Re:connecting + Vanishing ... in the news!

The last two exhibitions at KLG received some great coverage from our local arts journalists. Check it out:

“Three Artists Reconnect @ Kehler Liddell,” by Brian Slattery, New Haven Independent:

“‘Vanishing’ Races the Clock on Climate Change,” by Lucy Gellman, Arts Paper:

“Vultures in Tree,'“ by PenRod Studios, All Rights Reserved

“Vultures in Tree,'“ by PenRod Studios, All Rights Reserved

More About Vanishing, Volume Two, by Penrhyn and Rod Cook, February 14th – March 17th, 2019

During their first journey to Kenya and Tanzania three years ago, husband and wife photographers, Penrhyn and Rod Cook, were struck by the majestic beauty of the African wildlife, as well as the intense sadness they felt for the tragic fate facing them:

“African wildlife is vanishing. The reasons are numerous and manifesting themselves as if they were choreographed to occur in unison. … We are not experts on the incredibly complex issues that threaten the region ... We can only attempt to visually represent what we saw and how we felt about it.” The collection debuted at KLG in September 2017, and then later traveled to other local and regional venues, including the New York Hall of Sciences.

Anxious to continue their investigations, the couple returned to Kenya this past year with the specific intention of documenting the Great Migration of over 1.5 million wildebeest across the East African plains. Unfortunately, unusual weather patterns kept many of the animals in Tanzania, where grass was still plentiful; a direct result of climate change:

“Scientists predict that in 50 years time, if we don’t spend more time thinking and acting differently in regards to conservation, species we know and love will be driven to extinction … humans could very well be one of those beloved species.”

Working to the undertones of climate crisis, the couple ultimately discovered new photographic opportunities in “the relatively untouched golden grasslands of Kenya.” Vanishing Volume Twopresents a further celebration of “the magnificent animals still to be found in Africa.” While the original collection was composed of all sepia-toned images, the images in Volume Two include components of color.

Rod Cook worked as a commercial photographer in New York for the first 25 years of his career. His fine art career began in 1996 with “Cypress Knees and Tupelos,” nudes taken in cypress swamps in and around Savannah, Georgia. Since then he has created his own interpretations of botanicals, landscapes, masks, mannequins and statues, often incorporating other mediums into the photographs.

Penrhyn Cook says: “A black and white photographic workshop 20 years ago opened my eyes to photography and life changed for me. Photography became a personal search for my own vision of the world. … I started with film, but now work digitally.” For more information about the artists, please visit:

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More About Re:connecting, featuring Matt Garrett, Julie Fraenkel & Liz Antle-O’Donnell, March 21 – April 21, 2019

While meditating on the exhibition’s theme, photographer Matthew Garrett states: “For me, Re:connecting is an aspirational concept. A dream – often unrealized – to share space with the people, places, and things that were once a regular part of my life, and are now more loosely bonded.” 

For Garrett, this includes photography. As readily accessible cameras and instantaneous results have changed the field, he finds himself with a different relationship to his art form. He states: “In my own case, photography has become something done more from habit, than from inspiration. Creating images is alarmingly easy in this digital age, and steps must be taken to make things just a little more difficult – a little more intentional. This work draws from both habitual and intentional instincts.”

Facing creative challenges of her own, Liz Antle-O’Donnell’s recent works present a kind of reconnection to self. She writes: “Over the last few years, I have found it increasingly difficult to find time for art-making. As an artist, this inability to let your creative juices flow feels like a physical constipation … Working (finally) and without a preconceived thematic plan, these recent works unfold to present a juxtaposition between the hectic day-to-day, and what happens to our inner selves when we neglect basic self care.”

Simultaneously, Julie Fraenkel’s recent works explore concepts of connecting and longing. The artist states: “Recognizing that I nearly always depict people alone, I set out to create images with more than one person, and images that imply another presence, or absence. In doing so I realized that in most cases the second person turned out to be unreal — a figure from a dream, perhaps, a memory or phantasm, or literally a figure of imagination. Something that couldn’t be shaken or something that was never there. All of which brought up questions for me: are we always alone? Are we never alone? The current direction of my work explores these questions.”

Matthew Garrett studied photography at Louisiana State University, before completing his BFA at Mount Allison University in Canada. He then continued his education by working for Sean Kernan, at his studio in Stony Creek, CT. He is a founding member of Kehler Liddell Gallery, and was one of the leaders of New Haven's Photo Arts Collective for its entire 20+ year lifespan.

Julie Fraenkel is a New Haven, Connecticut based artist. She has a studio at Erector Square, where she works in drawing, painting, mixed media, and papier-maché sculpture. 

Liz Antle-O’Donnell is originally from New Haven, CT, and has been an active member of the local arts scene as an administrator, teacher and artist for over a decade. Though primarily self-taught, she studied printmaking and studio arts at New York University (BA, English), Paier College of Art, and Rhode Island School of Design. Her work has been exhibited from coast to coast, including such local venues as Hygienic Art, Creative Arts Workshop, Artspace, Seton Gallery, and Ely Center for Contemporary Art. Her work is held in private collections locally, nationally, and abroad.