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Lunar New Year to be celebrated at Stamford campus with art exhibit

by Karen A. Grava - January 23, 2006

The Stamford Campus will celebrate Lunar New Year in a special program on Sunday, Jan. 29 from 3 to 5 p.m.

The celebration will take place in the Stamford Campus Art Gallery, which is featuring work by four local artists, including four dragons, which symbolize good luck. The exhibit, “The Lunar New Year: Celebrating Asian Art,” will be in the first-floor gallery through March 31.

The featured artists include:

Carol Nipomnich Dixon of Old Greenwich, best known for her color photography and small-scaled embroidered collages, which combine traditional and contemporary techniques. Many of her works have been inspired by her knowledge of Asian history and art and her visits to China, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia. She is a former member of the Greenwich Academy’s history and arts departments and has taught studio courses at the Stamford Museum.

Peter Landa, who has lived in Japan and Korea and traveled extensively in China and Southeast Asia. Landa has studied in Japan with Hiratsuka, a master wood artist. Originally from Chicago, Landa lives in Easton, and has worked for many years as a graphic artist and book designer. He works with pen and ink and makes prominent use of the “lucky” color red in depicting the intimate details of the everyday life of farmers, fishermen, and village marketers.

Heidi Lewis Coleman, who spent several years in Seattle, a port city long a major center for trade with the Far East. Asian design has become an intrinsic part of Seattle’s culture and has had a significant influence on many of the local artists. Coleman was particularly fascinated by the intricate calligraphy used to decorate ancient scrolls and screens. Her most recent body of work, “Writing in Tongues,” incorporates her own abstract, automatic writing reflecting the grace and intricacy of Chinese calligraphy.

Beth Mizelle of Stamford, a noted sculptor in wood, stone, and clay. Mizelle has three dragons in this exhibit, as well as animals representing signs of the Chinese Zodiac. Mizelle studied painting while living in Paris, France, but after returning to the United States, she focused on clay sculptures. She is a member of the New Canaan Society for the Arts and the Stamford Art Association.

The Stamford Campus Art Gallery is now being managed by a committee of two students, two faculty, two staff, two community representatives from local art associations and galleries, and one alumni representative, with Michael Ego, associate provost for the campus, as chair.

The goal is to make the gallery more of a resource for faculty, staff, and students, and also for the community, Ego says: “The mission of the UConn Stamford Campus Art Gallery is to offer a welcoming environment that attracts artists and members of the community to high caliber exhibitions and programs,” he says. “The gallery supports the University’s educational mission by stimulating active learning and dialogue about the arts and the creative process.”

The gallery shows will feature regional artists and seek to include works and themes of traditionally underrepresented groups, Ego says. Works by Stamford faculty, staff, and students will be particularly solicited for exhibitions.

The schedule for this year will include works from students in April and May; and works by faculty from August through October.

The gallery is open Monday through Thursday, from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Free parking is available on the second floor of the parking garage on Washington Boulevard.

The public is requested to RSVP for the Lunar New Year celebration on Jan. 29 by calling Maureen Simeoni at 203-251-8510.

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