what is blue encounters?


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Photo Credit
Aly Maderson Quinlog

This work is relevant to our community because it addresses what should be the universal right to care for one’s body without oppression, interference, or fear.
— Aly Maderson Quinlog

Blue Encounters is a mixed media visual arts community initiative developed and coordinated by artist and art educator Aly Maderson Quinlog and sponsored by the Connecticut Regional Initiative Grant Program (REGI). Aly’s vision for this project is to connect and enliven the downtown New London community through a series of free art workshops, unique art performances, and participatory making events all centered around cyanotype, an alternative photographic process. These events will be held at a variety of community arts organizations throughout New London’s Downtown Arts District including the Visual Art Library, Spark Makerspace, Hygienic Art Park, and more.

The project is unique in it’s material interest, concern for equitable public spaces, and its genuine commitment to public participation. Cyanotype is a liminal artistic process that is part science, part printmaking, part photography, and undeniably playful. This historically domestic method of photography has been considered ‘lesser than’ specifically because of its affordability, ease of use, and unique palette. It appeals to me as a creative and educational tool for these very reasons. My understanding of Art sees community members as equal and invaluable collaborators. I wish that this was not a unique vision of art-making and I hope that through projects like this attitudes that divide the artist and their communities will be reevaluated and changed.