Rita Bond is past president and founder of Simsbury Open Studios. She has volunteered for many Simsbury organizations, serving as president of the Simsbury Arts Council and Simsbury Garden Club. She was also a member of the Town of Simsbury Design Review Board. Leaving the New York City area, where she was raised and taught high school English, she was inspired by her new home in New England to pursue new careers in landscape design and painting. Her landscapes, seascapes and abstracts of New England, are painted in oil, acrylic and pastel with vigorous brushwork and exciting color. Her work has been shown in numerous juried art shows and galleries and is in the permanent collections of the University of Connecticut Health Center and Bay State Medical Center. Her work is owned by collectors throughout the United States and England. She has studied with Eric Aho in Vermont, Camille Przwodek at the Cape Cod Arts School, and with Ilona Levitz, Frank Federico, and William Simspson among others, at the West Hartford Art League. www.ritabondstudios.com
Amy is a landscape and figurative painter drawing on her experience in the New England country side, and her experience as a clothing designer in New York in the 1970s and early 1980s.
A fine arts graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Amy Conover is an active Connecticut and Maine painter. A 35-year resident of Simsbury, CT and a summer resident of Camden, Maine, her paintings have been informed by the extraordinary landscapes, structures, gardens and light of New England. Her figurative painting explores the human form and the interaction of figures in both outdoor working, and highly stylized environments.
She has shown in juried and non-juried shows in Maine and Connecticut and received awards at the WHAL juried members’ shows.
A member of the West Hartford Art League for over ten years, Amy has studied with Shira Avedore, Shawna Shane, Jerry Weiss, Ilona Levitz, Bill Simpson, and Paul Batch. She paints with the Back Room Collective and with a private group of painters in Stonington, Maine each summer. She has just recently joined the Simsbury Open Studios and will be showing her paintings with them throughout 2019.
I have always worked with my hands, as a teenager heading into college I enjoyed silversmithing, beading and all types of metal work. I went on to earn a degree in Industrial Education and Technology in 1988 and subsequently started a small business with my father creating hand forged wood carving tools. This kept me extremely busy while raising a family and I still continue in this field. I began lampworking (the art of making glass beads) as a hobby in 2008 and was completely captivated. Glass is an extremely versatile media in which to work. It has a certain mystery that always seems to unveil itself in new and creative ways. With glass you can paint, sculpt and there is an almost magical reaction that occurs when mixing and layering colors. I have combined lampworking with my metal working skills to create wearable art. The process is as fascinating as the outcome and I look forward to sharing my passion with you.
Catherine M. Elliott is a contemporary artist whose work is evocative of the American Impressionism style of painting. "My paintings are primarily of atmospheric and light conditions portraying the subjectâ€™s quality. I try to capture the true grace and elegance of the remaining countryside of New England. My goal through my paintings is to capture a moment of time and place by use of color and form to invoke the viewer to "see" the sublime. It is a fascinating challenge to hold on to an hour or a season and to magnify its wonder and peace." Painting en plein air, out of doors, she seeks to convey the fleeting effects of sunlight and atmosphere.
"My new paintings are the culmination of over 24 years of plein air study as well as studio work on a full time basis. Further exploration of the love of color continues to be the focus and represented in these paintings." Her works are painterly visions of her innermost admiration of God's creation. The wonder of these works are in its fresh liberation of color and light offering the viewer a sense of awe and peace. She is represented by 12 galleries, teaches painting workshops and does commission work. www.catherinemelliott.com
As a full time art teacher at Ethel Walker School Grace teaches middle and high school students. She teaches a variety of media. The applied arts are as challenging as the fine arts. Every media connects with her and she encourages students to make their own personal creative connections. Creating is a process of finding your own way to express your inner dreams and thoughts. Grace moves freely to and from paint and clay. "Painting connects me with the real world as I bring special forms to the canvas. Clay allows me to think functional art that transcends into more expressive work." Grace holds a BS in Art Education and a MS in Special Education. She has been a member of the CT Watercolor Society, the CT Valley Calligraphers and is currently a member of the Gallery on the Green Artists Guild.
Vicente Garcia is a University Professor of Art at Central CT State University and a practicing artist. At the University he teaches all aspects of ceramics and in his studio he is actively involved in producing and refining a body of work that includes clay and steel sculptures and vessels. His area of expertise in ceramics is wheel throwing, raku, and pit fires. In steel he focuses on the fabrication process. www.vicentegarciaart.com
Renee S. Hughes
Color, the creative process, exploration, and the element of surprise have always excited me. As a process artist, I feel arts’ essence lies in the making not the made thing.
The use of color and texture form the underlying basis of each composition. I allow this relationship to evoke image and shape. Depth is created through the interaction between density and transparency of color. Shapes appear to float on the surface or receed into the background when line, shape texture and pattern are juxtaposed against color. In some pieces, the layering of shapes and textures sometimes portray an individual narrative while others allow the shapes themselves to dictate the direction and theme.
However much you think you have mastered the monotype process there is a certain unpredictability which draws me to printmaking. There is a distance and a freedom, in making monotypes, because you never know what it will look like until you pull the paper off the plate! https://www.reneeshughes.com/
"I see colors, energy and motion, a kind of liquid light in every person, every object, every moment. I try to capture depth and vibrancy by layering colors and by placing them next to one another. Then, just watch the colors dance and shimmer and bounce off of each other, or blend into one vision!" Earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Tyler School of Fine Arts, Temple University, Ruth Jacobson continues to study with Ilona Levitz and Frank Federico. Known for her pastel depictions of Portugal, prizewinning still life acrylics, and bold figure paintings, Ruth's most recent shows have been at the Town and County Club and the Asylum Hill Congregational Church in Hartford as well as Muse La Belle Artiste Gallery in Coventry, CT.
