Culture Connect Featured Event
HARTFORD ART SCHOOL ALUMNI FORUM Presented by HAS, Inc.
Learn more about our alumni/artists, their career paths, successes and failures, and their common bond by joining us at the Hartford Art School Alumni Forum.
This is the second in a series of lively, unscripted conversations in the Hartford Art School Alumni Forum Speaker Series, Not Starving Artists.
The event is free and open to the public. A reception follows, offering an opportunity to continue the dialogue.
Honorary Doctorate 2003
Hartford Art School
Mark Dion received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1986 and an honorary doctorate in 2003 from the Hartford Art School, University of Hartford. His work examines the ways in which dominant ideologies and public institutions shape our understanding of history, knowledge and the natural world. He believes that the job of the artist is to go against the grain of dominant culture, challenging perception and convention. Appropriating archaeological and other scientific methods of collecting and exhibiting objects, Mark creates works that question the distinctions between objective (rational) scientific methods and subjective (irrational) influences.
Mark has received numerous awards, including the ninth annual Larry Aldrich Foundation Award (2001) and the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Lucida Art Award (2008). He has had major exhibitions at the Miami Art Museum, Museum of Modern Art in New York, Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Ridgefield, Connecticut, Tate Gallery in London, and the British Museum of Natural History in London. He is co-director of Mildred’s Land, an innovative visual art education and residency program in Pennsylvania, and currently is working on the visual art programming and redesign of the Seattle Waterfront.
Ellen Hackl Fagan
MFA Painting 2005
Hartford Art School
Interdisciplinary abstract painter Ellen Hackl Fagan uses synaesthesia, digital media and interactive performance as tools for developing a corresponding language between color and sound in her work.
Ellen earned her Masters of Fine Arts Degree in Painting in 2005. In 2004 she was selected into the Aldrich Museum’s RADIUS program and received a working grant for her Reverse Color Organ project from the Stamford Museum & Nature Center. In 2007 she moved her studio to Harlem and reinitiated her work as an independent curator. Since graduating, she has had 12 solo exhibitions and more than 20 group exhibitions nationally. Her paintings will be included in Gallery 22's booth at Fountain Art Fair during Armory Arts Week.
Carole P. Kunstadt
Hartford Art School
Postgraduate studies at the Akademie der Bildenen Künste
Carole Kunstadt received her BFA, magna cum laude, from the Hartford Art School in 1973, with a concentration in two-dimensional studies, working with Rudolph Zallinger and Paul Zimmerman. She continued with postgraduate studies at the Akademie der Bildenen Künste in Munich, Germany. Her interest in tapestry design and weaving led to an assistantship in the tapestry studio of Helena Hernmarck. She then co-founded Kennedy/Kunstadt Tapestries in 1981, which was commissioned by Gloria Ross to weave a tapestry after the Helen Frankenthaler painting "This Day."
Recently exhibiting in the 1st International Santorini Biennale of Arts in Greece, Carole also has participated in numerous group exhibitions throughout the United States, notably "SLASH: Paper Under the Knife" at the Museum of Arts & Design in New York, and "The Book: A Contemporary View" at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts in Wilmington. The Museum of Biblical Art in New York will feature her "Old Testament Series" in the upcoming exhibition, "As Subject and Object: Contemporary Book Artists Explore Sacred Hebrew Texts." The PBS/OFF BOOK mini-documentary, "Book Arts," features Carole in the segment "Transforming the Sacred." Work from her "Sacred Poem Series" is included in the Quarry Books publication 1000 Artists’ Books, Exploring the BOOK as ART.
Nancy Bergman Pantirer
Hartford Art School
Montclair State University
Nancy Pantirer received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Hartford Art School and a Master of Arts from Montclair State University. She did additional coursework at Tufts University Museum School in Boston and Pratt University in New York. After her formal studies and while working with John Griefen, she came to a pivotal moment, truly embracing abstraction and scale and thinking about painting in a new way. Nancy has maintained a studio in Tribeca for the last 20 years and has evolved as an artist who is most at home when doing large-scale, site-specific installations. Recently her works have been commissioned for corporate and public spaces, including The Continental in New York, The Metrotop in Woodbridge, New Jersey, and The Robert Treat Hotel in Newark.
As an artist she brings a free spirit and strong aesthetic abilities to all her projects. She has a talent for creating opportunities to connect artists and like-minded people. For the last 10 years she has been producing and curating salons, allowing her to work with a variety of visual and performing artists, writers, and musicians embracing an interdisciplinary approach to creating dialogue for the downtown Tribeca artists’ community.
Moderated by Janice La Motta
Artistic Director, Charter Oak Cultural Center
Janice La Motta has over 25 years of professional experience in the field of fine arts in both the commercial and non-profit sectors. She was the curator at the New Britain Museum of American Art for 5½ years prior to opening her own fine arts gallery in 1991, Paesaggio Gallery (later known as La Motta Fine Art). She closed her gallery in May 2009, after a successful tenure of 18 years. Subsequent to her gallery work, she served as the Arts Program Director at Billings Forge Community Works in Hartford, where she oversaw two initiatives: the Studio at Billings Forge—a multi-use performance space, and the Workshops at Billings Forge—an urban artist residency program that she created. She is currently the Artistic Director at Charter Oak Cultural Center—a multi-cultural nonprofit arts organization in Hartford. In addition, Ms. La Motta continues to practice as a fine arts consultant/art dealer.
Ms. La Motta has been a visiting artist and guest lecturer at area schools and universities and has served as a juror on grant panels for the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, the Greater Hartford Arts Council, the City of Hartford and the Roberts Foundation. A graduate of the Hartford Art School, University of Hartford, she is a practicing visual artist with an extensive exhibition history of one-person and group exhibitions throughout the country. She lives in West Hartford, CT with her 17-year-old daughter Phoebe.