he four new exhibits opening at the Silvermine Arts Center, located in New Canaan, CT on November 11th represent a range of works reflecting dreams; family memories and myths; important incidentals… and continuing our 90th anniversary celebration, an historical exhibition will feature the work of sculptor, Reuben Nakian. All are welcome to the opening reception on Sunday, November 11th 2pm to 4pm. The exhibits run through December 20th.
Weston, CT artist, Cecilia Moy Fradet’s new exhibit “Dreams of Devotion and Delight” explores the inner landscape of the artists’ dreams, blending the commercial with the spiritual. Ms. Fradet was born in Hong Kong and raised, in the 60s as a Christian, in New York City, the melting pot of American culture. Added with her Buddhist roots, the iconic images from Ms. Fradet’s childhood mingled with her constant companion, Mickey Mouse, who she watched constantly on TV and adored. Delighting in the pop culture of Mickey, the material expression of joy and all things possible, Cecilia melds Mickey and Buddha into one sacred Mandala, thereby blending the commercial with the spiritual. “My art explores the boundaries between reality and perception. Born in Hong Kong and growing up in New York City, my first influences in these bustling cities was a visual cacophony of sights and colors, from sailing junks to cruise ships, temples to churches, and Chinese operas to Walt Disney and Looney Tunes.” Of her work, Ms. Fradet says, “I find iconic imagery and symbols fascinating as they become larger than life, transcending words. Playing with these images, pushing it beyond the expected, allows me to see the world a bit differently each time.”
Cecilia Moy Fradet was greatly influenced by her father who was a calligrapher and her grandfather, a landscape painter. This instilled in her a lifelong passion to draw and paint. Her formal art training began at New York City’s High School of Art and Design, then City College of New York and Goldsmith University in London. She continued studies at Parsons School of Design, the New School in Manhattan and F.I.T., graduating with a degree in Fashion Design. She worked as a fashion designer in Manhattan for eleven years traveling extensively to Europe and Asia until the family moved to Weston, Connecticut in 1992. Cecilia is a member of the Silvermine Guild of Artists, the Westport Arts Center, the Center for Contemporary Printmaking, the Women's Caucus for the Arts and a docent at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Connecticut.
The 1950’s are often portrayed to be the ‘perfect decade’ of American history, where everything was ‘right’ and America was at its best. Flush from victory in World War II, proud of being the good guys, America was booming with growth and optimism, but there was often a subtext behind the smiles in photographs of that time period. Susan White’s exhibit “Picture Perfect” reflects the image of this era with works of oversized graphite drawings of black and white photographs of a ‘picture perfect’ 1950’s family. The works references the unspoken dynamics between the family members and the effects of those dynamics on the wife and children of the family. Discrimination was sanctioned by cultural norms, children were to be seen and not heard, and wives to be obedient. What happened in families behind closed doors was considered nobody’s business, and not to be discussed. Each time a photograph is taken, either the photographer or the subject is choosing to memorialize that particular moment. The photographer has an agenda and subjects choose to participate. For the artist, the act of making “portraits” of these photos, of memorializing them by increasing the scale and investing so many hours in the process of drawing, is a statement as well. It begs the viewer to question the intention of both the photographer and artist, as well as that of the subjects depicted. “The theme that runs through all my work, the idea which intrigues me most, is the passage of time and the resultant effects on people and places. The graphite drawing series show the changes over time in the dynamics of a family, for the positive.”
A resident of Ridgefield, CT, Susan White grew up in the deep South. She majored in Art History at University of Georgia, and earned her BFA in Architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design and a Bachelor of Architecture. Ms. White is an award winning architect and has worked with internationally known firms in both Boston and in Fairfield County where she has lived for the past 21 years. Susan returned to a serious pursuit of art in 2000 when, on her travels in Morocco, she was invited by the instructor to take a class in printmaking at the New School. Her work has been exhibited at the deCordova Museum in Lincoln, MA., the Art Student League show, “The Best in Contemporary Printmaking” in NY, the NY Society of Etchers, and the 48th Annual National Print Show at Hunterdon Museum of Clinton, NJ. In addition her work has been juried into regional, national and international art shows at numerous art centers and galleries including Lincoln Center, The Schoolhouse, Silvermine Arts Center, and the Center for Contemporary Printmaking. While continuing to make prints, in the past two years she has returned to drawing and to a much larger format in which she explores issues of marginalization of those without voice.
The Guild Group Photography Show, “Important Incidentals” features works by Miggs Burroughs, Leigh Liebel, Jeremy Saladyga, Alan Shulik, Majorie Wolfe and Torrance York. "Important incidentals" can refer to fleeting but significant moments, observations made in passing, or interruptions to an expected norm. The phrase can also relate to a detail whose presence changes the meaning of a whole or to a pointed juxtaposition. Branching out from this concept, the exhibiting photographers connect their aesthetic interests.
Continuing with the 90th celebration of the Silvermine Arts Center, the historic exhibit features Reuben Nakian: Eight Decades of Creation showcasing his small sculptures and works on paper. His assistant, Derek Uhlman, A Silvermine Guild Artist member, provides insights into his work. Reuben Nakian, born August 10, 1897 in College Point, New York enjoyed a long and distinguished career, maintaining his innovative spirit and creativity over more than seventy years. He received honorary doctorates from the Universities of Nebraska and Bridgeport; medals from the Philadelphia College of Art and the American Academy/National Institute of Arts and Letters; and the Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture. He was the recipient of awards from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, Brandeis University, and the Rhode Island School of Design. Nakian was a guest of honor at the “Famous Artists’ Evening” at the White House in1966, and the Smithsonian Institution produced a documentary on his life and work titled “Reuben Nakian: Apprentice to the Gods,” in 1985. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1931 and a Ford Foundation Fellowship in 1958, and represented the U.S. as the major sculptor in the VI Bienal in Sao Paulo, Brazil (1961) and the 1968 Biennale in Venice, Italy.
Nakian’s work is represented in the permanent collections and sculpture gardens of many of America’s most prestigious museum and institutions. He has been honored with major one-man exhibits at the Los Angeles County Museum, the New York Museum of Modern Art, the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC, the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Gulbenkian Centro de Arte Moderna, Lisbon, Portugal, and a Centennial Retrospective at the Reading (PA) Public Museum and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, the site of Nakian’s first one-man museum exhibition in 1935. “Garden of the Gods I” was one of five sculptures to inaugurate the Metropolitan Museum of Art Roof Garden, while other of his monumental works preside over civic and private settings across America. Reuben Nakian is a major figure in 20th Century art, his long career touching more of American art history than most artists, living or dead. He died on December 4, 1986 in Stamford, Connecticut at the age of eighty-nine, “one of the most distinguished American sculptors of the 20th Century” (New York Times obituary, 12/5/86).