Author Archives: Bridgeport Art Trail

7th Annual Bridgeport Art Trail takes place November 12-15, 2015

Weekend celebration transforms ‘Park City’ into cultural hotspot of Connecticut

Bridgeport Art Trail/City Lights & Company
Media Contacts: Suzanne Kachmar, (203) 984-8613
Mike Horyczun

BRIDGEPORT, CT (October 23, 2015). View Art. Talk Art. Buy Art at over thirty locations that reach into every geographic corner of Bridgeport, CT, during the 7th annual Bridgeport Art Trail (BAT) taking place Thursday, November 12, through Sunday, November 15, 2015. Open studios and galleries provide the nucleus for BAT activities, with workshops, studio sales, gallery tours, performance space concerts, and hands-on learning experiences featured on the schedule. Countless artists, photographers, designers, musicians, dancers, deejays, film makers, actors, and poets take part in a weekend of mostly-free events that celebrate what local inspiration and genius can accomplish. To view a downloadable BAT brochure, click here.


City Lights Gallery, the lead organization of the Bridgeport Art Trail, is joined by several anchor locations throughout the city – all products of successful gentrification initiatives. These include the American Fabrics Arts Building, hosting its 10th annual “Open Studios” showcase, The Bridgeport Innovation Center, the historic Arcade Mall, Read’s Artspace, 305 Knowlton, and The NEST Arts Factory. Additional participating galleries, studios, and spaces include: B:Hive, Gallery @ 999, PenRod Studios, Bridgeport Creates Gallery, Bert Chernow Gallery, Misencik Photography, Maggie Daly Arts Cooperative, Revisit Bridgeport, The Seasides, Black Rock Galleries, SteP uP Gallery, Pious Bird, Source Coffeehouse and Harborview Market. Several Open House events take place at locations such as the Bridgeport School of the Arts, (Steve Hladun’s Jefferson School Loft in the South End), Hall Arts Academy, the Neighborhood Studios of Fairfield County, and Soundview Community Media.

Bridgeport’s recognized institutions are participating in BAT this year, including the University of Bridgeport’s Schelfhaudt Gallery, the Housatonic Museum of Art, the Discovery Museum, the Barnum Museum, and community radio station WPKN. Additionally, Bridgeport’s renowned concert halls and theatres celebrate the weekend with significant performances scheduled for The Klein Memorial Auditorium, marking its 75th anniversary, the Downtown Cabaret Theatre, and The Bijou Theatre. The city’s New England Ballet also presents a free all-day ballet workshop. Activities added to the mix include poetry readings, an all-day BAT bike tour, morning yoga session, vinyl record sale, Moroccan brunch, and Gambian-food evening opening.

“As BAT continues to grow and expand, this year’s event promises to be the best and most satisfying thus far” said Suzanne Kachmar, Executive Director of City Lights Gallery and lead organizer of BAT. “So much is taking place over the weekend including visual art, music, poetry and film. The fact that we’re now celebrating our 7th Annual Bridgeport Art Trail speaks to the remarkable support we’ve received from the City of Bridgeport, the artists, exhibitors, and participants, and all of our sponsors, as the entire community opens its doors and proudly celebrates how the arts enhances everything positive that the City of Bridgeport has to offer. Our mantra? View art, talk art, buy art.”


New this year will be a BAT Shuttle Bus service connecting all artists’ studio space sites. Park downtown and pick up a Shuttle Pass at City Lights, which is partnering with Neighborhood Studios to provide this service. Passes are free, but a $5 donation is suggested.


Visitors can mingle with artists at a kick-off party on Thursday night at the historic Read’s Artspace Ground Floor Gallery with guest combo featuring Rick Reyes of the Cosmic Jibaros. WPKN programmers will keep the party atmosphere going between sets. On exhibit will be the annual “Artists Choose Artists” exhibit produced by the Read’s artists community. Once the Read’s department store, an anchor store to the twentieth-century downtown, it is now a community-based, redeveloped live/work artist space in downtown Bridgeport. The gallery is utilized by the Read’s residents to host exhibitions and related programming and is open on an event/appointment basis.


Another BAT anchor location is the American Fabrics Arts Building (AFA), which presents its 10th Annual Open Studios, showcasing over 25 artists in studios where the creative process happens. 2 Roads Brewery will host a beer tasting at the AFA building where WPKN will present its popular Vintage Vinyl Record Sale. AFA is located in a renovated factory building where linen and lace were once manufactured. The event has become a destination for collectors, interior designers, and art lovers alike. AFA’s diverse group of artists are engaged in painting, printmaking, sculpture, quilting, jewelry, photography, ceramics, textiles, design, mixed media, and more.


A sampling of other BAT highlights includes visual art exhibitions ranging from Denyse Schmidt quilts, short videos and still photos from Misencik Photography, supersized drawings by Rick Shaefer, a fashion show Boutique presented by Bridgeport Creates & Fashion Oasis with works from local and regional designers, and a film presentation at the Bijou Theatre hosted by City Lights entitled “Mostly Silent” featuring vintage-to-contemporary film, news reels, and animation commercials, plus a presentation of works by Saturday Night Live’s animation and creative powerhouse J.J. Sedelmaeir.

The 5th Annual Bridgeport Art Trail Bike Ride, a BAT favorite, begins at City Lights Gallery at 9 a.m. on Saturday, November 14, with a coffee and a bagel, then heads out with Bob Halstead to stops that include Mountain Grove cemetery, the final resting place of PT Barnum and Tom Thumb, plus the historic Majestic and Poli Theatres, and a number of open studio locations.


The Bridgeport Innovation Center (BIC), site of a number of special weekend events, has been providing a nurturing space for artists, entrepreneurs, community organizers, and small to mid-sized companies to grow and flourish since 1989. The building itself possesses a rich history and is a hidden historical gem of Bridgeport’s East End. The oldest of the 10 buildings within the complex dates back to 1914 and for the majority of its life it was occupied by the Weed Tire Chain Company. Today, BIC is home to artists, entrepreneurs, business professionals, community organizations, religious organizations, and mid-styled companies in a variety of industries.

The Arcade Mall was one of America’s first enclosed shopping malls. The renovated downtown landmark is being reactivated by the artists. Its charm and scale make it a perfect location for social gatherings and events. The NEST Arts Factory is a community of artists and musicians working in a wide variety of media in a re-imagined factory building on the West Side. Open space and a dedicated gallery within the NEST allow both performing and visual artists to share their work with the community. And 305 Knowlton Street Artist Studios is a repurposed factory building located on the Pequannock River providing two floors of working studio spaces. The rustic Armstrong Gallery on the first floor is home to exhibitions and events. There is plenty of parking in a new off-street parking lot. Check each venue for BAT event details at these historic venues and at all BAT locations.


Music is also on the BAT menu, with Paul Shaffer, the famous bandleader from television’s “Late Night with David Letterman” and Saturday Night Live hosting and emceeing The Klein Memorial Auditorium’s 75th Anniversary Concert on Saturday night, November 14. The Downtown Cabaret Theatre presents Musicals in Concert: CHESS, with an onstage band and a large cast also on Saturday, November 14. Singer-songwriter Rick Reyes performs with a quartet at the opening night Artists Party between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m., at Read’s Artspace, and goes solo at the NEST Arts Factory, at 5 p.m. on Saturday, November 14. On the classical side of things, harpsichordist Owen Burdick, an internationally active composer and conductor, joins flutist Richard Wyton for a performance at the NEST Arts Factory at 6 p.m. on Friday, November 13. Singer-songwriter Lys Guillorn adds her musical talents to the Bridgeport Innovation Center at 3 p.m. on Saturday, November 14. Guillorn’s performance is preceded by music in the same space from Chica Non Grata at 2 p.m., the wife and husband duo of Julie Beman and Eric Bloomquist. And at 4 p.m., also at the Bridgeport Innovation Center, Abner, Lawson & Company featuring local artists Vincent Abner and John Lawson perform jazz, rhythm and blues, and classic rock. 8:00 pm The Bijou Theatre presents “Songs from my AM Radio” with Michael Dunham on vocals and Dave Schneider of the Zambonis on guitar along with sax and percussion covering ‘60s and ‘70s chart-topping pops songs at 8 p.m. on Friday, November 13. Kenny Owens kicks off a pair of Bridgeport Art Trail close out parties on Sunday, November 15, on Fairfield Ave. in Black Rock. His band HITCH and the Giddy UP strum up bluegrass favorites from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at BRYAC (the Black Rock Yacht & Athletic Club). Free admission. Visitors can then head to the Acoustic for Grammy award winning blues with Alvin Young Blood Hart, closing out the weekend with happy musical trails.


