Artist Profile

Real Art Ways

Medium: Interdisciplinary

Description:  Real Art Ways is a multidisciplinary arts organization supporting artists

Real Art Ways is committed to artists and to community. We have built a national reputation for supporting innovation and for connecting people with art and ideas. We work with emerging and established artists, and we have a diverse and dynamic audience. All are welcome here. Real Art Ways began in the fall of 1975 when a group of visual artists and musicians took over a rambling upstairs space on Asylum Street in downtown Hartford and created a bare bones salon in which they lived, worked and presented the work of others. Across the country alternative ideas were being explored and developed – and that idea of alternativity to the mainstream remains central to Real Art Ways’ work. Today, Real Art Ways is widely regarded as one of the country’s outstanding contemporary art spaces, one that has a special link with its own community. With films, concerts, performances, readings, exhibitions, and a space where people gather before and after events, Real Art Ways is a unique meeting place for people to come together around art, ideas, and conversation. FALL EXHIBITIONS: Andy Hart’s Hartford, Real Room Gallery, Sept 21 - Nov 12 Photographer Andy Hart has been documenting events in Hartford for decades. Over the years, his photography skills have developed steadily while Hartford’s wonderfully diverse population has provided beautiful and compelling subjects for his lens. Hart’s work has been featured at the Butler-McCook House and the Hartford Public Library, on various Hartford websites and publications and on outdoor banners promoting the city. The photographs in this exhibit were taken for The Hartford News between 2005 – 2017. About Andy Hart Andy Hart was born and raised in Hartford’s Blue Hills neighborhood. After graduating from Fairfield University with a degree in history, he worked first as a cook at Hartford Golf Club and then as an advertising copywriter at Harland, Tine & White in Downtown Hartford. In 1989, he began his journalism career as a reporter/photographer for the Glastonbury Citizen. Three years later, he moved to The Hartford News, where he now serves as Managing Editor. Hart has lived on Franklin Avenue in Hartford’s South End for more than 20 years. Peter Edlund, Names on the Land, Main Gallery, Oct 19 - Dec 31 Peter Edlund explores the contradictions in utopian American landscape imagery. Taking aesthetic and visual cues from the work of artists ranging from the Hudson River School to Ansel Adams, Edlund’s paintings employ allegorical imagery to investigate contemporary issues. His landscapes reference the mythic images of Manifest Destiny while shedding light on the “actual social and political reality of racism and genocide in our country.” In 2005, Edlund began researching Algonkian languages to understand the meanings of Native American place names in the Northeast, adding the Oneida language indigenous to central New York State in 2013. His research has informed his paintings since. Says Edlund, I am attempting to “address the collective amnesia of American society by using the ‘landscape’ as my means of expression.”[2] Edlund’s work raises compelling questions. Why is there generally a lack of cultural understanding of the meanings and significance of native words that are the names of rivers, mountains, lakes and towns? Through appropriating the aesthetics of historic landscape painting, Edlund’s work takes aim directly at colonialism and the forces that created the rifts in understanding and knowledge that we live with today. Edlund uses traditional allegory as a tool to investigate contemporary issues, while simultaneously connecting us with the history we come from. Picking the most contentious battle states from the 2016 Presidential Election, Edlund investigates contemporary social issues each state faces that are deeply rooted in historical events and practices. He utilizes idyllic landscape painting to create imagery that evokes breathtaking sunsets while embedding deep allegorical meaning. FORTHCOMING: Erik Williams, A Sad and Beautiful World, Curated by David Borawksi, Real Room Gallery, Opens Nov 16 Erik Williams, aka @Eaze860, is a Hartford based photographer. His aesthetic is informed by the opportunity for rawness his camera allows him, helping him create moments of honesty. Says Williams, "I use my photography to catch a glimpse of what I see, in order to share it with others. I look for the beauty in any and everything that most overlook.” David Borawski curated Williams in a way that references the process in which he makes his images, taking the viewer on a walk with Williams as he captures an often unheard story of Hartford. Tom Smith, Secondary Harvest, Curated by David Borawski, Middle Gallery, Opens Nov 16 Trained as an architect, Tom Smith creates sculptures and paintings starting with natural materials as a base. He manipulates grape vines, branches and twigs while growing to get his desired shapes and gestures. He then harvests and assembles the pieces to craft his sculptures. His paintings then reference the sculptures through texture and imagery, composing abstract scenes that exploit the contrast between organic and hard angled lines. The resulting works speak to each other, creating a dialogue of process and craft.

Tour Location: Arbor Arts Center, 56 Arbor Street, Rear Entrance



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