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Works by homeless artists at Atrium Gallery through Oct. 12 (Released: 9/28/95)

by Sherry Fisher, Office of University Communications.

STORRS, Conn. --- Works by artists who live on the streets of New York City will be displayed at the University of Connecticut s Atrium Gallery through Oct. 12.

The creations of these 'outsider' artists are highly personal, some of it visionary in nature," said Sal Scalora, director of the Atrium Gallery. "They weave their visual tales from the castoffs found in the streets, scratching their lines of existence wherever possible. For these artists, there is no separation between their daily lives and their creative outpouring."

Art on the Edge: Discoveries from the Streets, Squats and Shelters of New York City, consists of 30 works by Pearline Cruz, Anthony Dominguez, Carla Cubit, Lino Zerda, Curtis Cuffie, Rayvon Weaver and Alex Schenkman.

Tina White will present a slide lecture on her experiences with homeless artists Oct. 10 at 3:15 p.m., in Room 107 of the Fine Arts Building. White is director of Art on the Edge, a program for the homeless of New York City.

Cruz creates detailed surrealistic creatures on scratchboard, a heavy card stock covered in white clay under a black coating. Dominguez paints bleach onto black denim, and applies shoe polish to other fabric to create large wall hangings such as No Luggage Required. Cubit s Devil and Sacrifice are small, colorful sculptures made of toothpicks, feathers, beads and other materials.

This exhibition is not about artistic movements or stylistic trends," White said. " Instead we hope to focus on each artist s creations as singular and idiosyncratic expressions which I believe are a direct reflection of their experience of living on the edge.

The exhibit is in conjunction with the opening of the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center and the year of events that will follow with the theme Fifty Years After Nuremberg: Human Rights and the Rule of Law.

White, a sculptor, believed that art could be a tool to transform the lives of homeless people. After visiting shelters and finding artists working at their crafts, she initiated an art program in 10 shelters, which was supervised by the Department of Homeless Services of New York City. The program later became Art on the Edge.

The works by the homeless artists were first exhibited in 1993 at the American Primitive Gallery in New York, owned by White s husband, Arne Anton. The art was for sale at a modest cost, and many pieces were sold.

This success was an enormous achievement for the artists, reaffirming their identities as creative individuals, while giving many a source of income, Scalora said.

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