The Bridgeport Art Trail is being organized and produced by City Lights, a nonprofit arts organization located in downtown Bridgeport providing free exhibitions and outreach programs year round.

For information, contact Suzanne Kachmar, Executive Director of City Lights, at (203) 984-8613. Visit City Lights’ website. Online information about the Bridgeport Art Trail is available throughout this website. There are some ticketed events, primarily at concerts at The Klein, Downtown Cabaret, Acoustic, and Bijou, but most of BAT’s open gallery events are free of charge, unless noted in the program brochure.

For a downloadable BAT brochure, click here.

Artist of the Month: April 2015


‘Color Braid’- cut-paper installation;- 3′ x 12′
My current studio practice encompasses drawing, mixed-media works on paper, paintings, soft-sculpture, and cut-paper sculpture/installation.

The works featured in ‘Chroma is Key’ are a ‘sampler’ of my recent explorations of color, texture and form involving repetitive, meditative pattern and rhythm, inspired and informed by a diverse range of influences ranging from fashion and film to my love of nature in all its myriad manifestations and my passionate avocation as a gardener with a fondness for unusual and exotic plants.

My intention has been to take on the challenge of working with color again; with paint, paper and fabric; after a nearly ten-year hiatus; and to make work which evokes a sense of joy amidst the austere socio-economic backdrop of The Great Recession, which has impacted my own life and that of virtually everyone I know.

Choosing to create ‘Slow Art’ from paper, paint, fabric and scissors which is high-touch, low-tech, involving hands-on artisanal labor, is my way of pushing back against the technological tsunami of digital information overload generated by social media and the cultural obsession with life as a trivial pursuit.

‘Higgelty-Piggelty’- Oil stick & gesso on paper;- 4’x 9′;
“a series of drawings of biomorphic cartoons can lead to creating a series of mixed-media assemblages working with a vocabulary of shapes derived from the drawings, which can then evolve into a cut-paper installation. In the end, it’s all inter-related.”-Jodiann Strmiska

Left: ‘Tumble-Bunnies’- soft-sculpture installation- set of 8 felt/foam/wire heads
Right: ‘Bluebeard;- cut-paper sculpture;- 22″ x 35’
Q. How would you describe your artwork/style?
A. Multi-disciplinary and maverick. My current studio practice encompasses drawing, installation, soft-sculpture, and mixed-media assemblage.

Q. What medium do you work in?   
A. Mixed-media including: felt, paper, pom-poms, wood, paint, graphite, and sharpies. At present, I am very involved with working with color, pattern, and texture and am involved with creating my own form of fiber-art from cut-paper and cut-felt which I fashion into elongated dresses, wall hangings, and ‘mandalas’.

Q. What is your process like? 
A. Either I start from an idea which dictates the materials and methods used; or, I start with a color or specific material which dictates the form and idea. Usually, I like to work on developing a series of works, which can then become a point-of-departure for works in other media. Hence, a series of drawings of biomorphic cartoons can lead to creating a series of mixed-media assemblages working with a vocabulary of shapes derived from the drawings, which can then evolve into a cut-paper installation. In the end, it’s all inter-related.

Q. What inspires you? 
A. Inspiration often comes in the guise of a delightful surprise. I am inspired and influenced by nature as much as I am by fashion, film, and music. As a 21st-century female artist, I am indebted to pioneering  20th-century artists like the late, great, Louise Bourgeoise, and sculptor Louise Nevelson, both of whom had the courage, willpower, and persistence of vision needed to break new ground and create  authentic, brave, innovative work amidst a male-dominated art-world.

Q. How do you think you’ve changed or developed as an artist?
A. With age and experience, there comes a sense of urgency about cutting-to-the-quick and getting at the essence of things. I am much more results-oriented now at age 60 than I was at age 30, as I simply do not have the luxury of time to devote to endless experimentation. I now create art from a place of focused intention to a far greater extent than ever before, utilizing the most direct and economical materials and methods available to create art invested with a sense of personal authenticity.

Q. Can you tell me about your participation in the ‘Chroma is Key’ exhibition at The Schelfhaudt Gallery at University of Bridgeport? What will you have on view at the ‘Forever Young’ exhibition?
A. When Gallery Director Peter Konsterlie told me I’d be exhibiting with a group of artists from Brooklyn including Mark Sorgatz, Chris Moss, Cheres Espinosa, and an artist from New Haven;- Mark Williams; who is a ‘cave-artist’;  for ‘Chroma is Key’ , I was very excited! The Schelfhaudt Gallery is a beautiful space and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase a growing body of cut-paper sculpture and mixed-media work. Exhibiting in a university setting affords an artist an opportunity to have their work viewed in an educational context. I was flattered to discover that one of Professor Konsterlie’s art history students had written a paper about my work , from a ‘Pop’ Art perspective’ comparing my work to the Japanese artist, Yayoi Kusama, who is one of my art-heroes!

The upcoming ‘Forever Young’ exhibition at City Lights will feature my ‘Power Flower’ Mandala # I; which is one of a current series of cut-felt and pom-pom ‘mandalas’ which have a ‘in-your-face’, funny yet beautiful presence which is ageless, if not ‘Forever Young’.

‘Color Whirls’;- set of 8;- House Paint on Wooden Barrel-tops;- 12″-28″ diameter
Q. You’re presently teaching a teen drawing class at City Lights Gallery. How would you describe your experience teaching? Has it influenced your personal drawing style? 
A. My approach to teaching drawing is about learning to see and draw from direct observation. Working with Bridgeport high school students who show promise is rewarding, as these kids are living in a time when many schools have cut arts programming from their standard curriculum. Encouraging these young people to find ways to integrate art into their daily lives via local cultural venues like The Housatonic Museum of Art and City Lights Gallery is key to developing their potential and expanding their curiosity about Art. This experience has made me realize what a privilege it is to be an artist with an active studio practice and to have had recourse to the education and cultural resources I had as a young art student.

Q. You’re an avid gardener. Can you share a bit why you’re so connected to the gardening field? Would you say your passion for gardening influence your creative process? 
A. Gardening is a visual art-form as it involves color, pattern, texture, scale and spatial composition. I like to say that my garden is my ‘outdoor studio’, as it involves an analogous process to my indoor studio practice. Instead of working with inert materials like paint and canvas, I work with flowers and plants to create outdoor ‘living rooms’. I became enamored of gardening when I dropped out of the NYC Fashion Industry, where I worked as a Textile Colorist and Designer in the 1980’s and moved back to CT to begin life anew. My avocation has led to opportunities to work as a freelance gardener on residential projects on a seasonal basis in Fairfield County. Gardening keeps me grounded and connected to nature and the great round of life.

Q. Any other upcoming news or events you’d like to share?
A. I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed at my studio by Mike Lauterborn for the currently available Spring, 2015 edition of Fairfield Living Magazine, which is a sister-publication of Fairfield Hamlet Hub and is distributed throughout Fairfield County.

For further information on my artwork and garden services Jodiann Strmiska can be contacted via email at All serious inquiries are welcome!


Bridgeport Art Trail Newsletter


Welcome to our Bridgeport Art Trail newsletter, providing a listing of arts and cultural events.

Spring has sprung and so has Bridgeport with new exhibits, calls for art, theater, handmade markets, and more!

This site of the iconic Read’s Department Store comes to life this week with programming at both the Read’s Ground Floor Gallery and The Kennedy Center’s Maggie Daly Arts Cooperative located at 1042 Broad Street. Both will be hosting special exhibitions on Thursday, April 23rd  in celebration of Earth Day.

Exciting news for the Bridgeport Theatre Company, which presents Thouroughly Modern Millie through May 9th. It was announced in a recent press release that they will be joining the Downtown Cabaret Theatre as a new division.

