AMERICAN MURAL PROJECT PRESENTS THE LARGEST INDOOR COLLABORATIVE ARTWORK IN THE WORLD; EXHIBIT OPENS IN WINSTED, CT, ON JUNE 18

The American Mural Project (AMP), home of the largest indoor collaborative artwork in the world, today announced the opening of the new exhibition with regular hours beginning Saturday, June 18, 2022. The massive three-dimensional mural—measuring 120 feet long and five stories high—reveals a visual narrative of Americans at work and celebrates the various professions that have shaped American culture over the past century. Founded by artist Ellen Griesedieck in 2001, AMP’s highly-anticipated debut follows 22 years of research and design, mural assembly and installation, and renovation to the historic mill building in downtown Winsted.

Incorporating artistic contributions from thousands of children across the country, the mural features a vivid compilation of three-dimensional sculptural vignettes portraying Americans at work—from heart surgeons to steel workers, firefighters to farmers, school teachers to fabricators of a 747 aircraft, and more. Constructed with unconventional materials including honeycomb aluminum panels, blown glass, clay, reclaimed wood, native indigo, and spackle, the mural offers an optical journey and sensory adventure through the past 100 years of work in America.

A veteran artist, photographer, and designer, Ellen Griesedieck first conceived of the mural in 1999, with a vision to create a giant collaborative artwork that celebrates American ingenuity, productivity, and commitment to work. Depicting real men and women Griesedieck documented in her travels across the country, the extensive project was driven by her mission to empower and challenge others, especially children—not only by educating them on the varying types of work happening around them but by involving them in the mural’s creation.

“It is pretty wonderful to think that this idea, two decades in the making, has come full circle. I have logged a lot of time painting large panels in my studio. Maybe more memorable are the weeks I have spent working on projects with thousands of kids and adults across the country. This is not one artist’s idea but the work of many in collaboration,” notes Ellen Griesedieck, artist and founder of the American Mural Project. “None of this could have happened without help from the same American workers I am honoring in the mural. They created it with me, they shared every tool and innovative idea. The mural is standing thanks to an unprecedented collaboration with kids, teachers, donors, and professional tradespeople.”

Through partnerships with schools, other nonprofits, and professionals in a wide range of fields—including NASA, Boeing, Habitat for Humanity, and HealthCorps—AMP has engaged more than 15,000 students and adults across the country in creating pieces of the mural. AMP has led projects with children from preschool to high school on artwork addressing health, fitness, conservation, energy alternatives, space exploration, and more. Children who have participated in the mural’s creation have blown glass, sculpted clay, danced in paint, learned the indigo-dyeing process, and made relief sculptures in wet spackle. AMP’s multi-state art collaborations are ongoing and intend to provide more children the opportunity to discover and explore interests and abilities in themselves, as well as possibilities in the world, that they may not have imagined before.

“The aspects that the American Mural Project celebrates—innovation, discovery, and ingenuity—match the exact spirit that the workforce here in Connecticut has delivered for many decades, which is why it is so appropriate that this exhibition is on display in our state,” Governor Ned Lamont said. “Viewing this collaborative mural is an incredible educational and artistic experience, and I encourage everyone to take the opportunity to check it out.”

In 2006, AMP purchased two vacant mill buildings and three surrounding acres on Whiting Street in Winsted, Connecticut, adjacent to a beehive of artists and artisans in the Whiting Mill complex, in close proximity to Winsted’s downtown area.

Extensive cleanup of AMP’s property in 2008 was made possible through a Federal Brownfields grant, allowing for the first two phases of renovation to occur. The State of Connecticut awarded a $1 Million challenge grant for the first phase of construction on the mural building, which included raising the roof thirty feet to allow for the installation of the nearly five-story mural, and enabled the building to open to the public on the first level and education programs to begin on-site. The final phase of construction, projected in the forthcoming years, involves the renovation of the second mill building for use as an education and visitor center, the addition of an atrium connecting the two buildings, and the development of the three surrounding acres of grounds for outdoor use.

“Downtown Winsted is well on its way to achieving a true renaissance, and one of the crown jewels of that renaissance is the opening of the American Mural Project. AMP represents a key cultural and artistic addition to the state as a whole, and Winsted is incredibly fortunate to be the host community for this amazing attraction. The mural itself is a stunning sight to behold, and I hope that residents and visitors alike will make it a priority to enjoy this wonder in our own backyard,” says Joshua Steele Kelly, town manager and CEO of the Town of Winchester, Connecticut.

Beyond the mural exhibit, education programs are AMP’s primary focus and include on- and off-site programs for schools, teacher professional development workshops, after-school enrichment sessions, summer programs, as well as an apprentice-style internship program for high school and college students.

