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Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut Kicks Off 2018 Accessible Art Series on February 5

Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut Kicks Off 2018 Accessible Art Series on February 5 

With a mission to join business with art - and art with business, the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut will kick off a new year of its multi-site series of visual art shows, Accessible Art, on Monday, February 5th. With five rounds of exhibitions spread over the course of 2018, Accessible Art will provide those who live, work, and play in, or visit, the Greater Danbury region with a sense of the importance of Art in our everyday lives. This round of Accessible Art runs through Friday, April 13th.

 "'New' is the operative word in 2018," notes the Cultural Alliance's Executive Director, Lisa Scails.  “More than half of the artists selected this year are new to the program.  The experience of their individual creativity and expression will be new to our growing audience and art enthusiasts.  And, all of this is only possible with the support from our small business community, and particularly Danbury City Hall, CityCenter Danbury, Hodge Insurance Agency, Bethel Public Library, Pour Me Café, Mothership Bakery, Hancock Hall, and the Regional YMCA ESCAPE to the Arts.”   

Including six artists from the ten towns serviced by the Cultural Alliance and two from neighboring towns, this premier round of the 2018 Accessible Art series will highlight the works of Clarice Azzoni (Southbury), Betsy Davidson (Bethel), Colin Harrison (Brookfield), Mary Jane Magoon (Sherman), Jan McClean (Shelton), Keith Raphael (Danbury), Wing Na Wong (Danbury), and George Zipparo (Redding).  Hours at the venues vary, so call ahead. For more information about Accessible Art, call (203) 798 0760 or visit www.artswesternct.org  All exhibitions are subject to change.

Clarice Azzoni
Pour Me Coffee & Wine Cafe, 274 Main Street, Danbury
 
What would life be without art and photographs?  BORING.
 
"When I draw or paint, I love to enjoy the process without worrying about the outcome," says Clarice.  "Sometimes it works...sometimes it doesn't.  But the process always makes me feel alive." 
 
Betsy Davidson
Betsy works in an explorative process, often using many different mediums in one piece. Her use of collage and paint together provide a means to express a rich vocabulary of shape-shifting in space. She values the role of chance, saying "I welcome serendipitous moments and appreciate when they occur. I strive to be present in the making and then to choose carefully what ultimately remains. My work can be viewed as an outward expression of an internal dialogue with form."
 
Colin Harrison
Hodge Insurance Agency, 283 Main Street, Danbury
 
Colin believes that the photographer's job is really 90% about Seeing, about being in the right place and the right time and actually noticing a moment that is worth capturing and sharing. "Scenes that call out to me and people with whom I can strike a resonance are moments that expose truths that need to be preserved," he notes, adding "and having a camera on hand as well." 
 
Mary Jane Magoon
Mothership Bakery & Cafe, 331 Main Street, Danbury
 
With a background and education in interior design, Mary Jane has always had a passion for art, especially watercolor. Owning an art gallery, Artistic Surroundings, deepened this infatuation.  "I am especially fascinated by the effects of light and the shadows that it creates, she comments. "Reflected glass and windows are some of my favorite subjects to paint. The transparency and luminosity of watercolor affords reflections to be even more luscious."  
 
Jan McClean
Bethel Public Library, 189 Greenwood Ave
 
Through paint, paper, fibers, fabric, found objects and a 'let's-try-this' approach to mixed media collage, Jan creates the world as  whimsical, colorful, fun and funny. She says, "I offer the viewer playful but also profound insights into the essence of humanness and of Life itself. I am a storyteller. Whether the motifs are houses, trees, critters or something more abstract, my work is always a narrative. Houses carry on conversations. Trees dance. Fish teem in cosmic seas. The story may not always be evident, but it is inevitable."

Keith Jay Raphael

Danbury City Hall, 155 Deer Hill Avenue
 
A global financier, sculptor, woodworker, and Kodak Award winner at the age of 18, Keith has produced photography for the last 46 years. He says, "I find that abstraction feeds my imagination, creativity, and alternative thinking. There is no greater artistic satisfaction for me than to produce an image that speaks to my diverse interests in art, nature, and humanity. Each time this happens, the wonderment of my inner child is triggered and I am elated."
 
Wing Na Wong (Wendy)
 
Wendy decided at the age of twelve that she wanted to be an artist. Drawing, painting and digital arts have always been her focus. "I love the fusion of practical projects with the creative process," she passionately shares. 
 
George Zipparo
YMCA's ESCAPE to the Arts, 293 Main Street, Danbury
 
"My work is my statement," George declares. The artist is best known for his captivating, true-to-life portraiture.

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