Sarah has been a full-time art teacher at Stratford High School since 2011, where she loves facilitating the creativity of her students! Prior to that she worked successfully in advertising as an art director/graphic designer/illustrator for 20+ years. She earned her B.A. in Fine Art at Fairfield University; M.A. at The Graduate Institute; and has studied art in various programs from NYC to Florence, Italy. She has shown in group exhibitions in New England and resides in Stratford with her husband and two daughters.
Exploring the immediacy of a setting or capturing the “freshness” of a figure is intriguing to me. I play
with color, and strive to use the media at it’s purest to translate people and places that are familiar.
Constance Manna is a Fine Artist, and Illustrator who earned her BFA from the School of Visual Arts and currently instructs young artists at the Guilford Art Center. She is a contributing artist for Corbis, is a member of the Westport Art Center and is working on a series of paintings based on her Bronx upbringing. As a freelance artist, she has worked for such diverse clients as medical magazines, advertising agencies, book publishers and general interest magazines. Her work is frequently compared with that of Edward Hopper. Ms. Manna has had several one-woman shows. She has also participated in several group exhibitions in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Washington DC, most notably in New Rochelle, where her work was featured in an article in The New York Times.
My paintings hearken back to a nostalgic era. Inspiration springs from observing the world around me and injecting each scene with a sense of memory - both personal and collective. Light and dark areas define the space and the subject, but also convey a distinct mood in the style of Edward Hopper and Rene Magritte. My process begins by envisioning a place – somewhere I have visited, photographed or recalled in my mind. I draw a series of rough sketches and then create the subsequent painting by reinterpreting the scene, defining the mood, and capturing the feel of a specific moment. I work with acrylic paints and superficial oil glazes to achieve the desired tones of light - contrasting spaces of subtle lighting effects punctuated by areas of deep darks and bright whites. I find contemporary life to be rushed, so I intend for my paintings to provide an opportunity to slow down and take pause. The painting process calms my spirit, and a sense of quiet introspection and reflection is passed on to the viewer. A recent review of my paintings sums up my objective: “The works in this space that detain the eye the longest are the paintings of Constance Manna, especially that of a stage door illuminated from above. Ms. Manna’s interior of a movie theatre…is no less pregnant with anticipation.” - Vivien Raynor. New York Times, August 1, 1993.
I was formally trained in photography and fine arts at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, Israel, graduating with a BFA in Photography in 1984. In 1988 I discovered the creative possibilities for using computers in both my commercial and creative work. I began working solely with digital equipment and processes in 2003 – exhibiting my photographs widely in Fairfield County, CT and New York City.
I have always been fascinated by what my childhood self called “the olden days.” Looking at faded sepia portraits of family forebears, and hearing my parents’ stories of growing up as new immigrants, gave me an acute sensitivity to the way time works to both elucidate and obscure human experience. Photography, as a so-called “time-based art” became the perfect medium for me to express my own interpretation of time - as fleeting moments captured and preserved, as more permanent visual diaries of daily life matters, and as testaments to the wear, tear and constant dynamism of modern life.
Barbara Marks received an MFA in painting from Brooklyn College (CUNY), and a BFA in painting from Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts (CT). She has been a resident artist at the Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Fowler Dune Shack (Cape Cod), MIRA (Martignano, Italy), and Jentel Foundation (Wyoming). She has twice been a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome. Most recently Marks’s work has been shown at the Painting Center, and First Street Gallery (NYC); Drawing Rooms (NJ); DaSilva Gallery, Silvermine Arts Center, Whitney Center, and The Chase Family Gallery (CT); and Artist-Run at Satellite (Miami). Her paintings and prints are in numerous private collections. She is an artist member of The Painting Center, NY; NY Artists Circle, NY; Westport Artists Collective, CT; and a Guild Artist at Silvermine Arts Center, New Canaan, CT. Her work on paper is represented in the flatfile at Artspace New Haven. Marks is a Trustee of the Vermont Studio Center and a former board member of Artspace New Haven. Previously, she was the principal of a graphic design studio serving the book publishing industry. Marks lives and works in Connecticut.
