Photographys by Hank Meirowitz at Carole Peck’s Good News Cafe

Hank Meirowitz is proud to bear the title of Portrait Photographer of the Pampered Pet. He has proven himself in group and solo shows in the area and in New York as a lover of animals, using his talent to capture the personality of his subject in his studio in New Milford equipped with animal toys, cookies, bench, backgrounds and floods. He has had no problem with their posing after adjusting themselves to his comfortable set-up. Dealing with pets, much the same as with humans, a one-to-one relationship and trust must be established and then everything works perfectly! However, you must start out with a basic love and interest in both people and animals. And they will respond once they sense your feeling.

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As time has passed, he has grown restless with being confined to a studio space and the lureof travel came on the scene. He now documents far-away lands and indigenous wildlife many people only dream of seeing. Over the last few years he has photographed Russia, Poland, Australia, India, Turkey, China, Korea, Prague, Budapest, Croatia, and ANTARCTICA and has only recently returned from a most exciting riverboat cruise to Viet Nam and Cambodia, which will be on display through March 2015 at the Good News Cafe in Woodbury, Connecticut.The architecture, the people, the faces of happy children and the ambience of each locale are what interests him the most.

The Good News Café is open from 11:30am to 10pm daily; closed Tuesdays and open from 12pm to 10pm Sundays. For more information www.Good-news-café.com

For more event information on Litchfield Hills www.litchfieldhills.com

Dust and Shadow at Sharon Historical Society

The Sharon Historical Society located on 18 Main Street in the quaint village of Sharon Connecticut in the northern Litchfield Hills has curated a new art show, Dust and Shadow: Paintings by Judy Albright.

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Dust and Shadow features pastel still life and landscape paintings by local artist Judy Albright. Albright is intrigued by the “spaces between and behind objects” and often features the shadows of objects in her work. A quote from The Odes of Horace ,”Pulvis et umbra sumus. (We are but dust and shadow.)” inspired the focus of this exhibition. The exhibition is through March 7, 2015.

Albright teaches classes in drawing and painting at the Northlight Art Center in Sharon, CT. To see more of her work or for a schedule of classes visit www.judyalbrightart.com.

The Sharon Historical Society is open Wed. – Fri. 12 noon – 4 p.m. and Sat. 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. For more information visit http://sharonhist.org.

For event information on Litchfield Hills www.litchfieldhills.com

Rick Shaefer Draws the Line at Housatonic Museum of Art

The Housatonic Museum of Art presents Rick Shaefer: Drawing the Line on view in the Burt Chernow Galleries, 900 Lafayette Blvd., Bridgeport, CT, from February 12 through March 27, 2015 with a reception open to the public on February 12 from 5:30-7:00 pm. The Burt Chernow Galleries are free and open seven days a week. Visit the website, www.HousatonicMuseum.org for gallery hours.

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Drawing is essential to the training of an artist. It is the most direct medium between the artist and his observations, thoughts, feelings and experiences—serving both as a record and as a revealer of truth. Drawing is both a cognitive and manual process that provides the foundation for painting, sculpture and architecture. Fairfield artist Rick Shaefer’s monumental, breath-taking drawings offer viewers an adventure in looking with his technically precise and visually poetic drawings of animals and nature.

At first glance, it is clear that Shaefer has more than a passing acquaintance with works of art across time. Of all the masters he has studied, it is Albrecht Durer that has influenced him most. In the 16th century, the natural world of animals and plants had become the focus of scientific and cultural interest as explorers returned from far-flung places carrying examples and illustrations of exotic new species. One of Durer’s best known pen drawings, Rhinoceros, 1515, demonstrates the artist’s fascination with recording the curiosities and wonders of the world. Paradoxically, Shaefer’s own African Rhinoceros, beautifully rendered in rich charcoal on vellum, comes full circle by documenting what now may be the waning days of these magnificent beasts.

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Shaefer’s trees, crowned with leaves or barren and in varying states of decay, are densely detailed and sensitively modeled through the use of tonal gradations. Majestic oaks and tangled vines allow the artist to mine the sculptural properties of a charcoal line, expressing not only what he observes but how he feels. A dramatic narrative unfolds before the eye, compelling the viewer to travel along through the light and into the shadows.

And, like the rhinoceros, these powerful and confident drawings circle around a common theme: the effects of human activity on nature. Climate change specifically could lead to the massive destruction of forests as well as the extinction of countless species. Global warming has led to the increase of forest fires as well as a proliferation of pests and diseases. Rick Shaefer: Drawing the Line looks to the rich tradition of drawing in order to explore the critical issues of our time.

For area event information www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com

“A Prairie Refrain” at Carole Peck’s Good News Cafe

Contemporary realist painter, Karl Hartman, will exhibit his new show titled “A Prairie Refrain” through January 27, 2015 at Carole Peck’s Good News Cafe and Gallery, 694 Main Street South, Woodbury CT.

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Hartman’s paintings focuses on his memories of the prairie landscapes that he grew to love and his evolvement with these landscapes as a geologist in Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas. Hartman describes this part of the United States as spare, quiet and infinitely dynamic, beautiful and terrifying all at the same time. In contrast to his painting of the plains, he is also working on drawings of Bergen County, New Jersey that reflect the tightly packed, crowded suburban local domestic world of this area as well as its occupants and their imprint on it.”

Karl Hartman was born in Billings Montana and grew up mostly in the plains states of Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma. He received his BS from the University of Oklahoma majoring in geology and minoring in art. He received his MFA in painting from the School of Visual Arts in New York where he studied with Sam Cady, Ursula von Rydingsvard and John Lees. He lives with his family in New Jersey and travels back to Oklahoma to see family, take photographs and sketch.

