Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Melt - The Mercurial Gallery - Danbury, CT

This winter provided plenty of precip and polar temps. As the end of March nears, the weather will soon be showing its fleecier side. On the cusp of the great thaw, The Mercurial Gallery hosted a juried exhibit called "The Melt." The opening reception on February 23rd drew a big crowd at the cozy gallery in downtown Danbury, Connecticut. I returned this past weekend to get a closer look at the work and to visit one of my pieces.
The Mercurial Magazine & Gallery - Danbury, CT
The Melt
On view until March 22nd
John O'Sullivan - Layer 6
I really enjoyed meeting Marko Susla of Edison, New Jersey when I popped by the gallery on Saturday. Marko's passion for night time photography lead him through an iron gate, down a snowy path, and into a Connecticut orchard one winter's evening. He captured a row of stunning, snow-covered trees contrasted by a stormy sky. "Nicholas Orchard #1" won Marko "Best in Show" and he has been awarded a solo exhibition at the Mercurial in 2014. Visit Marko's website to view more of his work, including his Silent Witness series, which captures the beauty and decay of the abandoned homes at the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
Marko Susla - photographer
Nicholas Orchard #1 (Night Photograph) - lower right
Text, acrylic paint, and India ink are intricately layered in Karin Mansberg's piece called "Greed." I was really drawn to Karin's emotionally-charged, collaged work at the show. This Danbury artist, originally from Estonia explores personal experiences and connections through her illustrations, prints, collages, and sketches. I've had the pleasure of looking through many pieces in Karin's portfolio and adore her "Ink on Old Book Page Project" where she creates new images using parts of existing book illustrations. Karin is a recent M.F.A. graduate from WCSU and a freelance artist. Visit Karin's website to see more artwork and read about her creative process.
Karin Mansberg - Greed
When The Melt was announced, I decided to make a new piece for the show. Last year, I started creating necklaces out of pinback buttons from the early 1900's to the 1970's. After digging through my supplies, I zeroed in on a pile of 1960's Mr. Softee Safety Club pins. I attached them to vintage plastic game chips and buttons. The bib structure was achieved by using clear cross-shaped components, chain, jump rings, wire, and aquarium tubing. Clear plastic drop beads added the finishing melting touch. The linear connections within the necklace reminded me of molecular bonds and the final piece had a cartoony, superhero feel to it. "Safety in Numbers" is by far the biggest necklace I've made to date and it's quite giggle-worthy when worn. 
Safety in Numbers - upcycled bib necklace
1960's Mr. Softee Safety Club pinback buttons
You can catch The Melt through March 22nd. Many other wonderful shows are coming to The Mercurial this spring. Follow The Mercurial on Facebook and visit their website often for news, art, and interesting goings-on in the area.

Craft show season is around the corner. Here is what's on tap so far. Check back soon for more dates.

Craftopia - Pawtucket, RI - Sunday, April 28th
Arts Fest Beverly - Beverly, MA - Saturday, June 15th
Greenway Open Market - Boston, MA - summer dates TBD

Visit Twitch and Whiskers on Etsy and FB for new pieces each month.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

On the Road - CT ArtList Pop Up Exhibition

On Friday, February 15th, Thom and I headed over to Gaylordsville for the opening of the CT ArtList Pop-Up Exhibition. We were pretty excited to be doing a show together for the first time. His band Burnkit2600 was playing the opening reception and I set up my Twitch and Whiskers jewelry in a cozy corner of the gallery. 
CT ArtList Pop Up Exhibition Reception
The big event was set up by painter Megan Marden. She is the founder of CT ArtList, M.F.A. graduate from Western Connecticut State University, and recent first prize winner in painting at the Washington Art Association Member show. The CT ArtList website was set up in September of 2012 as a one-stop resource for Connecticut artists and the arts. This exhibition showcased 18 of the CT ArtList artists, many of whom were also graduates of WCSU's M.F.A. program.
Megan Marden & her mom Debra Woodin (left) Carol & Reed Hotchkiss of The Basket Shop and The Carriage Barn (right)
The evening was filled with the experimental electronic sounds of Burnkit2600. Thom Uliasz and Justin Emmerson played a variety of handmade, circuit bent instruments. Circuit bending is the modification and creative customization of electronic devices. They improvised on themes ranging from ambient to dub on modified instruments such as the Casio SK-1 and Roland TR-606 Drumatrix. Visit Burnkit2600's website and on Facebook to explore their  gear, music, and videos.
Justin Emmerson and Thom Uliasz of Burnkit2600
handmade circuit bent gear
At the show I had the pleasure of meeting Jana Irejo a Westport artist, originally from Hawaii. I was really drawn to her brightly-hued dog and cat paintings layered with ephemera and hidden images. She shared with me some of her inspirations: her childhood, major turning points in her life, and pop culture. Her artwork involves a process of adding and taking away and often evolve over many years until they are complete. Visit Irejo's website and blog to see an amazing sampling of her work. 
Jana Irejo - fine art
This curated exhibit had a diverse representation of talented artists from every corner of Connecticut. Follow the links below to see more work from each artist.
Yelizaveta Masalimova
Amy Almeida
Matthew J. Best
Kevin Dunn
Tiffany Johnson
I enjoyed sharing many new Twitch and Whiskers pieces at the reception. Some of my favorites went home with happy ladies including a blinking doll eye necklace, protractor necklace, and exploding cigarette loads locket.
pinback button necklaces
Twitch and Whiskers at the CT ArtList Pop-Up Exhibition
Steve, Jared, and Melissa (and her 3rd eye)
Lash Out - blinking doll eye necklace
Tassels and Tails - protractor necklace
Ribbit Bang - tin locket
The CT ArtList Pop Up Exhibition will be up until the end of March. The drive up to Gaylordsville is lovely and well worth the trip. Make sure to follow CT ArtList on Facebook and visit their website frequently to find out what's going on with art in Connecticut. 

