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Hygienic Art Show

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Jan. 31st, 2009 | 09:14 pm
location: New London, CT / USA
music: Etta James - Let's Roll

New London, Connecticut | 31 January 2008 marks the 30th year for the annual Hygienic "no judge, no jury, no censorship" art exhibition.
     The Hygienic Art Exhibition is Southeastern Connecticut's premiere fine art, film and performance artist celebration showing new and original artworks from the sublime to the outrageous. Modeled after the Salon des Independants Movement in Paris during the early 20th century, in which French Impressionist masters protested against the then art establishment and artists for fawning over the aristocracy exhibited there works in cafes in the seamy parts of the city. And while New London's Bank Street is no longer "seamy" it once was.
     The exhibition is touted as New London's only winter tourist attraction. While famous for its anything goes policy of "....no judge, no jury no fees, and no censorship...." the work presented in the Exhibition is, by and large, creative, original, well executed and a collection of visual treats. This year there were between 500 and 600 entries, and the exhibit space spilled over to another building down the street.

Pix Credit: Hygienic Building | Hygienic Art Gallery Archives | Photographer Unknown |

Some of the work in this year's Exhibition

left: Shoes || right: Glenn Hart's "The Lady Hygienic"[based loosely on Eugène Delacroix's painting "Liberty Leading the People"]

left: The Church of the King || right: Listen to what we tell you is True

Happiness is Mercury

left: When I'm elected, Salt for All || right: dayglo cat

Jesus and His Peeps [This is a box diorama construction]


left: "Uncertain Times" || right: light sculpture

left: Adam with his perpetual white noise machine || My own entry "Missing in Action"

After all the years I've known about this event, I finally entered something myself. You can see where's it is located in the left picture. It is one of my objet trouvé pieces, conceived the day the entries were due.
     Bruce and I drove over to see what we thought was a show already hung and on display, so I hadn't brought any recent work to enter. I thought, briefly, of finding a Staples and having some photos printed out from the camera, but that wasn't in the offing. Instead, we went down the street to the New London Antiques Center. In the four floors of neat stuff and detritus was this photo, "Washington DC National Guard 1936". The photo paper was cracked and damaged [likely the picture had been rolled up for storage once] and in the upper rear row of the group photo, one image had been carefully cut from the image. In the spirit of famed Dadaist Marcel Duchamp I decided to enter it into the show. The guys at the Antiques Center thought this was a great idea. I cleaned up the surface, signed and titled it, and went back up the street with my entry.
     Bruce refused to go with me. Later he said he thought I would be arrested. The reception from some folks at the Hygienic was generally positive.
     Outside, as I left, Big Bird stared at me wide-eyed, perhaps in awe. I go back in two weeks to retrieve the found art object. Next year I have to submit something more recent.
     There were other things I saw and observed today, including more stuff at the Antiques Center, but I have not posted about them here. You can read about them on my other blog, Will Brady Journal

Big Bird ice sculpture greets you at the Garden

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