“What is the point of making beautiful things, or of cherishing the beauty of the past, when ugliness runs rampant?” asks Alex Ross in the 2017 New Yorker magazine article “Making Art in a Time of Rage.” Ross later references a London gallery that, in the midst of World War II, prefaced the exhibition catalogue for Jacob Epstein’s flower paintings with a quote from Shakespeare: “How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea?”
It’s an age-old question. Are we as artists responsible for creating challenging works and addressing critical issues of our time head on? Are other expressions trite or selfish acts of escapism? Or can beauty be powerful? Can the act of creating beauty during a time of ugliness be a form of resistance in itself, offering a vision of all that humans can aspire to? Fifty-three artists offer responses to this question in Kehler Liddell Gallery's 2nd annual juried show, April 26th – May 27th, 2018.
Moderated by Lucy Gellman, Editor of The Arts Paper, the panel discussion will focus on the central question of the exhibition. Panelists include: Kwadwo Adae, artist, muralist and founder/owner of Adae Fine Art Academy, Luciana McClure, artist and founder of Nasty Women CT, and Ted Efremoff, artist and associate professor at Central CT State University.
Lucy Gellman, Editor of The Arts Paper (www.artspaper.org): Lucy is a lapsed art historian who loves wordplay almost as much as community building. Prior to her time at The Arts Paper she was a reporter at the New Haven Independent and station manager at WNHH Community Radio, where she still produces and hosts Kitchen Sync, a show about food and New Haven.
Kwadwo Adae, Artist/Muralist & Owner of Adae Fine Art Academy: Kwadwo Adae is a visual artist, muralist, and founder the Adae Fine Art Academy, an independent art school located in the Ninth Square of Downtown New Haven that provides drawing and painting instruction for children, young adults, and adults. He also runs a Mobile Art Studio service that provides on site art lessons to elderly artists in the Alzheimer's & dementia ward of Brookdale Senior Living in Woodbridge; for children in after school programs at the Foote School, for adults at the Parents' Foundation a transitional living facility for people living with schizophrenia, and he runs the young adult art group at the West Haven Mental Health Clinic. Adae partners with Arte, Inc. a Fair Haven based nonprofit Latino services organization that allows the Mobile Art Studio to provide art lessons to children after school programs and senior artists at Casa Otoñal free of charge. When he is not teaching, Adae is fully committed to contributing to the discourse of public art in our community by installing murals. To date he has installed 9 murals in the Greater New Haven area, 2 in Guatemala, and one in India. He was the recipient of an FY18 project grant from the Connecticut Office of the Arts and is currently fundraising for the installation of 18 x 106 foot mural on the Farmington Canal Greenway with the theme of Women's Empowerment beginning this summer.
Luciana McClure, Artist & Founder of Nasty Women CT: Luciana McClure is a multi visual artist, photographer and educator. She is the founding organizer of the Nasty Women movement in New Haven and leads Nasty Women Connecticut. Using art as a vehicle for communication, Lucy and the Nasty Women created a platform for organization and resistance to the current administration and its policies. Nasty Women Connecticut seeks to unite and mobilize our communities through the arts, collaborate with other local organizations that share a philosophy of equality to all, and create a platform of inclusion through the arts and its accessibility to all people.
Ted Efrenoff, Artist & Associate Professor at Central CT State University: Ted Efremoff, born in Moscow, Russia, is a cross-disciplinary artist engaged with performance, video, installation and social practice. Spurred by his personal interest in social justice, he envisions creative collaborative activity as an instrument that builds critical relationships between people. His art explores the personal and cultural constraints ingrained within prevailing political, economic, and social power structures. In the U.S. Efremoff has presented his work at Winkleman and Sideshow galleries in New York City, The Museum of American Art in Philadelphia, Free Speech TV and many other venues. Internationally his work has been seen at the Gongju National Museum in South Korea, The National Center of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia, The National Palace of Culture in Sofia, Bulgaria and The Center for Social Innovation in Vienna, Austria. His work is in the collections of the Sound Museum of Rome, The Los Angeles Center for Digital Arts and the Culture House of Bad Sobernheim, Germany. He is also currently an Associate Professor of Photo, Video and New Media at Central Connecticut State University, and teaches a course called "Social Practice in Art."
This program is made possible with support from the City of New Haven Mayor's Community Arts Grants Program, and the Department of Economic and Community Development, CT Office of the Arts, which also receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.