Artists take to the farm, winery and bistro

"Laid Table of Roadkill II," oil on linen by Cara de Angelis

Over the last several years, Six Summit Gallery in Ivoryton has served up a food-themed spring exhibition. This year the show moved to Chamard Vineyards in Clinton with the title "Farm, Winery and Bistro," in keeping with the venue.

After putting out a call to artists for work reflecting the exhibit's theme, Leo Feroleto, owner of Six Summit Gallery, says, "I was delighted with the quality and variety of the art. It's part traditional winery scenes, part narrative, part illustrative and part progressive; including some mixed media and abstract work."

One-hundred paintings, sculptures and mixed media pieces by 30 artists are on display. Nancy Gladwell of Old Lyme, associate professor of painting at Lyme Academy College of Fine Art, juried the exhibit. She awarded first, second and third place prizes plus three honorable mentions.

"I looked for the work with the strongest composition, craftsmanship and content - work that had something interesting to say," Gladwell says.

Cara de Angelis of Norwalk won first prize for "Mondrian Lemon," egg tempera and gold leaf on board. She also won third prize for "Laid Table of Roadkill II," oil on linen.

"Cara has exemplary skills and in 'Mondrian Lemon,' I thought the combination of rendering the form in three-dimension against Mondrian's historically flat artwork was a beautiful combination and not an easy thing to do to make it harmonious," Gladwell says.

She says of "Laid Table," "She has a real command of the medium and can sculpt the form and I thought it was really amusing using those gross animals on the table with the food and wine and the man and woman seeming lost in their thoughts and unaware of them."

Second place went to Michael Sanzone of Westport for his mixed media piece "Distillery Sunrise," made from whisky casks that originated from a Scottish distillery.

"I thought he used the wood, the positioning of the grain, and some of the text, beautifully," Gladwell says. "Punches of color and recognized shapes are well placed and make a very dynamic composition."

Commenting on the honorable mentions, she says of Donna Martell of Norwich's "Snarskis Liquors," pastel, "She uses colors well and took a pretty mundane landscape and turned it into something that was very beautiful and atmospheric."

Of "Winter Storage," a silver gelatin print by Elona Elms of Deep River that was photographed at a private vineyard in Germany, Gladwell notes its "a nice composition that gives it a still, solitary feeling, which supersedes the pastoral subject matter."

Other notable works include former television personality and Old Lyme resident Sally Jesse Raphael's "Provence Vineyard," painted en plain air in the South of France; "Jacques Pepin," Jason Mecier's portrait of the Madison celebrity chef, made of beans from northern California; and New York photographer Sedjnie Ritoe's black and white photograph of rural Netherlands farmland.

In addition to the juried artwork, a display of five sculptures and four prints by William Kent (1919-2012) of Durham is included in the exhibition.

"Much of his work is farm, winery, bistro related," says Feroleto. "He was once called the world's greatest living carver of wood by a New York Times interviewer. His extraordinary body of work that numbers in the thousands is in the collections of the Smithsonian, Brooklyn Museum, New Britain Museum of American Art, Lyman Allyn Art Museum and many more."

Gladwell adds, "They're beautifully crafted sculptures with a tongue-in-cheek playfulness about them."

"Mondrian Lemon," egg tempera and gold leaf on board by Cara de Angelis
"Buy the Girl a Drink," watercolor by Pat Kelbaugh

IF YOU GO

What: "Farm, Winery and Bistro"; a food-related art exhibit

Where: Chamard Vineyards 115 Cow Hill Road, Clinton

When: Through June 1. For gallery hours, call (860) 664-0299 or visit www.chamard.com.

Information: To purchase art, contact Six Summit Gallery in Ivoryton at (860) 581-8332. A percentage of sales will go to Vista Vocational & Life Skills Center in Westbrook, Chamard's and Six Summit's collaborative art partner.

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