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It’s June and Bridgeport arts and culture is heating up with several outdoor live music events, special Barnum Festival programming, and unique exhibitions!
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BRIDGEPORT ART TRAIL NEWSLETTER

Welcome to our Bridgeport Art Trail newsletter, providing a listing of arts and cultural events.

It’s June and Bridgeport arts and culture is heating up with several outdoor live music events, special Barnum Festival programming, and unique exhibitions!

This week The Housatonic Museum of Art’s new exhibit “Remythologies: New Inventions of Old Stories” opens Thursday, June 11th. Or film buffs can catch the classic Murder in the First as part of the Bijou Theatre’s “Reel Law” series.

Writers can share and develop their craft at the workshop “The Writer’s Group” at City Lights Gallery. City Lights Gallery also has its exhibit “A Lifetime Making Comics” on view.

Downtown Thursdays, McLevy Green’s summer concert series kicks off Thursday, July 18th with Alternate Roots and Remember September. And for more outdoor music check out the Bridgeport Symphony Pops Concert at Seaside Park for the Skyblast Fireworks Show!

Plus, we’re happy to feature artist Caroline Valites as our June Artist of the Month!

Valites, who has a studio and is a Board Member at Bridgeport’s American Fabrics Building (AMFAB), works with alternative process photography, installation, sound, and sculpture. She describes her work, “Through these mediums I explore the complexities that exist between human suffering and the phenomenon of the physical world in which we live.  Tools such as photography are emblematic of our difficulties with loss.”
 
Be sure to check out all the details below!

-The Bridgeport Art Trail Team

Check out the full calendar of Bridgeport Art listings at the Bridgeport Art Trail Website.

VISIT THE BRIDGEPORT ART TRAIL WEBSITE

ART EXHIBIT : Remythologies: New Inventions of Old Stories
Housatonic Museum of Art, The Burt Chernow Galleries
Reception Thursday, June 11 from 5:30 – 7:00 pm
On View: June 11 through July 24, 2015


Event Description:
The Housatonic Museum of Art presents Remythologies: New Inventions of Old Stories curated by Stephen Vincent Kobasa. This exhibit will be on view in the Burt Chernow Galleries, 900 Lafayette Blvd., Bridgeport, CT., from June 11 through July 24, 2015 with a reception on Thursday, June 11 from 5:30 – 7:00 pm. The Burt Chernow Galleries are free and open to the public. Click here for gallery hours.

How do we account for the survival of stories? Poets and cultures die, but their necessary and remarkable lies still continue to be accounted for. Although the forms these works are given also have a history, it is what they contain that is the most accurate measure of our defining memories.

There is no art-making that does not confront the past, but there is art which reinvents that past without abandoning it. A struggle against tradition still depends upon what it opposes. As the writer Berger Evans once noted, “We may be through with the past, but the past is not through with us.” This exhibition is meant as a study of what our past still demands that we must either embrace or defy.

Artists included in this exhibit: Jason Buening (New Haven), Susan Classen-Sullivan (Canterbury), Jaclyn Conley (Brooklyn), William DeLottie (Pomfret), Kevin Harty (West Haven), Will Holub (Mystic), Brian Huff (New Haven), Nathan Lewis (Seymour), Phil Lique (New Haven), Nomi Lubin (New Haven), Willard Lustenader (New Haven), Margaret Roleke (Redding), Joseph Saccio (New Haven), Kyle Staver (Brooklyn, NY) and Mark Williams (New Haven).
 

