Vernon Community Arts Center hosts second members' show
By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Vernon - posted Fri., Nov. 15, 2013
The Vernon Community Arts Center opened its second annual Artist Members' Exhibit on Nov. 10. The show will run through Dec. 22, and features 15 of the center's 20 members and a total of 55 works.
Vernon resident Linda Warren Bissell brought several pieces, including some with some watercolor oriental calligraphy. She said that Chinese calligraphy is becoming a lost art, including in China. "I have a gal who helps with the translations," she said. "She gives me the characters in the regular traditional print that they use now, because they are not teaching them to do the old-fashioned calligraphy anymore."
Bissell said the oriental design is something she's always been fascinated with. She said she learned the style from a friend who had lived in the Philippines and learned from a group there, and from one of the masters. "They had formed this group, and they started taking the traditional Chinese painting and abstracting it a bit more – modernizing it," she said.
Bissell has been a member of the VCAC since before the building was opened. "It's very nice," she said. "They've done a great job. We're trying to expand the membership, to get more of a variety."
Judy Grosskortenhaus said she mainly paints large, deco works of flowers and plants. She likes to set them against a plain, dark background to isolate them. "I like it to be striking and off-the-wall," she said. "It's more graphic."
Jeremy Knafel, a recent transplant from Vernon to East Hartford, said she often rides her bike and takes her camera with her to capture nature scenes along the trails. She then creates pastel renderings, based on her photos. She brought several, including some from the Windsor Locks Canal Trail and Farmington River Trail in Windsor.
"I just finished the Heritage Trail in Putnam," she said. "It's magnificent. I just finished a painting of it. Most of my paintings take between 45 and 50 hours, but I only do two to three hours at a time. You have to go away, because you're not really seeing what you are seeing. You have to have a fresh eye."
Vernon resident and VCAC Board of Directors member Lori Robeau had some mixed-media pieces that speak to the depletion of nature, in favor of consumerism. "That's really the gist," she said.
Robeau said her fellow members are certainly talented. "Our members are really good," she said. "There are more of us now. Last year there were 12. It's growing and maturing, and the work is really nice. You never know what you're going to get with a members' show, because the work is usually so diverse, but it all really works well together."
For more information, visit www.vernonarts.org.