Gloria Gray Foundation


2017 Events and Programs

Our programs will be expanding this year due to a grant  from the Southbury Community Trust Fund.  We have also received  grants from the Connecticut Office of the Arts and Connecticut Community Foundation’s Pathways for Older Adults for our “Telling Your Story” Workshop coming in June and the GLORIA GRAY FOUNDATION for staff development.

For Information, enrollment, cancellations and tickets:
call the Arts Escape office at: 203-586-1474

All registrations need to be paid for before workshop date. There are no refunds for classes not attended.

 Arts Escape – 2017 Calendar September/October

Books and Bites

A Gentleman in Moscow
by Amor Towles

Facilitator, Barbara McKay
Wednesday, October 25
1 pm

When, in 1922, he is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the count is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin.” Against the background of decades of history, we experience the multi-layered world the Count creates inside his grand hotel prison. GoodReads describes it as “immersing us in another elegantly drawn era with the story of Count Alexander Rostov.

Please call the gallery to let us know you will be joining us.  203-586-1474

Multiple copies of the books are available at the Southbury Library

November 15Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
December – No Book Club
January 20Two Sisters of Coyoacan by Roberta Satow

Pints, Paints & Pencils img_3378
(men’s only art class)

Instructor, Priscilla Watson
Mondays beginning September 18th 
6:30 pm

Join the longest running studio art class at Arts Escape.  This workshop is designed for all levels and interests in fine art.  Exercises in design, perspective, movement, shading are all explored. Participants are encouraged to work independently and in the medium of their choice with assistance and guidance  from the instructor. Newcomers are always welcomed.
Feel free to bring your beverage of choice to get those creative juices flowing!

Fee for the 6-week workshop is $125.

Oil Painting – American Landscapes

Instructor, Zufar Bikbov
Saturday, September 23
Sunday, September 24
9 am – 5 pm


“American Landscape”
 The focus on of this 2-day intensive, in-studio workshop will be on: Trees, Aerial perspective, and Composition.  Students will focus on the challenges of painting typical and expressive elements of New England landscapes. Trees are one of key element of any landscape, and often one of the most challenging objects to paint.

Each student will be given individual attention during the workshop. Prior to the workshop, Zufar will review  student’s artwork and skill level, enabling him to help each student set their own personal goals.  Limited to 8 students, so advance registration is required.

This workshop will help students greatly improve their approach to painting landscape elements and structure as the fall season starts! New England autumns are the best time to develop a solid understanding of the balance of details and masses while painting trees and observing their changes.

Main focus points:
1. Overcoming the challenges and complexity of painting trees while painting within the realism/impressionistic styles.
2. How to use  the proper colors and values in aerial perspective.
3. Creating dynamic landscape compositions – controlling the balance of positive and negative space.

     Workshop Supplies – Click Here

Please contact Zufar for any further questions pertaining to this workshop at:

The fee for the 2-day intensive workshop is $249.

Intro to Abstract Art

Instructor, Priscilla Watson
Tuesday, September 12, 19, 29
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Students will learn how to take a direct observation drawing and create an abstract piece of art. Realism and Abstract Art share the same basic, visual structure. Line, color, movement and shape are some of their shared elements of composition. Create an personal abstract work in the media of your choice. Acrylic paint, watercolor, colored pencil and collage will be available. Subject matter will be provided.

The fee for this 3- week workshop is $80 which includes most supplies.


 Hot Topics, Cool Conversations 

Facilitator, Professor, Alfred Hunt
10:30 am – 12 noon

Back by popular demand, the 6 -week series is for adults who are looking to engage in lively conversations about newsworthy issues. Politics, pop-culture, and foreign affairs are all up for discussion in a friendly, non-judgmental environment. Each participant should be opened-minded and willing to learn and listen from a myriad of perspectives to better understand the world we live in. Each week information on the topic will be sent to participants through email for the upcoming topic.

  4 seats left!  Call the Gallery if you would like to join in.

Early Broadway Musicals

Coming in October!