The Nest Arts Factory hosts a weekend of exciting programs with it’s Spring Buzz! event including open studios and the opening of the encaustic themed show Encased Exhibit. Plus, a curated art, craft + design fair.

Joining the handmade marketplace, The Coastal Connecticut Arts Guild of CT will also be holding it’s first annual Spring Arts & Crafts Market. Both are just in time for the perfect unique Mother’s Day gift!

City Lights is extending a call to all artists for its 4th annual Same Sex exhibit, scheduled to open Thursday, July 9, 2015.

SameSex explores LGBT themes, same-sex attraction, related feelings and issues of 2015.  This year’s suggested theme is “gender identity”. However artists can choose their own subject matter and need not be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender to participate.

And lastly, COAST FC provides an online platform for writers and visual artists with a Fairfield County-themed digital journal. Submissions for their inaugural May issue are currently being accepted.

Be sure to check out all the details below!

-The Bridgeport Art Trail Team

Check out the full calendar of Bridgeport Art listings at the Bridgeport Art Trail Website.



Spring Buzz! Open studies, Encased Exhibit, Factory HandMade, and more!

The NEST Arts Factory
Events Saturday & Sunday, May 9-10th

Opening Reception: Saturday, May 9th from 2-4PM
On View: April 11 – May 1, 2015


Spring Buzz!
A multidisciplinary event to celebrate spring! Activities include: Honey tasting, demos, and crafts with Red Bee Honey; the Factory Handmade art, design, and craft fair, a plant sale; garden lectures; open studios; and much more!

Encased Exhibit
A stunning exhibit in the NEST Gallery featuring acclaimed local encaustic artists. Join us for the opening reception on Saturday, May 9from 2-4 pm.
The exhibit runs from March 9-June 6, 2015

Factory HandMade
A curated art, craft + design fair at the NEST featuring talented local artists, designers. and artisans, perfectly timed for Mother’s Day shopping

Open Studios
Visit with the artists and musicians of the NEST during our monthly Open Studios, Saturday and Sunday May 9 and 10 from 10-4 pm.
More Info

SPECIAL EVENT: The Coastal Arts Guild of CT’s First Annual Spring Arts & Crafts Market
Sunday, May 3rd, from 10am–4pm
Stratford’s Baldwin Center

Event Description:
The artists and crafters selected for the show bring a twist to the handmade arts and crafts, with up-cycled lighting fixtures, nostalgic mixed media papers, hand-stitched doll fashion, organically-inspired twisted wire jewelry, painted pyrography and more.

Stratford artist and guild member Susan Ernst’s mixed media piece, “Garden Songbird Silhouette” was selected for the event’s poster. She will be selling handmade art, paper and journals at the show.

And what show would be complete without artisan cupcakes?!
“There is a reason handmade is on-trend right now. How many places can you go and be certain you are buying something original?” said Melissa Benson, event organizer and guild board member. “True, one-of-a-kind craftsmanship is rare and special.”
The event is at 1000 Main Street in Stratford, with easy access right off of I-95’s exit 32, with plenty of parking.

More Info


First Pride Parade in Downtown Bridgeport for the opening of SAMESEX exhibit 2014
City Lights Gallery

DESCRIPTION: “SAMESEX”, City Lights Galley’s 5rd annual gay-themed art show, opens July 9, 2015, with work that reflects the current LGBTQ zeitgeist.

City Lights is extending a call to all artists for our 4th annual Same Sex exhibit, scheduled to open Thursday, July 9, 2015.

SameSex explores LGBT themes, same-sex attraction, related feelings and issues of 2015.  This year’s suggested theme is “gender identity”. However artists can choose their own subject matter and need not be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender to participate.

All artists are invited to submit jpegs of their work for consideration by June 5. 2015.
Artists will be notified by June 13, 2015.

For more info email

SUBMISSION DETAILS: There is no size limit to the dimension of art submitted, however larger works, over 60″ will be subject to space limitations.

SEND SUBMISSIONS IN JPEG FORMAT, (no more than 8 images), 72 DPI, DUE BY June 5, 2015 TO:

Brief artists statement, itemized list of art submitted should include:  title, size, medium, price of work, Works not for sale should include a value rather than a price. Also include artist’s contact info: name, email, phone (evening and daytime numbers), mailing address and website if available.

ACCEPTED ART TO BE DELIVERED BY: JUNE 25, 26, 27, 2015 Gallery hours, W-FRI 11:30-5, SAT 12-4, TH open ‘til 7. Art should be in excellent condition and ready to hang.

ABOUT: City Lights is a nonprofit, community based art organization located in downtown Bridgeport CT., easily accessible by Metro-North, Port Jeff Ferry, I-95 and the Merrit Parkway via the Route 25 Connector.

For more info please email us at:
Visit Our Website:

Gallery Hours:
WednesdayFriday11:30 a.m. till 5:00 p.m.
Thursday: 11-7
Saturday:  12- 4:00 p.m.
By appointment

City Lights Gallery, 37 Markle Court, Bridgeport.  203-334-7748.
For more info: .

More Info



COAST FC, a new Digital Literary & Arts Journal for Fairfield County, is presently seeking literary and visual arts submissions. Work should reflect monthly themes based on the artists interpretation.

A cornerstone of “wedding season”, our inaugural May issue theme is love, fate, and destiny.
While work needn’t be about romantic relationships specifically, we encourage those submitting to consider the undercurrent of these bonds, the concept of devotion, and the exposed nature of trust.

VISUAL ART: Accepted medium includes painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, mixed-media, digital images, and images of 3-D work such as sculpture and installations.

LITERARY SUBMISSIONS: Accepted formats include poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction (prose/memoir/reflective pieces/feature articles/etc.)

More Info


Mixed Media by Karen Kalkstein
City Lights Gallery

Exhibit Description:
Celebrate artists of all ages who have reinvented themselves. Art on view addresses the aging process, nostalgia for youth and artists’ individual interpretation of the theme inspired by the song by Bob Dylan, “Forever Young.”

Exhibiting artists include: Jim Chillington, Ann Hodgson Cyr, Allan Dudek, Tracey Dinkin, Steve Gerber, Mark Hannon, John Favret, Karen Kalkstein, Michale Kozlowski, John Lawson, Beth Lazar, Karen Loprete, Allison Margo, Janice Mauro, Amy Oestreicher, Hilary Opperman, Lori Petcher, Michael Quirk, Colleen Reilly-Rees, Ann C. Rosebrooks, David Rosenberg, Marianne Schmidt, Ellen Siegel, Jodi Strmiska, Charlie Walsh and Al Coyote Weiner.

Read more about this exhibit in The Connecticut Post here.

City Lights Gallery is located at 37 Markle Court, Bridgeport CT. (203) 334-7748, .

More Info

The NEST Arts Factory
Opening Reception: Saturday, April 11th form 2-4PM
On View: April 11 – May 1, 2015

EXHIBIT DESCRIPTION: The artists of the NEST, in honor of National Poetry Month, have assembled an exhibit where each artist shows a work inspired by a poem, verse, lyric, or haiku.

Other activities during National Poetry Month at the NEST
Flex your poetic muscles with our interactive poetry wall. Create a poem or short story with oversized words on a large magnetic surface.

Join the month-long NEST Renga, a collaborative poem based on an ancient Japanese artform. The longest Renga in history had 10,000 verses. How long will ours be?