“The American Mural Project represents the creative hope and aspirations of many communities. It serves as a beacon of the world we all want to live in someday,” notes Bill Strickland, founder and executive chairman, Manchester Bidwell Corporation, and partner on AMP’s Pennsylvania collaborative project.

AMP is located at 90 Whiting Street in Winsted, Connecticut, and is open Friday and Saturday, 10am–5pm, and Sunday, 12–5pm, year-round. Additional Thursday hours are planned. Check AMP’s website for current hours. $12 adults, $10 seniors and veterans, $5 students, and free for children ages 5 and younger. $25 unlimited access pass, for use during open hours in 2022. Tickets and passes can be purchased at americanmuralproject.org or in person. To view AMP’s extensive video library, click HERE.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Ellen Griesedieck is the founder and creator of the American Mural Project (AMP). She began her art career designing logos for professional athletes and photographing for a variety of national print publications, including Sports Illustrated, People, Road and Track, Ladies Home Journal, World Tennis, and Golf. In addition, she covered major sports events, including NFL Football, Wimbledon, PGA Golf and Masters, and the final five Mohammed Ali fights. Ellen’s paintings have been exhibited in New York, Connecticut, and Paris. She has been commissioned to do paintings for The New York Times, Times Mirror Magazines, and CBS Television, as well as for Miller Brewing Co., General Motors, and New York Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. Ellen designed the original Newman’s Own labels and serves as a consultant for the company’s ongoing label designs.

Founded in 2001 by artist Ellen Griesedieck, the American Mural Project (AMP) is a nonprofit organization focused on honoring work in America. AMP is home to the largest indoor collaborative artwork in the world—a three-dimensional mural 120-feet long and five stories high. The mural pays tribute to the American worker and highlights the varying types of work that have shaped the country over the last century. Its mission is to inspire, to educate, to invite collaboration, and to reveal to people of all ages the many contributions they can make to American culture. Programming is currently offered for schools and teachers, after-school partnerships, summer enrichment sessions, and an apprentice-style internship program.

Lead funding for the American Mural Project has been provided by the Newman’s Own Foundation, Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation, and the Department of Economic and Community Development/Connecticut Office of the Arts, which also receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Recent additional support has been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, CT Humanities (CTH), with funding provided by the Connecticut State Department of Economic and Community Development/Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA) from the Connecticut State Legislature, the Maximilian E. and Marion O. Hoffman Foundation, and Northwest Community Bank.

The Trained Eye: The Art of Railroads & Stations @ Lockwood Mathews Mansion

The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum will open a new exhibition entitled, The Trained Eye: The Art of Railroads & Stations, which will run through Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020.

A subject matter explored by some of the great artists of the 19th and early 20th centuries, such as Claude Monet, Edward Hopper, and Camille Pissarro, railroads and stations are familiar places that continue to inspire contemporary artists and impact society and the environment. “The artists featured in the exhibition, The Trained Eye,” said Ms. Ingis, “will look at this kaleidoscope of images and colors and render their own interpretation with works that range from photo-realism to post-impressionism and in a variety of media including oil, watercolor, acrylics, etchings, and photography.”

Curated by artist and Trustee Gail Ingis and Trustee Julyen Norman, the exhibition will feature artists: David Bravo, David Dunlop, Julie O’Connor, DeAnn Prosia, Helen Roman, Alexsander Rotner, Cathy Russell, Anthony Santomauro, Norm Siegel, and Rob Zuckerman.

The contemporary art exhibitions are sponsored in part by Gail Ingis and Tom Claus. The Museum’s 2019 cultural and educational programs are made possible in part by generous funding from LMMM’s Founding Patrons: The Estate of Mrs. Cynthia Clark Brown, LMMM’s 2019 Season Distinguished Benefactors: The City of Norwalk and The Maurice Goodman Foundation. The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum is a National Historic Landmark. For more information on schedules and programs please visit www.lockwoodmathewsmansion.com, e-mail info@lockwoodmathewsmansion.com, or call 203-838-9799.

Through the Lens: Torrington Photographs 1870 – 1970 @ Torrington Historical Society

Photography takes an instant of time and captures that moment forever. Historical images bring us back to the time and place where they were taken, they are the essence of an areas’ cultural heritage. A new photography exhibition has just been mounted by the Torrington Historical Society that will be on display through October 31, 2019, called, Through the Lens: Torrington Photographs 1870-1970.

