Have you noticed the small cement platforms suddenly appearing in Bethel town center? Bethel Advocate has some exclusive information! An exciting Bethel Arts outdoor art exhibit is about to be installed in Bethel shortly, as you know from our past article, but we now have the names of the participating artists! The exhibit will feature the amazing work of ten artists from varied backgrounds. This is what we have been waiting for! Our town is quickly turning into an artists haven! We get the pleasure of viewing art in outdoor spaces and the art beautifies our town greens. These artists are the best of the best, long established in their careers, and we are fortunate to be able to exhibit their work here in Bethel.
Report by Paula Antolini
April 29, 2016 7:31AM EDT
Photo: Work in progress by Jim Felice, “The Circus Is In Town” – 2016, 128″ X 60″ steel, installation Bethel Connecticut Sculpture walk (coming soon).
BREAKING NEWS / BETHEL ADVOCATE EXCLUSIVE
HOT TOPIC: Bethel Arts Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit, Names of Artists Revealed – Exciting!
Have you noticed the small cement platforms suddenly appearing in Bethel town center? Bethel Advocate has some exclusive information! An exciting Bethel Arts outdoor art exhibit is about to be installed in Bethel shortly, as you know from our past article, but we now have the names of the participating artists!
The exhibit will feature the amazing work of ten artists from varied backgrounds. This is what we have been waiting for! Our town is quickly turning into an artists haven! We get the pleasure of viewing art in outdoor spaces and the art beautifies our town greens. These artists are the best of the best, long established in their careers, and we are fortunate to be able to exhibit their work here in Bethel.
Bethel Advocate is getting an exclusive sneak peek at the artists that are participating, we have the names: Murray Bodin, Dave Boyajian, Steven Brooks, Barbara D’Alessandro, D. L. Gerlach, Jim Felice, John Ferguson, Richard Pitts, Matt Rink, Glenn Zweygardt.
These artists are from varied backgrounds and geographic areas, with styles all their own. View a sampling of the biographies from a few of the participating artists below.
“The exhibit will last one year and will run from the spring of 2016 to the spring of 2017. Bethel’s downtown will be transformed into a place of curiosity and joy, as a collection of large sculptures invite area residents to ask questions and spark their curiosity as they try and decipher what these beautiful creations are trying to tell us.” –Bethel Arts
More info. coming shortly, check back!
Local artist Jim Felice is a painter and sculptor. He has exhibited throughout Westchester and Fairfield Counties in solo and group exhibitions including: Kouros Gallery and Sculpture Center, (Ridgefield, Ct.), A-Space Gallery, (West Haven Ct.), Scott and Bowne, (Kent Ct.), The Bartlett Arboretum, (Stamford Ct), The Time Warner Building (NYC), The Stamford Museum and Nature Center (Stamford, CT), Zoe and Floyd Gallery (Seymour, CT), The Sculpture Barn (New Fairfield, CT), Silvermine Guild Gallery, (New Canaan, Ct), Hiram Halle Memorial Library (Pound Ridge, NY), The Gallery at Onatru (South Salem, NY), Northern Westchester Center for the Arts (Mt. Kisco, NY), and Colby College (Waterville, ME).
Jim is the recipient of numerous awards including “Award of Excellence in Sculpture” at the Northern Westchester Center for the Arts (2000). He also won “Best in Sculpture” (1991), “2nd Prize in Sculpture” (1993) and “2nd Prize in Painting” (1994) all from juried exhibitions at the Stamford Art Association.
Jim’s craftsmanship and specialization in paint application has won him many restoration commissions by galleries, estates and collectors. He has restored sculpture by Alexander Calder, Anthony Caro, Roy Lichtenstein, Alexander Liberman, Henry Moore, Louise Nevelson, Claes Oldenburg, Kenny Scharf, and Joel Shapiro among others.
David Boyajian is an artist, art instructor, and the owner of David Boyajian Sculpture Studio in New Fairfield, Connecticut. In the early 1980s, Boyajian studied at Alfred University, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and earned his MFA from the Maryland Institute Rinehart School of Sculpture. Following his fine art education, Boyajian continued his studies while assisting figurative sculptors Wolfgang Behl, Elbert Weinberg, and Andrew Coppola.
Over the course of his thirty-plus-year career, Boyajian has shown his work in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including SculptureNow on The Mount, Edith Wharton’s home in Lenox, Massachusetts, Bull City Sculpture Show in Durham, North Carolina, and ‘Genesis,’ an outdoor solo show at the Robert Moses Sculpture Garden at Fordham University. ‘Genesis,’ received praise from bothThe New York Times and Review Magazine. “Boyajian’s buds and seeds rise well above the usual dross,” wrote Grace Glueck of The Times.
