CENTERBROOK — An exploration of texture — a powerful element found in many artforms — takes center stage in the first exhibition of 2018 at the Spectrum Gallery and Store at 61 Main Street, Centerbrook. From Jan. 26 through March 18, Spectrum presents artists who integrate texture into their pieces through their use of paint, collage, mixed media, fiber and photography. Included are drawings, photographs, representational and abstract paintings, mixed media and sculpture. The show opens with a reception on Friday, Jan. 26 from 6:30-9 pm.

“Spectrum is now close to 4 years old, and I have noticed our gallery show themes emphasize and encourage those who enjoy art, and are also new at art collecting, to really look and observe closely each piece not only through our installation designs but also as a function of the various themes of the many shows we have organized — from artists’ use of text to light and shadow and See Me Feel Me is no different,” said Barbara Nair, Spectrum Gallery Director. “As I curated this show it was amazing to me the many creative and surprising ways artists use texture…..both with their techniques and in their subjects. Come see for yourself how an ordinary window screen or animal’s fur can take on new meaning.”

Artists from Connecticut, New York and throughout New England are exhibiting (both returning and new to Spectrum), including Adina Andrus whose pieces are semi-abstract and highly textural; Kelly Taylor who creates abstract works with acrylic, gels, collage, photographs, and photo transfers; Sarah Schneiderman who uses found and recycled materials generated from daily life as her medium; and painter Linda McCarthy who creates abstract works and acrylic impressionistic pieces on canvas and aluminum. Adam Viens presents at Spectrum, a painter and mixed media artist who explores deep and personal psychological themes, while maintaining an undertone of the universality of human experience.

For the first time at Spectrum is Melissa Imossi, an award-winning contemporary realist artist, who is known for close-up studies of nature that examine the graphic quality of a single subject, emphasizing symmetry, repetition and rhythm. Suzanne Siegel creates with mixed media, oil and cold wax painting, and watercolor collage in her current work to explore line, shape, color, and texture to evoke the spirit of a location — whether a rugged, working coastal harbor or a New England beach.

Also presenting is mixed media artist Jan McLean who has been engaged in an in-depth exploration of two aspects of her art: found object assemblage and acrylic faux encaustic, with repeated layers of acrylic gels and mediums applied to create both the actual physical and the illusion of depth of traditional encaustics. Mark Battista, an illustrator, painter and photographer, works in oil, watercolor, pastel and charcoal. He will show pieces in a variety of mediums. Artist and dancer, Marie Percy, creates lithographs which focus on capturing and depicting movement, while painter Dawn Tyler focuses on light, color and mixed media to capture mother nature at her finest.

Returning to Spectrum is painter and mixed media artist Douglas Deveny who is fascinated by texture, happenstance and the patina of worn surfaces. His current work focuses on geometric and fluid stripe compositions. Also returning is Heidi Lewis Coleman, an abstract artist who creates acrylic and cut paper pieces using Thai Kozo paper: a delicate, translucent tissue which is made from Kozo fiber. Others include Kathy Johnson, a collage and mixed media artist whose work is about seeing the beauty in the discarded; Christine Miller whose paintings burst with bold color and texture; and pastel artist Karen Israel who captures moments in time with vivid colors and brushstrokes. Also returning to Spectrum include award-winning oil and pastel artist Peter Seltzer; Maria Mohiuddin who creates color and intricate layered works constructed from wax and oil pastels; Maryann Flick a photographer and glass artisan and Maris Fiondella, an artist who paints glorious illuminated letters and figures copied from old manuscripts.

The exhibit honors the rich vein and rightful place of the texture found in powerful photographic images. Presenting many fine examples in the show are award-winning photographers including Dianne Roberts, Don Dressler, Howard Margules, Judith Secco, fine art photographer, Sergio Villaschi, and Jan Doyle, who combines her love of photography and quilting creating artistic quilts using her photos printed on fabric and then “painting “the fabric with thread.

As always, a variety of fine fiber artisans both new and returning offer new work at Spectrum. Of note is fabric artist Clara Nartey who creates representational and semi-abstract works with fabric; Judy Ross, a quilt artist who uses cotton, satin, silk and organza, adding texture through intricate quilting, thread painting, wire, and trapunto, also in both abstract and representational forms; Diane Cadrain who hand-paints fabric, creating with felted fibers, quilting, embroidery and beaded embellishments fiber paintings.

The Spectrum Gallery Store offers fresh, new and original pieces in pottery, jewelry, glass, wood and apparel. Spectrum is open Wednesday through Saturday from 12-6 p.m., and Sunday from 12-5 p.m. The Gallery is an expansion of the non-profit arts organization Arts Center Killingworth which offers classes, workshops, camps and whose mission is to provide opportunities for emerging and established artists to develop, display and sell their work.

For more information call Spectrum Gallery at 860-767-0742 and visit www.spectrumartgallery.org. To learn more about the Arts Center Killingworth call 860-663-5593 and visit www.artscenterkillingworth.org.