In collaboration with WCSU, curated by Daisy Gesualdi, Tangible Traces is an exploration of vulnerability through time and its connection with human existence. Vulnerability can appear in multiple forms, some tangible, others conceptual. It may appear as gradual aging, decay seen in nature, or worn walls of an ancient city. In an attempt to understand and heal through spirituality and art, diving into it with confidence is our resilience and strength. Each artist explores this concept through their diverse use of material and their connections to anthropology, archeology, spirituality, and the natural world.
The experience of getting lost in the surrounding landscape is important to the mental and physical process of my paintings. By letting the terrain guide me, I can remain open to new perceptions. This way of moving through the world is reflected in my studio practice. Considering themes of environment, time and physical presence, my studio practice focuses on bridging the gap between myself and the natural world. Imagery in my work references winding trails, gnarled trees, echoing sounds and topography from the woodlands near my home. My surfaces become sites of collision between observed moments of the natural world and my attempts to connect with those moments through intuitive acts of drawing, pouring, scraping and sanding. The narrative of each painting is discovered through the process of exploration. By uncovering new materials and methods that yield surprise, I am able to let go of my instinct to control the outcome and can reveal new associations of the subject at hand.
The goal behind creating The Covid Memorial Series is a personal reaction to the Pandemic. I feel a desire to record my intimate reflections in cohesion with the world’s response. The central focus for the work is the concept of fragility as a result of disruption. I’ve chosen wood as my medium to reflect the endangerment humans and nature both share.
I am moved by the Japanese concept of Wabi Sabi which celebrates perfection in imperfection. Fragmentation and frailty are manifested in my work and reflect our vulnerabilities while offering resilience enduring beauty and hope for our own lives, and our world, in the face of challenges. Each artwork bears the marks left by the forces of nature and the passage of time. My inspiration is drawn from across cultures and influenced by aesthetic and cultural touchstones from around the globe; lacemaking, Mughal patterns and architecture, fragmented antiquities, the ethereal white of the Taj Mahal, temple embellishments, the meditative healing power of the mandala, and the magic of handwork, all have a voice. It speaks of stillness, intimacy, endurance, and contemplation.
Janice Mauro of Redding, Connecticut, is a Fellow of the National Sculpture Society, the Artists Collective of Westport, and Silvermine Guild Member. She has exhibited at the National Academy of Design in New York City, the Mattatuck Museum, Waterbury, CT, and the New Britain Museum of Art in New Britain, CT. She has designed, carved, and modeled various puppets for New York Broadway Productions such as Julie Taymor’s The Lion King. Her monument of WWII soldier Sergeant Homer Lee Wise is installed in Veterans Park Stamford, CT. Mauro was the studio assistant for figurative sculptor Richard McDermott Miller (1922-2004). She served in the role of Coker Master Sculptor at Brookgreen Gardens in South Carolina. Her bronze fountain, The Source, is in the permanent collection on the grounds of Brookgreen Gardens. In 2019 she created the Brookgreen Medal which is now part of the permanent collection of the British Museum in London, and the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC.
Ellen Schiffman of Weston Connecticut is a professional working artist for over 30 years, exhibiting work in galleries, and museums nationwide. Schiffman has exhibited extensively in Connecticut and New York and greater New England. She is a guildmember of Silvermine Arts Studio in New Canaan CT, and a member of the American Arts Council and Westport Art Collective in Connecticut. Schiffman is drawn to the historical and multi-cultural richness of fiber-making traditions. In addition to the richness, complexity, and beauty achieved with her fiber art, Schiffman is passionately committed to experimentation and exploration. Each work reflects a fascination with texture, pattern, and sculptural forms. Although fiber is often her jumping-off point, she considers herself a multimedia artist. She is an avid explorer of materials, making use of traditional art materials such as paint, ink, and clay. Schiffman also turns to unexpected, often commonplace materials in her artwork such as cotton twill tape, items from
nature, found objects, Q-tips, and more.
Isabella Saraceni of Newtown, Connecticut is a multimedia visual artist. A 2019 graduate of the University of Connecticut, she re- received a Bachelor of Fine Art in Painting. She has spent time studying in Florence Italy and has received a variety of awards including the University of Connecticut IDEA Grant. Saraceni has participated in several Connecticut galleries including the Five Points Annex Gallery in Torrington, VAIS Gallery in Storrs CT, and the Ely Center of Contemporary Art in New Haven CT.nature, found objects, Q-tips, and more.