November 17, 2017

Artist-Run Contemporary Gallery Opens in Essex Village

‘Summer Series 1’ is one of the signature works in ‘Cool & Collected’ opening at the new Melanie Carr Gallery, Oct. 21.

ESSEX – Melanie Carr Gallery will host a grand opening featuring its inaugural exhibition of Cool & Collected, a group exhibition of 14 contemporary artists on view at 1 North Main Street (across from the Essex Art Association) from Oct. 21 through Dec. 3. The opening reception will be Saturday, Oct. 21, from 4 to 7 p.m.

This exhibition will highlight the work of artists in Carr’s collection including Mary Dwyer whose historical portrait paintings revolve around historic lore and her love of early portraiture paintings; Kevin Van Aelst whose cerebral photographs consist of common artifacts and scenes from everyday life, which he rearranges into various forms, patterns, and illustrations; Bombay born artist Rashmi Talpade’s photomontages are amalgamations of reconstructed landscapes that reflect the intersection of Eastern and Western cultures.

‘Untitled’ by Matthew Best.

The exhibition also includes mesmerizing graphite drawings by Thea Wilcox Ciciotte; Robert Gregson’s geometric drawings which stem from his love of architecture; Matthew Best’s collages deal with power, gender, and authority; Kathleen Jacobs’ landscape paintings reveal nature’s abiding beauty, grace and order; Artist Ben Parker delights in his masterful folded paper constructions.

Conceptual artist David Borawski’s Blast drawings will be on view, puppeteer and artist Kimberly Van Aelst’s combines her love of science, nature, and art, Suzan Shutan’s Tar Roofing Paper pieces straddle the worlds of two and three dimensions; University of Connecticut Professor of Art John O’Donnell’s works on paper utilize appropriated images and objects relating to art history, popular media and consumer culture; and Margaret Vaughan who appropriates imagery from the fashion and porn industry states “my works fit in the fine line between lust and revulsion.”

Carr’s studio will occupy the back of the gallery. Works on paper of gallery artists will be available in the Flat Files; a ten-drawer cabinet of flat drawers that will allow more intimate works on paper available for sale in addition to the artwork on view. Also, there will be a dedicated space to serve as a hand’s on mark-making lab for visitors of all ages. Visitors are invited to explore different artist’s materials as a way to demystify and encourage the process of drawing, encourage creativity, develop a deeper understanding, appreciation, and interest in art.

Melanie Carr is a Connecticut-based artist who received her MFA from the College of Art and Design at Lesley University in 2011. Carr began her studies in visual art after serving in the United States Navy. After 10 years at the New Britain Museum of American Art as a Director/Curator, Carr is now Adjunct Professor at Central Connecticut State University and recently joined the staff at Lyme Academy of Fine Arts, University of New Haven.

Melanie Carr

Carr’s work has been featured in solo exhibitions at Soapbox Gallery, NY, Stockman Gallery, New Britain, CT, City Arts on Pearl, Hartford, CT, Westport Arts Center, Westport, CT, and Pegasus Gallery, Middletown, CT. In addition, Carr’s work was included in numerous group exhibitions nationally. Carr has work in the collections at the New Britain Museum of American Art, The Loomis Chaffee School, and the Boston Public Library, as well as many private collections.

Susan Malan, Essex Economic Developer comments, “Essex is thrilled that Melanie Carr is opening a new art gallery at 1 North Main Street.  Her spirit and enthusiasm is bountiful and her gallery will add to the energy of Essex Village.  Melanie also chose Essex as her hometown – highlighting that Essex is a great place to live and work!”

Douglas Hyland Director Emeritus New Britain Museum of American Art notes, “As a respected curator, experienced arts administrator, and talented artist, Melanie Carr is ideally suited to found and operate an art gallery.  I look forward to her exhibitions as I know they will reflect her deep understanding and appreciation of our region’s burgeoning contemporary art scene.”

For more information, email melcarrstudio@comcast.net or call 860.830.6949

Editor’s Note: Melanie Carr Gallery is an artist-run project space dedicated to the practice, exhibition, and sale of contemporary art. The goal of Melanie Carr Gallery is to promote the importance of contemporary art and examine its impact on society while providing its artists greater exposure to new audiences. All are welcome. “artisnotdecoration  #theworldneedsmoreartists #neverenoughart  #collectart #ctartist #artsharpensthemind

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