I use color to create space. My paintings are rooted in observation. For my subject matter, I look to the ordinary and the local. In my work, I oscillate between geometric and representational abstraction—driven by my interest in economy of expression, and my belief in the role that color can play in the situation of a particular painting. What motivates me is my desire to re-present an ordinary moment—in a painting—by manipulating color, shape, and composition in such a way that the possibility of multiple interpretations (or reads) engages the viewer and invites closer investigation.
I am working on long-range project—“Recollection”—a series of smallish, square, colorful paintings on panel and on paper. I began this project last spring, and I’ve completed 69 paintings to date. I intend to paint hundreds more. I am growing the series into an aggregate composed of hundreds of small-scale paintings that, when installed as a whole, will take on a monumental scale.
Elizabeth is an artist, designer, activist and visual thinker. Raised on a dairy farm in upstate New York with abundant freedom and immersed in nature, Elizabeth developed a deep love of art and the intrinsic beauty of her environment. This love can be seen in her art and design. With a thirst for knowledge, she studied mechanical engineering, business and earned a B.A. in Art History/Visual Arts and a M.F.A. in Interior Architecture & Design.
Elizabeth has been painting and continuously evolving as an artist for over 35 years. Her abstract paintings have been showcased from New York to Paris and beyond with notable recent shows including a digital show in 2015 at the Louvre in Paris and the 2015 Art Basel Miami, Scope Exhibition. In 2016, Elizabeth began designing textiles from her paintings which are now sold at design boutiques online and around the country. Elizabeth moved to Westport in 2004 and immediately became an active community volunteer. In addition to being an artist/designer, Elizabeth is the Director of Community Fundraising for USA for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.
I am motivated by my life experiences and what I constantly see around me. The colors and patterns of nature, especially the sky, ocean and beaches provide a source of inspiration. My art tells a story, either with the flow and direction of acrylic paint or though actual text and images acrylic and mixed media. I utilize recycled newspaper, magazines and paint incorporating them onto canvas to create paintings that engage the viewer both visually as well as tactically. Using the materials as the base of movement and textural color abstraction, each canvas is an individual exploration of texture, color and form - revealing a glimpse into society through hidden headlines, words and or pictures peeking through from the background. Each painting is a moment in time - one that begs to be seen and felt.
After a decade of carpal tunnel, I started using my body as my tool instead of the brush. The process captures the gentle curves of my fingers and body and depicts the organic shapes we see in nature. I pour, blend and mix paint with my hands for varying color and apply paint to my body and strategically lay on the canvas to create depth and texture. The outcome is abstract artwork that evokes intrigue and serenity, ultimately one of beauty and strength.
Hailing from the tranquil surrounds of the Hudson Valley, Sooo-z channeled an unusual energy from her docile environment. It was here that she first experimented with fashion and fabric construction and eventually harnessed her present day aesthetic. A graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York with a BFA in Fashion Design and Textile Design, Sooo-z parlayed her talents into unfettered territories including costume design for a rock band as well as for local community theater. With an official career that began in the interior design sector as an Art Director for a high end custom art rug gallery, her greatest affirmation came as a special collaboration featured a layout in a “Before and After” segment in Architectural Digest.
The birth of “Mastropiece” started as a silk painting business to create and sell accessory and apparel designs that infused art with utilitarian purpose. Her wares were sold at high-end craft shows at the Puck Building and the Armory. Apparel and accessory design utilizing innovative fabric manipulation became her artistic signature.
Her community contributions range from The Stamford Cow Parade of 2000, The Car Parade of 2001, Dinosaurs Rule of 2015, to Project Return birdhouses, to artistic development for the Art About Town event through the WDMA, and ArtSmarts in the Westport Public Schools. She has judged a few and curated over 50 themed art shows for various spaces in Fairfield County including the Maritime Garage Gallery and the Mayor's Gallery of Norwalk. Through her experience as an artist and designer she has also been able to give back by helping other artists gain exposure and creating new viewing opportunities for art.
As a mixed media artist, I gather inspiration through color, texture, composition, humor and irony which are essential elements to my work giving way to limitless endeavors infused with spirited experimentation and calculated execution. My unique style is an open curiosity which lends itself well to themes from the irreverent to profoundly conceptual. My objective is to achieve infinite boundaries from a finite form. These intricately manipulated tubes of fabric represent the parts of the sum which inevitably become the sum of bigger parts.
