Our next “Got Art” presentation will be “Sarah Stifler Lucas, Portrait Painter.” On June 14 from 6:30 – 8:30 pm at the Welles Turner Library, 2407 Main Street in Glastonbury, Sarah Stifler Lucas will share her artistic insight. Lucas is known for her figure paintings, cafe and street scenes, and delicate renditions of children at play. She also specializes in commissioned portraits, many of which hang in private and public collections around the world. Lucas’ many honors include awards from the allied Artists of America, Salamagundi Club in New York City, and New Haven by Courtyard Gallery in Mystic, Connecticut.
The “Got Art?” Symposia is part of the Art Guild’s overarching goal of bringing art to the community. At each event, the artist presents commentary about his/her creative work, provides tips and instruction, displays examples, and/or demonstrates his/her work. All have established reputations and have been recognized for their expertise as indicated by the awards they received, and the galleries, corporate collections, and institutions that collect and display their work. The programs are usually free but donations are appreciated and accepted at the door.
The Glastonbury Art Guild was founded in 1962
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At age twenty-six, Harry White determined that he wanted to develop his own unique form of expression and so he developed “fleurage”, the name he gave his collages made primarily with flower petals and plant parts.
Harry presses his materials between sheets of facial tissue placed in large telephone books. They dry according to the nature of the plant material and the climatic conditions. When dry, they are categorized by type and color and stored in horizontal files.
He assembles his selection of petals and leaves and cuts and adheres them to an archival surface using a glue formulated to bind and preserve antique and rare books. He applies the glue with a brush, utilizing a glass palate for a working surface. The glue is water soluble when working and permanent when dry. Over thirty years, he has developed numerous techniques to achieve different forms of expression including landscapes, portraits and abstractions. Harry believes that practice, experimentation and mistakes are the best teachers.
Harry says that it is essential for him to be at one with his medium from the ground up and so gardening in all of its aspects is focal in his life. His goal is to be able to give truth back to the world through his art, a truth that perceives motion, change, pattern and eventually an evolution. Harry’s art and his garden were recently featured in, The Inspired Garden: Twenty-four Artists Share Their Vision (DownEast Books 2009), providing an exciting lesson on how artistic principles underlay garden design just as much as they do sculpture, painting, mosaic, or other arts.
Harry’s garden illustrates his interpretative concepts of motion and change to beautify and create harmony and resonance with the natural world. With an eye for composition, texture, and color, he breaks traditional garden “rules”. His artistic expression in the garden is a natural extension of his artistic medium. He was hailed by Picasso’s first agent in the U.S. as “one of the few artists of the 20th century to create a new art form, “fleurage”. The Book of Knowledge credits him with creating the fleurage medium in 1983.
Harry has exhibited extensively throughout New England, New York and Washington, D.C. He has been featured in Smithsonian, Yankee, Horticulture and American Horticulturist magazines and in dozens of newspapers and on local television.
The Glastonbury Art Guild debuted its online member exhibition with the work of Lois Eldridge (1928-2018) . As one of the Art Guild’s founding and longest continuing members, the organization recognizes her for her foresight and support of the arts in its many forms.
Teaching, traveling and pottery are the focus of Lois Eldridge’s world. She refers to them as her three careers, and has woven them into a life creating beauty, discovering faraway places and sharing knowledge.
A founding member of the Glastonbury Art Guild, Lois set out to be a teacher, and pursued that vocation both here and abroad. She taught Spanish and French, and was a teacher in Glastonbury for students from third grade through adult education. “I’ve always loved teaching,” she says, “It is the most noble profession.” Later, she tutored and volunteered at Glastonbury’s Buttonball School.
Along the way Lois was introduced to pottery. She joined Wesleyan Potters and began a life-long study of clay, design, and glazes. Looking back on the years that she was establishing herself as a professional potter, she recalls shipping wholesale orders all over the northeast as she studied with fine teachers and visiting potters from around the world. She came to realize that her income as a potter would not be enough to allow her to pursue the kind of travel she wanted, so she found another solution. She took a desk job with American Airlines and managed to travel to fourteen countries during her years there. She thrilled at the unique pottery of South America, the breadth of history in Greece’s antiquities, and the glorious porcelains she saw in Shanghai. Museums were a highlight of her travels.
Chemistry and mathematics, once among her least favorite subjects, are now tools used to create magnificent glazes for her pottery. Lois worked on a team at Wesleyan Potters to develop crystalline glazes. Her conversation is sprinkled with words like celadon, zinc oxide, titanium, manganese and iron. The glazes sparkle and reflect light as though stars were beaming through the pieces.
Lois Eldridge admires crafts people, saying “whether they work in wood, metal, gems, or clay, or any other natural material, these artisans take what is available in the earth and bring them to life. It is an amazing process.”