NORWALK, Conn. – The Community Cooperative Nursery School’s annual art show has been a tradition for Norwalk and Darien families for 50 years. This year the Rowayton school is celebrating its 50th anniversary by bringing back featured artists from previous years.
The walls of the schools will be filled, floor to ceiling, with more than 900 works of art from more than 100 artists. The “best of” retrospective will showcase past featured artists Paul Balmer, Andrea Bonfils, Helen Cantrell, Eline de Jonge, Lori Glavin, Claudia Mengel and new featured artist Duvian Montoya.
Cantrell specializes in landscape and expressionist painting and prints. A resident of Old Lyme, she has been participating in the show for the past 12 years. “It’s such a blast, I love it so much.”
Balmer originally hails from South Africa, and worked in advertising before moving to New York and focusing on abstract landscapes and cityscapes. He often paints the environment he is in, and then starts sanding away at the paint to give it more texture. “If it looks too real, I like to break it up. The idea is to give the impression of a place more than a literal picture.”
Darien resident Bonfils was the featured artist last year. She is continuing her work in encaustics, where she coats her paintings with wax and heats them with blowtorches. She also will be featuring a series of underwater photographs.
Norwalk artist and former school parent Hu Linsday got involved with the show after its first year in 1962. “I was underwhelmed and disappointed with that first show. Everything I wanted to buy was not for sale. Now everything is for sale, at multiple price points.” Linsday said that he has bought more than 50 pieces of work at the shows over the years.
This year the works will feature QR codes designed by Norwalk artist Joe DeRuvo, so those who come to the show will be able to scan the bar code with a Smartphone and purchase the piece of art right there.
Proceeds from the show will go to the nursery school, which is owned and operated by the parents. It focuses on learning through creativity and play, with a curriculum driven by the interest of the students.
Opening night of the show will be on June 7 at 7 p.m. and it will continue through June 10.