Coming up quickly is “Greetings,” the 10th aniversary exhibit of the Hygienic Artists in Residence, featuring works by the new and former members of the co-op.
I keep mentioning the Hygienic to my friends and mostly get blank stares.
The Hygienic Building was built in 1844 as a rooming house for whaling sailors and in 1922 the first floor became the Hygienic Delicatessen and Restaurant, New London’s only 24-hour eatery. Flash forward to 1979 and the Annual Hygienic Art Show, “New London’s only winter tourist attraction,” was begun. While the building was closed in 1985, the show lived on each year, and in 1998 the show founders finally were able to buy and retrofit the building into four galleries and six artists’ residential studios. (It would have been a parking lot otherwise, according to their narrative, which also includes bios of the artists participating in “Greetings.”)
The newly renovated building opened in 2000 and has been a “mecca for artists and a model for bringing artists as residents into a declining city center spurring residential revitalization throughout the whole of the New London city center.”