressing.”

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TNAS INAUGURAL JOURNEY

Featuring Resident Artists Francisco Mandujano, Lorena Sferlazza, Remy Sosa and Emily Teall

May 5th, 2022 - June 2nd, 2022

Francisco Mandujano, Lorena Sferlazza, Remy Sosa, and Emily Teall began their one-year term as the first Resident Artists of The Norwalk Art Space on April 1, 2021. As we navigated through our first year, they helped us launch our educational program, allowing the vision of our founder, Alexandra Korry, to come to life. Their evolving personal journeys have been evident as they filled our galleries and studios with their unique art. Through our after-school art program, they provided guidance and confidence to over 90 students from Norwalk and surrounding areas. This exhibition celebrates their accomplishments and highlights their growth as “world builders”, painters, mixed-media collage artists, “naturalists”, and teachers during The Norwalk Art Space’s inaugural year.

 

Francisco Mandujano’s creative avatars and worlds of fantasy have inspired kids from ages one to ninety-one. Known to his 11,000-plus fans on YouTube as Franky D. Crafter, his artwork is based on his desire to facilitate and deepen games of Dungeons and Dragons, empowering participants to broaden their imaginations, and define who they are through the use of avatars within the game. Our Selection Committee did not understand how a D&D player/creator would work, but we were inspired by Francisco’s earnest devotion to the game and to teach, and offered him a Resident Artist position. Our trust paid off. He springboarded off of the game to give his students the opportunity to explore self-empowerment and self-preservation through the creation of fantastical characters, allowing a type of expression and social exploration not normally available to teens.  Embracing his cultural and gaming roots, has elevated his work over the last year, and inspired students to look into  their backgrounds and celebrate their own creative backstories.

 

Lorena Sferlazza's work was already exhibited in major galleries around the region when she was selected as a Resident Artist. She continues to excel as Educational Manager at The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, and her outstanding classroom abilities shone throughout this year. Her extensive knowledge of mediums, primarily acrylic painting, was broken down weekly into a detailed and well-thought-out curriculum that empowered her students with the courage to express who they are technically and emotionally. These curricula have helped define our training and expectations for future Resident Artists. Lorena's mastery of mediums also radiates in her paintings: she has evolved from brick walls and barriers to figures and life, showing tremendous growth, courage and self-reflection during her time with us. This year has allowed her to find her center and express it beautifully through her work. 

 

Remy Sosa's emotionally charged work has always captured our attention because it feels raw, personal, and authentic. Her richly collaged, mixed medium canvasses leave us with hauntingly beautiful images which pierce the psyche.  Remy’s fearlessness in her exploratory process allows her to scream out her emotions into artwork that demands attention. She helped her students tap into this same type of deep expression by having them let go in Blind Contour Drawing and then in Collage 101. These two classes pushed her students to stop expecting specific outcomes, allowing them to get lost in the process and mark-making. The students learned that it's not how beautifully rendered a piece can be but, more importantly, how to use the creative process to scream out loud.  

 

Emily Teall's work is hard to miss both in and outside The Norwalk Art Space. Her sanctuary, like Tulip Bulb in the Sculpture Garden, invites viewers in (both physically and emotionally). Her ever-evolving semi-organic sculpture in our front staircase, like the rest of her work, is influenced by the natural cycle of renewal, and brightly announces the promise of things to come while simultaneously hinting at the unpredictable twisting of nature untamed. She has been a constant figure at our events and has fully embraced the knowledge our Korry Fellows had to offer. Emily was a one-on-one instructor before coming to teach our students, and brought her personalized approach to our classrooms, gently and directly mentoring teens through their creative process. Behind her quiet demeanor, her mind is constantly planning ambitious work in steel, wire, charcoal, and paint, all of which she brings to fruition by constantly working in her studio. Without question, she rose to the challenge that The Norwalk Art Space provided and, in exchange, has offered a challenge to future Resident Artists; how will you use your residency?

