TORRINGTON, CT – Housatonic Community College (HCC) studio art adjunct professor Lydia Viscardi will present “Here and Hereafter,” a solo exhibition of mixed media painting and works on paper at Five Points Gallery from August 28 – October 3, 2020. The gallery, located at 33 Main St. in Torrington, CT, is free and open to the public Friday – Sunday from 1-5pm and by appointment. A Virtual Tour can be found on the Five Points Gallery website when the show opens and an Artists Talk will take place via zoom mid-September. Further information can be found by visiting www.fivepointsgallery.org or by calling 860.618.7222.
Depictions of heaven and hell were ubiquitous in Viscardi’s parochial school education, and subsequent Art History classes and countless visits to museums, cathedrals and churches reinforced the doctrines and didactic imagery that formed her impression of the afterlife. Viscardi says her beliefs have evolved beyond her early religious indoctrination, but the imagined euphoria of heaven and torments of hell remain indelibly lodged in her psyche. “Here and Hereafter” is part of the memento mori tradition dating back to Socrates, early Christianity, and the Netherlands 17th century still-life vanitas paintings, meant to remind us of our mortality.
Her paintings are divided into three realms: heaven, earth, and hell. They include oil and acrylic paint, metallic paper mounted to canvas, collage, found hand-crafted textiles, and fabric. She often uses fabric and textiles in her work as they are reminiscent of domesticity and security, and collage elements that include familiar photographic imagery. In “Here and Hereafter,” the textiles and collage counter the mystery of the unknown. The works on paper are collage and mixed media depictions of heaven above Earth.
Viscardi has taught at HCC for over ten years, mostly teaching Acrylic Painting and Drawing, but also Figure Drawing, 2D Design, Color Theory and Children’s Art. Additionally, she has worked for the Housatonic Museum of Art (HMA) both as a Media Coordinator and Collections Manager, and as a Museum Educator in HMA’s Peer Docent Program, working with students in Bridgeport schools, focusing on the architecture of downtown Bridgeport, walking distance from the college.
Lydia Viscardi is a representational mixed media artist whose exhibition venues include ODETTA Gallery, the Drawing Center, Walter Wickiser Gallery, Arcilesci Homberg Fine Arts, Sideshow Gallery, Active Space, Brooklyn Fireproof, Concepto Hudson and The Heckscher Museum of Art in New York; Center for Visual Arts, Power Art Center of William Paterson University and Victory Hall Drawing Rooms in New Jersey; Housatonic Museum of Art, The Barnum Museum, Ely Center for Contemporary Art, Hans Weiss Newspace Gallery of Manchester Community College, and Schelfhaudt Gallery of the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut, and Utah Art Alliance, Salt Lake City, UT. Viscardi’s work is in many private collections in the United States and in The Copelouzos Family Art Museum in Athens, Greece. While maintaining a studio in Newtown, CT, Viscardi also teaches Studio Art at Quinnipiac University.