Born in Brooklyn and raised in Great Neck, New York, Nina attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where she studied fine art and graduated in 1962 with a bachelor's degree in history. She has lived much of her adult life in Bologna, Frankfurt, London, Zurich, Santiago and Caracas, and to look at Bentley's Facebook page, one can sense that she is as at ease with travel as she is with humor. Bentley is a sports enthusiast, enjoying tennis and rowing on the Saugatuck River. She has exhibited extensively in Europe and the U.S., most recently in a 6-person curated show called Identity at the Central Connecticut State University in 2010.
Bentley was the featured artist for Barneys New York in a show called Art Meets Fashion in 2004 and was a New/Now Artist at the New Britain Museum of American Art in 2001 where her large sculpture A Corporate Wife Service Award Bracelet is in the permanent collection. It is the compelling combination of her own varied daily life as the wife of a world-travelling corporate executive, and resident of Fairfield County's Gold Coast that Bentley draws on for her subject matter. Perhaps it is her own comfort level in having raised three successful children and her delight in her grandchildren as well as an active travel schedule that allows Bentley to both comment upon and embrace the life that she so thoughtfully examines.
My work tends to be conceptual in nature and concerned with social issues. From early childhood I have been moved both by aesthetics and the human condition, not only matters affecting me personally but those evident on a broader social scale. I create art in order to gain some perspective on the world around me while trying to retain a sense of humor. In short, my work can be seen as multi-dimensional social commentary.
Sue Benton was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA which shaped her love for the look of industry. Benton believes that often the intrinsic beauty of graffiti covering an old, stately building, a shabby storefront, or an aged rusty boat in the water goes unnoticed. She plays with color, light, and focus to make these images hyper-realistic and idealized. Benton's hope is that others can appreciate and realize the often hidden beauty of these subjects.
My love of photography is inextricably linked to my work as a dance teacher and choreographer. Choreography is design using the body and space, with music as the frame. Photography is a dance of light and form, framed by each viewer’s perception.
Born, raised and educated in NYC (Queens College, Fine Arts alum), Ridgefield resident Suzanne Benton’s over 60-year career as a printmaker, painter, metal sculptor, mask maker/performance artist, lecturer, and workshop leader has carried her throughout the USA, and worldwide to 32 countries. Her personal saga of hope, determination and grit brought numerous awards, grants, and US government and collector support and sponsorship. In addition to 150+ exhibitions and two retrospectives, Suzanne is the author of The Art of Welded Sculpture and many articles. Represented in museums, and private collections worldwide, she is and has been long-listed in (among others) Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Art, and Feminists Who Changed America 1963-1975.
I believe in the power of the artist as culture-maker and that the purpose of art is to explore humanity. I’ve developed my work as a bridge between cultures and am drawn to multicultural themes. Having absorbed the myths, history, biblical lore, folk legends, and mask forms of eastern and western cultures, I weave this knowledge into my art. I’ve brought my American artist’s lens to this ethos, where it now connects to the changing USA demographics. My transformations of sacred texts and ancient stories are presented as a voice for social justice.
After concluding a 23 year career as a decorative arts photographer in NYC I began creating art to express the beauty, elegance and grace I saw in a dried leaf. This photographic work, entitled Dancingleaves, introduced me into the local art community.
Restlessness in my art practice coupled with an committed interest in meditation lead me to create imagery and sculpture based upon the architecture of the archetypical labyrinth. I strive to create work that is reverential and honor our higher natures.
I thought my work was about beauty but then a friend asked me what I was up to. I found myself saying something like I am lingering in thought, sketching the labyrinth and sitting in meditation. Yes, time spent among the curving lines, rosettes and arcs that conjur up a sense of journey and the cycle of progression and regression. My work speaks of time and of timelessness.
Sandra Blackburn has studied with Mary Ann Barr, Melody Best, Steve Parton, John Cullen, and Katherine Ross. She has collections in Toronto and New York City. Blackburn has had exhibits at Arts in Bloom in Weston, CT, Total Training Facility in Westport, CT, and Forward Motion LLC in Westport, CT.
Sandra transcends human perceptual constructs, and articulates the rich complexity of her mystical journey through art. She works with and expresses paradoxes of human existence; ever-flowing invisible yet tangible, sometimes combustible energy that evades time/space illusions. Often, her work exposes and illuminates spiritual understanding which lay beyond human conception. Contradictions of physical and energetic existence she sees are profoundly intertwined, reflecting our earth-bound and ethereal foundations in perpetual creation. Her approach is conceptual and spontaneous; archetypal spiritual symbols appear, and define their own meaning.
Amy Bock received a BFA in Drawing and Painting from Pratt Institute (Brooklyn, NY). Her postgraduate studies continued at The School of Visual Arts, Parsons School of Design, The New School for Social Research, Polakov, Studio & Forum of Stage Design (New York, NY), University of Vermont (Burlington, VT), and at The Silvermine School of Art (New Canaan, CT).
