Friday art gathering at Bridgeport Art Center


One of the hallways at Bridgeport Art Center: Rahmaan Statik, I.N.I.  

Bridgeport art center, creative home for artists, painters, sculptors, designers, photographers, fashion designers and woodworkers, organized on Friday evening, August 18th, huge artistic gathering.


There are always a lot of people at the Project Onward studio  

Every third Friday in a month this Center makes Open Studios event and artists, who have studios in the building, traditionally open their doors for visitors and art admirers.

5. Jay Stromman work

Mesmerizing Joe Strommen’s tablet pieces on the wall of the huge fifth-floor space

That is a unique possibility for people to meet numerous artists under the same roof, talk to them, see their artworks, buy some of them and eventually see, on the scene, how they create their pieces.


Visitors can participate in art project and make their own pieces  

This third Friday in August l went there again. I wanted to be inspired, energized, moved… I also wanted to see my very good friend and famous glass jewelry artist, Dobrila Pintar. She was in her studio ‘1111’ on the fourth floor and she was, as every Friday, surrounded by her friends and visitors. Her husband Mirko Pintar was there and he helps her and gives her support as always. A lot of food is on the table, people were coming, some of them were buying jewelry, some of them watching.

5. Dobrila Pintar

Always busy – Dobrila Pintar in her studio ‘1111’

Dobrila was showing them her hand-made jewelry and explaining how she made every piece they are interested in. She was also busy fixing a small piece of jewelry with her small pliers. A few years ago a prominent Art Institute Chicago awarded her with the reward ‘The Artist of the Month’ for her sophisticated glass jewelry. 

12. Ashley Jan Gardner (right) in her studio

Ashley Jan Gardner (right) in her studio

Besides Dobrila’s studio, there is Ashley Jan Gardner studio. She was welcoming numerous visitors and talking to them. Many of them were interested in her way of paintings, her technics, themes and she was patiently explained everything and answered their questions…

12a. 12. Ashley Jan Gardner (right) in her studio and her guests

Ashley Jan Gardner (left) in her studio and her guests

Later, reading her portfolio I found these words: “In researching my family history l am able to make better sense of my present and gain clarity for my future… I want to honor the struggle and sacrifice of my ancestors while engaging in the dialogue of what it means to be an American family.”

8. In Joseph W. Turner studio

In Joseph W. Turner studio 

Few doors away from Ashley studio is Joseph W. Turner studio. He was busy painting one of his canvas. Even we, visitors, were being pretty talkative and loud, Joseph didn’t lose his focus. He was standing in front of his paintings on the wall and doing his work.

10b. Tamara Wasserman (right) with her friend Picolina Zoo

Artist Tamara Wasserman (right) with her friend Picolina Zoo in Tamara’s studio

Across his studio is Tamara Wasserman vivid studio. She invited us to come in and see her work. Most of her paintings are paintings on canvas, wood panel or paper with added elements of collage. She is an artist and performer, very friendly and spontaneous.

10. On the left side of the wall is Tamara Wasserman's painting

On the left side of the wall is Tamara Wasserman painting

She was offering us a glass of wine and grapes and telling us that she is originally from Latvia and Israel. She is showing us her of paintings on the walls and l feel like we are friends our entire life. She told us she is from Latvia and she used to live there and in Israel.

11c. Dredske's wall and his paitings

Terence Byas Dredske’s painting in his studio

We also visited Terence Byas Dredske and Ben Javellana mutual studio. They share this place and each of them exhibited his paintings on his ‘own’ wall.

7. Maya Scott in her studio

Young and talented Maya Scott in her studio

One of the younger artists among many in Bridgeport Center is Maya Scott. Her studio is small, bright and filled with her abstract, yet emotional paintings. Maya was talking to visitors interested in her favorite canvas. They are asking her questions and was explaining. “I paint every canvas with yellow before I start painting… The color yellow represents optimism, enlightenment, promise, positive, energy, and creativity. I want to reproduce those meanings for every piece I do…” She has been highly influenced by Joan Mitchell and Jackson Pollacks trying to put her own twist into the fine art chaos that they produced.

15. Set Gozo beside her Dakota Indian statue

Set Gozo beside her statue of Dakota native Indian 

On the fifth floor, an excellent exhibition ‘Clay, Body’ at Jay Strommen’s Chicago Ceramic Center is almost done. I had a pleasure to see again sculptures of Set Gozo, Robin Carlson Dong, Nancy Pirri, Karen Goozner and Nicholas Alexander and mesmerizing Strommen’s tablet pieces on the wall of the huge fifth-floor space.

14c. Nancy Pirri captivating statue 'Tamara's Stain'

Nancy Pirri’s captivating statue ‘Tamara’s Stain’

This third Friday was good and I am looking forward to the next one…

~ Milica Puric ~ 


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