See the NEST “exquisite corpse”, a collaborative art technique invented by the surrealists. Each artist adds to the work of a previous artist, with only a small portion of the previous artist’s work revealed as a starting point, to create one finished work.
More Info

Housatonic Museum of Art

On View: April 6th-26th

Exhibition Description: The Housatonic Community College & Shintaro Akatsu School of Design Faculty Exhibition 2015, entitled Parallels, is the second art show in which faculty from both colleges feature works from professors. This exhibition runs from April 6-26 and includes Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Video Art, Drawing, Installation, and Illustration.
More Info

ART EXHBITION: “Father Sky & Mother Earth”
The Discovery Museum & Planet
On View Through May 18th

Exhibition Description: From purple mountains to the vanishing prairie, an eclipse and blue moon, artist MIA celebrates our natural world with her oil paintings in this solo show. The exhibition features reflective landscapes rendered in a colorful, creatively-charged montage.More Info

Artist of the Month: Jane Davila

The experience of living in Peru and traveling to a number of different places around the world has had a lasting impact on my appreciation for the diversity of cultural expression and iconography, which as a theme frequently shows up in my work. Repeating motifs of fish, birds, and insects reflect my ongoing fascination with nature, the environment, and human impact on both.
 – Jane Davila 

Davila 1


Q. How would you describe your artwork/style?
My work is collage-based. No matter the medium that I’m working in, it’s all about the layers! My work is graphic, stylized, and fairly minimalist.Q. What medium do you work in?
I started as a printmaker, specializing in etchings and intaglios. Although I work mainly in fiber and mixed media now, many of my pieces incorporate printmaking in some form, including screen printing, gyotaku, and block printing. Having a printmaking background I find it more natural to work in a series, to take an idea and play with its many possible iterations before moving on to the next idea.

Q. What is your process like? 
I sketch out compositions in a notebook, then often carve a block, burn a screen, or create a stencil. I’ll audition fabrics and art papers to arrive at a color palette, paint some backgrounds, and then jump into construction. The thinking and planning usually take more time than the actual execution because by the time I get to the “doing” phase most of the decisions have been made.

Q. What inspires you?
Nature, iconography, pattern, poetry, song lyrics, and typography all inspire me. I like to challenge myself to start with a lyric, a phrase, or a verse, and create a piece in response to it.

Q. How do you think you’ve changed or developed as an artist?
I think I’ve become much more aware of how interconnected we all are. You can research or find out about any art form, any topic with a click of a mouse. It becomes challenging to say something unique. I try to make sure that what I am expressing as an artist is showing my viewpoint that it’s filtered through my experiences and that I’ve left my “mark” on it.

Q. Can you tell me about your experience during The 2014 Bridgeport Art Trail?
The Artists Party at McLevy Hall was really inspirational! I enjoy the interaction with the other artists in my building, NEST Arts Factory, so it was really nice to be able to connect with more artists from around Bridgeport.

Q. Any upcoming news or events you’d like to share? 
I teach classes in fiber art, surface design, and in the business side of being an artist at my studio at the NEST Arts Factory. I’ll have a new class schedule out after the beginning of the year.

For More Information on Jane Davila’s work and class schedule visit her website at:












Davila 2










Davila 5











Davila 4










Davila 3

Artist of the Month: Will Corprew of 80 Design

McLevy Hall
202 State Street,  Suite 205
Bridgeport, CT 06604

Q. What medium do you work in?
A. Due to the size of the portraits and layers of color applied to build up the initial image, I tend to use house paint in combination with acrylic and aerosol. In essence the three mediums combined give my work the movement and color variations shaping the characteristics of my styleQ. What is your process like
A. I usually work in parts and sections that create a complete image. It’s similar to the concept of a puzzle or paint by numbers with no numbers. The canvas prep is vital for layering and creating the correct base for transferring the image. I think of it as a ground up approach like building a house or structure.Q. What inspires you?
A. I’m often inspired by unusual photographs of people. I find a lot of the images I work from on various social media platforms. The colorful aspects of the process are definitely influenced by the abstract yet repetitious qualities of African fabrics and textiles. I’m also influenced by the structural quality of architecture and woodworking.Q. How do you think you’ve changed or developed as an artist?
A. I have a range of interest in various aspects of art and design. Part of my progression as an artist has been concentration. I like to create solid bodies of works that have a rhythm or cohesive direction.

Q. Can you tell me about your space at McLevy Hall and your programming plans for Bridgeport Art Trail weekend?
A. The space at McLevy has been a beautiful stage for design and creative inspiration. As an artist and designer, I have a great appreciation for the architecture and layout of the property. I plan to introduce the studio/showroom to the public offering art, design consultation and a collection of mid-century and modern furniture.



Art Trail 2014

 Bridgeport Art Trail Program Cover
6th Annual Bridgeport Art Trail; November 13-16, 2014
A city-wide celebration of the creative community.  

View art, tour venues in a 3 block radius.  
Join us  for the Artists Party at McLevy Hall.
Meet the artists, view a sampling of small works
from artists throughout the city.

View art. Talk art. Buy art, city-wide.
Enjoy demonstrations, performances and 
artists’ hospitality.

The Annual Bridgeport ArtTrail weekend is approaching. The 6th  city-wide open studios weekend is scheduled for November 13-16, Thursday-Sunday. Once again advertising is a free service to all arts venues in the city of Bridgeport, CT. Larger ads and sponsorships are available upon request and subject to space limitations.Please compose a brief description of venues and listings of activities scheduled for the city-wide open studios weekend and submit your listing by Tuesday SEPTEMBER 2, 2014 to
Please use  Bpt Art Trail Listing in the subject title of your email. Please send copy in a word document in upper and lower case. See an example below of info requested.Venues that already have something scheduled for that weekend do not need to create additional programs, just send us your listings, in the manner that you want to describe it.The plan in the past has been that Thursday and Friday evenings focused on the downtown area and then Friday night, Sat, Sunday events happened city-wide. Once we get the information we will organize an itinerary for the weekend. Please collaborate with your fellow artists/neighbors as you have done in the past so that performances, open studio tours, etc. are scheduled in clusters creating a mini-destination place yet do not compete or overlap too much.

We received feedback that artists would like an opportunity to socialize and get to know other artists during the art weekend. This year the Thursday night kick-off will feature a small works show of Bridgeport artist from all areas of the city at McLevy Hall. All Bridgeport artists are welcome to submit work and attend. It will be a convenient way to introduce visitors to a sampling of Bridgeport artists.

If you have any questions please email or call  or look at last year’s BPT Art Trail guide:


Please compose listings in this fashion. Be sure to give contact info that you are comfortable giving out to the public.

Please send listings and info to   Please use Bpt Art Trail listing in the subject title.

Name of Venue:
Title of Event, Program: OPEN STUDIOS (for example)
Dates & Times: Day(s), Date, Hours

Reception, Studio Tours or Demos Times if applicable:
Brief description: For Example: View the studios of 35 artists working in all medias of fine and applied art, including photography, painting, fine quilts and textile design, sculpture, woodwork, printmaking and more.
Admission: Free, Suggested Donation $XX, Ticket Price, etc.
Parking Info if applicable
Contact Info: Phone, email, website

Below is an idea from a series of events that took place last year at the READ’s building.

The Ground Floor Gallery at the Reads Artists Space

E.G.O.’/Everything Gothic and Outrageous’ an invitational group show open to all Read’s artists  and their selected guest-artists working in all media including: drawing, digital media, painting, print-making, installation and sculpture. The underlying theme is the darker aspects of creative inspiration. Showcasing work embracing the themes of destruction, horror, mystery and myth from an emotionally provocative perspective;’E.G.O.’ will take viewers on a tour of the  shadowy side of the human psyche.

Special Events Offered:

The Fall exhibition,  ‘E.G.O. ;- Everything Gothic and Outrageous’ will open on Thursday, October 27th from 6-9 p.m.; featuring a costume-optional party and reception;

A  ‘Lyrical Voices’Spoken Word Performance ‘Jam’ will be held on Friday, November 11th from 7-9 P.M.;- hosted by  ArtSpace poet-in-residence Shanna Melton; ( tentative);
Tours of The GroundFloor Gallery and select  artist studios will be slated for Saturday, November 12th, and Sunday, November 13th from 12-5 p.m.

Nest Arts Factory News

News from the NEST Arts Factory (1720 Fairfield Avenue, Bridgeport, CT)
Rick Shaefer Exhibition
Sept 18 through December 19, 2014
Bellarmine Museum, Rendering Nature 
Opening Reception:  Thursday, Sept 18: 6:008:00 pm
The Bellarmine Museum of Art 
Bellarmine Hall, Fairfield University 
1073 North Benson Rd. Fairfield, CT 06824
Carlos Davila – Exhibition in Boston

August 1-31, 2014

NEST artist Carlos Davila is exhibiting a sculpture, Triangulum, in the New England Collective V show at Galatea Fine Arts in Boston. The opening reception is Friday, August 1 from 6-8 pm. The exhibit is also viewable online.

