Museum Press


DEC 18-JAN 30

CONTACTS: Nancy Helle (203) 966-1517, publicity
Florence Zolan (203) 374-9720, Art/Place
Robbin Zella (203) 332-5052, Housatonic Museum

BRIDGEPORT -- Art/Place, Fairfield County’s unique artists’ cooperative is culminating a year of exhibits throughout the county with a major celebratory 25th Anniversary exhibition at the Housatonic Museum of Art in Bridgeport.

Opening with a public reception on Thursday, December 18 from 5 to 7 p.m., the exhibition will run through January 30. The museum’s 2,000-square-foot gallery space, a part of Housatonic Community College, will allow Art/ Place’s 28 members the opportunity to exhibit multiple and large scale works.

The venue is especially welcome as Art/Place has been without a space to call their own since a fire destroyed its “home place” gallery in the Southport Railroad Station in January 2008. That gallery space is currently being reconstructed by the State Department of Transportation and Art/Place will move back into their new gallery sometime in 2009.

The 25th Anniversary Art/Place Exhibition will encompass a wide range of 21st century artistic creativity, from representational to abstract and conceptual, in paintings, prints, photography and mixed media. A highlight will be a wall with a grid of artist portraits created by member Arle Sklar-Weinstein. Inspired by studio visits to each artist, the individual portraits are mixed media compositions which capture the spirit of the artist as well as his or her image in photo montages.

The seeds of the project sprouted over a year ago when Sklar-Weinstein was participating in an Artist Residency at the Fundacion Valparaiso in Mojacar, Almeria, Spain. Her first Artists Portraits series of the eight international artists and writers there were shown in an Art/Place exhibition here in 2007 and her colleagues proposed a similar project for their 25th Anniversary Exhibition.

Sklar-Weinstein will discuss her work in an Artist Talk on Thursday, January 8 from 5 to 7 p.m at the museum.

A catalogue of the Artists Portrait Project includes a quote from The New York Times on the l982 opening of Art/Place in the Southport Railroad Station which described the gallery as “a blend of old architecture and new aesthetics, creating an exciting art environment.” The founders’ goals were to create a cooperative run by artists – not bound by the complex concerns of a museum, nor determined by the strong market concerns of a commercial gallery….a place where artists were free to explore and develop their own potential, and where artistic concepts and space combined to benefit both the artists and the community.

“When we heard that this talented group of artists needed a place to hold a 25th Anniversary milestone exhibit, we were delighted to offer our galleries,” said Housatonic Museum of Art director Robbin Zella.

Founded in l967 by the late Burt Chernow, author and professor, the Housatonic Museum of Art encompasses an extensive collection of over 4,000 artworks including masters such as Picasso, Renoir, Rodin and Dali. It is located at 900 Lafayette Blvd., off Exit 27 on I 95. The galleries are open Mon.- Fri. 8:30 a.m.- 5:30 p.m., Thurs. til 7 p.m. Closed on weekends December 20 through January 28.

For further information: (203) 332-5000 or 5052