City Lights & Company
265 Golden Hill Street
Mailing address: 130 Elm St, Bridgeport CT 06604
Website New City Lights website under construction
Regular Gallery Hours:
Wednesday – Friday, 12 – 5 pm
Saturday, 12 pm – 4pm
Miguel Angel Mendoza Melchor
Solo exhibit at City Lights gallery 265 Golden Hill St, downtown Bridgeport CT
9/16-11/1/23, portraits and block prints
Regular gallery hours are W-F 12-5, Sat 12-4. The exhibit is free and open to the public.
Poetic realism is infused with the mood of Miguel’s Mexican heritage. Miguel’s Caravaggio-like handling of light and surface are skills he refined during his recent studies at Paier school of art in Bridgeport, CT. Miguel is a dedicated painter, returning to art school in his 50’s. juggling work, family, art school and painting commissions. The solo exhibit features portraits of family and friends and a self-portrait of the artist, rich, well rendered paintings with a liquin sheen are contrasted by folkloric Mexican block prints also on view, flat black mythical forms from carved linoleum.
The opening reception on Sat. 9/16 from 3-6 pm will include live music played by Miguel’s son Cosobi with an ensemble from the Educational Center for the Arts Magnet School in New Haven.
The solo exhibit runs throughout the month of Hispanic Heritage month and up to the first day of El Dia de los Muertos on Nov 1, 2023.
Miguel Angel Mendoza Melchor, also known as Xquendanu Arte is the embodiment of the nobility of the emerging artist, working to support a family, while making art and music. He sets an example for his children and anyone who learns about him and his work. In his mid-50’s, Miguel is originally from the village of Zaachila Oaxaca, Mexico. He has worked and lived in Bridgeport and New Haven for decades, creating art in his home studio and public art in New Haven. He is now moving into a working studio at the NEST Arts Factory in Bridgeport CT. Over the years I have watched his art and the art and talents of his family blossom. Miguel and his wife have instilled and supported the artistic skills and passion of their children. Miguel often uses family members as his muse and performs Latin music with his sons.
Recently Miguel studied at the Paier School of Art. The recognizable advance in Miguel’s painting skills is a result from the technical direction received from the Paier instructors, augmenting his natural talent and decades of art making. When it all comes together, it is the sincere meditative creation, melding his love for the people he paints with the mood of Mexican Magical Realism and the light of Caravaggio.
Read CT Post article.
From the curator
I first met Miguel in Bridgeport and have known him and his family for several years. His sons participated in City Lights/Bridgeport Art Trail programs. I was struck by Miguel’s sincerity and commitment as an artist and family man. It is obvious he is dedicated to both. Miguel and his family now live in New Haven, but he told me he considers Bridgeport home as much as Oaxaca, he came here when he was 19. Miguel is now moving into a working studio space at the NEST Arts Factory in Bridgeport, so his ties to Bridgeport continue. He will offer a traditional block printing workshop at the NEST. For info please reach out email@example.com
About the Boxer self-portrait.
As a curator and a figurative painter, I was struck by Miguel’s recent self-portrait that he produced while studying at Paier. It’s one of those sincere paintings that you don’t forget. Everything came together! The design, content and execution are just right. These are 3 of 4 categories I use to critique art, along with taste. The passion, expression, light sing together. Although realistic, there is something dreamlike or ethereal about the painting, expressing a state of mind. The muted monochromatic painting and smooth surface are contrasted by the direct feeling expressed. This self-portrait was the image that compelled me to invite Miguel to present a solo exhibit and I knew he was prolific and deserving. Also, every other year for Hispanic Heritage month, City Lights hosts a group exhibit called Latinissima, curated by Yolanda Vasquez Petrocelli. In between years we host a solo exhibit.
Returning to art school at 50
I returned to art school at 35, attending the New York Academy of Art. Miguel returned at 50+. I can appreciate his experience with the age difference with other younger students and working full-time, while you go to school. I applaud his commitment and hard work. I hope people will support Miguel and his family by attending the opening reception.
