“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.” -Georgia O’Keefe, artist

Through figurative gesture,  expressive mark making and color choice, Woodbury CT artist Karen Bonanno captures a mood suggestive of Cezanne, Bonnard or Matisse. Her new solo exhibition, "The Female Perspective," opens on Friday, January 19th, 2018, at @287 Gallery, 287 Main Street, Danbury CT, with a free public reception from 5:30pm to 8:00pm. An RSVP is strongly suggested. For reservations, go to http://bit.ly/female_perspective or call (203) 798 0760  "The Female Perspective" runs through Friday, April 20th. The exhibition marks the beginning of @287 Gallery's 2018 season, as it enters its sixth year of presenting fine art by Western Connecticut artists and others that capture the gallery's sense of vision and looking forward.  

Karen Bonanno received her B.A. in Fine Art/Painting from Western Connecticut State University in1993, and since then, she has shown extensively throughout the region. In 2016, her work was featured in Prince Street Gallery's 8th National Juried Show in New York, juried by Guggenheim Fellow, Graham Nickson. Influenced by the Bay Area Figurative movement, including artists David Park, Richard Diebenkorn and Elmer Bischoff, Karen's figures are formed with intent, often appearing in an ambiguous atmospheric space and creating an emboldened narrative that is both solid and proud. For more information and gallery images, visit Karen's web.

@287 Gallery's 2018 season will also feature solo exhibitions by:

May 4th - July 27th

Larry Morse, Bronx, NY

August 10th - November 2nd

Hannah Munroe, Bethel, CT

November 16th - February 8th, 2019

Megan Marden, Danbury, CT      

@287 Gallery, a project of the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut, is open 12:00 noon to 4:00pm Tuesday to Friday, 12:00 noon to 3:00pm Saturday, and by appointment. For more information, call at (203) 798 0760.

Published in ArtsWestern News

"Youth is in a grand flush, like the hot days of ending summer; and pleasant dreams thrall your spirit, like the smoky atmosphere that bathes the landscape of an August day." - Connecticut essayist Donald G. Mitchell

Ever growing, the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut's year-long, multi-site program, Accessible Art,  joining Business with Art, continues to catch the eye with an upcoming 10 exhibitions of visual arts, opening on Monday, August 28th. Pour Me Coffee & Wine Cafe at 274 Main Street, Danbury,  is the newest presenter, featuring the works of Bethel artist JOSEPH ANNINO in an exhibition entitled "Diffractions." 

The artist is inspired by works by Agnes Martin, El Lissitzky, Yayoi Kusama, and Mark Rothko, and each piece results in varying moods and impressions as lines and forms "diffract" through the aperture of the mind of the viewer. Signing works as JoViAn, the artist has been painting for the past two years in a variety of mediums, techniques, and styles, believing that each informs the others along a path of creative development. Joseph has presented works in solo shows at Molten Java in Bethel, and has also shown in Boston, Redding, Danbury, and New Milford.

Accessible Art exhibitions, running through Friday, October 20th, also include:

KATIE TYNAN HELU, CityCenter Danbury, 268 Main Street, (203) 792 1711  "As a ceramic artist and potter, I employ a meticulous gas-kiln firing process to bring out the beauty of the glazes I use, adding a unique depth to the color as the flow of the flame directs its attention to each piece.  My creations include hand-built and sculptural pieces as well as pottery thrown on the wheel. My pieces are never exactly alike, but each piece carries an essence from the potter's hand."        

SUSAN KEOWN, YMCA's ESCAPE to the Arts, 293 Main Street, Danbury, (203) 794-1413 "I gather parts of my life through painted and drawn papers, discarded and found objects  As a life is woven together, balanced with many parts, I combine these pieces together to form my coherent visions."

SCOTT LEWIS, Filosa/Hancock Hall, 31 Staples Street, Danbury, (203) 794-9466 "As a professional artist's model, I have been the subject of many works of art on display over the years. Now I am pursuing my interest in photography and travel, and drawing on my creative background in film making and writing to create my own narrative images." 

KARIN MANSBERG, Mothership Bakery & Cafe, 331 Main Street, Danbury, (203) 417-6914 "In my art, the final versions rarely seem to resemble their source, which I guess can be the case for many observations. We see the world how we want to, and perhaps, not as it is. My art is an extension of my own reality or lack thereof."

CYNTHIA O'CONNOR, Bethel Public Library, 189 Greenwood Ave, (203) 794-8756 "I've been a photographer all my life. My camera is always with me, my eye, always open. Essentially self-taught, this is my gift, for which I'm so grateful. Yet, for true fulfillment, it's sharing my discoveries, moments that gave me a thrill, a lump in my throat, those that make me stop, sigh, and completely captivate me."

CHRIS PLAISTED, Danbury Public Library, 170 Main Street, (203) 797-4505 "My works tend to focus on forms of contrast. It may be in the concept: man vs. nature, social vs. emotion, or it may be the tension created by the use of materials. I connect with the juxtaposition of different materials; steel with copper and concrete, wood with metals. I believe that the opposing materials, forms, or colors in my work, intensify each element's properties to produce a more dynamic form of expression."

STEPHANIE SAFARIK, Danbury City Hall, 155 Deer Hill Avenue, (203) 797-4511 "Perseverance is how I describe my life and photography.    I love getting lost in black and white photography.  For me, it lets my imagination wander while still being elegant and simple.  Most of my work is concentrated around water since that is where I feel the most alive yet  peaceful."

GARY STANFORD, CityCenter Danbury, 268 Main Street, (203) 792-1711 "The very essence  of photography is the ability to create an historical record of an event  at a precise moment in time.  Events may involve people, places and things and be literal or figurative.  My purpose as a photographer is to depict the world around me and to offer my interpretation of that event."

HELGA RUOPP, Hodge Insurance Agency, 283 Main Street, Danbury, (203) 792-2323 "In my artwork I seek to capture 'innocence' and 'beauty' in everyday sightings using the  colors of  nature."

For information about Accessible Art and other programs offered by the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut, call (203) 798 0760 0r visit www.artswesternct.org


Newtown Bee  || Published July 14, 2017

Those who travel Church Hill Road may have spotted some new art under the railroad overpass next to Newtown Veterinary Specialists and wondered, “Who has been painting that?”

The Newtown Bee was fortunate enough to spot local artist and Newtown resident Virginia Zimmermann hard at work painting, and see her skills in action on Monday, July 10, at 1 pm.

As cars whizzed past on the road just a few feet away — with some people even pulling over to compliment her work — Ms Zimmermann set her paintbrush down and spoke with The Bee about the progress being made on her large piece of public art.

Years In The Making

In 2015, Ms Zimmermann applied for Connecticut’s highly competitive Regional Initiative Grant Program with the hopes of creating a mural for Newtown.

“In order to qualify to submit the grant, the artist or art group has to be affiliated with one of the seven Regional Art Alliances,” Ms Zimmermann explained.

As an affiliate with the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut in Danbury, her grant for $3,500 was awarded last October. It is supported in part by the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut in partnership with the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts, and the National Endowment of the Arts.


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