NEW BRITAIN – More than 30 original artworks by New Britain native Kendall Soliwoda will be on display this week at Gallery 66 for an exhibit called “Brilliant Colors Unleashed and Unbound.”
An opening reception will be held on Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Gallery 66, 66 W. Main St. The event will feature live music by saxophonist Sarah Hanahan, professional photography by Eddie Morales and hot and cold refreshments.
Admission to the reception is free and includes one raffle entry for a chance to win an original painting by Soliwoda. Additional raffle tickets will cost $5 each. Half of the proceeds will be donated to the Friendship Center to benefit five pregnant mothers in the program.
The exhibit features Soliwoda’s contemporary abstract artworks he describes as a “raw expression of emotion.” His use of bright vivid colors and dynamic strokes aims to carve a new genre for himself in the contemporary art world.
“A lot of my art is based on how I’m feeling when I approach the canvas,” he said.
“My style is to reinvent impressionism through today’s point of view. It’s not realism but abstract.”
The exhibit includes his work over the last five years and will be Soliwoda’s first solo exhibit. Soliwoda earned his bachelor’s degree from Central Connecticut State University, where he majored in Fine Art and Marketing.
Soliwoda takes pride in using recycled materials in his artwork - when Babies R Us went out of business, he repurposed their advertising panels as canvases.
In one painting he calls “The Monocle,” he used recycled materials such as metal rings and rosary beads.
“It literally jumps off the canvas,” he said. “You can see a wide range in how people interpret it. It can throw your mind for a loop. Everyone draws their own conclusion.”
Much of Soliwoda’s inspiration comes from his wife, who he says is a model for many of his pieces.
“She’s a big inspiration,” he said. “A lot of my recent paintings have been influenced by her and the growth in our relationship.” Soliwoda recently welcomed a new child to his family.
Soliwoda said he was influenced by his grandmother when he was just 3-years-old.
“My grandmother watched me a lot when I was little and always gave me creative things to do around the house,” he said. “She would sit down and draw with me and she always made sure I had supplies.
Soliwoda’s art can be found on one of the city’s voltage boxes located on Pearl Street near the courthouse. His painting depicts baseball pitcher Stephen Louis Dalkowski.
Soliwoda’s artwork will be on display until Sunday, June 23.
Michelle France can be reached at 860-801-5087 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.