It was a chilly Thursday evening, and dark — something we’re still trying to get used to at 6 p.m. But we all gathered ’round the shrouded art piece bathed in spotlights and mounted on a brick wall across from the downtown library.
Finally, artist Yolanda Petrocelli pulled down the tarp and revealed her entry into the public art competition. The colorful collage of red-tinted self-portraiture and images evoking the world and the community was emblazened with the words “esperanza” and its English equivalent, “hope.” As the shroud fell, the audience immediately seemed to warm up and the darkness seemed to do battle with Yolanda’s crimson double gaze.
Yolanda is the fourth of six finalists to be featured in this year-long rotating public art exhibit. Her work will be on Broad Street until early next year.
The finalists, who are all all Bridgeport residents, are: kHyal Kouture, Gus Moran, Yolanda Petrocelli, Liz Squillace, John Lawson and Kelly Bigelow Becerra.
The exhibit will culminate in the selection of a grand prize winner and a people’s choice winner, with cash awards of $1,000 and $250 respectively. The judges are Robert Curcio, co-founder of the Scope International Art Fairs and gallerist, New York; MaryAnn Fahey, curator and gallerist, Umbrella Arts, New York; Emily Larned, professor, graphic design, University of Bridgeport; John Favret, director, Housatonic Community College Art Department; and Penny Harrison, an arts consultant.
Artists were announced in February.
MainStateVentures is a joint venture between Spinnaker Real Estate Partners, LLC and Forstone Capital, LLC. MainState acquired the People’s United Bank downtown Bridgeport portfolio, which represents two prime city blocks including seven buildings totaling more than 255,000 square feet with 2.8 adjacent acres of developable land.