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Scenes from the Apocalypse - Jennifer McCandless

May 15, 2020






Essex, Connecticut, May 18, 2020—Melanie Carr Gallery (MCG) is thrilled to present Scenes from the Apocalypse, featuring ceramic works by local artist Jennifer McCandless. This series uses humor and satirical narratives to challenge the viewer’s perspectives on constructions of identity and societal norms. Scenes from the Apocalypse is on view street-side now through May 31, 2020.


Given the circumstances of our time, MCG reconfigured the space to an intimate street-side viewing gallery. While the gallery remains closed to the public, you can view artwork on foot or by car with precaution. All work on view is accessible 24 hours a day. 


Owner/Director of Melanie Carr Gallery said: “Thank you to everyone who has provided amazing digital content — it is necessary and inspiring — but there is no replacement to viewing, or living with, actual artwork in the physical world. I am pleased to present Scenes from the Apocalypse, safely and responsibly, and hope it will be enjoyed by many as we continue to take good care of each other during this unprecedented time.”


The expressive quality of McCandless’ works takes dark, personal realities and offers a sympathetic, playful scene. The lively individuals embody the multiplicities of female experience, including body image, beauty standards, marriage, and relationships of humanity in nature. They also tell stories of struggle and offer commentary on society's fears for the future. Our relationships to ourselves, each other, death, religion, nature: these are everyday topics but are often rather unpalatable to think seriously and critically about. In this exhibition, viewers will experience serious issues twisted into something darkly humorous. McCandless stated, "I use the humor as an access point to the viewer, using satire to look at darkness; not to dismiss it, but to grapple with it anew. I am creating a polyphony of voices, celebrating the mundane, the grotesque, the unnoticed, a contemporary unsung chorus.” 


Scenes from the Apocalypse is on view through May 31, 2020. 

Smallish: an exhibition of small works

November 23, 2019

Smallish: an exhibition of small works

November 23 - December 29, 2019

Moya Aiken #moyaaiken
Melissa Barbieri #melissabarbieri
Paul Baylock #paulbaylock. Bette Ellsworth #betteellsworth
Rick Fox #rickfox
Nancy Gruskin #nancygruskin
Kathleen Jacobs #kathleenjacobs
Elizabeth Lehman #elizabethlehman
Stuart Shils #stuartshils
Martha Wakefield #marthawakefield

Melanie Carr Gallery is pleased to collaborate and co-curate a small works holiday show with New Hampshire based artist Kathleen Jacobs.

This show is comprised of ten accomplished artists who work in a range of genres and will be a noteworthy addition to any collection, new or established.

Opening Reception : Saturday, November 23, 4 -6PM


October 25, 2019

LIGHTWORKER is a series of artistic artifacts created through healing rituals inspired by my late maternal grandmother who I consider a beautiful lightworker. These inspiring artifacts include: vibrant paintings created through the female body in physical motion; bodysuits used in a performative painting process; and videos documenting parts of the creative process & rituals of healing. The project as a whole explores loss, grief, memorialisation, remembrance of female ancestors, and celebration of light(workers). Throughout this journey, I’ve asked myself: How do I communicate a person’s energy without words? How can I invite others to feel my grandmother’s special light and be comforted by a kind and peaceful energy? How can I honor my grandmother's spirit and others like her who ceaselessly spread love and kindness? Other questions that emerged seem to transcend personal loss and extend to broader existential tensions: How do we focus on light in moments of darkness? Is it possible to demonstrate that a soul’s vibrational energy persists even in death? How can we remember the essence of someone when they no longer exist? Is it possible to effectively memorialize the live performance moment of creation through artistic artifacts? Ultimately, what does the body leave behind when it is no longer in motion?

Shift Happens

September 14, 2019

A Group 6 Artist Collective Exhibition curated by Aimee Cotnoir & Fausta Facciponte

Aimee Cotnoir (MA)
Carrie Crane (MA)
Dayna Talbot (NH)
Fausta Facciponte (Canada)
Jessica Putnam Phillips (VT)
Joseph Fontinha (MA)
Kevin Blake (IL)
Lauren Cross (TX)
Liselott Johnsson (France)
Marat Paransky (MI)
Mary Carlisle (SC)
Nancy Grace Horton (NH)
Rachel Trusty (KS)
Rob Sullivan (ME)
Shea Justice (MA)

September 14th through October 13th

Artist Talk/ Opening Reception: Saturday, September 14th 4-6p, featuring guest panelist, Ben Sloat, artist and Director of MFA in Visual Arts at Lesley University’s College of Art & Design

The Smooth and the Striated

July 20, 2019

Melanie Carr Gallery is pleased to present “The Smooth and the Striated” featuring artists Rachel Hellerich and Otto Berchem.

