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Wilton Library’s January art exhibition is a showcase of mixed talent

By Wilton Library


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Still Life with Melon,” oil, by Lisa Burns is just one of the paintings on exhibit at Wilton Library’s “Mixed Talent” art exhibition, a group show of six, opening Friday, Jan. 7, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The Wilton artists are Sandra Bacher, Lisa Burns, Katya Lebrija, Rama Ramaswami, Dick Rauh and Jen Shelley.
Six Wilton artists come together for a display of their artistry when the January exhibition, “Mixed Talent,” opens at Wilton Library on Friday, Jan. 7, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The reception is open to the public. The artists who will be featuring their selected works are Sandra Bacher, Lisa Burns, Katya Lebrija, Rama Ramaswami, Dick Rauh and Jen Shelley.

According to Ed MacEwen, art chair for the library, “Each of these artists has been involved in larger, multiple artist exhibits at the library, such as the Wilton Artists Summer Show. January’s exhibit provides an opportunity for people to really appreciate the breadth of their talents, up close and personal.” The artists’ backgrounds are as varied as their styles and techniques:

Sandra Bacher is a traditional watercolor artist and a member of the Wilton Arts Council. Her paintings include local seashore, floral, and landscape scenes. Sandra spends her summers on one of the Norwalk Islands and often depicts scenes of the islands, oyster boats and lighthouses. She has been commissioned by corporations for her work and has won awards from various art shows including two from the Connecticut Watercolor Society and the Solo Award from the Pen and Brush Club’s 1981 Fall Watercolor Show. In 2008, Sandra won First Place in the Walter Brooks Memorial Watercolor Show at the Rowayton Art Center.

Lisa Burns has been involved in her passion since graduating from the Purchase College School of Arts in NY with a B.F.A. with Honors, getting a certificate in Advanced Study from the New York Academy of Art in NY and obtaining her M.A. in Art Education at Teacher’s College, Columbia University. Lisa works primarily in oil and pastel. According to Ms. Burns, she aspires “to the convergence of technical skill (light creating form, drawing, color, value, edges), and beauty. A feeling of light, air and space.” She recently noted, “I paint what I enjoy painting and attempt to learn something from each one.” She hs participated in the following shows – Virginia Museum of Fine Art, The New York Drawing Association, The New York Academy of Art, Silvermine Art Guild (1st place winner pastel), Spectrum Show at the Carriage Barn (1st place winner pastel).

Katya Lebrija was born in Mexico and has a Bachelors of Arts degree in graphic design from Universidad Anahuac in Mexico City. She mostly prefers watercolors, but her portfolio also includes acrylics, printmaking and photography. According to the artist, her roots “are reflected in her work, which shows the richness and bright colors of the Mexican culture.” She meets once a week to join “The Pink House” group of artists in Westport, where she starts many of her pieces. This is her first group show besides the two works she submitted for the Wilton Tree Exhibition in November at the library.

Rama Ramaswami has been a business journalist for many years, and has gained national recognition for using fine art and photography to enliven trade magazines. She began painting more than 25 years ago in her native India, where her formal art instruction included private lessons in oil and watercolor techniques. She now works primarily in oils and is represented by Rockwell Art and Framing in Wilton and Norwalk. Ms. Ramaswami has a master’s degree in journalism from Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI. In her day job, she is a senior editor and writer at the accounting firm of Ernst & Young LLP. According to Ms. Ramaswami, she paints mostly what she calls “interpretations” of landscapes, in which each painting unites a group of memories, images and impressions. She remarked, “I describe my technique as “heightened realism,” or a larger-than-life depiction of the light, color and atmosphere of the subject.”

Dick Rauh came to botanical painting in retirement, after a career in motion picture special effects. He has a certificate in Botanical Art from The New York Botanical Garden. In 2001, he received a doctorate in Plant Sciences. He won a Gold Medal and “Best in Show” in a 2006 Royal Horticultural Society Show in London. He is a member of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Florilegium Society. His work is in the permanent collections of the Lindley Library, London, New York State Museum and the Hunt Institute. He was named “Teacher of the Year 2010” at the NYBG. Dick has been part of several group shows at the library.
Jen Shelley has been “drawing and painting for as long as I can remember” with her favorite media being oil, watercolor and gouache. She has studied her craft most of her life and has exhibited in shows too numerous to recount. Ms. Shelley notes that “I am an intuitive painter rather than an analytical one. My paintings are an emotional reaction to what I see, be it an image in my imagination, memory or en plein air. Her painting process is one that “goes with the flow.” “When I feel comfortable with both the subject (a long time just looking) and the medium, I can begin, Ms. Shelley said. “From here on, the process is totally instinctive and in sync with my spirit and hand; and the painting begins to paint itself without the need to reason the whys and the hows.”

More than 60 pieces will be showcased by the artists in a variety of styles, subject matter and media. The majority of the works will be available for purchase with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the library. The exhibit runs through Thursday, Jan. 27. Library hours are Monday through Thursday, 10 – 8, Friday 10 – 6, Saturday, 10 – 5 and Sunday 1 – 5. The library is closed on Monday, Jan. 17 for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Wilton Library is located at 137 Old Ridgefield Road in the heart of Wilton Center. For information and directions, visit www.wiltonlibrary.org or call (203) 762-3950 ext. 213.




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