Wilton Library’s October art exhibition, “Art & Text,” opens on Friday, Oct. 11, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. with a group of local, national and international artists whose works for this show feature their unique perspectives on the exhibition’s theme. The concept of this exhibition was borne out of Art Spaces in Fairfield County Libraries, a consortium of 13 libraries that offer curated visual art exhibitions, of which Wilton Library is one. The consortium of libraries was begun in 2015 with the vision of creating a united exhibition, with “Art & Text” being the first. The reception is free and open to the public.
The featured artists in Wilton Library’s exhibition are Peggy Dembicer (Avon), Charles Herbstreith (Wilton), Ed MacEwen (Wilton), Nancy Moore (Ridgefield), Erin Nazzaro (Redding), Eileen Panepinto (Weston), Bonnie Sailer (Newtown), Jean Tock (Carmel, NY), Liz Ward (Weston), Marian Wulffleff (Wilton) and artists represented by Rhonda Brown and Tom Grotta of Wilton’s browngrotta arts.
According to MacEwen, Wilton Library’s art chair and a member of the consortium, “This idea grew organically as the group grew in strength. I’m delighted that we are able to curate our own exhibition using the theme. The work is very compelling when you see it all in one exhibition.”
The artists’ backgrounds are as follows:
Peggy Dembicer (Avon) is a contemporary fiber and mixed media artist noted for intricate beaded tapestries, modern and colorful 2D and 3D paper weaving, as well as the creative application of recycled materials in framed and sculptural artworks. She has given workshops at art organizations and has exhibited in galleries throughout the Northeast United States.
Charles Herbstreith (Wilton) has led a dual life as artist and marketing executive. Over the past 35 years, Charles has worked as an award-winning art director, creative director, agency owner, commercial director, photographer and entrepreneur. As a fine artist, he has exhibited in New York, Chicago, Nantucket and Santa Fe, NM. Currently, he is the co-founder of the Sh’nnong Beverage Co.
Ed MacEwen (Wilton) retired from GTE Corporation in 2006 as the Vice President of Corporate Communications and President of the GTE Foundation to pursue his interests in art. Besides his own work, he has been the Art Chairman of Wilton Library since 2008. In that time, he has curated over 200 art exhibitions, and with the help of his daughter and granddaughter, he has created seven murals for the library that can be seen throughout. The study for the largest mural is part of this exhibition. It is a perfect example of art and text.
Nancy Moore (Ridgefield) is an award-winning artist who uses wax crayon, paint, pencil, woodcut, and fiber to create her images. Her work explores the fragile yet resilient relationship between humanity and the wider natural world. Moore’s work has garnered the interest of a broad collector base from Vermont to California, and has been featured in the book, Cayman by Joanna Hurwitz and Amanda Lumley.
Erin Nazzaro (Redding) was born and raised in Connecticut. She started with pencil, which remained her only medium for many years. Working in this medium, she learned to develop and refine her images. Drawing is the foundation of her work today. Influenced by her travels to all the Americas, her bright colors are integrated into the landscape, fabrics, dress and folk art.
Eileen Panepinto (Weston) is a mixed media artist, painter and collagist who received her BFA with honors in painting from the School of Visual Arts, NYC. She has exhibited in numerous group shows and has had six one-person shows. She has a commissioned work installed in a public place in Brooklyn, NY and has been a teaching artist for years. Panepinto also has been a graphic designer and typographer.
Bonnie Sailer (Newtown) has taught art in New Canaan for 23 years, currently at Saxe Middle School. She also has been involved with several mural projects throughout Wilton Library with MacEwen. She has participated annually in the library’s Summer Show and she has been involved several other times in family exhibitions. She graduated from Wilton High School in 1985 and has a BFA from Connecticut College and an MS from Southern Connecticut University.
Jean Tock (Carmel, NY) is a self-taught artist who uses vintage found objects and paper ephemera as her medium. Born in rural New Jersey, Tock attended Penn State University, receiving a BA in English Literature. After working in the publishing industry and taking night courses in graphic design at Parsons, Tock launched her own freelance graphic design business.
Liz Ward (Weston) enrolled at the Paier School of Art in Hamden, CT in 1978. Her introductory year of traditional art schooling cemented her path as an artist. For the next 40 years, she has created, shown, sold, taught, received awards and lived art. Throughout the years, Ward’s art has been represented by various galleries and boutiques, graced public spaces and been collected by private art lovers.
Marian Wulffleff (Wilton) is a graduate of SUNY New Paltz where she majored in art and earned a BA in Education. She continued her study of watercolor, acrylic and oil painting in classes at Silvermine Arts Centre in New Canaan. Her work has been displayed in numerous regional exhibitions, as well as in previous Wilton Library exhibits. She has been a Wilton resident for 33 years.
The following artists are provided by browngrotta arts of Wilton, which represents museum-quality contemporary artworks from the US and abroad:
Dona Anderson is from Washington State. She uses everyday materials in her works. The majority of her work is three-dimensional.
Kate Hunt is from Montana and has recently relocated to Mexico. She says of newsprint, her chosen material: “Newspaper as a construction material is cheap and easy to obtain. It forgives easily. I love the color and feel and its changes in color over time.”
Naomi Kobayashi is a Japanese artist whose work has been exhibited worldwide, including in Israel, France, Italy, Denmark, the UK and the US. She often incorporates strips of paper with text on them into her weavings.
Judy Mulford is from California. Her father was also an artist. Her work celebrates women and the family.
Dana Romeis is an artist and interior designer from St. Louis, Missouri. She has a background in art and textiles. From an early age, Romeishas been drawn to the intricacy of design.
Ed Rossbach was a relentless experimenter. He learned all manner of textile techniques from double weave to bobbin lace making and then applied them to unusual materials with striking results. In the works in Art & Text, Rossbach has used throwaway materials–cardboard packaging and magazine and report pages–to create vessels that look like colorful vases.
Toshio Sekiji is from Japan. He intertwines strips of paper from various cultures, rewriting messages and imaging a harmonious confluence of disparate cultures, languages and nationalities–different than the facts on the ground.
Sylvia Seventy was part of California’s fiber movement of the ’60s and ’70s. She began making vessels of handmade paper then, a process she continues. Her vessels are whimsical incorporating everything from feathers and pins to beads and googly eyes.
Along with Wilton Library, other libraries curating their own 2019 Art & Text exhibitions are Bethel Library, Cyrenius H. Booth Library, Fairfield Public Library, Ferguson Library, New Canaan Library, Norwalk Public Library, Pequot Library, Plumb Memorial Library, Ridgefield Library, Stratford Library, The Westport Library, and Weston Public Library.
Wilton Library’s exhibition runs through Thursday, Nov. 7. A majority 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. Wilton Library (137 Old Ridgefield Rd.) hours are Mondays-Thursdays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Fridays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sundays, 1-5 p.m. The library will be closed on Monday, Oct. 14 for Columbus Day.