Friday, August 3, 2018

PRESS RELEASE: Three Artists, Three Styles: Gentle Enough for Daily Use Opens August 9 at the Worcester Center for Crafts

Worcester, MA- Work by Don Hartmann, Luis Fraire, and Robb Sandagata will be on view in the Worcester Center for Crafts Krikorian Gallery at 25 Sagamore Road, Worcester from August 9 to September 8, 2018 in an exhibition provocatively entitled, "Gentle Enough for Daily Use."  Gallery Hours are Tues-Sat, 10-5pm.  Admission is free.

A reception honoring the artists will be held on Thursday, August 9 from 5:30-7:30pm at the Craft Center.

All three artists-Hartmann, Fraire, and Sandagata-- are painters but approach their artmaking using different styles and perspectives. All three are also musicians. Collectively in this exhibit, however, they purport to bring to the public a gentle but deeply cleansing collection of new and improved works of art.

What does GENTLE ENOUGH FOR DAILY USE mean?  In general it is a branding term in the modern American marketplace for products that typically are associated with having certain abrasive qualities but combined in such a way that there are no unpleasant aftereffects of the abrasion: gentle enough for daily use.

Robb Sandagata is known for his narrative, sometimes grotesque figures that play with biomorphism and reference pop culture, punk and various styles of music. His recent work explores themes of politics, chronic illness, and masculinity.  He studied at Sarah Lawrence College and has a MA in Secondary Education from the University of Phoenix (Tuscon, AZ). He works at Davis Publications in Worcester while living and maintaining a studio in Lowell.  He recently co-curated Parallels, a series of exhibitions of Worcester and Lowell artists shown in both cities.

Luis Antonio Fraire is a Worcester area musician, visual artist and Gallery Manager at The Sprinkler Factory in Worcester.  In the "Gentle Enough for Daily Use" show at The Worcester Center for Crafts, he creates a single, large installation piece transporting the viewer to an urban Mexican street scene at night. His use of bold shapes, vibrant colors and re-purposed materials are inspired by Mexican folk art. In this work, he invites the viewer to share both the momentous and surreal in a typical scene from the Barrio Antiguo, the historical quarter of Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico. Fraire is a 1st generation American with extended family living in and around the Monterrey metropolitan area.

Don Hartmann is currently completing a series of 100 goat paintings and is known for his emotive, confrontational style of figure painting.  Originally from Ohio, Hartmann has studied at Ohio State University and the University of Hartford.    

"Until we see the work come through the door," says Candace Casey, director of the Krikorian Gallery, with a laugh, "we won't know if it, indeed, is gentle enough for daily use! We're very excited to have these three creative artists and musicians in our space.  The surprise element is a wonderful part of GENTLE ENOUGH FOR DAILY USE."

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Honee Hess,

Gentle Enough for Daily Use featuring (l to r) Robb Sandagata, Don Hartmann, and Luis Fraire, 2018


About the Worcester Center for Crafts:

The Worcester Center for Crafts (WCC) is one of the oldest non-profit institutions for craft study in the United States.  Founded in 1856 as the Worcester Employment Society to help immigrants produce and sell hand-crafted wares to support their families, the Center evolved over the past 155 years into New England's leading center for craft education, exhibition and entrepreneurship.  In 2004, the organization expanded and opened the New Street Glass Studio - an off-campus, 8,000 square foot, state-of-the-art, multi-studio glass facility.  The WCC offers the only comprehensive glass studio program in New England available to the public.  Through an affiliation begun in 2009, the WCC is home to the Worcester State University visual arts studios and partners in community outreach.

The Craft Center's mission is "to inspire and build a creative community through the promotion, appreciation and teaching of craft."  This mission includes the public education initiatives adult education classes and workshops, , exhibitions showcasing the work of established and emerging artists, artist residencies, lectures, family events, studio rentals, Gallery Store, its Youth Craft + Creativity program and major events.  The WCC is a member of the Worcester Cultural Coalition and receives funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

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