Curated by Natasha Kuranko
18 June–30 July 2022
18 June 2022, 4–6 PM
Bridgeport, CT—URSA is pleased to present Avidya, a group exhibition featuring eight artists working
within the Greater Bridgeport area: Saint Aedan, Dennis Carroll, Jem Flores, Thalia Hernandez, Twig Lips, Dakota Matthess, Vaida Medina, and Jeff Ostergren. On view from 18 June–30 July 2022, the show derives its name from a Sanskrit term often translated in the west as delusion, ignorance, and static. Organized by emerging curator Natasha Kuranko, Avidya explores shifting aesthetics, confusion, and transformation. Saint Aedan, Dennis Carroll, and Jem Flores offer us artworks reminiscent of cartoon imagery and celebrity that can be held, worn, or used as an everyday object—demonstrating a collective need for materiality in an increasingly online and virtual world. Using crushed-up pharmaceuticals and pigment to create his “hyper-synthetic” pointillist paintings referencing art history and advertisements, Jeff Ostergren confronts notions of archivability and many people’s blissful ignorance around what modern medicine asks us to put into our bodies. Thalia Hernandez, Twig Lips, Vaida Medina, and Dakota Matthess welcome viewers into both the uplifting and discomforting process of transformation. With neon light illuminating the gallery, Avidya as a whole asks us to challenge outdated concepts of taste and nurture new forms of beauty.
A Contemporary Art Show curated by URSA at Colorblends
1 April–8 May 2022, Tuesday-Sunday 10am-4pm
Opening Reception: 23 April 2022, 2–5pm
Colorblends House & Spring Garden
893 Clinton Ave
Bridgeport, CT 06604
Ephemeral Utopia, a contemporary art show curated by URSA and inspired by the springtime blooms at Colorblends House & Spring Garden, showcases the works of eleven artists whose dynamic visions resonate with notions of ephemerality and gesture: Mario Baez, Tara Blackwell, Cris Dam, Paul Eis, Francisco Mandujano, Sooo-z Mastropietro, Sui Park, Christine Romanell, Jeff Schneider, Marlene Siff, and Emily Teall. The exhibition will unfold as a choreographed experience throughout the rooms of the restored 1903 Colonial Revival mansion at Colorblends. Like the evolving display of spring ephemerals in the Jacqueline van der Kloet-designed gardens, Ephemeral Utopia will provide a constellation of ideas and ideals that capture the beauty inherent in life’s fleeting moments.
COLORBLENDS House & Spring Garden features a half-acre garden with thousands of spring bulb flowers that bloom in a curated sequence over a six-week period each year. The garden was created in collaboration with Dutch designer Jacqueline van der Kloet; the 1903 Colonial Revival, set among other beautiful houses in the Stratfield Historic District, was purchased by Colorblends in 2014.
16 April–28 May 2022
Opening Reception: 30 April 2022, 4–6pm
Abstract Orbit, an exhibition of contemporary art curated by Jeanne Ciravolo, presents work by six emerging and mid-career artists whose playful, elegant, and experimental approaches revolve around abstraction in the forms of sculpture, print, works on paper, and painting: Fritz Horstman, Noe Jimenez, John Richardson, Ruth Sack, Laurie Sloan, and Sarah Stewart. An exciting selection of archival digital prints, chunky paintings as artifacts of making, folded paper cyanotypes, oil paintings as poetic meditations, and the spatial interplay between drawing, relief, and sculpture characterize this engaging presentation of works by Connecticut-based artists. Ciravolo is an educator and visual artist whose work is included in White Columns Curated Artist Registry and published in the forthcoming Manifest International Painting Annual 10. Ciravolo is the Interim Curator of the Alexey von Schlippe Gallery at the University of Connecticut Avery Point in Groton,
Horstman_Folded Cyanotype 179 copy
Ursa Sack.Phantasm F. (1)
Stewart_Little Yellow Arch copy
Ursa Jimenez_GREENBOX copy
A Squirrel from Memory
16 April–28 May 2022
Opening Reception: 30 April 2022, 4–6pm
A Squirrel from Memory is an ongoing project by artist Douglas Degges comprising two divergent image-making
processes that explore familial relationships, distance from home, and the pressure to possess a singular voice or vision within a creative practice. The project was born out of the artist’s decision to work with increasingly personal and localized imagery while tending to creative practice as a collaborative activity. Since 2019, Degges has been working primarily from cell phone photos supplied to him by his immediate family in an ongoing group text; they share the things they do and see near his childhood home in Louisiana. While not included in this exhibition, a significant portion of the project consists of small drawings on paper: literal, time-intensive translations of photographic images, mostly of landscapes and animals found in the southeastern United States. As a foil to the drawings, the paintings, like the ones included in this exhibition, are crafted primarily from the memory of making the drawings and are approached in a fast paced and painterly way.
11 November 2021-
5 March 2022
Extended through May 2022
Ursa Gallery is pleased to present SHIM Eco: The Coral Reef Principle, a seminal show of over one hundred works to focus on eco-activism and its transformational sensibility. It is the inaugural exhibition of SHIM Eco, the world’s first art community to concentrate solely on climate change and its economic and social disruptions. The participating artists hail from nearly a dozen countries—including Finland, Argentina, France, Italy, Greece, Africa, England, and the US—and present works in digital and analog formats to spotlight in myriad ways the urgent issues around sustainability and social engagement.
