The new Elisa Contemporary Art Gallery exhibit, A Path to Tranquility, features artwork created to take the viewer into a calm and optimistic space. It will open October 18 at the Riverdale NY gallery.
In this time of intense divide, political turmoil, and catastrophic weather events, it is the role and opportunity of art to take the viewer into a place of tranquility. A place where everyone – regardless of gender or race or religion or party affiliation -- can find moments of optimism and joy, hope and peace. In this exhibit, each artist strives to create spaces filled with balance and harmonious flow.
Our new group show will feature artwork by Michelle Gagliano, Cynthia MacCollum, Dale Najarian and sculpture by Michael Enn Sirvet. Three of the artists, Cynthia MacCollum, Dale Najarian and Michael Enn Sirvet are debuting in the Riverdale Gallery.
The exhibit features the latest series by Michelle Gagliano inspired by Dante’s Paradisio. According to Gagliano, “For years I have been investigating the notion of light versus dark. I get excited when darkness and light merge together to have a conversation. Their contrast is a basic reflection of navigation in life—the learning to integrate and make different viewpoints, backgrounds, and beliefs harmonious, merging them into a platform that creates a spirited dialogue that is exciting, musically balanced, and visually interesting.”
We are featuring two abstracted landscapes by Connecticut artist, Dale Najarian. Each oil painting offers a space of brightness and optimism, even while the surrounding areas are slightly darker and unknown. While based on photographs taken on travels in Connecticut and around the world, Najarian, “abandons the actual image and creates from within to develop a recognizable, yet simplistic painting the viewer can identify with.” And get lost in.
Two of the featured artists use unexpected materials in their artwork. The one of a kind Cyanotypes and Rinsed Prints by Connecticut artist, Cynthia MacCollum, use plants, and very often found weeds, as actual stencils. What may be considered outside the realm of beauty in nature creates the opposite effect within the artwork. According to MacCollum, “I am using found plant material, and the availability changes with the seasons. The temporal quality of the material, alluding to the passage of time, and the ephemeral nature of the material itself, all speaks to a place in me that craves more connection to the natural world.”
Sculptor Michael Enn Sirvet creates a flowing Wave wall piece out of steel. It is a balance of negative and positive space. According to Sirvet, “I sculpt as much with my materials as I do with the air and light flowing around and through them…I work in this way to invite the energy of each sculpture’s surroundings to become a part of the piece, and to glorify the materials and forms themselves...My goal is to have my sculptures unify with as well as change according to their surroundings. As the surrounding lighting and atmospheric conditions and ‘mood’ change, so do my sculptures in reflection and response.”
What: A Path to Tranquility
Featured artists: Michelle Gagliano, Cynthia MacCollum, Dale Najarian and Michael Enn Sirvet
When: October 18 through December 13. (Open Saturday November 24 for Small Business Saturday)
Where: Elisa Contemporary Art, 5622 Mosholu Avenue, Riverdale NY 10471
Hours: Thursdays 12pm – 5:00pm and by appointment (Weekdays, Evenings, Weekends)
About the Artists:
Michelle Gagliano’s art is a continuous engagement with the notion of beauty and experimentation. Imaginary ‘natural’ forms and textural patinas are melded in an exploration of surface alchemy, presenting the viewer with a breathtaking panorama that both evokes timeless private visions and invokes universal themes and emotions.
According to Michelle, "I am experimenting with gold, silver and metallic pigments, suspended on the surface of my panels, then reworking them, erasing, sanding, re-glazing building up and taking down, stretching into, creating a ‘history’. These pigments have a transcendent quality, present in the motifs of so many cultures, including Russian Icons, art of The Incas, Renaissance, all the way to Tibetan Thangkas. Such images were made to dazzle the spectator and I love the spiritual reverence I feel using these pigments. I am influenced also by the Bronze Age, Iron Age, even the Gilded Age. The ‘metallic ages’ have given us such a rich cultural heritage and sense of the magnificent."
Contemporary oil painter, Michelle Gagliano has been painting for over 25 years and has shown around the world including solo exhibitions in Texas, Louisiana, California, New Mexico and (upcoming) Italy. Her work is held in numerous private and corporate collections nationally as well as internationally in Europe and Asia. Michelle Gagliano was born in Jamestown, New York, and currently resides in central Virginia
According to Connecticut painter and printmaker, Cynthia MacCollum, "I find inspiration in fragments of nature held close for reflection. I employ a personal vocabulary of fluid marks and organic imagery to express the sensual pleasure and ephemeral quality of the natural world. Within this realm, my work varies from representational to abstract, and I am continuously moving along the continuum between the two."
Her work has been exhibited throughout the world since 2010. She received her BA from Washington University in St. Louis and continued her art education at Fashion Institute of Technology (NY), Santa Reparata International School of Art (Florence, Italy), Skopelos Foundation for the Arts (Greece), and Center for Contemporary Printmaking (Norwalk, CT). Her studio is located in New Canaan, CT.
Dale Najarian received her BFA from Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia. She began painting in 1998. Her latest Shadow Series merges the realistic quality of a photograph with the abstract translation of a landscape to depict a dreamlike painting that draws you in. Najarian is fascinated by the perspective that shadows create in our daily lives, and uses people’s movements to capture the ever changing relationship between dark and light. Her work has been shown and collected throughout the Northeast. She currently works in her studio in Westport, CT.
Michael Enn Sirvet
American structuralist artist, designer, and engineer Michael Enn Sirvet strives to capture the primitive beauty within familiar forms. Sirvet builds structures that recreate the ocean’s waves in steel tangent lines; the decaying of leaves in thousands of perfectly drilled holes; and the ephemeral wind captured in billowing metal. The artist explains: “My hope is that the simple intricacies of my abstracted, purified forms will invoke recognition and impart the wonder that I feel for nature".
Sirvet lives and keeps a full-time studio practice in Washington D.C. Many of his pieces can be found in private collections and at several US embassies.
About Elisa Contemporary Art
Elisa Contemporary Art represents a portfolio of emerging through mid-career contemporary artists. Our art and artists do not fit into any particular current trend or fashion, but are those exploring and testing the boundaries of various media, techniques, materials and ideas about humanity, nature and our world.
Founded in 2007 by Lisa Cooper, Elisa Contemporary Art is dedicated to promoting the appreciation and collection of art as a way to enrich and heal our lives, our communities, and the world. The Riverdale Gallery opened in 2008. An Art Salon in Fairfield CT opened in May, 2017 (by appointment only). Elisa Contemporary Art has participated in international art fairs in New York, Miami and the Hamptons. We have curated over 40 public art exhibits in the Tri-State area.
We also believe in the power of giving back, and donate a portion of gallery sales to philanthropic organizations that help children and families within underserved communities heal and grow through their experience with art. We support Free Arts NYC, and The Art Therapy Project.
Elisa Contemporary Art has been featured in a number of publications including Ocean Home Magazine, Hamptons Cottages & Gardens, Connecticut Cottages & Gardens Design Guide, New England Home – CT, Fairfield Magazine, New York Spaces and The New York Times. For more information, visit www.ElisaContemporaryArt.com or see us on Artsy and 1stdibs.
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