 

We opened our doors in the midst of the COVID pandemic, providing a source of hope for our students, our artists, and our community. These four Resident Artists taught completely separate subjects and mediums, but the common thread was always the exploration of self, and the power in finding one's own visual language. Watching students be transformed through the process of art into confident individuals, ready to represent themselves and their creative voices to the world, has been a gift for all of us at The Norwalk Art Space. Thanks to Alexandra Korry's vision, we know that all of our artists, from students to Korry Fellows, will go out stronger into the community, knowing that they have an artistic family that is here to support them. We wish these four Resident Artists all the best in the years to come and hope their year here has given them a step up into a local art scene that, if embraced, can nurture their careers until they are ready to come back as Korry Fellows.

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COLLECTING, INDEXING, AND RESHAPING

Korry Fellow Joseph Fucigna with Beau Bardos, Vincent Dion, Chris Durante, Francisco Mandujano and Margaret Roleke

March 17th, 2022 - April 28th, 2022

A mingling of six artistic collections and personalities working together in one single space to create a show unlike any seen since The Norwalk Art Space’s opening in June of 2021.  Sculptures scattered along the floor, walls lined with unending creations both 2D and 3D, and in the loft, an entire role-playing adventure terrain leading to a multimedia animation video.  This is Collecting, Indexing and Reshaping.

Joseph Fucigna, Korry Fellow and curator, is known for his work with industrial materials such as construction fencing, zip-ties, and hoses.  Although this may bring a mental image of a construction site, being in front of his pieces is an entirely different story.  With his use of bright colors and organic forms, the materials completely diverge from their originally intended purposes to create provocative abstractions.  The overlapping and excessive layering of the materials creates a depth of form, such as in his work Veiled Threat 2.  The look of draped cloth created by the layering of the fencing gives the piece movement that it doesn’t truly have, whereas the back of the piece is less layered, the zip-ties untrimmed, giving it a hollow, dangerous feel.  

With some overlapping ideals and similar material usage, both Vincent Dion and Fucigna use the concept of ‘play’ in order to morph their work into a satisfying end result.  There is a whimsy to Dion’s work through those materials that allows for a human connection.  Footprints is a sculpture crafted from scavenged fire hoses, hand-dyed clothing, and rope, and comes together in the familiar, yet warped form of a barbell.  Although the piece, along with the rest of the collection Soft Gym, is a humorous parody on gyms, the piece poses questions about strength and authority such as, “What constitutes strength?”.  The exaggerated movement of the rope creates a flow from one side to the other, and even without that sameness in position, there is a balance at either end created by similarity in color and shape.

Vibrant colors and familiar forms similar to those in Dion’s Footprints, draw people in, although in some cases it can be a false sense of comfort.  Margaret Roleke’s Shotgun Home is the familiar form of a house made from a variety of cheerful colors, giving the overall structure the feeling of being approachable.  However, upon closer inspection viewers can see that the menagerie of colors is made up entirely of spent shotgun shells, and the interior is littered with caution tape causing the shift from comfort to dread.  The vulgarized popularity of gun use paired with the lack of gun control within the United States is something Roleke feels strongly about and brings to her artwork along with other political issues including racism and global warming.  

While it took a large collection of shotgun shells for Roleke to create her piece, Chris Durante is the collector of the group.  Being a collector is not only a title, but something that Durante takes great pride in and has used to his advantage with his artwork.  Taxonomy, the piece on display, is a shelving unit stocked with a collection of found items, manipulated, and repurposed by Durante.  In Durante’s own words, he is “intrigued by the idea of how an object becomes stained by the passage of time.”  By taking these preexisting materials, now molded into something new, and placing them on a shelf, it poses the question, ‘Why this, why here?’  The viewer begins to create their own stories, or ideas to accompany certain items and give them importance that doesn’t necessarily exist.  Along with Taxonomy, Durante is using a wide variety of his drawings to fill the wall behind the unit in what will give the piece the atmosphere of a salon.

