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New Year brings new exhibits to Silvermine

Updated 5:04 pm, Wednesday, January 2, 2013

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  • ìFire Saleî  by Donald Axleroad. Photo: Contributed Photo
    ìFire Saleî by Donald Axleroad. Photo: Contributed Photo

 

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The exhibits for the new year at Silvermine Arts Center bring the annual New Guild Members show plus an exhibition of new works by Donald Axleroad, a retrospective honoring the work of Tina Rohrer, and the Silvermine Print Collection.

All are welcome to the opening reception on Sunday, Jan. 6, from 2 to 4 p.m. The exhibits will run through Feb.17.

Axleroad's new body of work in "Disintegration of Truth & Trust" was created in response to current events and the contemporary issues of today's world.

Through imagery and symbols, he explores the dissolution of American culture; a time and place where dishonesty has become the norm, and for many, innocence has been lost and the American Dream has been shattered.

The exhibit features art work that reacts to significant societal, political and economic events and headlines that remain relevant and timely.

The artist addresses many issues in his works that include corporate greed and fraud, the foreclosure crisis, rising unemployment, political corruption, the disintegration of family, censorship, injustice, prejudice and intolerance.

Through this new exhibit, Axleroad is expressing his reactions to today's events and his sadness at what he sees the world has become, where truths are hidden and lying has become commonplace.

Axleroad, a resident of Stamford, draws his inspiration from Greek mythology and makes connections between the ancient and modern worlds.

He has received numerous awards from prestigious organizations including the Salmagundi Club, N.Y., the National Arts Club of NY, the Allied Artist of America, as well as top prizes in many Fairfield County art associations.

He has exhibited in major museums on the east coast and in a UN sponsored traveling exhibit of 100 American printmakers.

A graduate of Pratt Institute, he has studied with Philip Guston, Richard Linder and Antonio Frasconi.

In addition to pursuing his artistic career, Axleroad has reached out to help dozens of others move forward in their lives.

He has sponsored outreach events to educate the public about Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. Axleroad is also the founder and executive director of the Artists' Initiative of Stamford, which teaches developmentally disabled adults to draw and paint.

The new exhibit "A Commitment to Color, Movement and Geometry" is a tribute honoring the life and art of Tina Rohrer, who passed away in the summer.

She was awarded the show back in June of 2011, and her family, led by her youngest son, Jay, is leading the effort to have this exhibit in her honor. The selection of work, in a variety of media ranging from painting to works on paper, expresses the artist's love of movement and color through Tina's geometric constructions. The principal focus of her work is on the optical qualities of color. The interaction of colors is most important.

The use of complementary colors creates an especially intense "push/pull" effect. Artwork with black, white and grays can produce a strong sense of action.

From a distance, the individual marks lose their identity; hues are seen in the midrange and these, then, coalesce to form a textural, geometric image.

Rohrer, born in Washington, D.C., was a resident of Pound Ridge, N.Y. A Silvermine Guild member since 1997, she received many honors for her work, including the Golden Color Award at the Ridgefield Guild of Artists, the Liquitex Color Award from Connecticut Women Artists, as well as awards in sculpture and painting from the Stamford Art Association.

Rohrer's work has been shown in group shows, as well as solo exhibitions in venues such as the Katonah Museum of Art, Noho Gallery and the Northern Westchester Center for the arts in New York; Art Place, Stamford Art Association, Silvermine Galleries and the Rich Forum, Stamford Center for the Arts.

Each year in the spring and fall, artists are selected through a jurying process to become new members of the Silvermine Guild of Artists.

The Silvermine Guild of Artists is a distinguished group of professional artists comprised of more than 300 members who work in a wide array of media and are represented in museums, and prestigious private and corporate collections.

Selection into the guild is based on several criteria, such as creativity, uniqueness or timeliness, excellence of technique, compelling notion or idea, cultural or social relevance, professional presentation of work, clarity and continuity of style, and professional accomplishment.

The New Members Exhibition will showcase the works of five new Guild Artist members inducted in the spring and fall of 2012, representing a variety of media.

The new members include: Mindy Green, of Norwalk, painting; Shelby Head, of Madison, sculpture; Heather Houston, of New Milford, sculpture; Lara Ivanovic, of Larchmont, N.Y., painting/drawing; and Hank Paper, of Hamden, photography.

The Silvermine Print Collection began out of the efforts of professor and noted artist Gabor Peterdi, a Guild member.

Peterdi felt it was necessary to preserve the history of printmaking and develop a collection that was available for both appreciation of this unique art form, and as a tool for education.

Having started the printmaking department at Yale University, Peterdi established the National Print Biennial competition at Silvermine in 1956.

Out of these juried exhibitions the Arts Center established the foundation of a permanent print collection through the acquisition of juror purchase awards.

In subsequent years additional prints were also added to the collection via donations and bequests.

The Silvermine print collection consists of more than 200 prints, including examples by such renowned artists as Annie Albers, Lee Chesney, Christo, Jack Damer, Sergio Gonzalez Tornero, Michael Mazur, Gabor Peterdi and Linda Plotkin.

Now on the heels of its 90th anniversary, the Arts Center is working to substantially increase the print collection and developing a plan to make the collection more accessible to artists and the general public.

This exhibition will include a selection of some of the existing prints in the collection, along with some of the most recent acquisitions.

For more information on upcoming exhibits, visit www.silvermineart.org or call 203-966-9700, ext. 20. Silvermine Galleries are open Wednesday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to

5 p.m.