News Release

December 7, 2006

Contact: Jane Shaskan, 860-679-4777

Connecticut Artists Exhibit Paintings December 7 through March 7

What: "Home and Abroad" paintings by Nicholas Halko and "New Directions" paintings by Roger Van Damme

Where: Celeste LeWitt Gallery, Food Court, UConn Health Center, 263 Farmington Avenue, Farmington

When: December 7 through March 7, daily 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

About the Artists:
Landscapes, still-life, portraits and figures are the subjects of award winning artist Nicholas Halko’s paintings. He’s been described as “an impartial observer, realistic, direct and formal who reveals a clarity of vision and a quiet reverence for nature’s sensibility” in a review written in the New Haven Register. His paintings are in permanent public collections such as the Slater Memorial Museum in Norwich, Parson’s Center in Milford, and the Health Center, as well as in private collection in the U.S. and abroad.

Halko created the Studio Arts/Graphic Design degree program at Gateway Community in New Haven, where he is a professor of art. He received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Hartford Art School/University of Hartford in Bloomfield, where he was also awarded a merit scholarship and a teaching assistantship. He studied at the Art Students League of New York where he received a merit scholarship. He also studied with Henry Henche in Provincetown, Mass. Halko lives in Oxford

Roger Van Damme of Milford has been painting for more than 35 years. During his long career he has garnered many honors including awards, fellowships, prizes, and a national grant. The grand prize in a national competition in Lakewood, Calif. sponsored by Modern Maturity magazine, and a grant from the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation are just a brief example of his many honors. “… Van Damme is a wonderful painter,” one reviewer wrote in the New Haven Register.

Widely known for his beautiful portraits of his wife, Van Damme is currently trying a new technique he developed using plaster of Paris mixed with a glue that acts as a sizing and an adhesive, and dry pigments. The results are abstract paintings rich in texture and color. “It is very hard at age 85 to go in a new direction, but I have to follow the urge,” he says.

Van Damme has exhibited at the National Academy Museum in New York City, the National Institute of Arts and Letters Purchase Exhibition in New York City, Connecticut Artists Show in Milford, the Slater Memorial Museum in New Britain, among many other galleries and events. His works are in the collections of the Mattatuck Museum, Waterbury; Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, Hagerstown, Maryland; Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Mass.; John Slade Ely House, New Haven; Cigna Museum, Cigna Corporation, Philadelphia; Milford Fine Arts Council, and the Slater Memorial Museum.

He studied at the Art Students League of New York City.

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