When a group of eight artists came together to discuss their upcoming exhibition at Wilton Library, they decided that their collective works were “All About Color,” and so was born the name of the exhibit opening on Friday, May 10, from 6-7:30 p.m..
The eight local artists exhibiting their colorful works are Sally Aldrich (Ridgefield), Rich Alexander (Mt. Kisco), Sharon Cavagnolo (Chappaqua), Hans Fischer (Ridgefield), Jennifer Moné Hill (Danbury), Nancy Moore (Ridgefield), Erin Nazzaro (Redding), and Kris Davenport Toohey (Westport). Whether the artists have embraced their passion from their early days through their college lives, or more recently become immersed in the discipline, their works highlight a range of styles, subject matter and media choices that are bold and impressive.
Ed MacEwen, Wilton Library’s art chair noted, “I was fortunate to see this group of artists in an exhibition in Ridgefield last year and I was taken by their collective works. I thought they would be well-received by the Wilton community and their paintings would show very well in the gallery throughout the library.”
The artists come to their craft from a range of backgrounds:
Sally Aldrich studied Fine Arts at Connecticut College and taught art in Pleasantville, NY, becoming the art department chair for K-12, inspiring the students through Ceramics, Drawing and Painting, and Advanced Placement Studio Art. Since retiring almost 25 years ago, she intensified her study of pottery and sculpture. She continues to teach at her studio in Ridgefield. Aldrich served as president of the Katonah Museum Artists Association, writes its newsletter and works on the Hammond Museum’s exhibition committee. Her work is exhibited in galleries in New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
Rich Alexander is a trained draftsman and owned and operated a sign company, hand lettering signs and trucks with letter enamels. He became a NYC fire fighter and during his 21-year career, he designed, built and painted dozens of firehouse tables and murals. In 2009, while designing the 9/11 Firefighter Memorial in Mt. Kisco, NY, he met illustrator Alan Reingold who encouraged Rich to attend Reingold’s portrait classes in Mt. Kisco and at Parsons School of Design in NYC. That led to Alexander meeting fine artist Geoff Barbey who instructed Rich in oil painting. Barbey introduced Alexander to landscape painter John Osborne, who taught traditional painting at the Ridgewood Art Institute where Rich has been painting ever since.
Sharon Cavagnolo received her BFA in Painting and Illustration from Parsons School of Design in NYC and studied with Larry Rivers, Elaine de Kooning and Jane Wilson. Cavagnolo did postgraduate work at Pratt Institute, New York University and Isabel O’Neil Studio. She has exhibited in numerous solo exhibitions and participated in group exhibitions in Connecticut, Westchester and New York City.
Hans Fischer was born in Holland, raised in Harrington, NY, and currently lives in Ridgefield, CT, where he maintains his studio. By his own admission, his budding career as a “fine artist” was sidetracked by the U.S. Army and the decade of the Sixties. His artistic talents took him into careers in industrial design, interior architecture, graphic design, art direction and corporate communications and management. Fischer established his own graphic design firm in the late ’80s. Over the past 15 years, he has been able to concentrate on his love of art. His work is in galleries and private collections in the U.S. and abroad.
Jennifer Moné Hill lives and works in Danbury, CT. Born and raised in White Plains, NY, she studied Visual Arts at SUNY Purchase, and then began working as a commercial photographer for over 20 years. Hill’s curiosity has led her simultaneously to pursue many creative outlets of which painting is now her greatest passion. She comes to painting with great enthusiasm, curiosity, love of color, nature, and positive energy. Her work has been in recent exhibitions at the Mattatuck Museum, Rene Soto Gallery, Carriage Barn Arts Center, and Ridgefield Guild of Artist.
Nancy Moore’s artwork has garnered many awards, along with the interest of a broad collector base from Vermont to California. In 2018, Moore was lucky enough to exhibit her work in four museums: the Katonah Museum (Katonah), the New Britain Museum of American Art (New Britain), the Mattatuck Museum (Waterbury), and the Fuller Craft Museum (Brockton MA). This year, the artist marked her debut in New York City, at the Susan Eley Fine Art gallery. In 2014, Moore was inducted into the National Association of Women Artists. She is an artist guild member of the Silvermine Arts Center (New Canaan), Ridgefield Guild of Artists, Katonah Museum Artists Association, Surface Design Association, and Artists Collective of Westport.
Erin Nazzaro was born and raised in Connecticut and started her artistic pursuit with pencil. Working in this medium, she learned to develop and refine her images. Drawing is the foundation of her work today. She moved from pencil to paint in the 1980s and color changed everything for her. Her next big influence was traveling to the American Southwest where she embraced “the people, their beautiful families and the land they lived and worked on.” Nazzaro noted that she appreciates all the swirling bright colors so integrated into the landscape, fabrics, dress and folk art. Her work is driven by this energy.
Kris Davenport Toohey is a landscape painter who works primarily in oils. She discovered her love of painting and art history as a student, graduating with a BA in Art from Williams College and an MBA from Columbia University. She now lives and works in Westport, CT, where she is a part of The Art Studio – a shared artists’ workspace. Toohey is an exhibiting member of The Rowayton Arts Center, winning 1st Place in Oils at the 2018 Marine & Coastal Show, as well as an active member of the Artists Collective of Westport and the Ridgefield Guild of Artists.
The opening reception is free and the public is invited with the exhibition running through Friday, May 31. The majority of the works will be available for purchase with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Wilton Library. Wilton Library hours are Mondays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays, 1 to 5 p.m. The library is located at 137 Old Ridgefield Road in the heart of Wilton Center. The media sponsor for the exhibition is The Wilton Bulletin.