Willimantic, Conn. - The Akus Gallery at Eastern Connecticut State University presents "Unfiltered V: Vito Bonanno Riding with the Train Girls" on view from Jan. 19 through Mar. 1, 2012. An Interactive Mural project, which is a Dean's Cup event, takes place Thursday, Feb. 2 from noon to 5 p.m. in the Akus Gallery, bottom floor of Shafer Hall. Students, staff, faculty and members of the community are invited to join Bonanno in creating the mural. A reception with the artist will be held on Thursday Feb 2 from 5- 7 p.m. in Akus Gallery.
Vito Bonanno's art contains the essence of his life, feelings, thoughts and dreams, centered around objects or topics that "get stuck in his head," including traffic lights, grids, ceiling fans and graffiti. His work is image and concept driven and may incorporate any media which will fuel this expression. Using spray paints, gouache, India inks, oils, acrylics and other media, Bonanno works on paper, canvas or whatever support may suit. Most of the characters or topics he draws are important to his life and embedded in his personal philosophy. His work has been described as raw, unfiltered, unedited, truthful, comedic, irresistible, bold, playful and charming, much like the man himself. "He has found a way to tap into the intensity of focus and insight afforded him through Autism Spectrum Disorder to unleash a formidable creative power and vision," explains Elizabeth Peterson, director of the Akus Gallery.
"Unfiltered V: Vito Bonanno Riding with the Train Girls" offers an unabashed glimpse into the inner workings of the artist's complex and creative mind. Shrine-like installations and an unconventional, quirky accompaniment of objects bring both alarming and charmingly comedic elements to the table but simultaneously deliver Bonanno's messages into sharp focus. A distinct dialogue is present between the physical objects, all directly referenced in the artist's work, and the vast range of media used in the artwork.
The Interactive Mural project of "Unfiltered V" is a Dean's Cup Event at Eastern. The Dean's Cup competition is an academic and service-related event that promotes spirit and collaboration among students living in the residence halls on campus. The competition's purpose is to see which residence hall can get the most students to attend special events on campus while simultaneously encouraging students to become well seasoned in a variety of experiences; conducive to Eastern's liberal arts mission.
The Akus Gallery is located in the lower level of Shafer at the corner of Windham and Valley Streets in Willimantic. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 1 to 7 p.m. on Thursday and 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The public is invited. Admission is free. For more information regarding this and other exhibitions at Akus Gallery, please call (860) 465-4659 or visit on the web at www.easternct.edu/akusgallery.