By Elizabeth Reinhart / Zip06.com • 10/8/2021 4:00 PM EST
The last show of the 2021 Essex Art Association (EAA) season, titled Brand New Day, is presented at 10 North Main Street in Essex, Wednesday through Sunday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. until Saturday, August 28.
Pam Carlson, contributing artist and chair of the EAA board of directors, said the title and theme of the show was derived from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the organization’s business.
“We lost a year to COVID, so we tried to think of a positive way to represent our art,” Carlson said. “We had the most entries for this show. And what are they? They’re everything from landscapes to modern abstracts, but they’re all about positivity.
The subject “appears to be the perfect day, like sunsets and sunrise,” Carlson said. “There were a few portraits that came out [with] very happy faces.
“There were summaries that incorporated a bit of realism, like you’re walking a path to a new place,” she continued.
The show has 119 admissions, four of which won the “Best In Show” award. Among them, Walking the Fence Line by Len Swec, The Cove by Peggy Price, Calm by OA Rolston and Lifting Mist by Phyllis Bevington.
Kimberly Edwards received the Gantner Gallery Award, which is given to an artist at each EAA exhibition. The Gantner Gallery Award is one of the organization’s greatest tributes and allows the artist to present a body of work in a dedicated space during an exhibition.
The EAA is also celebrating a milestone anniversary this year, with an open invitation to the public to attend a closing party scheduled for August 28.
“This is our 75th year,” said Francine Curto, EAA board member. “It was started by a group of artists who were kinda on the cutting edge of sculpture, modern art, different types of art, that weren’t accepted, say by Old Lyme. [Art] Association.”
Six local artists, E. Gould Chalker, Fred Freeman, Henry Kreis, Aldis Browne, James Pollock, and Bennett Buck, formed the Seasonal Art Gallery in 1946, incorporated as a non-profit in 1947.
Pollock, who was the brother of painter Jackson Pollock, was a fellow of the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts. He is known for several landscape paintings of local scenes, including a piece called The Essex Boat Works.
“And another founding member, Aldis Browne… is the artist who painted the Griswold Inn mural, which is this giant mural behind the bar in the wine bar,” Curto said.
While the event details for the show’s closing on August 28 are still being worked out, Carlson said, “We’re going to make this a party to end our season. It’s a party for artists and the fact that it’s the 75th [anniversary]. “