Visual art wedges its way into actor’s heart

By MIKE CHAIKEN
EDITIONS EDITOR
Theater has been Eve Galanis’s primary medium of artistic expression.
A 2007 graduate of Bristol Eastern High School, during her tenure in public school, Eve acted in several productions at her alma mater. And in her senior year, she directed the school’s production of “A Christmas Carol.”
Leaving BEHS, she enrolled at Central Connecticut State University to study theater. While there, she has acted in and directed plays there as well.
But next Thursday, the curtain won’t be rising on Eve’s latest endeavor. Instead, she will be holding an art opening for her visual art. The gallery show, dubbed “Colorfully Chaotic,” is at The Emporium in 15 Water St., Mystic. The opening runs from 6 to 8 p.m.
Although Eve has snagged her first big show—she’s the only artist that will be showing in the gallery at The Emporium—visual art is not a vocation Eve can trace back to her earliest days.
“It was always a running joke in high school that I had no visual artistic abilities,” said Eve. She couldn’t color in the lines. And she couldn’t draw anything and make it look remotely realistic.
So, what brought her into the world of visual art?
About a year ago, she said, she was living with a bunch of her friends. One of these friends was a visual artist. “I would just watch him for hours while he would paint.”
While she watched, the friend would ask occasionally if she wanted to give it a go. But Eve said she would typically say no.
“Then I saw he had a technique that was expressionist and abstract,” said Eve. She thought that particular style was within her abilities. She gave painting a try.
“Since that moment, it was like pulling the lid that was just waiting to happen,” said Eve. From there, she said, “It just kept going and going and going.”
Eve said theater is still very much a part of her life. That’s her college major and one of her summer jobs was teaching theater technique in a summer school program in Hartford.
But now, Eve said, theater and visual art share her interests.
Since she does theater and visual art, the question begged to be asked, do the forms feed off each other in terms of interest.
Eve said it’s mostly a one-way street, with theater inspiring her art.
“There is one particular painting… I was directing this show, ‘Crave,’ which is about these tortured people… they’re losing their minds,” said Eve. “I painted that because that was prevalent in my life, directing that show. I translated my interpretation (of the story) on to canvas.”
That visual interpretation of people losing their minds and their tortured souls is endemic of her art, Eve explained.
Asked to define her art, Eve said, “It’s chaos… because in our lives we take on so many projects, at least I do. I go to work to school to theater to teaching, so many things. That day to day grind of constantly thinking, constantly being on the move, reflects in my paintings. It’s chaotic.”
“It’s colorful because there’s some sort of vibrancy to it all (the chaos),” said Eve.
“I suppose the simultaneous joy and pain we experience every day is what I try to express because it’s my own experience of it,” said Eve.
In addition to the chaos, Eve said, “I’m definitely influenced by some kind of female form, female not feminist.”
“(My art is) kind of the objectification of the female form,” said Eve. “But not in an offensive way,  in an honest way. The fact of the matter it is sometimes it is a little oppressive to be a female….”
As for what spurs her to sit down and create, Eve said, “It depends, but most of the time… I paint at the end of the day when I have nothing else to do. It gets the thoughts out of my head so I can get to sleep.”
Eve added, “Sometimes, it’s spontaneous I don’t think about what I’m going to do. I have a blank canvas. I get the colors I want and I just go.”
Other times, Eve said she takes a brush in hand because “I’ll have an experience in my life, especially negative, where it’s something I just need to get out, and I don’t want to talk about it; I just paint and see what happens.”
Eve’s earlier work was essentially two-dimensional and tended to be works in acrylic paint or pen and ink. Lately, she has been working in other elements. One of her recent pieces was painted, but within the work she incorporated an image of two men—one helping the other who is injured and wrapped on bandages and walking with a crutch— she cut out of a magazine. Another recent piece, which was pen and ink, incorporated a line from a poem Eve wrote, which needed a home—and found one in the piece.
Eve said thinks her art will be heading into this mixed media direction.
“I went to New York City the other day and bought so many magazines and books from thrift stores … I’m going to see what happens.”
As for how the show at The Emporium came about, Eve explained she went to the gallery, just to shop. She saw a sign that they were looking for artists for future shows. Eve got the information but forgot about it.
Eve said she had another project at CCSU that was consuming her time. And she didn’t have time to organize a gallery show at the same time.
However, a month ago, the Emporium called her and asked her if she was interested in showing at the gallery.
Even though the other project at CCSU was still in process, Eve said she recognized the invitation as an opportunity she could not pass up.
The show will feature about 25 of her pieces, many of which she’s creating just for The Emporium.
As for what her aspirations are as an artist after this initial flux of success, Eve said she wants to just take it as it comes.
Theater, she explained, is still her first love.
Eve Galanis’s show, “Colorful Chaos,” will be at the The Emporium, 15 Water St.,. Mystic from Sept. 6 to Oct. 1. The opening is Thursday, Sept. 6 from 6 to 8 p.m.
For more information on the gallery, call (860) 536-3891 or email emporiumgallery@gmail.com.