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Town Hall Theater gallery showcases unique works by women artists

MIDDLEBURY — The Jackson Gallery at Town Hall Theater presents “The Blue Swans — Seven Women Artists,” featuring paintings and monoprints by Klara Calitri, Linda Hampton Smith, Molly Hawley, Patricia LeBon Herb, Phoebe Stone, Sarah Wesson and Yinglei Zhang. The exhibit runs March 1-31.
Klara Calitri was born in Vienna, Austria, and came to the U.S. in 1939. Her professional work as an artist has accompanied her career as a teacher of German, French and Spanish. Prolific and passionate in her creativity, Calitri is the senior member of the group and will turn 90 this year. Painter and co-member Patty LeBon Herb states that Calitri has been an inspiration to many with her joyful demeanor and spirit, which comes forth through her ceramics and fine art paintings. “This show in a way is a celebration of Klara including her artist friends of the group The Blue Swans.”
Patricia LeBon Herb is an illustrator and graphic designer whose paintings often combine geometric form with imagery from nature. “I incorporate art into my everyday life. Much of my inspiration comes from my immediate surroundings, people I know, and the places where I have travelled.”
Phoebe Stone has become internationally known for her illustrated children’s books and novels. Her colorful and exuberant paintings have been exhibited in galleries all over the United States. She has received the prestigious Vermont Council on the Arts Fellowship for Painting, twice. Phoebe’s paintings and drawings are in hundreds of private collections and many museums.
Molly Hawley works in a number of media including painting, printmaking, pastel and multi-media. For years she has painted commissioned portraits for private clients and institutions. She is actively at work on an extended series of acrylic paintings of Cape Cod and Vermont landscapes, several of them being included in this exhibit.
Sarah Wesson maintains a studio in downtown Middlebury. Her work is painted on site primarily in Vermont, Maine and Italy. In her new series of oil paintings depicting interior settings, she contrasts the warm tones of a cozy room with the winter landscape outside. 
Yinglei Zhang and Linda Hampton Smith add to the international flair of this exhibit. Zhang creates Chinese paintings using ink and limited color on Xuan paper. She states that while the foundation for her art is her knowledge of Chinese literature, poetry and calligraphy, her paintings show her love of Vermont nature and its landscape.
Hampton Smith’s work reflects her enduring love of the French language through her skill and experience as an illustrator and art teacher in the local elementary schools where her students’ “gleeful approach to the blank page gives her courage and joy.”
The exhibition will be on display through March 31, with gallery hours noon to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and for an hour before each Town Hall Theater performance. For information, contact the Jackson Gallery at (802) 382-9222 or email [email protected].

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