Galatea Fine Arts is located at 460B Harrison Street, Boston MA.

Iyaba Ibo Mandingo – Exhibition in Hartford

June 26- August 21, 2014

NEST artist Iyaba Ibo Mandingo is exhibiting his work at the Pump House Gallery in Hartford, CT from June 26 to August 21. Watch a video of Iyaba talking about the inspiration behind his exhibit, Letting Go, on Access TV.


The Pump House Gallery is located in Bushnell Park at 60 Elm Street, Hartford CT

Ruben Marroquin’s Studio in the Bridgeport Arcade

Ruben Marroquin is an American born (Chicago 1979), Venezuelan Artist specializing in textiles. He lives and works both in Bridgeport and Brooklyn. He facilitates outreach weaving programs for youth and adults in  Bridgeport, New York, and New Haven. This includes  an ongoing weekly weaving program for Bridgeport YMCA residents sponsored by a community partnership of City Lights & Company and ALPHA Community Services-YMCA. Ruben also makes art and offers weaving classes in his Bridgeport studio in the Arcade Mall, 1001 Main St. Downtown Bridgeport, CT. 

In 2011, Ruben Marroquin was the recipient of the Carla Bruni-Sarkozy Scholarship, and attended a semester at the École Nationale Supérieure de Création Industrielle (ENSCI, les Ateliers) in Paris, France, with a concentration in weaving.

It is in Ruben Marroquin’s studio in Bridgeport’s Arcade that traditional and cutting-edge both find a comfortable home.

To those he teaches at the YMCA or in his Bridgeport studio, he is an expert traditional weaver who has a passion for sharing his skills with his students. He’s also known for his custom hand-woven pieces — such as wall hangings, table runners, rugs and place mats — for interior designers.

And in the world of fine arts, he’s considered a textile master — and innovator.

The Arcade, an 1889 Ornamental Gothic Revival iron-and-glass structure that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a celebration of Victorian mores, in which embroidery and weaving were championed. Enter Marroquin’s studio, and its looms (from a tabletop to a huge computerized model) seem to be perfectly suited to the storied surroundings. In contrast, most wall space is devoted to Marroquin’s avant-garde, three-dimensional sculptures and embroidery, which he views “simply as paintings.”

Both, he said, represent important facets of who he is as an artist and teacher. Born in Chicago and raised in his mother’s homeland of Venezuela, the artist divides his time between Bridgeport and Brooklyn, N.Y., where he spends many weekends “networking” with other artists.

Marroquin said he came to the arts as a youngster.

“Painting was what I loved to do,” he said. “It was by chance that I came to textiles — I ran out of paint and there was no money for more. So I started sewing together pieces of old rags,” creating collages of sorts.

After a few years living and bartending in Mexico City (where, he said, ironically, he would have difficulty as an American getting all the required work permits), he decided the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York would be his goal. Not only was he admitted, he stayed for five years and “became obsessed with weaving.” So much so that he won a FIT scholarship to spend six months in Paris to learn many advanced techniques, such as the complex art of jacquard weaving.

“I’m just fascinated by it and the mathematics involved,” he said. “Weaving is painstaking, very challenging, requiring a lot of patience,” which he said complements his character. “And it’s a lot of fun.”

For his wall sculptures, Marroquin combines cotton, linen and bamboo fibers with modern industrial cords (known as paracords) and other materials. He creates mass by laying fibers over fibers, often applying the fibers over “structures,” such as pieces of wood. His color palette seems to rival the rainbow.

In July, one of Marroquin’s embroidery and collage paintings, a map of New York, will be featured in “Game Changers: Fiber Art Masters and Innovators” at the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Mass. The work will be on view for about five months in the invitational show.

Since Marroquin’s students receive a great deal of one-on-one instruction, he usually doesn’t conduct group classes for adults. He prefers to have prospective students call to arrange for a series of classes that are suitable to their particular needs.

“I have a husband and wife from Stratford who come every Sunday afternoon from 1 to 4 p.m. They wanted something nice to do together,” he said. “It’s a good experience for us all. It’s quiet here, and they have an opportunity to really focus on their own projects … and I work on mine. And I am always here to help or guide them.”

Youngsters are a different story. “I bring several portable looms to classrooms and many have no idea” what the contraptions do, he said. Each student has an opportunity to work the loom for 10 to 15 minutes at a time.

“Whether it’s with men or women or children, there seems to be a great sense of satisfaction that comes from weaving, from creating something with your own hands that you can keep, or give to family and friends, or sell.”

The Arcade, 1001 Main St., Bridgeport. Ruben Marroquin Art Studio is on the second floor and is open afternoons Tuesday through Friday and by appointment.; 917-533-2276.; Twitter: PhyllisASBoros

We love this article on Ruben Marroquin and his weaving studio in the Arcade at 1001 Main Street, Bridgeport.  We hope you love it too!

ArtTrail Schedule 2019

Thursday, November 7

Go to: FridaySaturdaySunday

Art Trail Kick-Off Party Thurs. 5:30-9pm  at Reads Ground Floor Gallery

8:30 am to 7 pm
Housatonic CC Art Department
Site #7 Housatonic CC Art Collection is found throughout the school campus; the Bert Chernow gallery presents “Close to the Line” Exhibit: The work of Mari Rantanen and Kirsten Reynolds, provoke the viewer to consider geometric abstraction and materials in the context of 20th and 21st century art. Curated by Barbara O’Brien, large-scale works, with eye-popping color tread lightly between painting, sculpture, architecture.

Housatonic Museum of Art
Corridor outside Bert Chernow Gallery; Reimagining Little Liberia: Restoration & Reunion exhibit including commissioned paintings, artifacts, historic preservation.

11:30 am to 6 pm
City Lights Gallery
Exhibit: Artists Teach

12 pm to 7 pm
City Lights Vintage
A new eclectic shopping venue downtown that helps earn revenue for community art programs. Items on consignment include antiques, collectibles, nostalgic art, household items, vintage clothes, radios, cameras, and toys. Inventory always changes.

5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Gallery @999
Unique Perspective reception at the Margaret Morton Center for Government.

The Party Not to Miss

John Torres of Oh, Cassius!
John Torres of  heads up the Park City All Stars for Artists’ Party Kick – Off

5:30 – 9:30 pm
Bridgeport Art Trail Kick – Off and Artists’ Party, Art, Music, Food & Drink – FREE
1042 Broad Street in Downtown Bridgeport
Don’t miss this festive occasion to mingle with the creative community
. View the annual Bridgeport Art Trail exhibit, “Artists Choose Artists.” Enjoy light bites and drink and music by the Park City ART TRAIL All-Stars, a lineup of popular Bridgeport musicians organized by John Torres of Color Fields especially for the Bridgeport Art Trail Artists’ Party.

Read’s ArtSpace Ground Floor Gallery

The Exhibit: Artists Choose Artists opening reception features new artwork from the Read’s community, as well as work chosen by Read’s artists.

The Music: is a musical mash-up arranged specifically for the Bpt At Trail kick-off party. Singer/songwriters will showcase a taste of their original music along with popular covers.

The line-up includes:

Chris Cavaliere – Clinging to the Hollow Hand

Fuzz – Raise the Dead by Caravan of Thieves

Color Fields – Animal

Jen Durkin – Come Back

Rick Reyes –

Oh, Cassius! – Carpenter

Marcos Torres on percussion and other guest musicians perform as well.

Friday, November 8

Go to: ThursdaySaturdaySunday

8:30 am to 5 pm
Harborview Market
View the work of Artists Teach II exhibit featuring Daniele Julius and Marc Alvarez, while grabbing coffee and a fabulous nosh, or stop by for lunch.

8:30 am to 5 pm
Framemakers Art Gallery
Exhibit: The Texture of Life As I Know It, photography by Takeshi.

8:30 am to 5 pm
Housatonic Museum of Art
Art exhibits throughout the school campus, including the Reimagining Little Liberia: Restoration & Reunion exhibit.

9 am to 5pm
Gallery @999
View the paintings by the participants of the Kennedy Center and the Maggie Daly Center at the Margaret Morton Center for Government.

10 am to 5 pm
Discovery Museum
Exhibit: Cris Dam on view in the mezzanine.
Admission to the museum $11 Adults, $9 Children.

