WNPR

New Britain Art Gallery Dries Out After Flooding

Oct 3, 2018

Tuesday’s severe weather dumped several inches of rain on New Britain. A local art exhibit came very close to being destroyed due to flooding.

Local carpenters spent much of the following day taking up the sub-flooring inside The Art League Of New Britain. During the storm, standing water had formed outside the of the building located in a low-lying area. Board members said there was approximately 18 inches of standing water and about a one-half inch of that actually got into the league’s Carriage House.

A framed flower painted in alcohol ink called “Black Beauty” hangs on the wall above the floor.  Next to that is the “Gathering of Spirits” -- a dynamic photographic composition of pottery from Papau New Guinea.

Luckily, they were hung the night before the storm.

“So, when we’re receiving artwork, prior to the show, the members bring it in and we actually lean it against the wall – on the floor,” said The Art League of New Britain’s treasurer John Whalen. “Had this happened like on Sunday night, or Monday during the day, we would’ve lost a lot of artwork.”

Bruce Blackman, a volunteer with the Art League of New Britain, looks at some of the art on display in the organization's gallery on Wednesday, Oct. 3.
Credit Amar Batra / Connecticut Public Radio

Whalen said a recent restoration of the Carriage House kept most of the water out.  The damage was limited to the floor that has dirt below it in lieu of a basement.

“Right now, we’re in the process of pulling up sub-flooring so we can get air-handling equipment underneath it to dry out the soil and dry out the rest of the flooring,” Whalen said. “We just finished restoring our kitchen, and with a brand new floor, that’s toast, and we’re going to have to replace that.”

It could’ve been worse.

Whalen expects the Carriage House to be fixed up by The Art League of New Britain’s next show on October 12.