Above image: Maggie & Ike by Andrew Nixon
Bristol Art Museum & Rogers Free Library Host Community Exhibit
The Rogers Free Library and Bristol Art Museum are collaborating to host a joint exhibit, Tales and Tails, a juried, community endeavor reflecting the Library’s Summer Reading Program which can be viewed now until October 8 at the library. In addition to inviting the greater Bristol community to submit original drawings, paintings, printing making, collage or photography pieces that are inspired by or interpreting folk tales or animals, the exhibit features photographers Lou Cirillo and Thomas Corrigan, both of whom reside in Bristol and make meaningful contributions to the local burgeoning arts community.
Art work in the library exhibit can be purchased directly from the artist. An email address may be found on the label of all artwork.
Lou Cirillo is the retired Bristol Town Clerk who for the past eight years has taken an early morning two-and-a-half-mile exercise walk following a route through the center of downtown Bristol and along the waterfront boardwalk. Lou and his walking partner, Councilman Tony Teixeira, embark upon this walk each workday, regardless of weather or temperature.
Approximately three years ago, equipped with a new iPhone, Cirillo began taking photographs while on this walk. The phone seemed to capture Bristol scenery particularly well, so Lou decided to share some of these pictures – one per day - on his Facebook page. Eventually, he expanded the scope of his subjects to include evening scenes and pictures taken in other Bristol locations.
The picture postings immediately became popular generating several accolades on Cirillo’s Facebook page and when other Bristol residents would encounter him in town. The eight photographs featured in the current Bristol Art Museum/ Rogers Free Library show include a selection of some of the more popular viewed and commented posts.
Although he is not a trained artist, Lou credits the success of his photography to both the exceptional capabilities of the iPhone and the lessons of his high school art teacher, the late Santo L. DiGati, who Lou explains “taught me how to look at things.”
Cirillo’s passion for photography was born from capturing images on his morning walks then sharing them on social media. Corrigan, with a substantive archive of photos depicting animals, is sharing pieces of his extensive archive of photos with a wider audience in support of the exhibit. This exhibit is Corrigan’s first public exhibition of his photography, an interest that began when he was 10 upon receiving his first Instamatic camera. He now shoots with a Canon DSLR.
Corrigan submitted to the exhibit three photos. The first, a photograph of peacock he describes as “the vivid colors and the slight illusion of the tail registering at first as just a patterned background that might not belong to the bird's head in front of it.” He submitted two other photos, but challenges individuals’ to interpret their significance. “They're the kind you have to fill in with your own imagination,” Corrigan shared.
“When I take my camera out and about, I look for animals, objects and scenes that are beautiful in some way, but I also like to capture images that are challenging, technically,” said Corrigan. “(Photography) is not a call to act, except maybe a call to pay closer attention to the beauty in your daily world. Photos are souvenirs of beautiful scenes, animals or objects I don't want to forget, or of people during certain times or events that I will want to later relive in my memory, which our phone cameras have made so easy to do. But if I share a photo, I want it to be unique, hard to re-create, and memorable for some beautiful or emotional element.”
Noting Bristol’s unique building and marine architecture, and the natural beauty on land and sea that attracts artists, Corrigan draws inspiration from the community in which he lives. “I notice art in places all around town, and I can think of a lot of Bristol shops I've visited that feature the work of skilled and creative local artisans,” Corrigan added. “The arts are appreciated here and seem to be a strong element of the local economy.
Local Artists Earn Recognition for Tales and Tails Exhibit Submissions
A Call to Artists was issued to the greater Bristol community inviting individuals to submit original drawings, paintings, printing making, collage or photography pieces that are inspired by or interpreting folk tales or animals. The exhibit features photographers Lou Cirillo and Thomas Corrigan, both of whom reside in Bristol and make meaningful contributions to the local burgeoning arts community.
The submissions range from watercolors, woodcut prints, oil on linen panel, photos, watercolors, textiles and more reflecting the theme of Tales and Tails, a nation-wide initiative to promote the arts in local communities.
Those artists earning a juried recognition award include Lisa Nesbitt for ‘The Hare,’ a woodcut print; Suzanne Lewis for ‘Armadillo,’ a linoleum block print; Lyon Mills for the mixed-media watercolor, charcoal and graphite ‘Catacomb 62’; and Al Bates Lombard’s ‘Read Like an Iguana’ quilt.