Freeman Center
On view during the BAT at the Freeman Center are the works of Richard T. Patton IV, fine artist and graphic designer. Other works are mounted at the Housatonic Community College near the Bert Chernow Art Gallery.

11 am to 3 pm
Barnum Museum at People’s United Bank
Enjoy a guided tour of the museum and the Pop Up Exhibit: Her Dragons Fly, by Shanna Melton.

11 am to 4 pm
Schelfhaudt Gallery
University of Bridgeport.

11:30 am to 6:30 pm
City Lights Gallery
Exhibit: Artists Teach, features the work by schoolteachers who are artists opens with a reception from 4-6:30pm.

Cris Dam Arcade Mall, 1001 Main Street, Suite 23, Bridgeport, CT 06604 718.431.4567 / / Artist Cris Dam was born in Alaska, raised in Spain, educated in New York City, and is currently raising a family in Connecticut. In his paintings and murals he combines diverse landscapes and universal patterns found everywhere in nature to connect all cultures. Cris Dan co-founded Dam Stuhltrager in Berlin in 1998, and was an early gallerist who helped propel Williamsburg, Brooklyn into an international art mecca. Dam’s bright paintings and large persona made him a recognizable character synonymous with Brooklyn’s lively art scene. Event: Open Studio, Suite 23

12 pm to 5 pm
City Lights Vintage
A new eclectic shopping venue downtown that helps earn revenue for community art programs. Items on consignment include antiques, collectibles, nostalgic art, household items, vintage clothes, radios, cameras and toys. Inventory always changes.

4 pm to 11 pm
Downtown Arts Stroll
View the Pop Of Color art in the Downtown storefront artist installations on Main St and Fairfield Ave.
Stroll over to 265 Golden Hill St to City Lights Gallery you can take in the painted steps by artist Liz Squillace on your way. Mingle with the talented and dedicated schoolteacher-artists exhibiting at City Lights.
Enjoy a meal and talk art at Savor City.
Bijou Theatre

Check out an eclectic mix of outstanding music videos by local musicians and participate in an open mic at the Bijou Theatre

12:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Academy Books and Records

6 pm to 8 pm
Black Rock Art Guild

Opening reception for over 30 members of the Black Rock Art
Guild will be exhibiting work in a variety of media at the
Burroughs Center, 2470 Fairfield Avenue

Doors open at 7:00 pm
Bijou Theatre

7:30pm -9:00pm  FREE Screening at the Bijou Theatre
, a Music Video Mash-Up hosted by Rob Nelson and WPKN radio, featuring local performers playing original contemporary works to a symphonic composition by Vaughan Williams. Highlights include: “Downtown Breakdown” music by Chris Cavaliere, ‘psych puppets’ by Marcella Jean Cavaliere, whose ‘psych puppets’ steal the show… (the song/lyrics are great too); and “The Lark” featuring Greater Bridgeport Symphony performing in the shuttered Palace Theatre.

9:15pm-10:30pm Lyric Voices, spokenword open mic, a legendary night of poetry created and hosted by Shanna T. Melton of Poetic Soul Arts. The soundtrack is provided by DJ Buddha LuvJonz of LuvJonz Entertainment. Arrive at 9 pm to sign up for our open mic that will start promptly at 9:15 pm. Poets, story tellers and musicians are all welcome to perform! Tell your friends to tell their friends to come share poems at the Bijou Theatre#

Saturday, November 9

Go to: ThursdayFridaySunday

Starting at 8:45 am
Urban Bike Tour
Meet at City Lights Gallery at 8:45 am for registration, coffee and bagels, and other goodies. The Bike Tour departs at 9:15 am to explore Bridgeport’s hidden treasures and booming art culture.

9 am to 5 pm
Framemakers Art Gallery
Exhibit: The Texture of Life As I Know It, photography by Takeshi.

9 am to 3 pm
Housatonic Museum of Art
Tour the campus to view this premier arts collection, from ancient to contemporary works. Also on view is student and alumni work, as well as the Reimagining Little Liberia: Restoration & Reunion exhibit.

10 am to 5 pm
NEST Arts Factory

Meet te artists. Tour the open studios, listen to musicians, enjoy a gallery show, and see a variety of demonstrations. Art on view and for sale includes acrylic and oil painting, sculpture, drawings, collage, jewelry, ceramics, mixed-media, fiber, decorative painting, and much more.

10 am to 5 pm 
The Bridgeport History Center
Exhibit: We Are Artists Every One, photos, art work, photographs, artifacts, and oral histories exploring the Art Center, its influence on the city of Bridgeport, and the context of its role in the national Black Arts Movement.

10 am to 5 pm
American Fabric Arts and AmFab II
Open Studios: Studio sales, demos and opportunities to visit with the artists, mingle with the creative community and arts patrons.

10 am to 5 pm
American Fabric Arts
Ongoing video screening curated by Crystal Heiden, 2nd Floor stairwell.

10 am to 5 pm
Discovery Museum
Exhibit: Art of Cris Dam lights up the museum in the mezzanine. Check the newly installed Digistar planetarium. Admission to the museum $11 Adults, $9 Children. 11 am to 3 pm am to 5

10 am to 5 pm
City Lights Gallery

The Artists Teach exhibit features the work of Bridgeport public school teachers, Bridgeport artists working in the Bridgeport schools, students’ artwork and highlights of the Turnaround Arts program. This includes large format Polaroids taken by Turnaround Arts mentor and celebrated artist Chuck Close of the students at Roosevelt school, one of the first Turnaround Arts schools in the country. The Turnaround Arts program was an initiative of the President’s Committee on Arts and Humanity during the Obama administration.

11 am to 1 pm
Maggie Daly Arts Cooperative
Create and Connect printmaking workshop.

11 am to 2 pm
American Fabric Arts
Quilting Demonstration & Bee with Peace by Piece: The Norwalk Community Quilt Project, at Denyse Schmidt Quilts, hand quilting demonstration and participatory quilting bee. No experience necessary! Come and learn to stitch, and sew for a few minutes or all day

11 am to 3 pm
Maggie Daly Arts Cooperative
Exhibit: Once Upon a Dream. View the diverse works of MDAC artists whose creations build a powerfully unique experience that you won’t want to miss.

Arnold Bernhard Center / Shintaro Akatsu School of Design
The Type Directors Club Exhibit Saturday, November 9; 11 am to 3 pm Sunday, November 10; 11 am to 3 pm Typography 64: Communication and Type Design. The exhibition features the work of outstanding graphic designers selected by an international jury. The exhibit runs from October 21-January 11

11 am to 5 pm
Park City Design and the Archive
Open House: Custom furnishings and home décor plus Rare vinyl records, obscure movies, and more.

11 am to 5 pm
American Fabric Arts
WPKN 50 yr Vinyl Collection Sale, proceeds support the non-profit radio station programs.

11 am to 6 pm
305 Knowlton Street
Tour three floors of open studios including the Armstrong Gallery where you can view and purchase art. Don’t miss the Boathouse Pop-Up space presenting a variety of art works, demos,  and a Saturday night live music party featuring Mikata and Orquestra Afinke.

Cris Dam Open Studio at the Arcade Mall

12 pm to 4 pm
Read’s Ground Floor Gallery
Exhibit: Artists Choose Artists, works by Read’s ArtSpace artists and artists that they have selected for the show.

12 pm to 5 pm
The Arcade Mall
Open Studios: The artists and designers of the Arcade welcome visitors to their studios.

12 pm to 5 pm
City Lights Vintage
Create your style for home, work, fashion. Select items 20% off for the BAT weekend.

2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
City Lights Gallery
Join Shanna Tanika Melton for the Writer’s Group-FREE.

Read’s ArtSpace
Art Walk & Talk, a guided tour through the halls of Read’s ArtSpace and select artists’ spaces.

2 pm to 4 pm
NEST Arts Factory
Join songwriter and musician Rick Reyes and his small band for a unique experience as they wander the NEST and play new and old favorite songs in the studio spaces.

2:30 pm 
American Fabric Arts 2

Event: Portrait demo in charcoal, Heidi Harrington, studio #2-1 Saturday, November 9; 11:30 am to 2:30 pm After demo, volunteers are invited to sit for a one hour portrait, with the choice of buying for $40.