CURRENT EXHIBIT: OUTwork LGBTQ+ ART, RUNS TO 9/1/23
2022 Bridgeport Art Trail schedule, 2023 updates coming in October
Gallery and Bridgeport Art Trail HQ hours:
Wednesday, November 9; 12 pm to 5 pm
Thursday, November 10; 12 pm to 7:30 pm
Friday, November 11; 12 pm to 5 pm
Saturday, November 12; 12 pm to 5 pm (Bike Tour meets at 8:30 am)
Sunday, November 13; 12 pm to 5 pm
City Lights & Company is a nonprofit organization that serves the community through art and is the lead organization of the Bridgeport Art Trail, that raises the funds and produces the annual city-wide arts celebration weekend, attracting visitors from greater Bridgeport and the region. City Lights thanks all the creative hardworking collaborators, all the Bridgeport Art Trail artists and community partners and sponsors that have supported the Bridgeport Art Trail for 14 years. City Lights/Bridgeport Art Trail also provides free arts programs that enrich the learning experience for youth, celebrates the rich diversity of
the greater community and provides work and opportunities for artists and creative entrepreneurs
Executive Director of City Lights & Company, AKA City Lights/Bridgeport Art Trail
Gallery Manager: Steve Gerber, who offers full framing services
City Lights Vintage Manager: Robin Gilmore
Exhibits and programs are free and open to the public and reflect the interests and rich culture of the Park City. Programs and events bring people of diverse backgrounds together to experience art and exchange
ideas, and promote our creative community.
Exhibit How Did We Get Here?
Photography, Video, Installation Collaborators Yolanda Vasquez Petrocelli and Dariusz Kanarek present
personal stories of creatives and individuals who migrated to the USA. Among the 10+ featured are Bridgeport Art Trail artists Radu Gheorghe/Romania, Rafiq Kathwari/Kashmir, Ulla Surland/Denmark, Iyaba Ibo Mandingo/Antigua, Desmond Nature/Cameroon, Carlos Biernnay/Chile. This project is sponsored by a Connecticut Office of the Arts, Artists Respond Grant, and City Lights Gallery.
About the Exhibit
Consciously or subconsciously, we may find ourselves asking this question, How Did We Get Here? for a multitude reasons, life experiences, social, economic, environmental, political events and conditions, existential questions spurred by Covid and global aggression and gun violence. Currently we may feel that we are at a pivotal point in time, actions and attitudes can make long lasting consequences. This exhibit supports the required constant scrutiny of our perspectives, to make prudent, objective assessment and decisions, to support co-existence, empathy and the constant need to evolve. Maya Angelou said, “You can’t really know where you are going until you know where you’ve been.” The 2 photographers, Yolanda and Dariusz celebrate the American migration story. It is a story they personally understand well, both were born in other countries and are now American citizens who built their lives here. Insightful videos of life stories, compliment their sensitive, expressive photographs and installation. Viewers can access the videos through QR codes and a viewing area in the gallery and on the City Lights website.
Event: Exhibit Reception at City Lights Gallery/City Lights Vintage
Thursday, November 10, 2022. 5:00 to 7:30 pm
As part of the BAT Thursday night kickoff, mingle and meander between the gallery and the neighboring vintage shop. View the exhibit How Did We Get Here?, photography, video and installation. Meet the artists and those featured in the exhibit. Check out the eclectic inventory of vintage clothing, accessories, housewares, collectibles. Take advantage of Vintage shop discounts. Meet shop managers Steve Gerber and Robin Jopp. Get a 20% coupon for City Lights framing services.
Event: Annual Bridgeport Art Trail Urban Bike Tour
Saturday, November 12; 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Meet at City Lights Gallery, 265 Golden Hill, Bridgeport. Join us for a free bike tour of artists’ open studios along the 2021 Bridgeport Art Trail. BYOB: Bring Your Own Bike (+ money for lunch, art, donations). Join
us on a free, guided bike tour of open artist studios and art galleries along the 2022 Bridgeport Art Trail.
BAT Bike Tour Schedule
8:30 am Meet at City Lights Gallery for registration, coffee, and refreshments.
9:00 am Annual group photo (at the bottom of Broad Street Steps), Evel Knievel stunt cycle demo, and then we depart for the art We will stop for lunch **please bring money for lunch**
Stops will include Arcade Mall #19, Metro Art Studios #4, The Knowlton and Armstrong Gallery #26, American Fabric Arts Building #1, City Lights Vintage #20b, and more.
