Middletown Art Guild's New Season Boasts Broad Array of Talent

Middletown Art Guild announces the Start of a New Season. Many talented visual artists will be demonstrating and conducting workshops each month.

The Middletown Art Guild is a group of artists who have joined together to offer opportunities in art instruction, programs, workshops and exhibition. Their mission is to foster and encourage art and the development of visual artists in Middletown, Connecticut area by developing quality programs to bring artists together; providing venues for the artists to exhibit their work and providing art instruction and workshops in drawing and painting and related visual arts.

The Guild brings together a diverse group of people, both amateur and professional artists, senior citizens and young adults who have a passion for the arts.  Our members have developed many strong and lasting friendships around their common interest.  We support one another in learning new techniques and encourage one another in our artistic endeavors. The population we serve may overlap with other arts groups, but we feel our contribution is unique.

The season began on January 8th with the first monthly demonstration of the year. Jim Grabowski, a New Britain native,  entertained those who attended as he demonstrated his special techniques. Known for his paintings of expansive abstract canvases filled with bold color and motion, he also paints landscapes inspired by his love of abstract design.

Jim has received commissions from more than 100 national and international corporations, among them the Department of Neurology at the Hospital of Special Services in Hartford, Pratt and Whitney, GE, United Technologies, Aetna, IBM, SNET, First Jersey Securities and Carnival Cruise Lines. His work hangs in numerous hospitals, schools and libraries as well as in private residences. In each of his large, dynamic paintings Grabowski seeks to reflect the values of his clients, to interpret their aspirations and to enhance their working environment.   

Our next Demonstration will be Feb. 14th and feature Jacqueline White. Jackie’s oils are done primarily on location wherever her travels take her. Her paintings summon ephemeral moments and emotions that are conceived in nature. Her rich color palette and lively brushwork capture the scents and sounds of the land; the rushing streams, rolling surf, nesting birds, rustling grasses and salted winds of New England.

While Jackie works primarily from direct observation and en Plein air, she can also be found in her studio transforming her studies into larger scale paintings.

Ms. White earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Painting from the Lyme Academy College of Fine Art as well as an Associate’s Degree in Illustration from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. She exhibits year round and participates in numerous shows along the East Coast.

Her Professional Memberships include Allied Artists of America, American Artist Professional League, American society of Marine Artists, Oil Painters of America, Catharine Lorrilard Wolf  Art Club, The Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts, Connecticut Woman Artists, The Connecticut Plein Air Painter’s Society, New Haven Paint and Clay Club, The Salmagundi club and associations in Essex, Lyme, Madison and Mystic, Connecticut.

Feb. 16th will be part one of a two-part workshop given by Chris Piantek. Attendees will be exploring the "slippery surface" of gesso-covered watercolor paper. Their paintings will be as fun and absorbing to view, as they are to paint. They will learn how to "erase" surfaces into a painting. There will be both group and individualized instruction with time set aside for critique. This is a fast moving, fun workshop where we all learn and share. Supplies and material list will be emailed to participants.

All levels are welcome as long as you are comfortable with your materials.

Chris took classes with Mary Napoletano and the well-know Barbara Beck. Quite by accident she became a watercolor instructor when her own instructor moved to Vermont half way through an Adult Ed class and suggested that she might be able to take over. That was over 30 years ago and she is still teaching today. She has taken a number of workshops with Tom Lynch, Claude Croney, Frank Web, Mark MeHaffey and others.

What she truly loves about watercolor is it's unique ability to keep moving and
changing long after you've touched brush to paper. She feels few mediums provide the thrill, the excitement and the unpredictability of the medium. Chris
states,  “When I share that with others, and see their faces light up when they realize they can paint, then I am fulfilled as an artist”.

Future demonstrators and workshop leaders include Elizabeth Sennett, Art Sholz, Robert Spooner, Lou Bonamarte and other fine artists. 

Meetings and demonstrations are held at 7 pm on the first Thursday of the month (January, February, March, April, May, September, October and November).  Major Exhibitions are held June and December. Workshops are held monthly. Cost for workshops is $85 for non-members and $75 for members.  Classes in Watercolor, pastels, drawing and other visual arts are held on an ongoing basis. Classes are $95 for non-members and $85 for members. Membership is $25 for one year. 

Meetings/demonstrations are held at the Middlefield Federated Church, 402 Main Street, Middlefield, CT. The cost is $5 for non- members. Members are free. Visit us at a meeting/demonstration or contact us for more information. Contact:Publicity Chairperson: Eva Dykas 860-508-4852 or www.middletownartguild.org.

The guild draws members and artists from the following towns: Berlin, Branford, Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Cromwell, Deep River, Durham, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Glastonbury, Guilford, Haddam, Hebron, Killingworth, Lyme, Madison, Marlborough, Meriden, Middlefield, Middletown, New London, North Branford, Portland, Rocky Hill, Salem, Saybrook, Westbrook and Wethersfield.    

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