The Ridgefield Press, Thursday, March 5, 2015

Two Photo Shows Open This Weekend at the Guild

By Mary Pat Devine

Saturday, March 7 marks the opening of two photography shows at Ridgefield Guild of Artists: CameraWorks 2015, a biennial juried exhibition in the main gallery, and guild member Jeffrey Kellner’s “A Handful of Images” in the upstairs gallery. Juror Cynthia Young of New York City selected 68 to be in the exhibition this year. She is the Curator of the Robert Capa Archive at the International Center of Photography. She has been at ICP since 2000 and has worked on many exhibitions and collections.

Guild board members and photographers Richard Rodamar and Roy Weinstein are the co-chairs for this exhibition. They are thrilled with the work that came in to be juried: “This year’s CameraWorks show is a beautiful blend of vibrant landscapes, florals and unique portraits for lovers of fine art photography.”

In the Upstairs Gallery, photographer Jeffrey Kellner will exhibit a collection of his black & white photos from the 70’s and 80’s, “A Handful of Images.” His exhibition showcases people, places and things of New York City and it’s environs and celebrates his 50 years as a photographer.

Both shows open with receptions on Saturday, March 7 from 4-6pm. They are free and open to the public. Ridgefield Guild of Artists is located at 34 Halpin Lane. The exhibits continue through Saturday, April 4th. Regular gallery hours are Wednesday – Sunday, 12-4pm. For more information, call 203-438-8863 or visit rgoa.org.

The Ridgefield Press, Thursday, February 19, 2015

Walk-and-Talk This Sunday at the Guild

by Mary Pat Devine

Ridgefield artist Cathy Prior with her mixed media piece, "Vincent's Selfie," will be one of the artists speaking at Ridgefield Guild of Artists' Walk & Talk event this Sunday. Photo by Mary Harold

Ridgefield artist Cathy Prior with her mixed media piece, “Vincent’s Selfie,” will be one of the artists speaking at Ridgefield Guild of Artists’ Walk & Talk event this Sunday. Photo by Mary Harold

Ridgefield Guild of Artists continues its Walk-and-Talk series this Sunday, February 22nd at 3pm when five member artists appearing in the current Humor Me exhibition, come together to discuss their art, artistic process and their inspiration for this show. Since the theme for this member show is little different this year, so are the works on display.

Michael Brennecke is from Westport and will talk about his drawing, “Color by Numbers Rothko;” photographer David Clark of Southbury will talk about his photo, “Join Me for Tea?;” Cross River artist, Janice Boland, will talk about her mixed media piece, “The Sly Fox;” and Ridgefield artists Claire Watson Garcia and Cathy Prior will discuss “Gone Fishin’ Dress” and “Vincent’s Selfie.” This event is free and open to the public and refreshments will be served.

In addition, Newtown printmaker DeAnn Prosia who has her one-woman show, The Never Ending Line: line etchings of DeAnn L. Prosia” in the Upstairs Gallery, will be on hand upstairs at 2pm to talk about her intricate etching process.

Guild member Nancy Moore hosts the Walk-and-Talk series at the guild and can’t wait to see what these artists plan to share: “This show has been the definition of being able to laugh at serious art. The quality is there, and so is the willingness on the part of the artists to present themselves in a playful way.”

The Humor Me exhibition is the guild’s annual themed member show and will end at the end of Sunday’s Walk-and-Talk. There are fun works around the gallery to make you smile, giggle and downright, laugh out loud. The Guild is located at 34 Halpin Lane. Regular gallery hours are Wednesday – Sunday, 12-4pm. For more information, call 203-438-8863 or visit rgoa.org.

The Ridgefield Press, Thursday, February 5, 2015

Rachel Volpone and Antonio Muñoz stopped by Gallo Restaurante to make arrangements with owner Raffaele Gallo for their upcoming Guild of Artists' fundraiser.  Gallo will host a celebrity Guest Bartender Night on Thursday, February 12 from 6-9pm.  The theme for the evening will be "I Love the Guild," a play on the "I Love Lucy" show with the Guild's own Lucy and Ricky on hand to pour drinks to all who come out that night.  All tips during the event, 10% of the liquor sales and 5% of dining reservations to support the cause, will be donated back to the Guild.  Gallo is located at 5 Grove Street.  The event is free and open to all.  Call 203.431.7726 or visit galloridgefield.com to make a dinner reservation.

Rachel Volpone and Antonio Muñoz stopped by Gallo Restaurante to make arrangements with owner Raffaele Gallo for their upcoming Guild of Artists’ fundraiser. Gallo will host a celebrity Guest Bartender Night on Thursday, February 12 from 6-9pm. The theme for the evening will be “I Love the Guild,” a play on the “I Love Lucy” show with the Guild’s own Lucy and Ricky on hand to pour drinks to all who come out that night. All tips during the event, 10% of the liquor sales and 5% of dining reservations to support the cause, will be donated back to the Guild. Gallo is located at 5 Grove Street. The event is free and open to all. Call 203.431.7726 or visit galloridgefield.com to make a dinner reservation.

The Ridgefield Press, Thursday, January 29, 2015

Night of Comedy Set for Ridgefield Guild of Artists

By Mary Pat Devine

As a companion event to the Humor Me exhibition, artwork of the light-hearted kind, the guild is presenting a comedy night, Stand Up and Humor Me, on Friday, February 6 at 7pm at their gallery barn at 34 Halpin Lane in Ridgefield. (Snowdate: Saturday, February 7, 7pm.) All are welcome. For this fundraiser, tickets are $15 for members and $20 for non-members available ahead of the show online at rgoa.org or by calling 203.438.8863 with a credit card (recommended) or just pay at the door.

Headliners for the evening will be notable comedians Jane Condon and Mina Hartong. Both are from Fairfield County, with extensive careers in comedy. Jane Condon has appeared on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” winning the Audience Favorite award in New York, “The View” and “The Today Show.” The Associated Press calls her “an upper-crust Roseanne.” She has appeared in an acclaimed one-person Off-Broadway show called “Janie Condon: Raw and Unchained!” and was the commencement speaker at Wellesley College in 2011. She has headlined at numerous comedy clubs and festivals. Find out more about her at janecondon.com

Mina Hartong is the award-winning writer of three solo shows, including Mimi’s Wedding which had an extended run in Provincetown and toured to several fringe festivals throughout the U.S. and Canada. In addition to her work as stand up comic and solo performer, Mina has over twenty years of experience in Theater Education in a variety of settings including community centers, after school programs, public and private schools, developing nations, and international schools. She has performed at comedy clubs such as Caroline’s and Don’t Tell Mama’s in New York City and for the Treehouse Comedy Club in Trumbull, CT. She currently works as a Theater instructor at the Regional Center for the Arts where she recently directed a sold out production of The Diary of Anne Frank.

Guild board member and organizer, Antonio Muñoz, is looking forward to the event: “It should be a fun time that fits right in with our show theme. Come out on a cold winter’s night and warm up with laughter.”

In addition, audience members can take the mike and try their hand at stand-up during the show. Amateur comedians in the audience are invited to try their hand at a two-minute (max) bit. If interested, contact the guild at director.rgoa@gmail.com to reserve a spot on stage. (We must know ahead of time if you plan to participate.

The Humor Me Exhibition continues through Sunday, February 22. Regular gallery hours at Ridgefield Guild of Artists are Wednesday – Sunday, 12-4pm. For more information on this and all guild offerings, visit rgoa.org, email rgoa@sbcglobal.net or call 203.438.8863.


Roz Chast to Visit Ridgefield Guild of Artists

By Mary Pat Devine

unnamedRidgefield Guild of Artists is proud to announce that Ridgefield’s own cartoonist for The New Yorker and author/illustrator, Roz Chast, is coming to the guild to sign her latest books. She will be on hand at the Guild barn on Saturday, February 7 at 4pm (snowdate: Sunday, Feb 8 at 4pm) to sign her New York Times Bestseller memoir, “Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?” and children’s book “Around the Clock.”

