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Artists Open ArtPlace Doors to Other Artists

Work of 27 creatives ushered in at Aug 14 reception

Twenty-seven area artists, working in a wide range of media, received a golden ticket from member artists of ArtPlace Gallery to show their work at the 11 Unquowa Road space. Pieces were installed August 10 and their arrival celebrated with a cocktail mixer Sunday afternoon August 14. The reception enjoyed a full house, as art enthusiasts browsed, chatted and closely studied exhibited work.

Among those showing was Princess Cureton, a Norwalk artist working in acrylic mixed media. Standing near an untitled piece, she explained, “All my work is multi-dimensional. I like the interaction people have with it, and the response they have to the different layers. It makes it fun, and lends life to the artwork.”

Cureton was invited to show by Margot Bittenbender, with whom she works. “Margot sees me as a closet artist and thought I could get some good exposure here,” Cureton laughed.

Nearby, Easton artist Susan Sharp, standing beside her work “Regret”, an oil painting on wood panels, said, “I’ve been painting since 1975. Oils have been my primary media. My work is personal and topographical, focusing on landscape mapping. The works are intuitive, I don’t plan them. They evolve as I paint them.”

Sharp was a founding member of ArtPlace, one of the four original founders, when the gallery was initially located at Fairfield Train Station. “The gallery has really evolved,” she said, looking about. “It’s nice to see such a good response to a new exhibit.”

Statuesque blonde Kathleen Collins, from Darien, taking interest in Howard El-Yasin’s untitled wood/sand/nails mixed installation, said she had come to support her mom, artist Donna Collins, and enjoy the other artwork. Collins said it was “neat having a mom who is an artist – her artwork is all over our house. I like going to her shows.”

Perhaps the most junior artist exhibiting was Christine Quinn, 24, who is currently attending a graduate program at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, studying animation and 3D computer imaging. Her focus to date had been studio illustration – watercolors, landscapes, etc. In fact, the work she was displaying was a watercolor titled “Italian Landscape Watercolor.” Quinn is also a t-shirt designer and displays her work through a website, www.coroflot.com/cquinn

Visitor Mimi Vandeussen, from Westport, who confessed to being an “artist wannabe”, was intensely studying works by Dorothy Powers, titled “Crouching Woman” and “Red.” She voiced her thoughts: There’s a lot of history behind these. I’m guessing these are about the women brought up in Afghanistan. Red may symbolize war. There’s a tremendous amount of power here. I really enjoy looking at different pieces and what inspires them.”

Another visitor, Chyai Mulberg, of Fairfield, was enjoying Mary Ellen Hendricks’ “Peony #1”. “I love all the colors… it feels like it has movement… and the depth is amazing. I don’t necessarily profess to know art but I know what I like, and this is wonderful.”

The Artists Invite Artists Exhibit runs through Sept. 11, 2011 at ArtPlace Gallery, 11 Unquowa Road, Fairfield. Gallery Hours: Wed.-Sat. 11-5:30, Sunday 12-5.

Margot Bittenbender August 24, 2011 at 12:18 PM
Enjoyed reading about us! I appreciate your interviews with both artists and viewers, which adds a real, personal aspect to the showing of art (which is, of course, what it is really all about). I will forward you one of the press releases for our next show -- we are leaving this wonderful space and looking for a new one! 2012 is our 30th year as an organization so we are very set on continuing forward on a new trajectory! Margot Bittenbender
Mike Lauterborn August 25, 2011 at 07:40 AM
Hello Margot... I'm glad you enjoyed the article. I like to get a rounded perspective, learning what the artist intends and how the viewer has interpreted. The Gallery has served you well there... I hope that you will remain in a convenient downtown location. Please keep us posted. Cheers. Mike Lauterborn
Howard El-Yasin August 25, 2011 at 02:54 PM
it would have been interesting to read about a response to my work, rather than a description of the "statuesque blonde" observing it! -Howard el-Yasin

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