Monthly archives: August, 2022

Save the Date: Fall Art in the Barn, October 8 – 16, 2022

Gudrun Pagter Tapestries
Gudrun Pagter’s 13-17gp 8 Red Vertical, 3 Blue Horizontal, 6 Blue Vertical, 1 Red Vertical and 1 Red Horizontal installation of tapestries. Photo by Tom Grotta

Join us for this Fall’s Art in the Barn event at browngrotta arts: Allies for Art: Work from NATO-related countries. 

Political instability can bring about unexpected and engaging art. It can influence an individual artist’s career for a lifetime. The current upheaval in the Ukraine and the security concerns of neighboring European countries suggests echoes experiences of artists exhibited by browngrotta arts who have lived in, fled, or emigrated from repressive regimes. It weighs, too, on the minds of those working in the surrounding nations. German artist, Heidrun Schimmel says that living in a country, united and secure in NATO since 1989, “its now hard for us to learn: … everything is hanging by a thread…”

Baiba Osite driftwood wall sculpture
1bo City Walls, Baiba Osite, driftwood, canvas, 70″ x 54″ x 4.5″, 2019. Photo by Tom Grotta

Allies for Art: Work from NATO-related countries (browngrotta arts, October 8 – 16, 2022) will feature nearly 50 artists and will highlight work from 21 countries in Eastern and Western Europe, 18 countries in NATO and the three current applicants. The artists in the exhibition reflect diverse perspectives and experiences. Allies for Art will include art created under occupation, in the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, art by those who left Hungary, Romania and Spain while occupied, and art by other artists who left Russia in later years. Gyöngy Laky’s family, for example, escaped from Soviet-occupied Hungary after World War II — to Austria, then America, experiences that are reflected in her politically themed works. Adela Akers’ family left Franco’s Spain, first for Cuba, then to the US. In the 1960s and early 1970s, Ritzi Jacobi’s expressive work in tapestry, abstract by nature, allowed her to circumvent the Romanian government’s preference for academic, figurative art which supported communist ideology. 

Luba Krejci thread drawing
5lk untitled Detail, Luba Krejci, thread drawing, 39″ x 48″ x 2.5″, circa 1970s. Photo by Tom Grotta

Other artists in the exhibition from Eastern Europe, including Jolanta Owidzka, Zofia Butrymowicz, Anna Urbanowicz-Krowacka, and Krystyna Wojtyna-Drouet of Poland and Luba Krejci and Jan Hladik of Czechoslovakia, were introduced to US audiences in the 1960s through 1980s by Chicago gallerists Jacques and Anne Baruch who spirited their work out of countries under oppressive regimes. On August 20, 1968, for example, the Baruchs left Prague after meeting with artists, just five hours before Soviet tanks rolled into the city and brutally ended a brief period of democratic reforms. 

Allies for Art: Work from NATO-related Countries will also include works created by artists currently working in Europe, including Gudrun Pagter of Denmark, Åse Ljones of Norway, Włodmierz Cygan of Poland and, artists new to browngrotta arts, including Esmé Hofman of the Netherlands, Anneke Klein of Denmark, and Baiba Osite of Latvia. 

The exhibition will be accompanied by a full-color catalog, which will include an essay by Kate Bonansinga, Director, School of Art, College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Exhibition Schedule:
Opening & Artists Reception (300 Visitor Cap)
Saturday, October 8th: 11AM to 6PM  

Viewing Dates & Times (40 visitors/ hour)
Sunday, Sunday October 9th: 11AM to 6 PM
Monday, October 10th – Saturday, October 15th: 10AM to 5PM 

Final Day (40 visitors/ hour)
Sunday, October 16th: 11AM to 6PM  

Address
276 Ridgefield Road Wilton, CT 068977

Safety protocols
Eventbrite reservations strongly encouraged • We will follow current state and federal guidelines surrounding COVID-19 • As of August 1, 2022, masks are not required • No narrow heels please (barn floors)

RESERVE YOUR TIME: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/allies-for-art-work-from-nato-related-countries-tickets-392833123447

Contact Information
P: 203.834.0623
E: art@browngrotta.com


Dispatches: A Visit to Vancouver

Rhonda spent five great days in Vancouver last month. Here’s her report:

The artistic experiences began as soon as I disembarked at Vancouver International Airport. A rainforest experience has been recreated there, complete with birdsong, framed by a dramatic First Nations’ sculpture in the air. 

The visual feast continues outside. Like any good buffet, the offerings are numerous and varied — natural beauty vies with and public art everywhere one looks.

There are exciting and colorful murals on buildings large and small. Vancouver hosts an annual Mural Festival: https://vanmuralfest.ca. This year’s will last 11 days and sponsor 30 murals in eight neighborhoods. I came across a group of muralists near Stanley Park, protected by a Do Not Disturb the Artist sign. 

The architecture of Vancouver is wildly diverse —a combination of modern architectural styles, ranging from the 20th century Edwardian style to the 21st century modernist style. Arthur Erickson was a pioneer of the West Coast style which sought to integrate the natural environment into building design. Major stylistic influences were International Style, open space plans of Japanese architecture, the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and the work and talks given in Vancouver by Californian Richard Neutra. Erickson, Canada’s most influential architect, often worked with browngrotta arts’ first artist, Mariette Rousseau-Vermette, including the Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto and the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC. 

Elsewhere, Granville Island, Stanley Park, the Waterfront — artful window displays, imaginatively painted buildings abound — even the concrete sidewalks are artful with their leaf imprints.

Intentional art offerings are just as voluminous. The most impressive of these is Erikson-designed Museum of Anthropology on the campus of the University of British Columbia. It’s dramatic Great Hall is under earthquake abatement, but the Museum’s collection of 46,000 objects (which you can see online http://collection-online.moa.ubc.ca) is more than enough reason to make a visit. (The Niobe Japanese Gardens and Treewalk both within walking distance are two more.)

The Museum is a pilgrimage for fiber fans — cases and cases of baskets and woven items from First Nation peoples and other geographic areas in the Multiversity Galleries. Ancient objects join ones as modern as a fish made from recycled fishing nets.

And then there’s the food, the walkability, the concern with sustainability and the friendliness of absolutely everyone. People stop and ask to help as soon as you pull out a map! Put it on your travel list — Vancouver is a must see!

Photos: Rhonda Brown