The book signing is one of the events planned during the run of Humor Me, the current themed member exhibition. The guild picked a light-hearted theme this year. “It’s been a lot of fun pulling this show together,” says Mary Harold, Co-President of the guild, “and coming up with companion events to enhance the show. We are so happy to have Roz join in the fun.”

The guild asks that people interested in attending RSVP by emailing rgoa@sbcglobal.net or calling 203.438.8863 by January 30th, so they are sure to have enough books on hand. Please, just leave your name and number of books you would like to reserve. We are grateful to Books on the Common who is handling the book sales at the event. If you already own the book(s), feel free to bring them along for signing.

Humor Me, the exhibit, continues at the guild gallery barn at 34 Halpin Lane through Sunday, February 22. For more information on this and all guild offerings, visit rgoa.org or call 203.438.8863.

The Ridgefield Press, Thursday, January 22, 2015

Guild’s “Humor Me” Show Should Put a Smile on Your Face

By Mary Pat Devine

Ridgefield Guild of Artists’ first exhibition of 2015, “Humor Me,” is bound to make visitors feel good. This themed member show opens Saturday, January 24th with a reception from 4-6pm and is free and open to all. (Snowdate is Sunday, January 25th, 4-6pm.) It’s meant to be light-hearted, silly or downright, laugh-out-loud funny.

“It’s a great way to start the New Year,” says Pam Stoddart, Executive Director of Ridgefield Guild of Artists. “What better way to brighten up those winter blues?” Guild members, Malu Tan and Christopher Staples are the co-chairs for this event. They are encouraging members to get into the theme and have fun with it. “Who knows what we’ll get? It should be a very creative and entertaining event.”

The guild is more than the art on its gallery walls. They have several fun events designed to take everyone to a happy place during the run of the show. They will offer a comedy night, Stand Up and Humor Me on Friday, February 6 at 7pm featuring comediennes Jane Condon and Mina Hartong, along with a chance for audience members to have their try at a little stand up, too. Ridgefield’s own, Roz Chast, will be on hand at the guild on Saturday, February 7, from 4-6pm for a book signing of her new illustrated memoir, “Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?” Gallo Restaurant will be hosting the ultimate FUNd-raiser when guild celebs Rachel Volpone and Antonio Muñoz will be guest bartenders on Thursday, February12 from 6-9pm. All events are open to the public.

The “Humor Me” exhibition continues through Sunday, February 22. The guild is located at 34 Halpin Lane and has many more events scheduled throughout the month. For more information about all guild offerings, call 203.438.8863, email rgoa@sbcglobal.net or visit rgoa.org.

The Ridgefield Press, Thursday, January 8, 2015

Ridgefield Guild of Artists’ Winter Classes and Workshops Begin

by Mary Pat Devine

Ridgefield Guild of Artists' student in last year's Surfaces and Textures Workshop with Patti Mollica. This popular workshop, along with other classes for adults and kids begins this month. Photo by Mary Harold

Ridgefield Guild of Artists’ student in last year’s Surfaces and Textures Workshop with Patti Mollica. This popular workshop, along with other classes for adults and kids begins this month. Photo by Mary Harold

The holidays are behind us now and as winter settles in in earnest, why not consider an art class or workshop to brighten up the cold and dreary days ahead. The Ridgefield Guild of Artists is the perfect place to come in out of the cold with its winter session of art classes and workshops for all ages and skill levels beginning this month.

There are after-school and Saturday classes for children and teens, taught by experienced artists/instructors. On Mondays, Laura McCormack teaches Introduction to Art for elementary, middle and high school students. She introduces students to multiple media such as watercolors, pastels, ink, charcoal and more. This class works for new and returning students. Kim Hanna offers Art Studio for kids 8 and up on Tuesdays and ages 11-14 on Thursdays. Students explore and improve their creativity with drawing, painting, printmaking, collage and more. On Saturdays, long-time guild instructor, Carol Miller, brings Traditional Drawing and Painting in sessions for 7-12 and 13-18 year olds. This class is designed for the art student who wants to develop and grow their talents.

Adults who are experienced artists or just want to try their hand at a creative outlet, will enjoy the guild’s winter offerings. New this session is Natasha Karpinskaia’s Exploring Abstract Painting. It’s designed for students of all levels who want to challenge themselves with new ideas, improve their painting technique and learn more about color, composition and texture. It takes the intimidation factor out of abstract painting. Ongoing throughout the year is Jock MacRae’s Painting class open to serious students of all ages and levels, using your preference of paint materials and styles. Beginners are welcome in this all-around painting class, with high-level instruction, tailored to meet individual needs and goals.

Rick Daskam offers Still Life Oil Painting for all levels of expertise. Paint from new still lives each week and improve drawing skills, understanding of light and shadow, color relationships and composition. On Thursday nights, the guild offers drop-in Life Drawing. Painter Vic DeMasi moderates this weekly studio session.

Winter one-day workshops include Intro to Watercolor Painting with Christopher Staples, taking the intimidation out of watercolor painting; the return of Patti Mollica’s popular Surfaces and Textures Workshop, learning to use acrylic gels, grounds and pastes to improve your painting skills; iPhone and iPad Artistry, learning to turn these snap-shot devices into powerful creative tools; Patti Mollica’s Painterly Printmaking Without a Press, using open acrylic paints, an easy technique to make prints, stamps and stencils. All workshops are suitable for all skill levels.

Check Ridgefield Guild of Artists website (rgoa.org) or call 203-438-8863 for more details on all Winter Session offerings and to register. The guild is located in downtown Ridgefield, behind the old high school, ball fields and The Playhouse off Prospect Ridge Road at 34 Halpin Lane.

The Ridgefield Press, Thursday, December 5, 2014

Among the many items for sale at the 10th Annual Festive Home event at Ridgefield Guild of Artists, shoppers will find small canvases created and donated by member artists.  As a fundraiser, the guild is offering the "best of" all the stencil projects over the past ten years: the Ridgefield fountain, barns, birds and cups for $50 each.  It's a great way to buy an original piece of art at a reasonable price.  Each is one of a kind.  There is also a slew of other member artwork for sale throughout the holiday marketplace.  Art makes a great holiday gift for the person who has everything.  Festive Home continues Tuesday - Sunday, 11-5 through Tuesday, December 23.  The guild is located at 34 Halpin Lane.  For more information, call 203-438-8863 or visit rgoa.org. Photo by Mary Harold

Among the many items for sale at the 10th Annual Festive Home event at Ridgefield Guild of Artists, shoppers will find small canvases created and donated by member artists. As a fundraiser, the guild is offering the “best of” all the stencil projects over the past ten years: the Ridgefield fountain, barns, birds and cups for $50 each. It’s a great way to buy an original piece of art at a reasonable price. Each is one of a kind. There is also a slew of other member artwork for sale throughout the holiday marketplace. Art makes a great holiday gift for the person who has everything. Festive Home continues Tuesday – Sunday, 11-5 through Tuesday, December 23. The guild is located at 34 Halpin Lane. For more information, call 203-438-8863 or visit rgoa.org. Photo by Mary Harold

Holiday in the Country, Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Festive Home Turns Ten This Holiday Season

by Mary Pat Devine

Ridgefield Guild of Artists’ 10th Annual Festive Home is a cheerful holiday marketplace fundraiser event.  It is open for business through December 23 with extended hours, Tuesday – Sunday, 11am – 5pm; closed November 26 and 27 for Thanksgiving.

