Westport, CT - This fall, comic art, deconstructed case-bound book boards, and visual mixed media all grace the walls of The Westport Library gallery spaces, collecting the unique works of local artists with national attention including Marc Zaref, Niki Ketchman, Rowan MacColl, and Connor McCann. Coinciding with the Neil Gaiman StoryFest Keynote Conversation and Fall 2023 Malloy Lecture in the Arts lecture (Friday, October 20) is the visual companion in the Sheffer Gallery: Panels & Gutters: The Comic Art of Rowan MacColl and Connor McCann.
The exhibition celebrates the form storytelling in comic art featuring MacColl's and McCann’s illustrations with added panels demonstrating their conceptual and technical process. MacColl and McCann are both recent graduates of Staples High School and the Rhode Island School of Design, navigating the art scene with great success. MacColl is a comic artist and illustrator whose work has been published in various anthologies and art fairs. MacColl’s latest graphic novel, Who Was Accused in the Salem Witch Trials?: Tituba will be published in September 2023 by Penguin Random House. McCann is a cartoonist and designer. His critically acclaimed graphic novel God Bless The Machine was published and distributed internationally by Strangers Publishing in 2021, and the highly anticipated follow-up will be released this fall. The opening reception and artist talk (Thursday, October 19, reception 6-7 pm, artist talk 7-8 pm) will have MacColl and McCann reuniting with their former art teacher, fellow artist, and Westport Artists Collective member Katherine Ross. The conversation will focus on MacColl and McCann’s transition from college to the art world, freelance commissions, the role of social media in art promotion, and their upcoming graphic novels.
Cascade 2023, by multidisciplinary artist Zaref, features a Jesup Gallery site-specific designed installation of recycled, deconstructed case-bound book boards.“Cascade, along with its description of falling water, is a term in music referencing a progression of notes,” said Zaref. “I took advantage of an unusual feature—a partially open ceiling, a place to begin a cascade, the illusion of an unknown source of the piece—not unlike an underground stream or the mind of a musician.”
The South Gallery hosts Ketchman’s Resinations with mixed media resin 12" x 12" visual works. Over the years, Ketchman has exhibited extensively, including one-person museum exhibitions at the Katonah Museum, the New Britain Museum of American Art, and the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park. Reviews of her work have appeared in The New York Times, Art in America, Sculpture Magazine, and The Boston Globe, among others.
"I start each piece with a 12" x 12" stretched canvas. Then I either paint on the surface of the canvas or adhere a digital print of one of my photos that has often been manipulated in Photoshop,” said Ketchman. “Once I have the initial image, I spread out many of my materials on a worktable in my studio: fabrics, beads, string, wire, metal ornaments, lace, etc. This is my palette. Once I am satisfied, I pour resin over the whole piece. The resin coating makes the whole piece feel more like an object than a painting or collage. With its shiny and indestructible surface, it is now a Resination." The two former exhibitions celebrated with an opening reception and artist talk on August 29 moderated by Artists Collective of Westport co-founder Miggs Burroughs.
All three exhibitions run through October 25.
Rounding out the art activity at The Westport Library is The Westport Artists Collective Affordable Art Trunk Show and Sale on Sunday, October 1, from 11 am to 4 pm in the lower parking lot adjacent to the Library and Jesup Green (Taylor Lot). Around 40 members of the Artists Collective of Westport will be displaying their artwork out of the trunk of their cars — all for sale at affordable prices. The Artists Collective of Westport is a vibrant group of 150 creative individuals who have joined forces to discuss, create, and develop dynamic experiences for the Fairfield County community. The collective is open to all active artists in pursuit of expanding their careers and in developing a strong, diverse arts community.
***Story link: https://westportlibrary.org/westport-library-debuts-three-new-art-exhibitions-westport-artists-collective-readies-october-trunk-show-and-sale/Rowan MacColl and Connor McCann Art Reception & Conversation: https://westportlibrary.org/event/art-reception-and-conversation-panels-gutters-the-comic-art-of-rowan-maccoll-and-connor-mccann/
More on The Comic Art of Rowan MacColl and Connor McCann: https://westportlibrary.org/event/the-comic-art-of-rowan-maccoll-and-connor-mccann/
More on Resinations by Niki Ketchman: https://westportlibrary.org/event/art-exhibit-resinations-by-niki-ketchman/
More on Cascade by Marc Zaref: https://westportlibrary.org/event/cascade-2023-a-site-specific-installation-by-marc-zaref/
Affordable Art Trunk Show: https://westportlibrary.org/event/affordable-art-trunk-show/***