City Gallery showcases insides of art

Laced gloves with blue-painted golf tees in place of fingers and mixed media collages of Barbie were some of the art pieces featured Sunday at City Gallery during the artists’ free opening reception.

Centered on the theme, “Inside, Outside & Between,” the exhibit features art relating to the human form. The event featured mixed-media art by gallery members Deborah Zervas, Janet Van Horne and Margaret Sawyer and was attended by 30 to 35 members of the New Haven community.

Zervas, who thought of the theme for the exhibit, said it centered on the meaning of integument, “a boundary or skin, the layer between us and the world.” She spoke of ways in which her piece “Ideal Patient,” a manikin pierced by wooden picks and covered in buttons, related to that theme.

“The thing about having this boundary layer is that it can be transgressed,” Zervas said. “Doctors see your skin as something they can open and close, rupture and then heal back together.”

Artist and collector Tomas Lanner said he liked the exhibit for its “raw” look and use of the “kitschy” style, popularized by American painter Andy Warhol.

Fellow artist Lee LaFort spoke favorably of City Gallery’s mission to showcase art and said he was impressed by the “creative” work on display.

“Any venue that will show art is good in my book because artists need exposure,” LaFort said.

Lanner also praised City Gallery for making art readily accessible to the public.

“The more art shows you have, the more people learn to look at things artistically, in a non-commercial way that is relaxing,” he said.

Zervas said Janet Van Horne came up with the concept of City Gallery as a place where member artists could showcase their works monthly. Van Horne recruited the 10 original members at the City-Wide Open Studios convention last October and the group began renting the City Gallery lot this past May. All members share the rent and material expenses.

Original member, printmaker and painter Pamela Dear said she automatically fell in love with the current exhibition space, a 19th century commercial building with ample lighting and a white-tiled ceiling.

“I didn’t even have to come inside to see this was a great space,” she said. “It automatically hit me when I saw it.”

Showcased photographer Margaret Sawyer said she liked the idea of working with fellow artists to visually render the theme for an exhibit.

“Each of the artists’ works complement each other,” she said. “All flowers go with all flowers. We don’t all have to be roses.”

Sawyer, who will showcase her art again in January, said the theme for that month would be narrative.

“People can interpret narrative in almost any way they see it,”she said.

Art featured at the City Gallery exhibit can be purchased at a price range form $50 to $2,000. The showcase will be open through Nov. 30.

Fran Orotman of New Haven looks at
Will Sullivan
Fran Orotman of New Haven looks at "Ideal Patient" a mixed media piece by Deborah Zervas on display at an exhibit in the City Gallery.

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