Last year Arts Interstices introduced a program called Open Your Curatorial Eye to train people from various professional backgrounds to curate art exhibitions.  Now we celebrate the opening reception for Amie Ziner, first to complete the training. Her show, People in Nature, features work from three continents by six artists for eight weeks at The Grove.

Amie's Flier

Says Amie, “The theme describes what each of these artists has achieved; an intimate relationship with the places they work and live. They pay homage to their country’s landscapes, plants and animals, and to the human spirit, both as made evident, and implied. Traditional media and digital media were brought together to create this show. There are acrylic and gouache paintings, digital prints of handmade 3D objects (made from recycled materials) and paintings, digitally created coloring books, and sumi ink paintings on handmade paper. This reality is what our world, the world seen through artist’s eyes, is all about now. It is a delight to me to share this diverse and beautiful art.”

The reception takes place Sept 11, 2015, 4-7pm at 760 Chapel Street in New Haven, CT.  The event is free and open to the public. An elevator is available. Parking in the State Street Public Lot can be validated at 50%. Refreshments will be served.

An international circle of participating artists makes sense for the theme. They include:

Linda Cato: As an artist, educator, and artivist, Linda believes in the power of creativity to ignite change on the personal, community, and global levels. She is passionate about using the visual arts as a tool for changemaking, shining the light of art in places that need it the most. Linda has facilitated numerous public art events in Tucson as well as on the national level, working with youth and adults to explore and solve community issues through creativity and empathy.

Linda has developed visual arts programs at several Tucson schools, and worked directly with community organizations to offer arts programming to diverse communities. Currently, Linda is the Assistant Director and Artist-in-Residence at Changemaker High School, Arizona’s first high school to be accepted into the Ashoka Network of changemaker schools. Her curriculum at CMHS is designed to lead students to research and address social issues through art. As a changemaker artist herself, Linda has developed a “green” studio practice, working solely with non-toxic and sustainably sourced materials to create innovative works that explore the human relationship with the natural world.

David Sandum: Born and raised in Sweden, David Sandum moved with his wife to the United States in the early 1990s. They settled in Salt Lake City and David attended the University of Utah, graduating in 1999 with a BA in speech communication.

Soon after, he returned to Scandinavia with his young family and ultimately secured a position in IT sales. The demands of his new job, on the heels of many years of stress, took a toll on his health, and he fell into a severe depression. It was during this difficult time that he began to draw and paint, inspired by Edvard Munch’s philosophy that we should all write or paint our life story.

In 2002, David had his first exhibit in his new hometown of Moss, Norway. Over the years since, he has pursued a career in art, participating in many group exhibits and annual solo gallery shows. He was also awarded several public art commissions in Hvaler, Norway, and Skagen, Denmark. In 2007 David completed a series of Auschwitz-Birkenau paintings in honor of his grandmother, who was a survivor. One of the pieces was acquired by the Mizel Museum in Denver, Colorado.

More recently, David has embarked on several study trips to New York City, Prague, and Amsterdam. In October 2014, he was accepted to work at the prestigious printmaking studio Estudi de Gravat Ignasi Aguirre Ruiz in Barcelona under master printer Ignacio, who has worked with a number of renowned artists, including Dali, Tapies, and Miro. For his etchings, David primarily uses aquatint, drypoint, or carborundum.  Just published: “I’ll Run Until the Sun Goes Down”, a memoir about Depression, and saving his life through Art”.

Florence M’Bilampassi Virginie Loukoula “Ma Flo” was born in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, in 1972. In middle school, she enjoyed embroidery, and then adapted her embroidery impulses to paintings. She is completely self taught. She has participated in many local exhibitions, meetings, workshops and demonstrations. Very eclectic, she expresses herself in diverse media, such as: painting, wood sculpture, antique replicas, sand paintings, raffia, wool weaving, mosquito netting, using natural pigments. She designs logos, and makes sculptures out of recycled materials such as milk and sardine tins and bottle caps from beer and soft drinks. Florence is extremely dynamic, motivated and a motivator, who is keen to transmit her knowledge without charge. She is the current president of the Women Painters and Artists Club (CFAPS), a renowned association which aims to guide young single mothers, both Bantu and indigenous, to develop their spirit of creativity in art and handicrafts. Florence is showing a stunning painting here.

M’Bilampassi Tonda Judith Armel: Judith was born in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, on August 9, 1974. After high school in Congo, she became a businesswoman. Five years later, she became a painter, influenced by her sister Florence M’Bilampassi. She is an active member of the Women Artists and Painters Club (CFAPS). She makes sculptures from recycled materials and other media. Her first exhibit was at the French Cultural Center in July 2009, followed by a show at the Brazzaville Town Hall in October 2010. She also exhibited at the first forum on violence against women at the Parliament building in September 2012, and at the Ouibeko Association Forum at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in October 2012. In October 2012, she displayed her work at the French cooperation, and in again at Congo’s French Institute (formerly the French Cultural Center) in February 2015 as part of a group exhibit themed “Women’s Look.” These days she paints landscapes and open air markets.

Harry Stooshinoff is both a painter and teacher who holds a B Ed, BFA and an MFA. He has been producing artwork almost on a daily basis for over 35 years. A few decades ago he started making small pictures so that he could start and finish the piece in one sitting. The work is small because an intimate scale encourages maximum intuition, freedom, and experimentation.  He lives in the rolling countryside of the Oak Ridges Moraine, an ancient landform located just north of Lake Ontario, and is inspired by what he sees every day. “I roam this unique place in all seasons, and document my impressions. At first view, rural environments may seem natural, but they have been continually altered and reshaped by man. The landscape will be very different tomorrow; it seems negligent not to record how it looked and felt today. It’s a big NOISY world, so I make small, quiet paintings.”

Amie Ziner uses both digital and analog media during drawing sessions, switching back and forth, often for the same pose. “I’ve been making fine art, commissions, and commercial illustration for more than 40 years, and there is so much more to learn. I’m pleased to share my work, and what technical knowledge I have with students, other artists, and aficionados of the visual arts.”

The exhibition may be viewed through Nov. 6th during regular business hours, Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. View Amie Ziner‘s website, email her at and follow her on Twitter @aziner.