The new Elisa Contemporary Art Gallery exhibit, A Path to Tranquility, features artwork created to take the viewer into a calm and optimistic space. It will open October 18 at the Riverdale NY gallery. In this time of intense divide, political turmoil, and catastrophic weather events, it is the role and opportunity of art to take the viewer into a place of tranquility. A place where everyone – regardless of gender or race or religion or party affiliation -- can find moments of optimism and joy, hope and peace. In this exhibit, each artist strives to create spaces filled with balance and harmonious flow.

Our new group show will feature artwork by Michelle Gagliano, Cynthia MacCollum, Dale Najarian and sculpture by Michael Enn Sirvet. Three of the artists, Cynthia MacCollum, Dale Najarian and Michael Enn Sirvet are debuting in the Riverdale Gallery.

The exhibit features the latest series by Michelle Gagliano inspired by Dante’s Paradisio. According to Gagliano, “For years I have been investigating the notion of light versus dark. I get excited when darkness and light merge together to have a conversation. Their contrast is a basic reflection of navigation in life—the learning to integrate and make different viewpoints, backgrounds, and beliefs harmonious, merging them into a platform that creates a spirited dialogue that is exciting, musically balanced, and visually interesting.”

We are featuring two abstracted landscapes by Connecticut artist, Dale Najarian. Each oil painting offers a space of brightness and optimism, even while the surrounding areas are slightly darker and unknown. While based on photographs taken on travels in Connecticut and around the world, Najarian, “abandons the actual image and creates from within to develop a recognizable, yet simplistic painting the viewer can identify with.” And get lost in.

Two of the featured artists use unexpected materials in their artwork. The one of a kind Cyanotypes and Rinsed Prints by Connecticut artist, Cynthia MacCollum, use plants, and very often found weeds, as actual stencils. What may be considered outside the realm of beauty in nature creates the opposite effect within the artwork. According to MacCollum, “I am using found plant material, and the availability changes with the seasons. The temporal quality of the material, alluding to the passage of time, and the ephemeral nature of the material itself, all speaks to a place in me that craves more connection to the natural world.”

Sculptor Michael Enn Sirvet creates a flowing Wave wall piece out of steel. It is a balance of negative and positive space. According to Sirvet, “I sculpt as much with my materials as I do with the air and light flowing around and through them…I work in this way to invite the energy of each sculpture’s surroundings to become a part of the piece, and to glorify the materials and forms themselves...My goal is to have my sculptures unify with as well as change according to their surroundings. As the surrounding lighting and atmospheric conditions and ‘mood’ change, so do my sculptures in reflection and response.”