Friday, November 22, 2019

CASTING A NET Catches Jennifer Davies’ Fiber Works at City Gallery

City Gallery's new exhibit CASTING A NET catches a fascinating collection of Jennifer Davies' newest fiber works, on view from Friday, November 29 to Sunday, December 29. There will be an Opening Reception on Sunday, December 8 from 2-5PM, and an Artist Talk on Sunday, December 29 at 2PM.

The title CASTING A NET has both a concrete and an abstract meaning. Davies' work involves the literal casting of paper pulp into molds of tree bark and fungi, and she constructs pieces using a variety of materials including gauze, plastic bird netting, and handwoven nets. But Davies, a prolific local artist, regularly casts out her net figuratively to gather in new ideas and experiment with different ways to use paper pulp.

Though size and material are diverse in her work, handmade paper is a common element. She pigments the paper herself, and layers it as one would use paint, combining it with thread and fabric to make textured abstractions. She uses the netting or altered gauze, dipped into pigmented pulp, to make complex textiles. For her large pieces, some measuring upwards of 9 feet, she pours colored pulp onto a screen and uses a hose to spray it into a lace-like pattern.

“Informing the imagery of my work are the patterns in nature that I return to again and again,” Davies explains. “Celestial designs, the foam on a spent wave, or the richness of aerial photos, all find echoes in my work. Though I start with an initial idea or the memory of a natural form, I take my cues from the interaction of elements that I put together. The joy is found by being surprised and going down an unforeseen path.”

Davies’ inspired work was recently included in an exhibit entitled Water at the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Art (Cedarburg, WI) and awarded Best in Show at the Surface Design Association’s exhibit Context: Language, Media, and Meaning at the Fuller Craft Museum (Brockton, MA). She graduated from Rhode Island School of Design and the Rome Honors Program. She has studied and taught papermaking at Women’s Studio Workshop and Creative Arts Workshop, and has exhibited in numerous solo and group shows at museums and galleries including Hygienic Gallery (New London), Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts (Gatlinburg, TN), Artspace (New Haven), Center for Contemporary Printmaking (Norwalk), Hockaday Museum of Art (Kalispell, MT), Morgan Conservatory (Cleveland, OH), and the Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking (Atlanta, GA). Her work is included in numerous corporate and private collections. She is a long-standing member of the City Galley.

CASTING A NET is free and open to the public. City Gallery is located at 994 State Street, New Haven, CT 06511. Gallery hours are Thursday - Sunday, 12 noon - 4pm or by appointment. Closed December 26. For further information please contact City Gallery,,

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Michael Zack Explores the SHADOWS in the November City Gallery Exhibit

Who do you see in the SHADOWS? Find out during the new City Gallery exhibit featuring work by artist Michael Zack, on view from Thursday, October 31 through Sunday, November 24. Meet the artist in person during the Opening Reception on Sunday, November 3 from 2-4PM.

Zack's work explores the relationships and interaction of figures and how they can be expressed in form and color in prints. The interrelationships and movement within the panoramas are supported by a vibrant, subtle and nuanced range of colors. Shorn of distinguishing facial features and clothing detail, his figures become anyone and everyone, yet they are uniquely individual and somewhat mysterious.

Do you recognize anyone? Are they real people or imagined? Zack explains, “They are frequently, but not always, based on people I know and have had the opportunity to observe as they go about their daily lives. Taken out of those contexts and rearranged into a panorama that has a narrative all its own, each composition allows the viewer to interpret this world in his or her own way.”

Zack received his art education at The Brooklyn Museum Art School, The Silvermine School of Art and Creative Arts Workshop. His work has been shown at City Gallery in New Haven, The Silvermine Guild Arts Center in New Canaan, where he is a member, The New Haven Paint and Clay Club, the Community Gallery of the Brooklyn Museum, the Attleboro Museum in Attleboro, MA, the Paul Mellon Arts Center, Wallingford, CT, the Fitchburg Art Museum, Fitchburg, MA, The Bruce Kershner Gallery at the Fairfield Library and the Katonah Museum among others.

The SHADOWS exhibit is free and open to the public. City Gallery is located at 994 State Street, New Haven, CT 06511. Gallery hours are Thursday - Sunday, 12 noon - 4pm. For further information please contact City Gallery,,

INTERPLAY: Abstract work by Sheila Kaczmarek, Kathy Kane and Maria Morabito

On view at River Street Gallery, October 26, 2019 - January 12, 2020

Despite different mediums and styles, it’s easy to recognize distinct interactions between the works of Sheila Kaczmarek, Kathy Kane and Maria Morabito. See for yourself in the new River Street Gallery exhibit INTERPLAY, on view from October 26, 2019 - January 12, 2020. Meet all three artists at the Opening Reception on Saturday, November 9 from 5-8pm, then learn more about their work during an Artists’ Talk on Saturday, December 7 at 2pm.

