Ask Your Artist If It’s Right For You at Real Art Ways

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Ask Your Artist If It's Right For You

Thursday, August 1, 6:00 PM. Free admission, no RSVP required.

You’re invited to High Society: A Conversation about Art and Pharma with artist Jeff Ostergren, who will discuss his current exhibition with independent writer and curator Sarah Fritchey at Real Art Ways. Please join us for an insightful conversation detailing the intertwined histories of paint and pharmaceuticals, how it began, where we are today, and how pharmaceutical advertising has always aimed at keeping some of us down, while getting others high.

Guests (21+) will be served a complimentary cocktail inspired by High Society using Wild Moon Botanics Liqueurs from our neighbors at Hartford Flavor Company.

Jeff Ostergren makes paintings, sculptures, videos, drawings, and installations about the intertwined histories of pharmaceuticals and color. His pointillist, color-saturated works, infused with actual pharmaceuticals and chemicals, utilize imagery from art history and advertising to explore the ecstasy and toxicity of our present moment.

Originally trained as an anthropologist, Jeff has been a practicing artist for two decades. Upcoming shows include a solo exhibition at Real Art Ways in Hartford, CT, and a two part project called “A Suitcase” at Picture Theory in New York City and Kunstraum Super in Vienna, Austria.

Recent exhibitions include “Double Take: Familiar Objects in Unexpected Materials” at the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, CT, “The Past Pushes Forward” at Omola Studios in New Haven, CT, and “Circadian Rhythms,” curated by URSA Gallery in Bridgeport, CT. In 2018, he completed a 2,400 square foot solo site-specific installation “Science For a Better Life,” in which he explored the chemical and visual history of Bayer Pharmaceuticals at Yale University’s West Campus in New Haven, a former Bayer facility.

Ostergren is a recipient of a 2024 Lillian Orlowsky and William Freed Grant from the Provincetown Art Association and Museum. He also received an Artist Grant from the Puffin Foundation earlier this year. In 2023, he was awarded an Artist Fellowship Grant from the Connecticut Office of the Arts, and The Bitsie Clark Fund for Artists Grant, an annual project based-grant in New Haven. He was also chosen a 2021 “Artist-To-Watch” by Ortega y Gasset Projects in Brooklyn, NY.

He also has a curatorial practice, including a well-reviewed exhibition “False Flag: The Space Between Reason and Paranoia” at Franklin Street Works in Stamford, CT in 2018. In addition, from 2018-2019, Ostergren ran Tilia Projects, a community exhibition space, out of his studio in New Haven.

Ostergren received his MFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA in 2006, following upon receiving a BA in a double major of anthropology and gender studies at Rice University in Houston, TX in 1998. He lives and works in New Haven, CT.



Sarah Fritchey is an independent Curator and Writer who works at the intersections of art, justice, civic engagement, memory and belonging. Fritchey has curated exhibitions in museums, galleries and art non-profits around the country, including the African American Museum in Philadelphia, the Hessel Museum of Art in Hudson, NY, Sideshow Gallery in NYC, Fine Arts Gallery at York College in NYC, NYPOP Gallery in NYC, Real Art Ways in Hartford, CT, and Franklin Street Works in Stamford, CT. She has juried regional exhibitions at the New Britain Museum of American Art, and the Art and Culture Center in Hollywood, FL, and has contributed writing to, Hyperallergic, Art New England Magazine, Big, Red & Shiny, Artscope Magazine, and the Hartford Courant.