Mary Jo McGonagle
With over 25+ years in the field of Fine Art and Design, McGonagle is an active Graphic Designer and practicing multi-disciplinary artist. Her work is thought provoking with a playful theme and a conceptual twist. She is an award-winning artist who has shown internationally, in many prestigious exhibitions, and her paintings and neon can be found in many private and corporate collections around the world. Her work has been endorsed in such publications as The New York Times, New American Painter, Art New England and New England Home. Her clients have included such companies as, Condé Nast Corporate, Renaissance Hotels, Stamford Downtown Special Services, Grapevine Technology, GQ, Glamour, United Media, ArtsWestchester and Holland Advertising. She is full-time faculty at Norwalk Community College where she works with P-Tech Norwalk high school. She has lectured at University of Bridgeport, Fairfield University, Gateway Community College, Ludong University and Anhui Polytechnic University in China. She earned her M.F.A. from Massachusetts College of Art and Design and her B.F.A. from School of Visual Arts. She is represented in galleries in NYC, Boston and Tel Aviv and is very submerged in the contemporary art world working with gallery directors, designers and artists.
My neon, decorative paintings and installations use contemporary phrases, which reflect the thoughts we all share. My art reflects my fascination with how our relationships take place in our everyday life, hovering between humor and desperation. My work has been described as contemporary multidisciplinary with a conceptual twist.
A Smith College graduate, Sandra Meagher is a Life Member of the Art Students League, where she studied with Robert Beverly Hale, Robert Brackman, David A. Leffel and Vincent Malta. Courses with Eve Ingalls at the Silvermine Art Center in New Canaan and seminars with Robert Reed in New Haven followed, laying the foundation for her further creative development.
Primarily known for her drawings in charcoal, she also engages in painting, photography, video and poetry. She has had more than 15 one-person shows and been juried into shows at the Mattatuck and Discovery museums and Art of the Northeast, among others. Her installation “Diary,” featuring a quilt of dryer lint and softener sheets, took first prize at the Katonah Museum’s tri-state juried show “Breaking the Rules.”
She is an artist member of the Silvermine Guild, as well as Art/Place Gallery in Fairfield, the Westport Art Center’s Artists Collective, the Rowayton Arts Center, and the Katonah Museum Artists Association. She was one of five regional artists invited to take part in The Dialogue Group, which explored creative interaction and collaboration culminating in an exhibition at the Silvermine Art Center.
Meagher has received fellowships to the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Vermont Studio Center; and her work has been the subject of study at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. She is the author of “Nora,” a book of 12 drawings and 3 poems. She maintains a studio in Port Chester, New York.
I mostly draw. I reach for charcoal, graphite, or grey pastels, allowing only an occasional hint of color. These tools unlock the creative process, their passage across paper a mirror to ephemeral emotions and memories. The process is intuitive. I am looking for inner connections, as well as visual harmony.
Toby Michaels began teaching 1st grade at Coleytown School in Westport, CT and later became art teacher in the Weston and Darien, CT elementary schools.
In 1978, she received her Masters Degree in Art Therapy and Counseling, initiating an Art Therapy program for Norwalk Hospital’s Department of Psychiatry where she practiced for 17 years. Michaels later moved on to lead art therapy groups at Silver Hill Hospital. At the same time, she was appointed Adjunct Professor of Art Therapy at Quinnipiac College in Hamden, CT.
Currently an award-winning full-time artist, Michaels is a member of Art/Place Gallery, Women’s Caucus for Art, Westport Arts Center, Fairfield Arts Center, Silvermine Guild of Art, and is represented in the Westport School’s Permanent Art Collection.
Media appearances include Cablevision’s “Creative Women Today” and the award-winning film “Years in the Making”, a documentary which celebrates late-life creativity.
Going beyond the limits of logical thinking, my abstract paintings become spiritual and metaphysical adventures, inspiring me to inquire into the “unseen”, the endless cosmic and universal possibilities that give life to artistic expression.
Making art for me becomes a doorway into Self-Knowledge, allowing for a deep connection to a Higher Source, the basis of all creativity.