Urban Bike Tours of Bridgeport aims to use the bicycle to connect the dots of Bridgeport’s history and architecture while highlighting local artists, events, businesses, and activism. Throughout the year, Urban Bike Tours of Bridgeport leads free semi-monthly bike tour adventures in and out of the city of Bridgeport. Find more details and updates at Facebook: Urban Bike Tours of Bridgeport
Event: Saturday Virtual Writers’ Group
Saturday, November 12; 2 pm to 4 pm
Bridgeport’s Poetry Ambassador Shanna Melton hosts her bimonthly FREE writers’ workshop for poets and writers of all levels. She maintains a safe and stimulating atmosphere while facilitating writing exercises for the supportive writers’ group. Newcomers are welcome. The writers’ group meets the first two Saturdays of every month online from 2 pm to 4 pm. To RSVP, send requests to firstname.lastname@example.org
Event: Poetry Open Mic Online with Shanna Melton
Sunday, November 13, 2022 / 3:00PM – 5:00PM on Facebook Live
Sign up for the limited Open Mic List at shannatmelton.com or
This will be a celebration of poetry, poets and art. Join the open mic list and learn more about the rich culture of art in Bridgeport, CT. Like Shanna T Melton Arts and Bridgeport Art Trail on Facebook to find the live stream. Created and presented by Shanna T Melton of shannatmelton.com; Sponsored by Bridgeport Art Trail -bridgeport-art-trail.org Technical Support Provided by Open Road Poetry of OpenRoadPoetry.com
Event: Art Walk and Talk with Yolanda
Saturday, November 12; 12 pm to 4 pm / Sunday, November 13; 12 pm to 4 pm
Artist/guest curator Yolanda Vasquez Petrocelli welcomes visitors and hosts an informal walk and talk. View insightful photographic portraits. Learn about diverse personal life stories through videos produced by Dariusz Kanarek, accessed through QR codes and screenings
City Lights Celebrates 18th Anniversary with “18 Artists” Exhibit”, Alfresco Party 4/30/22
4-7pm Alfresco patio party with outdoor garden installation by lead artist Carlos Bautista Biernnay
Give $50 to City Lights/Bridgeport Art Trail,
Choose an original handmade artwork from the installation as our gift to you.
Your contribution supports programs for youth, exhibits, artists and creative entrepreneurs. ￼
“ABSORPTION AND REFLECTION” Featuring guest artist/curator Larry Morse with Adger Cowans and Iyaba Ibo Mandingo. “We are that which we absorb and reflect.” Larry Morse
Artists’ Reception at City Lights Gallery 3-5:30pm
Poetry and Performance at the Bijou Theatre 6-8:30pm
BAT Weekend Gallery Hours:
Thursday, November 11; 12 pm -7:30 pm
Friday, November 12; 11:30 am – 5 pm
Saturday, November 13; 11 am -5 pm
Sunday, November 14; 12 pm -3 pm
Exhibits and programs are free and open to the public and reflect the interests and rich culture of the Park City. Programs and events bring people of diverse backgrounds together to experience art and exchange ideas, and promote our creative community.
City Lights gallery has been in operation for 13 years, recently relocated to the Golden Hill Street, joining our building neighbors, The New England Ballet Company and the Downtown Cabaret Theatre. We share a common to create a downtown arts center. Exhibits and programs are free and open to the public and reflect the interests and rich culture of the Park City, bringing people of diverse backgrounds together to experience art and exchange ideas, and to promote the our creative community.
Event: It’s Complicated Art Exhibit Opening Reception
Thursday, November 11; 5 pm -7:30 pm
Art by Maralyn Adlin
Artists: Maralyn Adlin, Carlos Bautista Biernnay, Claude Desir Jr, Dan Makara, Marcella Kurkowski, Tunde Odunlade, Mark Rich, Gerald Saladyga, Isabella Saraceni, Roxy Savage, Scott Schuldt, Joan Wheeler. Curated by Suzanne Kachmar
Fiber art, paintings, drawing, and assemblage in this exhibit contain contradictory, ambiguous content with complex imagery and compositions. Although materials and techniques vary, all artists in this exhibit practice the sincere process of artmaking, combining automatism, criticism, and plan.
This exhibit encourages the viewer to spend time with complexity and uncertainty and find meaning and beauty
from the personal interaction with the art. The show is designed to encourage that we maintain an open mind and an open heart. The exhibit runs through January 8, 2022. The show includes looking guides to enhance the viewing experience.
From the curator:
“Creativity is messy. Life is complicated.” Curator Suzanne Kachmar suggests we practice sitting with complexity and find the beauty there. “I suggest we acknowledge that conditions, ‘facts’ and perspectives are a mash up of information, feelings, and learned bias, where more than one point of view, or logic can be true. In life and in the art in this exhibit, there is often more to a story than what we see on the surface. As we try to make sense of things, remember that existence of any form is an ever-changing battle between order and entropy. It’s complicated!”
