Current Exhibitions

Joseph Smolinski

Connecticut Sea Grant: Joseph Smolinski and Kathryn Frund, 11/ 3 – 12/11

Kathryn Frund


The Connecticut Sea Grant (CTSG) is a federal-state partnership, housed at the University of Connecticut, which seeks to foster the sustainable use and conservation of coastal and marine resources. CTSG offers funding for artists through a competitive Arts Grant Program.

Kathryn Frund, who sources her art materials from the post-consumer waste stream, exhibits textile and mixed media works that contemplate and manifest systems of ocean currents, mysterious deep-sea forms, and the physical presence of Cape Cod Bay, to explore connections between consumer excess and stewardship. Through her use of discarded female garments in her Rescued, Reused Sandbag series the artist seeks to highlight “[her] community’s growing collective female voice for sustainable change.”

Joseph Smolinski exhibits a new series of work representing his engagement with the coastal environment through the act of collecting. He incorporates found carbon-based materials, sea coal, in mosaic compositions of subtle and forceful beauty, and adorns his rustic reimagining of a Wunderkammer or curio cabinet, titled Climate Repository, with found objects and small sculptures, drawings, and digitally fabricated forms of his own making. The artist considers Climate Repository, built with wood milled from New Haven’s Lincoln Oak, which was felled by Superstorm Sandy, as “both a relic of a climate event and a display site… where object history and material meaning combine to display a collection that references our changing climate.”

Elizabeth Ellenwood

The Interweaving of the Synthetic and Natural World, 11/3 – 12/11

The Interweaving of the Synthetic and Natural World is an exhibition of work by University of Connecticut Master of Fine Arts alumna and Fulbright scholar Elizabeth Ellenwood. The exhibition presents the artist’s photographic documentation created during her fellowship year in Norway, of microplastics that pollute ocean waters, and coastal scenes marred by plastic detritus. The artist also presents images of the Plastisphere, a new marine ecosystem in which microbes and single celled organisms colonize the surface of degraded plastic objects. Ellenwood’s crystalline images are alluring and disturbing, illuminating in fine detail the reality of ocean pollution and the new worlds created in its wake. The artist will give a talk at the opening reception on November 3 at 6:30 pm.