Exhibition: Spring Heat

Wednesday, Apr 24, 2024 from 12:00pm to 5:00pm
Ely Center of Contemporary Art
51 Trumbull Street


Sariah Park

Yvonne Short & Rebecca West

Hanlyn Davies

Thinking about Water

Water Women

Nua Collective

Lionel Cruet

Kevin Hernandez Rosa

Kevin Hernandez Rosa: Based Kevin

During the summer of 2022, while undergoing treatment as an inpatient at the Institute of Living, Hernandez Rosa read "What You Practice is What You Have" by Zen awareness practitioner Cheri Huber. The book’s primary “practice tool” is a recording of “reassurances,” defined as “True statements, made by one’s center… meant to solidify the relationship between the human being (oneself) and the wise, compassionate awareness (the centered self)”. The book goes on to assign: “In your own voice, make a recording that reminds you of everything you need to remember so that you can make the choices you know you need to make, from center, to have the life you know is possible for you.”

“Although I found solace in the teachings of Huber's book during my recovery, I hesitated to create my own reassurance recording. I grappled with the notion that the ego-self and conditioned mind, as discussed in the book, might render statements centered around "I" or self-improvement debased. This artwork serves as my attempt at composing reassurances, albeit straying from the book's original purpose as a practice tool for a self and instead opting to share words apt for love in its pure form, and boundless freedom.” - Kevin Hernandez Rosa

Lionel Cruet: Sunburnt

Sunburnt features Cruet’s video performance 'Sun Simulacrums.’ The title alludes to the history of human civilizations and the use of the sun as a symbol of god, energy, power, and clarity. Ultimately, the performance challenges viewers to reflect on our role in the climate crisis and the delicate natural world on planet Earth. Other works featured include ‘As far as the eyes can see’ print series, ‘Exercises to understand how to be together (Hand open)’, a series of carbon prints, and ‘Without Horizons’, a large scale painting on polyethylene canvas. This industrial material is used in high risk areas and the orange color is indicative of caution and/or danger. Cruet uses these multiple media, which include experimental digital printing processes, performance, and audiovisual installations, to confront issues concerning ecology, geopolitics, and technology. Lionel Cruet was born in San Juan Puerto Rico, and lives and works in both New York City and San Juan. He received a Bachelor in Fine Arts from La Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Diseño en Puerto Rico, a Master in Fine Arts - DIAP (Digital Interdisciplinary Art Practice) from CUNY - The City College of New York, and a Master in Education from the College of Saint Rose.

Hanlyn Davies: This Bad Apple

This Bad Apple stems from Davies’ interest in growing apples in his New Haven backyard. It was observing the natural decay of these apples, while musing about the representation of ‘the apple’ in art, mythology, and folklore, that led to this series of works. This Bad Apple, 2019-2023, is a cautionary, allegorical tale for our current times. It is visualized in three works of archival pigment prints: one work comprises a set of thirteen prints; the other two works are individual prints. Each work uses an apple on its entropic journey to tell the tale. Hanlyn Davies lives and works in New Haven, Connecticut. Born in Gorseinon, Wales, he attended Swansea College of Art, and later earned his MFA from the Yale School of Art. His work has been exhibited in the United States, Europe, and Asia and is represented in numerous public and private collections.

Think About Water: Exquisite River

Exquisite River is a collaborative installation created by members of the Artists Think About Water collective (TAW). It meanders through two galleries. TAW includes over 30 environmental artists/activists in the US and abroad whose work addresses global water issues. Exquisite River is composed of 19 works of art evoking rivers. The images are connected to one another to form one continuous flowing river—a river of images of rivers.

For the exhibition at ECOCA, the 20 artists were inspired by the format of the Surrealist Exquisite Corpse game, in which one artist drew a head, folded the paper so it could not be seen, passed it to another artist who drew the next part of the body, and so on until the paper was unfolded to reveal the whole figure. In the spirit of artistic play and mimicking the fluid nature of rivers, the TAW collective has created an Exquisite River. For the exhibition, each artist created a section of a river in his or her own studio using their distinctive materials, processes and intentions and without seeing other artists’ contributions. The sections were then assembled into one long river that winds across the gallery walls. The goal of the exhibition is to bring awareness to the importance of rivers to the health of the environment and to encourage visitors to appreciate a river in their own lives.

Personal stories about each of the rivers represented in the exhibition, along with information about the artwork, bios of the artists, and links to their websites are available in a digital catalog accompanying the show.

Contributing Artists: Michelle Boyle, Diane Burko, Betsy Damon, Leila Daw, Rosalyn Driscoll, Susan Hoffman Fishman, Doug Fogelson, Fredericka Foster, Giana Gonzalez, Fritz Horstman, Basia Irland, Sant Khalsa, Stacy Levy, Jaanika Peerna, Ilana Manolson, Aviva Rahmani, Lisa Reindorf, Meridel Rubenstein, Leslie Sobel, Naoe Suzuki

Nua Collective: BLACKOUT

Scattered around the world, Nua Collective is a group of professional visual artists that collaborate together to create, share and support one another in their journey as artists. BLACKOUT marks our first physical exhibition.

