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Danbury's @287 Gallery Features Work From African-American Greeting Cards

A Cultural Odyssey and Able Bodies opens Friday at the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut
A Cultural Odyssey and Able Bodies opens Friday at the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut Photo Credit: Contributed

DANBURY, Conn. — In its 10th year, the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut in Danbury continues its paramount exhibitions of visual art at @287 Gallery And Meeting Place with two exhibitions that distinctly complement each other.

The new shows are titled "A Cultural Odyssey: Paintings from the Carole Joy Collection" featuring Manuel Hughes and "Able Bodies: Sculpture" by Ryan Scails.

The show opens on Friday, Aug. 5, with a free public reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in its gallery at 287 Main St. in Danbury.

Made possible, in part, through the generosity of the Savings Bank of Danbury and Brio Tuscan Grille, the exhibition continues through Saturday, Oct. 29.

For 30 years, Carole Joy Creations, based in Danbury was the largest African-American-owned greeting card publisher in the country. Now retired, Carole Joy is sharing numerous pieces of artwork acquired during those years.

Her detailed pencil renderings are included in the exhibit alongside colorful paintings by the American and international artists she represented.

“As an adolescent, although I was constantly exposed to the arts, most galleries and retail outlets were void in the depiction of positive ethnic images. Now they are easy to find and I am gratified to have been part of the evolution,” she says.

Among the artists in Joy's collection, Manuel Hughes creates still-life paintings from ordinary household objects and transforms them into unique artwork that often can appear weathered or abstract. He depicts everything from antique toys to delicately realistic ballet slippers, each leaving the viewer eager to get involved in the work and anxious to see more.

Living in a rough neighborhood, Hughes’ childhood experiences of racism and violence are reflected in some of his work. At times they are subtle while others convey a more obvious and uplifting message.

"Able Bodies: Sculpture" features work by Ryan Scails, who was born in Danbury, raised in Bethel and now lives in New York.

He is interested in and explores the anthropomorphic qualities of functional objects and their connections to the people who make and use them habitually, he says.

Reservations are requested for the Aug. 5 reception; they may be made by visiting the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut's website, artswesternct.org .

For more information, go to the website or call (203) 798 0760

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