Best In Show

Best In Show

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Exactly like you, Bob Parker

'Bob never got through a gig without having a good time and having a laugh,” said Wanda Houston at Music Mountain’s Gordon Hall on Saturday, June 29. She was there performing jazz classics in a tribute concert, and the “Bob” in question being honored was the late West Cornwall resident Robert Andrew Parker, who Houston described meeting at The Wake Robin Inn in the mid 1990s as she was still getting used to the music scene of rural Connecticut. Parker was a veteran of just that scene. Outside of his work as a prolific watercolor painter and illustrator whose work was featured in The New Yorker and the collection of The Museum of Modern Art alike, was also a drummer. In his free time, Parker, who died in 2024 at the age of 96, was a member of the jazz band Jive by Five along with members like pianist Scott Heth.

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Kent painter creates ‘Best Watercolor of the Year'

“Empty Nest” is the painting that won “Best Watercolor of the Year.”

Provided

'This is my time,” said Deborah Chabrian, still basking in the glow of winning “Best Watercolor of the Year” at the PleinAir Convention in Cherokee, S.C.

Her painting “Empty Nest,” depicting an empty birdcage in front of her South Kent studio window, with a view of Schaghticoke Mountain behind it, was chosen as the ultimate winner in the watercolor category after a complex year-long competition.

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Finding the light: Jimmy Wright’s sunflowers at Argazzi Gallery

Judith Singelis at Argazzi Gallery

Natalia Zukerman

On Saturday, June 22, The Argazzi Gallery opened “Looking for the Light,” an intimate exhibition celebrating the work of Jimmy Wright, an artist whose relationship with sunflowers has spanned decades.

Wright moved to New York City in 1974. Growing up gay in rural Kentucky, he wasn’t able to express himself openly, but upon immersing himself in New York’s gay scene in the 70’s, he finally found he was able to live his life freely. He began to depict his social scene, making large-scale drawings of nights out at gay clubs in unapologetic detail. Three of those drawings are now on view at the Whitney Museum, high praise and validation that Wright is giddy about in the sweetest and humblest of ways.

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Windows of wonder: New Risen’s vision of art beyond boundaries

Left to right: David Noonan, Miller Hughes, and Michael St. John in front of Judith Linhare’s paintings at New Risen windows in North Canaan.

Natalia Zukerman

New Risen is a roving exhibition based on the belief that art should not be confined to museums and galleries. The two curators of the program, David Noonan and Millree Hughes, are committed to creating an inclusive, living, breathing experience that will evolve and grow but always remain true to the idea that beauty can be found in the most unexpected places.

There will be pop-up shows in various spaces across Litchfield County but to begin, there is a permanent window display at the intersection of Railroad and Main Street in North Canaan. Noonan explained, “I was driving my kids to school, and I drove by this window, and I saw it empty. I always kind of wanted to do a public art thing just because I thought it was cool.” With these windows, he explained, “You can go, and you don’t have to, like, encounter anyone. You can go see it whenever you want. You could see this in the middle of the night if you wanted to. In fact, it looks incredible in the middle of the night.” Noonan got in touch with the building owner who was on board with the idea. Hughes and Noonan then opened the first of their rotating exhibitions with three paintings by renowned American painter Judith Linhares. Born in 1940, Linhares is celebrated for her vibrant, expressive figurative and narrative paintings. Linhares gained recognition in the Bay Area culture of the 1960s and 1970s and has been based in New York City since 1980. Her work, influenced by Expressionism, Bay Area Figuration, Mexican modern art, and second-wave feminism, balances visionary personal imagery, expressive intensity, and pictorial rigor. Her paintings will be on display until mid-July at which point the windows will change over to show three new works by artist Michael St. John whose layered collages will transform the space once again.

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