New Now Exhibition

IMG_7627NEW/NOW: Paul Baylock

May 17, 2018–October 21, 2018

During the early part of the 20th century, New Britain was known as the “Hardware City” and the “Hardware Capital of the World.” Major manufacturers, such as Stanley Tool, Fafnir, Emhart, and Landers, Frary & Clark were headquartered here, producing tools that were sold worldwide. These manufacturers contributed to a flourishing economy, drawing tens of thousands of workers to New Britain every day. While many of these factories have since closed, the city retains great pride in its rich industrial legacy.

This legacy is perhaps nowhere better expressed and celebrated than in the vibrant paintings and sculptures of artist Paul Baylock, a New Britain native. Throughout his career, Baylock has drawn his imagery from vintage publications and Popular Mechanics magazines from the period in which he grew up in the 1950s and ‘60s, as well as from New Britain iconography, factory architecture, and locally produced hardware that capture the spirit of the city. By sanding and abrading the surfaces of his brightly hued acrylic and vinyl paintings, Baylock attributes an aura of age to his compositions, evoking faded signs or advertisements from an earlier era, collaged together. These layered compositions suggest the changing topography of the city, the passing of time, and the accumulation of memory, and are especially relevant now, given the ongoing demolition of historic factory buildings in New Britain. The artist’s NEW/NOW exhibition will feature a selection of paintings from 2009 to today, including his celebrated “Hardware City” series. The presentation will also include site-specific sculptural installations comprising of the original windows from the Landers, Frary & Clark factory that he acquired while renting a studio there.

An avid supporter of the arts, Baylock has been involved with the New Britain Art League for over a decade, and the League’s President since 2008. Baylock taught art in New Britain public schools at the middle and high school level for 38 years, until retiring in 2012. The artist’s interest in urban history is shared by many residents of our city and state. In conjunction with Baylock’s exhibition, the NBMAA will organize a number of programs that celebrate our legacy as the “Hardware City,” and that will explore the shifting landscape of New Britain and cities across the country.



The Old Studio.

I used to rent space in the Landers, Frary, and Clark factory on Ellis street in New Britain.   I was there from 2004 until 2008.  There wasn’t any heat. Shown are photos looking out through the windows that inspired a lot of my work.Window77IMG_1787factorywindow1


These are a mix of paintings and mixed media from my Landers, Frary, & Clark series, Hardware City series, Popular Science Series, and the Wainscott series. There is much overlapping of the three.(Click on an image to see full views.)


When I had a studio in the Landers, Frary & Clark factory, I became interested in the windows. I took photographs of the windows and used them to make digital art and vectors to create vinyl stencils that I painted through in the paintings in the NewNow exhibit. I included actual windows taken from the factory when they switch them out for new thermal windows. These were mounted and filled with lasercut motifs similar to those in the paintings.The LF&C series (abbreviated from Landers, Frary & Clark) explores the windows in an abstract way without the use of vinyl stencil. I’m exploring the relationship between the line and shape of the panes and the surface between them. Contrasts in color, texture, and matte verses gloss are important. The original window photos remind me of that quality that inspired me- a feeling one gets with stained glass windows in churches.

LF&C No.1

LF&C No.1

LF&C No.2

LF&C No.2





Painting, Uncategorized