In addition to her work as an artist, Bock pursued careers in scenic set design, mask-making, graphic design, art direction and illustration. Her images have been published in: American Baby, Discover, Interior Design, Modern Bride, Ridgefield Magazine, and sought by clients including Tiffany & Co, Esteé Lauder, American Express and The Mattatuck Museum. Her work resides in many private collections and she is an active member of the Ridgefield Arts Council and a juried member of The National Association of Women Artists, NYC. The artist currently lives and maintains a studio in Ridgefield, CT.
My mission in producing art is two-fold: first, the activity itself is fulfilling to me as a vehicle for creative expression, a meditation and a discipline that gives my life itself shape and form. Secondly, I hope to impart to the viewer through the experience of seeing the art that I produce, a love, appreciation and respect for nature, as that is the inspiration and source of my work. I also hope that through my work I can help in some way with imparting to others the importance of conservation and preservation of the natural world. My medium is oil paint on panel, sometimes with the addition of mica powders to create iridescence.
My work and my life are firmly entwined, the art part reflecting emotion and experience. I use a variety of media and technique with an emphasis on color and textural relationships. One body of work has often led to another and includes both 2-D and 3-D approaches.
My education includes a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Manhattanville College and further visual arts study at Bennington College, Maryland School of Art and Design, The University of Urbino, Urbino, Italy and workshops at several art schools including The Art Institutes.
I have exhibited work in juried and open shows in CT and NY and have permanent works in the Manhattanville College collection.
Michael Brennecke, a lifelong Westport resident, was raised when artist studios were within a stone’s throw in every direction. He began painting at twelve, inspired partly by his uncle’s woodcarvings and more directly, his cousin Greg Irons, a highly accomplished illustrator. Initially fascinated by seascapes, Michael eventually later began experimenting with abstraction. The ability to elicit various and ambiguous impressions from a single composition fueled his work. Brennecke attended The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and received his BFA from Tufts University. The first two years of school were spent exploring the figurative but he eventually returned to abstraction, after being struck by a show of Antonio Tapies and particularly the color and texture in the work of Paul Klee. Amidst a multi-disciplinary background including illustration, woodworking, architecture, and creative direction, Michael’s passion for painting has remained the focus of his exploration of abstract expression.
The commencement point of Michael Brennecke’s painting work is usually a drawing. Trying to evade as much conscious control of the initial process as possible, what is created will be a somewhat accidental composition with sometimes vague or ambiguous imagery. After the basic drawing is established, Brennecke then develops and emphasizes the parts of the image that draw his attention, through the addition of color and texture. While the compositions are originally conceived to be non-representational, they may still evoke a sense of landscape or figure. The work can have the suggestion of a geological location, almost the appearance of rock formations, stone or maps. Brennecke describes his process with each piece as an archeological find in which he has to recreate the history and sense of place.
Born in Belmond, Iowa, Janine Brown is a multi-disciplinary artist, whose award-winning artwork has been featured in many Arts Centers and galleries. Brown graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelor in Fine Art and from the Fashion Institute of Technology with an Associates of Applied Science in Fashion Design. Brown is a member of the Los Angeles Art Association, The Artists Collective of Westport, and a former Board Member of both the Women’s Caucus for Arts (CT) and the Westport Arts Center (CT). She resides in Fairfield, CT and maintains a studio at the American Fabrics Arts Building, Bridgeport, CT.
The body of work entitled, “The Wallflower Project”, examines the social stigma of being a “wallflower” through the use of portraits. The word “wallflower” was first used in the early 1800’s to refer to a woman without a partner at a dance, presumably sitting against the wall. During that time period, wallcoverings, such as wallpaper, started to grow in popularity due to mass production and a repeal of a “Wallpaper Tax” in England. Informed by history, I conceived of The Wallflower Project using double exposures (portrait + wallpaper) with a pinhole camera to create an image whereby the subject literally fades into the background. The ghostly portraits require the viewer to take notice and spend time with the “wallflower”.
To learn more about The Wallflower Project and The Wallflower at the Dance:
Buckner graduated from Goucher College in Baltimore, MD with a degree in Studio Art. While working as a Graphic Designer in Manhattan, she attended the Sculpture Center of Manhattan where she learned mold making and the bronze casting process. In 2007, after returning to CT, she attended the Silvermine School of Art where she was instructed in metal fabrication and was present for the revamping of the bronze works in 2010.Buckner is currently a member or the Silvermine Guild of Artists, the Stamford Loft Artists Association, the Westport Artists Collective and 3rd Rail Fabrication Studio in New Rochelle, NY.
I am a sculptor and I work in bronze, resin and other plastics and metals. From the beginning, my work has been about bringing light to social, cultural, environmental and political themes.
