Sea and Soil and Water Access

presented with the Ely Center of Contemporary Art

Join us for a tour of the Ely Center of Contemporary Art at the John Slade Ely Galleries at 51 Trumbull Street in New Haven. 

Tour the English Elizabethan style house built in 1905 by S.G. Taylor. It was home to John Slade Ely (1860–1906) and Grace T. Ely, who came to New Haven in 1897. From 1897 up until his tragic death in 1906, he held the Theory and Practice of Medicine chair at Yale School of Medicine. Grace, an active community member and supporter of the arts, left the house in Trust as an art center for emerging contemporary art after her death in 1960. The first exhibition opened in April 1961 with works from New Haven Paint & Clay Club. The building has been an art center since that time.

Currently on view from May 5 thru June 23 are two concurrent exhibitions that take water and issues regarding the environment as subject.

Seaweed Stories, curated by Debbie Hesse, includes works in a variety of media by Laura Barr, Briah Luckey, Nadine Nelson, and Cynthia B. Rubin. These artists share a fascination with seaweed and the ocean environment. Departing from the romantic Victorian traditions of seaweed and sea flora as ornament and decoration typically seen in pressings, silhouettes and scrapbooks of that time, these artists, also drawn to the beauty of the underwater world, fold in ideas of stewardship, food security, global connectivity and spirituality.

Water Access, curated by Fritz Horstman, is a group exhibition that takes the human relationship with water as its theme. Nine artists from around the region working in photography, beadwork, sculpture, painting and drawing present various approaches to the topic, but all coming to it with a particular sensitivity to the subject and its environmental implications. Artists in the show include Amy Jean Porter, James Prosek, Joseph Smolinski, Leila Daw, Gina Siepel, Alexander Harding, Scott Schuldt and Rich Barolow.

Explore the Ely Center of Contemporary Art