DANBURY, CONN. — Selections from the dynamic and interactive works created in diverse media by the acclaimed Connecticut artists Leslie Giuliani and Roxy Savage will be featured in the exhibition, “FreeForm: Exploring the Creative Process,” to be presented from Thursday, Jan. 30, through Sunday, March 8, 2020, in the Gallery at the Visual and Performing Arts Center at Western Connecticut State University.
An opening reception for the artists will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Jan. 30 in the VPAC Gallery on the university’s Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury. The exhibition will be open for viewing from noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, noon to 8 p.m. Thursday, and 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Gallery dates are subject to cancellation in the event of university closure due to inclement winter weather; the snow date for the opening reception is Thursday, Feb. 6. The Gallery also will be closed during the university holiday for the President’s Day weekend from Feb. 14 through 17.
Admission for the reception and general viewing will be free and open to the public; donations to sustain the Gallery exhibition program will be accepted. Reservations to attend the opening reception should be made online on the VPAC events web page at www.wcsuvpac.eventbrite.com. The exhibition program is sponsored by the WCSU Department of Art with support from patrons of the Gallery.
“This exhibition will demonstrate how the artists inspire each other, and how their personal interests and technological means determine and influence the artwork they make,” Giuliani observed in her artist statement. “The works in this show will feature individually created projects as well as collaborative pieces, focusing on each artist’s unique vision and love of play. Play and experimentation are essential elements to each artist’s practice.”
Giuliani and Savage met in a print shop more than a decade ago and developed a friendship based in part on their encouragement of each other to explore artistic media and techniques previously unfamiliar to them. Savage, a master printmaker, inspired Giuliani to begin making prints as part of her creative work. Giuliani taught Savage in the use of encaustic wax techniques and the incorporation of sewing into her creative process.
Giuliani, who resides in Weston, works with a wide array of materials and technologies including non-silver photographic processes, primitive rug hooking, encaustic painting, printmaking and digital embroidery. Her recent works have focused on programming her drawings into digital stitch files, creating thread-based images that she sews into flexible materials used for her encaustic paintings and prints. Her figurative and abstract works feature archetypal imagery that flows naturally between these various media.
Recipient of a B.F.A. from the University of Delaware, Giuliani pursued advanced studies at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. During the past 11 years, she has participated in 23 solo and group exhibitions across Connecticut and in New York and Massachusetts. Her works are held in many private, corporate and museum collections. She curated the 2017 exhibition, “Prints that Work,” at the Housatonic Museum of Art in Bridgeport. In 2006, she created jazz ballet stage imagery for “Beneath the Mask” at the Harris Theater in Millennium Park in Chicago.
Giuliani received an Artist Fellowship Grant for Craft from the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism. She has held residencies at the Ridgefield Academy and at the King School and the Children’s School, both in Stamford. She works with practicing artists as a teacher and technical support resource for R&F Handmade Paints, an encaustic and oil paint manufacturer.
Savage, who works at a studio in Bridgeport, pushes the boundaries of traditional printmaking through use of print, photographic, computer, painting and drawing techniques to create her unique visual vocabulary featuring symbols, grids, repetitive forms, text and icons. “I make art about basic life events, from the mundane to the seminal,” her artist statement said. “I use an array of graphic images to tell my visual stories. These images act as a bridge for me to explore intangible ideas and subconscious thoughts about the world.” Beyond recurring topical themes ranging from ethics and identity to politics and social issues, her evocative imagery draws viewers into reflection on fundamental subjects including life and death, beauty, power, spirituality and freedom.
Savage earned a B.F.A. from the Pratt Institute and an M.S. in Education from Queens College, and currently is seeking an M.F.A. in Art Practice from the School of Visual Arts in New York. Since 2007 she has participated in 13 solo and more than 40 group exhibitions across the United States, including her installation “Bubblehead” in 2018 at Amfab Arts in Bridgeport. Her works are held in many private and corporate collections including Goldman Sachs New York, Unilever USA, Bonanza Productions/Film and Television, the Four Seasons Hotel in London, and the Ocean House in Watch Hill, Rhode Island.
Savage has taught at art schools, centers, museums and workshops for more than three decades and has been a visiting artist and resident at centers and studios in Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, Florida, Cuba and Italy. She is recognized as a Master Teaching Artist on the State of Connecticut Office of the Arts Teaching Artist directory.
For more information, contact the Department of Art at (203) 837-8403 or the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486.
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