Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Public Art Unveiling and Reception

MainStateVentures to Unveil Artwork of Third Finalist in Inaugural Public Art Competition.

Artist Kelly Bigelow Becerra to be featured

Public reception to follow

MainStateVentures will present the third finalist in their 1st Annual Art Competition and unveil the original work to be on exhibit on Thursday, September 2 at 6:00 PM. Kelly Bigelow Becerra, a Bridgeport resident, will be on hand to discuss her work. The piece will be on display outside on Broad Street across from the Burroughs-Saden Library (925 Broad Street) in downtown Bridgeport through early November. She is the third in a series of six finalists selected in this inaugural competition. An artist reception will follow at Tiago's Restaurant, 211 State Street. Both events are free and open to the public.

"I am thrilled and honored to have been selected as a finalist in this competition," stated Becerra. "I believe there needs to be even more opportunities like this that showcase the talent in Bridgeport. The fact that the artwork on display changes every two months keeps it fun and interesting, and keeps people coming to downtown Bridgeport."

Becerra is a contemporary artist who uses the labor-intensive process of direct, flatbed scanning of objects and people to create a digital vocabulary. Images are created by literally placing objects in direct contact with the glass of the scanner which creates shadowy, softly modeled shapes that are oddly foreshortened. The resulting archive of imagery is used to piece together scenes from her sometimes idyllic / sometimes abusive childhood in the rural Midwest.

Becerra has recently exhibited with the Aldrich Contemporary Museum of Art, Ridgefield, Conn., Akus Gallery at Eastern Connecticut State University and other venues in the Northeast. Her work has been purchased as part of Eastern Connecticut State University's permanent collection and currently is on display in their library.  Becerra has been selected to be included in the third Aldrich Undercover, featuring new works by select Aldrich alumni artists. Originally from Michigan, she is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Becerra is also a talented Filmmaker. Collaborating with her husband and fellow artist Roland Becerra, she co-wrote and co-produced their short film, "Dear Beautiful," which was chosen as an official selection for the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and was screened during the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. The Becerras are currently in production on their next film, which is scheduled for release in 2011.

In addition to Becerra, the MainStateVentures Public Art Competition finalists are: kHyal, Gus Moran, Yolanda Petrocelli, Liz Squillace, and John Lawson. A requirement of the competition is that all of the artists must reside or work in Bridgeport. The year-long exhibition will culminate in the selection of a Grand Prize winner, who will receive a $1,000 cash award and a "People's Choice" winner, who will be awarded a $250 cash prize. Awardees will be announced in early 2011.

All six finalists were chosen by a distinguished jury consisting of Robert Curcio, co-founder of the Scope International Art Fairs and Gallerist, New York City; MaryAnn Fahey, Curator and Gallerist, Umbrella Arts, New York City; Emily Larned, Professor, Graphic Design, University of Bridgeport; John Favret, Director, Housatonic Community College Art Department; and Penny Harrison, an arts consultant.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Bittersweet - my first solo exhibition

I hope to see all of you at the opening!

Heres the press release :

Akus Gallery features artist Kelly Bigelow Becerra

Willimantic, Conn. –The Julian Akus Gallery at Eastern Connecticut State University presents the exhibition, “Kelly Bigelow Becerra: Bittersweet” a solo show. There will be a visiting artist lecture on February 19 at 3:00 followed by a reception from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. with a special performance by the Quiet Corner Fiddlers. The exhibition runs from January 29 through March 12.

Kelly Bigelow Becerra is a contemporary artist who uses the labor-intensive process of direct, flatbed scanning of objects and people to create a digital vocabulary. Images are created by literally placing objects in direct contact with the glass of the scanner which creates shadowy, softly modeled shapes that are oddly foreshortened. The resulting archive of imagery is used to piece together scenes from her sometimes idyllic/sometimes abusive childhood in the rural Midwest. Both the heavily patterned images and the process itself of piecing the digital works together are inspired from traditional American sampler patterns. The viewer is drawn in by the unassuming, familiar, and homey patterns and taken aback by the deeper message of a family in disarray.

