Visual Arts Five Point Center Begins with Gala Celebration

TORRINGTON — By 6 pm Saturday night, hundreds of well-dressed guests were standing outside the new Five Point Center for Visual Arts. I wanted them not to get caught in the rain.

This rally was held to celebrate the opening of the Art Center. This dream came true when founder and executive director Judy McElhone stood by the door and greeted guests who filled the lobby. The rain stopped until almost everyone was inside, and she was very relieved.

“I’m exhausted,” she said. “I’m excited. What’s happening tonight is more than I expected. Great.”

Even before the crowd entered, they saw an example of McElhorn’s efforts when several works by the famous New York City sculptor Don Gummer were delivered and installed near the entrance to the building. Four more Gunmer works will be delivered this week. Gammer works will be on display until the end of the year.

Former State Parliamentarian Roberta Willis, who attended with her husband Bill and friend Janet Brock, said it was an important statement to have Gammer’s work at the opening.

“The last time I saw one of these was the Columbus Circle in New York City,” she said. “I was involved in the first concept of Torrington’s art center using the creative community for the recovery of downtown. It’s far more advanced and national and international artists like Don Gummer. Is part of it.

“It’s great to see this bear fruit,” Willis said. “The real hard work hasn’t come yet.”

The Art Center is located in the former UConn Torrington Building, which was closed in 2016 and purchased by Five Point Arts in 2020. Since then, McElhone and a team of staff and volunteers have spent their days refurbishing the classroom and transforming it into a painting space. Photography, printing, drawing, activities for children. Many facilities were donated, including the contents of the Robert Dente Print Studio in the old library of the building.

On Saturday night, festive guests will self-tour the building (a one-story building surrounding a courtyard that will soon become a sensory garden, outdoor studio, and conference space) while enjoying a variety of food and meals offered by Ciesco Catering. I was able to do. From the Richfield Distillery.

The center begins with the Five Point Gallery on Water Street and Main Street in downtown Torrington, and is now a Five Point Group that includes a second gallery, the Annex, and the Launchpad program, which provides a workspace for graduates of recent art schools. It is a big achievement of. .. The Center for Visual Arts offers painting, drawing, sculpture, mixed media, photography and printing classes for adults and children as well as groups of organizations such as Litchfield County LARC.

State legislators Michelle Cook, D-Torington and her husband, Chris Cook, were among the guests. Cook, who worked with McElhorn to mediate a deal to buy the old university building, said the center was the first step towards the city’s future.

“This puts our town on an international map,” Cook said. “This is what we need to invest in our city not only for the arts, but for our businesses, shops and restaurants. We are happy to be part of it.”

“I was completely and positively impressed,” said Ken Merz, a developer who is a partner of KidsPlayChildren’s Museum, another relatively new venture in the city and supporter of the art center. “It’s just great. I’m very happy to see what Judy did.”

“This is a very important night for Torrington,” said Marticoner, a city planner who attended with his wife Janice and spent time at the Dente Print Studio.

“This will allow people all over the world to create art,” he said. “What Judy did is amazing. She is very creative and very visionary.”

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