Three inducted into Manchester Arts Hall of Fame

By Christian Mysliwiec - Staff Writer
Manchester - posted Thu., Jun. 27, 2013
Town Troubadour Dan Thompson performed an original song dedicated to the Manchester Arts Commission. Photos by Christian Mysliwiec.
Town Troubadour Dan Thompson performed an original song dedicated to the Manchester Arts Commission. Photos by Christian Mysliwiec.

When Dr. Francis Helfrick founded the Manchester Arts Council in 2001, his mission was to honor members of the community for their "dedication to, advocacy for, and achievement in the arts." While the Arts Council is no more, the Manchester Arts Commission has continued in this endeavor. For 2013, three Manchester artists were inducted into the Arts Hall of Fame; artist Jean Wright, graphic designer Lynn Sottile, and a sculptor, the late David Hayes.

Wright, a resident of Manchester for 52 years, is a past president of the Manchester Arts Association. She paints with oils, acrylics, watercolors and chalk. She has done banners which are on display at Manchester High School, Cheney Tech and St. Bridget School.

Sottile is the owner of Schultz Design. Her graphic design talents have been donated to community organizations and events, such as Cruisin' on Main, Pride in Manchester Week, Little Theatre of Manchester and Imagine Main Street.

Hayes was a contemporary sculptor whose artistic legacy is on display in museums throughout the country, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, and the National Museum of American Art. In Connecticut, his works are featured at the Wadsworth Athenaeum and the New Britain Museum of Art. Some of his works are even featured at the Lutz Children's Museum. His works will be on display this summer at the University of Notre Dame Smite's Museum. Upcoming exhibits will be held at the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art and the Housatonic Museum of Art. Hayes died of leukemia on April 9, at his home in Coventry, at the age of 82. His award was accepted by his wife, Julia, and daughter, Mary.

An induction ceremony at the Manchester Historical Society took place on Wednesday, June 26. In attendance were: members of the Board of Directors; local artists and patrons of the arts; newly-appointed Town Troubadour Dan Thompson, who performed a new song dedicated to the Manchester Arts Association; Bob Eckert, executive director of the Lutz Children's Museum and president of the Manchester Arts Association, who welcomed guests; and Mayor Leo Diana, who presented the awards to the artists.

"The arts community has brought a lot of joy to a lot of people," Diana said. "Arts are alive and well in Manchester."

Diana presented the recipients with their induction awards, as well as citations from U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and the Connecticut General Assembly.

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