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Gain Industry Experience at Thriving Connecticut Gallery

Gain Industry Experience at Thriving Connecticut Gallery

The Launchpad program, a partnership between the Hartford Art School and the highly regarded Five Points Gallery, has expanded its footprint in downtown Torrington, Conn., and energy is at an all-time high. 

At its inception, the program offered a painting studio that doubled as an art installation space, a mixed-media studio, and a ceramics area for sculpting. Feverish excitement fills every square foot of the space, and as the program develops, so do the benefits to the artists selected to participate.

“We’ve shown about 400 really good artists, and there’s a database of 400 more waiting to be accepted,” says Judith McElhone ’88, M ‘94, a Hartford Art School alumna and founding executive director at Five Points Gallery. “Those who apply all cite the sense of community as a motivating reason for them to be a part of the program, but it’s branched out from that in so many ways.” 

Beyond interpersonal support, Launchpad artists cultivate valuable experience in all facets of show production, including press releases, curation, food services, and social media marketing – skills which fortify their careers when the two-year residency concludes. In addition, artists are often able to sell more work at Five Points than at other galleries in the region due to the fact that the gallery takes no commission. 

“At Five Points Gallery, we look for excellence,” says McElhone. “But we also look for artists from different geographical locations, because it brings feet into downtown Torrington. That has become an important part of the revitalization of the downtown community.” Launchpad artist Aaron Flynn ’95 says that he moved to Torrington to be part of the gallery and Torrington’s growing downtown area. He says he’s glad the studio space costs just $65 a month for 24/7 access. “Just being able to work and paint here, and do what I do as an artist without having an expensive studio is quite wonderful,” says Flynn, who majored in ceramics and teaches ceramics and photography at Post University in Waterbury, Conn.

As of March 2018, shows are booked solid through 2019, but the search for Launchpad and Five Points Gallery artists is ongoing. For more information about the program, gallery, and upcoming events, visit fivepointsgallery.org.