The theme this year is “Be Brilliant!”  Eleven designers have been paired up with member artists, contributing their talents, and creating holiday vignettes around the barn.  They act as dramatic backdrops, showcasing the items for sale. For the guild’s 10th Festive Home, backdrops include a mod bar, global chic foyer, tribal rhythm study, coastal style entry, a holiday table, and much more.

Table setting and wall design by event planner Briony Noome of Redding, CT.  She uses Nancy Moore's mixed media artwork and festive furnishing to create a holiday celebration table for Ridgefield Guild of Artists' 10th Annual Festive Home event.  Designers and artists paired up to create festive vignettes as the backdrop to the holiday marketplace running now through Dec 23 at the guild. Photo by Mary Harold

Table setting and wall design by event planner Briony Noome of Redding, CT. She uses Nancy Moore’s mixed media artwork and festive furnishing to create a holiday celebration table for Ridgefield Guild of Artists’ 10th Annual Festive Home event. Designers and artists paired up to create festive vignettes as the backdrop to the holiday marketplace running now through Dec 23 at the guild. Photo by Mary Harold

Returning local designers include: Olga Adler of Westport; Molly Hirsch and Amanda Dranow of Ridgefield; Lisa Bartro of Redding; and Barbara Schmidt of Wilton.  New to Festive Home this year is Lee

Aydelotte Boffey and Briony Noome of Redding; Gregg Fisk and Rachel Belden of Ridgefield; Kim McOwan of Greenwich; and Michael Murphy of Brooklyn.

New to Festive Home this year is Briony Noome, an event designer from Redding.  She tackles the barn-board reception table.  With Nancy Moore’s mixed media piece, Briony creates a fanciful holiday display using a bright blue background with tiny mirrors to evoke a starlit sky.  Golden trees and sparkle complete the holiday celebration.

Lisa Bartro, designer from Redding, CT in her "Mod Bar" vignette at the 10th Annual Festive Home at Ridgefield Guild of Artists, featuring artwork by Antonio Muñoz. Eleven designers have created vignettes as backdrops for the annual holiday marketplace going on now at the guild. Photo by Mary Harold

Lisa Bartro, designer from Redding, CT in her “Mod Bar” vignette at the 10th Annual Festive Home at Ridgefield Guild of Artists, featuring artwork by Antonio Muñoz. Eleven designers have created vignettes as backdrops for the annual holiday marketplace going on now at the guild. Photo by Mary Harold

Lisa Bartro of LB Interiors & Event Design is also from Redding. Her inspiration for her “Mod Bar” vignette is Mad Men meets the Modern Girl.  With a bubble-gum pink wall and two boldly graphic pieces from artist Antonio Muñoz as the backdrop, Lisa sees the “Modern Girl” relaxing in her midcentury modern chairs. The silver and glass bar cart houses some unexpected vintage elements, as well as all the fixings for a “Mod Girl Cocktail.”  She is happy to be back for Festive Home 10: “I draw my inspiration from color, quirk and the belief that your home should never be boring!”

Kim McOwan comes to the Guild from Greenwich, CT.  Her business, Charette Interior Design, LTD, is located in Rye, NY. She creates a dramatic Globally Chic Entry with Venetian mirror on an aubergine wall, flanked by four Enso-style paintings by Mary Pat Devine.  The simple black and white circular brush and ink paintings work with the clean lines of the Asian inspired console, a pair of silver foo dogs and a golden faux bamboo bench, combining to complete the global chic idea with a modern feel.

Greenwich Interior Designer, Kim McOwan, in her "Global Chic Foyer" vignette at the 10th Annual Festive Home at Ridgefield Guild of Artists, featuring brush and ink paintings by Mary Pat Devine.  Festive Home is a holiday emporium including showcase vignettes by area designers. Photo by Mary Harold

Greenwich Interior Designer, Kim McOwan, in her “Global Chic Foyer” vignette at the 10th Annual Festive Home at Ridgefield Guild of Artists, featuring brush and ink paintings by Mary Pat Devine. Festive Home is a holiday emporium including showcase vignettes by area designers. Photo by Mary Harold

Barbara Schmidt of Tile and Texture in Wilton is back after a year’s hiatus.  She creates a Tribal Rhythm Study, inspired by family vacations out west.  Photographer Kim Weston’s large, abstracted tribal dance photo is the perfect backdrop.  She adds sculptural metal sconces, a purple desk and other southwest touches to create her design.  “I am drawn to simple structural form, organic textures, and colors that are naturally inherent in the western landscape.”

Along with the vignettes, the guild is brimming with objects for living and giving. There is loads of artwork and hand-made and hand-selected gift items for everyone on your shopping list.

Festive Home is the guild’s largest fundraiser of the year helping to bring in much needed operating and program funds.  They are located at 34 Halpin Lane, Ridgefield. Call 203-438-8863 or visit rgoa.org for more information.

The Ridgefield Press, Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The 10th Annual Festive Home event is now open at Ridgefield Guild of Artists. This five week fundraiser holiday emporium offers hundreds of items for gift-giving and home decorating. Loads of original art, too. Closed today and tomorrow, November 26 and 27, for Thanksgiving. But cure that turkey hangover with some shopping therapy and come down to the guild at 34 Halpin Lane this weekend. Remember to "Shop Small" this Saturday by staying in Ridgefield to do your holiday shopping. Festive Home is open with extended holiday shopping hours, Tuesday - Sunday, 11am - 5pm through Tuesday, December 23. Call 203-438-8863 or visit rgoa.org for more information. Photo by Mary Harold

The 10th Annual Festive Home event is now open at Ridgefield Guild of Artists. This five week fundraiser holiday emporium offers hundreds of items for gift-giving and home decorating. Loads of original art, too. Closed today and tomorrow, November 26 and 27, for Thanksgiving. But cure that turkey hangover with some shopping therapy and come down to the guild at 34 Halpin Lane this weekend. Remember to “Shop Small” this Saturday by staying in Ridgefield to do your holiday shopping. Festive Home is open with extended holiday shopping hours, Tuesday – Sunday, 11am – 5pm through Tuesday, December 23. Call 203-438-8863 or visit rgoa.org for more information. Photo by Mary Harold

The Ridgefield Press, Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Decade of Festive Homes at the Guild

By Mary Pat Devine

One of the merchandise tables for the 10th Annual Festive Home opening this weekend at Ridgefield Guild of Artists. Photo by Mary Harold.

One of the merchandise tables for the 10th Annual Festive Home opening this weekend at Ridgefield Guild of Artists. Photo by Mary Harold

Ridgefield Guild of Artists celebrates its 10th Annual Festive Home AND 40th Anniversary with one big party this Friday, November 21, 6-8pm.  For an admission of $40 (for 40 years), guests to the Preview Party, will be the first to get a peek at the holiday emporium and designer showcase while enjoying fun under the tent (heated, of course) with festive drinks and food, live music, a raffle and more.

Members of the guild and eleven designers have been working hard to get the guild ready.  Pam Stoddart is heading up the FH Committee:  “We’ve been planning for months and are doubly excited to celebrate two milestones for the guild…our 10th Festive Home and our 40th year!” This five week holiday fundraiser brings  a thousand or more shoppers to the charming antique building-turned-emporium ever year.  The event continues free to all Saturday, November 22 – Tuesday, December 23 with expanded shopping hours, 11am – 5pm, Tuesday – Sunday. (Closed Wednesday, November 26 and Thursday, November 27 for Thanksgiving.)

“Be brilliant!” is this year’s theme and the eleven designers have brought their talents to help transform the normally white-walled gallery space into a vibrant holiday marketplace for the annual Festive Home event. They have each been paired up with a member artist to create holiday vignettes that act as the backdrop showcasing the many items for sale. Returning local designers include: Molly Hirsch and Amanda Dranow of Ridgefield; Lisa Bartro of Redding; Olga Adler of Westport, and Barbara Schmidt of Wilton.  New to Festive Home this year is Gregg Fisk and Rachel Belden of Ridgefield; Lee Aydelotte Boffey and Briony Noome of Redding; Kim McOwan of Greenwich; and Michael Murphy of Brooklyn.