“We chose the title INTERPLAY after noticing how we all embraced abstraction in our work.” explains Kathy Kane. “It made us focus on presenting a cohesive collection of work for this show.”

Maria Morabito notes that “Abstraction is a way to see and understand the world, to explore memories and emotions, to decodify connections and mental associations inspired by natural forms and cultural landscapes.”

Each of the three artists is inspired by nature and the environment, interpreting the connections of living forms onto the canvas, or to three-dimensional sculpture, like Sheila Kaczmarek’s work. Combined you’ll see, as Morabito explains, “the expressive potential of the interplay of lines, color, and shapes, and the free assembly of elements to create new forms.”

Kane, Kaczmarek, and Morabito have been making art and involved in the New Haven arts community for many years. Kane has maintained a studio at Erector Square in New Haven for more than 30 years. She is a member of City Gallery (New Haven), the Guilford Art League, and the Connecticut Watercolor Society. Kaczmarek has studied at St. Martin’s School of Art, London, UCLA and the Academie de Boitsfort in Belgium. She apprenticed at the Guilford Art Center Ceramics Studio, is President of the Guilford Art League and founder member of the City Gallery. Born in Italy, Maria Morabito grew up in Rome and now lives and works in New York City. She lived in New Haven and maintained a studio at Erector Square for many years. Morabito has studied at University of Cincinnati in Ohio, Creative Arts Workshop in New Haven, and the School Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. She has exhibited nationally and internationally. Her work is represented in several public and private collections in the United States and Europe.

This is the first time the three artists have shown together in this exhibit which was curated by Liz Pagano at the River Street. The exhibit, Opening Reception and Artists’ Talk are free and open to the public.

Inside a renovated former workspace in Fair Haven Furniture, River Street Gallery showcases fine art and craft by regional artists in combination with high-quality, artisan-made furniture in a warm and welcoming environment. The gallery is located at 72 Blatchley Avenue in New Haven. It is open Monday - Saturday, 10-6, Sunday 12-5 (closed Tuesday). December hours Monday- Saturday 10-6, Sunday 12-5. For more information: 203-776-3099,

Sheila Kaczmarek, Aurelia III, glazed clay, 12" x 12" x 8"

Maria Morabito, State of Mind, oil on canvas , 40"x 60"

Kathy Kane, Easy Street, watercolor on paper, 21"x 26"

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Forbidden Memory: Photographs of the Cultural Revolution in Tibet by Tsering Dorje

In a time when concerns for free expression and human rights are ever present, we can be inspired by the individuals who bravely take action. Individuals like photographer Tsering Dorje who, in the 1960s, captured and preserved haunting images of the Cultural Revolution in Tibet—a period that has been erased from the Chinese government’s official historical records. The stunning exhibit Forbidden Memory makes these photographs physically present to an American audience for the first time. The exhibit will be on display at New Haven’s City Gallery from October 3 through October 27, with an Opening Reception on Thursday, October 3, from 5 to 7 PM.

For the past two years, William Frucht, a City Gallery artist, has been working with Tsering Dorje’s daughter Tsering Woeser; Susan Chen, translator of the book Forbidden Memory: Tibet During the Cultural Revolution; and Tibet scholar Robert Barnett to bring these important and shocking photographs to an American audience. As Frucht explains, “Tsering Dorje’s photographs are important for everyone who cares about free expression and human rights. They are amazing, beautiful images that speak the truth about a time that has been kept a state secret. I want people to have the opportunity to see them in person.”

Tsering Dorje was just 13 when the Chinese army invaded his country in 1950. He was pressed into service, remained a soldier, and was a mid-level officer when his supervisors made him one of the army’s official photographers, sometime during the 1960s. This was the time of Mao’s Cultural Revolution, when the Chinese government, which had already driven the Dalai Lama into exile, began destroying temples and monasteries, forcing religious leaders to undergo re-education, and trying to eliminate all traces of culture or religion. Dorje photographed political rallies, military parades, “revolutionary actions,” and what are called “struggle sessions,” in which religious and cultural leaders, shopkeepers and landlords were forced into the streets and publicly humiliated.

Dorje was just one of many official photographers, but he did something none of the others did. He bought extra rolls of film on the black market, and rather than give everything he shot to the authorities, he kept some rolls for himself.

