Two distinctly different approaches to abstract art are on display at ArtPlace Gallery in Fairfield through Oct. 23 when Phyllis Peckar Clamage and Darienite Cate Leach present their individual exhibitions.

"Color Prints on Silk" features Clamage's latest monoprints on layers of silk. Her brilliant hues are joyfully juxtaposed in playful geometric shapes. Vibrating with color and energy, the overlays of silk have transparent qualities as the artist plays with color on light.

In contrast, Cate Leach's compelling abstract paintings in "Otherworld" evoke places and a time not of this world. The softer images blur, creating haunting moods as they envelop the viewer in the abstracted landscapes of her imagination. The public is invited to artists talks on Saturday, Oct. 16 from 3 to 5 p.m.

Leach's paintings create environments not unlike a stage set, which is not surprising, because she was a ballerina.

"A blank canvas is not unlike an empty stage, which can be used in many ways to transport the viewer to another time and place," she said. She creates depth by using multiple layers of sheer acrylic glazes. Her work is distinguished by a love of line, a sensitive appreciation for composition and the awareness that less is often more: "resolution often comes by eliminating the nonessential," she said.

Leach's award winning paintings, prints and assemblages have been exhibited at museums and galleries throughout New York and Connecticut, including the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, Housatonic Museum, Sacred Heart University, at LaGuardia Airport and the Prince Street Gallery. In addition to ArtPlace, she is a member of the Silvermine Guild of Artists in New Canaan, the Loft Artists Association of Stamford, the Center for Contemporary Printmaking in Norwalk and Connecticut Women Artists.

Clamage's artistic development began with a life-long love affair with paper. Early on, she learn how to make her own. For many years she worked with handmade paper, making and binding books and teaching classes and workshops on papermaking. She draws, paints and prints on paper.

Her latest explorations have brought several of these activities together: double monoprints on silk and French and Japanese fine papers, using printing inks, pastels and colored pencils. While her work is abstract, it is rooted in nature; natural forms of land and sea comingle with geometrical lines, arcs and shapes with overlapping colors.

The recipient of numerous awards, her work has been exhibited widely at venues including the Aldrich Museum, the Silvermine Guild where she is a member, the Bruce Museum, Greenwich Art Society, Brookfield Craft Center and the Boston Symphony Hall. Clamage studied at the Tyler School of Fine Arts and Parsons School of Design and did independent research on papermaking in Japan.

ArtPlace is located at 11 Unquowa Road in Fairfield, next to the movie theater. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information, call 203-292-8328 or visit