Silvermine Community Artists in Residence will exhibit and kick off this year’s series of art shows with a reception on June 3
Wilton, CT – Wilton Library is pleased to announce the return of art exhibitions to the walls of its building, after a two-year pause due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Fifteen area artists, all from the Silvermine Community Artists in Residence, will be exhibiting at the library’s June art exhibition. This group of artists has gathered to exhibit again after a ten-year hiatus, displaying more than 80 of their works in an array of styles, media preferences, and subject matter choices. The artists are: Susan Bottini (New Canaan), Edwina Casey (Norwalk), Megan Ferrell (Norwalk), Colleen Hains (Norwalk), Jeanne McDonagh (New Canaan), Alan McLean (Norwalk), Moira Ratchford (Norwalk), Anna Roberts (Norwalk), Ken Robins (Norwalk), Leo Santangelo (Norwalk), Maya Santangelo (Norwalk), Norm Siegel (Norwalk), Jennifer Sinski (Norwalk), Katy Sullivan (Norwalk), and Derek Uhlman (Norwalk). The Silvermine Community Artists in Residence exhibition opens on Friday, June 3, with a reception from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public.
“We are delighted to welcome patrons to the library to attend this first art exhibition and reception since the pandemic,” said Ed MacEwen, Wilton Library’s Art Chairman. “The diversity of color, style and subject matter fills the library’s gallery and walls, and invites people to spend time appreciating this group of Silvermine community artists.”
The artists come from a range of backgrounds:
Susan Bottini – Silvermine artist and resident Susan Bottini works in oil, acrylic and watercolor. She loves nature and finds her inspiration from animals, flowers and landscapes. She is always drawn to the light in her artwork.
Edwina Casey – Born and educated in England, Edwina Casey has always been fascinated with various forms of art and photography. Throughout the years, she has been fortunate enough to work alongside several well-known artists both in England and in the United States. Edwina has participated in numerous juried exhibits and has won many artistic awards, for both her painting and photography, gaining wide recognition for her work. Her works are in the Art Libraries of the National Parks Association in both the United States and Canada, and in permanent collections, including several private collections in England, the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean.
Megan Ferrell – Megan Ferrell is an award-winning creative director with more than 25 years of experience in the professional art world. She is a graduate of the prestigious Parsons School of Design in New York City. Megan specializes in advertising, marketing/brand development, photography, collateral/print design, and digital media strategy. She ran an award-winning design business for 15 years and launched an online retail candy business on the side called Suckerborne. It has gained national attention with appearances on The Today Show, NBC News CT, and The Huffington Post. Megan’s photography has been exhibited in many local galleries, as well as at the Sheila Aronson Gallery in NYC, a photography exhibit at Art Basel Miami, Slater Memorial Museum in Norwich, CT, and chosen as finalists in the annual Robert Mondovi Beaujolais Nouveau wine label competition. Much of Megan’s photographic and creative inspiration comes from seeing the abstract form in objects, landscapes, and anything else that catches her eye. She provides a unique perspective that others often miss in everyday life. She uses simple techniques and does not retouch or alter her photographs.
Colleen Rose Hains – Colleen Hains has studied art at the University of Connecticut. She owns and operates Art Masters of Silvermine, which is a creative venture that focuses on teaching children and Alzheimer/dementia/seniors the joy of art. She has been painting for 40 years, with her mentor being Rayma Spaulding, a Hudson River Valley painter. Colleen paints to capture the true meaning and feeling of her subjects. She enjoys painting animals because “their eyes make her melt” and she thrives on capturing people on canvas because the different faces fascinate her. She enjoys crating landscapes because there is “so much color to play around with.” Colleen is currently running an oil painting portrait project called “Women Over 50 in their Natural Beauty.” This show will be introduced in June 2023.
