Every summer Wilton Library opens its gallery walls to artists who live, work or are connected to Wilton in some way. This month’s art exhibition welcomes “The Eclectic Eight,” a group of artists who have exhibited in past Summer Shows. The exhibition opens to the public with a reception on Friday, April 6, from 6-7:30 p.m.. The featured artists are Erik Kaeyer, Sean Keating, Katya Lebrija, Ed MacEwen, Hadley Seymore, Day Shields, Bronislava Slagle and Chengxin Sun.
Ed MacEwen is one of the featured artists as well as the library’s art chairman. “Each of the seven other artists showed just a glimpse of their inspirations in the Summer Shows. This exhibition gives them a chance to showcase more of their works to an appreciative audience.”
As for himself, MacEwen’s own unique creations in this exhibition are part of a grid of nine paintings that he fashioned from fabrics, creating an expression of abstract paintings.
“I became enamored with how fabric patterns change with folds, shadows and the distortions made by movement when worn. This series of watercolors is the result of that fascination–and they are made in small formats, so I could paint them while traveling!” he explains.
Each of the eight artists has a background as diverse as their works:
Erik Kaeyer enjoys drawing large scale charcoal pieces, “It can have really dark background and brilliant highlights like many of the renaissance artists with obviously a contemporary subject and style.” His formal training was with general fine art classes in high school, plus architectural, fashion and fine art drawing and sculpture classes at Cornell. He is an architect when he isn’t working on his magnificent drawings.
Sean Keating has always had an affinity for the arts. His childhood was spent in England while his father, actor Charles Keating, performed in British stage and film productions. A musician with rock groups for more than 30 years, Sean has also appeared in various stage productions across the country. Directorial credits include “Othello” and “Romeo and Juliet” (Riverside Shakespeare Company, New York). Sean began painting in earnest at the Silvermine Arts Guild, starting in watercolor. His primary medium of late has been oil. Keating balances his time between painting and designing gardens—for over 33 years he has owned and operated TLC Lawn & Landscaping Service).
Katya Lebrija was born in Mexico City and received her bachelor of arts from Universidad Anáhua in graphic design. She moved to the US with her family almost 20 years ago. Lebrija likes to work in series, which enables her to explore a single theme or idea in a variety of ways. Most recently, she has focused on creating mixed media pieces, where she uses different materials like acrylics, paper, leftover monotypes, fabric, gesso, ink, charcoal, oil sticks, etc.
Ed MacEwen has been a resident of Wilton for almost 40 years and retired in 1996 from GTE Corporation as Vice President, Corporate Communications and President of the GTE Foundation. He has a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University and an MA in Communication from Fairfield University. He has volunteered for many organizations throughout Fairfield County, including the library, where he served on the Board of Trustees and is now the art chairman.
Hadley Seymore grew up in Wilton. An avid artist throughout her childhood, she spent most of her time drawing and writing. She graduated with a degree in Visual Arts from Naropa University in 2008, then studied illustration for a year at University College Falmouth in Cornwall, England.
As an attorney, Day Shields spent most of his adult years drawing Wills and Trust Agreements rather than works of art. After more than 35 years of practicing law, he retired and decided to indulge his childhood love of art, along with his other hobbies, fishing and cooking. Without formal training until Silvermine School of Art classes eight years ago, he now has taken guidance from Tom Brenner and Dmitri Wright.
Bronislava Slagle was born in a small town called Kadan, near Karlovy Vary in the western part of Czechoslovakia. After attending school there, she worked with mentally challenged children for two years. Through gumption and tenacity, she managed to leave Czechoslovakia, illegally crossed the border into Austria until she finally received permission to enter the US. She worked hard without any support to learn English and establish herself in her new home. Bronislava has been successfully showing her work for more than 10 years in juried and non-juried exhibitions in Fairfield County galleries.
Chengxin Sun is a member of the Chinese Art Association. Since the 1980s he has held many successful solo exhibitions in China and abroad and gained a lot of respect in the art community. Many of his works have been collected by art museums and art collectors. His painting, Impression of Beijing’s Hutong, was collected by the British Museum in London, and his painting, Living in the WuYi Mountain, was collected by the China National Museum of Fine Art. His son, Ning, lives in Wilton where Chengxin spends many months of the year visiting and painting.
The exhibition runs through Friday, April 27. Most of the more than 70 works will be available for purchase with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the library. The Wilton Bulletin is the media sponsor for the art exhibition.
Wilton Library is located at 137 Old Ridgefield Rd..
Ed Macewen is very humble and did not mention that he is also the artist of the beautiful scene adorning the entryway to the children’s library, the giant murals on the wall once you walk in, the flower wall in the reading nook, and the jungle scene in the storybook room. He’s an incredible artist and has given back so much to the library. His bio and quote in this article reads like any other person, but he definitely deserves special recognition.
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