Looming above the main floor of the gallery are vast landscapes and extremely detailed figures lining the loft, miniatures normally seen in role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons and Warhammer.  Francisco Mandujano is a Resident Artist at The Norwalk Art Space; his pieces are created with the intention of being touched, moved, and played with, encouraging the viewer to come up with their own story.  However, it is the cultural aspect of his native Mexico shining through many of his miniatures that bring a certain originality to his work.  The multi-layered Quetzalcóatl terrain, for example, is made of vibrant colors and geometric patterning, a call back to the long-standing traditions of Mexican art.  Although the beauty of the piece is evident, it is the individual story creation of the viewer that makes the piece unique.  

Individual story creation is also a central focus for the final artist, Beau Bardos.  Tucked away in what seems like another world, Bardos’s mixed-media animation can be viewed through a small doorway found in the loft.  The animation uses stop motion and is made up of Bardos’s drawings, collage work, clay, and other mediums he may stumble upon.  While many expect a completed story when watching a screen, the animation has no order or timeline, at least not one that each viewer will see in the same way.  Through his non-linear animation, viewers can fabricate their own narrative, much like Francisco does with his role-play terrain.  

Collecting, Indexing and Reshaping, the most ambitious show to take over The Norwalk Art Space, does so with these six seemingly divergent artists, woven together through similar ideals, processes, and even materials.  However, it is how each artist is able to individualize themselves that creates the buzzing atmosphere throughout the space.

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FRIENDS + FAMILY: A Quilt and Illustration Exhibition

Korry Fellow Lizzy Rockwell

February 3rd, 2022 - March 10th, 2022

Lizzy Rockwell is an artist who communicates and collaborates. Her illustrations are visual narratives created primarily for children which adorn over 35 picture books, a 28’ long wall in the pediatric waiting room of the Norwalk Community Health Center, and numerous award-winning games produced by the toy company, eeBoo. Lizzy is the author of ten of her picture books, whose texts illuminate the mysteries and logic of the natural world, spark conversations about emotions and personal wellness, and show and tell how to make a quilt with friends. Her most recent titles as author/illustrator are How Do You Feel?,  I Love Insects, and The All-Together Quilt. 

Lizzy studied fine art and art history at Connecticut College and illustration at the School of Visual Arts. However, most of what Lizzy knows about making books, she learned as a child. Her parents, Anne and Harlow Rockwell made books in their home studios in New York City, and then Connecticut, when Lizzy and her brother and sister were growing up. From her parents, she also learned how to investigate a pond, make a potato print, look at a painting and sew a quilt. Lizzy collaborated as an illustrator on 19 books written by her mother, including Apples and Pumpkins and Hiking Day. Illustrations by Anne Rockwell and abstract woodcuts by Harlow Rockwell are included in this exhibit. 

The All-Together Quilt is the winner of the 2021 Connecticut Book Award in the picture book category. This book is Lizzy’s most personal, as it models the people and activities of Peace by Piece: The Norwalk Community Quilt Project.  Peace by Piece is an ongoing intergenerational after-school art program that Lizzy conceived and organized in 2008, with start-up funding from a local foundation. Lizzy was inspired to teach quilting to an intergenerational group after reading about the quilts of Gees Bend which were on exhibit at the Whitney Museum in 2002.  The bold designs and improvisational methods reminded her of her father’s abstract woodcuts, which were designed in paper collage, as well as some of her favorite modern artists, like Paul Klee and Kurt Schwitters.  The Gees Bend quilts created possibilities for intuitive design and collaborative methods which would bring people together, and offer therapeutic benefits for both young and old. Having grown up with a quilting frame in the living room during her adolescence where she stitched with her sister and friends after school, Lizzy thought she could replicate this joyful and calming pastime. The diverse group of Norwalk residents, currently ages 8 – 93, meets in the community room of Senior Court Housing, managed by the Norwalk Housing Authority.  Together, the Peace by Piece quilters have made art quilts that hang in numerous institutions and libraries in Connecticut. These quilts are designed by Lizzy, and include contributions from others, in the form of drawings on fabric, improvisational patchwork piecing, and hand quilting. Since 2008 thousands of individuals have contributed in some way to these communal works of public art.  

