1000 & 1
THE MANY & THE ONE
OUR COMMUNITY & THE INDIVIDUAL
Works by the Artists of Art Connection Studio
Our Spring exhibition, 1001 ABSTRACTS, holds two perspectives in aesthetic balance, the Many & the One. Painting and fiber arts fill the walls of our space. When we stand back, large grids, many rows and columns of individual pieces, depict how the Many come together and form beautiful mosaics of color and form. When we change our perspective and behold any individual piece, we find ourselves focused on the One with its particular nuances and charm.
The artwork seen as Many & One serves as a metaphor for understanding something about ourselves.
To truly understand our potential, we must consider both the individual and the community; what we can be as unique persons and how we might best work when we combine our abilities. These two perspectives taken together give us a more complete view. If we side more with one or the other, we lose perspective. To view ourselves merely as individuals is to view us in isolation, and our understanding is diminished. Without community the individual is alone, each existing on a separate island with no interaction. To simply view ourselves as we group together, without acknowledging the uniqueness of any individual, the community would look like an aggregate of replaceable automatons, like bees in a hive. This exhibition represents how the harmony of community arises out of the combined creative power in each person, and complementarily, how each person can reach their potential when supported and encouraged by all of us together.
The work in this exhibition was created by the artists of Art Connection Studio. We are a community of artists, working in a vocational art program, part of Vinfen Connecticut’s day services for adult individuals with intellectual and psychiatric disabilities. However, the subject of our artwork is not about disabilities as such. Our work is essentially about discovering one’s unique personal vision and opening up to one’s creative impulses. Implicit to the fabric of the program is the cultivation of an artist identity and a sense of belonging to a community of peers. At the heart of this program is the belief that positive and nurturing relationships are a powerful agent for growth.
Artists are encouraged to experiment with various techniques and materials, to find what brings them joy, to experience a sense of wonder and a feeling of accomplishment. The work is not without challenges. Art Connection Studio’s staff and facilitators, including four art therapists, create an environment where artists can form relationships, promote wellness, and build the skills necessary to improve employment outcomes and thrive in the community. Page Break
Since opening in 2011, we have had over 40 exhibits in the Hartford area. Besides exhibiting in our space at Arbor Street three times a year, our artists have shown in such venues as Stanley-Whitman House in Farmington, Butler-McCook House and Amos Bull House of Connecticut Landmarks in Hartford, Hands on Hartford, St Francis Center for Integrative Medicine, Hartford Public Library, Aetna, Greater Hartford Arts Council, Connecticut Office of the Arts, and Farmington Valley Art Center.
Our spring exhibition, 1001 Abstracts (May 3rd, 4pm-7pm) at our gallery and studios at 56 Arbor Street, Suite 205-206, Hartford, is free admission and open to the public. Patrons will be able to take their purchases with them from the reception.
Michael Galaburrí, Art Connection Studio, 2019