Connecticut Arts

From museums one weekend to gallery visits the next is how I spend my free time in the lovely state of Connecticut.

Two weekends ago (already!) I made my way to the Slater Museum in Norwich, CT.  They were having the opening reception for their Annual Connecticut Artists Juried Exhibition.  A fellow ceramic artist, with whom I work a lot, Monica Hewryk, was juried into the exhibition so we ventured to the reception to see the rest of the CT artists’ skills.

Check out Monica Hewryk below next to her piece:

Monica Hewryk

To my delight, I was able to recognize so many artists in the exhibition.  I saw the work of many who are also members of CAFA (Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts).  These members are very active in the annual exhibition and repeated recipients of the awards too, so it doesn’t shock me that they are active elsewhere.  Check out the beautiful work below.  And if you get a chance to see it in person, it’s even better!!

With these beautiful imagery, I leave you to write another post about another exhibition, and other artists also pouring their hearts out onto canvases and installations.  Until my next art stop!



Sunil Howlader @ Fresh Ayer Gallery

Sunil Howlader
Sunil Howlader

Last Friday night I was invited to Sunil Howlader‘s art exhibition opening reception.  So I ventured down to Old Lyme and was excited when I finally found the Fresh Ayer Gallery and Gifts.  As I entered the space, it was almost overwhelming seeing every bit of wall space be filled with a painting.

As I walked toward the back of the gallery, where I suspected I might find Howlader’s work, the owner of the gallery, Jan, introduced herself.  She was very nice and seemed very passionate about what she does.  She explained her gallery hosts a new artist each month as she invited me to have a glass of wine.  What an enticing greeting.

Finally, I spotted Howlader finishing up with another guest to come to greet me.  He was very gracious for my presence showing his humility, which is something I admire in people but even more so in artists.  We then walked over to his collection which was mostly contained within a small room.  He didn’t need to show me his paintings, I can tell his style a mile away.  Finding a style in which you can depict your point of view beautifully, and, at the same time, branding yourself different but recognizable…that is what Howlader has done with his paintings.

Sunil Howlader
Sunil Howlader
Sunil Howlader
Sunil Howlader










The artist explains his style as a fusion of expressionism and abstraction.  This description is easily distinguishable when you look at his paintings.  His backgrounds usually exist as the language he uses to portray his emotions as well as setting up the scene for his viewers.  Then, you get to the subject of his paintings, which usually comprise of a figure and just as you see and recognize the figure your eye might or might not catch the glimpse of abstraction that happens within his subjects.

Sunil Howlader paints both from memory and from photographs.  He confessed that he is constantly taking photographs everywhere he goes.  I can relate to this almost compulsive need to photograph the beauty that you see around me which others don’t seem to notice.  This impression he paints in an expressionistic style leads to the outcome of a dream-like essence, and for a dreamer like myself I could not ask for more beauty from a painting.

Sunil Howlader
Sunil Howlader

Another aspect of Howlader’s paintings that I really like is his use of color.  Being from Bangladesh, an enchantment of colors must reside in his memory, and he has learned to use color in his paintings very skillfully romanticizing his paintings just the right amount.

Take a look at his work, meditate on it, and make sure you go back for at least a second round because you will find something new each time.

Busy Bee Representing CAFA

Yes, I have been very busy going around representing the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts.  It’s surprising to me the busier I find myself lately the more I try to accomplish.  It’s a damn good feeling.

Since the CAFA website has been up and running there has been some minor tweaks to take care of, but it has been running smoothly.  The exciting part of all this is receiving the submissions for either the 103rd Annual Exhibition, or submission files for artist pages for existing CAFA members.

As much as I must give thanks to my husband for all the technical work done on the website, I have to credit him even more so.  Not only did he design and coded the entire CAFA site, but in the process he has also been advancing my skills in Dreamweaver, Fireworks, and HTML.  If you don’t know by now, I will be a perpetual student because I love to learn.

What’s even more fascinating than adding skills to my résumé is the amazing talent that we have in our CAFA organization.  Having worked closely with the member artists’ artwork images, I have seen some of the coolest and most evocative contemporary artwork.

This past week, CAFA’s president and an advisor of the organization met with me to continue integrating strategies to keep CAFA going strong long after this year’s annual exhibition.  We have many good things brewing for artists and art admirers everywhere.  For now, I am focusing on promoting the 103rd Annual Exhibition to all artists in the country.  By going out to gallery exhibitions and meeting artists is a great way to achieve this, and seeing the art when it’s fresh on the spot is a great added bonus.

As the face of CAFA, I must portray a certain attitude of confidence.  This .pdf CAFA-Exhibitionpromo is one of many future ones that will contain my picture I’m sure, but it features a wide range of information.

Please feel free to share.  Think of any artist you may know in the fields drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, graphics, mixed media, and collage.  The best part is the easy submission online, which mean you can enter wherever you may live in the United States.

With that I leave you in a hurry to get my hands muddy with clay.

Sunil Howlader - Harmony Acrylic on canvas, 30"x42"
Sunil Howlader – Harmony
Acrylic on canvas, 30″x42″