The Geary Gallery of Darien presents February's exhibit: Barbara Lussier's "A Breath of Spring in Winter" featuring the land and seascapes of one of New England's most noted painters. Lussier is known for bringing sunlight and color to her canvases. This exhibit opens at the gallery Feb. 1 and runs until Feb. 29.

Lussier explores light and color with her paintings, which are often described as "poetry." Her imagery of farmland, mountains, rocky shores and sandy beaches evoke the wonderful, bright, hopeful time of spring in New England, and she is inspired by the mysteries and wonder of the sea, as well as the majesty and aesthetics of the wildflowers and trees of the area.

Lussier is a philosophically direct descendant of the Old Lyme and the American Hudson River School painters, and approaches her subject in a way that embraces these traditions -- honoring nature and working from direct observation. The daughter of a consummate fisherman and boater, Lussier fell in love with the sea while roaming the coastline of Nahant, Mass., as a child. She followed her father to Florida, where he fished and boated and she painted boating subjects while attending the Ringling School of Art.

Later, she explored the south Pacific coastline, where she was sometimes dropped by helicopter on uninhabited islands to paint pink rocks and turquoise waters. At the hand of her mother, she learned the wildflowers and trees of New England, feeding her fervor for their majesty and esthetics. Currently, she lives in New England and supplies galleries with imagery of farmland, mountains, rocky shores and sandy beaches. A collector recently traded his boat for her painting so that she might further explore the creeks, rivers and coastline that are her favorite painting subjects.

Lussier holds a B.F.A. degree from the University of Hartford. She has also studied at Ringling School of Art, Hartford College for Women, and the Lyme Academy. Her work has been exhibited throughout New England and internationally. She is represented in a number of corporate and private collections and has won numerous awards, including the Painting Award from the Connecticut Academy of Fine Art, the Award For Excellence in Painting from the Rockport Art Association 2006, 2007 and the Painting Award from the Academic Artist Association 2007.

Lussier has taught plein air painting privately and through various educational institutions, including the Lyme Art Association, where she is an elected member and serves as president on the board of directors. She is a signature member of New England Plein Air Painters, is elected to the Rockport Art Association, where she served on the 2006-07 membership jury and is a member of the Academic Artists Association and Oil Painters of America. She also was included in the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts 2005 exhibition, her work was chosen for the State Capitol Building and she was in the Region 2 American Society of Marine Artists juried show at the Art League of Long Island. She has served as curator for The New England Landscape Invitational Show at the Lyme Art Association for several years. Her work is published in the Great Day Trips to Connecticut's Critical Habitats. She also owned and operated a commercial art gallery that sold contemporary and historical paintings.

To read more about Barbara Lussier, visit her biography on the Geary Gallery site and view her online gallery.

Connecticut art lovers are invited to an enjoyable visit to Geary Gallery to experience a much-needed breath of spring with a dose of sunshine and color. Admission to the public is free and artwork is available for acquisition.

The Geary Gallery is open to the public Wednesdays through Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 576 Boston Post Road, Darien. For more information, call 203-655-6633 or visit www.gearygallery.com.

Since its founding in 1984, Geary Gallery has become one of Fairfield County's preeminent art galleries, featuring an extensive collection of original artwork from more than 200 artists. Offering four display rooms, Geary Gallery maintains an ambitious exhibition schedule to showcase both Connecticut-based artists as well as artists from around the country.

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The public can enjoy a new show every five weeks. In addition to the gallery, located on premises are accent pcture framing and restoration with an extensive selection of more than 2,000 corner samples for any type of artwork. Its precision restoration service has restored oil paintings and frames that hang in many museums, galleries and historical societies. Geary Gallery is owned and operated by Anne and Tom Geary, who have spent more than 27 years as friends to artists, spotting talent and market appeal and nurturing careers.