Opening Reception will be on Saturday, July 20th, from 5-7pm.

Artist Remarks: 5:30pm

Exhibition will run through August 25th.

Gallery Hours:

Friday, Saturday, Sunday 1 - 4PM
(public hours during exhibitions)
call, text, or email for appointment

The Contemporary Figure

July 01, 2019



Melanie Carr Gallery is thrilled to present The Contemporary Figure, an exhibition curated by artist Brian Walters. This exhibition focuses on stunning subject matter paired with incredible workmanship in a variety of styles; from detailed portraiture to gritty patchwork.


The Contemporary Figure opens on June 1, 2019.


Artists included in this exhibition are: Naya Bricher, Scott Bricher, Nicole Monet, Jack Rosenberg, Nathan Lewis, Vincent Giarrano, Chris Rigney, Emil Alzamora, and Joe Gitterman.

Walters states, “In this exhibition, I wanted to highlight not only subject matter, but also the technical level these artists bring to every work they create. Viewers will be presented with a variety of figurative/portraiture works comprised by regional artists ranging in age from their mid 20s to their 80s.”

The Contemporary Figure will be on view June 1-June 30, 2019. There will be a public opening reception with light refreshments served on Saturday, June 1 from 5-7 p.m. with artist and curator remarks beginning at 4 p.m.

Artist Roster


Naya Bricher


Scott Bricher


Nicole Mone


Jack Rosenberg


Nathan Lewis


Vincent Giarrano


Chris Rigney


Emil Alzamora


Joe Gitterman

near orbit: in state, on paper

March 30, 2019

March 30 - April 28, 2019

"near orbit: in state, on paper" is a focused yet freewheeling survey of recent works by artists based throughout Connecticut, slightly complicated by the inclusion of one historical work by William Kent, a Yale-trained musician but self-taught visual artist who worked in New Haven and Durham from the late 1940s till his death in 2012. The Kent work ("Leave The Moon Alone!", 1964, embossed print from carved slate) came two years after his discovery of Pop Art in New York galleries and an iteration of the print was included in the 1966 Whitney Annual. It serves as a talismanic presence in the exhibition and a leaping-off point to muse on the range of options of engagement with Art World currents available to artists within the daytrip radius, the transmission of ideas and influence, and notions of freedom and dispersion."


William DeLottie

Jacquelyn Gleisner

William Kent

Glenn LaVertu

David Livingston

Jeff Ostergren

Jason Silva


Jessica Smolinski

Joseph Smolinski

Peter Waite


Dates: March 30 – April 28

near orbit: in state, on paper

Curated by Eric Litke

Opening Reception: Saturday, March 30, 4 – 6P

Points of Departure: Color/Form/Material

November 17, 2018

"Points of Departure: Color/Form/Material"

November 17–December 30, 2018

Featuring the work of three Southern Connecticut-based artists:

Elizabeth Gourlay

Pat Smith

Dina Varano

And By Necessity-curated by Karl Goulet

September 21, 2018

Emily Albee

Erin Cunliffe

Jessica Fallis

Aaron M. Flynn

Karl Goulet

Keri Halloran

Nicole Haynes

Sydney Morris

Tara Nugent

Saint Aedan

Rose Orelup

Amy Ozga

Rachel Rubenbauer

Erika Santos

Sarah Sparkowski

Maddie Stenson




Opening Reception: Friday, September 21st, 6-8pm

Critical Conversation: Saturday, October 20th, 2-3pm


September 21st through November 4th


A collaboration between Melanie Carr Gallery and Five Points Gallery’s Hartford Art School Artist Launchpad Initiative

And By Necessity


"Nothing occurs at random, but everything for a reason and by necessity."

–        Leucippus 5th Century BCE.


In philosophy there are two general approaches to thought and reality: chance and necessity. Chance defines as a belief in free will, that every thought or action isn’t predetermined. Whereas necessity states just the opposite in that there are no uncaused events. It is a deterministic viewpoint on the idea that everything that has ever happened and ever will happen is necessary. Art in itself is a state of necessity informed by elements of chance.


In this exhibition there is no single viewpoint; however there are general themes that speak to necessity and chance. Themes such as identity, memory, and ideas of being and layering both in the direct and abstract sense are explored in many of the pieces on exhibition. Working in various disciplines these artists demonstrate a compulsion to create work both in a conscious and subconscious manner.


The artists in this exhibition are also part of the Five Points, University of Hartford/Hartford Art School Launchpad. The pilot Incubator program, which was introduced in March of 2016 to support emerging artists through affordable studio space, has been expanded to accommodate recent graduates of the Hartford Art School. The shared studio spaces are located above Five Points Gallery in the heart of historic downtown Torrington. In addition to workspace, the initiative offers a mentorship program, a serious emerging artist community and a Five Points biennial exhibition opportunity.