Shoppers will find the perfect gifts while supporting the arts.  Festive Home offers a variety of creative works like original artwork, hand selected gift items and one-of-a-kind handcrafted items by local artisans such as jewelry and apparel, plus unique decorative and useful objects for the home. Find the perfect gift for everyone on your list. Gift items are reasonably priced.  The guild’s stencil canvas project is better than ever this year.  They are offering the “best of” all the projects over the years: the fountain, barns, birds and cups.  Member artists donate canvases and all the proceeds go back to the guild.  They are affordable at a price of $50 each.

Established in the fall of 1974, the Guild plays a major role in Ridgefield’s arts community.  Funds raised at Festive Home are key to keeping the guild’s doors open and programs going for the 501(c) 3 not-for-profit. Serving 400 member artists, they offer about eight exhibitions and opening receptions each year, a satellite gallery art program that brings member artists to downtown venues, an Artist-in-Residence, classes and workshops including the multi-arts summer camp for kids, the ARTalk lecture series with Ridgefield Library, plus countless collaborations with many other local non-profit organizations.

The guild thanks the countless volunteers and donors who have made Festive Home a reality this year, including annual sponsors Nature’s Temptations, All Season Party & Tent Rentals, Ridgefield Magazine, Fairfield County Bank and the CT Office of the Arts. The barn makes a great venue for celebrations and is available for private parties for local business groups and non-profits during off-hours.  They are located at 34 Halpin Lane.  Call 203-438-8863, email rgoa@sbcglabl.net or visit rgoa.org for more information about this event and all Guild offerings.

The Ridgefield Press, Thursday, November 15, 2014

Ridgefield Guild of Artists Celebrates Forty Years   

by Mary Pat Devine

Photo taken in the 1970’s of members of Ridgefield Guild of Artists in the notable Norway Maple tree on the grounds of the guild. Are you in the photo or know someone who is? Please email the guild at rgoa@sbcglobal and tell them about it.

In 1974, seventeen local artists decided they wanted a place to call their own to create and exhibit their art.  They formed the Ridgefield Guild of Artists. In the forty years since, this original group has grown to nearly four hundred, drawing members from all over Connecticut and New York.  The Guild has evolved from a local artists’ “clubhouse” to a regional arts organization recognizing, promoting and supporting artists at all levels.

When it all began forty years ago, the small band of artists settled on an old run-down town-owned barn and struck a deal with Ridgefield to lease it for $1 a year while assuming the responsibility of maintenance and repair.  The old goat barn, complete with feed troughs in the basement, was originally part of an 1880’s estate-turned-Holy Ghost Fathers’ novitiate on Halpin Lane in Ridgefield.  In the early years, the member volunteers cleaned up the barn, tacked up pegboard walls and laid out brown shag carpeting and began to their show art.

The art barn sits near the center of town nestled between congregate housing, the community garden, the Ridgefield Theater Barn and the walking trail. In the early 2000’s, member Chris Curnan pulled up the old carpeting to expose the antique pine floors and put up the white walls that now make up the three gallery spaces on the main floor.

Ridgefield Guild of Artists presents a full calendar of exhibitions each year: an Annual Juried Exhibition, now in its 37th year, with jurors from major museums, galleries and academia; Festive Home, a holiday showcase and gift emporium where member artists collaborate with decorators to create vignettes highlighting their artwork in home settings; member-curated exhibitions and several member-only shows. The guild also works with individuals or groups to produce special exhibitions.

Members of the board and friends in the Notable Norway Maple tree many years later.  BIgger tree and fewer people willing to climb onto the taller limbs!  Standing from left: Mary Harold, Deb Crichton, Rachel Volpone, Joan Isaac, Pam Stoddart, Mary Pat Devine, Mary Louise O'Connell, Antonio Muñoz, Cindi Mullins and Ellen Matthews.  Up in the tree: Kim Hanna, Nancy Moore, Adelka Polak, Jacqué Lang, Justin Perlman and Joe Sladek. Photo by Roy Weinstein

Members of the board and friends in the Notable Norway Maple tree many years later. BIgger tree and fewer people willing to climb onto the taller limbs! Standing from left: Mary Harold, Deb Crichton, Rachel Volpone, Joan Isaac, Pam Stoddart, Mary Pat Devine, Mary Louise O’Connell, Antonio Muñoz, Cindi Mullins and Ellen Matthews. Up in the tree: Kim Hanna, Nancy Moore, Adelka Polak, Jacqué Lang, Justin Perlman and Joe Sladek. Photo by Roy Weinstein

The guild is committed to creating the highest quality exhibitions and takes pride in its installations.  Innovative new programming includes member-rental gallery space, an artist-in-residence program, member-curated shows and occasional performance art.  The Guild recognizes the artistic spirit as it takes on many forms and levels of expression.

Community outreach is vital to the Guild of Artists.  Members work within the Ridgefield community creating partnerships with a variety of like-minded organizations. They collaborate with Ridgefield Library to bring ARTalk to the public, a series that includes panel discussions, presentations and workshops in the fine, decorative and professional fields of art.  The Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra has had a unique partnership with the guild’s artists-in-residence, collaborating to create sculpture and performance pieces for concerts.  Also, RMAC musicians are becoming regulars at guild events.

RGA also joins with Ridgefield High School to sponsor the Annual Juried Student Art Show, giving junior and senior art students the opportunity to experience the exhibition process.  New this year was a partnership with the Ridgefield Arts Council bringing Art Walk 2014 to our town center in August.  Artists were paired with local merchants along Main Street and beyond, creating a streetscape art gallery.

Ridgefield Guild of Artists also supports its mission of education by offering classes and workshops for its members, big and small.  Classes for kids from elementary to high school age run throughout the school year.  In the summer, the guild turns into a creative arts summer camp, overflowing with the energy only children can bring to the art barn.  The guild believes in nurturing the creative spirit in children that will remain with them as adults.

For adult artists, the guild offers drop-in life drawing, several painting classes and informative and hands-on workshops, ranging from using social media to market yourself as an artist, to photographing artwork for online sales, to techniques to enhance painting styles.

Ridgefield Guild of Artists is now a 501c3 not-for-profit organization governed by a board of directors.  Rachel Volpone who served as Guild president for eight years cites the Guild’s open, encouraging environment as the basis of its success over the decades. “Team effort and support have enabled the guild to transform itself into a vibrant and important part of the community,” she says.

RGA continues to expand and innovate to serve its members’ artistic goals.  The group has installed new leadership to maintain its momentum with Pam Stoddart as the new Executive Director and Co-Presidents Mary Pat Devine and Mary Harold, leading the Ridgefield Guild of Artists into its next forty years.

On November 21st, the guild will kick off their 40th year celebration and 10th Annual Festive Home…be brilliant, with a special preview party from 6-8pm.    Pam Stoddart, co-chair for Festive Home, talks of the plans for the big party: “Admission will be $40, for our 40 years.  We’ll have a heated tent with festive drinks, food, a terrific art raffle, live music and more…not to mention giving guests the first look at all the wonderful merchandise this year!”  It’s the guild’s biggest fundraiser of the year and brings in much needed funds to help keep their programs running strong.

Ridgefield Guild of Artists is located at 34 Halpin Lane.  Special holiday shopping hours during Festive Home are Tuesday – Sunday, 11am – 5pm.  Visit rgoa.org or call 203-438-8863 for more information.

