The weather's warmer, the days are longer: Spring is on its way!
If you're looking to get out and explore the city this month there's plenty of great events to keep you busy.
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Welcome to our Bridgeport Art Trail newsletter, providing a listing of arts and cultural events.

The weather's warmer, the days are longer: Spring is on its way!
If you're looking to get out and explore the city this month there's plenty of great events to keep you busy.

Film buffs, check out The Bijou Theatre's Reel Law Series with the legal classic Primal Fear
Or if you're more literary, join emerging and established poets for their public readings at The Housatonic Museum of Art for "The Women Gather Poetry Event". Both are this Thursday, March 12th.

March is Women's History Month and the Nest Arts Factory hosts an opening reception for their latest exhibition "Women in Art" on Saturday, March 14th. Plus, same day Open Studios!

The Downtown Cabaret Theatre has a full calendar of adult and children's programs. See a performance by Celtic Thunder's Paul Byrom and The Bridgeport Theatre Company presents "Lord of the Flies" with two different versions featuring an all male and all female cast running in repertory.

And if you're looking to spend your day perusing some art, City Lights Gallery, Housatonic Museum of Art, and The Discovery Museum have new exhibits on view!

Check out all the details below.

-The Bridgeport Art Trail Team

For a year-round map/listing of area studios, galleries, and cultural organizations visit our Bridgeport Art Trail Program Guide.


Film: Reel Law Series Presents Primal Fear
The Bijou Theatre
Thursday, March 12th at 7pm

Movie Description: A high-profile slaying becomes the case of an ambitious attorney’s career in this legal thriller based on the novel by William Diehl. Richard Gere stars as Martin Vail, a famed defense lawyer who volunteers his services to Aaron Stampler (Edward Norton), a Kentucky teenager charged with the murder of a Chicago archbishop. Covered with blood, Aaron was captured after a foot chase broadcast live on TV, making a gleeful Vail certain that he could raise his profile by defending the obviously guilty suspect. Assigned to prosecute is Assistant District Attorney Janet Venable (Laura Linney), who is Vail’s ex-girlfriend. Vail’s case becomes more complicated than he expected when a psychologist, Dr. Molly Arrington (Frances McDormand) concludes that Stampler suffers from multiple personality disorder.

Vail also uncovers evidence that the archbishop was involved in a corrupt land scheme and may have molested young parishioners. Now the cynical, opportunistic attorney is faced with a daunting prospect, a client who may actually deserve his best defense. Its shocking, twist ending made Primal Fear (1996) a big box office hit and earned Norton, in his screen debut, an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Event Description: Stay after the film for a discussion on the legal issues raised. 

More Info

Literary: The Women Gather Poetry Event 
The Housatonic Museum of Art

Rescheduled Due to Weather: Thursday, March 12th, 6-9PM

EVENT DESCRIPTION: The Women Gather at Housatonic Museum of Art is hosted free of charge. These public readings by emerging and established poets is organized by Shanna T. Melton and sponsored by the Housatonic Museum of Art.  The series highlights the poetry of women and encourages writers from different aesthetic disciplines and traditions in order to broaden our community’s understanding of contemporary poetry.

This free event will be held in the Burt Chernow Galleries and the public is cordially invited to attend.

About the Poets
Jasmine Eaton a/k/a jazz-e is a spoken word artist/ poet and a native of Bridgeport, CT. She is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University, although she likes to say that it was the streets of Atlanta inspired her to write. She explores a myriad of topics, from the psychological chains of slavery, to hip hop, to friendship, to mental illness and, of course, love.

Darlene Brandon, affectionately known as Peaches, established herself as a professional performance poet in 2002. Since then, she has recorded a spoken word CD entitled Thick Like Peaches and has traveled and performed in several cities across the United States.

Iyapiphany, also known as Mwalima Sherry, has been performing since 1998. Her poetry is a verbal snapshot of her opinions, life experiences, and commentary on the condition and progress of Black people. 

Toya, more commonly known as Decipher the poet, has been writing poetry for over ten years. She made her spoken word debut in 2008. Since then, she has performed for neosoul recording artists, comedians, radio stations, and at Women of Faith conferences

Shanna Melton is a poet, painter and an art consultant from Bridgeport, Connecticut.  Currently, she serves as the Poetry Ambassador at Housatonic Community College curating many poetry events for the Bridgeport Community. 

More Info

Art Attribution: painting by Eva Kusmirek

Art Exhibition: Women in Art
The NEST Arts Factory Gallery
Opening reception: Saturday, March 14 from 2-4 pm
On View March 14 - April 3, 2015

Description:The female form has inspired artists throughout history. These five artists explore the feminine figure, face, and form both representationally and more abstractly, in a variety of media.

