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Artists Open Their Homes, Will Display Their Art at Jane’s Walk in Hartford, Saturday, October 9

Andy Hart

October 07, 2010

In the spirit of the Jane’s Walk in Hartford’s West End – getting to know about who lives here and to explore what’s happening in the West End – we are including an “Art Walk” to introduce West End artists to the walk participants. A dozen artists will open their homes to display their art and talk with visitors about their work and inspiration, a casual “artist’s talk.”Here are the artists who will participate, including their bios. Check the map for the location where they will display their art.

James Baker
131 Elizabeth Street

Oil Paintings & Watercolors

James Baker’s oil paintings aim for poetry in the commonplace. In all seasons and primarily close to home, Baker paints the landscape, architecture, and climate of central Connecticut, particularly the West End of Hartford as well as the shores and marshes of the state’s coastline.

The work balances painterly, direct observation with simplified form and minimal detail. Surface patterns merge with the suggestion of deep space and atmosphere. Olive greens, sandy browns, faded blues and off- whites dominate the small canvases. The buildings within have an anthropomorphic resonance. Formal qualities aside, the work rarely comes off as analytical. The paintings, at their best, create a bridge between the cerebral and the sensual.

Baker is also a graphic designer and illustrator whose work has appeared in The New York Times as well as other venues. His paintings are in several prominent local collections. He lives in Hartford with his wife, the writer Christine Palm. They have four sons.

“(Baker’s Untitled Landscape #8 is...) a small but effusive essay in expressionism based on a street scene. Trees and lawns converge in free-flowing strokes of shiny green paint... Light, pure and warm, with strong healing connotations...” -Art New England

“(Baker)... finds the fragile balance between the human environment and the sea through intimately scaled paintings filled with light.” - The Hartford Advocate

Carol Davidson
183 Kenyon Street


I earned my BFA at Florida International University. Over the years my work has been with art glass, twenty years; drawings, always; watercolors, thirteen years; collage, now and then.

I have been involved in the studio arts for over fifteen years with commission work, exhibitions teaching, and studio management. Of special note is a Teaching Assistantship at Pilchuck Glass School for Eva Vlasakova of the Czech Republic, and a Work Study position at the studio of Narcissus Quagliata, internationally known for his art glass.

Adrienne Gale
49 Sherman Street

Fiber arts, printmaking & artists’ books

Adrienne Gale’s art addresses two subjects: language, specifically etymology and the connections that exist between words through their histories, and the idea of home. Using her own visual symbols of trees, roots, and nests, Adrienne explores language and the sense of belonging in a variety of media including fiber arts, printmaking, and artists’ books.

Adrienne is a third-generation Hartford resident. After receiving her BFA in Painting from Boston University and her MFA in Book Arts & Printmaking from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Adrienne spent two years in Venice, Italy where she taught art to both Italian and American study-abroad students. Before returning to Hartford, she spent a year back in Philadelphia as an artist-in-residence and visiting instructor at The University of Pennsylvania. Currently, Adrienne is a recipient of two grants from the Hartford Arts & Heritage Jobs Grant Program. She runs a letterpress print shop called Hartford Prints! and employs nine Hartford Public High School students. Together, Adrienne and her students create art that showcases Hartford in a positive light and the proceeds of their sales are donated to other Hartford businesses and non-profits.

Viviane L. Grady
92 Fern Street


A Montreal native, Viviane has been living in Hartford for the last 11yrs., since her return from South East Asia, where she spent 8yrs. She is a graduate from University of Connecticut’s School of Fine Arts where she acquired a B.F.A., majoring in Graphic Design and a Post Graduate Diploma in Design Studies from the University of Technology, Sydney.

Viviane is an avid traveler who is passionate about people and cultures. During the past 21yrs. she has spent time in 6 of our 7 continents, capturing her adventures on camera. Viviane has had 2 of her photos selected for publication in The Hartford Courant’s travel section, ‘On the Road to Morocco’, Meknes, Morocco (September 13, 2009) and ‘Beauty on Ice’, Juneau, Alaska (November 4, 2007). Some of her destinations include Vietnam, Portugal, Sweden, Thailand, Indonesia, and Australia.

Viviane currently works at the Travelers in Hartford where she is a Senior Project Director.

Bill Healy
57 Sherman Street


Self-taught artist Bill “HillBilly” Healy has been creating artwork since his childhood in the 1960s, drawing cartoons, making comic books and caricatures of sports figures, some of which were published in The Hartford Times when he was 15.

“I went in for a job drawing a comic strip named ‘Germ and Measel.’ They ended up writing an article about me and my art, and offered me a job doing caricatures of athletes for The Times’ sports page which was really cool.”

Years later in his artistic career, Healy was working as an animator for a studio in Canton, Connecticut, when he found himself drawn to vintage tins, old appliance parts, and rusty bottle caps. He began putting them together to create robots known as HillBilly’s Metalmen. Over the past few years HillBilly’s metalmen have grown increasingly popular among gallery owners across the nation. Healy’s robots can also be found in museums such as The American Folk Art Museum in New York City, the Science Fiction Museum in Seattle, and the Wadsworth Atheneum here in Hartford.