These artists prove that art making is indeed a necessity not a choice. They’re compelled to create art as a way to understand, connect and cope with the contemporary world.

Spatial Contextual Awareness: Kathleen Jacobs + Rick Fox ​

August 04, 2018


Opening Reception: August 4, 5-7p, Artist Remarks at 6p

On view from August 4 through September 9

Essex, Connecticut, July 17, 2018—Melanie Carr Gallery is thrilled to present Spatial Contextual
Awareness: Kathleen Jacobs + Rick Fox on August 4, 2018. This exhibition celebrates color and
landscape through abstraction and broken paint application by two northern New England-
based artists, Kathleen Jacobs and Rick Fox.

While their work is similar in subject, Jacobs and Fox execute contrasting final products.
Melanie Carr, Owner/Director of Melanie Carr Gallery, said, “Jacobs and Fox are synthesizing
information that is accumulated and collected from their locations. They are able to transform
and expand the conceptual framework of landscaped painting, presenting the landscape as no
longer just a landscape.”

Kathleen Jacobs, based in Contoocook, NH, creates paintings and drawings from life;
specifically, landscape (both natural and manmade). Her work investigates nature with brilliant,
heavily applied palettes. A graduate of Lesley College of Art and Design (MFA) and University of
Massachusetts, Amherst, (BFA), Jacobs is the founder of the Blueway Art Alliance, the
Marketing Director for Concord Center for the Visual Arts, and a teacher of painting and
drawing throughout the US and abroad.

Although small in scale, Kittery, ME-based Rick Fox’s works leave viewers with much to look at.
With thick paint application—by way of both brush and knife—his paintings evoke planar
landscapes in opaque, saturated color. Fox graduated from Massachusetts College of Art (MFA)
and University of Massachusetts, Amherst (BFA), and is currently represented by Gallery NAGA
in Boston, MA. A winner of several awards and residencies during his career, he has also been
teaching painting and drawing as full-time member of the studio art faculty at the University of
New Hampshire since 2010.

Spatial Contextual Awareness will be on view through September 9, 2018. There will be a public
opening reception with light refreshments served on Saturday, August 4 from 5-7 p.m. Jacobs
and Fox will give brief remarks at 6 p.m.

The Imagined & Invented Figure: Aris Moore, Jennifer Knaus, Jennifer McCandless

June 23, 2018

June 23 – July 23, 2018

Opening Reception: Saturday, June 23, 5-7 PM


Melanie Carr Gallery is thrilled to present The Imagined & Invented Figure: Aris Moore, Jennifer Knaus, and Jennifer McCandless on June 23, 2018. This exhibition celebrates three New England-based women artists with both two- and three-dimensional works of fantastical and surrealist subject.


The Imagined & Invented observes the Gallery’s mission to promote the importance and impact of contemporary art to a wide audience. Owner/Director Melanie Carr said, “In the face of never-ending and growing technology, contemporary artists continue to be fascinated and consumed with traditional portraiture and the figure, consistently presenting new ideas of what the figure represents.”


Moore, a New Hampshire-based artist, will present original drawings that explore the space between childhood and adulthood, or, the unknown and the known. Moore’s smiling figures are pulled from photographs and memory of family and friends. She puts the viewer’s focus on their (as she would describe) “past the point of happy” mouths, a facial feature that she claims to be capable and powerful, owning the ability to lie or quickly change expression.


Influenced by 17th century still life, the northern Renaissance, as well as her chaotic backyard during the height of summer, Knaus’ imaginary portraits capture a certain level of humor and absurdity. Her works idealize beauty and importance, presenting figures draped in florae-made classical garments. For The Imagined & Invented, she will offer paintings and drawings that envelop these ideas and bring viewers into a mysterious atmosphere.


Vermont-based artist Jennifer McCandless’ anatomically exaggerated ceramic sculpture will also be on view for this exhibition. When creating her figurative work, McCandless chooses to focus on what makes each individual both behaviorally and physically unique. Her work has been shown in solo and group shows throughout the country.


The Imagined & Invented is the fourth exhibition since the Gallery’s inauguration in October 2017 and will be on view through July 23, 2018. There will be a public opening reception with light refreshments served on Saturday, June 23 from 5-7 p.m.

Speaking Light: works by Joe Bun Keo

April 20, 2018

April 20 – May 20, 2018

Opening Reception: Saturday, April 28, 2 – 4 PM


While incorporating everyday items and popular commercial products, Joe Bun Keo's sculptural, installation and conceptual works utilizes semantics to bring forth issues of cultural identity and the evolution of language. He's also interested in the relationship between art and work, specifically the correlation between global supply chain management and the art world. ‘Speaking Light’  explores the mysteries of autism and light – in the Artist’s words:


‘Speaking Light’


Autism is a spectrum.

