The Windham Project, a six-week public art showcase, will fill the streets of Willimantic from April 15 to May 25, 2017. The project features 22 artists who will transform historic downtown Willimantic into an alternative art space.
A “progressive” opening reception will occur on April 20 from 5-8 p.m. The reception will feature more than 10 local restaurants and stores. Guests can snack, visit the art and get information while meeting the artists that evening on the streets of downtown Willimantic.
During the reception and throughout the event, Kerri Gallery (861 Main Street) will be the central hub where guests can find information on the artists, project proposals, exhibition maps and brochures, and can then visit various locations and art installations along Main Street from Town Hall to Jilson Square. Maps can also be found at Town Hall, stores and restaurants along Main Street, as well as at www.WindhamProject.org.
The Windham Project was founded in 2015 by Gail Gelburd, professor of art at Eastern Connecticut State University, as a way for the university and town to work together to highlight the thriving art scene and serve as a boost to the local economy. In the Windham Project’s inaugural event in 2015, artists transformed downtown Willimantic into a living, public art space that drew more than 2,000 people to town to view the art.
This time around, the project will feature a new set of artists, with projects ranging from large-scale installations to a 16-foot sculpture, a mural, sound and kinetic art, a projection, performances and an interactive live feed. The Windham Project will feature Connecticut artists, as well as faculty and alumni artists from Eastern Connecticut State University. More than 60 artists applied to the call for this project and 22 were selected by a curatorial committee, based on the merit of the art and feasibility of bringing it to fruition.
Some of the exhibits include Robert Greene’s “Survivor,” a large-scale human figure constructed with laurel and grape vines; Jerry Montoya’s “Section 8,” a bold commentary on the American Dream and poverty; and Gail Gelburd’s mannequin installation, which blends photography with sculpture as it personifies the rivers and waterways of the world—a commentary on environmental issues.
Sean Langlais’ solar-powered sound sculpture will contrast with Amelia Ingraham’s large images of people from town, which will adorn the front of the Nathan Hale Building, while Mark McKee of Ledyard will share his interactive painting on a door by the Burton Levitt Theater. Brennan Yau’s hoola hoop performance will delight the audience at the opening reception while Rosary Solimanto’s iron boots will bring awareness of those with disabilities in Jilson Square.The works are unusual and engaging, open to all, and will run throughout the program’s six weeks, at no charge to the public.
The Windham Project is sponsored and supported by the National Endowment of the Arts, the Connecticut Office of Economic Development Office of the Arts, Eastern Connecticut State University, the Town of Windham, Willimantic Waste, Meehan and Daughters and Meyburd Real Estate.
For more information, visit www.windhamproject.org; contact Eastern’s Department of Art and Art History at 860-465-0197; or email email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.