Chris London
57 Sherman Street

Jewelry and sculpture in porcelain and stoneware clay

While using both porcelain and stoneware clay bodies, Chris London sculpts faces onto antique rakes, hand builds slabs into masks and platters, or pinches clay into bowls. The symbols and iconography are inspired by the natural world and allude to other cultures while becoming a language of symbols that are all her own. The work seems to dance between humor and a more serious content while it holds a gentle sense of familiarity for each of the viewers.

Chris London is a potter, sculptor, and businesswoman. She believes her strength is her versatility. Her success as an artist and her ability to support herself on the sale of her work confirms her strength. When very young, she put her hands on some clay and made a connection to it - a connection that changed her future.

Chris London has exhibited work in numerous galleries in New England as well as other parts of the U.S. She resides and works in her studio in Hartford, Connecticut.

Liza Martin
70 Kenyon Street (hosted)

Oil paintings

Liza Martin is a printmaker and painter. After completing her undergraduate degree at Connecticut College, she went on to receive her M.F.A. in printmaking from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, PA. Liza taught at Tunxis Community College for ten years. Currently she works at the Montessori School of Greater Hartford with young children, and teaches evenings at Tunxis.

For the past four summers, Liza has been fortunate to spend her two-month break from teaching on Martha’s Vineyard where her mother has a painting studio. There she found the time and inspiration to complete a large majority of the work being displayed in the Art Walk.

Lisa Pressamarita
25 North Beacon Street

Oil paintings, water media painting, pottery, pencil drawings

Hartford born and having lived in Hartford County my entire life, I moved to the West End in 1999 to study for my BA at the Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford. After earning my degree, I decided to settle in the West End – the place, the people and the feel I’d grown to love. Frolic, being at a particular place and time, looking for light, line and color. Inspired by nature, thought or people, whatever may touch my emotions. Materials are from nature, new and recycled materials. Professional painter for over 20 years. Honored with three Art League Awards. Member of the Connecticut Watercolor Society for seventeen years.

Elizabeth Watson Raphael
176 Beacon Street

Stone sculpture

Elizabeth came to Hartford to attend Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford following high school graduation in her native New York. After earning her BFA in Music, she continued her music studies taking classes with Arnold Franchetti, Composer in Residence at the Hartt School. Her love of the visual arts lead her to additional post graduate studies in sculpture and studio arts under the instruction of Theodore Wolfgang Behl, at the Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford.

She’s lead a rich life pursuing her passions: her four children and resulting four grandchildren, her music and her sculpting. Settling in the West End two years ago, she teaches budding young pianists, welcomes art enthusiasts to her home gallery and mentors sculptors in the medium she has mastered.

“Music and form meld as a piece of stone takes artistic form. Something inorganic is transformed into something humanistic, having a rhythm and movement all its own. Beauty, religion, and feminism become satirical studies in stone, a reflection of the artist’s sense of humor and purpose. Raphael’s sculptures take inspiration from the human form, classical figures very much part of contemporary society.”

Nan Runde
180 Kenyon Street

Oil paintings, egg tempera, pencil & ink drawings, handmade books & albums

A free-lance writer and designer for many years, Nan Runde is a BFA candidate at the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts. Over the years, Nan has been involved in a wide variety of artistic endeavors. She drew editorial cartoons and was staff artist for the Centre Daily Times of State College, Pennsylvania. For five years she created The Shakespeare Calendar for Cahill & Company, for whom she also designed note cards, and provided illustrations for calendars and the journal Feasts and Seasons. More recently she had her own business doing digital photo restoration and creating one-of-a-kind custom books and albums.

Peter Upton
92 Fern Street

Oil paintings, abstract

Peter Upton, an attorney, is passionate about painting. Peter is not a professional painter – he views painting as a process. He paints not for outcome but simply to experience – to experience the immediacy of the joy and harmony that painting gives him. His mantra is that his works reflect “paint dancing with paint.” Peter lives in the West End with his wife Maria. He also is passionate about his endeavors as a gardener and a Tai-Chi and Yoga practitioner and he is in tireless pursuit of a golf swing which emulates that of the great Bobby Jones. “Life - as is Golf -is a game of psychology. It is played in the six-inch course between the ears.” - Bobby Jones.

Joan Zei-Healy
57 Sherman Street


Joan Zei is a Fine Arts graduate of the Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford where she majored in painting and graphic design. She started her art career at Animation Studios in Canton, Connecticut where she met and fell in love with her husband and fellow artist, Bill Healy.

After ten years at the Studios, Joan Zei-Healy joined Bill to open “Healyum” in Avon, a “funky gift shop” featuring their combined original artwork and various retro items. Following this venture, she decided to use her acquired skills to work as a retail manager. Finding herself out of work, the ever-inventive Joan decided to once again rely on her creative talents and began fashioning jewelry to sell at such well-known stores as Japanalia, Only Natural and Blazing Betty’s. Joan’s comments on her latest line of jewelry: “Not everything you wear has to be a precious gem. The inspiration for my jewelry designs comes from the unexpected. I believe that fashion can be fun and funky…so I have created a line of jewelry made from fabulous flea market finds.”

Reprinted with permission of the The Hartford News.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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