Category Archives: Art

Orbit Gallery back in orbit


A wall from the 2012 Orbit Art Gallery, in a Court Street storefront. The uncurated, open-minded art displays returns this year, at the corner of Chapel and Howe streets.

Ideat Village ended in 2012, but not really. Over the years, the homegrown New Haven alt-culture explosion developed several popular components which have outlasted the full-blown multifarious festival itself. There was the ingenious activity, for instance, where local musicians were teamed up in ad hoc bands that competed against each other to write songs and play live; that exercise has persisted annually at Café Nine.

Now the Orbit Art Gallery is back. Continue reading

Replaying Possum


Walt Kelly’s Pogo—The Complete Dell Comics: Volume One (Hermes Press, 2014)

A number of the greatest comic strip artists in the history of that undervalued medium have hailed from Connecticut. Walt Kelly—who began his cartooning career as a high school student in Bridgeport—may be the greatest of them all. But Kelly’s key characters Pogo Possum, Albert the Alligator, Beauregard Dog and other denizens of the Okefenokee swamp began their lives not in comics section of the daily newspaper but in the pages of Animal comic books. Continue reading

Cleanse Those Doors

Doors of Perception Design

As William Blake once wrote, “If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite.” This thought, contained in Blake’s poem The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, inspired Aldous Huxley who, in turn, inspired Jim Morrison, whose band took its name from Blake.

Six Summit Gallery in Ivoryton is using the quote as inspiration for an exhibition of three painters, “Doors of Perception: Hollis Dunlap, Nathan Lewis and Susan Stephenson.”

Leo Feroleto, Six Summit Gallery’s tireless owner, says that the show “focuses on three artists’ unique entry into perceptual painting. All three share a deep-rooted investment in looking closely and an inherent dedication to painting.”

Particularly impressive are the emotionally-invested paintings of Nathan Lewis, who has set his visual narratives in abandoned factories. As he says, “These spaces, without any intervention of mine, speak naturally to our present, and to what has passed…It is in this in-between state, the factories, much like paintings, serve as a window between worlds; worlds of the present and possible futures, or worlds of the physical and the metaphysical.”WarBells_oil_2600_26x24_Lewis

Lewis’ paintings have been exhibited worldwide and appeared on the covers of books and journals. He is a professor at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield.

“The Doors of Perception: Hollis Dunlap, Nathan Lewis and Susan Stephenson” runs from May 9 through June 22.

Dates for the opening reception weekend:

May 9: 6:30-10 p.m.

May 10: 5 p.m.-9 p.m.

May 11: noon-4 p.m.

Six Summit  Gallery, 6 Summit Street, Ivoryton, CT, 860-581-8332. For more information and directions, go to




Bagge’s Buddy’s Back


Buddy Buys a Dump

By Peter Bagge (Fantagraphics, 2014)

A third volume in the adventures of Peter Bagge’s Gen-X everyman Buddy Bradley is cause for celebration, and a little despair. It’s a slim book, compiling stories which first appeared in Bagge’s Hate Annual. The earlier volumes, Buddy Does Jersey and Buddy Does Seattle—which I’ve argued constitute the Great American Graphic Novel—came from Hate when it was a nearly quarterly comic and not a once-a-year affair; those old stories are longer, more densely packed, more extensively thought-out. Buddy Buys a Dump spends many of its pages dipping into past storylines and tying up loose ends which didn’t need to be tied. It has the feel of finality (especially since the final scene, of our hero driving off into the sunset, was created expressly for this collection). It doesn’t give you hope for more Buddy stories. It also doesn’t live up to the majesty of those early collections, and the consistent quality of the old Hate comic in general. Continue reading

Better Than Eternal: Weekly!


Just as the Year One and Gothtopia sagas are wrapping up, Batman is off on another multi-title, multi-issue, revisionist adventure: Batman Eternal. While recent Batman arcs—Year One, Gothtopia, Death of the Family, the death of Damian, etc. etc.—consumer existing comic book titles, the new series has earned its own WEEKLY comic which will apparently run for over a year. Hasn’t been anything like that in the DC universe since Wednesday Comics in 2009 and Action Comics Weekly in 1988. Continue reading

Let’s Get (Meta)Physical

Johnes forum

The world needs more philosophers and less philanderers, more oracles and less oligarchs. If you agree with this, then the Philosophical Forums in Connecticut has a two-day event designed just for you at the Kasbah Garden Café in New Haven this weekend called “Metaphysics in Art, Architecture, Poetry and Science.”

The forum will combine discussion and readings with formal presentations by scholars like Julianne Davidow (author of Outer Beauty, Inner Joy: Contemplating the Soul of the Renaissance), Scott Olsen (author of The Golden Section : Nature’s Greatest Secret), Kathleen Damiani, Steve Bass, Dee Rapposelli, and artists Ebenezer Sunder Singh and Don Axleroad.

Other participants include:
Ray Coutant
, filmmaker & Philosopher, PhD.Communications, Bear, Delaware
Prof. Robert J. Cuneo MFA, arts educator, University of Bridgeport (retired) 
Christine V. Miller,
Magda Mraz
, educator & artist of large allegories, student of Spiral Dynamics , originally from the Czech Republic;
Mariellen Champdelaine, artist
Maxwell Clark, artist & essayist, New Haven.

For more information, contact the forum’s organizer, the tireless Johnes Ruta, independent curator and art director of the New Haven Public Library’s Azoth Gallery. His email is

For more details on the forum, go to