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FILM: Reel Law - Murder in the First
Bijou Theatre
Thursday, June 11th
Doors open: 6:00pm, Film starts: 7:00pm

Film Description: This shocking prison drama was inspired by a true story. In 1938, Henri Young (Kevin Bacon), sentenced to Alcatraz for stealing $5, attempted to escape from prison with three other prisoners. One of the escapees was captured, and to curry favor with Warden Glenn (Gary Oldman), he informed on the others. Young was soon brought back to custody, and was to be punished by spending 19 days in solitary confinement. Nineteen days stretched into three years, in which Young was kept in a pit with no light, no toilet, no furniture, and nothing to read. Young emerged from solitary a vengeful madman, and he quickly murdered the convict who turned him in. Young was put on trial for the killing, and assigned a first-time public defender, James Stamphill (Christian Slater). Stamphill was horrified by Young’s tales of the conditions at Alcatraz, and he used them as the basis of his defense for his client, believing that anyone would be driven to madness and murder if they had been treated the same way as Young. Murder in the First also features Embeth Davidtz, William H. Macy, Brad Dourif, and R. Lee Ermey.

Event Description: Stay after for a discussion of the legal issues discussed in the film. Refreshments provided. 

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LITERARY: The Writers Group
City Lights Gallery
Saturday, June 13th, 2-4pm
 
Event Description: The Writer's Group is a space for people who love words to gather and create new work. The mission is to use prompts and other creative tools to motivate the creative process. It also creates a space to share and get a reaction from other writers who can advise us on how to revise and enhance our work. This is not an open mic or showcase. This is a place to develop our writing.

Bring paper, a pen and an open mind.
Admission is free

More Info

LIVE MUSIC: Downtown Thursdays
McLevy Green
Thursday’s in June & July, 5-8pm
Starting June 18th

 
Event Description: Downtown Thursdays is a FREE weekly outdoor summer concert series that happens every Thursday at McLevy Green (5:30-9PM) in Downtown Bridgeport from June 18 to July 23.
 
Downtown Thursdays features local and area musicians. Lawn chairs and leashed pets are welcome! Invite your friends, family, co-workers and neighbors, and visit some of the fantastic downtown restaurants and businesses.
 
The Alternate Routes w/Remember September
June 18, 2015

 
For the first concert of 2015 on June 18, we are thrilled to bring you two amazing rock bands that call this area home… The Alternate Routes and Remember September!
 
Remember September is a Trumbull, CT based indie rock band that has come a long way since forming nearly seven years ago. Their harmonic blending of vocals and instrumentation creates a truly unique sound which appeals to a wide variety of musical genres and can be enjoyed across all age ranges.
 
The Alternate Routes is an American rock band duo who’ve been writing songs and playing shows, and touring in their trusty Ford Econoline Van for over a decade. Taking pride in their unique sound and versatility, The Alternate Routes are equally comfortable getting loud as a six piece in a rock club or stripping things down as an acoustic duo for theaters and intimate venues.

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SPECIAL EVENT : Greater Bridgeport Symphony Pops Concert
Friday, June 26, 2015 at the Bandshell in Seaside Park
Sponsored by Elizabeth M. Pfriem
Concert begins at 7:30 PM
Concert is FREE

 VIP seating available for $25 per person

 
Event Description: The Greater Bridgeport Symphony returns to Seaside Park for a fabulous Pops concert under the stars, the prelude to the exciting Skyblast Fireworks show. Bring your lawn chair or blanket and snacks, or come to the Barnum Skyblast Clambake!

Arrive early (6:15 PM) and enjoy Steve D’Agostino – Singin’ & Swingin’ The Great American Songbook.

Steve D’Agostino has been performing the songs from the “Great American Songbook” for over 30 years. His journey to a commitment of “expression” through the music and lyrics made popular in the United States and around the world by vocalist such as Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Tony Bennett, Dean Martin, took root a long time ago.

Steve’s years of experience are evident with every performance as he tenderly delivers melodies on ballads or relaxes the placement of a lyric on any “medium” to “up-tempo” swing tune. This vocal artistry has taken Steve from “coast to coast” and through the dedication of he and his live band, Steve has become “the standard” of this genre of music on the local scene.
 
