Windham Art Project Moves Outdoors

hc-rosary-solimanto-0413-20170406By Susan Dunne

Two years ago, the creative-placemaking project called My Windham had its inaugural event. Work by more than a dozen artists was installed outdoors and inside shops on Willimantic’s Main Street for five weeks in the spring. The second bi-annual event, renamed The Windham Project, will take place from April 15 to May 25 with a new focus: Nobody will have to go inside any shops to enjoy art.

“We surveyed our visitors and they liked it best when it’s all outdoors,” said Eastern Connecticut State University art Professor Gail Gelburd, organizer of the project. “It’ll all be outdoors or in storefront windows. It’ll be open all the time, 24-7.” The project — funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the town, the university and private donations —also has burst out of the borders of the state.

“We want to promote Windham all over as a place for art,” said Gelburd. So this year, along with 18 artists (or art-making teams) from Connecticut, there are two participants from New Jersey and one from Albany, N.Y.

And possibly one from India. Majunaath Naik’s work “Heart in a Jar” was juried into the exhibit, to be shown in the window of Jamaican Me Crazy restaurant. Naik planned to attend the opening reception, but he was denied a visa to travel to the United States from his home in Goa, India. His artwork may make it here in time, but there’s a chance it won’t.

Gelburd learned another thing from the first event: When everyone is inside at a reception, no one is outside looking at art. This year’s opening reception on April 20 is a “walking, progressive” event. Visitors can get a map, stroll the mile from Town Hall to Jillson Square, see the artwork, watch performance artists and get free snacks at Main Street businesses.

Melica Bloom of Willimantic — who helped create many of the murals in this mural-obsessed town — will create a new mural. Kenneth Saintonge of Windham will install a video “portal” from Willimantic to Denton, Texas, where he goes to school. People who stand in front of the portal can see the main drag in Denton, and people in Denton can see them.

Carolyn Naegeli Slead of Coventry will repurpose waste plastic into an artwork at the Hooker Hotel, which coincidentally is owned by Willimantic Waste. Tatiana Sougakova of New Jersey will repurpose old CDs to create “jewelry” for the trees to wear. ECSU’s Visual Arts Club will repurpose used shoes to create a found-object sculpture that comments on the wealth gap. It will be placed across the street from the homeless shelter. Anyone who needs a pair of shoes can grab a pair from the installation and keep it.

Other artists who will participate, working in projection, kinetic, sound, performance, murals and sculptures, include John Byrne of Hamden, Karen Davis of Vernon, Lauren Duke of Windham, ECSU professor Belinda Gabryl, Robert Greene of Ledyard, Sean Langlais of Norwich, sisters Amelia and Gretta Ingraham of Coventry, Steven Kroeger of Albany, N.Y.; Mark McKee of Ledyard, Jerry Montoya of Meriden, Chris Plaisted of Milford, Afarin Rahmanifar of Manchester, Rosary Solimanto of New Jersey, Jim Turner of Windham and Brennan Yau of Willington. The jurors were Migdalia Salas, Emily Handlin and Gelburd, who also will show her art.

THE WINDHAM PROJECT will take place along Main Street in Willimantic from the Windham Town Hall to Jillson Square, from April 15 to May 25. The opening reception is April 20 from 5 to 8 p.m. windhamproject.org.

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Yard Sign Installation

ART 122 • DIGITAL ILLUSTRATION AND PAGE LAYOUT

Professor Jane Rainwater

“Yard signs are as ubiquitous and familiar to the American political landscape as baby-kissing and stump speeches, combining catchy images and pithy campaign slogans to increase visibility for vying candidates and their parties’ messages. In honor of this election season, we will turn this tradition of political ephemera on its ear with a unique project; we’re putting the message and the creative design for these political yard signs in the hands of artists and then—in true democratic fashion.” The class voted among the entries to determine a selection of five winners whose designs are shown here on the ECSU Campus.

Participating Students:

Amber Albe  |  Monique Allen  |  Isaac Archambault  |  Cassandra Banks  |  Jack Deyo  |  Shelby  Eccleston

Alyssa Koval  |  Angel Negron  |  Stefani Olbrias  |  Justin Ott  |  Samantha Price  |  Militia Schwartz  |  Rachel Vallarie

Nicole Vanagas  |  Cory Walsh  |  Patrick Weber  |  Kathryn Zak  |  Isabella Zira  |  Lilly Fair

WEBERSIGN1 WALSH SIGN1 VANAGASSIGN SCHWARTZSIGN1 OTTSIGN1 Lawn Sign jane Koval Lawnsign BANKSSIGN ALBE SIGN

 

Fall 2014 Design Group students created five billboards celebrating Eastern’s 125 year history.

Fall 2014 Design Group students created five billboards celebrating Eastern’s 125 year history. Standish Johnson Outdoor Advertising donated billboard space and installation. Each billboard represents 25 years of Eastern’s story with yearbook photos against a backdrop of the architecture of that period.

