Three downtown art openings packed their respective houses on the night of December 3, coinciding with the l and the grand opening of the ice skating rink at Parade Plaza.
Traveling up State Street from the rink, the first gallery you come across is at 165 State Street which is featuring artists from the new London area. For this group showing, New London’s featured artists were asked “Who art thou?”
Provenance challenged artists to pick a single piece of work that describes them and their place in the community. Many artists struggle narrowing their work down to 10 or 20 pieces that fully describe them, but the participants of this exhibit did a beautiful job selecting only one.
Guido Garaycochea’s piece, “Arbol de la Vida (Tree of Life)” for example is “a reflection of my own journey of immigration... coming from my native Peru to Chile then north to the United States.” The tree with a bird and its eggs which he depicts in his work represents his connection to nature no matter where he travels.
Travel across the street at at 190 State Street and you will encounter the whimsical and humorous works of Clement Despard. He creates beautiful and delightful scenes fabricated from found materials such as feathers, thread spools, old toys and other trinkets.
As individuals move through the display, each piece elicits a smile as gallery goers pick up on the subtle and not so subtle messages in each piece, such as a beautiful valley made of peacock feathers in one corner and an exploding pope in another.
If you follow the flock around the corner to the at 19 Union Street you will arrive at the destination of the resident artists’ “Migration.” For the first time ever the annual resident artist show took place outside of the Hygienic Art galleries, helping to draw that gallery's crowd to other lesser known venues.
The artists took advantage of the large windows and wall space in the front room. The entire space was painted in a rich shade of pink, making it a beacon visible all the way from blocks away. They then placed life-sized silhouette likenesses of each of the participants on the walls and filled the room with pink balloons to complete the installation.
The show drew one of the biggest crowds of the year for the Pigeon Hole. “We’ve been getting lots of positive feedback” says Hygienic newcomer Travis Gibbs. Travis does detailed pen and pencil artwork and is working on an original character the “Anti-Hero.”
If you would like to visit any of these exhibits, they will all be on display through the month of December and into early January 2012.