Light is a spectrum.

We are all on that spectrum.

Cinema marquees light up the night with the newest films to enjoy.

The challenges of autism play themselves out in an action packed feature.

You have your Oscar winning moments of progress and then you have your empty seat moments of helplessness and frustration.

Light is a revelation, it is a beacon, it is a sign.

These light boxes feature terms, phrases, and soundbites I'm hearing, reading and learning about as a parent to an autistic child.

Let these be educational, but also let them be comforting and reassuring for those living life on the spectrum.

Artist Bio: Joe Bun Keo

Joe Bun Keo received his BFA from the Hartford Art School. He was a candidate for The Mountain School of Arts (2012; Los Angeles, CA), nominated for the Wellesley College Alice C. Cole ’42 Fellowship (2013-2014; Wellesley, MA) and is currently pursuing his MFA. Bun Keo has participated in/ assisted with projects in Germany, United Kingdom, France, and has exhibited all over the United States. Projects include ROLU, rosenlof/lucas, ro/lu and ASDF- (David Horvitz , Mylinh Trieu Nguyen) presents Scattered Light by ASDF for ROLU, Art of This Gallery, Minneapolis, MN (2010); Public Access, work featured in As Yet Untitled: Artists and Writers in Collaboration at SF Camerawork, San Francisco, CA and Les Recontres d’Arles Photographie, Arles, France (2011); MAIL NOTHING TO THE TATE MODERN, Rhizome at Tate Modern's No Soul for Sale: A Festival of Independents, London, England (2011).; Proposals in conjunction with AT NIGHT THEY LEAVE THEIR CENTURY, Chert Gallery, Berlin, Germany (2013); Drugstore Beetle (Sitodrepa Paniceum) II part of Significant Ordinaries, California State University Long Beach (CSULB) Museum Studies - University Library - Special Collections, Long Beach, California (2013); It Narratives: The Movement of Objects as Information: Mail Art Open Call, Franklin Street Works, Stamford, CT (2014); Me Gusta El Sonido , Artspace New Haven, New Haven, CT (2016); Debtfair, a work by Occupy Museums,  Whitney Biennial, at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City, New York (2017)

Mighty Minis:: curated by Suzan Shutan

January 27, 2017

January 27 - April 8, 2018

In the art world where bigness reigns, thirty contemporary artists from the United States and abroad have come together to reflect and respond to working small. For centuries, artists have utilized pint-size scales to depict and explore cherished, esteemed, and intimate subjects. The contemporary miniature can be seen as an approach to art making that marries craft and concept with gemlike details of tiny treasures. Despite our fast-paced world, small works require giving time for reflection and thought. The reward may be the element of surprise. 


Featured Artists


Nancy Baker
Caroline Blum
Susan Breen
Andy Cunningham
Kevin Daly
Ellen Hackl Fagan
Judith Farr
Kathy Goodell
Eilzabeth Gourlay
Bob Gregson
Richard Griggs
Julie Gross
Debbie Hesse
Jeffery Cortland Jones
Zachary Keeting
Susan Knight
Bonny Leibowitz
Barbara Marks 
ML McCorkle
Irene Miller
Juan Alberto Negroni
Paula Overbay
Heidi Pollard
Karen Schifano
Susan Scott
Belle Shafir
Dee Shapiro
Suzan Shutan
Andrew Small
Jill Vasilef

Cool + Collected

October 21, 2017

October 21 - December 31, 2017

Cool + Collected features the artwork of 14 Connecticut based contemporary artists. All artists included in this inaugural exhibition are artists whose work I collect and have lived with in my home over the past several years. This exhibition includes a curated selection of each artist’s work. 


We all collect/acquire items and objects - some of us more than others. The thing about acquiring/living with original works of art, is this - as time passes, the meaning of the work may shift or change; become deeper, more challenging, more meaningful, or, more relevant. Not unlike relationships, the dialog and stimulation of looking critically at artwork over time is like having a conversation with someone that leaves a lasting impression, one that probes, inspires, and asks questions instead of answering them.  


All artists exhibiting in Cool + Collected are a group of dynamic artists, fully engaged in their practice, and in their creative lives. Enjoy the exhibition, and remember, looking is not seeing. 


-Melanie Carr

Featured Artists

Mary Dwyer
Rashmi Talpade
Thea Wilcox Cicciotte
Robert Gregson
Kevin Van Aelst
Matthew Best
Kathleen Jacobs
Ben Parker
David Borawski
John O’Donnell
Kimberly Van Aelst
Joe Bun Keo
Suzan Shutan
Margaret Vaughan

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