Shelton artists featured in Kennedy Center calendar

Two Shelton artists are featured in The Kennedy Center “A Unique Perspective” Calendar, which showcases the artistic talent of 18 artists with disabilities.

Mary Wood and Molly Hauser will have their artwork featured in October and December, respectively, in the new calendar — a reception for which, with more than 250 people in attendance, was held recently at Gallery@999 in the Margaret E. Morton Government Center in Bridgeport.

This annual holiday tradition for more than 30 years, People’s United Bank initially supported this community project and now People’s United Community Foundation continues the tradition. A total of 25,000 calendars are printed annually.

“The calendar reception represents an annual celebration that brings families and friends together,” said one parent of an artist. “The burst of colors on the walls of Bridgeport City Hall and the enthusiasm of all the artists brings joy to all of us.”

A crowd of 250 enthusiastic supporters recently gathered at the calendar kickoff party that was hosted by Gallery@999 on the second floor of the Margaret E. Morton Government Center in Bridgeport. Each artist was recognized, cheered and provided with a keepsake framed rendition of their artwork. The opening coincided with the kick-off of the Bridgeport Arts Trail.

Gallery@999 at the Margaret E. Morton Government Center has been transformed into a massive art gallery representing over 40 Kennedy Center artists and more than 50 paintings. The artwork will be on display for public viewing until the end of January.

“For over three decades, we have supported and funded the much-anticipated Kennedy Center Calendar, as it uniquely demonstrates the remarkable abilities of the Kennedy Center artists,” said Armando Goncalves, Southern Connecticut Market president, People’s United Bank. “This popular calendar is widely circulated throughout the bank’s branches in Connecticut and Westchester County, New York.”

“We extend our sincere thanks to People's United Bank and People’s United Community Foundation, who annually underwrite The Kennedy Center Calendar,” said Richard E. Sebastian, president and CEO of The Kennedy Center. “This vibrant calendar motivates us to be touched, moved and inspired (my acronym for TMI) by the many abilities of our artists with disabilities."

As The Kennedy Center's Expressive Arts program has expanded over the years, the works of visual artists have evolved beyond the mediums of paint, pen and ink, and collage typically found in past calendars. This year a piece of transformational art was selected for the 2019 “A Unique Perspective” Calendar cover. An old bicycle discovered at the local recycling center has been deconstructed and reconstructed into a work of art using the various parts such as chains, reflectors, pedals, nuts and bolts, hubs and spokes.