Bigelow Becerra was recently awarded an Artist Fellowship Grant via the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism. She has exhibited with the Rodger Lapelle Gallery, Philadelphia, PA and the Aldrich Contemporary Museum of Art, Ridgefield, CT, among other venues in the northeast. She is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

In addition to being an exhibiting fine artist, Kelly Bigelow Becerra is also a filmmaker. She is the co-writer and co-producer of the short film "Dear Beautiful" which was chosen as an official selection of The Sundance Film Festival 2009. Collaborating with her partner and husband Roland Becerra (director and animator of the film) Bigelow Becerra worked as assistant director, designed the distinctive "look" of the monsters seen in the film, and co-wrote the screenplay for the animated feature length version of "Dear Beautiful", which is in production. "Dear Beautiful" was winner of the Moving Pictures Magazine Animated Short Film competition and screened during The Cannes Film Festival 2007.

New York Times review 1/2/09 of the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art exhibition Full Circle: 10 Years of Radius which features Becerra’s archival digital work

Connecticut Post review 1/9/09 of Becerra’s film “Dear Beautiful”

Becerra’s film “Dear Beautiful” is one of 96 short films selected to screen at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival

Monday, January 26, 2009

Sundance was amazing!

photo credit: nathan lewis

Saturday, January 03, 2009

The New York Times

The New York Times has a review of the Full Circle Show in the Connecticut section...

We all know how commemorative group shows work. They don’t, for the most part, since the artworks are often hung randomly about a room. Not so with “Full Circle: Ten Years of Radius,” at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum. The guest curator, Regine Basha, from Arthouse in Austin, Tex., has made a valiant effort to group works by 14 alumni of Radius, an artist development program run by the museum and the Ridgefield Guild of Artists, by medium and subject. But in the end, the show as a whole is so beautiful and thought-provoking, the arrangement doesn’t really matter.

The art is installed throughout the first few rooms of the museum’s big, open upstairs galleries. It is not under-hung, but there is certainly enough white wall around the 20 or so works, pretty much one per artist, to give you enough space to contemplate them without the faintest possibility of distraction. Two works by each participating artist might have helped to fill things out.

Given that our understanding of art has undergone tremendous upheaval in the past couple of decades, it is surprising to find so much painting in this show. It is painting, what’s more, that uses traditional art materials, mostly oil on linen, and adheres to centuries-old genres, including landscape, history painting and portraiture. It is 2009, right?

I am curious about this focus because digital technologies have radically altered how images are made and experienced. Meanwhile, our understanding of visual art has been torn from its roots in ritual and tradition and thrust into the context of mass media and cultural studies. Art today has a very different look, purpose and social position than it did a century ago, or even four decades back.

This is not to say that the work here is reactionary, for much of the painting in this show suggests a nuanced awareness of the world in which we live. For instance, Jaclyn Conley’s dramatic, skillfully painted mis-en-scènes possess a real cinematic quality, while paintings by Joseph Smolinski, Ben Weiner, Christopher Mir and Bryan Jones touch on environmental issues and concerns.

These paintings belong to our time. It is just that they look backward as much as they look forward in their ideas and influence, suggesting the possibility of a new shift toward reclaiming some of the qualities that distinguish visual art from other imagery.

Whatever the outcome of these efforts, art today is now part of a broader visual culture. This, too, is reflected in the works here — from Paul Favello’s digital photographs of appropriated war-related imagery to Kelly Bigelow Becerra’s collage prints made of scanned imagery cut and combined into pictorial vignettes that re-create memorable scenes from the artist’s childhood.

Art as a form of writing seems to lie behind much of the abstract art that is assembled for the exhibition, some of it quite good. Jim Hett’s eye-popping, odd mixed-media drawing, “They’re All the Same Except They’re All Different” (1998-2008), presents a dense accretion of colored lines slowly built up in a cumulative process over long periods of time. It is casual yet obsessive; art as daily ritual.

The same calligraphic quality underlies Beth Gilfilen’s abstract painting, “The Big Hunch” (2008), which is based on exploratory, expressionistic drawing. She paints with no fixed or prescribed ideas in mind, simply allowing the imagery to develop and unravel intuitively. The results are lyrical, colorful and fun, but also startlingly strange. They even suggest an alchemical process.

