Gallery 153 to host “Partnership: Exploring the Dog/Human Relationship”

Gallery 153 will host an upcoming exhibit entitled Partnership: Exploring the Dog/Human Relationship, which centers around the theme of “the dogs we love and their human counterparts,” according to exhibit creator Andrea Ruzzo.

Partnership will open for a free public showing on Thursday, April 15 from 5:00 PM -7:00 PM at Gallery 153, which is located at the Town of Manchester’s Eastside Neighborhood Resource Center on 153 Spruce Street. After the opening, the gallery will be open for appointment viewings through Thursday, May 6.

Ruzzo, a Fine Arts graduate from the University of Connecticut, is currently working on her Master’s Degree at Central Connecticut State University. Now an art teacher at Manchester High School, Ruzzo said that her work explores the teamwork, movement and connections between dog and human teams in dog sports such as agility, dock diving, barn hunt and more.

“There is an emotional connection between [dogs and humans], as well as physical and implied. You have to be connected visually to the dog’s line or they will take the wrong obstacle,” Ruzzo said. “I love being able to show those connections through my work.”

Ruzzo, who competes in dog shows with her pet Akita, said that her relationship with her dog inspired her to undertake Partnership. Not only was she already immersed in the atmosphere, Ruzzo said, but she also wanted to further explore the complicated relationship between trainer and show dog.

“It’s also partly because I was really struggling in my relationship with my Akita. I was compelled to study other people’s relationships with their dogs in and out of the dog sports environment, [which] led me to realize no one has a perfect relationship with their dog.”

Andrea Ruzzo, MHS Art Teacher Tweet

“[I was compelled] partly because I’m immersed in these environments since I compete in agility, barn hunt and obedience with both of my dogs, so references were readily available,” Ruzzo said. “It’s also partly because I was really struggling in my relationship with my Akita. I was compelled to study other people’s relationships with their dogs in and out of the dog sports environment, [which] led me to realize no one has a perfect relationship with their dog.”

Partnership, which consists of a mixture of oil paintings and photography, is inspired by the works of artists such as Sandy Skoglund, whom Ruzzo has admired since she was a child. It is the works of Skoglund, Ruzzo said, that have partly inspired her use of complementary and often bright color pairs.

“I enjoy oil paint because it is bright and rich, and easy to blend as well as create textures,” Ruzzo said. “Photography came about as a means to an end at first. I use photographs as references for my paintings, [and] then I started to see the beauty in a single photo. I love its ability to capture a single moment in time and show movement, tension and connection all in one shot that painting sometimes cannot.”

To schedule a private viewing or to inquire about a prospective exhibit, please contact James Costa at jcosta@manchesterct.gov or (860)647-3089.

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