About the Gallery

The gallery was named the Wallace Barnes and Barbara Hackman Franklin Art Gallery in honor of Wallace Barnes, chairman of the Connecticut Employment and Training Commission, and retired chairman and CEO of the Barnes Group, Inc. (Bristol), and his wife Barbara Hackman Franklin, a former U.S. Secretary of Commerce and president and CEO of Barbara Franklin Enterprises, headquartered in Washington, D.C.

The Barnes-Franklin Art Gallery is open Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. and by appointment. For more information, contact Arthur Simoes.

Liza Martin, Inside/Outside
August 29 – September 30, 2022
Opening reception Thursday, September 22, 5-7 p.m.

About 5 years ago, my family and I went for a hike at Mashamoquet State Park, where Israel Putnman is said to have infamously shot the last two Connecticut wolves in a cave. I explored the small cave and it made me think about how a cave can provide respite from the elements and danger, or can hide unseen perils in their dark depths. That is when the paintings about caves began. My obsession with caves made me consider them as a possible refuge from the dangers of climate change. I looked at images of bomb shelters World War II, which inspired many of the characters in this show.

I read a lot of speculative fiction and I consider many of my paintings to be speculative paintings, envisioning our future if we do not change the trajectory of increasing global temperatures. The painting called “Detroit 2026” depicts the type of flooding that has already become ‘normal’. I started this painting in 2020, believing that this type of climate-driven natural disaster would be farther in the future than 2021. The people walking are taken from scenes of flooding in all different parts of the world. During a climate crisis we all have to depend on each other. I enjoy bringing people together in my paintings who are from different eras and different parts of the world who may have experienced the same challenges.

Though these paintings are generally not happy, “Walking,” shows the earth repairing itself after a global disaster brings humanity back to a pre-industrial state. There are no longer fossil fuels. The truck, engine removed, is being pulled by a horse. The deer are unafraid. Life is not easy for the travelers, but they make a life for themselves and their loved ones in the covered truck wagon. Can we repair the planet without having a global disaster?