After his death in 1991, his daughter Tsering Woeser organized her father’s collection of photographs and published them as a book, Forbidden Memory: Tibet During the Cultural Revolution, through a Taiwanese publisher in 2006. To understand the sensation it caused, you must understand how secretive the Chinese government has been about this period of Tibetan history. Almost nothing about the Cultural Revolution in Tibet has been allowed to appear. Films, books, and dramas don’t mention it; the resumes of officials who served there are either blank for that period or else contain carefully constructed fictions. Official histories start in 1979, as if everything that happened before that date had been erased; schoolbooks mention the “ten bad years” but otherwise say nothing. Photographs are especially rare. All of the work of the other official photographers in Tibet at that time is hidden in secret archives, if it still exists.

The City Gallery exhibit Forbidden Memory is your chance to see Tsering Dorje’s images and the story they tell of a time of politically inspired madness and destruction.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. City Gallery is located at 994 State Street, New Haven, CT 06511. Gallery hours are Thursday - Sunday, 12 noon - 4pm. For further information please contact City Gallery,,

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Latitudes: A Collaborationon View at New Haven’s City Galley

Mixed media artists Susan Newbold and Nancy Mooslin come together for Latitudes: A Collaborationat New Haven’s City Gallery, Thursday, September 5 - Sunday, September 20. The Opening Reception on Saturday, September 7 (3-6PM) is your chance to meet these two long-time friends and to witness the results of their collaborative process.

What brought Mooslin, from the West Coast, and Newbold, from the East Coast, together for this exhibit was a history of friendship between two artists. They have long shared an interest in the patterns found in the details of nature. Often these details were site-specific to the areas in which they lived and traveled, but mixed media offered them a shared vocabulary over the years.

“We have discovered that a successful collaboration requires each of us to lay aside personal ego and any preconceived idea of what the outcome will be,” explains Newbold. “You also have to be receptive to new approaches and new ways of using media.” 

“During the collaborative process, totally unique ideas and images emerge that would not have happened in our solo work,” adds Mooslin. “There is a cross fertilization of ideas and mediums which creates the opportunity to learn from each other and create with each other.”

Make time to see Latitudes: A Collaborationin September. The exhibit is free and open to the public. City Gallery is located at 994 State Street, New Haven, CT 06511. Gallery hours are Thursday - Sunday, 12 noon - 4pm. For further information please contact City Gallery,,

Monday, June 24, 2019

Can you feel the beat? Four Artists, FOUR BEATS at City Gallery this July!

All art has rhythm—a tempo of colors and patterns, a groove of style, a meter of technique, a pulse of the individual artist. Come, feel the beat at City Gallery’s July Show FOUR BEATS featuring artists Phyllis Crowley, Sheila Kaczmarek, Kathy Kane, and Tom Peterson. This exhibit of paintings, photographs, and sculptures will be on display from Friday, July 5 – Sunday, July 28 with an Opening Reception on Sunday, July 14 from 5:00 – 7:00pm.

Meet the Artists

Much of Phyllis Crowley’s work addresses issues of perception and point of view. As she explains, “I am not attempting to simply represent what I see; I prefer to encourage participation from the viewer. In working with the landscape, I use methods like format, multiple images, abstraction, and change of focus to create new relationships that bring me closer to the original emotional experience.” Crowley teaches photography at Creative Arts Workshop, New Haven, and formerly at Norwalk Community College. She has twice received a fellowship grant from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, and recently exhibited at Five Points Gallery in Torrington.

Ceramic artist Sheila Kaczmarek finds her inspiration from marine creatures and other forms in nature. She utilizes clay and transformed found objects in her pieces. Kaczmarek studied at St. Martin’s School of Art, London, UCLA and the Academie de Boitsfort in Belgium, and apprenticed at the Guilford Art Center ceramic studio. She is president of the Guilford Art League and a founder member of City Gallery.

Of her work, artist Kathy Kane explains “I spend considerable time contemplating my marks, their placement and the colors I choose. Sometimes I work on my iPad “designing” their placement, and I also make little paintings and drawings. However, when I approach the canvas all preconceived ideas are not in my consciousness, the painting is spontaneous.” Kane is a member of City Gallery, Guilford Art League, and Connecticut Watercolor Society. She has maintained a studio at Erector Square for more than 25 years.

Tom Peterson is a documentary and fine art photographer. He has recently explored photographing multiple series of minimalistic images to create short journeys into inner spaces of peace and tranquility. He has received numerous awards, including First Honors at the Shoreline Arts Alliance. Exhibitions in 2019 include the Cheshire Academy and New Have Lawn Club. He has been a member of City Gallery since 2009.

The exhibit FOUR BEATS is free and open to the public. City Gallery is located at 994 State Street, New Haven, CT 06511. Gallery hours are Friday - Sunday, 12 noon - 4pm. For further information please contact City Gallery,,