This exhibition focuses on the works of several local photographers, both professional and amateur, which are well represented in the Society’s collections. Included in the exhibition is the work of Christie Siebert, F.O. Hills, Sidney Jennings, and Thomas Wootton. Also featured in this exhibit are images from the Charles Harris Photo Album, acquired by the Society in 2018. The album features approximately 80 photographs of downtown Torrington from the late 1900s through the early 1930s.

The highlight of this exhibition is that many of the images have been recently acquired by the Torrington Historical Society and are on display for the first time. Visitors will find images that depict scenes of daily life that include downtown Torrington in the 1870s with its wooden buildings, dirt roads, and early factories. Other images give visitors a bird’s-eye views of Torrington; a turn of the 20th-century birthday party; O&G truck moving a small building along a north end street as neighborhood children look on, and photos of various businesses from the late 19th century through the 1970s.

The exhibition will be of special interest to photography buffs because of the variety of photography mediums on display. Original images, including albumen prints, glass-plate negatives, black and white prints, and color slides that were digitized and enlarged make it easy for visitors to study the fascinating details of these historic images.

The Torrington Historical Society is located on 192 Main Street and is open Tuesday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For additional information visit their website.

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum Opens new Installation by David Brooks

The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art located on 258 Main Street in the heart of Ridgefield is has commissioned a new installation by artist David Brooks that will run through February 5, 2017. This marks the artist’s first solo museum exhibition. Throughout his practice, Brooks investigates the tenuous relationship between our ecological life and technological industry.

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Brooks (born 1975, Brazil, Indiana) will present every single part of a used 1976 John Deere 3300 combine harvester at The Aldrich, with the components laid out in varying degrees of disassembly in a procession from the front plaza through the Leir Atrium and Leir Gallery and out into the Museum’s sculpture garden. Distinctive elements like the corn head and cab remain unaltered in a weathered John Deere green, while other parts are sandblasted, removing rust, paint and all traces of wear and tear; still others, like pipes and fittings, are brass-plated and housed in museum vitrines, the traditional trappings of highbrow art objects or precious natural history displays.

A combine is the ultimate example of agricultural technology, the otherworldly design of its bulky metal body concealing the integration of all stages of the harvesting process into one machine designed to reap grain, a resource that the efficiency of a combine allows us to take for granted as eternally and inexpensively available.

The stunning array of dismantled machine parts, exhibited in a diverse system of presentation, are designated according to the ecosystem service they represent, making it impossible to conceive of the combine in its entirety or to determine the machine’s complete functionality; similarly, an ecosystem integrates innumerable processes, many of them intangible or undetectable, into one whole, making it impossible for us to conceive of a life unfolding within it.

This installation, Continuous Service Altered Daily asks us to reexamine our perception of products reaped from the landscape, oftentimes those too easily interpreted as “services” for personal use: water, food, clean air, climate, energy—things we have come to expect to be delivered to us forever.

The Aldrich is located at 258 Main Street, Ridgefield, CT. For more information, call 203.438.4519 or visit www.aldrichart.org. For more area information www.litchfieldhills.com

The Museum
Founded by Larry Aldrich in 1964, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum is dedicated to fostering the work of innovative artists whose ideas and interpretations of the world around us serve as a platform to encourage creative thinking. It is the only museum in Connecticut devoted to contemporary art, and throughout its fifty-year history has engaged its community with thought-provoking exhibitions and public programs.
The Museum’s education and public programs are designed to connect visitors of all ages to contemporary art through innovative learning approaches in hands-on workshops, tours, and presentations led by artists, curators, Museum educators, and experts in related fields. Area schools are served by curriculum-aligned on-site and in-school programs, as well as teachers’ professional development training.

John Funt and Gerald Incandela to show at Five Points Gallery

Five Points Gallery, located in Downtown Torrington, will open a new exhibition “John Funt and Gerald Incandela at Five Points” on Thursday, May 28th. The show will run through June 27 and will be open Thursdays through Sundays from 1-5 p.m. Five Points Gallery is free and open to the public. An opening reception will take place on Friday, May 29 at 6 p.m. and an artist talk with occur on Friday, June 12 at 6 p.m. The public is encouraged to attend both events, which are sponsored by Burlington Construction.

John Funt Waterfall
John Funt Waterfall

John Funt studied art with sculptor Rhys Caparn at the Dalton School in New York and with painter Joseph Slate at Kenyon College in Ohio. He has had solo exhibitions at Nelson Macker Fine Art, Morgan Lehman Gallery, James Graham and Sons and the Norfolk Library. Funt has worked as an event designer for the Metropolitan Museum of Art and a Designer and Display Director for Tiffany & Company but for the past decade, has devoted himself full-time to painting.

