An exhibition of new paintings by Letty Nowak will open September 24, 2009 at Hal Bromm Gallery, 90 West Broadway, Tribeca. A drinks reception for the artist will be held Wednesday, 23 September from 6–9. The exhibition will be Nowak’s first in New York at Hal Bromm, a gallery known for presenting new talent.
The exhibition will continue through December. Viewers are invited to meet Letty Nowak at the gallery from 1–6 on the following dates: Fridays: September 25; October 2, 9, 16; Saturdays: September 26; October 3, 10, 17. The artist will present a talk on her work Saturday, November 7 at 4:30 with a reception afterward.
Nowak’s focus is painting faces, but her works are not “portraits” in the classical sense. Her paintings impart a sense of deep drama, with creases and wrinkles becoming challenging landscapes. Nowak’s brush brings an unseen perspective to her pictures, inviting viewers to experience a composition that uses light and shadow to amplify and exaggerate facial features, with each face becoming a rich subject for investigation.
Well known for her Faces of Key West series, Nowak’s marathon group of 100 portraits features citizens of Key West, Florida where she lives and works. Included are the faces of assorted street performers, police officers, visitors, residents and the city’s mayor. Ranging in size from an intimately scaled nine by six inches to as large as five feet, the oil paintings span a four-year period. All one-hundred were included in a 2004 exhibition at the Lemonade Stand Art Studio, and featured in Nowak’s book Faces of Key West, available at the gallery or through www.lettynowak.com.
Letty Nowak’s rigorous career as a painter, gallery owner and athlete skillfully mixes art and business. The daughter of a successful artist, Walter John Nowak, she moved to Key West in 2000 after graduating from Michigan State University, having majored in painting and graphic design. The next year, Nowak and her business partner opened the Lemonade Stand Art Studio, a renegade gallery and open artist’s space that welcomed adventurous artists and collectors to a common meeting ground. The space became famous for its many innovative events, including 24-hour Artist “Lock-In” exhibitions, in which invited artists “locked” themselves in, working together for a full day/night.
At the Lemonade Stand Art Studio, Nowak presented exhibitions and events that helped participating artists financially while building a devoted following. “A lot of what I did at Lemonade Stand was successful and was great for the Key West art community, but it was hard to do it all and find time for my own work.” In 2007, Nowak made a conscious decision to re-shift her focus from managing the operational aspects of owning her own gallery to truly driving toward her career as an artist. Nowak admits “It was a hard choice, but I am thrilled to see the progression of my work since then.”
Reflecting her stamina—well displayed during Lemonade Stand “Lock-Ins”—Nowak is a serious surfer and versatile athlete, known for her avid participation in the Half Ironman and Full Ironman triathlon competitions. She recently competed in the June 2009 Ironman event in Texas.
Letty Nowak’s career has included exhibitions at The Customs House Museum (Florida), The Studios of Key West, The White Gallery (Lakeville, Connecticut), Gallery 114 (East Lansing, MI), East Martello Museum (Key West, Florida) and more. Nowak has lectured at the Key West Art Center and Michigan State University, published Faces of Key West and has been a recipient of awards and prizes including the Anne McKee Artist’s Fund and Art-Reach awards.
The exhibition will continue through 19 December 2009. Images available on request.