Steve’s debut album “The Great American Songbook” has sold internationally since 2010. His second album, “Live At The Metropolitan Room” was just released in April 2015. http://www.stevedagostino.com/
 

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SPECIAL EVENT: Bridgeport Arts Fest
McLevy Green
SAVE THE DATE: July 11th

Event Description: The Bridgeport Arts Fest is a one day celebration of LOCAL + ORIGINAL art, artists, crafters, community organizations and performers that takes place in downtown Bridgeport at historic McLevy Green on July 11, 2015 from 10am to 6pm, and is followed immediately by the After-Party (6-11pm). The Arts Fest is a family- and community-friendly affair and is FREE to attend. In addition to artists, you’ll enjoy live entertainment, activities, demonstrations and area food and drinks.

 

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CALL FOR MODELS AND INTERVIEWS: Gender Projected

Gender, Projected is currently seeking models for City Lights Gallery’s 5th Annual “SAMESEX” Exhibit, which opens on July 9th, 2015 in Bridgeport, CT. If you or anyone you know is interested in modeling, please contact us at genderprojected@gmail.com.

You can also get involved by visiting 
http://genderprojected.wix.com/gender-projected

More Info

CURRENT EXHIBITIONS ON VIEW

ART EXHIBITION: "A Lifetime Making Comics"
City Lights Gallery
On Exhibition: May 28th-June 27th 2015


Event Description:
SHAZAAM! Look up in the sky… it is a bird, a plane… No, it's the City Lights banner at 37 Markle Court… heralding the new exhibit, “A LIFETIME MAKING COMICS” featuring the creators and artists of Beetle Bailey, the Flash, Superman, DONDI, Wonder Woman, Dennis the Menace, The Green Lantern, Hi and Lois, Batman and more. The exhibit is free and open to the public  and will run to June 27, 2015. .

View original art, working sketches, prints and original copies for sale.  Local artists include, Chance Brown, Frank McLaughlin, Mort, Brian and Greg Walker and Irwin Hasen.  This exhibit is in memory of Irwin, who recently passed at 96, after a long lifetime of making comics, which included the comic strip DONDI. Special Thanks to Frank McLaughlin for his assistance with the coordination of the exhibit which will also include chosen work of his students from Paeir School of Art in Hamden.

Check out the article "Comic-book legend Irwin Hasen remembered at City Lights" in the CT Post!

More Info


Art Attribution: Beetle Bailey by Mort, Brian and Greg Walker  Dondi and All Star Comics illustrations by Irwin Hasen
 FEATURED ARTIST: JUNE
 CAROLINE VALITES

Photographic Skeuomorph

ARTIST STATEMENT
Our actions and thoughts are negotiated within the privacy of our minds.This isolation is one of the greatest and most difficult elements of being.  Language, spoken or physical, is our only conduit for relaying thoughts to one another, and is just as complex and fragile a system as light or sound. As we continue to participate in a technologically driven culture of connectivity and distance our relationship to the corporeal becomes more and more significant and at stake.
 
I work with alternative process photography, installation, sound, and sculpture.  Through these mediums I explore the complexities that exist between human suffering and the phenomenon of the physical world in which we live.  Tools such as photography are emblematic of our difficulties with loss.  The photograph is symbolic of our longing to make a moment permanent.  Science and religion attempt to answer many of our difficult existential questions but both are inadequate.  As a society we have designed technologies such as the Internet that attempt to bridge the distance between us metaphorically and physically.  Ironically, the internet and its devices become both a conduit and a barrier.  The Internet allows us to passively communicate, but lessens our evolvement and effect on one another.
Language, spoken or physical, is our only conduit for relaying thoughts to one another, and is just as complex and fragile a system as light or sound… I work with alternative process photography, installation, sound, and sculpture.  Through these mediums I explore the complexities that exist between human suffering and the phenomenon of the physical world in which we live.
I am classically trained in analogue and alternative photographic mediums.  I treat photography as a material.  I am interested in processes that are rigorous and methodical in their preparation and practice.  Although working in the darkroom is an experience I enjoy most, the lag between making and viewing limits the viewer’s ability to see evidence of the process in the final image.  In practicing photography I find myself most interested in the camera as an apparatus.  The camera is much like the human body; it sees, absorbs and records memory.  For me, installation enables the viewer to become both participants and observers in the work.  I use room size camera obscuras, the pinhole, light and projection as well as magnetism and sound in my installations.
 