The Ridgefield Press, Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Ridgefield Guild of Artists Receives Grant

DECDCOAThe Ridgefield Guild of Artists is pleased to announce that it has received a matching grant of $4,907.85 from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts, a state agency. As a non-profit organization open to all, the Guild brings art, inspiration and creativity to the community and the state grant will help support this endeavor.

The Ridgefield Guild of Artists promotes art as a means of personal creativity and expression through exhibits, juried shows, classes, lectures, and collaborative work with other cultural institutions.  For more than 40 years, members of the Guild have volunteered thousands of hours each year to bring art in its many shapes and forms to the Ridgefield community.

State grants are awarded through a competitive process. This grant signifies that the Ridgefield Guild of Artists provides a high level of quality in its programs, community service and administrative ability.

Executive Director, Pamela Stoddart said, “We are thrilled with this grant.  Not only will the grant enable us to continue and expand current programming, it is a tremendous acknowledgement of the high quality of work the Guild provides.”

The mission of the Ridgefield Guild of Artists is to provide: artists with high quality exhibition space; a wide variety of reasonably priced classes for children, teens, and adults; an artist-in-residency program; and various lectures, workshops, and collaborative efforts with other organizations.  For more information regarding fall classes, along with all fall offerings, please contact the Guild at 203-438-8863 or www.rgoa.org.

The Ridgefield Press, Thursday, October 2, 2014

Walk & Talkers Come to the Guild This Sunday

By Mary Pat Devine

Rachel Volpone won Best in Show at Ridgefield Guild of Artists' 37th Annual Juried Exhibition. She's shown here with her award-winning mixed media piece, Map History. Rachel, along with four other exhibiting artists will be featured at the Guild's Walk & Talk on Sunday. Photo by Mary Harold

Rachel Volpone won Best in Show at Ridgefield Guild of Artists’ 37th Annual Juried Exhibition. She’s shown here with her award-winning mixed media piece, Map History. Rachel, along with four other exhibiting artists will be featured at the Guild’s Walk & Talk on Sunday. Photo by Mary Harold

Ridgefield Guild of Artists continues its successful series of Walk & Talks this Sunday, October 5th from 3-5pm with five more artists leading the discussion at the guild.  The 37th Annual Juried Exhibition is the backdrop and prizewinners are among the artists who will be speaking about their works and process.  This event is free and open to the public.  Refreshments will be served.

Ridgefielder Rachel Volpone received the Best in Show prize for her mixed media piece, Map History at the opening reception last weekend.  She, along with four other artists in the show, will be on hand for this weekend’s Walk & Talk.  Joining her will be 2nd Place winner, Michael Cerullo from Ridgefield, Honorable Mention artists Diane Pollack from Fairfield and Donna Gagliardi from New Fairfield, along with Dan Makara from Redding.

Guild member Nancy Moore is the host for this event: “The five artists who are speaking this time represent a wide variety of media and styles, and each one has a unique point of view about their own acts of creation– I’m really looking forward to hosting what promises to be an entertaining afternoon.”

The 37th Annual Juried Exhibition continues through Sunday, October 26th. Ridgefield Guild of Artists is located at 34 Halpin Lane.  The gallery is open Wednesday – Sunday, noon – 4pm.  For more information about this event and other guild offerings, call 203.438.8863 or visit rgoa.org.

The Ridgefield Press, Thursday, September 25, 2014

Guild’s Annual Juried Show Opens Saturday

by Mary Pat Devine

Juror Anne Strauss looks over a couple of paintings during the jurying process last week for the 37th Annual Juried Exhibition opening Saturday at Ridgefield Guild of Artists.  Also shown are guild board members Andrea Macaluso and Cindi Mullins.

Juror Anne Strauss looks over a couple of paintings during the jurying process last week for the 37th Annual Juried Exhibition opening Saturday at Ridgefield Guild of Artists. Also shown are guild board members Andrea Macaluso and Cindi Mullins. Photo by Mary Harold

The 37th Annual Juried Exhibition opens at Ridgefield Guild of Artists on Saturday, September 27th with a reception from 4-6pm. Over 300 entries from around the region were submitted and juror Anne Strauss selected 73 pieces for this year’s show—including a wide variety of paintings, photographs, mixed media and sculpture.  Prizes will be awarded during the reception. It is free and open to the public. RMAC’s string quartet, Alpine 4, will provide music for the event. Members include: Emily Kerr and Alice Townsend on violin, Kendra Gordillo on viola and Brandon Ye on cello, all Ridgefield student musicians.

Juror Anne Strauss is currently an independent curator based in New York City. Before that, she worked for three decades as an Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Anne received an MA in Art History from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts and a BA from Wheaton College, Norton, MA.

Guild members Antonio Muñoz and Amy Kaplan are co-chairs for the 37th Annual Juried Exhibition. Of the exhibition experience, Amy Kaplan had this to say: “The caliber of the art was well suited to the caliber of our juror this year.  We couldn’t be happier with the turnout and the quality of the show.”

The exhibition continues through Sunday, October 26th during regular gallery hours: Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 4pm. The guild is located at 34 Halpin Lane. For more information, call 203.438.8863 or visit rgoa.org.

The Ridgefield Press, Thursday, September 18, 2014

Ridgefield Guild of Artists’ Fall Line-up

By Mary Pat Devine

Instructor Justin Perlman works with student artist Charlotte Anglade during the Sculpture summer camp class. Isabel Trinkaus works along-side. Sculpture is offered this fall on Wednesdays after school for kids 8 and up.  Details and registration available at rgoa.org. Photo by Mary Harold

Instructor Justin Perlman works with student artist Charlotte Anglade during the Sculpture summer camp class. Isabel Trinkaus works along-side. Sculpture is offered this fall on Wednesdays after school for kids 8 and up. Details and registration available at rgoa.org. Photo by Mary Harold

With the end of summer and the start-up of fall activity planning, check out Ridgefield Guild of Artists for a full fall line-up of classes and workshops for all ages.  “It’s a great time of year to get creative,” says Pam Stoddart, Executive Director of the Guild.  “There’s plenty of inspiration all around.”

For kids ages, six and up, offerings include Intro to Art, Art Studio, Sculpture and Traditional Drawing and Painting.  There are after school classes most days of the week and Saturday sessions, as well.

Adults can get in of the action by signing up for Printmaking Without a Press, Acrylic Painting, and Still Life Oil Painting, along with Painting with Jock MacRae, long-standing teacher Guild teacher, where artists can pick their medium.  These classes run Monday through Thursday from 10am-1pm.  In addition, the Guild offers drop-in Life Drawing sessions on Thursday evenings at 7:30pm.

The Guild has expanded their Workshop roster for the fall, as well.  Workshops are held on Fridays or Sundays.  It’s a great way to give a class a try without the commitment of a longer class schedule.  This fall is packed with new workshops: Intro to Watercolor; Open – The Acrylic that Thinks it’s an Oil; Mixed Media Sampler; Exploring Visual Art Journaling; The Art of Framing; The Art of iphone Photography; and Plein Air Painting at Caramoor.

The Guild will also participate in the town-wide “Big Read” festivities in October.  In keeping with The Great Gatsby theme, they offer an Art Deco Printmaking workshop.

The Guild of Artists has offerings for all ages and experience.  They welcome the beginner, as well as, the seasoned artist.  Classes are starting soon and filling up fast, so call the Guild at 203.438.8863 or visit their website, rgoa.org, for more details and to register.  The Guild of Artists is centrally located in the heart of downtown Ridgefield at 34 Halpin Lane.

The Ridgefield Press, Thursday, August 21, 2014

After Art Walk, Walk on Down to the Exhibit at the Guild

By Mary Pat Devine

As a companion event to the Art Walk Ridgefield 2014 in downtown Ridgefield, the Guild of Artists is presenting the Walk on Down exhibition at their gallery barn.  It opens with a reception from 7 – 9pm after the festivities in town tomorrow, Friday, August 22nd.  Both events are free and open to the public.  All artwork is for sale and a portion of the sales goes to help Ridgefield Guild of Artists.