Opera Talks


Lecturer, Jeffrey Engel
Monday, October 2nd – Norma
Thursday, October 12th – Magic Flute
11 am

Norma occupies a very particular place in operatic repertoire, a dramatic work of lyrical beauty, not least in the most famous of Norma’s arias, Casta diva (Chaste goddess), her first-act prayer to the moon. Oroveso calls the Druids to watch for the new moon in Ite sul colle, o Druidi (Go to the hills, O Druids) and in the second act he warns of Pollione’s possible successor, inveighing against Roman tyranny in Ah! del Tebro al giogo indegno (Ah! To the disgraceful yoke of Rome). Norma has notable duets with Adalgisa and with Pollione, revealing different aspects of her tragic character. Music historian Jeffrey Engel will present each opera talk, offering historical context for the composer and the opera stories.

The Magic Flute is a fairy tale, with themes of love and of good versus evil. The opera is divided into two acts. Tamino, a prince, is alone in the woods, fleeing a deadly serpent. He faints but is saved by three ladies who are the attendants of the Queen of the Night.

The fee for each Opera Talk is $15 in advance and $20 at the door, or purchase both Opera Talks for $25.


Opera Talks

Afternoon Piano Concert

Pianist, Frederick Moyer
Tuesday, October 3
2 pm

Mr. Moyer will perform a program of classical piano masterpieces.  The audience will enjoy listening to time honored favorites as well as some wonderful pieces they may be hearing for the first time.  His programs are always creative and engaging, and often feature works by Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Beethoven as well as others.

“Frederick Moyer is one of the most exciting pianists before the public today.  Equally at home with Bach, Rachmaninoff, Schoenberg as well as Ellington and Peterson, his recitals are creative, engaging and entertaining and generally include time honored favorites as well as pieces that audiences may be hearing for the first time. Also featured is his MoyerCam, a projection system that allows the audience to see his hands as he plays.”

Admission is $20 in advance and $25 at the door.

Zentangle Basics

Instructor, Cari Camarra
Wednesday, October 4
4:30 pm – 6:30 pm

This 2-hour class introduces the Zentangle® Method through drawing intentional structured patterns, creating beautiful personal works of art. You will learn tangles and simple techniques that will inspire and spark your very own inner artist to glow!  Zentangle is a very portable mindful activity that can be accessed at any time. Students will leave with one completed piece and another started and all materials and tools needed to continue creating after the class.  Come join in the creative fun, learn the Zentangle method with Cari Camarra Artist/CZT
(Certified Zentangle Teacher)

Not an artist? Even better! Absolutely no artistic experience needed.  Open to all ages 10 and up.

Fee for the workshop is $45 which includes a beginner kit for each student.

 Watercolor Workshop

May Workshop

Instructor, Betty Ann Medeiros
Thursdays, October 5, 12, 19, 26
10 am – 12 noon

This class is for students of all levels working at their own pace with the help and guidance of the instructor. Students will learn watercolor skills and techniques to create finished watercolor paintings creating dynamic compositions.

Techniques that will be covered are:

*painting with wet on wet technique
*using masking fluid
*creating soft and hard edges and
*painting negative space

The fee for the 4 -week workshop is $125 for new students which includes most supplies. $100 for continuing students.

Watercolor Workshop

Oil Painting/Alla Prima

Instructor, Rita Paradis
Thursday, October 5
10 am – 2 :30 pm

Wet-on-wet, or alla prima (Italian, meaning at first attempt), is a painting technique, used mostly in oil painting in which layers of wet paint are applied to previously administered layers of wet paint. This technique requires a fast way of working, because the work has to be finished before the first layers have dried. It may also be referred to as direct painting or the French term au premier coup .  This is a one-day, 41/2 hour workshop where students will work with Rita step by step while learning the different techniques.  Students are asked to bring their lunch and a box to transport their painting when leaving in the afternoon.

The fee for the workshop is $145 which includes all supplies.  
Class size is limited.


iPad Art

Instructor Betty Ann Mediores
Thursdays, October 5, 12
1 pm – 2:30 pm

This workshop is for those that some basic knowledge of how to use their iPads to draw and paint. Each student will need to have the app, Procreate on their iPads for this workshop. Procreate is the most powerful sketching, painting and illustration app ever designed for a mobile device. This complete artist’s toolbox helps you create beautiful sketches, inspiring paintings, and stunning illustrations anywhere you are. Students will revisit some of the basics techniques while learning a few more. Procreate is 5.99 on the App store and it requires an iPad that is running at least  IOS 10.0 for the newest version of Procreate.

