The gunmetal gray skies of winter linger but inside Wilton Library the walls will be on fire with color from “The Art of Firing Circuits Studios” art exhibition opening Friday, Feb. 7 through Thursday, Feb. 27. The opening reception runs from 6 to 7:30 p.m., this Friday, and is free and open to the public.
Eleven artists from Firing Circuits Studios in Norwalk will be featuring more than 70 of their works in an array of styles, subject matter preferences and media choices. Joining Wilton artists Brian Walker and Nancy C. Woodward, are Cecilia Fradet (Norwalk), Mari Gyorgyey (Stamford), Lydia Larson (Westport), Emily Hamilton Laux (Westport), Cate Leach (Darien), Claudia Mengel (Westport), Valerie Rovins (Norwalk), Mark Schiff (Norwalk), and Marc Zaref (Norwalk).
“Firing Circuits Studios is such a strong cadre of artists that I couldn’t wait to have them show their artwork at Wilton Library again,” said Ed MacEwen, the library’s art chair. “We have some returning artists and new ones have joined the collection for our community to see.”
The artists come to Firing Circuits Studios with varying backgrounds:
- Cecilia Fradet was born in Hong Kong and raised in lower Manhattan. She graduated with a fine arts degree and then had a second career as a fashion designer. Fradet is currently a mixed media artist. She is a member of the Silvermine Guild Arts Center, a member of the Artist Collective of Westport, and an educator at Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum.
- Mari Gyorgyey is best known for her nonlinear narrative art, which flows into book arts, pen and ink drawings, paintings, computer imagery, and fine art etchings. She is not afraid to mix any of the techniques to communicate her theme. Since earning her BFA from RISD, and MFA from UPenn, Gyorgyey has shown her work domestically and internationally with solo shows in Tapio Gyorgy and Budapest, Hungary, as well as Stamford, CT.
- Lydia Larson was born in Pompton Plains, New Jersey in 1987. Growing up as an American nomad, art making was a means of documenting the constant changes of her surroundings. In May 2009, she received her BFA from Montclair State University where she studied under Julie Heffernan, Alyssa Monks, and Peter Barnet. In 2011, Larson went on to receive her MFA from Kendall College of Art & Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She has since been involved in residencies and research in the Netherlands, Italy, India, Hawaii, Japan, and Hungary.
- Emily Hamilton Laux is a visual artist who uses photography and other media to examine and reframe ideas about the human relationship with internal and external environments. Her work addresses questions about biodiversity, ecological change, and identity and sense-of-place. Born in Saigon, and raised in Cambodia, Paris and Washington, Laux has an MA from the American University School of International Service and a BA from Tulane University. A former resident of London and Hong Kong, she has lived in Westport, CT for two decades.
- Cate Leach is an award-winning artist whose style is distinguished by a love of line, a sensitive appreciation for composition and the awareness that resolution often comes by eliminating the nonessential. Having spent many years as a dancer with George Balanchine and the New York City Ballet, Leach finds inspiration and meaning in subtle gestures and an economy of form.
- Claudia Mengel has been studying, instructing, and making art for many years. Eight years ago, she left her corporate career as vice president of creative services at J.P. Morgan Chase Manhattan Bank and began concentrating on her art full-time. An accomplished painter and printmaker whose work is in many private collections in the tri-state area, she exhibits at several galleries and is a member of Silvermine Artist Guild and a member of the Center for Contemporary Printmaking, where she also sits on the board.
- Valerie Rovins lived in Asia before moving to a small town in Texas at the age of 10. Her love for art was apparent as early as age 6. She later began formal art training at Southwestern University/Austin Texas, Texas Women’s University (MFA work), Cal State Fullerton (MFA work) and Columbia Teachers/Harlem (MA). She now resides and works in Norwalk, CT as an artist with the Firing Circuits community of artists.
- Mark Schiff is an award-winning artist. This is his third exhibit at Wilton Library. His artistic focus emerges from his perception of ordinary places and objects.
- Brian Walker has a diverse background in professional cartooning and cartoon scholarship. He is a founder and former director of the Museum of Cartoon Art, where he worked from 1974 to 1992. Since 1984, he has been part of the creative team that produces the comic strips, Beetle Bailey and Hi and Lois. He has written, edited or contributed to 45 books on cartoon art, including the definitive history, The Comics–The Complete Collection, as well as numerous exhibition catalogues and magazine articles. Walker is the founder and chairman of the Connecticut Chapter of the National Cartoonists Society.
- Nancy C. Woodward is an award-winning photographer and mixed media artist. Her shadow portraits, colorful trees and ethereal landscapes depict unique views of the natural world. Woodward photographs moments when the natural world appears changed. She experiments with different color palettes, papers, fibers, mediums and surfaces to bring new realms into view.
- Marc Zaref is known to some as a sculptor, others as a painter, and many as a designer. Drawing is the foundation of his processes and is apparent in his works on paper through playful assemblages of forged and welded steel. A direction of his recent work explores collages and sculptural installations using parts of discarded books (many recycled from local libraries).
Most of the works are available for purchase with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the library. Wilton Library hours are Mondays through Thursday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Fridays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Sundays, 1-5 p.m. The library will be closed on Monday, Feb. 17 for Presidents’ Day.
Wilton Library is located at 137 Old Ridgefield Rd. in the heart of Wilton Center. The Wilton Bulletin is the media sponsor for the exhibition. For information and directions, please visit the Wilton Library website or call 203.762.6334.