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Bridgeport Art Center Debuts Two New Exhibits Friday

By Casey Cora | March 15, 2013 6:48am

BRIDGEPORT — A pair of new art exhibits will make their debut at the Bridgeport Art Center on Friday.

“Word and Gestures” explores the relationship between painting and writing and will feature works of “gestural abstraction” — a mix of brush strokes, drips and spills in a process that's meant to honor the act of painting as much as the finished product.

“It’s a really spectacular show,” said curator Lelde Kalmite, who also serves as the director of the Bridgeport Art Gallery, located on the fourth floor of the Art Center, 1200 W. 35th St.

The exhibit includes work from Azadeh Hussaini, Tom Lee, Matthew Schaefer, Edwin Shelton, Eric Stefanski, Ojars Steiners, Janet Trierweiler, Amanda Williams and Ana Zanic.

An opening night reception is scheduled for 7-10 p.m. Friday.

During the reception, artist Tom Lee will create a new work — Kalmite said it will be a huge painting created with a 12-foot long brush — while musicians play accompanying Chinese music.

"Words and Gestures" is scheduled to run through April 12.

Also on Friday, the “I Am” art exhibit, a juried art exhibition featuring 65 contributions from several Chicago high schools, will open for viewing.

The goal of the project is to give teens perspective on how they are "perceived in the world they live in by their peers, their community and the adults that surround them.”

The exhibit is part of the Human Thread program, which aims to tie together themes of peace, community, culture and art.

Michiko Kobayashi, director of the Pilsen-based youth empowerment group, said giving teens room to express themselves through art helps them find their identity. 

It's also helped adults connect more with teen's troubles.

“Many teenagers are engaged in self-exploration and investigation and in fact they are examining what's going on inside of them. To understand that it very critical at their age," she said.

The exhibit runs through April 10.