My 2013 show season is starting to take shape. Here is where you can find me so far:
Craftopia - Pawtucket, RI - Sunday, April 28th
Arts Fest Beverly - Beverly, MA - Saturday, June 15th
Greenway Open Market - Boston, MA - summer dates TBD
Visit Twitch and Whiskers on Etsy and FB for new pieces each month.
My "Safety in Numbers" necklace is currently on display at "The Melt" exhibition at The Mercurial Gallery in Danbury, CT.

Monday, March 4, 2013

On the Road - The Peter Lawrence Gallery

Back in the early winter, I had the pleasure of selling my jewelry at the Peter Lawrence Gallery Handmade/Local Gift Show in Gaylordsville, CT. For the holidays, they offered a wonderful variety of gifts from local Connecticut artists. Gallery coordinator Megan Marden, founder of CT ArtList and recent M.F.A graduate in painting curated the diverse show. Every corner of the space was filled with local artwork, home decor, accessories, jewelry, ceramics, and furniture.
Linda Banks - ornaments
Megan Mardan and Peter Lawrence Scalera
Grace Napoleon checking out the show.
The gallery is home to Peter Lawrence Woodworkers. Peter Lawrence Scalera has over 30 years of experience working with wood. He creates gorgeous furniture, storage, and specially commissioned pieces for restaurants and businesses. All of his projects use locally sourced and certified sustainable wood and are finished with care by hand. I enjoyed seeing a fine array of his work at the show, including a gorgeous headboard and some unique end tables.
Beautifully crafted end table by Peter Lawrence
Several of my favorite Connecticut artists also had work at the show. Middletown photographer Doug Hockman offered a stunning framed black and white print of a tree in winter. Doug's vibrant landscapes, abstract prints, and wall hangings have a distinctive New England feel and really capture the beauty of this area. His work can be found at craft and fine arts shows all over the northeast, on his website, Facebook page, and in his Etsy shop. Check out his event calendar to see where you can find him next.
Doug Hockman Photography - framed prints
James Napoleon had his own show at the Peter Lawrence Gallery back in September of 2012. It featured "Obsession," his 18-panel mega painting of Italian vocalist Mina Mazzini. His acrylic series captured a three minute-performance of the Italian pop singer. I really enjoyed seeing one of his ethereal illustrations at the gallery. James' portraits, landscapes, and fantasy paintings can be found on his website and you can read more about his Obsession series here.
James Napoleon - illustrations and paintings
I was also introduced to the artwork of many other fabulous locals at the show.
Justin Perlman - handmade paper bowl
Amy King Painter of Contrariety - crocheted creations
Francine Funke - whimsical pop up
Shelley Dell - watercolor painting
There was a little of everything from Twitch and Whiskers at the show, from lockets made from vintage tins and rouge compacts to pinback button necklaces and Thimblism necklaces. One of my favorite new pieces sold at the show called, "15 Minutes." I was so happy to be a part of this lovely Connecticut show!
lockets made out of compacts and tins
pinback button and thimble necklaces
15 Minutes (left) - Andy Warhol necklace
Though the gallery shut its doors at the end of January, it served as a wonderful place to showcase local art and artists. The following month, CT ArtList opened up a Pop Up Exhibition in the same space. You should swing by because it's open until the end of March! Check back soon for a blog post about that terrific show.

My 2013 show season is starting to take shape. Here is where you can find me so far:

Craftopia - Pawtucket, RI - Sunday, April 28th

Arts Fest Beverly - Beverly, MA - Saturday, June 15th

Greenway Open Market - Boston, MA - summer dates TBD

Visit Twitch and Whiskers on Etsy and FB for new pieces each month.