Jacqueline (Jacie) Jakubowski
Original paintings in oil or acrylic.
I love being near water and/or woods, and am moved to paint scenes of nature. I try to capture nature’s' spirit in my paintings. I enjoy painting en plein air in nice weather and indoors in cold or inclement weather. Painting in special places or from photos I have taken of those places moves my spirit. I am excited by the process of painting and what seems to magically come out of the brush. Age has allowed me to not worry about wasting paint or canvas. I now approach each canvas with an open mind and a playful brush or palette knife. For the last year, I have been studying with Joan Jardine. I have been using a palette knife and a glorious palette of new colors that are so exciting. Jaciejart.blogspot.com
Deborah Leonard teaches art at the The Farmington Valley Arts Center and the Simsbury community center (for the past eighteen years.) Deborah is a member of and past president of the Avon Arts Association. She was co-founder of the Farmington Valley's City and Country Canvases event. Her work is part of the permanent collection at the Simsbury Library, The River View Banquet Facility,The East Granby Library and UCONN Medical Center. Debbie's work is in many private collections in the U.S. and Europe. She also serves on the board of the Farmington River Watershed Association and has designed jewelry to benefit the Farmington River Watershed Association,The Simsbury Landtrust and the Flower Bridge.All are for sale at Bill Selig Jewelers in Simsbury.
She gives an annual Plein Air workshop,leads Paint Nights and enjoys doing commission work as well. Her studio is open by appointment anytime. www.deborahleonardart.com. Facebook/Deborahleonardart
Claudia Ludovici is a self-taught artist, who paints in oils and watercolor. She strives for a simple, spontaneous impressionistic style and hopes that her paintings reflect the universal principals of balance, harmony, unity, simplicity and beauty.
Linda Madin studied art at Syracuse University and spent many years teaching elementary school, and later middle and high school art at The Master’s School in West Simsbury. Having put her dream of being an artist on hold as she raised family she is excited to now have the time to devote to her artwork. Linda studied oil painting with Sam D’Ambruoso and Edward DeVoe in CT before moving to CO in 2011 where she was introduced to pastels at a workshop with Jane Christie. Falling in love with the medium Linda continued to study with Julieanne Miller, and at workshops with Dennis Rhoades, Ken Elliot, Casey Klahn, Virginia Unseld, and Barbara Jaenicke. “My goal as an artist is to draw the viewer into the painting using color, light, and composition to evoke a response as they reflect on what they see. Each artist is an individual, as is each piece of artwork, and each viewer. The possibilities are endless!”
Julia Parker Post
Julia Parker Post was educated and has degrees from the Hartford Art School, University of Hartford and Central Connecticut State University. She has further studied with artists in New England and in Europe. Her preferred mediums are watercolor and print making. Nature and flowers are the primary subjects and much work has been influenced by sketches from travels. The work is in a bright pallet in an impressionistic style.
Lori Racicot-Burrous enjoys using color and texture to capture the emotion of her subjects - including animals, people, landscapes, flowers,anything else that speaks to the artist in her. Recently, Lori has been exploring the abstract genre. "Art is a powerful way for me to express my inner thoughts and emotions and represent the world as I see it. Creating unleashes tension, provides a sense of peace in my life, allows for self-discovery, and lets me share my God-given gift. My artwork also invites others in, evokes memories, and starts a dialogue about shared experiences. " In addition to painting, Lori teaches workshops in her studio. To see more of Lori's artwork visit her website, www.LoriRacicot.com or Facebook page, LoriRacicotArt
Richard Schlicher is a self-taught artist and resides in Simsbury, CT. He was born and raised in Topeka, Kansas and attended DePauw University and Indiana University (MBA). He has worked in the finance industry for forty years and now straddles the art and finance worlds. While appreciating art all his life, he began painting (with oil pastels) over a decade ago. Richard now paints almost exclusively with oils and works in his basement studio. His paintings include landscapes, abstracts and human and animal portraits and range in size from 7”x 10” to 48”x 72”. It is not clear to him what has drawn him into art but he is happy that it has happened. Every picture is an adventure.
Richard is a member of the West Hartford Art League and has been accepted in several juried shows. He is a past recipient of the Barbara Morley Award for oil painting.
“The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place- from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider's web.”
“When art critics get together they talk about Form and Structure and Meaning. When artists get together they talk about where you can buy cheap turpentine.”
His website is www.richardschlicher.com.
A Windsor native, has been fabricating jewelry from precious metals and cutting and carving gemstones since 1976. His first interest in stones began when he was eight years old, when he discovered treasured rocks in his gravel driveway. Later, as a young man in the 70s, in the mineral rich mining town of Bisbee, Arizona he found his life-long obsession learning to work with native and precious stones, mounting them in original settings. His first working studio was a garage in Windsor, CT; he recently opened a new design studio in the restored solarium of the Darling Estate which is now the Cannon Building. Bill continues to work with individuals on special projects and also creates original designs inspired by organic forms past and present.