There is some video art in the show, as might be expected, but not much. “Blue Plasma” (2008) by Robert Federico magnifies simple scenes — fresh water flowing freely over a rock, the flickering of a flame — to the point of abstraction. He makes the familiar strange, a technique that also harks back to the past,specifically the early-20th-century Russian Modernist avant garde.

Perhaps it’s a symptom of the cultural moment, but on the face of many of the works assembled for this show, art seems to be heading back to the future.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

See you in Park City!!

Official Selection-2009 Sundance Film Festival

Bridgeport, CT- SoMuch Pictures announces its groundbreaking animated short film, “Dear Beautiful”, has been named an Official Selection by the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. (This year the Sundance Film Festival selected 200 films for exhibition from more than 9,000 submissions.)

Winner of the Moving Pictures Magazine Animated Short Film competition and screened at Cannes, “Dear Beautiful” has captured audiences and critics alike with its combination of haunting, jarring visuals and foreboding audial immersion. Using flash animation and stop motion animation techniques, Bridgeport-based director Roland Becerra and wife/production/writing partner Kelly Bigelow Becerra have created a unique and gripping animated horror-movie experience that extends beyond the run-of-the-mill grotesqueness of the genre and delves into the emotional impediments faced by all subjects in the film.


The sudden appearance of exotic flowers in New Haven spawns an unprecedented epidemic that threatens to destroy the city. Infected people cover themselves maniacally with lotions, creams, and rags, the result of a botched experiment by cosmetics giant, V-Zone.

Paul and Lauren, a married couple, are caught between the catastrophe and their own troubled relationship. Paul has grown defeated and depressed from job frustrations and their banal existence taken its toll on Lauren as she becomes more and more isolated and he descends into alcoholism.

On her way out of the house to leave Paul, Lauren encounters one of the flowers and becomes infected. As her symptoms worsen, Paul's denial of Lauren’s illness puts the couple in grave danger as the city is overrun with infected people, media frenzy, National Guard, protesters and a panicked populace.

Dear Beautiful” has garnered on-line acclaim and cult-status among both horror/science-fiction genre fans and critics drawn in by Becerra’s artistic, technical and storytelling styles. Ain’t It Cool News calls “Dear Beautiful”, “…an unforgettable and artful zombie experience”, while sci-fi website hails the infected characters in the short as “The World’s Most Beautiful Zombies”. In addition to Cannes, “Dear Beautiful” also screened at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival, where it was awarded Bronze place in the audience choice competition.

Dear Beautiful” represents five and a half years of tireless work between this husband and wife collaboration. Roland and Kelly Becerra moved to Bridgeport, CT as “artist pioneers” in the city’s first artist housing development, Read’s ArtSpace. There, they met and partnered with another Bridgeport husband and wife team, Keith Saunders and Meredith DiMenna, who supplied the project with the short’s distinctive music and assisted on the script.

Sundance Screening Dates and Times:

Fri. Jan 16 9:15 AM Holiday Village IV
Fri. Jan 16 4:15 PM Yarrow Hotel Theatre
Sat. Jan 17 12:30 PM Rose Wagner Center
Sun. Jan 18 11:59 PM Egyptian Theatre
Thu. Jan 22 9:00 PM Egyptian Theatre
Sat. Jan 24 3:15 PM Eccles Theatre

For More Information, contact:

Monday, November 24, 2008

Full Circle - at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

I was selected to be part of the Full Circle: Ten Years of Radius exhibition at the Aldrich! "Grandma Whackin' Me with a Yellow Hoe" will be representing me in the exhibition - which runs through June of 2009. So, Mark your calendars and I'll see you at the opening!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Art Agenda ...On the radio

I will be live on the radio tomorrow doing an interview with Lex Leifheit on her weekly show The Art Agenda. I'll be discussing my work which is currently on display as part of the Tracing Identity show at The Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism Gallery in Hartford.

So, tune in to WESU (88.1fm), Thursday July 31 - 4:35pm—4:55pm

Live Stream -

Tracing Identity