Sixty-one artists are participating in this two-phase event.  They are featured in venues all over downtown Ridgefield and highlighted in the Guild’s Walk on Down show.  So, stroll around the Main Street area and then head down to Halpin Lane for an artful two-fer.

The artists come from all over Fairfield and Westchester counties.  They are painters, photographers, sculptors and mixed-media artists.  Vistiors to both events will see a variety of works.

“The town of Ridgefield and all the artists have really embraced our vision,” says Executive Director of Ridgefield Guild of Artists and the key force behind both events.  “We are looking forward to a great inaugural happening this weekend.”

The Walk on Down exhibit runs from Friday, August 22nd through Sunday, September 7th at the Guild at 34 Halpin Lane.  The Guild’s regular gallery hours are Wednesday – Sunday, noon to 4pm.  The Art Walk 2014 continues in town at all the venues through Sunday, September 14th.

In the Guild’s Upstairs Gallery, don’t miss Artists of Do-Goodery, an exhibition of a small group of individuals, dedicated to working hard, taking chances, and learning from mistakes.  The artists are Juliette Barbarie, Hanna C. Fischer, Zachary Sorena and Rachel Wise.  And, the name? “Do-Goodery” comes from the organization where they all first met—The Prospector Theater.  The Artists of Do-Goodery chose their name not only in tribute to the organization that brought them together, but to spread the notion of paying it forward: “Do good!”  Their opening reception is also Friday evening from 7 – 9pm.

For information on these events, contact the Ridgefield Guild of Artists at 203.438.8863 or visit rgoa.org.

The Ridgefield Press, Thursday, June 26, 2014

Yedi Fresh Brightens Up the Guild This Summer

By Mary Pat Devine

Cartoon Artist Yedi Fresh works on his summer mural next to Ridgefield's "Notable" Norway Maple at the Ridgefield Guild of Artists.  Photo by Mary Harold.

Cartoon Artist Yedi Fresh works on his summer mural next to Ridgefield’s “Notable” Norway Maple at the Ridgefield Guild of Artists. Photo by Mary Harold.

Yedi Fresh is a young self-taught artist who is hanging out at the Ridgefield Guild of Artists this summer. He’s getting ready to teach cartooning during the Guild’s multi-arts summer camp beginning June 30th and running for seven weeks through August 15th.

To get everyone in the creative mood, Yedi is painting a mural on the side of the old, dilapidated building next to Ridgefield’s “Notable” Norway Maple Tree behind the Guild barn. Paul Roche at Parks and Rec gave the permission to paint the mural to brighten up the space for the kids. The mural, entitled The World is Yours, shows a variety of characters representing a diversity of artists while all standing as one family. Yedi says, “It’s for the kids as an inspirational piece to encourage a brighter future with endless possibilities.” For this project, Yedi is being sponsored by East 2 West Connect, an artist representative, who sponsors muralists like him.

Yedi Fresh has always been creating.  Whether it is illustration, painting, digital art or mural work, he has allowed his creative nature to explode across canvases, notebooks, and even walls. Not a day goes by that he can’t be found with a pencil, brush or can in hand. It’s this very persistence that keeps him up long into the night, launching his creative worlds into reality.  He loves traditional animation, cartoons, character designs, illustrations and story telling. “People consider me a street artist, a graffiti artist, and a muralist, but I see myself as a cartoonist who likes to paint big.”

Yedi is a very busy guy.  He is currently under contract for a series of children’s book illustrations.  He has created murals at the late, great 5 Pointz in New York City, Believe on East Liberty Street in Danbury, and a variety of charitable projects such as Healing Newtown Through the Arts, It’s All About Community, Spaghetti Arms, a volunteer project to raise awareness of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. He is very proud and blessed to have a piece of his artwork as part of a banner being carried to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa by singer/songwriter, John Farrell, as a project for Bridges of Peace and Hope, High Hopes and Common Threads, uniting children from around the world through music, art and inspiration.

Mary Harold, Ridgefield Guild of Artists’ camp director is excited with the new energy Yedi brings to the Guild: “He is truly inspirational and the kids are going to have a great time cartooning with Yedi this summer.” He will be teaching morning and afternoon classes during the first and final weekly sessions of camp.  Ridgefield Guild of Artists is located at 34 Halpin Lane. For more information on cartooning classes with Yedi Fresh, and all the other offerings for summer camp, call 203-438-8863 or visit rgoa.org.

The Ridgefield Press, Thursday, June 19, 2014

Artists-in-Residence Show at the Guild Looks Back

by Mary Pat Devine

Musician Michael Pestel with Adelka Polak and Justin Perlman after their performance "A" at The Women exhibition last year at Ridgefield Guild of Artists.  Adelka and Justin are culminating their artists' residency with an exhibition and performance Saturday, June 21st at the Guild. Photo by Mary Harold.

Musician Michael Pestel with Adelka Polak and Justin Perlman after their performance “A” at The Women exhibition last year at Ridgefield Guild of Artists. Adelka and Justin are culminating their artists’ residency with an exhibition and performance Saturday, June 21st at the Guild. Photo by Mary Harold.

The Ridgefield Guild of Artists proudly presents AIR, a retrospective multi-media exhibition from June 18th – July 3rd, capping off the three-year tenure of their artists-in-residence, sculptor/visual artist Justin Perlman and performance artist, Adelka Polak.  The highlight will be a reception and performance on Saturday, June 21st, 4-6pm.

The exhibition is the culmination and a retrospective of the time the Perlman/Polak team has spent with the Guild.  Co-President, Mary Harold says, “We never intended to have Adelka and Justin’s residency last so long, but we love them and their energy and they kept getting involved in better and better projects, so we kept extending their time with us.”  They were Guild members in 2011 when then president, Rachel Volpone, approached the pair to become artists-in-residence. “I was aware of Justin and Adelka’s work through the Guild and not only admired their work but their commitment to making art, as well as making their living from it.   The 3-D element in their work and the layering of their combined practices is fascinating. They clearly walk the walk, and have brought that focus and intensity to the Guild.”

With the charge to work collaboratively with community organizations, Justin hit the ground running and helped organize the first outdoor sculpture show at the Guild working with the Green Village Initiative, Ridgefield Public Schools, the town, and Hickories Farm.  From there, the pair worked to establish relationships with the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra, James Robey Dance and the Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance.  They worked with these organizations to add some flare to the spring 2012 RSO concert A Trip to the British Isles.  It became “a spectacular” when the audience got to experience the symphony in a new light—with Justin’s sculptural reliefs hung above the orchestra and Adelka’s choreographed young dancers engaging with the audience as they moved through the auditorium.

In April of 2013, the RSO, Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance and the artists-in-residence again joined together to bring the Civic Ballet Ensemble to the Symphonie Espagnole concert for a fiery interpretation of the “Malambo.”  Justin spent time during rehearsals of the event sketching the dancers’ work, to create the suspended metal reliefs hanging above the audience.

In May of 2013, Adelka created “A,” a “performance happening” created for The Women exhibition curated by Guild member Nancy Moore.  It was one of the most successful exhibitions at the Guild and the artists-in-residence played a major role in that achievement.

Last November, Adelka first presented “Branches,” an original dance puppet theater piece, at the New Vision Series at the internationally known Sandglass Theater in Putney, VT.  Using puppetry and masks created by Justin and music by their artistic collaborator, Michael Pestel, Adelka combined fabric, the handmade masks and her natural lines of dance movement to depict the powerful poetic narrative.