Boyajian’s numerous public commissions include “The Weaving Shuttle” and “The Eye of the Needle” at the Mansfield Town Square in Mansfield, Connecticut, “Lift,” a memorial to a former student at the Canterbury School in New Milford, and “Sanctuary” at the 9/11 Living Memorial at Sherwood Island for the state of Connecticut. His teaching career has spanned over twenty years at institutions such as Western Connecticut State University, Silvermine School of Art, and Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford. 2015 marks Boyajian’s twelfth year teaching metal, stone, and wood sculpture at his studio at David Boyajian Sculpture Studio.
Richard Pitts, originally from New Jersey, is a Pratt Institute graduate with a military background, who began with a studio on 18th Street, NYC, New York, is a founding member of the First Street Gallery now located in Chelsea, N.Y, (an artist run gallery), full professor of Fine Art at the Fashion Institute of Technology, founding member of Urban Studio Unbound, President of M55 Art.
“Since the 1970s, landscape has served as either framework or subject while the acquisition of meaning has shifted toward the viewer. Richard Pitts continues to explore the various metaphors inherent to the natural environment, suggesting that art is not only bridged with life but is also a product of it. In creating this new series of free-standing, abstract sculptures the artist lends form to the notion of placeless-ness, rendering a series of aesthetic intersections where personal narratives commune with the visual. Intended for both interior and exterior sites, Richard Pitts’ new selection of colorful, metallic objects free up the art experience even further by utilizing the tenets of formalism to touch upon a deeper sense of “being” in the world.
“Pitts has expanded into the third-dimension by forging the drawn line into a single, hand-held object. Extending this idea onto a series of surfaces that echoes the thick, black line seen in his earlier work, the artist compiles a series of randomly tailored surfaces that connect with one another to represent either frosty, wall-hung, starburst shapes or tall, wing-like forms. Pitts utilizes the drawn line as a springboard for sculptures that attempt to draw on their own, within the scope of physical space.
“Richard Pitts’ new sculptures are complex in that they symbolize time or, more simply, the thought or feeling of a particular moment. In 2001 Pitts began breaking down the painted figure into a series of panels that fit together in a puzzle-like fashion. This gradual separation of colors appeared five years later in a series of tall totem structures that reflected a variety of juxtaposing colors, patterns and textures, which were separated by a thick, undulating black line, echoing the construct of stained-glass windows. However in giving shape to a series of metaphysical characteristics that are rarely captured within figurative painting, Pitts has moved the idea of sculpture away from its multi-layered, object-based history and toward one’s personal mythology.”
Portions in quotes above written by Jill Conner
“Finding ones place in a relationship with nature is the theme of my sculpture. While working with materials such as metal and stone, a relationship between nature and myself is formed. Further, I want to tell stories and comment on my collective life experience and my perception of a collective consciousness? Hopefully, these ideas and expressions will enter into human consciousness and the fourth dimension.” -Glenn Zweygardt
“The works of Glenn Zweygardt are simultaneously ancient and contemporary. With his use of diverse materials – cast bronze, glass, iron, marble, stainless steel, stone and granite – he creates complex media sculptures that exemplify a master of the three dimensional form.
“Zweygardt possesses an uncanny ability to fuse dissimilar elements and concepts, natural occurring and fabricated forms, into structures that command the attention if the observer. This interaction of artist, nature and technology has a unifying affect on the observer’s imagery and psyche.
“Duplication and relationship is a recurring theme found throughout Zweygardt’s work. A carefully chosen stone, cast and duplicated in bronze, aluminum or steel becomes the basis of definite architectural themes that manifest in a range of sizes.
“Zweygardt’s mastery of the building process along with his ability to create enormous works of art from materials of tremendous mass has gained him international recognition and membership to the Berman Group, a cooperative of sculptors whose collective work spans virtually the entire spectrum of possibilities of “traditional” modernist sculpture.
“Kansas born, Zweygardt earned the BFA degree from Wichita State in 1967. He received the MFA from the Maryland Institute of Art in 1969 and is an emeritus Professor of Sculpture at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. Zweygardt works independently in his immense workshop in Alfred Station, New York. Here his work continues to evolve-varied shapes and rich surfaces, transparent and dense forms, concept and technical relationships, personal and collective perceptions-into fine art of eminent legacy.”
— Glenn Zweygardt biography page
“Over the years my work has moved grandually in the direction of elegance and simplicity. Heavy, bulbous forms have been replaced by dancing, wing-like forms. The welding process and respect for the qualities of the material are interrelated and affect the final piece. Recently, I have moved from cold rolled steel to Silicon Bronze and a whole new day as dawned.” –John Ferguson
John Ferguson: “This work is an expression, possibly a composite, of all the forms, both organic and manufactured, that are pleasing to me. The work has evolved in the direction of dancing, naturalistic forms such as blown leaves. Heavier cylindrical forms that could be associated with industry and my earlier work are still part of my lexicon.