Jeanne McDonagh – Jeanne McDonagh is a digital artist and fine arts teacher who recently retired after a 32-year career at New Canaan High School. She considers herself a “lifelong learner,” earned a BA, BS from Saint John’s University and an MFA in Painting and Graphic Design from the Rochester Institute of Technology. She continued her education after college with courses and workshops at Pratt Institute, Silvermine School of Art, the Center for Contemporary Printmaking, Apple and Norwalk Community College. Although retired, Jeanne continues working with adults, teaching Drawing at New Canaan’s Lapham Community Center, and runs the Articipation workshops at the New Canaan Library. Jeanne spearheaded projects such as a “Student Life” wall mural for the school cafeteria, and “Brick House,” a video created as a partnership between Philip Johnson’s Glass House and New Canaan High School students and teachers. Considering her contributions to the community, Jeanne was recognized by the New Canaan Museum & Historical Society as one of 19 “Women Leaders in New Canaan” in 2020. Jeanne has exhibited her photography at Mystic Museum of Art, Fairfield Museum, and Carriage Barn Arts Center. She has been a photography juror and commentator for the Lower Fairfield Photography Club (2009 – 2022), the Norwalk Photo Club. Jeanne is also President of the Fritz Eager Foundation for Art Education.
Alan McLean – Fifty years ago, Alan McLean and his wife, Sandra, moved to Silvermine. There, his wife was drawn to gardening in her spare time, and he painted her in the garden. Over the years, many of his paintings have reflected his house and surroundings in his Silvermine neighborhood. His present exhibition of two oil paintings are island scenes from vacations in Scotland and Maine, along with linocut prints used as the base for Christmas cards.
Moira Ratchford – Moira Ratchford has worked in a wide range of media, including oils, acrylics, watercolor, charcoal, pastels, inks, collage, spray paint, and airbrush. Her earlier work drew primarily from the organic world of nature, while her later work conveys themes that merit greater attention, including climate change and the plight of refugees. She most recently branched out into illustration, to bring her art to a wider audience, and she is launching a fundraiser for Ukraine via her paintings. She has taken classes at the Corcoran Institute of Art, the Maryland Institute College of Art, the Torpedo Factory, and the Yellow Barn. Her work has been exhibited in the Washington, D.C. area, and is held in private collections in both the United States and abroad.
Anna Roberts – Anna Roberts has always had an interest in art and various mediums. She grew up in Connecticut and received her BFA from SUNY New Paltz. After studying printmaking in New Paltz, she moved to Denver, CO to further her career. In Denver, she learned to carve stone and worked in bronze foundries. She has a life-sized bronze in Thornton, CO. After Colorado, Anna moved to Maine and worked in a ceramic studio. She eventually made her way back to Connecticut and has been exploring different subjects in her paintings. Anna has participated in shows in Denver, CO, Boothbay Harbor, ME, Brooklyn, NY, and various towns in Connecticut. Her works have been purchased nationally and internationally.
Ken Robins – Ken Robins is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. He studied Information Technology Management at Columbia University while working as an IT Project Manager in the Life Insurance industry. Today, Ken is an experienced photographer who runs a real estate photography business. He uses his artistic eye to create interesting images that capture the warmth and beauty of a subject. Ken does aerial drone photography in addition to the traditional photos that he takes when his feet are on solid ground.He is very involved in the community as a current board member of the Silvermine Community Association, having served as treasurer for four years. He also plays trumpet and French horn with the Westport Community Band and was the band’s board president for two years.
Leonardo Santangelo – Leo Santangelo is a 15-year-old student at Norwalk High School. He has been drawing and painting since he could hold a pencil or paint brush. One of his abstract paintings that he painted at 2 ½ was good enough to hang in the kitchen of his family home. He has been in artistically talented classes at Silvermine Elementary School and at West Rocks Middle School and currently he takes as many art classes as he can with the Ptech program at Norwalk High. Leo has taken comic book drawing classes at the Silvermine Art Center, and his style of drawing is energetic, stylized, and full of interesting characters just like comic book art. His imagination, design sense and use of color is dynamic and thought provoking. Leo’s art has been displayed in group shows at all his schools and most recently he had three works of art that he created with the Ptech program on display at the Silvermine Art Center.