Karl shows at the Mary Ann Doran gallery in Tulsa, OK and the New Arts Gallery in Litchfield, CT. He has exhibited at the Kansas Museum of Fine Art in Wichita, KA, The Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, OH, The Charles A. Wustum Museum, Racine, WI. He has also shown at The Grand Central Galleries, The Adam Baumgold Gallery, and the National Academy of Design in New York as well as the Yoyogi School of fine art in Tokyo Japan.

His most recent award was the New Jersey State Council for the Arts Fellowship for painting. For area information visit http://www.litchfieldhills.com. For New Year or dinner reservations, contact Good News Cafe at http://www.good-news-cafe.com/

Small Works at the Carriage Barn in New Canaan

The Small Works! art exhibition at the Carriage Barn Arts Center runs through December 21 and highlights small scale art. The work on view by 50 artists, mainly from Connecticut and New York, range from delicate drawings, paintings, and photographs to finely crafted sculpture and ceramics. The juror of the exhibition is Lee Findlay Potter, Director of the David Findlay Jr. Gallery in New York, which specializes American painting and sculpture from the late 19th century to the present. Lee is the fifth generation of art dealers in her family and her father David Findlay is a long-time resident of New Canaan.

Birds, by  Isadora Lecuona Machado.
Birds, by Isadora Lecuona Machado.

Miniature works for the show were thoughtfully selected to provide a a historical and educational context for some of the contemporary art in the show. The history of miniature art goes back to the earliest periods of artistic production. The exhibition includes miniature manuscripts and Old Master prints, thereby tracing the evolution of such intimate gem-like works that require close examination. An early illuminated manuscript leaf exemplifies the painstaking attention to detail in medieval and early Renaissance devotional works. Two later examples of the highly sophisticated art of printmaking from the 1600s are Wenceslaus Hollar’s masterful etchings. Hollar, a leading 17th century Bohemian printmaker, made a notable series of tiny etchings after the Renaissance sketches in the renowned collection of Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel, who intended to catalogue his drawings.

These early examples of miniature art are juxtaposed with contemporary works to provide a deeper understanding of their changing functions and meanings over time. The painting on an antique book cover by New York artist Holland Cunningham is contrasted with an early printed mathematical manuscript dated 1734 that has tiny decorative illustrations. Italian Renaissance paintings provide the inspiration for David Barnett’s assemblages in shadow boxes, notably the Madonna whose head with a golden halo is placed on a body made up of mechanical parts. Another re-interpretation of a Renaissance painting is Isadora Machado’s intricate pen drawing of the Mona Lisa. Machado’s elaborate and patterned drawings of moths and birds have the luminescent and decorative quality of early stained glass windows. Robbii Wessen’s assemblages of found organic and mechanical elements recall the imaginative objects from Renaissance cabinets of curiosity. Other such fanciful creations include the ceramic Pot Heads by Connie Nichols, literally tiny pots with whimsical heads on top.

The exhibition transitions to a group of abstract works, beginning with some examples of the recently deceased Sal Sirugo (1920-2013), who has been called “a hidden treasure of the Abstract Expressionist movement”. Sirugo began creating highly original works in the late 1940s, but while many of his Abstract Expressionist contemporaries worked on huge canvases, he preferred to work in more modest dimensions. His miniature ink drawings on paper have a mysterious, meditative quality that draw the viewer into his unique way of seeing.

To accompany this show, there will be a Children’s Art Workshop led by Nancy Scranton on December 7 and 14. The Gallery hours are Wed.-Sat., 10 am – 3 pm; Sunday, 1 – 5 pm. The gallery is located in Waveny Park, New Canaan. For more information, visit www.carriagebarn.org.

For area information www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com

Clare Romano & John Ross: 70 Years of Printmaking at Center for Contemporary Printmaking

The fall exhibition, featuring a sampling from the extensive collection of original prints by Clare Romano and John Ross, at The Center for Contemporary Printmaking (CCP), 299 West Ave., in Mathews Park, Norwalk, runs through Sunday, December 14, 2014.
Gallery visitors have the opportunity to view original prints made by these preeminent printmaking artists, educators, and authors—husband and wife, each with their own acclaimed individual careers—who have made the fine art of printmaking, with a particular emphasis on the art of the collagraph, their life’s work.

John Ross, "Duomo"
John Ross, “Duomo”

Clare Romano and John Ross had a major influence on the art printmaking and printmaking students. For many, their text, “The Complete Printmaker”, represented the next wave in printmaking. The exhibition showcases landscapes and cityscapes, lithographs, etchings, silkscreens, woodcuts, letterpress and, of course, collagraphs. Visitors will discover novel and innovative images using silk aquatint, asymmetrically cut plates, and the combination of intaglio and relief on the same plate.

The Center has scheduled an Artists Talk and Book Signing with John and Tim Ross for December 10 from 7 to 8:30 pm. Clare Romano and John Ross wrote and illustrated a number of books together, the first entitled Manhattan Island (1957) and the most important publication, The Complete Printmaker, originally published in 1972 is now in its second edition with Artist/Printmaker and Educator Tim Ross joining his parents as co-author. The Complete Printmaker is still used as a printmaking text in college classrooms today.

Clare Romano, "Silver Canyon"
Clare Romano, “Silver Canyon”

Normal hours are Tuesday through Sunday 9 am to 5 pm. The gallery is closed on Columbus Day, Veterans Day, and over the Thanksgiving Day weekend. Admission is free, and the gallery is handicapped accessible. For more information visit http://www.contemprints.org.