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.
Amy is a landscape and figurative painter drawing on her experience in the New England countryside, 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.
In 2019, Amy became an elected member to both the Connecticut Women Artists (CWA) and to The Gallery on the Green in Canton, Connecticut.
She has shown in juried and non-juried shows in Maine and Connecticut, and received awards at the WHAL juried members’ shows. One of her works was published in "The Golden Thread Project", a collection of works selected to be shown at the Golden Thread Gallery over its five year history.
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.
Karyn de Punte'- Sweezy
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
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 subject is 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
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 retired from Ethel Walker School as an art teacher. She has been a member of the CT Watercolor Society, the CT Valley Calligraphers and is currently a member of 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.
Renée S. Hughes
The creative process, exploration, and the element of surprise have always excited me whether I’m printing Monotypes or creating Abstract paintings. The monotype is often described as a painterly form of the printmaking, my paintings could be seen as an extension of my monotype process, the two mediums allow me to explore the different possibilities both mediums have to offer. Painting is as exhilarating and challenging as the Monotype process but in a much different way.
In my paintings layering of paint evolves over time revealing interesting textures, surprising marks and depth in the imagery on the painted surface. For me painting is an exercise in immediacy and an opportunity to approach the whole of my studio practice from a different perspective.
"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
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.
Deborah Leonard enjoys painting en plein air as well in her studio. Her subject matter varies from impressionistic landscapes, to still life to abstracts. She teaches art at the The Farmington Valley Arts Center and the Simsbury community center (for the past nineteen 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 these designs 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. 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.
Linda Pearson studied Art, English, and Art History at Northwestern University and holds a BS in Art Education. She has continued to take classes and workshops over the years. She taught English for many years, experimenting with various art forms in her spare time. She began working in her present media in 2016. She has exhibited in a number of CT galleries.. Linda's artwork consists of paintings of mixed media colored pencil and alcohol wash and some collaborative woven framed pieces, unframed and professionally framed. The subject matter ranges from landscapes, harbors, beach scenes, and abstracts
Lori Racicot-Burrous paints memorable stories using color, line and shape to capture the emotion of her subject matter. Her paintings invite others in, evoke memories, and start a dialogue about shared experiences. "Art is a powerful way for me to express my inner thoughts and emotions and represent the world as I see it. Painting unleashes tension, provides a sense of peace in my life, allows for self-discovery, and lets me share my gift from God," says Lori. In addition to painting, Lori enjoys teaching others how to paint.
Richard Schlicher is a self-taught artist and resides in Simsbury, CT. 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 serves on the Board of Trustees. He has been accepted in several juried shows and 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.”
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.
Art has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Being able to elicit emotion from someone simply by brushing a streak of pigment and oil across a piece of fabric can be empowering. At an early age I could be found with pencil in hand and a pad of paper, played with oil paint in my teens, moved on to 2D and 3D digital art after college, dabbled in sculpting in my early forties, and finally passed through acrylic paints only to settle back into oil paint in my mid-forties.
Oil paint feels alive to me. It can be pushed, prodded, streaked, and steered. But no matter what you do to it, it will remain true to your intent. I find it a fascinating medium with which to create. It's by far the easiest I've played with, but truly the hardest to master. It's for these reasons, I feel drawn to commanding it.
The question we all have is, "What is the meaning of life?" I believe the meaning is to have a purpose. Otherwise, we are born only to consume and that, to me, is tragic. My purpose is not to simply to create, but to teach. Passing on knowledge and skills to help someone improve their lives, and hopefully the lives of others, is the reason I was put here. In order to teach, I must learn. Whether it's music, art, martial arts, fitness, cooking, writing, or whatever new facet of life interests me, I learn it to the best of my ability and then pass it along as soon as I'm able. Seeing others improve their lives is a truly joyous.