On Friday, Jan. 20, from 5 to 7 p.m., Atria Darien will showcase a collection of 40 oil paintings by Darien artist John Coots in the Gratia Gillespie Art Gallery.

For 17 years, Coots has taken painting classes at the Silvermine Art School in New Canaan, studying with David Dunlop, Kirill Doron, Alex MacFarlane and Claire Watson Garcia. He paints contemporary still life and local landscapes. Coots is a self-described "precocious hobbyist" who most admires that art of Sir Winston Churchill "because Churchill found time to paint while doing other things."

Coots publishes two dozen weekly newspapers in small towns scattered around New England. His career in journalism started in college at the Yale Daily News. After business school at University of Virginia, Coots spent 20 years running newspapers for a large publicly-traded corporation until 1994 when he started his own company.

Coots and his wife Sandy have lived in Darien for 22 years and raised four boys in town.

The Gratia Gillespie Art Gallery is free and open to the public daily. For more information, call 203-662-1090.

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Atria Senior Living Group, the nation's fourth largest assisted living owner-operator, provides care that helps more than 14,000 older people live life to the fullest. Atria communities are active communities where seniors can get the care they need to live as independently as possible.

To learn more visit www.atriaseniorliving.com.