5:30-7:30 pm 
A Pop of Color
A Pop of Color is a multi-venue pop-up art exhibit in a variety of vacant storefronts throughout Downtown Bridgeport. Bridgeport artists have created art installations to inspire and delight residents and visitors to the downtown area. A joint venture between the Downtown Special Services District and the NEST Arts Factory, a Pop of Color is supported by an Art Project grant from the Connecticut Office of the Arts. Storefront installations will be viewable through January 2020. Event: A Pop of Color Opening Reception Saturday, November 9; 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm Join the exhibiting artists at the pop-up locations in downtown
Bridgeport, listen to local musicians and sample tasty delights from local eateries. Wander from location to location for a delightfully immersive art experience and see how colorful Bridgeport can be!

Bands at the Boathouse, 305 Knowlton St
MIKATA and Orquestra Afinke perform at the Boathouse, 305 Knowlton Street for an incredible night of music and dancing. $5 suggested admission fee supports arts enrichment for youth in Bridgeport Public Schools.

7 pm
MIKATA, Afro-Caribbean folkloric drumming, song and dance

Orquestra Afinke, 10 piece Salsa band, 3 horns and the choreographer will

No me diga ques muy tarde ya!

Posted by Brenda Planas on Friday, June 7, 2019

For more info on how we serve our youth:

Starting at 7:30 pm
Klein Auditorium
Trombone Shorty & Paul Shaefer perform a benefit concert for the Anti-Defamation League-CT.

9 pm to 2 am
BPT Creates
The 6 year celebration of BPT Creates.

Sunday, November 10

Go to: ThursdayFridaySaturday

6:30 am to 2 pm
Harborview Market
“Artists Teach-2” exhibit the art of Danielle Julius is paired with Sunday coffee, paper, yummy almond croissants or other baked goods and a fresh, delicious breakfast. Start the last day of the art trail at this neighborhood eatery, a family-friendly hub in Black Rock, Bridgeport, CT.

10 am to 12 pm
NEST Arts Factory
Art Brunch at the NEST-Art and food! Don’t miss this deliciously artful experience. Enjoy a scrumptious brunch with tasty treats for omnivores and vegetarians. Socialize with the artists in the rustic community room where the acoustic guitar of John Cloonan and vocalist Dawn Ricciardi round out this pleasurable setting.

10 am to 4 pm
Mongers Market
A palatial market filled with antique, vintage, and salvaged objects from a collection of mongers (aka dealers). You’ll discover authentic, reclaimed inventory, new pieces brought in weekly: furniture, architectural elements, fireplace mantels, furniture, sinks, light fixtures, clothing, and more.

Mongers Market will get your creative juices flowing and very likely inspire DIY projects for your home, workspace or gardens. Use an antique door for a headboard, or bowling alley lanes for a table top, or reclaimed wood for a shelf. Buying salvaged and reclaimed materials helps our environment by keeping usable artifacts out of our landfills.

10 am to 5 pm
American Fabric Arts and AmFabII

Annual Open Studios at American Fabrics Arts Buildings 1 &2 (AmFab) showcases over 25 artists in their studios where the creative process happens. Check out the studio sales.

3rd Annual “Printing Money” Fundraiser: Letterpress Print-Your-Own Proverb–AmFab building 1 studio of Emily Larned, #310

10 am to 5 pm
American Fabric Arts

WPKN radio 4B 50 Vinyl sale from 50-year record archive AmFab building 1.

10 am to 5 pm
NEST Arts Factory

Meet the artists. Tour the open studios, listen to musicians, enjoy a gallery show, and see a variety of demonstrations. Art on view and for sale includes acrylic and oil painting, sculpture, drawings, collage, jewelry, ceramics, mixed-media, fiber, decorative painting, and much more.

10”x10” art sale for $100 NEST fundraiser #, grab a piece of art for $100 at the popular sale. Support the NEST, build your arts collection. Works go quickly.

4” x 6” art at $30, choose an original art souvenir of the 2019 Bridgeport Art Trail created by artists of Bridgeport. All proceeds benefit City Lights/Bridgeport Art Trail arts education programs and next year’s Art Trail.

10 am to 5 pm
Discovery Museum
Exhibit: Art of Cris Dam lights up the museum in the mezzanine. Check out the newly installed Digistar planetarium. Admission to the museum $11 Adults, $9 Children.

11 am to 5 pm
American Fabric Arts
WPKN 50 yr Vinyl Collection Sale, proceeds support the non-profit radio station programs.

11 am  
Pop of Color
Downtown Storefront Window Installations on Main St and Fairfield Ave.

11 am to 3 pm  
Robert Valle at the Arcade
Art & Mimosas 

11:30 am to 5 pm
City Lights Gallery
Exhibit: “Artists Teach” art of Bridgeport schoolteachers and Bridgeport teaching artists. Also on view students’ portrait Polaroids by Chuck Close.

12 pm to 5 pm
City Lights Vintage
Visit an eclectic shopping venue downtown, a friend-and-fundraising pop-up that supports community art programs. Items on consignment include antiques, collectibles, nostalgic art, household items, vintage clothes, radios, cameras, and toys. Inventory always changes.

Read’s Ground Floor Gallery
Hallway Art Talk, starting at 2pm; this will be a guided hallway tour of the various exhibits in the halls.

12 pm to 5 pm
Freeman Center
View the work of Richard T. Patton IV, fine artist and graphic designer. Learn about the mission and history of the Freeman Ctr and Bridgeport’s Little Liberia from Executive Director Maisa Tisdale, restoring 2 landmark homes for an African American cultural center.

12 pm to 5 pm

305 Knowlton Street
Open Studios and East End Variations exhibit at the Armstrong Gallery.
Meet the artists, see the work, tour the repurposed Armstrong factory space, enjoy the rustic wooden floors and architecture. 

305 RAFFLE Visitors to may purchase tickets for a drawing of these offerings:

  1. Professional Photographer’s TRIPOD.
  2. A photography ‘session’ offered by 305’s Davinci Photographic Services, LLC, under the direction of Ivan Lopez

12 pm to 5 pm
305 Knowlton Street

Photo Blitz. Bring your cameras and your love of photography, styled sets and models will be available throughout the beautiful industrial chic building, a photographer’s dream. Great for student photographers to build their portfolios and for pros to add to theirs.

12 pm to 5 pm
305 Knowlton Street

Boathouse Pop Up, check out the sprawling space and artists’ work.


2:00 pm to 5 pm 
Bijou Theatre
Sassie’s Birthday Frolic, Fundraising Drag and Variety Show. Ticket sales support the Sassie Saltimbocca scholarship going to a City Lights emerging artist for further arts education. Tickets: $20

6:00 pm to 9 pm 
Bijou Theatre
PECHAKUCHA, at the Bijou Theatre, a Storytelling/Bridgeport Art Trail Closing Party. The Art of Sharing Personal Stories provides a great platform for arts enthusiasts and the creative community to socialize at BAT Closing Party. People from diverse backgrounds share and listen to personal stories designed to inform, inspire, and entertain! Presenters are allowed 6 minutes and 40 seconds, supported by 20 images projected for 20 seconds each, creating a stimulating flow of “real people telling real stories.” A suggested $1 donation will go to the international Pechakucha organization. Chef Raquel with have yummy, healthy meals and baked goods for sale.

7:30 pm to 9:30 pm 
Stress Factory
Vic Dibitetto Live! Stand Up Comedy at Vinnie Brand’s Stress Factory Comedy Club top headliners every week; eat, drink, laugh! Seating is first come first serve. Restrictions: 16 & over. Tickets $30-$50. More Information: 203.576.4242 /

Bridgeport Art Trail…2013…Thank you!

Thank you for your support of the Bridgeport Art Trail 2013!  Here’s what happened:


5th Annual Bridgeport Art Trail


View Super-Sized Art at the 5th Annual Bridgeport Art Trail, City-Wide Open Studios: November 7-10, 2013, Veteran’s Day Weekend.

