Constance Old, Oh litigious for dayglo skies


RECYCLE/REPURPOSE opens at the NCC East Campus Gallery on Monday, November 6, 2017. The exhibition consists of works that have been created using repurposed and recycled materials. The exhibit features artists Vincent Dion, Joseph Fucigna, Constance Old, Margaret Roleke, Donna Sharrett and Suzan Shutan.

Reflecting on the use of found materials in her works, Constance Old states: “Paper and plastic interest me as abundantly available fibers that not only reflect our time, but with imagination and coaxing, can be made into ‘rugs,’ or at least wall pieces. Living in an era of material excess, it intrigues me to work in a medium that originated from need and a scarcity of materials.”

Vincent Dion’s painterly abstractions mimic various printed techniques which reconcile and affirm the introspective presence of the hand. Dion’s use of luminous color becomes his essential means to ascertain form through memory. His intention is to create symbolically resonant artworks that are neither abstract nor representational. This is work generated by a need to explore elemental emotions while balancing and reconciling the contradiction of making work that is simultaneously peaceful and energetic. These paintings are essentially metaphorical still lives. The marks and images can evoke many objects, such as crosses, stars, nets, clocks, organic, inorganic and industrial structures or vessels. These in turn function as symbols for cemeteries, eternity, the passage of time or the duration of loss. Dion starts by limiting my choices of colors that reference random objects. His use of imaginary imagery forms, figure-ground interchange and the integration of layers, both opaque and translucent, record a compilation of thoughts. The deliberate discipline of his formal process demonstrates energy at sober and variable speed, without the specific scale of the psychological space depicted. Each piece evolves on its own schedule. He stops the work on each painting when it looks unintentionally intentional. Vincent Dion has been featured in exhibitions at The Aldrich Museum, The Barnum Museum, Real Art Ways, The Art in Embassies program, and is currently featured in Volume 7 of the West Marin Review 2016.

Constance Old captures the spirit of the 21st century in her work by taking advantage of the excesses of the consumer economy. Old uses the traditional craft of rug hooking to make three dimensional wall pieces. Rug hooking with contemporary materials, her work is both timeless and an index of our time. She experiments with everyday materials, primarily recycled paper and plastic, using found “grids” as substrates (woven plastic tarps, disassembled polyester mesh bags, shopping bags and hand bags, consruction fencing). Constance Old received her MFA from Yale University in Graphic Design and worked as an art director for Martha Stewart Living and as a freelance book designer before committing full time to making her own work. She has exhibited at Farnsworth Art Museum (Rockland ME), Gallery for Contemporary Art at Sacred Heart University (CT), International Print Center New York (NYC), Affordable Art Fair (NYC), ArteAmericas Fair (Miami), Editions and Artists Book Fair (NYC), Orange County Center for Contemporary Art (CA), Hunterdon Museum of Art (NJ), The Carver Museum (TX), Katonah Museum of Art (NY), Brookfield Craft Center (CT), Some Things Looming (PA), Silvermine Guild Arts Center (CT). Old’s work is in corporate and private collections throughout the US and in Australia and Argentina.

Joseph Fucigna, professor and coordinator of the Fine Arts and Studio Arts Program, is a practicing sculptor who is known for transforming common industrial materials into unique three dimensional abstractions. Fucigna holds a B.F.A. from Alfred University, and an M.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts. His work has been exhibited throughout Connecticut and New York, and has been awarded many prestigious awards including the Molly and Albert Jacobson Award for Sculpture, the Amidar Award, and the Individual Artist Grant from the CT Commission on the Arts.

Margaret Roleke is an artist that creates politically aware work. Children’s war toys and packaging for these toys have fascinated her and become integrated elements in wall reliefs and paper pieces that she creates. These reliefs and paper pieces read first as abstractions, only on close examination does one notice that they are composed of multitudes of “army men” or “war stickers.” “Barbie”, “Tinkerbelle” and other oddly sexualized Disney characters make appearances in this unique world of play. She investigates popular culture and gender and draws attention to girl toys and boy toys, the consumerism of childhood, and war itself.

Donna Sharrett was born in Philadelphia. She earned a BFA degree from the School of Visual Arts, New York, and is a recipient of two New York Foundation for the Arts Artist Fellowships and several residency and grant awards. Her work has been exhibited at numerous venues including the U.S. Embassy, Bangladesh; the Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York; the Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, NY; the John Michael Kohler Institute, Sheboygan, WI; and, in a solo exhibition at the Everson Museum in Syracuse, NY. Articles about her work have appeared in the New York Times, Art & Antiques, Fiberarts, Sculpture, Surface Design and Woman’s Art Journal. Exhibitions of her work have been reviewed in BT (Tokyo), Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany), the New York Times, Time Out New York, the Village Voice and other publications. Her work can be found in numerous private collections including that of the U.S. Embassy in Valletta, Malta; and in such public collections as that of the Museum of Arts and Design, New York. Donna Sharrett is represented by Pavel Zoubok Gallery, New York.

Suzan Shutan was born in New Haven Connecticut. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting/Drawing from California Institute of the Arts and a Master of Fine Arts in Installation from Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts. She has lived and worked in Germany, France and New York City, NY. Shutan has taught at Rhode Island School of Design, Quinnipiac University, CT, University of Omaha, NE and currently teaches Sculpture at Housatonic Community College. She has attended artist residencies, has been awarded grants that include CEC Artslink, Art Matters, Berkshire Taconic Foundation’s A.R.T, and recently a Fellowship in Sculpture from the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism funding all work created in 2012-13. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions nationally including Bank of America Headquarters in N. Carolina and internationally in Germany, France, Sweden, Poland, Argentina, Russia, Canada and Columbia. She has been reviewed by the NY Times, High Performance Magazine, and has work in private and public collections such as the Villa Taverna Foundation and UCLA.

An artists’ talk and reception will be held on Wednesday, November 8 from 6:00 to 7:30 pm. The show closes Thursday, January 11, 2018.

The NCC Art Gallery hours are Monday–Friday 7:00 am–10:00 pm, Saturday 8:00 am–5:00 pm, closed on Sunday. For further information contact Susan Hardesty, Director of the NCC Art Gallery, at or 857.7197.

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