Murals by WCSU art students will be displayed at the Danbury Fair Mall

***News release sent by Western Connecticut State University***

When four emerging artists and graduate students in Western Connecticut State University’s Master of Fine Arts program learned about the Movable Mural Showcase project at the Danbury Fair Mall, they jumped at the opportunity to share their creativity and talents with the public for a project that hopes ” inspire balance, hope and connection.”

The four students from WCSU’s art department are Janelle Chandler ’22, M.A. in illustration, of Southbury; Kelsey Gilmore ’22, MFA, of Bethel; Marcus Escribano ’23, MFA, Danbury; and Dennis Rosa ’24, MFA, of Danbury. Each completed panel is revealed weekly through September 8 in the Apple Wing, upper level of the mall.

Rosa’s mural will be unveiled at a reception on Thursday, September 1 at 6:00 p.m. Her mural is a plein air painting and depicts people slowly emerging from the pandemic in a popular Danbury park, embodying the spirit of reawakened activities and capturing the impact of nature as a source of mental health.

Gilmores’ mural is based on a painting by Giotto Di Bondone and a quote that inspired her work: “Every nature, every patterned form, every creature exists in and with one another.” Her opening and reception is Thursday, Sept. 8, from 18 hours

Escribano’s mural was unveiled on July 21 and included symbols of his Caribbean and African heritage that represent the sun and sunrise. To illustrate re-emergence, he also uses the blue crescent, a symbol of fidelity that is critical during the awakening process.

Chandler’s mural was unveiled on July 28 and draws on her skills as a botanical illustrator. The mural reflects her view on the re-emergence and awakening of society after COVID and uses the poppy to show how people are unique and beautiful and can “bud, develop, open and blossom in whatever way feels best” for each individual.

The other two artists are Eric Chandler and Dedan Davenport, whose reveal receptions are on August 18 and 25, respectively.

The Western Connecticut Cultural Alliance and Art in Common of Ridgefield are collaborating with the Danbury Fair on the project. According to mall management, the focus of the rolling murals is “social sustainability, such as health and well-being, equitable access and public buildings,” to highlight themes of sustainable environment and social emergence.

Art in Common founder Amy Jett ’23, also an MFA student at WCSU, coordinated fellow students for the rolling mural project, while the Western Connecticut Cultural Alliance encouraged local artists to submit proposals for a larger mural in the Lord and Taylor hallway. WCSU artists used the same color palette as this 1,800-square-foot mural.

“This collaboration between my non-profit organization Art in Common Inc., the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut and the Danbury Fair Mall is part of our larger initiative to support emerging artists in our area,” said Jett. An art therapist who works with teenagers and young adults to help them process emotions through artwork, Jett said: “As an artist myself, I know how important it is to be supported in your craft and I believe deeply in the healing power of art and the power of seeing art transform.”

Arts In Common is a non-profit organization that “uses the power of art to bring communities together and foster connection.” The Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut provides support to artists, creative entrepreneurs, and arts and cultural organizations and works to advance the arts in local communities.

***News release sent by Western Connecticut State University***

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