Annamari Mikkola is a nationally recognized photographer, jewelry designer and art director. Though she has not been showing in the recent years, her work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group shows both nationally and internationally. Her last exhibited body of work, Dollhouse, earned a special mention in the New York Times. In addition to being a fine art photographer, she also has a long career as an editorial photographer. Her work has been published in numerous magazines and newspapers in Finland and US. Mikkola earned her master’s degree from the University of Turku, Finland and completed a design certification at the NYU. She also studied design at Rhode Island School of Design and School of Visual arts. To keep her mind and body in balance, she trains and competes in rowing. Mikkola resides in New Canaan, CT with her husband and two sons.
Being omniscient has been always been an intriguing concept for me. When one isomniscient, one has the ability to perceive the reality through the viewpoint of another. For this body of work, I was trying to interpret insects’ reality. Even if I had omniscient capability, it is unfathomably difficult to be absolutely certain that an omniscient me is looking at another’s reality or not, because I may be myself deceived. Therefore, there can be no sure way of looking through to another’s eyes, as there is no ontological truth. By choosing to be an imaginary interpreter and channel to consciousness of another being, I elevate the photographs from sheer documentary replicas of light and shadows to another dimension, to art.
Price: $950 (framed)
a. 1975, Norwalk, CT; lives and works in Easton, CT.
Duvian Montoya’s early work has been described as “magical realism,” perhaps in part owing to the influence of author, and fellow Colombian, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Pieces from this time period focused on themes of immigration, Latin American identity in the U.S., and displacement.
In his current phase, Montoya has moved away from the intense stylization that characterized his early work. Newer pieces have an increased focus on technical skill and detailed imagery. His scenes are culled from some of the most banal moments in our every day life. This quietness allows Montoya to make surprising choices and subtle statements about the way we live our lives today.
Montoya’s work is actively collected by both public and private institutions, including the city of Norwalk, the city of New Haven, the Mattatuck Museum, Disney and Gulfstream Worldwide.
Painting on a canvas shaped like an “app” on your phone I reference catalog pages and the letters they’ve used to identified objects of desire to represent the commodification of ourselves on our “created pages” of social media. Our glamorized self, which only lives on the internet and is void of true human characteristics (hence the natural elements being void and blank) is then monetized with likes, followers and “friends” that corporations then buy to turn our brand into a platform for their own goods and services. Through various scientific studies its been proven that these new brands of self form a false understanding of who we are and generate a sense of jealousy, hatred and envy in those that view them. Without real human interactions we risk the loss of true friendship and rely more on a matrix of misconceptions and false relationships by living behind a screen and/or app.
Painter, designer, environmentalist, and entrepreneur. A born advocate with innate passion, curiosity, and ambition, she was an environmentalist and vegetarian by age 11 and by then, totally obsessed with the sea. Day earned a B.F.A. from Rhode Island College. She has worked for Sotheby’s as a paint restoration artist, as a painter on large-scale theatre scrims, a consultant on small business projects, and as a small business owner. Day’s entrepreneurial work has gained national attention, earning several awards in the sustainable and social enterprise arenas, including the 2009 Eileen Fisher Business Grant Program for Women Entrepreneurs and a Women's Empowerment Fellowship through the U.S. State Department and UCONN in 2013. Currently she is a partner in a start-up that in 2016 raised over a half million dollars of crowdfunding support for their innovative kayak, and successfully shipped its first production boats in March of 2018. As an artivist, Day makes art with a purpose. Calling attention to the crisis that currently plagues our oceans. Painting in the US, Caribbean, Central America, and Europe for more than 4 decades, her work draws inspiration from sketches, journals, and photographs made during her travels. Her work can be found in galleries and private collections both here and abroad. Day donates a percentage of each painting sold to Sea Shepard Conservation Society, whose mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world's oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species.
I am interested in capturing the quiddity of place; the core memory of sights, sounds, and smells through an intense construct of color.
There are many ways to unlock parts of ourselves. For me, the key was a box of crayons. In 1998 I treated myself to a deluxe 96-pack of Crayolas. I opened the lid, and the scent transported me to the floor of my childhood playroom, where I spent hours drawing. The smell and feel of those crayons, coupled with my reverence for nature, led me to paint my first series of “self-portrait” chameleons, the idea being that women continually shed and grow new skins in order to fill many different roles. In 2006 I was invited to show these paintings at Yale University’s Environmental Sciences Center, part of the Peabody Museum, a show that remained there for the entire year.
