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Fifteen noted artists featured in wide-ranging exhibition at WCSU

DANBURY, CONN. — Fifteen critically acclaimed artists working in diverse media ranging from pastel and oil paintings to ceramics, photography and sculpture will be featured in a major exhibition from Oct. 18 through Nov. 23 at Western Connecticut State University.

The show titled “Fifteen Artists, One Exhibition,” organized by the WCSU Art Department in collaboration with the Washington (Conn.) Art Association (WAA), will showcase the works of 15 regionally and nationally recognized artists who have taught at the WAA. The exhibition will be open for viewing from noon to 4 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays in the Higgins Gallery in Higgins Hall on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. An opening reception with the artists will be held at the gallery from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 28. Admission will be free and the public is invited.

Darby Cardonsky is curator for the Higgins Gallery exhibition and for 22 years was co-owner of the former Bachelier Cardonsky Gallery in Kent. She described the WCSU/WAA collaboration as an important event highlighting the university’s role as a regional center for the arts.

“The university gallery is a focal point where great art is displayed, creating discussions and attracting a diverse and energetic audience,” Cardonsky observed. “Our mission is to bring exceptional exhibitions to the community surrounding WCSU. This exhibition was made possible by generous funding from an anonymous donor.”

The university and the association, founded in 1932, have brought together a remarkable spectrum of works by artists who have exhibited widely in the Northeast, across the United States and abroad. The breadth of experience represented in the show includes painters whose careers span four decades or more such as Charles Cajori and Lois Dodd, co-founders of the Tanager Gallery, and Barbara Grossman, a co-founder of the Bowery Gallery, legendary exhibition spaces for New York’s avant-garde artistic community. The exhibition also will feature paintings by Eric Aho, Ira Barkoff, Souby Boski, Wolf Kahn, Marija McCarthy and Ruth Miller; works in mixed media by Nancy Lasar; ceramic works by Elizabeth MacDonald and Ann Mallory; sculpture by Philip Grausman; and photography by Judith Petrovich and Carl Weese.

Profiles of artists featured in the WAA/WCSU exhibition follow:

• Eric Aho, a graduate of Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, has exhibited his paintings, prints and drawings in numerous one-person shows across the country, from Connecticut and New York to North Carolina, Wisconsin, Texas and New Mexico.

• Ira Barkoff, a fine arts graduate of the Pratt Institute, is recognized for his landscape paintings. His works are featured in the permanent collection of the New Britain Museum of American Art, as well as galleries and private collections in the United States, Europe and Japan. He teaches design courses at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

• Souby Boski is an art instructor for Connecticut public schools and adult continuing education programs. A graduate of Wesleyan University, she has studied oil painting with Aho, Barkoff and other artists at the WAA.

• Charles Cajori has been exhibiting his works continuously for more than half a century at museums, galleries, universities and other venues across the United States. Recipient of numerous honors including the Guggenheim Fellowship, Fulbright and National Endowment for the Arts grants, and Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, Cajori’s works are shown in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum and other museums nationwide. He also has served on the faculty of the New York Studio School.

• Lois Dodd has shown her paintings widely since her first exhibitions six decades ago at the Pyramid Gallery and the Tanager Gallery in New York. An art instructor for many years at Brooklyn College, Dodd has earned critical acclaim for a rich body of works that often combine elements of realism and abstract expressionism.

• Philip Grausman’s sculptures employ a wide diversity of materials including fiberglass, stainless steel, aluminum and other metals, typically rendered in streamlined forms emphasizing the essence of the figure. A critic of architectural drawing for 36 years in the Graduate School of Architecture at Yale University, Grausman’s exhibitions have included several shows of monumental-scale works at outdoor sculpture gardens in the region.

• A graduate of Cooper Union, Barbara Grossman has exhibited extensively in solo and group shows across the United States since her participation in the Bowery Gallery founding in 1969. Grossman’s work has received recognitions including the Ingram Merrill Foundation Award in Painting, two Connecticut Commision on the Arts awards, and the Henry Ward Ranger Award from the National Academy of Design. A member of the National Academy of Art, she has taught art at universities in the eastern United States throughout her professional career, serving as an instructor at Yale University since 2003.

• A native of Germany who emigrated to the United States in his youth, Wolf Kahn studied with the influential painter Hans Hofmann at his New York school during the 1940s, inspiring Kahn’s development as a painter who uses landscapes as a starting point for abstract expression, often in pastels. His works are part of the permanent collections of major museums including the National Museum of American Art, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Professional honors include a Fulbright Scholarship, a Guggenheim Fellowship and an Award in Art from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

• Nancy Lasar’s art over a career spanning more than four decades has drawn from nature to create works that combine and layer elements of drawing, painting, prints, photography and other media. Owner of West Wind Studio in Washington, Conn., Lasar has exhibited extensively across New England and New York and has received numerous commissions to create art works for public and corporate sites. The Connecticut Commission on the Arts recognized her work with the award of two artist fellowships.

• Elizabeth MacDonald creates her ceramic art through an artistic process that transforms clay squares of various pigments into complex mosaic images. In notes for her exhibition early this year at the University of Connecticut Torrington campus, MacDonald described how she presses clay slabs into powdered pigment, forms them into squares, fires them and assembles them into a mosaic. “To bring a work to life, I use only the pieces before me as if I had opened a jigsaw puzzle box and spread the shapes all around, recognizing how organically the imagery evolves,” she said.

• Ann Mallory works with various materials including ceramics, bronze and iron to create “contemplation vessels” and other works designed to express inner spirituality and beauty. Mallory notes in the artist statement on her website that her work “celebrates the ceremonial, contemplative, reverential needs of humans to have objects that elevate the rituals of living, focus the powers of meditation, and add the strength of beauty to their souls.”

• Marija Pavlovich McCarthy has exhibited at galleries, museums, universities and other venues on four continents, with her works featured in the permanent collections of the U.S. Congress and the New Britain Museum of American Art. Her works are typically oils and watercolors, executed in an interpretive realist style. Educated at the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade and George Washington University, she has been a teacher of painting since 1962.

• Ruth Miller began her artistic career exhibiting at Tanager and other Tenth Street galleries in New York devoted to avant-garde artists’ work in the 1950s and 1960s, developing her personal style of representational painting. Miller has served as a longtime member of the faculty of the New York Studio School, and has shown her paintings and drawings at many exhibitions in New York and other locations nationwide.

• A graduate of the University of Illinois, Judith Petrovich served as a photojournalist for the Litchfield County Times from 1988 to 2002, and currently does free-lance photography work. Her photographic prints have been featured in shows at the WAA, the Minor Memorial Library Gallery in Roxbury and other galleries in the region, often depicting images from the natural environment in Connecticut.

• Carl Weese has been taking photos since the age of 10 in his native New Jersey, and began his career as a free-lance writer and photographer for several national publications as well as corporate clients. A Connecticut resident since 1975, he also has designed and produced commercial publications, coauthored a photography book, taught workshops on photography, and currently posts a daily photo blog. His photographic art covers a wide gamut of subjects, from public celebrations and political events to rural landscapes, abandoned drive-in theaters, and traditional New England churches.

For more information, contact the WCSU Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486 or the Washington Art Association at (860) 868-2878.


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