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Some may say that every day is worth celebrating at a gallery like Spectrum Art Gallery and Aristan Store. With beautiful works of art, there is never a dull moment in this space. But beyond the beauty, 2019 gave Spectrum a chance to really celebrate. This past spring, the gallery celebrated its fifth anniversary, was named "Best Gallery on the Shoreline" in the public poll held by Shore Publishing and Zip06.com during the summer, and also celebrated the 15th anniversary of the founding of the Arts Center Killingworth, the non-profit organization that launched Spectrum in 2014.
Each year, the gallery presents six exhibitions of original artwork including representational and abstract paintings, sculpture, mixed media, and photography. Its shows are curated and based on themes that have welcomed artists from throughout New England and beyond. Today, Spectrum is involved with more than 100 artists and fine artisans, working with emerging artists to develop and present their work, while providing more established ones increased exposure throughout the tristate area.
The Artisans Store at Spectrum is a go-to spot for fine crafts and perfect for gifts for oneself or one-of-a-kind gifts for others, with pieces created from fabric, glass, wood, pottery, ceramic, paper, precious metals and stones, and more. The gallery building stands out for its modern design with stylish grey exteriors and brilliant red doors. Inside the serene space, visitors are bathed in warm lights that focus the attention on the artwork and fine crafts.
The Arts Center at Killingworth offers classes, workshops, and intensives at Spectrum throughout the year for all ages and levels with many courses led by artists showing at the gallery. The center presents two outdoor arts festivals in Connecticut including the Summer Arts Festival on the Essex Town Green, held on Father's Day Weekend in June; and the Autumn Arts Festival on the Madison Town Green, held Columbus Day Weekend in October. Both attract many visitors over two fun-filled days of art and music and include opportunities for artists to submit to gallery group shows at Spectrum—a great way to become involved with the gallery.
Children and teens are also encouraged to explore the arts with the art center's summer camps—Nature & Art and July Fashion Weeks. In the former, camp goers spend fun summer days drawing en plein air and painting and sculpting on the grounds of the center in Killingworth with nature as the inspiration. In fashion—a sold-out program for years—the sessions focus on slightly older students with camps for ages 11-14 and 15-18. Fashionistas learn the skills needed for fashion design (illustration, patternmaking, sewing, fashion presentation) and for serious learners, the opportunity to start a portfolio for fashion college programs. As one student's mother noted in 2019, "There are not many camps where kids can learn these skills." Another added, "This is my daughter's first time sewing. She was nervous—new skills and new people. After day one, she came home with new friends and the confidence to tackle her project."
This story was provided by Spectrum Art Gallery and Artisan Store located at 61 Main Street, Centerbrook. For more information visit spectrumartgallery.org or call (860) 767-0742.
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