They will bring that aesthetic on Saturday with a performance during the reception of their retrospective show at the Guild of Artists.  “Branches to AIR” will enhance the concept of theater as moving art, an idea realized during their successful collaborations with other Ridgefield arts organizations.  As Adelka says, “Artistic mediums intersect and collide to create a beautifully constructed theatrical work, from Branches to AIR. 

AIR, the multi-media retrospective exhibition, will feature all the works the team of Justin Perlman and Adelka Polak has created during their residency, from conception to fruition.

The Ridgefield Guild of Artists is located at 34 Halpin Lane.  Regular gallery hours are Wednesday – Sunday, noon to 4pm.  For more information call 203-438-8863 or visit rgoa.org.

The Ridgefield Press, Thursday, June 12, 2014

Summer Camp Returns to the Guild for 6th Year

By Adam Spiegelman

Returning for its 6th year, Rid2013.7.15.RGASculpture.Photography.Knitting.300-gefield Guild of Artists’ popular Multi-Arts Summer Camp features arts & crafts workshops exploring all different mediums and styles taught by talented teachers who will inspire and develop the artistic soul of each child.

Summer Camp runs 7 one-week sessions from June 30 – August 15, 10 am – 3 pm with half-day and full-day programs available. Guild studios are air-conditioned and comfortable during hot summer days.  Classes are open to kids from 5-16, with one program for 6-8 year olds, The Art of Fun, taught by the creative director of the Guild, Kim Hanna, and a program for 5-7 year olds, Zoo Theater, taught by artist-in-residence, Adelka Polak, which explores art, play, and movement. Older kids can explore art in combination with acting and puppetry in A Night at the Museum, geared towards ages 8-14, and Introduction to Art, a class that teaches the fundamentals of drawing, painting, and other mediums to ages 8-16. Other classes, such as the perennially popular Project Runway, are back in addition to Sewing, Knitting, Sculpture, and Murals for Kids.

New for this year is Cartooning, taught by Yedi Fresh, which will explore developing characters and worlds through art. Furthermore, Lessley Burke, owner of The Gilded Lynx jewelry and metal works shop on Main Street will be teaching Jewelry Design, which will explore a variety of materials in creating simple jewelry pieces and accessories.

Mary Harold, director of the Ridgefield Guild of Artist’s summer programs, is excited year after year by the talent and enthusiasm of the kids in attendance: “I love watching the kids arrive on Monday morning with anticipation, and some trepidation, about their artistic talents.  By Friday, they are soaring with the confidence in having nurtured their creative spirit and in finding kindred friendships to share with.”

Classes are filling up quickly, so check the Guild’s website at rgoa.org for a complete listing of summer camp classes, call 203-438-8863 or drop by the Guild barn at 34 Halpin Lane (Wed-Sun, 12-4) for more information on these and many more offerings this summer at the Guild.

The Ridegfield Press, Thursday, June 5, 2014

Juried Member Show Walk-and-Talk at the Guild This Sunday

By Adam Spiegelman, Intern

Dora Tomulic will be one of the artists featured at the Walk-and-Talk this Sunday. She is photographed here with juror Laura Einstein and co-chair of the event Karen Beck, accepting her honorable mention award at the opening of the Annual Juried Member Show on May 17th. Dora's artwork appears behind her.

Dora Tomulic will be one of the artists featured at the Walk-and-Talk this Sunday. She is photographed here with juror Laura Einstein and co-chair of the event Karen Beck, accepting her honorable mention award at the opening of the Annual Juried Member Show on May 17th. Dora’s artwork appears behind her. Photo by Adam Spiegelman, Intern.

The Ridgefield Guild of Artists continues its Walk-and-Talk series this Sunday, June 8th at 3 pm when four artists appearing in its current juried member exhibition come together to discuss their art and artistic processes. The show was open for all guild members to submit work and guest juror Laura Einstein narrowed down the over 200 submissions to an elite group of 84. She will discuss not only her unique process of jurying the show, but her designing of the exhibition as well. The Walk-and-Talk is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Randi Jane Davis is a painter from Ridgefield, CT. She has three pieces in the current exhibition and her oil painting, Subway Conversation, placed third in show. Jennifer Coyne Qudeen is a fiber artist from Redding, CT. Three fiber pieces from her Stargazer’s Diary series are on display in the exhibition. Dora Tomulic is a painter from Hartsdale, NY. She incorporates a unique blend of acrylic paint, collaged giclee, linocut, print, and molding paste in her work, and her piece, A Spin that Caused the Stir, received an honorable mention. Andrew Graham is a photographer and digital artist from Redding, CT. He has spoken at the guild in the past and his piece, Untitled, is on display in the current show. Laura Einstein, our guest juror, is from New Canaan, CT. She not only selected the pieces for the exhibition and awarded prizes, but also designed the layout of the show. She is principal of LGE Fine Art Consulting and has worked at Yale University Art Gallery and has lectured at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and at IBM Gallery of Science and Art.

Guild member Nancy Moore hosts the Walk-and-Talk series at the guild and is excited for this event in particular: “This show is what happens when an artist guild is committed to providing opportunities for its members to show their work. The result is a gallery full of vibrant work that reflects a community alive with creativity.”

The Juried Member Show continues through Sunday, June 15th. Ridgefield Guild of Artists is located at 34 Halpin Lane. Regular gallery hours are Wednesday-Sunday, 12-4pm. For more information, call 203-438-8863 or visit rgoa.org.

The Ridgefield Press, Thursday, May 29, 2014

Annual Juried RHS Exhibition Opens Friday at the Guild of Artists

By Drew Hassenstein, Intern

Annual Juried RHS Exhibition winners Drew Hassenstein, senior, second place and Steffi Colao, junior, first place, with their artwork. Photo by Adam Spiegelman, Intern.

Annual Juried RHS Exhibition winners Drew Hassenstein, senior, second place and Steffi Colao, junior, first place, with their artwork. Photo by Adam Spiegelman, Intern.

The 3rd Annual Juried RHS Exhibition at the Ridgefield Guild of Artists will open with a reception on Friday, May 30th from 4-6 pm.  This event is free and open to the public.

Juniors and seniors at the high school were invited to submit their work to the Guild and nineteen submissions were received, showing skills in photography, illustration, and even sculpture.  Keeping with the Guild’s mission to support all levels of creativity, all artists who submitted will be recognized by their strongest piece in the show this week.

Guild board members Kim Hanna and Cindi Mullins juried the pieces that will be included in the show.  When describing the submissions, Kim Hanna remarked, “The work we received from RHS showed very fine illustration skills which was unique to this year’s entries.  Digital expertise was evident and will take this generation of artists far.”

Zhenya Owczarzak, a senior, won the scholarship for the pieces Inuit and Japan.  Steffi Colao won the first place honor.  The Guild will be showing From Everything and Rinse from Steffi, a junior.  Second place went to senior Drew Hassenstein for her pieces Lloyd and Suburban David Bowie.

In addition, honorable mentions went to seniors Jordan Fischer for her piece #3 Exterior, Sara Jackson for Woman’s Soul, Katie Seel for Pink and Green, and Biana Bova for Dr. Dorothy (or La Monstra). 

Also included in the show will be Siena Boccuzzi, Sandra Carpenter, Toni Chadwell, Natalie Gaisser, Leslie Huinker, Sarah Kaiser, Soyeon Lim, Margaret Lindenburg, Joliette Mandel, Mariana O’Brian, Emily Orrico, and Rebecca Sullivan.

The 3rd Annual Juried RHS Exhibition will be open until Sunday, June 15th in the upstairs gallery.  The downstairs gallery will continue to house the Annual Juried Member Show until Sunday, June 15th as well.  The guild is located at 34 Halpin Lane.  Regular gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 4 pm.  For more information, please call 203-438-8863 or email rgoa@sbcglobal.net or visit rgoa.org.

