Darienite featured in Rockwell exhibit

Rockwell Art Galleries in Ridgefield present "Verdure," featuring representational landscape painter Joseph Fama, transitional painter Brenda Jacobsen from Darien, figurative sculptor Danielle Langford, contemporary painter Josafine Weatherwax and plein air landscape painter Jack Vogler as they portray planes, peaks, and postures in varying dimensions from Feb. 17 to April 28.

There will be an opening reception Friday, Feb. 17, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Rockwell Art and Framing is at 470 Main St., Ridgefield.

Jacobsen, a Darien resident, earned a music education degree from Acadia University in Nova Scotia. In the years following graduation, Jacobsen relocated to New York City and Greenwich. While teaching music in Greenwich she shifted her focus from music to visual art. In 2004, Jacobsen received a master's of arts in teaching. With a passion for children's literature, she began teaching second grade in Norwalk. She was known as a creative teacher who loved to teach reading and writing, encouraging her students to publish their own stories.

Jacobsen began to enhance her art skills by studying drawing, painting and collage for three years at Silvermine School of Art and graphic design at Norwalk Community College. Her illustrations were published in the monthly publication of Mothers at Home magazine and commissions included a series of nine paintings depicting a year throughout second grade. She received art awards in two local shows.

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In 2008, Jacobsen resumed oil painting after a long recess. More recently, she has rediscovered her interest in children's illustration and cartooning. In 2011 she launched her cartoon blog, brenjacobsentoons.

Joseph Fama, a self-proclaimed student of history especially enjoys capturing the early America and the Old West period as well as scenic vistas with his paintings. He graduated with a bachelor's degree from Iona College in 1978 and attended Pratt Institute, School of Visual Arts and the Reilly League of Artists. From 1984 to 1996, he served as president and creative director of Fama & Associates Inc. Fama also served as an art director for several advertising agencies in New York City.

When painting landscapes, Fama seeks out picturesque scenes with merit. He immediately captures the mood with quick sketches in black and white and later works from the sketches to complete the finished oil painting in his studio. To Fama, the process of designing a painting is very important so he relies on his art direction and graphic design background in adding a sense of drama to it. He develops a strong point of interest to the painting to immerse the viewer into the painting.

"It is a challenge to capture nature with its wondrous colors and subtleties of shades of light and dark," he said. "I want the person viewing my paintings to get the same feeling that I experienced when I first viewed the scene."

Danielle Langford's bronze sculptures have been exhibited nationally in solo shows, group exhibitions, juried shows and in private collections throughout the country and in Ireland.

She has received numerous awards including the members show at the New Britain Museum of American Art in New Britain; New Rochelle Art Association in New Rochelle, N.Y.; the Kent Art Association in Kent, and the Connecticut Academy of Fine Art, juried show, in Mystic, among others.

Langford has a bachelor's and master's degree in art education from the College of New Rochelle, and post graduate study in sculpture at the State University of New York, Purchase. She has also studied under Peter Rubino, Anthony Antonios and Sergey Eylanbekov.

Josa (Smith) Weatherwax comes from a long lineage of artists. Her father, Tom Smith, a talented architect who studied with Mies Van der Rohe. Her mother, Graziella Valenti Smith, was an established painter from a prestigious Spanish/Puerto Rican family. Josa's style combines transitional, representational and impressionist qualities through her use of color, texture, and composition.

Weatherwax has studied at the Lyme Academy of the Arts, the University of Salamanca in Spain and the Hartford Art School. Her work has been widely exhibited in galleries throughout the country and is held in both public and private collections.

Jack Vogler is a graduate of the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and has made art his career. From his first opportunity while serving in the army painting surface to air missiles in documentary form, to a 45-year career in consumer product branding and corporate strategy development and design, Vogler has travelled far and wide with his art.

His passion for painting was rekindled after a busy career allowed for new pursuits which came in the spontaneous form of plein air painting. After having studied with world-renowned plein air painter Kevin Macpherson, Vogler's focus became clear and he has been exploring the diverse local landscapes of Fairfield County as well as the tranquil settings of the Southwest.

Vogler and his wife live in Stamford and he is a member of the Plein Air Painters of America and the Connecticut Plein Air Painters Society.

Rockwell Art Galleries has six locations in Fairfield County: in Ridgefield at 470 Main Street; Wilton at 379 Danbury Road; in New Canaan at 9 Burtis Ave.; in Westport at 236 Post Rd East; in Stamford at 891 High Ridge Road; and in Fairfield at 1630 Post Road. In addition to original fine art, all Rockwell Art Galleries offer custom framing, installation services and in-home and corporate art advisory services. To see the full roster of Rockwell artists, visit www.rockwellartgalleries.com.