 

Many of these works have been generously loaned to The Norwalk Art Space and are being seen together in one place for the first time. Along with the art quilts, which often communicate specific messages and use typography, like large fabric posters, there are personal artworks, created by the quilters, on display. 

 

The recent Peace by Piece members:

Maria Acosta, Jennifer Arpi, Almina Ball, Kerri Besse, Dot Byrd, Jocelyn Bacila Chara, Ernestine Cobb, Trinity Ebron, Jennifer Garcia, Nicole Garcia, Malissa Grey, Sanaa Jerry, Anna May Jerusavage, America Jiménez, Alana Klinka, Alex Leon, Angie Leon, Ashley Leon, Nadelin Loja, Maurice Montgomery, Doris Moreno, Betty Mungo, Sandra Naraborne, Connor Oatis, Fran Paris, Lindsey Punin, Nelaigedalise Reeves, Shaunessi Reeves, Tylor Reeves, Christine Sainsmyr, Kate Scully, Viola Sears, Joyce Trusty, and Anna Veccia - have contributed to pieces in this exhibit. 

Khalaf Jerry was an early member of Peace by Piece. Khalaf is a printmaker, painter, textile and glass artist from Norwalk, CT. He created this black and white abstraction, titled “Journey” specifically for this exhibit.

 

Denyse Schmidt is an internationally known quilt designer, craftsperson, fabric designer, and author, often referred to as “The Mother of Modern Quilting”. Denyse is a long-time friend to Peace by Piece donating materials, teaching skills, and hosting community quilting bees at her studio at the American Fabrics Building in Bridgeport, CT. On display here is Denyse’s “Hawaiian-Style Appliqué Quilt.”

 

Anne Rockwell was a children’s book author and illustrator who created 200 books for children, between 1961 and 2018. She wrote and illustrated concept books for the very young, non-fiction science, historical biography, and retellings of fables and mythology from around the world. While she illustrated most of her books, Anne collaborated as an author with many illustrators, including her husband, Harlow Rockwell, and daughter, Lizzy Rockwell.

 

Harlow Rockwell was an advertising art director, picture book illustrator, and abstract painter, printmaker, and sculptor.  He collaborated as an illustrator on dozens of books written by his wife, Anne Rockwell.

buzzing atmosphere throughout the space.

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AMERICAN ICONOGRAPHY

Korry Fellow Tara Blackwell with invited artists Cal Bocicault

December 6th, 2021 - January 27th, 2022

The Norwalk Art Space is proud to announce our next exhibition, “American Iconography” with Korry Fellow Tara Blackwell and invited artist Cal Bocicault. Daily life is filled with repetitive images and public figures that symbolize our time, place and shared collective history. These images are sometimes remembered fondly through our childhood lenses, while others may have altered our perceptions of the neighbor next door. This exhibition explores the power of imagery as a vessel to create change in our collective futures. Here we have two distinctly different artists that use iconic American imagery to reference and push the boundaries of feminism, social justice and African American identity. 

 

Tara Blackwell, a Korry Fellow at The Norwalk Art Space, uses nostalgic cartoons and icons from her youth to focus her viewer’s attention on what is familiar and “sweet.” These wistful images then become the stage for her discourse on national social movements that demand attention. Her light-hearted imagery keeps her work consumable and engaging, while it simultaneously dissects the complex and emotionally-charged conflicts in our society today. 

 

Cal Bocicault, on the other hand, tries to push back on historical black stereotypes and images by using himself, his family and friends as vessels to contextualize true black identity today. These highly stylized portraits are part of a concerted effort by him and many other artists, musicians, poets and performers to finally break the old and delusional visions of what it is to be a black man or woman in American society. Cal’s artwork honors the full spectrum of beauty in African American culture.

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BETWEEN BLURRED LINES

Korry Fellow Kelly Rossetti with invited artist Joanna Lentini

October 28th, 2021 - December 2nd, 2021

The dream-like state of our subconscious rises to the surface when viewing and experiencing the works of Kelly Rossetti and Joanna Lentini. Blurred but familiar feelings connect us to a fleeting place or time, moments we may long for or even be bothered by.

