Closing date is tentative and subject to change
In 1952, while a student at La Esmeralda—Mexico’s national school of art—American artist John Wilson (1922–2015) painted a powerful mural that he titled The Incident. The fresco depicted a scene of a racial-terror lynching at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan, as witnessed by a young African American family. Although the mural is no longer extant, this exhibition brings together publicly for the first time nearly all of Wilson’s known preparatory sketches and painted studies for it, as well as related prints and drawings. Inspired by the political and social activism of the Mexican muralists, in particular José Clemente Orozco, and haunted by images of lynchings that he had seen in newspapers as a child, Wilson revisited the subject of The Incident over many years as a way of grappling with racial violence, both past and present. The works on view, some disturbing in content, encourage contemporary viewers to do the same.
2020 has been historic year and the work being created by the artists now reflects their lived experience through a landmark election year, a global pandemic, and a national reckoning with systemic racial injustice and police brutality. The exhibition asks the question can a ‘slow’ museum exhibition actively participate in democracy amidst the cacophony of Tweets and abbreviated news app headlines via a medium that moves no faster that the speed of a human hand pushing a pencil?
Artists participating in the exhibition include Marti Cormand (Brooklyn, NY), Oasa DuVerney (Brooklyn, NY), Judith Eisler (Vienna, Austria and Warren, CT), Andy Mister (Beacon, NY), William Powhida (Brooklyn, NY), Gil Scullion (Middletown, CT), and Diana Shpungin (Brooklyn, NY).
One of the first tourism trails in the State — The Connecticut Art Trail — is celebrating 25 years of guiding art aficionados across the state on a journey that includes 22 world-class museums and historic sites. Originally launched in 1995 as the Connecticut Impressionist Art Trail, encompassing 10 museums, today the Trail includes more than double that number, plus a growing range of affiliate members including galleries and art-based environments.
“When the founding museums first gathered, over two decades ago, I’m not sure that anyone imagined that this trail would not only continue to thrive but grow in reach and reputation, across the country,” shares Carey Weber, volunteer President of the Connecticut Art Trail and Executive Director of the Fairfield University Art Museum. “When considering how to celebrate 25 years of collaboration, the answer was clear — curating and opening a collaborative exhibition comprised of works from all of our member museums, hosted by a member.”
The resulting “Made in Connecticut” collaborative exhibition will open to the public on Thursday, October 15, 2020, and run through Sunday, February 7, 2021 at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford.
James Prosek, American artist, writer, naturalist, and current Artist-in-Residence at the Yale University Art Gallery will be the independent curator for the exhibition. “This exhibition is made possible thanks to the tremendous collaboration of the partner museums, and the generosity of our guest curator James Prosek. We are excited about building on this energy for our next 25 years,” continues Ms. Weber. “In addition to paintings, drawings, prints and other traditional works of art, this exhibition will feature a number of decorative and industrial art objects including a rubber desk, an early typewriter, a selection of historic buttons and much more.”
“The member museums and historic sites of the Connecticut Art Trail are spread statewide,” shared Mr. Prosek. “Their combined collections number over half a million objects and are filled with astonishing works. It is an honor to be working with the museums to showcase the diversity of objects that have impacted Connecticut’s rich cultural landscape over the centuries.”
The “Made in Connecticut” exhibition is the highlight of this milestone year for the Trail, which will also include educational programming and unique anniversary exhibits among individual members. This will also be the final year that the popular Connecticut Art Trail passport, which provides no-cost admission to all 22 member sites,” will be available for its original, $25.
Entrance to the Wadsworth and the “Made in Connecticut” exhibition are included with the purchase of the Passport which can be done online at ctarttrail.org or at any member location. “The proceeds of passports purchased directly at a member location results in a $25 donation directly to that museum,” concludes Ms. Weber. “Not everyone realizes that the Trail currently does not receive any state or federal funding and that we strictly operate from members dues and the sales of passports. Therefore the sales of the passports have a direct impact on the ability of the museums to promote their great work.” Docent- led tours of the Made in Connecticut exhibition will be on Sundays at 11 am from November 1, 2020 to February 7, 2020. Advanced registration is required via thewadsworth.org
In addition to celebrating our 25th anniversary with the “Made In Connecticut” exhibition, the Wadsworth will be hosting several virtual related programs. For a current listing, check thewadsworth.org.