Featuring 13 artists, this exhibition presents a unique series of lino prints that, in their creation and processing, have traveled the globe. Together, it makes an inquiry about our climate catastrophe and the energy crisis that we face once again.

The climate-related events of last summer have brought a stark realization to Nua Collective, as artists and viewers, forcing them to confront the harsh realities of humankind's impact on the planet. This series of work serves as a poignant reminder of the blackout they experience regarding the urgent need to address the problems that contribute to a steadily warming planet and the dire consequences that result. Starting with discussions and sharing, like all concepts explored by Nua Collective, they digitally came together to understand and consider the theories and ideas that formed BLACKOUT.

Independently, each artist created their works using various materials, such as painting, photography, pastel and other mixed media. Digitally rendered, the final pieces were sent to Scotland, where Nua Artist Robert Jackson laser cut negatives of these artworks and using a 19thcentury, traditional Colombian printing press, created unique editions that form the BLACKOUT exhibition.

Contributing Artists: Christina Geoghegan, Carol Healy, Caoimhe Heaney, Luke Hickey, Robert Jackson, Maria Markham, Paul McMahon, John Murray, Saoirse O’Sullivan, Katrina Tracuma, Eamonn B. Shanahan, Josh Stein, Anne Martin Walsh

Water Women: Flood 2.0

Scattered around the world, Nua Collective is a group of professional visual artists that collaborate together to create, share and support one another in their journey as artists. BLACKOUT marks our first physical exhibition. Krisanne Baker, Susan Hoffman Fishman and Leslie Sobel, the three artists who make up the Water Women are established artists whose individual practices focus on water in the context of climate change.

Flood 2.0 links future apocalyptic flood predictions to the ancient flood narrative of Noah and the world’s first apocalyptic flood. In the original Noah story, the Earth was flooded as a result of human greed, selfishness and immorality. Similarly, the predicted future apocalyptic flooding will occur as a result of the same human behaviors, which, this time, have caused significant environmental damage to the Earth itself.

The installation is comprised of 3 video projections, 45+ scrolls painted to imitate the motions of flood waters, a make-shift boat, sails and mast, and the performance of a Greek Chorus, which tells the story of Noa, the lone female survivor whose name in Hebrew means “action.” Flood 2.0’s goal is to use art, flood mythology and history to inspire community dialogue on local water issues. Water Women selected New Haven, CT as the site of the project’s second iteration because of its close proximity to both the Long Island Sound and the Connecticut River. The project’s videos incorporate documentary images of New Haven’s waterways and past floods. Flood 2.0 was first installed in 2023 at Five Points Gallery in Torrington, CT, a small inland community with a history of catastrophic flooding.

Sariah Park: Embedded Memory

The exhibition, Embedded Memory, addresses issues of identity, culture, and the act of making in relation to the Land. Sariah’s work asks important questions about how intrinsic identity informs what and how we make, and speaks to the devastating effects of overconsumption on the environment. This exhibition features work that repurposes textiles and damaged materials into new forms through her printing with waste series. Sariah’s work shows the transformation of material made immaterial, craft as a form of ceremony, and the transfer of energy and spirit into a living process, striving to become in balance with the natural world. Sariah Park is an interdisciplinary artist of European and Indigenous descent, and an enrolled member of the Chiricahua Apache Nation. Sariah’s work has been featured in Hyperallergic, the Wall Street Journal, Women’s Wear Daily, Vogue, Elle, and Harper’s Bazaar. She is a recent recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Fellowship in 2019, as well as artist grants from Creative Capital, Foundation for the Arts, and the CERF+. Her work is included in portfolios, traveling exhibitions, and private collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. She is currently Assistant Professor of Fashion Design and Social Justice at Parsons School of Design where she has been teaching art and design for the last thirteen years.

Yvonne Shortt & Rebecca West: Shedding My Toxic Core Part III

The concepts of scarcity and abundance have become more and more prevalent in how Shortt addresses her artistic practice. Scarcity is found across industries such as art, education, for-profit and not-for-profit organizations; essentially in society at large. Examples of what Shortt defines as scarcity are: competition, gatekeeping, hierarchies, and exclusivities. The concepts of abundance, Shortt finds, are found in “intentionality and freedom as well as sustainability from a financial, emotional, and environmental perspective.”

The act of making art is almost always tied to a material. One must take a material from its natural state to create, often with environmentally harmful means of manipulation. Shortt and West have been approaching sustainability from a materials perspective in their practice. They collaborate with beavers, using their discarded sticks to create pieces for play, conversation, and energy shifts. Shortt and West, a mother/daughter duo, will continue to investigate these concepts as they invite others to work with them in the gallery space for the duration of their exhibition, using abundance to source their art making techniques, such as creating paint from soil.

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