Hygienic Art is set to celebrate its 40th

Hygienic Art will once again infuse New London with the freedom of expression through vibrant, uncensored visual arts exhibits and 11 public events, including concerts, theater and play write performances and a fashion show.

“The Naked Canvas” body-painting competition will be returning to the roster of events. This historical arts extravaganza is produced in collaboration with local businesses and organizations as well as with tremendous support from community members who ensure that these events stay in New London.

The arts festival kicks off with the opening of the “Salon des Indépendants” art exhibit on Saturday, Jan. 26, famous for its mantra of “no judge, no jury, no fees, and no censorship”. The exhibit remains the heart of Hygienic Art XL, which hosts a bevy of arts- and performance-related events that bring a festive and invigorating spirit to the heart of downtown New London.

New London’s outsider art event is open to all artists. As many as 500 artists are expected to share their work at this year’s showcase at the nonprofit organization’s beautiful gallery space, located at 79 Bank St.

The exhibition is well known for its diverse, original art ranging from the traditional to the eclectic. Over its 40-year history, the winter arts extravaganza has grown from an anti-establishment visual art show to a multimedia art event that includes filmmaking, performance art, and a fashion show as well numerous musical events.

The events are:

Hygienic Hootenanny

Where: The Right Path Organic Cafe

When: Friday, Jan. 25, 6-9 p.m.

The Hygienic’s 40th Annual show kicks off with the Hootenanny, featuring an eclectic lineup of local musicians: Ben and Nancy Parent, Clayton Allen,Hugh Birdsall, Anne Castellano, Charlie Reyburn, The Carolans,Sue Mead, Jess Mancuso, Vince Tuckwood and Sherwood.

Free admission, but donations are welcome to support Shoreline Acoustic Music Series summer programming in the Hygienic Art Park.

The Screening Room

Where: Crocker House, 35 Union St.

When: Friday, Jan. 25, 7-10 p.m.

New London’s premier indie film festival features works from both emerging and established filmmakers. As with the art show, there is no judge, jury, censorship or entry fees. Film times are limited to 5 minutes. Donations welcomed.

Young artists expo

Where: Garde Gallery 305 State St.

When: Saturday, Jan. 26, 12-4 p.m.

Join us for this exciting show featuring the work of young art students from throughout the region. There will be music, arts & crafts, storytelling, hula hooping and more. Art dropoff times for young artists is Thursday, Jan. 25, 3-8 p.m. Artists up to the age of 14 can submit one piece. The exhibit is free, but donations are welcomed.

Salon des Indépendants

Where: Hygienic Galleries, 79 Bank St.

When: Jan. 26 through Feb. 9

Art drop-off: Saturday, Jan. 26, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; opening reception: Saturday, Jan. 26, 7 to 10 p.m.

Free donations are welcome. Visual artists are invited to submit one piece of artwork to the 40th Salon des Indépendants exhibition. Sign in and hanging is on the 26th of January from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Hygienic Art Galleries. The show opens on Jan. 26 from 7 to 10 p.m.

Rock Haus

Where: Crocker House Ballroom, 35 Union St.

When: Saturday, Jan. 26, 7 p.m. to midnight

The Hygienic’s yearly music show pays homage to New London’s rich rock history with sets from Dogbite, the Cartoons, Burnouts from Outer Space, the return of New Johnny 5, and the Hempsteadys! Cash bar all night. Stop in for some rock and refreshments on the big night out! $10 donations welcomed.

‘Born Black and Female’

Where: Hygienic Art Galleries, 79 Bank St.

When: Wednesday, Jan. 30, 7 p.m.

First public screening of a documentary by Juanita Wilbur and Ben Hammel that follows eight black women of different ages and backgrounds, highlighting their unique stories of resistance and resilience in society. Q&A to follow moderated Hygienic’s curator-in-residence, Juanita Austin. Light refreshments will be served. $5 donations welcome.

Naked Canvas

Where: Crocker House Ballroom, 35 Union St.

When: Thursday, Jan. 31, 8-11 p.m.

Join us for Hygienic’s third annual Naked Canvas body-painting competition!

Artists have four hours to paint their models before the models do a runway show to show off the work at 9 p.m. This event has sold out every year so come early to get in (doors open at 8 p.m.)! Music by DJ E@zy, with guest performance from Ethan Cash. Join us for a few hours of art, entertainment, and a runway show like you’ve never seen before! Coordinated by Elisha Schauer and Rosie Rosado. Advance tickets $25 per person online at www.hygienic.org; tickets at the door are $20 (standing room only).

Fashion in the Ballroom

Where: Crocker House Ballroom, 35 Union St.

When: Friday Feb. 1, 8 p.m. (doors open 7 p.m.); 7-10 p.m. on-site boutique.

Fashion in the Ballroom is celebrating with its core designers 10 Years of Fashion in New London! As New London’s premier fashion event, a showcase of local clothing designers brings the thrill and drama of high fashion to New London. Coordinated by Emmanni Martine, the night will be filled with creative fashion, dance, and music. Dance performance by David Dorfman Dance Group, music by DJ Sir Round Sound and a very special guest, Poet Laureate Frederick-Douglass Knowles II, will walk us through the rich history of Hygienic Art as well as the 10-year span of unique fashion in New London. Reserved front-row seating $25 available at www.hygienic.org.; $10 at the door, limited availability.

Mayfly Playhouse 24

Where: Crocker House Ballroom, 35 Union St.

When: Saturday, Feb. 2; doors open at 7 p.m., performance starts at 8 p.m.

A 24-hour play-event where, on Saturday night, six playwrights draw a random cast of actors and director, are given a set of rules, a prop, and before the sun rises they deliver a brand-new 10-minute play. At 8 a.m. Saturday morning the scripts are distributed and the actors and directors go to rehearsal spaces throughout downtown New London. At 5 p.m. we have our dress rehearsal, and at 8 p.m. these plays are performed at a one-night-only event in the Crocker House Ballroom in front of a capacity crowd. Cash bar. $10 suggested donation.

The Poets Cafe

Where: Hygienic Galleries, 79 Bank St.

When: Friday, Feb. 8; doors open 7 p.m.

This year the Poets Cafe will spotlight two talented poets, Hartford Poet Laureate Frederick-Douglass Knowles II and Muse. Then the floor will open for the audience to take the mic. Poets, singer-songwriters, MCs and anyone who appreciates the art of the spoken word are encouraged to perform.Doors will open at 7 p.m. for cocktail hour and open-mic sign up (space is limited so arrive early). Music provided by DJ Prime! At 8 p.m. the event will start, hosted by comedian Nika Domingo; performance will be followed by an open mic. Coordinated by Juanita Austin. $5 donation welcome.

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