"Brush, Pencil & Needle" Art Show to Open at Kershner, Dec. 16

Fairfield, CT - The public is invited to a reception for “Brush, Pencil, and Needle” the artwork of Dick Rauh,  Barbara W. Sferra, and Susan Spivack in the Bruce S.Kershner Gallery on December 16 at 4:30 - 6:30 pm. The artists will talk about their work at 5:15. The show runs from December 9 to January 16 in the Fairfield Library at 1080 Old Post Road and can be viewed during library hours. See www.fairfieldpubliclibrary.org or call 203-256-3155. 

Westport resident Dick Rauh first had a career in motion picture special effects. In addition to earning a certificate in botanical illustration from The New York Botanical Garden, he received his doctorate in plant sciences from the City University of New York. He has been an instructor in the botanical illustration certificate program at the New York Botanical Garden since 1994 and was named "Teacher of the Year 2010”. He also teaches drawing classes at the Fairfield and Westport Senior Centers and at Lifetime Learners at Norwalk Community College.

Dick's work won the Gold Medal and "Best in Show" awards at the Royal Horticultural Society Show in London. He is a fellow of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Florilegium Society, His work is in the permanent collections of the Lindley Library in London, the New York State Museum in Albany, and the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation at Carnegie Mellon University. He has exhibited widely throughout the country and has shown recently at the Wilton Library and the Highstead Arboretum, and had a solo show in the Steinhardt Gallery of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. 

Dick says that using a microscope to illustrate a book on Wildflowers  “...led me to discover the astounding detail and intrinsic grace of these generally overlooked remnants” It “caused me to break one of the traditional 'rules' of botanical paintings and to enlarge my subjects between five and twenty times their actual size. Once I became entranced by the beauty I found in the specimens I drew for the book, I was hooked, and have been seeking out and painting more and more of these subjects, now more than twenty years after publication. The black and white pieces in the show reflect another side of my love of nature...the details that inspire me.”

Barbara W Sferra lives in Katonah, NY. She studied Art Education in College and after graduation taught art to elementary and high school students. She created in many different media over the years and now fiber art is her main pursuit. 

Barbara  belongs to several quilt and fiber related organizations in Westchester and Connecticut. She has exhibited at the Northern Star Quilt Show for over 15 years and received several ribbons, has also shown locally at the Northern Star Quilters Show and The Nest in Bridgeport. Her work has been in many New York shows, including Etui Fiber Arts in Larchmont, The View Arts Center in Old Forge, The City Quilter Gallery, Mahopac Village Library and the Katonah Museum of Art. She also had a piece published in “Quilting Arts Magazine”.     

Barbara says she sometimes dyes and paints fabric, embellishes with beads and stitching, may use the computer and add her own photos. She is inspired by color and “Nature and the natural world inspire me and are often what my art is all about. To portray the world around me in a realistic or slightly stylized way is the focus of much of what I do.  But I am also drawn to working purely in the abstract, using geometric forms, bright colors and textures. Abstracting natural elements to create a new and original design, and then adding embellishments of paint, thread, beads, machine and hand stitching and other surface design leads to the completion of each piece.” 

Watercolorist Susan Spivack graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology where she majored in Textile Design. She has studied at the Silvermine Art Center, the Rowayton Arts Center, as well as at numerous workshops in Provence, Tuscany, Bermuda, and Maine.

She is a member of the Connecticut Watercolor Society, the New Haven Paint and Clay Club, the Rowayton Art Society and the Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club.  A resident of Westport, she has exhibited in numerous museums around the country, as well as area galleries.  Hher works are part of countless private collections and she has been the recipient of numerous awards at many area arts facilities.

Susan says, “Transformation of the ordinary into something stimulating to the eye, giving my subject a new life of its own, is the touchstone for my figurative, landscape and still life compositions...My application of color is...strongly influenced by my experience as a commercial textile designer... There are two pronounced tendencies in my work.  One is a more pictorial, patterned composition with lots of active space that offset the figural components.  Here, the figure or image becomes the defining element, but space is equally crucial in terms of its activation through line and color with the result that there is emotional tension that charges both motifs and the spaces flowing around and between them.  The second tendency in my painting encompasses more abstraction through the use of flatter composition, less uninhabited space, and color tonalities...” 


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