Summer Arts Festival on Essex Green 18th, 19th June


While white sails bobbing in Essex Harbor and on the Connecticut River this Father’s Day weekend, Essex Green will also be a sea of ​​dazzling white canvas. tents, that is. At the annual Summer Arts Festival on Essex Green, 18th & 19th June.

Under these tents, festival-goers can discover new work by emerging and established visual artists and craftspeople from Connecticut, New England and the Tri-States, according to organizer Barbara Nair, founder of Arts Center Killingworth and Spectrum Gallery in Centerbrook. The festival is on Saturdays from 10am to 5pm and from 11am to 5pm

Here you will find original artworks by painters – both representational and abstract – working in oil, acrylic, watercolor, photography and mixed media. According to Nair, there is an extensive collection of fine handicrafts in ceramics, wood, glass, as well as unique jewelry creations.

Festival sponsor Andersen Windows will welcome visitors to the green and share information about their products and services.

New at the festival

And there’s plenty to explore, as many artists are exhibiting for the first time at the summer festival, including Anna Mastropolo, a textile artist, jewelery designer, and large-scale gouache and mixed media painter. Inspired by Abstract Expressionism and the Pattern and Decoration movement, she explores pattern in her work, using patterned paper and textiles (often handknit) to create mixed-media compositions — many of which celebrate femininity, Nair said.

Yvonne Gordon Moser will take part in the festival for the first time in 2022. Known for her organic monotypes, female figure paintings and mixed media art, she was featured in Home and Garden Magazine as “a local artist worth obsessing over”.

Also on the green is award-winning artist Jeff Blazejovsky, working in watercolor, graphite and colored pencil. His style is realistic with a focus on light, reflection and a high level of detail; Favorite subjects are antique and classic vehicles and portraits, Nair described.

Painter and mixed media artist Sabély Peralta joins for 2022. She grew up in Guayaquil, Ecuador and now lives in Springfield, Massachusetts. She draws inspiration from nature, her native New England, and techniques that include acrylic paint and textiles. She is currently developing digital paintings using NFTs.

Painter Maria Miro Johnson explores everyday life with the emotional expressive potential of color. She depicts interiors in a brush, gesture style that is largely realistic but can be read as abstract. Working largely from observation or photographs, she works primarily in oil on canvas and panel, Nair said.

New York-born and currently based in Old Lyme Edwin Lopez is a passionate and expressive painter who uses his urban and rural experiences as inspiration for his subjects. Lopez creates on both canvas and wood, sizing a work to fit found vintage frames that he refurbishes and reuses.

Back to the festival

Tatyana Ferraro returns to the festival with new watercolors, including sky and waterscapes, and a compelling piece that captures a majestic Venetian canal.

Mixed media artist Deborah Simmons is back exploring mediums like acrylic, charcoal, ink, wood and photography.

Lisa Conti, also a mixed media artist, combines a passion for nature and photography with pen and ink. Using original photographs, she often captures images from her travel adventures, using pen and ink to add contrast and enhance the textural features of her photographs.

watercolor artist Patti Maher, will be on the green. She is interested in simple, elegant lines – in shadow and negative space – and works in pencil, pen, ink and watercolour.

Photography has a strong presence on the green this year.

Mark Seth Lender Presenting for the first time at the festival, is a nature writer, photographer and explorer in residence on Living on Earth, a national public radio show. His wildlife fieldwork spans a quarter of a century, seven continents, and serves as the basis for the segments he produces for the program. His published works include Salt Marsh Diary, A Year on the Connecticut Shore, and Smeagull the Seagull, A True Story.

Photographer Alice Pownall Gray has a long love affair with nature. An expert at combining digital still photography and oils, she has returned to her natural painting skills, which she honed during her childhood years sketching the wildlife of the Connecticut coast. She travels with her husband (and fellow festival presenter and photographer) Dickon to the harsh and remote parts of the world to capture their work.

Dickon Pownall-Gray grew up in a small village in Hampshire, England. Originally focused on landscapes, nature and wildlife, he has turned to action photography, specializing in high-speed sports photography. Now he creates night and low-light photographs, capturing fleeting moments of the afterglow after sunset on cathedrals, ruined castles and small historic villages nestled on coasts and mountains.

Other photographers include many well-known favorites such as Larry Reitz, who portrays scenes of stunning rivers and waterfalls on canvas and also showcases a variety of fountain pens in metal and fine woods such as maple and walnut. Paul Ramsey offers new works that capture the beauty of nature and other compelling themes. Also featured is award winner Judith Secco, a digital fine art photographer who has developed her own technique using layers, textures and composites.

Many fine artisans exhibit their creations, including Andy Teran, who works as a wood carver and sculpts his popular sea creatures out of driftwood. He also explores collage, assemblage and even jewelry design.

Turning by Layne Manginelli and custom woodworking are specialties using unique and rare woods that add colour, shape and complexity to each unique piece. His designs often feature carefully planned geometric shapes and patterns.

A must on the green is Deborah Churchill, an artist who creates exquisite mandala artwork using a technique called “dotism,” in which she paints in patterns with small, distinct dots of color to create ornate images; She uses geometric patterns such as the Fibonacci sequence and sacred geometry with acrylic paints on canvas, plates and stones.

Other fine artisans include Marc and Mary Dutko, a couple with a passion for fine woodworking, fine food and beautiful photography. Through a combined artistic skill and vision, they create one-of-a-kind, heirloom-quality, artisanal kitchen woodware, according to the press release.

Claudine Burns-Smith is a ceramic artist who has had numerous group and solo exhibitions of her functional ceramics and sculptures in the United States, France, the former Soviet Union and China. She prefers to build by hand rather than by wheel to create irregularities that add interesting effects. She carves the surface of her pieces and prefers vibrant colors.

Also in attendance are Spectrum favorites, potter Nancy Scilipote; soy candlemaker Janice Wood; glass artist Joan Weir, who crafts whimsical stained glass creations from picture frames, contemporary suncatchers to glass sculptures; the fine artisan Marie Angersola, who carves and decorates pumpkins into mini-sculptures; and Lynn Webber, who repurposes glass and creates garden art in the form of bird baths, totems, feeders and flowers.

As always, a wide mix of unique and daring jewelry is available in different styles for the discerning wearer. A mix of materials that can be found includes semi-precious stones and fine metals used by innovative designers such as Joanna Biskupski, Lori Meehan and Joan Wenzel, according to the press release.

Visitors to the Green can preview artists and crafts being featured at the festival and Spectrum Gallery by visiting Spectrum Art Gallery and Store, an extension of the non-profit Arts Center Killingworth.

Gallery opening hours are Wednesday-Saturday (12pm-6pm) and Sunday (12pm-5pm). To shop online, visit Spectrum Anytime at For more information, call 860-767-0742.


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