Betty Ann Medeiros is a fine artist, working in multi-mediums but also has 10 years experience working for Apple.  She takes her fine art background and applies it to today’s technology.

The fee for this 2- week workshop is $30.  All students need their own iPad and the application Procreate needs to be installed prior to class.

Painting with Acrylics
Weekly Workshop – All Levels

Instructor, Linda Marino
Friday, October 6, 13, 20, 27
9:30 am – 12:30 am

This is a great course for anyone who would like to learn the basics and build their painting confidence through fun foundational exercise in color mixing,  creating form and value studies. You’l also learn how to apply paint through layering, glazing and brush techniques. We will build on these principles and techniques and put them into practice by completing a painting of a still life. This course is suitable for beginners and for those who would like to brush up on their painting skills. For those students that would like continue with the basic class or for those that would like to work in a group setting with feedback from the instructor, this workshop will accommodate all levels.

Beginners will learn the following:

  • create an paint your own color wheel and how a color wheel works
  • how to mix tints and shades of a color to build your “color vocabulary”
  • why a gray scale matters and how to create form through values
  • how to set up a simple still life to practice from life
  • plus so many more tips and information to build a strong foundation in painting.

The fee for the 4-week workshop is $180 for beginners which includes most supplies.
Students that want to continue and/or have their own supplies, the workshop fee is $150.  

Student Level

After-School Youth Portraiture Workshop 

Instructor, ShawnaLee Kwashnak
Tuesday, October 10, 17, 24
4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Ages 10+

Learn how to draw a Portrait! In this class Youth participants will gain basic skills in creating a self-portrait. Lessons will cover proportions, measurements, eyes, nose, mouth and hair as well as pencil techniques and tips. Working with mirrors, students will be guided through the portrait process in a caring and calm environment.  Brief demonstrative sketches by CSOPA & AE instructor, ShawnaLee Kwashnak, will highlight challenges as they arise and each participant will be guided according to his or her ability and level of accomplishment.    Class size is limited.

The fee for the 3 – week workshop is $65 which includes all supplies.

Yes, You CAN Draw a Portrait

Instructor, Deb Howland-Murray
Wednesdays – October 11, 18, 25
10 am – 1 pm

If you can observe, then believe it or not, you can create a drawing that resembles a human subject, be it yourself or someone else.  Whether you’re accustomed to making visual images or a rank beginner, the only requisite is a serious desire to learn and to draw. During the 9 hours of class, we’ll briefly take a road trip through portraiture basics, then pick up materials and get to work. Class time will include at least one drawing exercise that will serve double duty to banish inhibitions and further basic technique. We’ll measure, shade, experiment with materials, and see in a new way. Emphasis will be on individual attention and a fun, constructive, we’re-all-in-it-together atmosphere. At the end each student will have a piece of which she or he can be proud.

Focus will be on:

  • Developing head and shoulders likeness through detailed observation, anatomy and accurate measurement
  • Creating form using lights and darks with a variety of media (black and white is best unless fairly experienced)
  • Understanding how to build a drawing from large, flat areas of shadow to finished detail
  • Creating mood through lighting, composition and pose

Materials provided. You may also bring media, an easel, and/or a drawing board of your own if you prefer. Soft pastel; vine, pencil or loose charcoal; pencil; loose graphite and conte crayon are welcome. Please, no markers, pens, paints or oil pastels!

The fee for the 3-week, 3 hour workshop is $125 – class size is limited

Sketch and Paint

Instructor, Maralyn Adlin
Wednesdays, October 11, 18, 25
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

This 3-week workshop focuses on quick sketches that become paintings. Students can work in multi-medias and experiment with this workshop.   Charcoal, graphite, colored pencil, acrylic, watercolor and oils are available to work with.  Students are invited to bring their own supplies if they have a medium they prefer.  Come unwind in the early evening and go home refreshed!

The fee for the 3-Week Workshop is $80 which includes most supplies.

Cook and Paint Together Workshop

Saturday, October 14
5 pm – 9:30 pm

Chef Dean and his artist wife Linda are teaming up to offer a one-of-a-kind food and art experience …  Cook and Paint Together Workshop! 