Locations:
Main Street, next to the Chamber of Commerce building – It’s a 2-sided billboard, with our billboard designs on both front and back.
Kai Hansen, (1889 – 1914) front
Ray Phonthaphan, back (1939-1964)

Bridge Street, in the array of billboards at the road turning – Matt Pappalardo (1914-1939)

Rte. 66 west, leaving Willimantic, on the left hand side of the road before you reach the junction of 66 and 6

Rikki Jarvis (1964-1989)

Rte 195 at Lauter Park – two billboards one facing in each direction Going south – Kai Hansen (a repeat) Going north – Alyssa Toth (1989-2014)

 

Visual Arts Senior Exhibition 2014

ECSU Visual Arts Senior Show 2014

TBD/To Be Determined is the Visual Arts Department’s Senior Exhibition 2014. TBD is being exhibited at the Akus Gallery in Shafer Hall from May 2–16, 2014.

Artist in the exhibition: Kara Berglund, David Bieniarz, Jennifer Biron, Wendy Bouton, Mary Boyd, Christina Broccoli, Cory Carabetta, Laura Cardeno, Emily Chubet, Daniel Clesowich, Bridget Cook, Margaret Gradie, Braden Herrick, Lauren Hopper, Rebecca Ingoglia, Rikki Jarvis, Lesia Kerr, Samuel Kesler, Solinda Keth, Colleen King, Michael King, Jessie Kohn, Kaleigh Kurpiewski, Brad Labonte, Lindsay Lachance, Diane Leonard, Hannah Lewis, Cassandra Marion, Samantha McGeowan, Jessica Michalowski, Samantha Mims, Melissa Nosal, Trinda Pacheco, Rebecca Plungis, Olivia Provey, Alyssa Reilly, Nicole Romeo, Richard Schaff, Roshelle Shannon, Miranda Slobe, Kelly Stalsburg, Jacueline Tromp, Lucero Vargas, Julie Vega.

There is an Awards Ceremony and Reception on Friday, May 2nd from 3–4 pm in the Akus Gallery. The Gallery is open from 3–6 pm on Friday, May 2nd for viewing. The Ceremony and Reception is free and open to the public.

Akus Gallery hours and information can be found at this link.

“Displaced” Student Exhibition

Displaced Exhibition

The students of Professor Gail Gelburd’s Museums Studies Class have partnered with Willimantic’s No-Freeze Shelter to curate the exhibition Displaced: Perspectives from Within. The exhibition is at the Willimantic Public Library through March. This exhibition was first shown at Eastern State University’s Shafer hall.

The exhibition includes art created by our students and some young students from other towns, but the main focus of the exhibition will be the work created by the guests of the No-Freeze shelter in Willimantic. The students in the class met with the homeless men and women at the shelter and gave them cameras and art supplies. This gave the guests an opportunity to share their perceptions of being homeless and their life in Willimantic. The exhibition will be accompanied by information about homelessness in America. The students  will also show videos and films about the subject during the opening reception.

The students in the course devised the theme, conducted the research. They were divided into museum departments and curated the works, condition reported, catalogued and labeled the images, prepared accompanying educational programming, promoted the exhibition, managed the budget, and then designed the exhibition, the flyers, didactics, and labels. They worked as a team to carefully install the exhibition and open it up for public viewing.

This project is an example of community based learning—students who participated in the project learned first hand about this issue and the guests shared their creativity.

Gail Gelburd is Professor of Art History.

Eastern Design Students Exhibit at Kerri Gallery

Green Lights Project

Each year, Green Lights, an initiative of the Last Green Valley (tlvg.org), encourages residents of our region to show support for the National Heritage Corridor by displaying green lights in any way they can imagine between February 15 and March 17, 2014.

This year, Eastern’s Design Program, Thread City Development, Inc., the Willimantic Screen Project, the Willimantic Brewing Company and the Kerri Art Studio & Gallery are partnering to illuminate the Kerri Gallery storefront on 861 Main Street, Willimantic, in celebration of the Last Green Valley’s 4th Annual Green Lights initiative. The Kerri Gallery will host an opening reception for Green Lights on Thursday 2/27, 6-8 pm. This reception is free and open to the public—All are welcome.

The Gallery will glow each night from February 27 to March 5, 2014 with a series of publicly visible, inventively imagined green light images created by Eastern Connecticut State University design students.

Artists: Kara Berglund, Melissa Blaejak, Christing Broccoli, Laura Cardeno, Joshua Cranmer, Braden Herrick, Lauren Hopkins, Cynthia Kapp, Solinda Keth, Collen King, Hannah Lewis, Cassandra Marion, Chris McMenamey, Seth Meyers, Kristin Palka, Joseph Perez, Robert Picone, Mark Raleigh, Alyssa Reilly, Alexa Senia, Chelsea Taylor, Tyler Scott, Julie Vega.

To watch a video of last year’s Green Lights projection visit: http://vimeo.com/65613541

Digital prints of the green light images will be on display inside the gallery as well.  So day or night, please join us to celebrate our Heritage Corridor and raise energy conservation awareness.

Professor June Bisantz helped organize this exhibition. Bisantz is Professor of Art, Digital Art and Design.