Exhibit at Joseloff Gallery in West Hartford Will Address Environment, Racism, and Pandemic - We-Ha

An engaging new exhibit at the Joseloff Gallery at the University of Hartford in West Hartford will include a focus on environmental concerns, racial injustice, and the pandemic, and will include free, interactive activities.


Although most Americans are relishing a return to summer fun, art aficionados are eagerly anticipating the fall season, with the grand re-opening of museums, galleries and theaters. But you don’t have to travel to NYC to get a much-needed artistic fix, as the renowned Joseloff Gallery at the University of Hartford in West Hartford, CT opens its doors for the engaging eighth International Distinguished Artists Symposium and Exhibition from Oct.25-Dec. 5, 2021.

This year’s theme – Fiction, Fabulation, Futurity – contends with environmental degradation, racial injustice and pandemics. Highlights of the six-week event will include visual art displays, narrative works from award-winning authors, dynamic panel discussions and workshops exploring sculpture, comic drawing, glass blowing, and videos, all free of charge to the public.

“The fine arts sector has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic,” said Rico Reyes, Curator and Director of the Hartford Art School Galleries at the University of Hartford. “After being deprived of traditional artistic venues for the past year and half, combined with stressful social circumstances, we knew that we needed to create an exciting and powerful program that was accessible to everyone.”

Reyes elaborates that the new exhibition and symposium stem from a desire to connect artistic production with both images and words. The unfolding events over the spring and summer of 2020 refocused attention on racial justice, pandemics, and environmental degradation. The IDASE explores how these three social disruptions are inter-related and connected in many different ways. “Through fictions, fables, and futurist propositions, readers and viewers are creating images in their mind’s eye, as well as beholding new visions that the writer or artist is sharing.”

Art exhibits displayed at the Joseloff Gallery will feature the works of:

  • Lynda Barry has worked as a painter, cartoonist, writer, illustrator, playwright, editor, commentator, and teacher. The New York Times describes Barry as “among this country’s greatest conjoiners of words and images, known for plumbing all kinds of touchy subjects in cartoons, comic strips and novels, both graphic and illustrated.” She was inducted into the Cartoonist’s Hall of Fame in 2016 and in 2019, was honored as a MacArthur Fellow.
  • Amy Franceschini founded Futurefarmers, an international group of artists, activists, researchers, farmers, and architects, who work together to propose alternatives to the social, political and environmental organization of space. Their design studio serves as a platform to support art projects, an artist in residence program and their research interests. Futurefarmers have created temporary schools, books, bus tours, and large-scale exhibitions internationally.
  • Nicholas Galanin’s work engages contemporary culture from his perspective rooted in connection to land. He embeds incisive observation into his work, investigating intersections of culture and concept in form, image and sound. Galanin’s works embody critical thought as vessels of knowledge, culture, and technology – inherently political, generous, unflinching, and poetic.
  • Chitra Ganesh is a Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary artist who employs drawing, painting, film, and text in her projects. She draws from a broad range of material including the iconography of Hindu, Greek, and Buddhist mythology, 19th-century European portraiture and fairytales, song lyrics, as well as contemporary visual culture such as Bollywood posters, anime, and comic books in exploring bodies, space, and history that produce alternate narratives of sexuality and power.
  • Dr. GoraParasit is a performance theatre artist and methodologist from Kaunas, Lithuania. After completing a bachelor’s in Acting at Lithuanian Theatre and Drama School, she has worked in companies such as Future Shorts and Secret Cinema as visual art director and completed a master’s degree in theatre directing. Since then, Dr. GoraParasit has finished writing an original script and is preparing for her debut feature film. Her conceptual interest lay in the synthesis between neuroscience and art.
  • Gabriel Rico’s work is characterized by the interrelation of seemingly disparate objects as he pairs found, collected, and manufactured materials to create sculptures that invite viewers to reflect on the relationship between humans and our natural environment. He frequently uses neon, taxidermy, ceramics, branches, and more personal pieces of his past to create an equation or formulation, achieving a precise geometry despite the organic, roughly hewn character of his materials. His installations ironically and poetically combine natural and unnatural forms, insisting on a necessary contemplation of their asymmetry, as well as our own cultural and political flaws.

In addition to exhibiting their works, these talented artists will join acclaimed panelists and moderators at the symposium on Oct. 28-30, 2021, as well as lead workshops on a variety of artistic expressions. Additional participants include:

  • Karin Aguilar-San Juan, Professor and Chair, Asian American Studies
  • Giannina Braschi, NEA Fellow, author of “United States of Banana”
  • Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize winning author of “The Sympathizer”
  • Kim Stanley Robinson, author of “New York 2140,” and “The Ministry for the Future”

“Whether you’re an art lover or a community member simply seeking a stimulating, social experience out of the house, our Fiction, Fabulation, Futurity event will be the must-attend fall extravaganza of the season,” concludes Reyes. “Equally timely to its underlying social themes is that the exhibition coincides with the official re-opening of the University of Hartford’s on-campus courses, so students and the public alike will benefit from our comprehensive and compelling program.”

Reyes notes additional special events are in the works, such as an opening dinner, a closing reception, a family day, and Halloween costume party. For the most up-to-date event and registration information for the Fiction, Fabulation, Futurity exhibition and symposium, visit the website.

About the Joseloff Gallery

The Hartford Art School Galleries include the Joseloff Gallery, the Donald and Linda Silpe Gallery, Kaman Print Study Center, and Art on Campus. These exhibition spaces inspire the Connecticut community year-round, and engage with students daily through creative visual experiences. Recent exhibitions have featured the works of Mark Dion, Marina Abramovic, Tracy Emin, Kelly Mark, Natalie Waldburger, and Keith Sonnier. The Joseloff Gallery, located at 200 Bloomfield Avenue in West Hartford, is open Monday through Friday, noon-4 p.m. or by appointment. Visit https://www.hartford.edu/academics/schools-colleges/art/galleries/default.aspx for more information.

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