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CONFLUENCE: When Four Artists in Isolation Come Together Again

City Gallery members Meg Bloom, Phyllis Crowley, Roberta Friedman, and Kathy Kane come together in January to present CONFLUENCE, individual works created over the past many months in isolation. The show will run from January 7 - January 30, with a chance to Meet the Artists on Sunday, January 9, 1pm - 4 pm

“It is a convergence of our separate visual imagery, presented in one small space, without attempting to come together to make a singular statement,” says artist Meg Bloom. Bloom is a sculptor, installation and mixed media artist currently making handmade paper and working with abaca and kozo fibers. Her abstract art references nature, whether human or otherwise, often addressing broader social and environmental issues. But it is finding beauty in the imperfect, acknowledging moments of change and engaging with the process of transformation that form the basis of her work.

For photographer Phyllis Crowley, confluence is about combining images, collaging ideas and associations, and considering distortions to help her bring together an emotional experience. “Combining images has been an interest of mine for a long time,” she says. “In the darkroom days, I cut out prints and collaged them, hoping to find a way to join them successfully. Now with digital tools, I am free to combine in any way I can imagine, creating a more powerful image, allowing for the development of new ideas and associations. Another major feature of my work is an interest in the distortions that water, weather or any obscuring interface can provide. I use methods like abstraction, multiple images, and change of format to create new relationships that bring myself and the viewer closer to the original emotional experience.”

Artist Roberta Friedman’s recent work focuses on process and how working in a confined or limited space changes how we create. “With the intention of exploring the paths that a long narrow surface would take me on, I set out to delve into the confluence of that shape and the encaustic mono prints that emerged on rolls of Asian papers, or on thin tissue papers. The spontaneity of the printing process on a hot surface, the vibrancy of encaustic wax paints, and the richness of oil pigments and cold wax have resulted in a cacophony of color and expression.  Exposing or obliterating aspects of design and pigments are a challenge that complement and enhance the vision: a confluence.”

“The power of the paint and its randomness is what most intrigues me,” says artist Kathy Kane. “Watching how it reacts as I manipulate it with whatever comes to hand: fingers, squeegees, chopsticks, any unconventional tool and occasionally brushes. ” Her series of Kimonos — painted and collaged, assembled and completed in situ — represent a visceral process. “It was instinctive, unreasoning and most enjoyable,” she says of her immersion into the creation and culture of this traditional garment during the past two years.

The exhibit is free and open to the public, and runs January 7 - January 30, with a chance to Meet the Artists on Sunday, January 9, 1pm - 4 pm. City Gallery is located at 994 State Street, New Haven, CT 06511. Gallery hours are Friday - Sunday, 1pm - 4 pm, or by appointment. During regular hours, visitors are required to wear a mask and observe social distancing protocols. For the reception, proof of vaccination will be required for entry, and masks are required. For further information please contact City Gallery, info@city-gallery.org, www.city-gallery.org.

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