These artworks make you look back and back again at the subtle but impactful lines that cut through their composition and lead you to an emotion that you may or may not want to experience. Does Kelly want us to see what raw opened flesh would look like if displayed cold and wet on a slab of canvas in her piece I’ll Come Around Sundown? Do those fleshy red and pink paint marks represent frustration or the creation of life?

 

It’s these blurred lines of consciousness that make us see the connection between Kelly and Joanna’s work. It’s hard not to see the beauty in Joanna's serene natural settings, but what else is she trying to tell us? Is she guiding us to connect subconsciously to the heavens by holding onto the winds that are sweeping the snow-covered mountains of Arcadia? Like Kelly's, Joanna's work also speaks of dualities: potential and frustration, natural beauty and the human effects on it. These two artists work in different mediums, but their art allows the viewer to walk away with his/her own sense of memory between blurred lines.

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A GLOSSARY OF PAINTING

Robert Cottingham and Duvian Montoya

September 16th, 2021 - October 21st, 2021

This exhibition will give audiences a peek into the famed, and sometimes secretive, space of the artist workshop. What are the things that are uniquely shared between artists, no matter age or status? What do painters talk about when they talk about painting? Exhibiting for the first-time together, Robert Cottingham and Duvian Montoya: A Glossary of Painting will include approximately 25 artworks from each artist, spanning both their careers and the mediums of print, painting, and drawing. Montoya has had an intimate friendship and working relationship with Cottingham as a studio assistant since 2013. In that time, the two painters have developed their shared language of realist painting.

 

The exhibition invites comparisons between Cottingham and Montoya’s work on the basis of four key painting vernaculars: shadow and contrast; color; pattern and crop; and focus. An additional three groups of work will provide “behind-the-scenes” insights with never-before-seen printing plates, graphite and watercolor studies for large-scale paintings, and contrast/lighting studies in graphite. By displaying the artists’ respective works in these groupings, audiences are invited to see for themselves the formative power of mentorship at every stage.

Duvian Montoya

Robert Cottingham

A DIALOGUE IN STYLES

Korry Fellow Jahmane with Adger Cowans

July 22nd, 2021 - September 9th, 2021

This exhibit encompasses multiple decades of evolutionary work from two premier Connecticut artists, Adger Cowans and The Norwalk Art Space's Korry Fellow Jahmane. Deeply rooted in social commentary, abstraction, bold experimentation, and the ability to explore concepts beyond traditional "Black Art," this exhibition presents an intimate view into the creative worlds of two accomplished artists. Although generationally separated, Jahmane's and Cowan's work share common threads that complement each other as if created on simultaneous timelines.

 

The range of subject matter, medium, and technique demonstrate each artist's ability to translate diverse concepts into newfound works of art ranging from graffiti, fashion, graphic design, cultural iconography, and murals in Jahmane's case and photography, textiles, and painting for Adger. Each has their unique voice for the era in which they come from, but both have an endless sense of exploration that pushes boundaries in our civic discourse but also as curious artistic minds.

Jahmane

Adger Cowans

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A DIALOGUE IN STYLES

Korry Fellow Jahmane with Adger Cowans

July 22nd, 2021 - September 9th, 2021

This exhibit encompasses multiple decades of evolutionary work from two premier Connecticut artists, Adger Cowans and The Norwalk Art Space's Korry Fellow Jahmane. Deeply rooted in social commentary, abstraction, bold experimentation, and the ability to explore concepts beyond traditional "Black Art," this exhibition presents an intimate view into the creative worlds of two accomplished artists. Although generationally separated, Jahmane's and Cowan's work share common threads that complement each other as if created on simultaneous timelines.

 

The range of subject matter, medium, and technique demonstrate each artist's ability to translate diverse concepts into newfound works of art ranging from graffiti, fashion, graphic design, cultural iconography, and murals in Jahmane's case and photography, textiles, and painting for Adger. Each has their unique voice for the era in which they come from, but both have an endless sense of exploration that pushes boundaries in our civic discourse but also as curious artistic minds.

Jahmane

Adger Cowans

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