Ridgefield’s Art Walk brings ‘artists into the community’

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RIDGEFIELD — Cindy Wagner stood outside the Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance on Saturday afternoon, working on a portrait of little girls dressed in bright yellow ballerina costumes.

“I was a dancer and my daughters danced and then my granddaughters started dancing,” said Wagner, from Weston, who named her work “Chaos in Yellow”.

Wagner was one of approximately 50 artists who participated in the Ninth Annual Ridgefield Guild of Artists Art Walk. The event is hosted by approximately 35 Ridgefield merchants along Main Street and Bailey Avenue.

Guild President Mary Pat Devine said the artists go beyond theme and work in a variety of mediums including painting, photography, sculpture and prints.

“We try to complement it with colors that we know are there,” said Devine, who stood outside Ridgefield City Hall. “Most of the stores we have worked with for years. We kind of know what they like.

All artists must be guild members to participate in the event, which runs until September 11. All works are for sale.

“We have an entry process where they submit pieces that would be representative of what they want to have on the Art Walk,” Devine said. “Then we have a jury process. There’s a committee that meets and decides who’s going to be on it, and then matches the artists with the stores.

She added that one of the guild’s goals is to help artists exhibit works of art.

“It’s one of the ways we bring artists into the community, to see what they’re doing,” she said.

On Saturday, many artists supported their work and answered questions. Some have worked their art.

Wagner said she painted a whole series of ballerinas and ballet-related paintings. She was inspired to paint “Chaos in Yellow” after taking her granddaughters to a dress rehearsal.

“All the little girls were lined up,” she said. “They were all supposed to do the same thing and none of them were doing the same thing. Of course, I was taking pictures because that’s what grandmas do… And I was like, oh my god, I have to paint this.

Kara Stern, from Lewisboro, NY, just started painting last January.

“I took one of those Paint and Sip classes, and it turns out I can paint,” said Stern, who stood outside the Whim clothing store. “I really enjoy the challenge associated with trying to do a portrait.”

One of her challenges, she said, is recreating the emotion from the photos she and others have taken that resonate with her. “I’m just trying to recreate that emotion I feel when I look at this photo,” she said.

Stern paints as a hobby, she said, adding that she works full-time as an office administrator for the city of Lewisboro. She said she didn’t know if she would like to eventually become a full-time artist.

“I enjoy the ride. I enjoy the process,” she said.

Frederick Bannerot, of Norwalk, who has exhibited his paintings inside and outside Hutton’s Fine Men’s Wear, said he had painted since childhood.

He shoots many scenes on water and particularly enjoys silhouettes, as he says anyone can imagine themselves in the picture.

He encouraged others to try photography.

“Start with your iPhone, start with your Samsung. It’s amazing how good they are. There’s no cost of entry other than your cell phone. There are no rules. Shoot into the light. If that didn’t work, take two steps to the right, try again,” Bannerot said. “Then download to a computer. Watch the big screen, you might be surprised.”

sandra.fox@hearstmediact.com 203-948-9802

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