Where there are connections there are possibilities for gaps.  Much of my work expresses anxieties associated with uncertainty.  Whether it is love and loss, science and religion, language and empathy, or technology and communication as humans we ebb and flow through moments of clarity where we ask questions that lead back to moments of entropic confusion.
A Series Between Events
Where there are connections there are possibilities for gaps.  Much of my work expresses anxieties associated with uncertainty.  Whether it is love and loss, science and religion, language and empathy, or technology and communication as humans we ebb and flow through moments of clarity where we ask questions that lead back to moments of entropic confusion.
Q. How would you describe your artwork/style?
A. My work is most often photographic based, but I do not lend myself to a specific medium.  It straddles the line between conceptual and process oriented art.  I use metaphor to create emotionally charged work that often deals with uncertainty and loss.  Ultimately my work is autobiographical, but that may not be apparent to the viewer.  

Q. What medium do you work in?
A. I do not discriminate against media, however I tend to work with ephemeral and non-material like media such as light, sound, and magnetism.  I always love to get my hands in alternative photographic chemistry.  I also enjoy building and making interactive installations.  

Q. What is your process like? 
A. It depends, I typically have two modes of working, but it’s usually project based.  One mode is to plan a project based off of conceptual components that will be the basis for most of the decisions in the work.  The other process is simply experimenting.  Whether it is darkroom photography or the double slit theory, I become fascinated with the system, and it then becomes a starting point for a project.
What inspires you?
Physical phenomenology, and my background in science and photography are not only inspiration but incorporated as elements within my work. 
Corporeal Thresholds
Q. How do you think you’ve changed or developed as an artist?
A. In my formative years I strictly used photography as my medium.  During my time in grad school at the University of Massachusetts Amherst I began to use sound, light, wood, sculpture and installation.  My art has always had a psychological and philosophical component but during grad school I was able hone in and develop a deeper understanding of my work.

Q. Can you tell me about your role at the American Fabrics Building?
A. Currently, I have a studio at the American Fabrics Building and I am on the board, which organizes events such as the American Fabrics Open Studios.  I organized and participate in a weekly academic based crit group.  Our goal is to facilitate conversation and excitement about art making, and to foster collaborations and connections outside the academic sphere.  

Q. What was one of your favorite projects to be a part of?
A. Last open studios I organised a participatory installation in the parking lot of the American Fabrics building.  I set up a camera obscura looking out at a purposely upside down and backwards sculpture fixed to the side of the building.  My part was to explain what a camera obscura is and I encouraged them to photograph their experience with their smartphone cameras.  I loved seeing the joy on everyone’s face when they realized they were seeing the outside world projected inside.  
 
You can look at their beautiful work on the American Fabrics Facebook page here:
 
Q. Bridgeport continues to be a site that artists are attracted to. Why did you decide to pursue your art here in Bridgeport at AMFAB? How do you think the arts can impact the city?

A. I studied alternative photographic processes under Thomas Mezzanotte at the American Fabrics Building on and off from 2001-2010.  During my intern and assistantship I became friends with the community and decided to share a space with Richard Killearney of Ocheltree design.  Not only did I bond with the artists in the building but we have such a huge range of skill and talent that as a community we can accomplish anything.  If I need help with a welding project, sewing project, graphic design project - there is someone who would love to help.  Artists impact cities because we have such an incredible ability to foster community and problem solve.  We are great at organizing and creating events that build morale and excitement.   
 
Q. Anything else you'd like to share?
A. Stay tuned for updates on upcoming exhibits and events! 

Learn More about Caroline Valites at:  www.carolinevalites.com
Camera Obscura
Wave Propogration Between Two Absolutes 
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