Coming Soon




Step Up 2014

Step Up 2014 Selectees

After considering hundreds of applications, our three Step Up jurors have selected six emerging artists to receive a solo exhibition opportunity at Real Art Ways!

Take a moment to get to know them now, and stay tuned for details on their exhibitions!

Congratulations to:

Yvonne Buchanan
Joy Mckinney
JC Lenochan
Elizabeth Meyer
Paul Anthony Smith
Heidi Lau



About the Exhibition: RealUnreal challenges traditional notions of representation through the work of four artists who make the intangible aspects of time, memory, imagination and scientific theory tangible in their representations of the natural world. Through the imagined atmospheres Hilary Brace creates; to the manifestation of the underlying clock work of mother nature in Linda Darlings work; to the notions of memory and time infused in the work of Thom Sawyer, and Dennis Pinette;  these artists bend our pliable notions of place, by making the real unreal, and the unreal real.

Curated by Peter Waite.

Victor Pacheco

Victor Pacheco

About the Exhibition: Victor Pacheco’s sculptural exhibition Extraction explores the contentious issue of hydraulic fracturing (or fracking). Pacheco presents several works made of transformed reclaimed and natural materials, illustrating the scope of landscape decimation inflicted by oil and gas drilling operations.

John Spray

John Spray
Collision Repair

Cat Balco

Cat Balco
The Ellipses Project

About the Exhibition: The Ellipses Project looks at the ways that art-making can help individuals connect with hidden aspects of themselves, express difficult emotions, and affect personal change. In particular, the Project explores the ways that art can intervene during the end-of-life period.

Phase I : Perimeters & Portals: May 15 – July 8

Cat Balco's mural represents a fence or a transparent wall between the real world and the inner world. It is painted by artists and art students who agreed to participate in Balco's meditative painting practice.

The video piece, directed by artist Jeff Ostergren in collaboration with Balco and Ellipses Project Interns Sara Adams, Allie Corriveau, Catherine Johnson, Alyssa Nett and Kim Zebrowski is created out of excerpts from video diaries recorded during a 2012 summer internship in which students worked with Connecticut hospice patients as expressive artists. Ostergren works to re-contextualize interns' video reflections, so that they might serve as portals, opening poetic pathways for viewers seeking to understand more about what's beyond.

Phase II : Indications & Evidence: July 10 – August 8

This exhibition incudes artworks created by patients at the end of their lives and/or by volunteers and staff who work closely with such patients. Many works have been borrowed from Masonicare Partners Home Health and Hospice's traveling art exhibition, Completing the Journey. Others have been created or facilitated by artists, volunteers, and art therapists throughout Connecticut. Several were created in Ellipses Project workshops.

The works in this exhibition suggest that art can function as signs and traces – of inner knowing, of deeper consciousness, of vitality and spirit. Perhaps artworks are the pieces of evidence that come back to us from the other world beyond.

Visit the Ellipses Project website.


Adam Niklewicz
The Charter Oak
and Walking Around a Tree

[watch the video]

The Charter Oak water mural is located at 215 Pearl Street in downtown Hartford, on the exterior wall of the long vacant deconsecrated synagogue. The mural, while barely visible when the wall is dry, blossoms into full detail when water saturates the piece. Niklewicz’s water-activated mural depicts the enduring symbol of Connecticut’s revolutionary spirit. The iconic image, which appears and disappears from view, is based on Charles DeWolf Brownell’s painting of 1857 in the collection of the Wadsworth Atheneum. Local artist J.D. Richey assisted Niklewicz in realizing his vision for The Charter Oak.

The Charter Oak was officially unveiled at a reception on Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 5:30PM. After a brief reception, all were invited back to Real Art Ways for Creative Cocktail Hour. After the initial reception, the mural was "watered" every day at 3PM until the beginning of November.

Walking Around a Tree is a companion piece to the water mural. The projection, which animates a young tree that revolves 360 degrees, was displayed at night, high on the exterior of the AT&T building adjacent to the synagogue.

The Walking Around a Tree projection debuted the evening of Saturday, September 22, 2012. Viewers were welcomed to begin the adventure at Real Art Ways by participating in our Real Ride, which stopped by the AT&T building for the premier of the piece.

Artist Statement
Public art should embrace the existing environment and work to enrich reality. The blank slates (almost screens) of the two downtown buildings invite visuals that give counterbalance (nature) and meaning (historical context). The image of the Charter Oak speaks to both. The projection of the new tree speaks to the continuum.

About Adam Niklewicz
Adam Niklewicz arrived in the United States in the 1980’s, seeking refuge from martial law in Poland. Much of Niklewicz’s work is informed by the dislocation he feels as a Polish-born American.

While he has developed a body of work that is varied in material and formal terms, it is unified in its lyricism and sense of loss, and in its obsession with the impossible project of reconciling past and present.

Collaboration and Support
The Capital City Canvas public art projects The Charter Oak and Walking Around a Tree are co-organized by Real Art Ways, the City of Hartford and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art with support from the Greater Hartford Arts Council. The initiative is funded by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development - Office of the Arts and the City of Hartford with support from the National Endowment for the Arts. In-kind support for the project is generously provided by 215 Pearl LLC, AT&T Connecticut, TheaterWorks, The Metropolitan District, and the U.S. Army, U.S. Naval, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marine Corps recruiting offices in Hartford.










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