Entertainment

40 Years Keeping Art Alive

STELLA GEORGIAN

Hygienic Art Galleries bring life to New  London

No judge. No jury. No fees. No censorship. This isn’t your average art show. With an open invite to all walks of life in the art community, Hygienic Art Galleries has made itself home to the raw and unpredictable culture of art today. Celebrating its 40th year, the Salon Des Independants show values and embraces the non-conformative approach to a pop-up art show modeled after a Parisian show in 1884. Here in New London County, it welcomes the local art community to come to life for two weeks. While this isn’t the only event Hygienic Art Galleries puts on, it certainly stands on its own in its individuality.
When the gallery’s original team was brainstorming what they wanted their show to look like in the late 80s, they had a few clear visions in mind. They wanted the show to liven Connecticut’s glum winter and they wanted freedom for artists and art-conusiers. When you walk into the whirlwind of this show, it’s clear that they achieved both of those things. Following the original guidelines and vision of the French, the show enables and allows artists an apparent, distinct freedom in the art. There’s no theme, no expectations, and no censorship. By giving artists a blank canvas (no pun intended), it immediately sets the show apart from others. Sculptures, just a straight up toilet, nudity, you name it: this show has it.
What is beautiful in this, is that this two week show acts as a snapshot of local art. Walking through, looking at each piece carefully or sweeping through the collective. Loving some pieces. Hating others. The art show doesn’t just encapsulate a specific vision of a curator for profit or perpetuate any pre-meditated ideas as a whole. The show is a miscellaneous report of local artists, ideas, and perspectives. It does not just liven New London County, it represents it.

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