A unique, nontraditional art gallery located right here in Wilton is celebrating its 30th anniversary this week, with a special exhibition, “Still Crazy After All These Years…30 Years in Art.” The gallery, browngrotta arts, opens to the public only 10 days each year, and this year’s event runs April 22-30 at the home/barn of gallery co-owners, Tom Grotta and Rhonda Brown, located at 276 Ridgefield Rd..
The distinctive home and barn is located at the three-way intersection of Ridgefield and Drum Hill Roads. More than 80 artists from Europe, Asia, North and South America and the UK will participate in the show, which presents wall works, art textiles and indoor and outdoor sculptures in browngrotta arts’ barn. An Artists’ Opening and Reception is scheduled for Saturday, April 22 from 1-6 p.m.; thereafter, the show will run Sunday, April 23 through Sunday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
Since breaking ground in the 80s, browngrotta arts has been carefully curating and exhibiting emerging and established artists who celebrate the exploration of fiber art techniques and who understand the possibilities of soft materials. These are artists who helped to build a whole new field of art – fiber sculpture, art baskets, weaving, plaiting and other related means of fabrication. These became ways to create work for a wall, build a sculpture, conceive an installation or support a performance.
“Fiber art is ideal for awkward spaces, solving many specific design problems – which architects and designers appreciate – as a textural counterpoint or even as an acoustical aid,” notes Grotta.
To that end, browngrotta arts has been chartering new waters in art to showcase and provide unique sculptural and mixed media works to the trade for commercial and residential spaces.
From the early mid-20th century pioneering days to the newest possibilities in fiber optic art, browngrotta arts’ stable of fiber artists spans five exhilarating decades. Along the way, Grotta and Brown have worked with numerous renowned design and architectural firms, including Clodagh Design, Jean Efron Art Consultants, Powell/Kleinschmidt, Mark Finlay Architect, Fifield/Piaker/Elman Architects PC, Osage Art Consultancy in Hong Kong, Jack Levy Design, ICArt, Lisa Austin & Associates, O’Connor & Associates Art Advisors and Linda Bird, Ltd.
browngrotta arts’ has placed artists’ works in residences, commercial spaces and major museum collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Art Museum, the Museum of Arts and Design, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Yale Art Gallery.
Rather than being in the typical gallery, browngrotta arts promotes the work of more than 100, finely curated, contemporary artists from around the world without a retail space. Instead, browngrotta arts opens its barn/home for 10 days a year, and during the rest of the year publishes vivid, full-color art catalogs in its basement (48 to date), attends annual art fairs and partners with public venues such as The Morris Museum in New Jersey, The Bendheim Gallery of the Greenwich Arts Council, and the New Bedford Museum of Art.