Virtual Gallery Talk
Friday, October 16; 5pm
Artist James Prosek guides us through the landscape of the rich creative history of artists working in Connecticut on tour of the Connecticut Art Trail’s 25th anniversary exhibition, Made in Connecticut, which he curated. Free. Access link available via thewadsworth.org.
An Evening with Mark Dion
Wednesday, October 21; 6pm
Artist Mark Dion draws on the early modern tradition of assembling artifacts and objects into theatrical dioramas that make statements about contemporary collecting habits, our relationship to history, and the future of the environment. In a conversation with curator Patricia Hickson, Dion discusses his artistic practices and his local New England roots. In conjunction with the exhibition Made in Connecticut. Free. Co-sponsored with the Hartford Art School. Access link available via thewadsworth.org.
An Evening with James Prosek
Friday, November 6; 5pm
James Prosek is not only a prolific artist, curator, author, and naturalist, but he also charts the landscape through music. A founding member of the group Troutband, Prosek will perform a concert from the Wadsworth that you can watch virtually from your own home. Free. Access link available via thewadsworth.org.
Virtual Second Saturdays for Families
Saturday, November 14
Explore the exhibition Made in Connecticut and get inspired by art objects collected from all over the state. Design an artwork that presents your unique view of The Constitution State. What artist, story, or town would you like to highlight? Free.
Second Saturdays for Families digital activity packs include art-making demonstrations, visual scavenger hunts, close looking prompts, and story time in English and Spanish. Available on the second Saturday of the month and afterwards via thewadsworth.org.
The Connecticut Art Trail Passport is officially sponsored by the Greenwich Hospitality Group – a luxury hotelier with properties that includes DELAMAR, The Goodwin, and Hotel Zero Degrees. For timely updates about the Trail visits ctarttrail.org or follow the Trail on social media.
Danielle Ogden, Adjunct Professor of the Art History & Visual Culture in the department of Visual & Performing Arts at Fairfield University, will give a virtual lecture titled “How to Look at an Abstract Painting” on Thursday, October 22nd at 5 p.m. Danielle Ogden will be looking at works from the museum’s exhibition Andrew Forge: The Limits of Sight.
Check out our exhibition at https://www.fairfield.edu/museum/andrewforge/
Register on Eventbrite for the link to the talk!
Live from London, BBC broadcast personality, former co-host of ‘Art Detectives’, Jacky Klein covers British museum collections and co-authored ‘What is Contemporary Art?’ for New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Join Jacky Klein on Sunday, October 23rd at 3 p.m. as she discusses the history and success of the art collector Peggy Guggenheim.
Register on Eventbrite for the link to the lecture!
When we think of the art of Northern Europe we tend to think of the Old Masters like Rembrandt and Rubens. But upon whose shoulders did these artists stand? Who were their influences and how did they achieve such virtuosity of paint?
They owe much of their brilliance to the Renaissance that took place in modern day Belgium and the Netherlands 200 years before they were born. Over the course of four lectures we will come to know the genius found in the art of Northern Europe. The first two lectures will be dedicated to early influences like Jan Van Eyck and Albrecht Durer and the second two lectures will focus on Peter Paul Rubens and Rembrandt van Rijn.
Please note: there will be four ONLINE lectures on successive Tuesdays at 11:00 am: October 6, 13, 20, and 27; the ticket covers all four events.
Tickets are $160 for non-members and $150 for members. Register on Eventbrite!
Jennifer Drake, Associate Professor of Psychology at Brooklyn College, will give a virtual lecture titled, “The Psychology of Art” on Thursday, October 29th at 5 p.m.
This event is presented in partnership with the Departments of Psychology and Visual Performing Arts.
Check out our exhibition, Andrew Forge: The Limits of Sight, at https://www.fairfield.edu/museum/andrewforge/
Register on Eventbrite for the link to the lecture!