New Britain City Journal

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Southington Arts & Crafts Association To Exhibit in New Britain

Eleanor Thornton, Chair of the Design Department at Central Connecticut State University and Hannah Hurwitz, Coordinator of Community Engagement for CCSU are spearheading a new initiative at the New Britain Visitors Center, 66 West Main St. in downtown New Britain. Thornton observes, “Our purpose is to make a contribution to the revitalization of New Britain’s downtown.” Hurwitz is a member of the New Britain Artists’ CO-OP that occupies the upper floors of the building. The CO-OP will be an active part of the initiative.

“There are so many great things happening in the downtown right now,” remarked Thornton. “We are thrilled to be a part of it.” Thornton also sees this as an opportunity to draw more connection between the University and the downtown by providing a place where CCSU students can bring their art to the community. She mentioned, “The Gallery will provide an opportunity for the students to understand what is involved in exhibiting art from beginning to end.” Eric Francis is also involved and will be focused on the business aspects of the operation. According to Francis, “The importance of the entrepreneurial part of showing and selling art doesn’t get enough attention. We want to help artists, especially student artists, understand the business side of the creative enterprise.”

The first show in “Gallery 66,” as the new venue has been named, will feature works by members of the Southington Arts & Crafts Association. This exhibition, which open with a free reception on Saturday, December 7, from 1-3 PM, will continue on display through the month of December and is designed to provide an opportunity for the purchase of unique gifts for the holidays. The artists, all members of SACA are P.R. Bailey (Abbe), Gail Bannock, Linda DeLuca, Tom Mayer, Bob Rembish, Jo Rembish, Ferne “Rusty” Waskowicz and Jane White.

Gail Bannock is publicity chair for SACA and like so many artists has a day job. “As a full-time laboratory scientist my job does not land much space for creativity. Fortunately my artwork fills that void, artist friends at Southington Arts and Crafts share the passion and group exhibitions bring great satisfaction.”

Rusty Waskowicz has been working in stained glass for the past 20 years and has developed a 3-D effect of art objects in stained glass on framed mirrors. According to Rusty, “I really enjoy special orders and creating an item from a customers’ own idea. I will draw up the design, decide what to make 3-D, have the customer approve the design and then create the mirror for them.thus a true original.”

Thomas G. Mayer is a retired art teacher from Plantsville. He is a plein air painter working in oils. He also works in acrylics, creating handmade stencils for his imagery. These stencils will be on display in the Gallery 66 show.

Jo Rembish finds inspiration for her work “in the endless beauty of the land, sea and sky along the Connecticut and Rhode Island coast.” Her flower garden serves as a resource for her still life and floral paintings.

Bob Rembish’s photography interest stems from the observation of the endless beauty of naturally occurring imagery. His photographs include seascapes, flowers, architecture and a variety of patterns found in his surroundings.

Jane White paints most of her work from photos that she has taken on her travels. She observes, “Besides, landscapes, I enjoy painting old buildings or parts of them. About 35 years ago, I started painting House Portraits in watercolors. I don’t just paint the house, but the property as well.” She also paints pet-portraits and notes that, “Pastel seems to lend itself well with furry creatures.”

Phyllis Bailey remarks, “My life has been a journey through many forms of artistic creation, including ceramics, sewing, rubber stamping, and every kind of painting material and techniques I could find. I am a multi-media artist and teacher. I am still learning…there is always more to learn.” Bailey mostly paints realism, but enjoys a break by trying other artistic styles. She notes, “I paint almost any subject, but specialize in animal portraits, portraits and house portraits.”

Gallery 66 is located in the New Britain Downtown Visitors Center, 66 West Main Street, and regular hours will be M-F 9 am to 5 pm. For the opening reception on Saturday, December 7, parking will be free on the street and in the municipal garage ½ block north of the gallery on Washington Street. For more information please contact Hannah Hurwitz at (203) 843-2121,