ESSEX — Discover the newest work of emerging and established fine artists and artisans from Connecticut, New England and the tristate region at the Fourth Annual Summer Arts Festival on the Essex Connecticut Town Green.
Presented by the Arts Center Killingworth and Spectrum Gallery in Centerbrook, the Festival takes place 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, June 15 and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, June 16 from
The Essex Town Green, located at 12 Main St. is the place to find a wide selection of original artwork by painters – both representational and abstract – working in oil, acrylic, watercolor, pastel, alcohol ink and mixed media collage. Also see new creations by fine art photographers, potters, glass artisans and jewelry designers using gold, sterling silver, beads, copper and semi-precious stones.
In addition to the outdoor Arts Festival, this annual summer event includes a concurrent six-week Group Show at Spectrum Gallery and Store, located at 61 Main St., Centerbrook, with a juried selection of artwork by participating Festival artists. Running through July 14, the exhibit offers diverse styles of painting, as well as new mixed media, fine art photography and artisanal crafts.
Many new and returning artists presenting at the Festival include painters Jeff Blazejovsky who works in watercolor, graphite and colored pencil, focusing on seascapes and boating scenes; Jena Audette explores abstract mixed media and creates what she calls “inklings,” made with alcohol inks, paper and other materials; Kimberly Edwards, an emerging artist whose works are primarily in pastel, often of impressionistic images of figures and nature, and with themes related to her passions as a pilot and a competitive cyclist. Also presenting are watercolorists Michelle Urso, and Ursula Coccomo who, in addition to watercolor, creates fine art photography, often of dramatic scenes of nature.
Printmaker and Festival favorite Penny Feder returns to the Green with new work, known for her mastery of multi-block color woodcuts and etchings that combine traditional techniques with hand painted color. Her recent mixed media collage work interweaves oils and acrylic pigments, torn paper, fibers and varnish. Painter Pam Carlson is showing her striking land and waterscapes scenes in acrylic; Jayne Franzino-Romero displays her acrylic paintings of lighthouses and the sea. A must-see on the Green is Deborah Churchill, an artist who crafts exquisite mandala artwork using a technique called “dotism,” painting with small, distinct dots of color in patterns to form elaborate images; Churchill employs geometric patterns such as Fibonacci sequence style and sacred geometry with acrylics on canvas, plates and rocks.
Photographers include many known favorites such as Faith and Larry Bilansky, both offering digital archival prints with rich, vibrant colors for bold effects; Judith Secco, a digital photographer who developed her own technique using layers, textures and composites; Karen Burke whose whimsical images create fantasy moments of animals and nature; and returning favorite Larry Reitz who captures various scenes including stunning river and waterfall images on canvas. Deborah Simmons and Lisa Conti return with their photographic images enhanced with pen and ink to add contrast and to heighten textural features. Other returning favorites include photographers Normand Charlette, Paul Ramsey, Robert Thomas, and the award-winning Sergio Villaschi.
Many fine artisans will exhibit and sell their creations including potter Nancy Scilipote; candlemaker Janice Wood; and soap artisans Cathy and Eric Phinney. New to the Festival is Cristina Lugo who, originally from Puerto Rico, creates framed scenes of nature with sea glass, paper and shadow boxes to reflect her love for the sea. Unique fine jewelry can be found in varying materials and styles by designers such as Jeni-Gray Roberts, Monique Tobet, Robert Kelsey, Sue Braden Hull, Joan Wenzel, Lori Meehan, Linda Saucier and Sandra Huber.
Visitors to the Green can see a preview of the artists and fine artisans presenting at the Festival and at Spectrum Gallery by visiting spectrumartgallery.org for artwork galleries and bios of each artist.
Call the gallery at 860-767-0742. Gallery hours are Wednesday-Saturday (12-6 p.m.) and Sunday (12-5 p.m.).