The Art of Chuck Close at Housatonic Museum of Art and the work of his ‘KIDs’ (mentees from Roosevelt school Bridgeport, CT), is one of the many highlights of the city-wide, 5th Annual Bridgeport Art Trail, November 7-10, 2013. This city-wide event features open-studio receptions, demonstrations and discounted art sales. VIEW ART, TALK ART, BUY ART. Among the locations that visitors can tour on Saturday and Sunday are:  the American Fabrics Building, 305 Knowlton St., Read’s ArtSpace and The NEST Art Factory. Art Trail program guides will be available at participating venues. To get info in advance go to  or call (203)334-7748, City Lights Gallery.

The 5th Annual Bridgeport Art Trail held on Veteran’s Day Weekend, Thursday-Sunday, Nov. 7-10 will kick off Thursday night with art receptions and exhibits throughout the downtown. Starting at the historic Arcade Mall on Main St. from 4:30-7 visitors can visit the CreateHereNow store fronts including Made In Bridgeport and Paradox Ink while Bridgeport’s WPKN radio 89.5 FM spins discs and sells vinyl from their vintage PKN collection. Light refreshment by Ripka’s Market sponsored by the Downtown Services District.
Art receptions will culminate at Housatonic Museum of Art on the Housatonic Community College campus, hosting an exhibit featuring the art of world renowned artist Chuck Close, who mentors students of Roosevelt school in Bridgeport. The HMA exhibit will also include Roosevelt student work.   Other downtown locations include, UArts at McLevy Hall, City Lights Gallery and the Read’s Ground Floor Gallery. The Bridgeport Art Trail is sponsored by Mayor Bill Finch and the city of Bridgeport, The CT Office on the Arts, The National Endowment for the Arts and the Fairfield County Community Foundation and City Lights Gallery.
Visitors can indulge their palette (both visual and gastronomic), with a complementary  Happy Hour Raw Bar  courtesy of  Charles Island Agriculture at 305 Knowlton St., BBQ by the Grumpy Hogg at American Fabrics Arts Building or a Sunday Pancake Breakfast and Honey Drizzle Bar at the NEST Art Factory. Bob Halstead will lead the annual art trail bike tour. Join him at 11:30 a.m. Saturday for a bagel and coffee at City Lights.

Featured art includes drawings, paintings, prints, photography, sculptures, fabric art, pottery, artisanal items for the home, jewelry and apparel.

CREDIT: © Chuck Close in association with Magnolia Editions, Oakland, courtesy Pace Gallery

Rhino by Rick Shaefer of the NEST Art Factory



Chuck Close
The photo credit is Courtesy Magnolia Editions and Pace Gallery

CREDIT: © Chuck Close in association with Magnolia Editions, Oakland, courtesy Pace Gallery


Plegaria…Yolanda Petrucelli


Art Trail


Rick and Rhino


Judy Corrigan. Elizabeth Bullis-Weiss.Open Studio

One of our BAT Faves as we continued our 2013 Art Trail countdown

Thank you, Rick!


Rick Shaefer was our next Fave, as we moved closer to the Art Trail for 2013.  Rick works out of The Nest, in Bridgeport (which is one of the stops on the Trail).



His Biography:

Born at West Point, where his father taught physics, Rick grew up traveling with his military family.  He studied at Duke University, joined a German Surrealist Artist group, moved on to study Photography at the Art Center in LA, California.  Moving to NY, he did editorial and fashion photography.  With inspiration from Dűrer and Rembrandt, as well as R. Crumb, he did a series of etchings and drawings, moving into landscapes with noted Northern European iconography.  Rick continues to work on large scale charcoal drawings, in addition to his other work.



Rick’s Shaefer’s Statement:


I tend to always come back to the line work. I find what I respond to and admire in other artists’ work, past or present, is usually the integrity of the line – whether it’s a single stroke or a mass of scribble in the shadows. If the strokes are put down with validity and assurance they will resonate and the piece will vibrate. False or uneasy notes stand out and unsettle and even demoralize. A fluidity of movement and gesture coupled with a confident, rhythmic ease of delivery is what is consciously and unconsciously felt and appreciated by the viewer. At least that is how I respond to a work. 

For me the scale of larger drawings compels a distinct approach—more gestural, almost calligraphic. The act of drawing itself is highly sensual and pleasurable to me. I hurriedly scribble with a writer’s hand in a spontaneously invented language with looping cursive gestures, larger flourishes, and tight punctuations. If the rhythm is there, I write my way across the surface as if I were capturing thought in a frenzied rush of note taking.

Because of my photography background and countless hours spent trying to secure a rich array of grays and blacks in the prints, creating a full range of tones in the drawings is important. But for these larger pieces it has been crucial for me to create the tonal range by line alone – without smudging and rubbing the charcoal in any way. Maintaining the crispness of the line work is the goal—not unlike that of an etching, engraving or woodcut—with rich blacks being crucial to the conveyance of shape but also to the sense of bulk and weight.

I have chosen subjects with a great variety of textural surfaces: the idea being to draw these pieces life size, with an archivist’s fidelity to scale. In a sense, the process is not unlike scanning the surface of a highly varied landscape from high up—mapping the transitions from rough areas of exuberant detail to the occasional quiet patches. When I first decided to do this series, brought on by the felling of a large old oak in a neighbor’s field during a storm, the textures of the bark and decay were what initially caught my eye. Added to that was the sense of massive weight and the anthropomorphic elements in the curvature of the trunk and the large “eye” in the middle. It seemed to resemble a large dying beast, a beached whale for instance, looking out from the finale of a grand and quickly waning life. The vast wealth of mythology, symbolism, and iconography surrounding our historical relationship with trees can’t help but inform such encounters. 

The surface and scale exploration of the Oak Tree led to the Rhino, with its similar beseeching eye and intricately distinctive, textured hide. Both stare out at us from murky but resonant realms. In the Elephant feet (umbrella stands) drawings, with their distinct references to clear cutting and taxidermy, the series headed further toward an ecological and moral imperative and a larger discourse has begun to inform my process. Further works now in progress have a clear connection with the first Oak drawing while enlarging the discussion around environmental confrontation and exploitation. What appears at first glance to be a rather straightforward process of archival documentation expands, perhaps unavoidably and inevitably, to embrace such diverse themes of deforestation, strip mining, species annihilation, overpopulation and pollution and the vast array of environmental challenges facing us. For me, these life size records of a specific moment also speak of transience and our responsibility or culpability in that impermanence.




Installation Partial
Installation Partial



WHITE OAK in progress 7-15-13 sm web (640x358)
White Oak in progress 7-15-13
rick & rhino sm 2
Rick and Rhino




Sugar Maple
Sugar Maple





BAT Features (BAT FEAT)

Introducing our Fave Feature, as we count down to the Trail in November which begins 11/7/13…

Felipe Soltero, working out of 305 Knowlton Street, is a full time artist.

His biography:

Born and raised in the city of Bridgeport (CT), I have spent over 24 years learning, creating, mastering and earning a living from the craft of custom art.

I’ve expanded my artistic versatility by earning a bachelors degree in commercial art at The Connecticut Institute of Art in Greenwich, CT.  I learned many different types of media applications, styles and techniques.

As I’ve sharpened my skills throughout the years,  including  use of the airbrush to allow me the ability to render my creations on an infinite array of surfaces.

I am currently accepting commissioned work and will be exhibiting in the near future.

My Services Include: Fine art paintings, Portrait commissions, Mural Art design and application, Automotive Art and Face ‘n Body Art.

I take pride in using only the best in paint products and have an unrelenting devotion to always create quality work.


“I am a Visual Fine Artist”


email Felipe Soltero


Apple Large
Apple Large
Bob Marley
Bob Marley
Carlos Santana
Carlos Santana
George Michael
George Michael
Girl Portrait
Girl Portrait
Green Eye
Green Eye
In the Zone
In the Zone
Military Apron
Military Apron
Tito Puente
Tito Puente
Wisdom Lines
Wisdom Lines


Suzanne Kachmar, Artist of the month

From the Bridgeport Arts and Cultural Council web site:

“With her work as an individual artist, Director of a dynamic gallery space City Lights, and leader of citywide arts initiative “The Bridgeport Art Trail”, we are happy to honor Suzanne Kachmar as our November Artist of the Month.”

See the full story.