Commenting on Funt’s work, The New Criterion wrote: “John Funt turns the dynamics of landscape around.” Another review from The New Yorker described his work as follows: ” The wide-screen format announces representational intent; the jewel-like undertones and simplified forms reveal the fundamental decorative impulse.”

Incandella Card
Incandella Card

Gerald Incandela is an American artist, born in Tunisia. Incandela received a philosophy degree in 1969, then moved to Paris where he studied art history. In 1974, Gerald Incandela began to photograph and soon after learned photographic printing. He is recognized for his unique photographic process, by which he conceptually merges drawing and photography. During the course of developing the large format, black and white prints, Incandela selectively applies developer and fixer on paper with a brush as to reveal and animate selected elements of the captured image.

His work is in numerous collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Incandela has had numerous solo exhibitions in the United States and abroad and has also taken part in numerous group exhibitions. In his recent body of work, Gerald Incandela has transitioned from drawing with the photographic medium to painting with it. The tones and colors are the result of the action of regular light oxidizing the silver in the paper before fixing the image. It is not a tinted or colored silver print and therefore not “mixed media”. Each one is unique because Incandela applies selectively the solutions onto the paper instead of immersing the paper evenly in the solutions.

Five Points Gallery is located at 33 Main Street, Torrington, CT. Hours are Thursdays through Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. The gallery is also open by appointment. For more information please visit www.fivepointsgallery.org.

For more event information www.litchfieldhills.com

Eye Candy kicks off the Silo Gallery Spring Season

The Silo at Hunt Hill Farm’s upcoming gallery exhibition, ties together the works of Washington artists Ken Cornet and Tyler Farmen with works that entice the eye. The exhibit runs to May 5, 2015.

Tyler Farmen, Blue Drip
Tyler Farmen, Blue Drip

The exhibit is aptly named, as Cornet describes his work as enticing “the eye through color and movement either with free forms or structures to create a feeling of excitement or serenity, thereby instilling a sense of fun, comfort and well-being.” Farmen says, “My work combines the real and tangible, however it gives the feeling of a surreal fantasy. My intention is to provide viewers with a sense of comfort and at the same time question.”
Ken Cornet was born and raised in New York where he attended The Ethical Culture School and the highly selective High School of Music and Art, now LaGuardia High School. He went on to study painting at the Art Students League, fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and earned a degree from the New York School of Interior Design. From painting in pre-school to designing textiles and surfaces

In adulthood, Ken returned to painting and creating art. Cornet’s design collections were licensed by major home furnishing companies around the world under the Ken Cornet brand. While always mindful of the past, his style is contemporary and always innovative and playful. Cornet’s licensed product areas included apparel, bed and bath fashions, home textiles and wallpapers, rugs, ceramics, dinner and gift ware, and paper and party goods. His artistic versatility resulted in the New York State Department of Labor labeling his work as “art miscellaneous” in late 1960’s. Editors and buyers labeled his design collections as “contemporary classics” in the late 1980’s and into the 1990’s.

Ken Cornet, Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition, 2014, 11 x 8.5. Gouache collage on Paper.
Ken Cornet, Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition, 2014, 11 x 8.5. Gouache collage on Paper.

Tyler Farmen was born in Washington, CT in 1982. He received a BA in Industrial Design from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn NY in 2004. Tyler lived and worked as a designer in New York until 2006 when he moved back to CT, where he is currently Head of The Fine Arts Department at Rumsey Hall School and working on various creative projects.

In addition, Farmen runs a small art gallery in Lakeside, CT called The Gallery, which features local and national artists as well as a one of a kind gift shop. Tyler has a wide range of work from painting and sculpture to graphics and fashion. His ambition is to make people approach what they look at every day with new value. Referring to his latest oeuvre, Farmen says, It “consists of reinterpreted items that have been discarded by society and consumed by nature. Captured in time, these items are locked in a patina of eternal beauty.

Tyler Farmen, Red Oil 2
Tyler Farmen, Red Oil 2

My artwork is a combination of the many people, places and feelings that I experience in everyday life. “I started painting and creating to break the confines and guidelines of my career as a designer. I don’t restrain myself to one medium or process. I enjoy exploring all avenues of creating taking the pain and anguish that I feel in the universe and portraying it in a positive light through my paintings and sculptures. My work combines the real and tangible, however it gives the feeling of a surreal fantasy. My intention is to provide viewers with a sense of comfort and at the same time question.”

The Silo Gallery and Store are open Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, please call Liba Furhman at (860) 355-0300 or visit www.hunthillfarmtrust.org.

For area event information on the Litchfield Hills www.litchfieldhills.com