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Professors Showcase Artwork at Hygienic Art Galleries

Written by Arielle Cotoia

Forget me nots.jpgWillimantic, Conn. -  Six professors of Visual Arts at Eastern Connecticut State University will showcase their work, "Forget-Me-Nots" in an art exhibition at the Hygienic Art Galleries at 79-83 Bank Street in New London. The exhibit will be held from May 28 to June 25. The opening reception is 7 to 10 p.m. on May 28. Artists include June Bisantz, Lula Blocton, Sharon Butler, Ted Efremoff, Tom Hébert and Jane Rainwater. The public is invited. Admission is free.

            "The pieces selected for this exhibition bring forward ideas, memories and images gleaned from the artists' pasts," said Butler, who organized the "Forget-Me-Nots" exhibit. "Each artist transforms transient thoughts and vague private recollections, allowing them a place in our shared memory and collective history."


Bisantz's work creates thought-provoking public art on billboards, buses, movie theater screens, shopping mall advertising panels, architectural facades, traffic-control devices and solar-powered street signs. She has received commissions for public art projects in New Haven and Willimantic, CT; Pittsfield, MA;  and Charlotte, NC.


Blocton is fascinated with color, structure and the illusion of transparency. She has traveled to Africa and Europe to study major museum collections and vernacular art. Her work is in numerous collections, including those of the Albright Knox Museum, the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Eastern Connecticut State University, Prudential Life Insurance Company and the Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture.


Butler is a cross-disciplinary artist whose work comprises abstract painting, Web 2.0 social networking media, and writing. In "Forget-Me-Nots," Butler presents paintings based on the structure of isolated observation towers that were inspired by the paintings her reclusive father, who worked as a stockbroker in New London for more than 40 years, made in the 1960s. Butler is the founder of the award-winning art blog, "Two Coats of Paint."


Efremoff, born in Moscow, Russia, is a cross-disciplinary artist engaged with performance, video, installation and social sculpture. His primarily interest lies in exploring how storytelling has the capacity to overcome the immediate constraints of space and time. Efremoff has performed and exhibited at Chashama performance spaces, Sideshow, and PSII Galleries in New York City; the Museum of American Art in Philadelphia; the Gongju National Museum in South Korea; the National Center of Contemporary Art in Moscow; the Night of Museums in Belgrade, Serbia; and the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, Bulgaria.


Hébert, whose recent work includes photorealist paintings and collages that combine digital images and wood construction, has exhibited at OK Harris, Semaphore and Exit Art in New York; Real Art Ways in Hartford; and many other galleries throughout New England. He has work in collections throughout the United States and Europe, including Aetna, Mobil Oil, Slater Museum and Stux Gallery in New York; Center for the Arts Museum in Vero Beach, Florida; Lewis and Clark Museum in Oregon; and Gesamthochschule Universitat in Kassel, Germany.  


In her artwork, Rainwater explores the paradox of "horrible beauty" in drawings,

diagrams, installations, sculpture, performance and prints. Her aim is to engage the viewer with seemingly innocent decorative pleasantry, which upon closer examination reveals darker truths. Her work has been included in exhibitions at the Aldrich Museum in Ridgefield; ArtSpace in New Haven; the Housatonic Museum of Art in Bridgeport; and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MN.

The Hygienic Art Galleries is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and from 12 to 3 p.m. on Sundays. For more information about "Forget-Me-Nots," contact Sharon Butler at (860) 465-4345 or via e-mail at



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