Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A different perspective on art

Welcome to the inaugural post of Brush Strokes, featuring the work and the members of the Valley Arts Council in Derby, Ct.

Or as I like to call it, "The Little Arts Council That Could," with apologies to Watty Piper, author of the classic children's book, "The Little Engine That Could."

Valley Arts Council President Rich DiCarlo and Vice President Steve DiRienzo work on a mural depicting the first bicycle ride in the United States. The council was asked to paint a mural at the second annual Pierre Lallement Festival of Bikes in Ansonia, Ct. Sunday. Lallement lived in Ansonia when he invented the pedal bicycle in 1865.

Although based in Derby, the arts council's reach goes far and wide throughout the Lower Naugatuck Valley towns of Ansonia, Seymour, Shelton, Oxford, Beacon Falls, and Naugatuck.

Here Rich chats with artist Floatin' Fred of New Haven, a Valley Arts Council member, as Joel De Scheen of Derby, left, helps Steve with some detail work on the mural.  

Rich says the arts council's goal is to recognize and promote artistic expression in all its traditional and sometimes not-so traditional forms.

Painters, sculptors, illustrators, stained-glass artists, jewelry makers, fiber artists, poets, and creative folks of every stripe are all invited to join the group and share their art.

Their work is exhibited at the Gallery@37, 37 Elizabeth St., in downtown Derby.

The council also operates the Valley Center of the Arts, 119 Caroline St., Derby, two blocks away. The center is located inside a former firehouse that dates back to the 1920s, and features a meeting room, lounge and offices on the first floor, and studio space rented to artists on the second floor.

Many of the artists will be on hand at the 15th annual Derby Day, a festival featuring food, crafts, children's activities, live music and more, that will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 16 in downtown Derby.

The festival is run by the city's Cultural Commission, and I've seen firsthand how hard they are working to make the event a success.

Stay tuned to this site for more info about our upcoming events and the artists who make them happen.

And thanks for visiting!


  1. Best wishes for this new endeavor Patti!
    Hope you'll be able to show us the completed mural.

  2. What an interesting blog, introduced by a thought-provoking photo. The unusual wall painting of the dwellings is
    also a strangely modern interpretation. Something like this hieroglyphic view of a park by Swiss painter Paul Klee,

    The image can be seen at who can supply you with a canvas print of it.