Arts Summer Festival on the Essex Green June 18-19


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

Under these tents, festival-goers can discover new works by emerging and established artists and artisans from Connecticut, New England and the tri-state area, according to organizer Barbara Nair, founder of the Arts Center Killingworth and of the Spectrum Gallery in Centerbrook. The Festival is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Here you will find original works of art by painters – both figurative and abstract – working in oil, acrylic, watercolour, photography and mixed media. A vast collection of fine art can be found in pottery, wood, glass, as well as unique jewelry designs, according to Nair.

Andersen Windows, sponsor of the festival, will be on the green to welcome visitors and share information about their products and services.

New at the festival

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

Yvonne Gordon Moser joins the Festival for the first time in 2022. Known for her organic monotypes, female figure paintings and mixed media, she has been featured in Home and Garden Magazine as a “local artist worth owning”.

Also on green is award-winning artist Jeff Blazejovsky who works in watercolour, graphite and colored pencil. His style is realistic with an emphasis on light, reflection and a high level of detail; his favorite subject is vintage and classic vehicles and portraits, Nair described.

Painter and multimedia artist Sabely Peralta joins for 2022. Raised in Guayaquil, Ecuador and now living in Springfield, Mass., she draws inspiration from nature, her home country of New England, and techniques that incorporate acrylic paint and textiles . Currently, she develops digital paintings using NFT.

Painter Maria Miro Johnson explores everyday life using the emotionally expressive potential of painting. She depicts interiors in a brushwork and gestural style that is largely realistic, but which can be read as abstract. Working largely from observation or photography, she primarily works in oil on canvas and panel, Nair said.

Edwin Lopez, New York native and current resident of Old Lyme is a passionate and expressive painter who draws on his urban and rural experiences as inspiration for his subject matter. Creating on both canvas and wood, Lopez scales the size of a work to fit the found vintage frames he refurbishes and uses.

Back to the Festival

Tatiana Ferraro returns to the Festival with new watercolors featuring skies and waterscapes, and a mesmerizing piece capturing a majestic Venetian canal.

Multimedia artist Deborah Simmons is back, exploring mediums such as acrylic, charcoal, ink, wood and photography.

Lisa Conti, also a mixed media artist, merges her passion for nature and photography with pen and ink. She uses original photography, often capturing images from her travel adventures and incorporates pen and ink to add contrast and enhance the textural features of her photographs.

The watercolourist, Patti Maher, will be on green. Interested in simple, elegant lines – in shadows and negative space – she works in pencil, pen, ink and watercolour.

Photography is well represented on the Green this year.

Mark Seth Lender Presenting for the first time at the Festival is a naturalist writer, photographer and explorer in residence at Living on Earth, a national show on Public Radio. His fieldwork with wildlife spans a quarter 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 photography and oil, she returned to her natural painting skills, honed since childhood sketching wildlife along the Connecticut coastline. She travels with her husband (and fellow Festival presenter and photographer) Dickon to rugged and remote parts of the world to capture his work.

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

Other photographers include many well-known favorites such as Larry Reitz who depicts scenes of stunning rivers and waterfalls on canvas, and who also showcases a variety of fountain pens made from precious metals and woods such as maple and oak. walnut. Paul Ramsey offers new works capturing the beauty of nature and other captivating subjects. Also joining the event is award-winning Judith Secco, a digital art photographer who has developed her own technique using layers, textures and composites.

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

The woodturning of Layne Manginelli and custom woodworking are specialties, featuring unique and rare woods that add color, shape and complexity to each unique piece. His designs frequently 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,” painting with small, distinct dots of color in patterns to form elaborate images; she uses geometric patterns such as the Fibonacci sequence and sacred geometry with acrylics on canvas, plates and rocks.

Marc and Mary Dutko are other excellent artisans, a husband and wife team with a passion for woodworking, food and beautiful photography. Through combined artistic skills and vision, they create unique, handcrafted, heirloom-quality wooden kitchenware, according to the 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 hand construction to wheels to create irregularities that add interesting effects. She sculpts the surface of her pieces and favors vibrant colors.

Also in attendance are Spectrum favourites, potter Nancy Scilipote; soy candle maker Janice Wood; artisan glassmaker Joan Weir who crafts whimsical stained glass creations from photo frames, contemporary suncatchers and glass sculptures; the excellent craftswoman Marie Angersola who carves and adorns the gourds in mini sculptures; and Lynn Webber who reuses glass and designs garden art in the form of bird baths, totem poles, seed feeders and flowers.

As always, a wide range of unique and bold fine jewelry can be offered in several styles for the discerning wearer. A mix of materials to find includes semi-precious stones and fine metals used by innovative designers such as Joanna Biskupski, Lori Meehan and Joan Wenzel, according to the release.

Visitors to The Green can get a glimpse of the artists and artisans presenting at the Festival and the Spectrum Gallery by visiting Spectrum Art Gallery and Store, an extension of the not-for-profit Arts Center Killingworth.

The gallery’s opening hours are Wednesday to Saturday (12 p.m. to 6 p.m.) and Sunday (12 p.m. to 5 p.m.). To shop online, visit Spectrum Anytime at For more information, call 860-767-0742.


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