The Hippo


Sep 26, 2018








Granite Town Gallery 

Address: 42 South St., Suite 4 (second floor, above Union Coffee Co.), Milford 
Hours: Monday through Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. 
More info:, 769-4224
Current exhibitions 
“Marius Sznajderman: Reminiscences and Other Themes” - on view now through Nov. 30 
“Lotus Lien: Lyrical Ruminations” - on view now through Nov. 30
“LomoWall: Celebrating 25 Years of Lomography” - on view now through Dec. 10 

Art in the oval
Contemporary art gallery opens in Milford

By Angie Sykeny

 Art enthusiast Kimo Lee of Townsend, Mass., was looking for a home for his website design business when he came across the vacant space above Union Coffee Co. in the Milford oval, but a closer look at that space inspired a totally different idea. 

“I had been looking for a way to make art a part of my life on a daily basis,” he said. “I saw the way the walls were set up and I realized it would be the perfect place for an art gallery.” 
In September, after a year of doing renovations, Lee opened Granite Town Gallery, housing contemporary fine art, in the 1,958-square-foot space above the coffee shop. It’s broken up into smaller gallery areas, allowing for up to four exhibitions to be displayed at one time. 
The goal, Lee said, is to provide a venue for artists, particularly abstract artists, to showcase their work, and to help generate more interest in art in the Milford area. 
“Generally speaking, it seems like people don’t have time for art in their lives. There are so many people, even fairly wealthy people, who have blank walls and don’t even think about art, and that’s a sad thing,” he said. “So I wanted to bring something to Milford that people could rally around, something that would build a sense of community and support for the artists.” 
The gallery’s two inaugural exhibitions are on display through Nov. 30. 
The first, “Reminiscences and Other Themes,” features 25 works by Massachusetts painter and printmaker Marius Sznajderman, 91, that span his decades-long art career, from 1957 through 2017. The collection includes expressionist and representational paintings, collages and prints done with a variety of media, such as gouache, textile paints, acrylics, pen and ink, lithography and serigraphy. Sznajderman’s artistic style employs elements of cubism and draws inspiration from his time living in Venezuela, where he moved from Paris with his parents to escape the dangers of WWII. 
The second inaugural exhibition is “Lyrical Ruminations,” which features 14 paintings by abstract artist Lotus Lien of Manchester. The paintings are divided into three series that express Lien’s ruminations on life. The first is characterized by the bold use of bright colors like blue, green and yellow, contrasted with dark brown, gray and black to create depth. The second uses dark colors and bold textural elements such as scribbles and heavy blending to create a feeling of melancholy. The third includes spiral elements done in bright pink, orange, green and blue, which create a cosmic effect. 
“I’m thrilled to have [Lien’s] work in here,” Lee said. “I first saw her work at a small gallery in Boscawen and really liked her style and brush work. It has a wonderful use of interesting textures and color combinations, and I think [this exhibition] really shows some of her range.”  
On view now through Dec. 10 is the LomoWall Project, an exhibition featuring a mosaic of hundreds of 4-by-6-inch analog photographs assembled into repeating patterns which create a visually intriguing effect with color and shape. It’s one of hundreds of Lomographic Society International’s LomoWall exhibitions currently on display throughout the world to celebrate the 25th anniversary of lomography, an analog camera art movement that focuses on spontaneity and uninhibited creativity rather than photographic aesthetics. The LomoWall at Granite Town Gallery includes photographs taken for a global competition by photographers in Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, Saint Lucia, Tunisia and the United States. 
“One of the mottos in lomography is, ‘Don’t think, just shoot.’ It’s about bringing a camera wherever you go and shooting pictures of anything that looks like an interesting subject,” Lee said. “There are images of the bottom part of a person’s blue bellbottoms, one of bikes chained to a railing on a bridge, one of graphics on a wall making a social statement. You can really get drawn into the subject matter.” 
When choosing what artwork to feature in the gallery, Lee said he looks for art that is engaging and “has something to say.” 
“I’m always mulling over the question, ‘What makes something fine art as opposed to decorative art?’ I think it’s about more than technical skill. It’s work that is well conceived and has some kind of soul in it,” he said. “If I had to break it down to one word, it would be ‘story’ — art that tells a story and lets you learn something about the artist.”

®2018 Hippo Press. site by wedu