Michael Kozlowski - Carousel - 72dpi
“ABSTRACT NARRATIVE” Art Exhibit at Norwalk’s New Pop-Up Gallery:Pop City  68 Wall Street, Norwalk, CT
Artists’ Reception:  Saturday, June 15   6 – 9 pm
Closing Celebration:  Sunday, June 23   4 – 6 pm
Phil Falcone
Peter Konsterlie
Michael Kozlowski
Jodiann Strmiska
Kristina Zallinger

Norwalk 2.0, the City’s downtown economic and creative revitalization initiative, has set up shop in the historic Wall Street district in a new 2,000 square foot pop-up gallery called “Pop City” at 68 Wall Street.  Jackie Lightfield and Maribeth Becker are the forward-thinking cofounders of the revitalization organization. As part of this effort, they have created pop-up events and exhibits in “SoNo” to great acclaim. Having staked out vacant real estate in the Wall Street art district, they have begun exploring its enormous potential for art exhibits, multi-media productions, performance arts and virtually any type of art/cultural event.
Lightfield and Becker are concept developers and executers, organizers and all-around visionaries focused on creating bridges between the art community, local businesses and the residents of their city through the conduit of neighborhood revitalization.  Norwalk artists Jahmane (whose studio and “Kultjah Lab” are located in Firing Circuits, the old brick factory complex located on Muller Street) and Duvian Montoya act as arts and events consultants.

The inaugural group exhibit, “Abstract Narrative” explores the narrative aspects of abstract art.The show, curated by Chris Butler, Butler Exhibition Design and Johnes Ruta, AzothGallery.com of New Haven, is comprised of five artists from Connecticut and New York whose art pulsates with energy, is saturated in color and psyche, and infused with light and soul. In visual abstraction the artist’s ideas gradually emerge from splotches of paint, points of reference, shadows and overlays of forms, merging into microcosms and macrocosms.  However, abstraction occurs along a continuum: it can be only slight as in the abstract representational paintings by Michael Kozlowski, or it can be partial as in the biomorphic botanical forms of Jodiann Strmiska, or it can be complete as in the works by Phil Falcone, Peter Konsterlie, Michael Kozlowski, and Kristina Zallinger.


Some theorists have suggested that the very act of painting is an “event”; that the artwork is about the process of painting and the actions of the creative hand. In this scenario, the canvas becomes an arena in which the artist acts, and the painting becomes the event; the painting is seen as a physical record of the artist’s actions, personal philosophies and psychological states during the time of its creation.  Thus is the act of abstract painting a means of expressing personal identity.

Jodiann Strmiska “Ballonery”   pastels on brown paper   60″ x 36″
After a nearly ten-year hiatus, Jodiann Strmiska of Bridgeport has returned to “working with color; with paint, paper and fabric; and to make work which evokes a sense of joy amidst the austere socio-economic backdrop of The Great Recession”. Strmiska is a proponent of the “Slow Movement” which advocates a cultural shift toward slowing down life’s pace. “Choosing to create ‘Slow Art’ from non-traditional materials which is high-touch, low-tech, involving hands-on artisenal labor, is [her] 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”.   Jodiann54@gmail.com

Kristina Zallinger “Flash in the Pan”  mixed media 30″ x 30″
Kristina Zallinger of Hamden, finds that her life “revolves around a palette of color”. Unsure of why or when this obsession began, she acknowledges the “Homages” of Josef Albers as an important influence. While living in Montana during the 70s her art was heavily influenced by Native American art and culture. “Totems, hide paintings and ledger drawings became the iconography of the day. Color was secondary at this point. [Her] emphasis was on drawing.” Upon returning to Connecticut, she “splashed into a world of abstract expressionism” an arena that demanded that she grow and change. Her major influences are now Hans Hoffman, Wassily Kandinsky, Gorky and Franz Kline.   www.kristinazallinger.com    kristinazallinger@gmail.com 

Phil Falcone “Lucy and Desi”  acrylic on canvas  24″ x 24″ 
Phil Falcone of Astoria, New York loves the creative process of painting. He has vivid recollections as a child vacationing in upstate New York with his parents and some of their New York artist friends, and his fascination with watching them paint the surrounding landscapes. He credits these experiences with his desire to share his own thoughts and ideas with someone who might recognize them as he did. He feels his painting is simply a gift he can give to others. www.philfalconeart.com    carolannf@sbcglobal.net

Michael Kozlowski “Carousel” oils on canvas 48″ x 28″
Michael Kozlowski has always drawn inspiration from painters who have the ability to create and display another world that not only allows you to visit, but draws you in and holds you captive. It is important to Kozlowski that he not dictate a particular meaning or point of view. Rather, he seeks to provide the catalyst for viewer participation. “Stylistically [his] work has always danced along the line between abstraction and representation, typically landing somewhere in the middle. While enjoying “the intellectual aspect that comes with carefully crafted and organized representational elements, [he is also drawn to] the energy and dynamism that more abstracted spaces can bring.” He sees his childhood insomnia as an explanation of why the night is so often the backdrop for his work.  kozlowskim@sbcglobal.net

Peter Konsterlie “Grid Work”   acrylics on canvas  30″ x 30″ 
Peter Konsterlie is a Professor of Art History at the University of Bridgeport. He earned a BFA from Minneapolis College of Art and Design, graduating with a “Dayton’s First Place Award” in a statewide university competition.His artwork has been seen at such venues as The Aldrich Contemporary Museum, the ABC news program 20/20 with John Stossel, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Carnegie Mellon in Washington D.C., Westport Art Center, Sacred Heart University.pkartdude@gmail.comExhibit:  Thursday, June 13 –  Sunday, June 23
Artists’ Reception: Saturday, June 15;  6 – 9 pm
Closing Celebration:  Sunday, June 23;  4 – 6 pm.


Gallery Hours:
Thursdays and Fridays: 2 – 10 pm
Saturdays: 2 – 10 pm
Contact:  Chris Butler  203.988.2412   christinebutler_ccs@hotmail.com