My life long fascination is with the idea of solidifying my transitory thoughts into immutable forms. I often combine objects that I regard as icons of the domestic and industrial world with animal archetypes. I have used the familiar couch or chair as a cultural context for my work as well as lamps and lit object. To more fully express the complexity of an idea, I frequently create my sculptures in series or triptych format.
I conciser myself a fabricator above all and my original works are strongly influenced by the materials that I choose to work with.
My work includes imagery from recent and past stages of cultural evolution to create a statement about the current condition of humanity and its relation to the natural world. This work is informed by my interest in emergent philosophies, archetypes, and everyday events in my life.
Award Award winning abstract artist Bevi Bullwinkel attended Vassar College and received an MA from Columbia University. After years devoted to photography she turned to painting and has studied with many professional artists in California, Connecticut and Maine. Her work is primarily in acrylic, ink, water-based oil, and mixed media (including cold wax and oil pigment stick) on paper, board, and canvas. Current affiliations in Connecticut include memberships in the Guilford, New Canaan, Ridgefield and Rowayton art associations, as well the Westport Arts Center Collective. She has been selected for many juried shows in New York, California, Maine, and Connecticut. Her solo exhibitions include the Westport Town Hall, the Ferguson Library in Stamford, and the Chester Gallery in Connecticut. She has received several first prizes in Essex, Guilford and Rowayton as well as the prestigious Founder’s Award at the Essex Art Association. In addition the artist was chosen for a celebrity auction to benefit NYU Hospital in New York in 2015. She also was selected for the 2015 annual juried members’ exhibition (Dreamscapes) and the 2016 juried exhibit (More Than Words “#iammore”) at the Westport Arts Center. In 2017 she was featured in a two person show at the New Canaan Library in Connecticut. Her work is represented in private collections throughout the country.
The focus of my artistic intention is well described by the following quote from Stephane Mallarme: “Peindre non la chose, mais l’effet qu’elle produit”, as the importance lies in the emotion that is evoked by viewing art. Painting to me is like poetry. While working in any media I try to distill my thoughts in order to express the essence of what lies beneath the surface. The emphasis on the simplicity of line and importance of space is seen in most of my work. My wish is to express an increasing concern with the fragility and impermanence of nature and our existence as well as to evoke a sense of the transience of being and mystery of the unknown.
A lifelong resident of Westport, and full-time graphic artist, Miggs has designed hundreds of logos, ads, brochures, and websites, for commercial and non-profit clients throughout Fairfield County since 1972. www.miggsb.com.
He also designed the Westport Town Flag, a U.S. Postage Stamp, a poster for Baskin-Robbins, an Easter Egg for the Reagan White House, and four TIME Magazine covers, one of which, along with the Easter Egg, reside in the Smithsonian Institution.
Recently, he has won much acclaim for his work with lenticular imagery, including several one-man shows in Fairfield County galleries and libraries.
“Tunnel Vision”, his permanent lenticular installation in downtown Westport has received unamimous raves, including a visit from the Governor. www.tunnelvisionart.com. Learn more about his lenticular work at http://www.miggsblenticular.com.
His first book, “The What If Book of Questions”, published in 2012, was also met with critical acclaim.www.whatifthisbookcouldchangeyourlife.com.
He has twice been honored as a Paul Harris Fellow by the Westport Rotary, as one of the YMCA’s Faces of Achievement, and as Volunteer of the Year by CLASP of Westport, Save Westport Now, First Night of Westport, and STAR of Norwalk, among others.
Miggs is a 1967 graduate of Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama
in Pittsburgh, PA. His theatrical career began and ended with an audition for the movie, “The Graduate”.
I am intrigued by all the changes and transitions - large and small, real and imagined - through time, space and emotions, that are part of our daily lives. The lenticular process allows me to explore these experiences in a fresh and somewhat cinematic way. During your time with these unconventional photos you are enlisted as a collaborator, controlling the speed, sequence, and ultimately, the significance of the changes that occur. These images will only be as meaningful as the stories that you are willing to bring to them.
Trace sold over 300 paintings by the age of 15, one was recently donated to Westport’s municipal permanent art collection which consists of works by local and international artists including Picasso, Matisse, Calder, and others. He’s an animator, and Internet entrepreneur whose animated work has appeared in film and on television.
The subject matter in my new collection is varied in theme and style. The works are created utilizing digital drawing, retouching and enhancement, then composited to create a single digital image. I try to create each work so it is different from the others in in the way it elicits a response from the viewer. Consciously and subconsciously the symbols depicted will touch each viewer differently. The criteria for picking subject matter is to create art that engages the mind and the eye. Thought provoking. Visually appealing and with a mystical nuance is important. In addition, creating depth in a two dimensional field, and tricking the eye in a playful and satisfying way is also something I work to achieve.
TraceBurroughsArt.com, BurroughsMedia@gmail.com, 203-664-1086