Featured Artists: Mindy Horn, Karen Kalkstein, Eva Kusmirek, Jill Morton, Allen Stamper

The artists of the NEST also welcome visitors during March's Open Studios on Saturday, March 14 from 11-4 pm. See artists at work, view the art, hear the music - the NEST is abuzz with creativity!

More Info

Theater: Lord of the Flies
The Bridgeport Theatre Company

March 19-29th, 2015

Lord of the Flies is a 1954 dystopian novel by Nobel Prize-winning English author William Golding about a group of boys stuck on an uninhabited island who try to govern themselves with disastrous results. Its stances on the already controversial subjects of human nature and individual welfare versus the common good earned it a spot on TIME magazine’s list of the 100 best English-language novels.

BTC will present two different versions of the play: one featuring an all-male cast and one featuring an all-female cast. The two versions will run in repertory. 

*Patrons who purchase tickets to return to additional performances will save $5 off of their return tickets.


More Info

Performance: Celtic’ Thunder’s Paul Byrom. Direct from Ireland
The Downtown Cabaret
March 14th at 8:30pm

Event Description: Paul Byrom is often hailed as one of Ireland’s premier tenors. The Dublin-born tenor began voice training when he was just seven years old. His talent as a tenor has taken him far and wide, and some of the many highlights of his career to date include performing for many dignitaries such as Irish President Mary McAleese, Emperor Akihito of Japan, and most recently for United States President, Barack Obama. Hhis latest album “This Is The Moment” debuted at No.1 on the World Billboard Charts.


More Info

Art attribution for image: Rick Shaefer
Art atrribution: (left) Untitled by Herm Freeman
Art atrribution: (right): Unwelcome Release by Camille Eskell

EXHIBITION: Black & White
City Lights Gallery
On View:  1/29/15 - 3/19/2015

Feelings of outrage, polarization, frustration and horror have risen throughout the nation as a result of recent fatal shootings and implementation of force that have exacerbated the ongoing tension between police and black men. Peaceful protests manifested by people of all ethnicities demonstrate the potential for harmony and solidarity among the races and in other cases acts of violence foment the negativity that separates BLACK & WHITE.

Is this issue as simple as Black & White? What are the responsibilities of media and entertainment industries to avoid promoting negative stereotypes? Many Americans felt like real progress was made when the country elected a black man into the White House for 2 terms. Current events demonstrate that cases of ongoing injustice still occur. Yet improvements have been made. Laws have been implemented; however the legal system can be manipulated and often works on a bias against people of color. 

These concerns and events flick the switch on our latent or overt prejudices and fears causing a psychological knee-jerk reaction, perhaps prompting some to take sides depending on the personal history or level of melanin in their skin. We can’t change history but we don’t have to repeat it. Will the wounds caused by suffering, injustices, fear and hatred ever heal? This exhibit is designed to raise awareness and prompt dialogue regarding the unresolved struggle between Black& White.

City Lights is a nonprofit arts organization that serves the community through art. This exhibit is designed to encourage dialogue. Views expressed are those of the individual artists.

Fairfield and New Haven County artists include: Francesca Andre, Suzanne Benton, Will Corprew, Dave Coelho, Allan Dudek, Camille Eskell, Herm Freeman, Iyaba Ibo Mandingo, Gerald Moore, Gerald Saladyga, Rick Shaefer, Gordon Skinner, Nomi Silverman, Gustavo Torres, Jahmane West. Views expressed are those of the individual artists.

BLACK & WHITE", in the news.

City Lights is located in downtown Bridgeport easily accessible from I-95, Route 8, the Post Rd and Metro North at 37 Markle Court Bridgeport  

More Info

Art Exhibition: Rick Shaefer: Drawing the Line
Housatonic Museum of Art

On View: February 12–March 27
Exhibition Description: Working primarily in velvety black-and-white, large-format compositions and multiple-paneled pieces are where Rick Shaefer feels most at home. With his background in photography influencing his careful tonal decisions, the Connecticut-born artist often chooses charcoal on vellum to execute his striking and detailed depictions of both animal and nature. Through an elegant use of line work, Shaefer’s subjects exude texture and dimensionality in both the physical and emotional realm.

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Art Exhibition: “Father Sky & Mother Earth”
The Discovery Museum & Planet

On View: February 19th-May 18th

Exhibition Description: From purple mountains to the vanishing prairie, an eclipse and blue moon, artist MIA celebrates our natural world with her oil paintings in this solo show. The exhibition features reflective landscapes rendered in a colorful, creatively-charged montage.

More Info

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