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News : Arts Oct 26, 2015 - 7:04:01 AM

LAA new member show highlights work of 8 local artists

By The Loft Artists Association (LAA)

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Stamford, CT - The Loft Artists Association (LAA) will usher in the new year with its annual new member show in January. This year’s show “New Year, New Artists, New Art” will highlight the work of the eight local artists -- Margot Bittenbender, Donna Callighan, Fabian Cortes, Joe Dermody, Christa Forrest, Donna Marie Gagliardi, Holly Harty and Deborah Loeb Bohren -- who were accepted for membership into the LAA in 2014 or 2015.

“We are thrilled to welcome these very accomplished artists to the LAA. They represent a broad range of art, from mixed and multi- media to printmaking and from painting to photography,” said Ellen Gordon, President of the LAA. “For the LAA, artistic vision and ability is at the core of membership criteria. It’s important to our mission to have members that bring a broad range of talent, diversity of style and commitment to the local community.”

“New Year, New Artists, New Art” will be on exhibit from January 9 though February 7, 2016 during regular gallery hours. In addition,the public is invited to an Opening Reception to be held:

Friday, January 8, 2016 6:00 - 8:00 PM

Loft Artists Association

575 Pacific Street, Stamford

Also in January 2016 at the LAA will be the “Mix of Six”, a periodic rotating exhibit of members’ work, that will include pieces by new members, Deborah Loeb Bohren and Joe Dermody, along with work by painters Rosa Colon, Princess Cureton, Lisa Cuscuna and Ken Delmar.

The LAA Gallery is located at 575 Pacific Street in Stamford, CT Regular Gallery hours are Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 - 4:30PM. Admission and parking are free. For directions and more information visit or call 203-247-2027.


Bittenbender’s image-making is a reaction to both the physical and spiritual world around her, and to cultures, experiences, and emotion. Her art tells stories - through memories, experiences, and emotion - inspired by her observations. She melds what she sees and feels into a timeless moment captured in the copper plate and eventually inked and impressed into paper. She believes that intaglio provides a surprisingly fluid and changeable process that alters the initial image and feeling, despite the hardness and seemingly unyielding surface of the metal plate itself. (

Callighan, a professional commercial photographer for over thirty years, is known for her product and executive portrait photography for Fortune 1000 brands. She is also an internationally exhibited fine art photographer. Her fine art work is inspired by “Man’s Hand on Nature” and environmental issues. She began with exploring natural objects such as weeds, twigs and flowers, emphasizing the intriguing shadows, and has branched out to even more abstract forms that she finds in her surroundings. (

FABIAN CORTES, Visual Artist
Born and raised in Mexico City, Cortes is both an accomplished IT Engineer and accomplished artist: as a writer, he published 'Adentro', a book of poetry in spanish in 2012 while, as a visual artist, he has shown his art works in several galleries in Mexico City. Cortes has been getting closer to the symbolism aesthetic with an expressive reaction in favor of spirituality, the imagination, and dreams. His works usually depicts a search for that inner human expression which becomes intensely personal and private when complemented with color and spiritual metaphors. (

JOE DERMODY, Interdisciplinary artist

As an interdisciplinary artist, Dermody focuses on a balanced mix of both visual and performing arts and he currently identifies himself as an Dimensional Expressionist. His classical training, combined with a desire for experimentation has led to an awareness and freedom that allows for a continuous evolution of creativity and artistry. When not painting, he designs and builds furniture and plays the violin and viola professionally with local symphonic and chamber ensembles and holds faculty positions in at Rye Country Day School and Concordia College. Most recently, he founded ‘SCAPE, uniquely paired concert series where music and art come together to inspire communities and awaken the senses through the combination of living visual artists and live chamber music. (http://

CHRISTA FORREST, Multi-media Artist
Forrest specializes in pastel, oil, acrylic and mixed media. After spending 20 years in a finance career, she decided to follow her true passion and become a full time artist. She spends her time sharing her passion with others, teaching others to be creative and exploring the world's landscape recreating it onto canvas. Her work is a mixture of realism, exploration, experimentation and pure fun. Forrest exhibits regularly throughout Fairfield County and New York. (http://

Gagliardi creates art as she tries to live, by following her internal compass. In her paintings she seeks not to illustrate but to express, searching for what the eye cannot see but for what the heart can feel. She is equally comfortable working in a realistic format or with abstract shapes or anything I between but what is most important to her is the harmony of color, shape and line. Gagliardi has taught fine arts in the public schools of Connecticut for over 30 years and believes that making art requires a lot of courage.

Harty’s work depicts the unexpected natural beauty of Nantucket and the Connecticut shoreline, including the Sound, the moors, and the ponds, grasses, and flowers that are the subject of her oil on canvas landscapes. Within each composition she works to achieve a balance and continuity of surface through the use of color. She seeks to capture the ever-changing landscape from the bright summer sky and green foliage to the red berries and gray and purple branches in the fall and winter, and from the foggy mist rising above the water to a ray of sunlight through the clouds. In capturing an isolated moment of beauty Harty’s paintings convey a sense of mystery, serenity and longing. (

Inspired by the world around her, Bohren uses her camera to capture the intersection and interplay of light, line and color, to produce bold images of intimate environmental landscapes around the globe. An avid amateur photographer since the age of five when her father handed her a Rolliflex, she now works in digital but, from capture to print, considers a negative a negative whether on celluloid or SD card. In 2012 Deb gave up her corporate career in communications to finally pursue her passion for photography full-time. (


The Loft Artists Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to building connections within Fairfield County’s visual arts community and exposing the general public to artists and their work. They maintain a significant presence in the Fairfield County art world and their exhibitions, open studios and childrens’ workshops attract thousands of visitors and participants from throughout the tri-state area. In addition to their artist members, they are supported by the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, the City of Stamford, corporate sponsors, private sponsors and individual donors.

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