Autumn Bounty Menu
Autumn salad – pomegranate,goat cheese, glazed walnuts over spinach greens with a balsamic vinaigrette.
Apple Cider Turkey Brined and roasted
Autumn roasted vegetables sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, onions, carrots.
Pumpkin Fettuccine Alfredo • Caramel Apple Slab Cake

We’ve mixed, blended and imagined a uniquely creative workshop for couples. In our Autumn Bounty Workshop Chef Dean will teach you how to make homemade pasta by hand or machine. Plus learn how to prepare a delicious cheesy pumpkin alfredo sauce that not only tastes great but healthier for you. After the cooking demonstration we’ll enjoy our savory meal together.  Then onto the art lesson component. Linda will guide you though step-by-step on how to paint our featured painting.  You’ll learn mixing, blending and brush techniques. As a couple you’ll work together on one larger canvas. No experienced needed

Wine, Dinner, Dessert, & Painting

The evening event is $100 per person.  Seating is limited to 10 couples.  Registration ends on Friday, October 6th.

Painting with Pencil

artist, Karin Rannestad

Instructor, Rita Paradis
Thursday, October 19
10 am – 2 pm

This is a 4-hour workshop for colored pencil with award winning artist, Rita Paradis. This is NOT an adult coloring activity.  Learn techniques in this medium that will make your drawings look like paintings. Beginners will start with value exercises and basic layering techniques that will serve as a foundation for more advanced work.
Intermediate students will develop the skills they have learned and explore color and color choices. Students will learn more tips and techniques for working with this versatile medium.

Workshop fee is $60 which includes most supplies.Closed

An Afternoon of Romantic Music

Thursday, October 19 – 3 pm

Soprano – Becky Nesmith
Piano – Jenny Li
Clarinet – Vincent de Luise

Western music of the nineteenth century, stemming from the transformative changes brought about by Beethoven, Weber and Hummel, was rich and textured in its melody and harmony. Soprano Rebecca Nesmith, clarinetist Vincent de Luise and pianist Jenny Li will perform several chamber music masterpieces from the era:

Three German Songs by Ludwig Spohr, the lyrical and valedictory second sonata for clarinet and piano by Johannes Brahms, and the sublime and crystalline trio, The Shepherd on the Rock,  by Frank Schubert.

Admission is $15 in advance and $20 at the door.

Portrait Painting with Felt

Instructor, Robin McCahill
Monday, October 23
10 am – 12 noon

Needle-Felting a Portrait with a Foreground Relief

Explore the art of needle-felting with colorful and textural wool. Learn to blend and build a felted “painting” that will have a relief sculptural quality. Bring a photo to work from. Landscapes and gardens are a wonderful place to begin. Bringing close up qualities of flowers or animals will enhance your piece. Perhaps you have a particular totem animal or loving pet to include. Most supplies are included.

The fee for this workshop is $30.

Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Actor, J.T. Turner
Thursday, October 26
2 pm

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is a short story of speculative fiction by American author Washington Irving.  Written while Irving was living abroad in Birmingham, England, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was first published in 1820. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow  is among the earliest examples of American fiction with enduring popularity, especially during Halloween because of a character known as the headless horseman. Join award-winning actor J.T. Turner as he brings this classic tale to life,The Headless Horseman Rides Again!  Mr. Turner portrays Irving telling his most famous tale, taking on all the roles of this beloved Halloween classic.

Admission is $15 in advance and $20 at the door.

Writing a Memorable Holiday Letter

Instructor, Nancy McMillian
Monday, October 30
10:30 am – 1 pm

Get Real!  How to Write a Holiday Newsletter That People Will Read (and not mock)!

Would you like to write a holiday newsletter that people not only read, but keep?  It’s time to get real.  Bring  your current ideas for what you’d like to include in a holiday letter and we’ll work up a draft of an irresistible one. Please bring your lunch or a snack, drinks will be provided.

The fee for this workshop is $40.  Class size is limited.


Music History, Hollywood Stars – November 1
Intro to Abstract Art Workshop – November 7, 14, 21, 28
Piano Concert, American in Paris, Paul Bisaccia – November 4
Living History, Fanny Kemble – November 8
Floral Arranging -Thanksgiving Cornucopia – November 15
Living History, Whistler – November 19


Gift Certificates