The exhibition is titled after the coral reef, a complimentary biosphere and the largest undesigned structure in the world. Crucially in this model there is no master architect, nor the need for one, because the structure literally builds and maintains itself once all the correct conditions exist. It is this concept, or “principle,” that the exhibition mirrors. At URSA, the actual installation of the art will also mimic the ways a coral reef operates by connecting larger works on walls with other smaller artworks that engage with the space of the floor, ceilings, and other in-between areas, and these works in turn will connect remotely via videos to other artists around the world. Featured artists include Ken Butler, whose hybrid musical instruments of repurposed and humble materials inspire transformation; Kathleen Vance, who sets miniature bucolic landscapes inside vintage suitcases, conjuring the sublime from the avant-garde; and German Pitre, who employs controversial symbols through recycled materials to challenge our perspectives.
SHIM ECO exists as an online exhibitor group of the SHIM Art Network Artsy site page to allow artists to sell their sustainable eco-based artworks directly to collectors without the need of a gallery affiliation. Now, with this event at URSA, Eco will begin to exhibit their group member artists in analog galleries and art fairs around the world. Eco was formed to include not only visual artists but also writers, designers, poets, and creators of all types interested in developing a sustainable way to make and promote their works.
| Argentina | Brazil | Belarus | France | Finland | Greece | Italy | Poland | Romania |
| Switzerland | Togo | United Kingdom | United States of America |
List of organizers and participating object based artists
Sarah Olson (U.S.)
Delphine du Carufel
Ellen Hackl Fagan
Jane Claire Wilson
Jack and Jenna X
Current list of video artists participating in the Ursa exhibition
and online at the SHIM Eco/TSDAP Eco YouTube channel.
April 24th- July 31st 2021
Here Comes the Sun is an illuminating exhibition that celebrates a new chapter with our community–– a time of revival and hope. Drawing parallels between the uplifting transition from winter to warmth and the pandemic to a new normal, Here Comes the Sun serves not only as an opportunity to reflect but also look forward. The presentation showcases the works of fourteen contemporary artists whose dynamic visions will uplift and restore our perspectives in a variety of ways: Jae Hi Ahn, Miggs Burroughs, Sophie Sevigny, Chris Coffin, Takeshi Miyakawa, Marlene Siff, Erich Davis, Paul Eis, Frank Foster Post, Franchell Mack Brown, Iyaba Ibo Mandingo, Sooo-z Mastropietro, Mario Baez and Arjan Zazueta. Curated by Cris Dam and Dustin Malstrom.
NEW WORKS BY THE LONDON CALLING COLLECTIVE
November 7, 2020 - February 12, 2021
Bridgeport, CT—On November 7, Ursa Gallery will debut In Accordion Time, Unfolding: A Pandemic Archive, a seminal exhibition to coincide with the opening of the 2020 Bridgeport Art Trail. Co-curated by Alexandra Rutsch Brock and Patricia Miranda, the installation-as-environment will feature mail art in the form of poetic accordion-fold books as well as diverse digital dialogues made by the London Calling Collective over the past year.
The pandemic made visible the domestic sphere, an oft hidden space of both labor and nurture, where women have historically lived, worked, built families and friendships, fought and loved. Recalling the long history of women artist collectives that endures today, the London Calling Collective was born from seven loosely associated artists—Alexandra Rutsch Brock, Patricia Fabricant, Ellen Hackl Fagan, Katherine Jackson, Patricia Miranda, Josette Urso, and Jo Yarrington—who traveled to London in October 2019 on a brief art trip. When lockdown came to NYC, this inadvertent group of women solidified their connection through WhatsApp and Zoom. In dozens of messages throughout each day and two Zoom meetings a week, throughout quarantine and into today, a bond of friendship grew. The result is 3,783 pages of WhatsApp dating from October 3, 2019, to October 13, 2020—1,000 of which currently paper the walls at Ursa Gallery for this exhibition. Information, advice, and anxieties about the pandemic and the world were discussed, along with shared meals, recipes, books, films, artists, exhibitions, art opportunities, things seen out the window, nightly sunsets, politics, protests and actions, first gatherings, and personal stories. An unplanned impromptu group led to a tightly knit, strong, intimate, resilient, innovative cohort of women. The London Calling Collective responded to the challenges of the day by building deep friendships and a chosen family.
To add to the pandemic dialogues on WhatsApp, the LC Collective desired a physical collaboration of their solitary yet shared experience. They designed a project especially for lockdown in the form of small accordion-fold books that could fit easily into NYC mailboxes and be sent through the postal service. Each book made a stop at each artist’s home, the final covers completed by the last hands to receive them. Through improvisation, overlap, discordance, and harmonics, the diverse language of each artist responded to each other’s interventions. The accordion form reflects a complex conversation of time, as it compresses and unfurls, folds and unfolds, refracts and accumulates, parts in a single inextricable whole.
In this exhibition of seven women sheltering in place while remaining connected through the digital space, radical is found in the ties that thread us together. The dialogue flowing between WhatsApp and Zoom, the book collaboration, and the individual works included in the exhibition reflects the bonds between these artists as individuals and as a group, as they reimagine community for life during and after a pandemic. The LC Collective reveals once again the power and legacy of women coming together—to forge chosen families, build resilient communities, and conspire for change in an uncertain world.
This exhibition marks the opening of Ursa Gallery, a contemporary art gallery located at the Arcade Mall in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Ursa is founded by Bridgeport-based artist Cris Dam and is conceived in collaboration with Architect, Dustin Malstrom. For more information on Ursa, visit their website at www.ursa.gallery.