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New Norwalk Art Exhibit Combines Past And Present

Loren DePalma with her piece "Zeal" which is now on display as part of the "Deja New" exhibit at the Maritime Garage Gallery in Norwalk. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue
Jeff Bortniker of Wesport with his painting "Inflation" at the Maritime Garage Gallery in Norwalk. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue
Wendy Petta-Goldman of Westport with her painting "Curious Tides," part of the "Deja New" exhibit in Norwalk. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue
"Green Ledge Light" by Milan Chilla of Rowayton and "Electric Energy" by Liz Squillace of Bridgeport at the Maritime Garage Gallery in Norwalk. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue

NORWALK, Conn. -- Artists from all over Fairfield County are featured in a new exhibit at the Maritime Garage Gallery in Norwalk designed to evoke memories of well-known vistas and personal spaces.

"We intended to to pull in mixes that evoke a memory or a familiar feeling or a special feeling," said Sooo-Z Mastropietro, curator of the "Deja New" exhibit. The exhibit was originally inspired by the new Ironworks building in South Norwalk and how the area has changed over time.

"It's the same land, but we keep rebuilding and redesigning. We tend to think of what used to be there, and how things have been modified to fit new needs and new aesthetic desires," Mastropietro said. The exhibit grew into a more interpretive call for works that recall memories.

Loren DePalma of Norwalk said her work tends to go abstract.

"It's got a style you recognize, it's very bold and dynamic," said DePalma, who is also a graphic designer and likes to tie in a lot of graphic design style with her paintings. "'Deja New' is based on a concept of what's old being reborn. So I played into that theme and tied in a lot of emotions of what it's like to be reborn."

Jeff Bortniker of Westport works in large paintings, using his hands instead of a brush. For one of his pieces, "Inflation," he was inspired by the Big Bang Theory and how the universe grew out of a single point.

"It symbolizes a new beginning, a birth. So I started in the middle and worked out," Bortniker said. He likes his work to be textural, almost like braille, and recently developed a methodology to teach blind kids about color and painting.

"My work is very visceral and tactile. To me, painting should be a feeling," he said.

Westport artist Wendy Petta-Goldman uses a combination of acrylic and gel mediums that are combined organically with much detail.

"They're very vibrant and textual, there's a lot of movement, which I thought would fit nicely with the 'Deja New' theme," Petta-Goldman said.

Other artists featured in the show include Clarice Shirvell of Ridgefield, Milan Chilla of Rowayton, Sara Roche of Weston, Chermaine Rawsthorne of Norwalk, Alexandria Donovan of Westport, Liz Squillace of Bridgeport and Gayle Gleckler of Pound Ridge.

"Deja New" will be on display through the end of the year at the Maritime Garage Gallery at 11 N. Water St. in Norwalk. The gallery is free and open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

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