Art In Residence: New Gallery Space In Unconventional Setting

Art in Residence is an innovative gallery space devoted to showcasing works by established and emerging artists in a friendly, accessible environment. Art shows will be presented monthly in the home of Rosemary and Robert Rau, 12 Lake Road in Newtown.

The couple, with a lifelong appreciation of art and backgrounds in design and business, are realizing a dream by creating an atmosphere where art can be viewed in comfort. Shows will feature works in all mediums (oil, acrylic, watercolor, pastel, mixed media, and sculpture) representing a variety of schools including Realism, Abstract, Modern and Impressionism. By foregoing the traditional gallery white walls and institutional lighting, visitors will be better able to imagine the art in their own homes or business settings. Thus, the creation of Art in Residence.

The first exhibition, “Creativity Takes Courage,” is already on view. A soft opening and reception were held earlier this month, with artists and invited guests enjoying a presentation of works by nine artists.

Presented in three rooms on the main floor of the couple’s home are works by Beverly Branch, Jim Chillington, Barbra Courtian, Anne Marie Foran, Gladys Freyer, Margaret Moss, Glen River, Bette Anne Wygant, and Virginia Zic. “Creativity Takes Courage” offers watercolors, prints, acrylics, oil paintings, oils on paper, collage, and painted stones.

The Raus are planning to host informal socials such as teas or Sunday suppers in order to provide a congenial place for artists and art lovers to meet.

All are welcome to browse and enjoy the beauty of art.

“Absolutely,” said Mrs Rau. “We want everyone to feel comfortable coming here just for the pleasure of seeing this art.”

Additionally, they will offer in home or office consultations through the use of what they call a Traveling iPad Portfolio.

The portfolio service works like this: The Raus meet with clients, “get acquainted with their lifestyle, culture, favorite color, subject, form, points of travel, all the nooks and crannies, what makes them smile,” said Mrs Rau.

“We then compile a personalized portfolio of art and present it to the client, be it in our gallery setting or theirs,” she explained. The traveling portfolio is an idea, she said, that has been “incubating for a while.”

The couple has lived in Newtown for 17 years and are active in many town organizations. They hope to marry love of the arts and their community in this venture.

Mrs Rau has a professional background was in graphic design. She formerly had a design/marketing agency in New York, subsequently moving the business to Westchester before embarking on a two-year stint in Paris. There, she worked for the European division of Häagen-Dazs as a packaging/product development manager.

“I loved that job,” she said.

Mrs Rau is counting on her nine years as a member of the Society of Creative Arts of Newtown for some of her contacts with artists.

“It’s a great networking system,” she said of the artists’ collective. “Networking is so important in this world of art.”

The Raus also attend a variety of art shows in and around New England.

The couple has already received positive feedback from visitors to their gallery space.

“Seeing art in a home setting has people excited,” the couple said via e-mail. “One of the guests at the gallery’s opening reception made the comment ‘Visitors to the Art in Residence gallery can better imagine how the art might look in their own home. The concept makes a lot of sense.’”

The current show will remain on view until November 30. Holiday show dates are December 6 to January 5.

Ms Rau has already received commitments from Katja Lebrija, Maria Esther Magallaners, and Laura Wilk for the as-yet-unnamed show, but she has found an unexpected theme.

“By coincidence, all three of these woman are from South America,” she said. “Their works are all very bright and bold.

“This was unplanned,” she said, but it will nevertheless offer a very colorful presentation as the region heads into the shortest, darkest days of the year.

Gallery hours are 10 am to 5 pm Tuesday through Saturday, by appointment only.

Call 203-426-2226 or send e-mail to gallery newtown@gmail.com to make an appointment or for additional information. Artists interested in having their work considered for inclusion in an exhibition are invited to contact the gallery.

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