Coming Soon




Joell Baxter

Joell Baxter

About the Exhibition: Baxter's large-scale installation Coverer skims the floor and pushes up onto the walls, enveloping the room and shifting the experience of the architecture. The piece is comprised of a series of flat mesh panels woven from hand-screen-printed, cut paper. Intensifying, fading, and flickering at various points, the colors seem to hover just above the surfaces of the gallery.

Functioning as a painting or drawing in real space, the work simultaneously recalls the shifting light and perspective of a natural landscape and the flat, saturated colors of digital screens. Delineating an imagined space within the existing architecture, Coverer marks a location where viewers can physically participate, activating the work with their own movements and perception.

About the Artist: Joell Baxter is a Brooklyn based artist. Her recent exhibitions include The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY; The Visual Arts Center, Summit, New Jersey; and Regina Rex, Queens, New York. She has been awarded residencies in the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's Workspace Program, the Special Editions Residency at the Lower East Side Printshop, NY, and the Artist in the Marketplace Program at the Bronx Museum of the Arts.

Baxter received her MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she earned a University Fellowship. In 2014-2015 she will be in residence at the Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation's Space Program in Brooklyn, NY.

Each year Real Art Ways opens a call for exhibition proposals to emerging artists based in New England, New York, and New Jersey called Step Up. Baxter is one of six artists chosen for Step Up 2013 by three guest jurors to receive a solo exhibition and publication opportunity.

[joell baxter]

Michael Madore

Michael Madore

About the Exhibition: In his ongoing series of illustrated posters, Madore meticulously creates and catalogs a world populated by castles, animal emissaries and teeming plant life, utilizing aggressive colors and calligraphy reminiscent of illuminated manuscripts and stories from antiquity.

Madore defines Nervatura as a type of “travel-induced graphomania” characterized by a wide array of symptoms or traits that include:

Observational overkill; “doorbell panic;” excessive pintucking; mood lability; inexplicable gaze strategy; fissiparousness; habitual twiddling and nailbiting; hypersensitivity to noise, cometary dust, glare, and minute seismic activity; tweezer zealotry; exasperating tangential commentary; console fatigue; aggrieved gatekeeping; abnormal interest in electrodermal testing; and dubious fields of inquiry (e.g., telepathic encounters, “Felid-Lemur Alliances,” neuro-microcosmology, “Pyrenean Agarics,” Wyoming bunkhouses, “Austro-Bavarian Balloon Expeditions,” Pseudoreminiscenzen, etc.).

About the Artist: As a child Michael Madore created maps and diagrams in order to corroborate the increasingly specialized interests that are symptomatic of individuals diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. Born and raised in Hartford, he graduated from Trinity College with a BA in English and Art History which may explain his predilection for work that is predicated on literature and medievalism. In 1990 he received an MFA in Painting from Yale University. After 20 years living in New York City where he worked as a typographic proofreader and medical editor, Madore moved back to Hartford in 2010 and lives in Artspace with his cat Spyk.

Allison Kaufman

Allison Kaufman
Amplified Stages

About the Exhibition: Kaufman's installation Empty Party (Intervention Potential I) recreates a DJ and speaker showroom from a music and electronics store. The towering equipment - speakers, colored lights, a disco ball - all run incessantly around an empty dance floor, evoking a party that never quite takes off. This work, in conjunction with Kaufman's video component Friday Nights at Guitar Center, peers into the psychology of American chain stores, and how they package and stereotype identities that perpetuate the fantasy of rock stardom, the human desire to be seen and recognized, and the simultaneity of exhibitionism and vulnerability.

About the Artist: Allison Kaufman is a video artist and photographer. She has exhibited her works nationally at spaces including HERE Arts Center and Hendershot Gallery in NYC, and Moore College of Art and Design and the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts in Pennsylvania. Her exhibitions have been reviewed in the Huffington Post, L Magazine, the Pittsburgh-Tribune Review, and Bomb Magazine's BOMBlog.

Kaufman spent time as artist in residence at the Constance Saltonstall Foundation of the Arts and Yaddo in upstate New York, the center for Emerging Visual Artists in Philadelphia, and the Penland School of Crafts in Bakersville, North Carolina. She received her BFA from New York University and her MFA from the School of Visual Arts (SVA). She currently lives and works New York City.

Each year Real Art Ways opens a call for exhibition proposals to emerging artists based in New England, New York, and New Jersey called Step Up. Kaufman is one of six artists chosen for Step Up 2013 by three guest jurors to receive a solo exhibition and publication opportunity.

[allison kaufman]

Shane Morrissey
The Hobie Cat

About the Exhibition: Morrissey presents several interacting sculptures of recreated objects from one of his earliest memories: a catamaran that he used to sail (called a hobie cat), a group of cacti he once stepped on, and a swarm of bees that attacked his sister. Morrissey's practice is about recreating fragments of remembered scenes, and relating personal experiences to the objects he creates using unlikely hardware including zip ties, twist ties, rivets and rubber straps.

About the Artist: Shane Morrissey graduated with a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2009 and then went on to participate in residencies at The Wassaic Project and The Contemporary Artists Center at Woodside. He has exhibited his works at the Creative Arts Workshop in New Haven, CT, the Francis Street Kitchen Gallery in Portland, OR, the Sandman Gallery in Meriden, CT, and various galleries throughout Baltimore, MD.

In 2012 Morrissey entered the MFA program with a full-time fellowship at the University of Connecticut. He will graduate in May 2014 and will then be in residence at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT.

Each year Real Art Ways opens a call for exhibition proposals to emerging artists based in New England, New York, and New Jersey called Step Up. Morrissey is one of six artists chosen by three guest jurors to receive a solo exhibition and publication opportunity.

[shane morrissey]


RAW City Mini-Golf

Real Art Ways presents RAW City Mini-Golf, an innovative
3-hole course designed by Hartford artist Randy Gilman. The course, located on Bushnell Plaza, will be fully operational and available for play during Envisionfest on Saturday, September 21 from 11 AM to 6 PM.

The 3-hole course is a preview on an 18-hole artist commissioned mini-golf course coming to life in the city in the summer of 2014.


Support for this project comes from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and The City of Hartford Arts & Heritage Jobs Grant Program, Pedro Segarra, Mayor, administered by the Greater Hartford Arts Council.




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.

Step Up 2014

A series of up to six solo exhibitions, open to emerging artists living in New York, New Jersey, and New England.

Step Up is a series of six solo exhibitions open to emerging artists living in New York, New Jersey and New England.

The Step Up exhibition series seeks to provide emerging artists in our region an exhibition and publication opportunity at a critical moment in their careers. While artists are permitted to propose the exhibition of existing work, the jury places special emphasis on proposals that call for the creation of new work.

The jury selects work based on: the quality of the artist's work, the innovation evidenced by the submitted work and proposal, the potential impact of the exhibition on the artist's career and the economic and physical feasibility of the proposed exhibition.


  • Lia Gangitano, Founder, PARTICIPANT INC.
  • Paul C. Ha, Director, MIT List Visual Arts Center
  • Dushko Petrovich, Artist, Writer & Lecturer, Boston University, RISD, Yale University

STEP UP 2014 is made possible through the generous support of: the National Endowment for the Arts, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Joan Mitchell Foundation, the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, the Greater Hartford Arts Council's United Arts Campaign, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Travelers Foundation, New Alliance Foundation, Sandy and Howard Fromson, and Real Art Ways Members.

National Endowment for the Arts










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