“We are living in a time fraught with contentious polarization, hubris, disruption, and a lack of trust, that tests loyalties and exposes who we are, what we need to change and cherish. We may tend to settle with those who have similar perspectives, rather than doing the work to find the answers that are in the mess somewhere in the middle, between the extremes.”
Event: Annual Bridgeport Art Trail Urban Bike Tour
Saturday, November 13; 8:30 am -4:30 pm
Meet at City Lights Gallery, 265 Golden Hill, Bridgeport. Join us for a free bike tour of artists’ open studios along the 2021 Bridgeport Art Trail. BYOB: Bring Your Own Bike (+ money for lunch, art, donations)
BAT Bike Tour Schedule
8:30 am – Meet at City Lights Gallery for registration, coffee, and refreshments.
9:00 am – Annual group photo (at the bottom of Broad Street Steps) and then we depart for the art
Stops will include Arcade Mall, The Knowlton, American Fabric Arts Building, City Lights Vintage, and more. Urban Bike Tours of Bridgeport aims to use the bicycle to connect the dots of Bridgeport’s history and architecture while highlighting local artists, events, businesses, and activism. Throughout the year, Urban Bike Tours of Bridgeport leads free semi-monthly bike tour adventures in and out of the city of Bridgeport. Find more details and updates at Facebook: Urban Bike Tours of Bridgeport
Event: Art for Kids – Wax resist painting with Yolanda Vasquez Petrocelli
Saturday, November 13; 1 am -3 pm
To better understand the process involved in making some of the art in the exhibit It’s Complicated, children learn about layering in painting through wax resist with crayon and watercolor.
Event: It’s Complicated Viewer’s Talk
Saturday, November 13; 2 pm – 3 pm
Rather than an artists’ talk, visitors are encouraged to do the talking, sharing what they see in the art on view and asking questions. Exhibit curator Suzanne Kachmar and professional storyteller Nina Lesiga host a community discussion, respecting that everyone’s point of view and interpretation are valid, encouraging participants to explore the interactive experience of viewing art and finding meaning in what they see.
Event: Saturday Virtual Writers’ Group
Saturday, November 13; 2 pm – 4 pm
Bridgeport’s Poetry Ambassador Shanna Melton hosts her bimonthly FREE writers’ workshop for poets and writers of all levels. She maintains a safe and stimulating atmosphere while facilitating writing exercises for the supportive writers’ group. Newcomers are welcome. The writers group meets the first 2 Saturdays of every month at City Lights Gallery from 2 to 4 pm.
Event: Online Open Mic with the Dragonfly Poetry Exchange
Saturday, November 13; 8 pm to 10 pm
To attend, go to Poetic Souls Arts Facebook page for FB live event. facebook.com/PoeticSoulArts
The Dragonfly Poetry Exchange gives space on a virtual open mic for poets to celebrate the art form of poetry. There are so many talented writers and performance artists that can be highlighted along with an extended community that is woven into Bridgeport’s poetry scene. Our host and creator, Shanna T. Melton ran Lyrical Voices, a local poetry venue with a community that has existed for 18 years. The Dragonfly Poetry Exchange is an extension of that beautiful energy.
The Bridgeport Art Trail Story Exchange
Free, online Storytelling meets the 1st Thursday of the month, from 7-9 pm, led by the popular professional storyteller Nina Lesiga and sponsored by the Bridgeport Art Trail. To learn more and access the Zoom registration link go to, bridgeport-art-trail. org/ninas-story-exchange/ Questions? Email: email@example.com
City Lights Gallery /Bridgeport Art Trail began this storytelling initiative during the 2020 Bridgeport Art Trail to recognize the power of the oral storytelling tradition as an art form. Storyteller Nina Lesiga explains, “Stories make us feel, spark understanding and connect us to others. It’s been an honor to hear stories from Storytelling Exchange participants in Bridgeport and from across the United States who want to connect by sharing of stories!” What kind of stories? Any kind – personal, historic, fictional, or folk. Tellers of all experience levels and listeners join to share an entire story, a part of a story, a story idea or just listen. Nina maintains a welcoming and respectful atmosphere. Participants can test out a story and request help and feedback as they develop a piece.