“The tripartite composition is a given. Somewhere in the far corners of my art education, the idea was presented that “three” was the perfect number because it has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Obviously, this idea took hold.
“The fabrication process is important. My ideas are first realized in small styrofoam models. The models have to be accurately enlarged and reproduced in unyielding steel. This hands-on process stimulates my imagination and increases my vocabulary of forms.
—John Ferguson, August 1990
“Most of the sculptures that are pictured in my portfolio are made from steel, silicon bronze, and or Cor-Ten steel; shaped to create these beautiful and unique pieces of art … my Sculptures range in sizes anywhere from 12 in. to 30 ft. or larger. My signature color is Corvette red now known as Ferguson Red unless using the natural look of the Cor-Ten steel or silicon bronze. I have also been known to use other colors at client request.” —John Ferguson
Steven Brooks: Born in New York City, Brooks grew up in New Jersey and has lived in Connecticut since graduating from Pratt Institute with honors and a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design.
He was a licensed Architect in New York, an NCIDQ qualified Interior Designer and a LEED Accredited Professional with the US Green Building Council. Together with his business partner Frank Loffredo, they ran Loffredo Brooks Architects where as an interior designer, architect and industrial designer, Brooks was the recipient of IBD awards for seating and furniture systems and a number of architectural and interior design awards.
The design world also offered Brooks the opportunities of being an instructor at Paier College of Art in New Haven, the Parsons School of Design in New York City and an adjunct professor at the New York School of Interior Design.
After 25 years of wearing a suit and tie, Brooks said it has been a wonderful life changing direction to explore sculpture and the world of three dimensional art.
Meeting David Boyajian in 2009 awakened Brooks’ thoughts and desires to work three dimensionally to create forms and to manipulate space with a sense of movement and freedom. He said his art explores the relationship of positive and negative space and is about movement, energy and the inherent balance of forms and lines in steel. He is looking forward to continuing this journey of discovery and exploration.
That’s just a sampling, check back, we will have more info. and photos shortly!
Photo above: Bethel Advocate file photo from the Bethel Arts fundraising effort. Photos of actual exhibit coming shortly, exhibit is not installed yet.
ABOUT BETHEL ARTS
Bethel Arts is a community-based volunteer group that seeks to promote, build and support all facets of the arts and creative culture in the town of Bethel,Ct.
Supported by the town of Bethel, Bethel Chamber of Commerce, Cultural Alliance of Western CT, National Endowment for the Arts, State Department of Economic and Community Development – Office of the Arts and the Western CT State University Foundation; Bethel Arts is working with renowned sculptor David Boyajian and a variety of local artists to adorn Bethel’s downtown with a large scale outdoor sculpture exhibit.
Bethel Arts is 1/3 of the way to their goal as they received a $5,000 grant from the state of Connecticut to implement a one year art project. The exhibit will last one year and will run from the spring of 2016 to the spring of 2017. Bethel’s downtown will be transformed into a place of curiosity and joy, as a collection of large sculptures invite area residents to ask questions and spark their curiosity as they try and decipher what these beautiful creations are trying to tell us.
In order for this to happen, Bethel Arts needs our community to come together. Our goal is to enhance community participation in the public art process through engagement of the public. Being a part of the process, as opposed to watching it happen, will not only promote our community’s identity, it will celebrate Bethel’s unique character, history and diversity through a public art project.
We all know Bethel is great; let’s enhance our economic vitality by using public art to brand Bethel as a destination and add dimension to our civic spaces. The nonprofit arts and culture are a $653 million industry in the state of Connecticut. Nonprofit arts and culture organizations leverage $197.5 million in additional spending by art and culture audiences that pump into local restaurants, hotels, retail stores and other businesses. A typical art event can garner between $25-$30 per person, per event, not including the cost of admission or donation, on items such as meals, parking and babysitters. Factor in non-local audiences and that number increases to almost $40. Imagine the foot traffic and economic uptick a public sculpture walk would provide.
We’re not talking a simple investment in a pretty piece of artwork, we’re talking an investment in the community, an investment in your family, your neighbor and yourself. Let’s flourish as a locale that ensures our young people are not left to be raised solely in a pop culture and tabloid marketplace. Let’s take control of our future and establish our town’s ability to successfully undertake and support a major art installation.
The groundwork has been set, now it’s up to the businesses and residents of Bethel and the surrounding towns to support this project and inspire each other to build the bridge between cultures that will bring us together to generate an atmosphere of collaboration, growth, and vitality in our town.
With your help, we can bring Bethel’s culture and arts to the forefront and reach a milestone by establishing a flourishing community that participates in and supports the arts while enhancing our town’s standing as a regional destination.
For more information on Bethel Arts, go to our website at www.bethelartsct.org