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A Taste of the Arts at the Clay House

'Victory' by Corina Alvarezdelugo on display at Gallery One in Old Saybrook.
"Victory" by Corina Alvarezdelugo on display at Gallery One in Old Saybrook.

On Friday, April 9, Gallery One held one of their monthly shows at the Clay House in Old Saybrook. This month featured works by members of group B, which includes Corina Alvarezdelugo, Nile Barrett, David Brown, Ashby Carlisle, Leslie Concannon, Denise Gaffney Hartz, Mark Kruger, Diana Rodgers, Maureen Squires and Jill Vaughn.

“Our group extends as far east as Lyme and as far west as the Bronx,” said Judith Osborne, coordinator of the event and a part of group A. “We share the space here with the Clay House and it works very nicely. It has the feel of a gallery with a nice break up. We all have jobs. Jill Vaughn does a wonderful job at hanging the shows; she has a great eye for placement. She teaches at Oxford Academy. David Brown lives in a hay bale house and is an organic farmer.”

Gallery One has been in existence for quite some time but has gone through many transitions.

“I was one of the three consultant artists when Gallery One first opened back in 2005,” said David Brown. “Then it faded away a little, and I asked to start it again.”

The styles the artists in this group use are quite varied. There was everything from abstract paintings to clay sculptures. There were even calligraphic works done by Maureen Squires.

“There are over 2,000 years of scripts,” said Squires. “There are thousands and thousands of variations. I pick the alphabets I like best and make them my own.”

Another type of art shown at this display were collages done by Corina Alvarezdelugo, who also paints and sculpts.

“I describe myself as a mixed-media painter and sculptor. Painting is more of a thought process. The collages are faster. It allows me to relax after all that thought,” said Alvarezdelugo. “My collages evolve in weeks, or some I put all together to glue and it’s done. I’ve shown all over Venezuela, New York and Connecticut. I once did a big show where I didn’t have enough works to fill the space. I had to produce 30 pieces in a month to fill it. I love to be able to only work on my art.”

David Brown enjoys painting from life. He paints series of the same thing going through seasonal changes.

“I once painted a year of just my garden changing,” said Brown.

Denise Hartz is more of an abstract painter. Her pieces are made up of warmer colors and a few silhouettes of people.

“I’ve been working in abstraction,” Said Hartz. “It was after the earthquake in Haiti that I started putting the figures in. I think there’s a connection.”

Ashby Carlisle solely sculpts. Her works come from nature and the majority of them are in frames made of clay.

“I work in white stone wear paper clay. The ideas come from nature. I like that when I smoke fire the white it looks very ancient and fossil-like. I’m very much drawn to how many variations of one object there are. This is the first time I’ve done a collection not in a frame. I like how the frames reflect the pieces themselves.”

All the artists seem to think that Gallery One is a great place to show work and a great place for support.

“It’s really good to have a place to show new work and see how it comes out,” said Carlisle. “Here we can experiment and change. It’s nice to have a group you show with too. There’s more support.”

“I’ve been in over 100 shows,” said Hartz. “I’m really enjoying the other artists and the public. It’s been a great experience.”

“It’s a good way for artists to get our work out. That’s pretty rare for an artist to have pieces up all year,” said Vaughn. “It forces us to do new work and it lets us put up work that’s more adventurous. We’re not restricted here, that’s really key.”

The works of members in group A will be on display during May and June of this year. For more information on Gallery One and their art shows please call or visit the Clay House, 665 Boston Post Road Old Saybrook, or call (860) 388-0907.