When South Windsor native Marissa Rozanski finished college in Vermont as a painting major in June, she wanted to be away, but not too far away, from where she grew up, in a new place that could be a physical and artistic home.
She found them both in New Haven.
A reflection of all that was on display in “My Bedroom at Dusk,” Rozanski’s deeply felt take on the undulating waves of blue and yellow photons filling the draped window of her new East Rock digs at twilight.
Her small painting was one of 50 works by 43 artists that curator Debbie Hesse has brought together in an 11th annual members show at the Sumner McKnight Crosby, Jr. Gallery at the Arts Council on Audubon Street.
The show is the annual friendly, community-building venue open to all of the Arts Council 350 artist members who’d like to show work.
This year’s theme, “Rendezvous,” was the prompt to the artists who have submitted work. The work ranges from old-fashioned oil on canvas like Rozanski’s work to photography to mixed media collage, as in the work of Corina Alvarezdelugo (pictured).
“You can find the rendezvous in all of them,” said Stephen Grant, Arts Council communications manager.
At Thursday afternoon’s opening reception, Rozanski said that when she finished Green Mountain College in Vermont, she wanted a little independence from home and in a place where she could pursue a career in the fine arts. Her painting teacher, Jessica Cuny, who used to show at Kehler-Liddell in Westville, suggested she consider New Haven.
Result: Soon after graduation she got a job at Hull’s Art Supply and Framing on Chapel Street. She dropped by Kehler-Liddell Gallery. One of the artists currently showing, Fethi Meghelli, befriended her and invited Rozanski to his studio.
She showed her first piece in Bill Saunders’ pop-up gallery Orbit Gallery at the West Village Apartments on Howe Street.
Now she is showing her work at the Arts Council. “I feel very good about the community. It’s very welcoming, not what you’d think of the art world,” she said.
The annual show is an opportunity not only for newly minted artists. Long-established artists such as photographer David Ottenstein and painter Liz Pagano are offering work.
So is photographer Tom Stio (pictured). Like Rozanski, he is a relatively recent addition to the New Haven scene. He showed his photographs for about six years in Providence. When his gallery there closed, his own production waned.
He continued to make photographs. “It’s fine, but you want other people to see them,” he said.
Now he’s back, having become a member of the council’s Photo Collective, where he recently showed. A photograph entitled “Life Form” is his contribution to “Rendezvous.”
It’s an intriguing visual guessing game to figure out if the shape he’s photographed is a natural form, like a mollusk shell, or objects he set up or posed. Turns out it’s the residue of light snow over a crack in the sidewalk in front of Stio’s garage.
When he saw it, Stio said he had to go back into his house, retrieve the camera, and take the shot.
Rozanski demonstrated that her painting could be hung in another direction too (pictured at the top of the story) —because it’s not about a physical location but a feeling or spiritual quality evoked by that location. “This [work] is about finding home,” she said. “Home is a feeling within you, not necessarily a place. “
The works at the show are also for sale. Grant said that “Rendezvous” set a record in that department: Within 15 minutes of the show’s opening he was able to place his first red dot by one of the art works.
It occurred when graphic designer Liisa Lindholm (pictured) eyed Kathy Conway’s archival ink jet photo called “Tropicana, Cuba #1.”
Noting the energy and movement of the dancers, she said she was about to go to visit her sister, a physical therapist in Finland. This would be a perfect gift. “It’s hot, it is so sensual, how can you pass this by!”
So she purchased it for $250.
“Rendezvous” is on view at the Council’s second-floor gallery through September 19.