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Civilization's debris repurposed into art at Carriage Barn

Published 10:12 am, Sunday, March 16, 2014

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  • The sculpture "Saint Gabriel" by David Barnett will be on display in the 25th annual Spectrum/Sustainable Art Show at the Carriage Barn Arts Center, New Canaan, that opens Sunday, March 23. The exhibition compasses a broad spectrum of re-purposed man-made and natural materials. His sculpture is a mock flying machine. Photo: Contributed Photo, Contributed / New Canaan News Contributed
    The sculpture "Saint Gabriel" by David Barnett will be on display in the 25th annual Spectrum/Sustainable Art Show at the Carriage Barn Arts Center, New Canaan, that opens Sunday, March 23. The exhibition compasses a broad spectrum of re-purposed man-made and natural materials. His sculpture is a mock flying machine. Photo: Contributed Photo, Contributed

 

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From piano keys and album covers to feathers and birdseed, the objects that make up the artworks in the 25th annual Spectrum/Sustainable Art Show at the Carriage Barn Arts Center encompass a broad spectrum of repurposed man-made and natural materials.

The show opens Sunday, March 23, at the center, at Waveny Park, 681 South Ave., New Canaan, and runs through April 12. An opening reception is planned for Saturday, March 22, from 6 to 8 p.m. .

All of the artists in the show give new life to the debris of civilization. The exhibition features many local and New York artists, whose main focus has been on sustainable art.

New York artist David Barnett creates intricate assemblages which juxtapose natural and mechanical items that recall the objects of curiosity in Renaissance collections. His sculpture, "Saint Gabriel," is a mock flying machine that comments on man's compulsion to outdo nature through industrialization. It's created from hundreds of tiny turquoise-tipped rooster feathers supported by a soldered brass structure, and embellished with pulleys and gears to suggest a mechanical function.

Visitors will be greeted in the courtyard by two sculptures by Carole Eisner, who is based in New York and Weston. Her elegant abstract sculptures are made from metal scrap and recycled fragments from buildings and bridges. Her work has been exhibited in public spaces and museums, and is in collections such as the Guggenheim museum in New York.

June Ahrens, another New York artist who is now based in New Canaan, has also worked with found materials her entire career. Her conceptual work "Staying Afloat" is made of a reclaimed table, a glass bowl and a bar of soap in water that changes over time. "Artistically," she said, "I transform discarded objects to create a visual language that evokes the experiences of impermanence and loss, fragility and vulnerability, pain and, most of all, healing and survival."

Joan Giordano, also from New York, explores popular culture in her sculptural wall collages consisting of corrugated cardboard and twisted and rolled newspaper.

Some of the artists from surrounding areas include Lubomir Tomaszewski, Lucy Krupenye, Jerome Harris Parmet, Constance Old, Thomas Berntsen, Stephanie Joyce, Amy Schott, Marjorie Tomchuk, Tracy Hambley, Carol Dixon, Luigi Antonioli, Don Axleroad and Hans Neleman.

The juror was Anne von Stuelpnagel, the director of exhibitions at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, and the show was curated by Carriage Barn Arts Center co-directors Arianne Faber Kolb and Eleanor Flatow.

In conjunction with the show, there will be:

An artists' talk Saturday, March 29, from 4 to 6 p.m.;

A lecture on sustainable design by Mark Robbins on Thursday, April 10, at 7 p.m.; tickets are $10 for members, $15 for nonmembers; and

"Trash + Fashion = TRASHION!," a children's workshop for ages 8 to 12 led by Karen Siegel, on Sunday, April 6, from 2 to 3:30 p.m.; cost is $15 for members, $20 for nonmembers. Reservations are required.

The exhibition sponsors are Baldanza, New Canaan Wine Merchants, Karl Chevrolet, April Kaynor Homes, New Canaan Lions Club, Earth Garden and New Canaan Foreign Car.

The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. For information, visit www.carriagebarn.org or call 203-972-1895.