Maya Santangelo – Maya Santangelo is an artist originally from California. She has spent 25 years working as a muralist and fine art painter. She has traveled the world painting murals, working on projects in China, Dubai, Japan, Mexico, and all over the U.S. Maya has also painted artwork for celebrities and for hotels, casinos, stores and restaurants. Currently, Maya lives in Norwalk, CT, where she has painted murals for both private residences and local businesses in Fairfield County and New York. In the local community, she has painted murals for the Norwalk Public Library (Poetree mural and teen room murals) and for Fox Run and Silvermine Elementary schools. She has also taught art classes for Norwalk’s Family and Children’s Agencies after school program called “Aspire.” Maya enjoys painting scenes from nature and portraits of people and animals. In 2011, she won an honorable mention at the Ridgefield Guild of Artists 34th annual Juried exhibition for her painting titled “Illumination.” She also has sold her fine art paintings at shows at the Silvermine art guild and to buyers on the east and west coasts.
Norm Siegel – Norm Siegel was influenced by art at an early age and put his energies into his Advertising Design elective taught by Rudolph de Harak at The Cooper Union. This led him to a successful “Mad Men” art director career garnering him many industry awards and accolades. A freelance art director today, he has returned to his love of the brush and the style that he feels he is “wired” to paint — trompe l’oeil, photorealism, and what he calls “other visual deceptions.” As a past member of the U.S. Air Force Art Program, his painting career put him in the cockpits of some of the Air Force’s hottest and most iconic aircraft. His paintings have been in the Pentagon, The U. S. Air Force Museum at Wright Patterson, and Andrews AFB. Regionally, his works have been exhibited at The Salmagundi Gallery in NY, The New Britain Museum of American Art, Billis Gallery in Westport, Kershner Gallery at The Fairfield Public Library, and Bendheim Gallery in Greenwich. He has had solo shows at the Newton Roux Gallery in Westport, The Discovery Museum in Bridgeport, and WorkPoint in Stamford. He is currently a member of The Artist’s Collective of Westport, The Ridgefield Guild of Artists, The Stamford Art Association, and a new member of the Artists of the Silvermine.
Jennifer Sinski – Originally from Warwick, NY, Jennifer Sinski currently lives in the Silvermine area of Norwalk, CT and is an art teacher at nearby New Canaan High School. Jennifer began her study of the Arts at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York. It was there that she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Art Education and followed on her artistic path to New Paltz, New York where she completed a two-year, Master of Fine Arts degree of study in Printmaking and Mixed Media. In 2013, Jennifer began her teaching career at New Canaan High School with course offerings in printmaking, mixed media, painting, drawing, photography, and filmmaking. Her passion for the arts and inherent devotion to art education drives her eagerness to continually learn, share and grow as both an artist and an educator. When Jennifer is not in the classroom, she enjoys getting inspiration from traveling, exploring, and spending time outdoors.
Katy Sullivan – Primarily a self-taught artist, Katy Sullivan has always expressed herself through art and creativity. She has explored art through individual classes at local art centers and online. She is a member of the Carriage Barn Arts Center and Rowayton Arts Center and has shown her work at juried shows around Connecticut. She works with acrylics and mixed media to create abstract art. Her other passions of genealogy and travel regularly provide a starting point or inspiration for her art. Her current work using rug hooking elements is very much intertwined with her family history. Generations of women on both sides of her family have practiced various forms of needle arts – knitting, crochet, needlepoint, rug hooking—and they passed those skills down to the next generation.
Derek Uhlman – Derek Uhlman is an American sculptor who apprenticed under Reuben Nakian. He received his first major commission in 1982 from the General Foods Corporation, and created Stone Flowers, a 37,000-pound marble sculpture. His sculptures have been acquired by private collectors worldwide, and have been purchased by the Rockefeller Center, New York; General Electric Corporation Headquarters, CT; Kraft General Foods Headquarters, NY; and Daiwa Corporation Headquarters, Tokyo. Throughout his career, Uhlman has exhibited at institutions including the National Academy of Design, New York; the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; and the Kouros Sculpture Center, New York. His works reflect a harmonious balance between what he terms the “opposing forces” of creation versus destruction, antiquity versus modernity, and the universal versus the personal.
The exhibition runs through Wednesday, June 29. Most of the works are available for purchase with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the library. Wilton Library hours are Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. The library will be closed on June 20 in observance of the Juneteenth holiday.
Wilton Library is located at 137 Old Ridgefield Road in the heart of Wilton Center. For more information, please visit www.wiltonlibrary.org or call (203) 762-3950.