Arts Happenings Lifestyle Reader Contributed

Work by West Hartford Artist Included in ‘New Currents’ Exhibition

Daylight Savings Time, pastel by Karen Israel. Courtesy image

West Hartford resident Karen Israel has several pieces included in the Gallery One CT ‘New Currents’ Exhibition on View at the Guilford Art Center from May 13 through June 5, 2022.  


The “New Currents” exhibition features works by Gallery One artists and celebrates the role of art in navigating the currents of life. Connecticut-based Gallery One represents a diverse group of established artists whose works reflect different artistic traditions. Artists include: Rosemary Cotnoir (Westbrook), Victor Filepp (New London), Ann Knickerbocker (Old Saybrook), Paul Fitzpatrick Nager (Old Lyme), T. Willie Raney (Ivoryton), Diana Rogers (Clinton), Rick Silberberg (Ivoryton), and Jill Vaughn (Ivoryton) and guest artists: Karen Israel (West Hartford), Judith Barbour Osborne (Chester), and Chip Rutan (Old Saybrook).

The Welcome Committee. Pastel by Karen Israel. Courtesy image

Karen Israel’s pastel paintings are defined by their dynamic compositions and unique viewpoints. She said in her artist statement that she “is influenced by the light and mood of the subject and lets those elements dictate her approach. These subjects are rendered with a strong appreciation for the rigors of formal design coupled with a fearless array of color choices.”

Among her many awards, Israel’s work placed Fourth in Pastel Journal Magazine’s top 100 juried competition in 2020. She has achieved Signature status with the American Artists Professional League and she has earned Master Pastelist with the Pastel Society of America and Master Circle with the International Association of Pastel Societies.  Israel’s work is frequently displayed at the Salmagundi Club, NYC, The Copley Society of Art, Boston, and the Lyme Art Association, CT.

Israel had been invited to participate in “Pastels of the World in Bourbonnais” honoring American Women pastelists May, 2022. Herwork was featured in Practique Des Arts: August 2020 Volume 53 and July 2018 Vol. 47, Southwest Art Magazine, June 2021 issue. Karen’s work can be found in both public and private collections throughout the United States.

Jill Vaughn’s work reflects how social and political currents impact nature. “My work in this exhibit explores the inner connections of how we touch nature — sometimes tenderly and at other times harshly,” she said. Vaughn uses drawing and collage and incorporates everyday objects such as paper and plastic packaging to consider the art of giving back to nature rather than taking too much.

For artist T. Willie Raney, the ebb and flow of life in times of change lend inspiration in making art. “Creating collagraphs and collaging them is all about recreating the layers of our daily lives,” Raney said.

Diana Rogers’ work is influenced by the waterways of coastal Connecticut. “Movement in water is a mesmerizing subject matter for painting. Currents in the sea and streams reflect nature and impacts of weather that bring about calm and harmony on one day and drama the next,” she noted.

The exhibit opened to the public on May 13 and runs through June 5 in the Mill Gallery at the Guilford Art Center located at 411 Church Street in Guilford, CT. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. For more information, visit the Gallery One website at www.galleryonect.com or contact us at [email protected].

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