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News : Art Apr 22, 2009 - 2:59 AM

Westport Arts Center presents “House Project” art exhibition

By Westport Arts Center

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Abel Rodriguez, Corner 1, mixed media installation
In conjunction with Westport Arts Center’s fortieth anniversary and the exhibition “Home,” Westport Arts Center Director of Visual Arts Terri C. Smith and Visual Arts Assistant Maura Frana are curating an exhibition event called “House Project.”

The art exhibition will take place in an unoccupied home at 54 Bayberry Lane, Westport, on Saturday, April 25, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, April 26, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. There will be a public reception on Saturday, April 25, 5 to 7 p.m.

“House Project” will include individual artworks and installations as well as a handful of ephemera and objects from nearby collections. The artists in the exhibition are cross generational – for example, veteran photographer Larry Silver and Yale MFA student/photographer David Bush are both exhibiting work.

“’House Project’ hopes to expand the idea of how home can influence, enrich, and perhaps complicate the artistic process,” said Ms. Smith. “The associations, like the installation, are loose and improvisational, giving each viewer the room to incorporate his or her own perspective about how the works might allude to or question domestic spaces and experiences.”

This Connecticut-inspired exhibition is the first curatorial project that Smith has undertaken, since taking on the new position of Director of Visual Arts at WAC in early February. According to Executive Director Nancy Heller, “Given the increasing importance the visual arts as a springboard for our integrated arts programming, we are thrilled to have the vision and energy of an experienced curator like Terri to help us develop engaging exhibitions for the community. With House Project, Terri has been able to meet artists from Norwalk through New Haven, so that she is aware of the wealth of talent in the region as she plans future shows.”

“Conceiving and executing the ‘House Project’ exhibition happened quickly after arriving as the Director of Visual Arts at the Center,” said Smith. “I thought of having an exhibition that was inspired by Connecticut artists and in an empty house before I knew a single artist here. So, I see ‘House Project’ as a result of my early explorations of artists and collections in the area -- a process that will continue as I get to know the community. I am especially excited about the mix of generations in this exhibition. Bringing Yale MFA students such as Alex da Corte and David Bush into the same space as artists with more than 30 years of experience, like Alberta Cifolelli and James Reed -- and then adding emerging local artists such as Mauricio Higuera and Jahmane to the mix -- has made curating this exhibition fun for me. Bringing gems into the exhibition from artists' collections is also a thrill, because it opens it up to objects that range from 19th century French prints to kitsch clocks for the kitchen to artworks by non-local contemporary artists such as Jim Dine and Loretta Lux.”

Prior to coming on as the Director of Visual Arts at the Westport Arts Center, Ms. Smith was the Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at Cheekwood Museum of Art in Nashville, Tennessee, where she worked for 12 years, developing an award-winning program for contemporary art in the Southeast and receiving a Warhol Grant before returning to school. She then received her Masters from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College in 2008. She has also worked with founding Fluxus member Alison Knowles, photographer and musician Chris Stein with archiving projects and is currently the Curator/Director of Black Hole Space, a portable art venue conceived by artist Joshua Kit Clayton. Ms. Smith has curated over 70 shows, working with such artists as Weston Charles, Tim Davis, Roe Ethridge, Kerry James Marshall, Robert Ryman and Zhang Huan.

Artists in “House Project” are:

From Westport: Jocelyn Braxton Armstrong, Alberta Cifolelli, Sandi Fifield, Frances Palmer, Alyse Rosner, Charles Rozier, Robert Satter, Larry Silver

From Norwalk: Joseph Fucigna, Mauricio Higuera, Jahmane, Richard Klein

From Bridgeport: James Reed, Denyse Schmidt

From New Haven: Lauren Adolfsen, David Bush, Alex da Corte, Nathan Heiges, Jo Nigoghossian, Bradley Peters, Abel Rodriguez, Allison Sexton

From Fairfield: Janine Brown, Max Weinbach

Other artists are: Meredith Allen, Richard Anuszkiewicz, Keyvan (Kvon) Behpour, Ivan Biro, Lorraine Chamberlain, Honoré Daumier, Jim Dine, Xenia Fedorchenko, Joan Fitzsimmons, Paul Kaiser, Samantha Knapp, Bernd Krauss, Loretta Lux, Dorothy Mayhall, George Nick, Jaclyn Podlaski, Lisa Siegal, John Paul Wrobbel, and Lin Yan

The exhibition is sponsored by Connecticut Cottages & Gardens and FineHomesUSA-Connecticut.

Admission is free for WAC members, $5 for non-members.

The Westport Arts Center is a visual and performing arts organization dedicated to creating arts experiences that contribute to individual growth and enrich the community. The Westport Arts Center is supported with funds from The Artur and Heida Hermanns Holde Foundation, Inc., Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, Fairfield County Bank, Gault, Inc., U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management, Westport Sunrise Rotary Young Voices Program, and Xerox Foundation.

For tickets and information, contact Westport Arts Center at 203-222-7070, go to the website at www.westportartscenter.org, or visit the gallery, M-F, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sat. and Sun. from 12 noon to 4 p.m., at 51 Riverside Avenue, Westport.

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