NEWINGTON - More than 400 people came to Capital Community College’s Centinal Hill Hall auditorium Saturday, Jan. 26, to celebrate the winning artists in several categories featured in the 22nd annual CRT National Arts Program. Approximately 300 visual works of art from paintings to sculptures and mixed media works were submitted from residents of all ages from Hartford and Middlesex Counties.
Two Newington residents came home with some of the biggest awards, including Best in Show for Deanna Troy Henry’s work on paper titled “Contemplating the City Life” and the First Place winner in the Professional category went to Marc Ives Regis for his portrait photograph titled “Haitian Woman.”
Guests at the awards ceremony were treated to a slideshow of the artwork submitted by all winners and honorable mention recipients. Hartford’s Jazz Ensemble 4 from the Greater Hartford Academy of the Performing Arts gave the audience live jazz performances and singer/songwriter Gale Gardiner performed the autoharp for the crowd.
For the first time at this annual event, members of the Connecticut-based Free Poets Collective recited original “ekphrastic” poems inspired by some of the winning pieces of art. Ekphrastic poems are often inspired by visual images -- usually paintings, drawings, photographs, or sculpture -- variously to interpret, inhabit, confront, or speak with the works of art. In all, seven poems were read to the crowd throughout the afternoon ceremony as the top winners received their awards and a picture of their artwork was shown on a large projector screen overhead.
Troy Henry’s work featured a man sitting at a deli counter while looking out curiously at a city street. It’s vivid treatment of color, light and detailed composition led judges to crown the piece Best in Show. She submitted her work for the intermediate adult category.
“I’m so honored to have received this when you see all of the talented artists that submitted some truly great art,” Troy Henry said as she accepted her award. “In my piece I was inspired by a man I saw one day who seemed to have ‘the blues,’ but I saw a comfort in this man who exhibited this sense of optimism that inspired me.”
The exhibit of all works still hangs at Capital Community College, 960 Main St., Hartford, on the first and 11th floors through Feb. 5.
Judges for this year’s artwork include: Janice La Motta, Art Director at Charter Oak Cultural Center; Ed Johnetta Miller, renowned artist and teacher; JoAnne Bauer, prize-winning poet and artist; Andres Chaparro, artist and Manager in the City of Hartford Cultural Affairs Office and Jackie Coleman, Interim Executive Director for Hartford Performs and Senior Executive Advisor for the Arts for Hartford Public Schools.