The Ridgefield Press, Thursday, May 15, 2014

4th Annual Juried Member Show Opens Saturday at the Guild

by Mary Pat Devine

Juror Laura Einstein, looks over artwork as she selects pieces for the 2014 Juried Member Show at Ridgefield Guild of Artists. The new exhibition opens Saturday, May 17th, with a reception from 4-6pm.  Open to all. Photo by Mary Harold.

Juror Laura Einstein, looks over artwork as she selects pieces for the 2014 Juried Member Show at Ridgefield Guild of Artists. The new exhibition opens Saturday, May 17th, with a reception from 4-6pm. Open to all. Photo by Mary Harold.

Ridgefield Guild of Artists’ 2014 Juried Member Show opens Saturday, May 17th, with a reception from 4 to 6pm.  Prize winners will be announced at the opening reception.  This event is free and open to the public.  Refreshments will be served, with hors d’oeuvres provided by Guild sponsor Nature’s Temptations and desserts by NCL.

Juror Laura Einstein reviewed the 200 entries and selected 84 pieces to be in the show, including wall-hung art in a variety of media and sculpture.  She is principal of LGE Fine Art Consulting in New Canaan, CT.  With a 30+ year career in curating and museum work, she has worked as Interim Head and Assistant Curator of the Asian Art Department at Yale University Art Gallery, Lecturer at The Metropolitan Museum of Art for both the Asian Art and Education Departments, Lecturer at IBM Gallery of Science and Art and Curator at a number of museums and galleries throughout the tri-state area. She is a guide at Philip Johnson Glass House in New Canaan and writes for VENU Magazine, among other publications.

Ms. Einstein was grateful for the opportunity to jury the Ridgefield Guild of Artist’s annual juried member show.  With the number of submitted entries, “It was a daunting task to cull the number accepted down to the selected 84 given space restrictions,” says the juror.  “I had a vision for the look of the exhibition trying to create not a signature style from the juror, but a cohesive reflection of the high quality works of the RGA membership.”

Guild members Karen Beck and Dora Tomulic are the co-chairs for this year’s exhibition.   New Co-President, Mary Harold, is happy to see members come forward to head up guild exhibitions: “It gives them a feel for how shows go from theme to gallery opening.”

The 4th Annual Juried Member Show continues through Sunday, June 15th in the Guild’s main floor galleries.  The Guild is located at 34 Halpin Lane.  Regular gallery hours are Wednesday – Sunday, noon -4pm.  For more information, call 203-438-8863, email rgoa@sbcglobal.net or visit rgoa.org.

The Ridgefield Press, Thursday, May 8, 2014

Slammers from the first ever Poetry Slam at Ridgefield Guild of Artists on April 26th include: RHS students Claire Glubiak, winner of the high school round, Rachel Kisken, Adam Spiegelman, Hanna Rapaglia and Elizabeth Cordone (from Westchester County, NY); with ERMS students Jemma Silvestri, winner of the middle school round, Miles Stoddart and Questin McQuilkin. Barbara Jennes, English teacher at Scotts Ridge Middle School played host to the event where participants present original poetry. They are judged by members of the audience for their performance as much as their writing. About the slam experience, Barb Jennes says it all: "Boy was that fun. Let's do it again soon!"

Slammers from the first ever Poetry Slam at Ridgefield Guild of Artists on April 26th include: RHS students Claire Glubiak, winner of the high school round, Rachel Kisken, Adam Spiegelman, Hanna Rapaglia and Elizabeth Cordone (from Westchester County, NY); with ERMS students Jemma Silvestri, winner of the middle school round, Miles Stoddart and Questin McQuilkin. Barbara Jennes, English teacher at Scotts Ridge Middle School played host to the event where participants present original poetry. They are judged by members of the audience for their performance as much as their writing. About the slam experience, Barb Jennes says it all: “Boy was that fun. Let’s do it again soon!”

The Ridgefield Press, Thursday, April 24, 2014

Poetry Slamming at The Guild

by Mary Pat Devine

With the final weekend of the Re-imagined Exhibition, comes something new for Ridgefield Guild of Artists: a poetry slam!  April is National Poetry Month and to celebrate, the Guild presents Word! So this is Slam Poetry on Saturday, April 26th, 1-3pm.

Of the five students participating in the poetry reading competition, four are from Ridgefield High School.  Claire Glubiak was second runner-up in the 2013 Ridgefield’s Got Talent competition.  She will be joined by Rachel Kisken, Adam Spiegelman, Hannah Rapaglia, along with Lizzie Cordone of Westchester.

For some, “slam poetry” may need a little explanation.  It’s also known as spoken word poetry, combining the arts of writing and performing. Poets who read or recite their original work are judged equally on the quality of their poetry and the vibrancy of their performance. No props or costumes are allowed, and performances are limited to three minutes in length.

Anyone who would like to toss their hat into the ring and face a panel of volunteer judges culled from the audience, is invited to bring a poem of three minutes or less in length, which may be read or recited.

According to Barbara Jennes, the mistress of ceremonies for the “slam,” there are slam poetry teams – both student and adult – that compete in regional, national and international events. Most major cities in the northeast, from Boston to Providence and even Worcester, MA, boast at least one competitive team. New York City has two notoriously rival teams: NYC-Urbana, presided over by “slammaster” Taylor Mali, a noted slam poet and international champion, and the Nuyorican Poets.

“A slam is entertaining, lively, and even a bit rowdy at times, encouraging audience feedback and active participation. At the same time, poets are always made to feel welcome and appreciated. It is like a poetry reading on steroids,” says Ms. Jennes.  It is free and open to lovers of the spoken word of all ages, students and adults.  Refreshments will be served.

Barb Jennes teaches 8th grade English at Scotts Ridge Middle School.  She is the advisor for the Pockets of Hope Club, and a self-described grammarphile.

Re-imagined closes Sunday, April 27th after a successful six-week run at Ridgefield Guild of Artists. Plan to attend the “slam” and visit the gallery one last time this weekend.  The Guild is located at 34 Halpin Lane.  Regular gallery hours are Wednesday – Sunday, noon to 4pm.  Call 203-438-8863 or visit rgoa.org for more information on this and all RGA events.

The Ridgefield Press, Thursday, April 10, 2014

Guild of Artists Offers Spring Classes

by Mary Pat Devine

One of the students working on her painting in Rick Daskam's Still Life Oil Painting class.  This day-time course runs on Thursdays for four weeks and is open to painters of all levels. Photo by Mary Harold.

One of the students working on her painting in Rick Daskam’s Still Life Oil Painting class. This day-time course runs on Thursdays for four weeks and is open to painters of all levels. Photo by Mary Harold.

Ridgefield Guild of Artists offers a variety of new classes for adults, teens and kids to get everyone’s creative juices flowing this spring.  The range of adult courses includes several painting classes and an ongoing drop-in life drawing studio session.  Instructors accommodate all levels, from beginners to experienced artists.  The spring session has some classes starting now and they do fill up, so don’t hesitate to check them out.

New this spring is Dora Tomulic’s From Figuration to Abstraction, beginning later this month.  Dora describes this innovative course: “There is a fascinating common thread between figurative and abstract art. We’ll look at works throughout art history to understand this theory and then create original artwork using these basic tools. Eventually, students will decide whether they want to work figurative or abstract.”

For kids, there’s Introduction to Art, Studio Art I and II, and Traditional Drawing and Painting, with sessions for elementary, middle and high school students.  Whether they want to explore their creativity or enrich their artistic talents, there’s a class for them.

The guild’s instructors are all professional artists with extensive teaching experience.  For a full listing of spring offerings with online registration, visit www.rgoa.org or call 203-438-8863 for more information. Also, check the guild’s website for upcoming workshops and its popular summer camp program.  Ridgefield Guild of Artists is located near the center of town at 34 Halpin Lane.