Today my mixed-media paintings on paper have strayed far from animal subjects and into other realms, and the materials I use have expanded to include gouache, watercolor, wax crayon, colored pencil, metallic paint, graphite, ink, encaustic, and woodburner. These artworks, along with my limited-edition giclee prints, hang in homes from Vermont to California, and I have exhibited widely in galleries, museums, universities, and other public institutions.
I’m an artist member of the Silvermine Guild in of Artists in New Canaan and the Ridgefield Guild of Artists. If you’d like to see more of my artwork, please explore my website:
The idea of transformation continues to fascinate me: transformation of materials into images, of words into art, of male into female, of animal into landscape, of pattern into nature. I’m now deeply involved in creating an “Unconventional Women” series, large paintings that depict women who are not beautiful in the conventional sense, women who are not doing conventional things. I’ve added a “Gender Warrior” series of woodcuts to my portfolio, and I’m creating fiber art, knitting a series of “Blanket Statements”: baby blankets on which I’ve stitched messages about gender identity and expectation.
Cynthia K. Mullins, an award-winning Connecticut painter, enjoys painting a range of subjects. Drawn to landscapes, still life and “closely cropped” florals she paints au plein air or in her studio. Her work has a blueprint of reality transmuted by her own sensibility and creative decisions. Whether painting abstractly or staying close to natural scenes, she infuses her own energy and invites the viewer to engage in their own experience.
Ms. Mullins has exhibited her work in many solo, juried and group shows in such venues as the Nylen Gallery in Westport, the Carriage Barn Arts Center Gallery in New Canaan, The Merritt Parkway Museum in Stratford, The Lockwood-Mathews Museum in Norwalk, Rockwell Gallery in Ridgefield, the Gallery in the Park at Pound Ridge Reservation in New York and the sylvia wald + po kim art gallery in New York City. Ms. Mullins is regionally known for her Merritt Parkway series. She has won numerous awards for her oils and pastels including an Award for Excellence, given by New York Times art critic and writer Benjamin Genocchio, at the Ridgefield Guild of Artists 31st Juried Exhibition.
Ms. Mullins’ painting roots run deep as she is the great, great granddaughter of renowned Hudson Valley River School painter Aaron Draper Shattuck and, of the same school, the great, great grand niece of Samuel Colman. Currently, she sits on the board of the Ridgefield Guild of Artists as Secretary and Co-Creative Director and designs and installs shows for galleries and individuals.
I experience a certain degree of difficulty when writing an artist statement since I believe that a lot of what comes out me is not totally conscious but a spontaneous outpouring of personal interpretation, deliberation and continuing adjustment between painting and artist. I do adhere to a certain amount of known painting techniques that I have learned and developed over time, but the end result is a mix of that knowledge and whatever flows out of me.
My work has a blue print of reality transmuted with my own sensibility and creative decision whether working more abstractly or staying close to natural scenes. I am not interested in a literal depiction of what I see although I almost always seek inspiration from either one of my photographs, a still life set up or painting outside en plein air. With visual information I make decisions as to composition, color, style, focus and so on. For me, there is a definite dance, or interaction between the emerging painting and myself. Back and forth, one informs the other as the artwork forms.
I have great affection for and love to view this world finding much of it beautiful. I think one can paint almost anything and make some enchantment. Overall, I think that’s a major goal of mine.
Over the years I have explored and worked in a variety of art related fields - photography, printing, graphic design, computer illustration, set design, and decorative painting. As a self taught artist, I learned each craft by diving in and immersing myself in a medium, striving to master each, and discovering that there is always more to learn!
For the past ten years, I have been a principal partner in my art business, Finished With Style, LLC. Creating fine decorative finishes and hand painted furniture for homes and businesses throughout the North East.
Recently, a renowned person in the art world gave me a great compliment by calling my fine artwork as “artistic alchemy”. I believe it is because of my constant experimentation and exploration of reactive mediums and the use of light to create one of a kind, original works of art.
My artwork is a subjective form of thought. It brings my vision into the light that speaks from my soul. My goal is the constant pursuit of provoking emotions through the visual. Playing with the use of light, vibrant colors, reactions, distractions, and illusions allows one to question not only what it is, but how it came to be.