For the last 18 years, artists from across Connecticut have opened their doors to exhibit their work in the traditional City-Wide Open Studios. This weekend, a group of art collectors will do the same, using their passion for art as a way to raise funds for the upcoming edition of CWOS.
Entitled “House Salon,” the event will be organized primarily by Artspace — a nonprofit organization that supports emerging artists — on the weekend of Sept. 24 and 25. Each tour will accommodate 16 people and will last a total of 90 minutes. According to Artspace Curator and Gallery Director Sarah Fritchey, attendees will see different works based on the salon they choose to tour. The collections include a range of works, from 20th-century and contemporary pieces by artists in major museum collections, to so-called “outsider artists” and emerging regional and local artists, Fritchey said.
“One of the things that’s most exciting about going into a collector’s home, beyond seeing their passion for collecting, is sharing the stories behind the work,” said Artspace Executive Director Helen Kauder. “It’s also important to remember, that the flip side of collecting is that all of the artists were supported. That aspect of supporting local artists is what we’re interested in promoting.”
The Salon’s first edition will feature four different collectors’ homes, in locations ranging from Guilford to West Hartford to the Elm City itself.
Architects Aude Jomini and Rustam Mehta, for example, will open their Guilford home to visitors on Saturday. Jomini and Mehta’s collection, housed in a landmark condominium designed by Wilfred Armster, includes works from rising artists in the New Haven area, including Monique Atherton, Eben Kling, Chris Mir and Michael Queensland.
“This is the first time the event has been featured,” Fritchey said. “We organized it in response to our audience’s desire to learn more about how to collect art. Each tour is intimate in size, and this is intentional. It’s designed to allow guests meet and ask the hosts questions about their collections.”
Yale students interviewed expressed interest in the new initiative. Gretchen Tarrant ’17 said she developed a passion for contemporary art while living in New York over the summer, noting that she hoped to see how local collectors interact with work outside of a museum setting.
Similarly, Mollie Ritterband ’17 said she was excited for the opportunity to experience the New Haven arts scene from a novel perspective.
“I hope that visitors take away the secret that perhaps every collectors knows — the building of an collection is an extremely personal activity,” Fritchey said. “No two people will encounter and react to one work in the same way. Some works have the ability to speak to an individual and keep on speaking.”
The City-Wide Open Studios festival will kick off on Oct. 7 with an opening reception at Artspace.