Thursday, March 13, 2008

Great Dames, Great Cause

I stopped by the LAA (Loft Artists Association), at the end of Canal Street, this past weekend to see the Great Dames sculpture and painting exhibit. The artists are now in their new space after being displaced by the Yale and Towne fire awhile back. Sales of the art will go to Sexual Assault Crisis and Education Center, and some had been sold (showing the blue dot) when I got there! The "fat cells" were a hoot. It was a fun afternoon, however, we didn't spend that much time in the gallery. The art was pretty unique and we loved the big lofty space. I was told that you can sometimes get a peak of an artist at work in their private spacing surrounding the gallery. I arrived too late, and was not that lucky. Maybe next time.
See below article for more information:

This was an article printed in the Stamford Times on Thursday, March 13, 2008:
'Great Dames' of Stamford share their artwork
Stamford Times Correspondent
STAMFORD — On Friday March 7 at 6 p.m. the Loft Artist Association will be opening their studio doors for the reception of their show, "Great Dames IV" with part of the proceeds from the sales of the artists' works going to Sexual Assault Crisis and Education Center.
The event, celebrating Women's History Month, will feature works by more than 30 LAA female associate and studio members in its new building at 845 Canal St., Stamford.
The creator of the show, Dana Scinto of Bridgeport, came up with the idea four years ago when the LAA regularly hung art at the Palace Theatre and Rich Forum, and she needed to come up with something for their March showing.
"It was such a beautiful show with a huge turnout and a great start — (it was) as if the bar had been set and (we had set) a goal to surpass every year" said Scinto. " I think we've done that each year since."
Scinto, an artist herself, has been with the LAA since 2001 and in 2005 became its president. She is an industrial artist with an engineering background who, "likes to experiment with weird material," she said.
She started by replicating pictures, but said she found them flat and wanted to create depth and a box like effect.
"I wanted to create hanging sculptures," she said.
So she began experimenting with epoxy and polymers to create a three dimensional surface.
"Someone should be able to stand in front of it and always have something new to see," said Scinto.
For the Great Dames show, she has created a piece called "Adipose," and it is a layered piece of epoxy with glow in the dark handmade bits that resembles what she perceives fat cells under a microscope looks like.
"I wanted to show how beautiful fat cells can be," said Scinto.
Friend of Scinto and past president of LAA, Lina Morielli of Stamford says the work she is showing in honor of Great Dames is a personal memory piece titled "I Think of Thee" dedicated to her mother.
"It is a reflection on the passage of time," said Morielli.
Morielli, who got a name for herself working with metal, has changed her medium in recent years and said she feels as if she has made a full circle as an artist.
"I was a designer and editor of craft magazines and as a kid, did lots of mixed media," said Morielli.
She now works with collage, gluing and pasting as a way to tell her stories. "I have created a language that allows me to express what I need to say freely, bringing together materials that carry their own messages with imagery that expresses and reveals our common spirit."
Another artist who will be telling a personal story with her art is Margaret Tsirantonakis of Stamford, who also has been experimenting with a new medium. Spending a long time painting what has influenced her work, her Greek heritage, she is now getting back to the basics.
"I have been spending time getting back to the discipline of drawing with simple lines and splashes of color," said Tsirantonakis.
For the last year, she has been focusing on drawing from life and particularly the female face, whether her own or others. The piece she will be presenting at the showing is a portrait of her mother, "Katina."
Experimentation seems to be the running theme in this year's show, as Cici Artist of Stamford also likes to play with her art, moving from watercolor, ink smudges to metal works like copper, painted aluminum, steel and, when she can afford it, bronze.
"I like to play with a little of everything, well, because I can," said Artist.
It is that ability to do what she wanted, when she wanted that brought her to the LAA, where she is one of the newer members.
"When I turned 50 three years ago, I realized, my kids' college was paid for, and I just walked away from the office and devoted myself to art," said Artist.
From sculpture, ceramics to graphite and acrylics, these artistic talents will be on display to the public in support of another South Side organization, the Sexual Assault Crisis and Education Center.
"We feel very strongly that art has a very significant role in the healing process for those individuals we work with at the center," said Cathy Malloy, the center's executive director and wife of Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy, "and that freedom of expression through art can be incredibly liberating."
Great Dames IV is showing March 7-30 at the Loft Artist Association, 845 Canal St. Stamford. Gallery Hours are Friday-Sunday, noon-5 p.m. For more information:

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