Four new paintings added Milford’s permanent art collection

MILFORD — Four new paintings, donated by Milford Fine Arts artists and selected by a Jury Committee, have been added to the City of Milford’s William Meddick Permanent Art Collection.

The new works include two oil paintings by Albert Leiper, “Fair on the Green” and “Orange County Fair”; a watercolor by Alice Fredericks, “Spring Visitor” and an acrylic painting, “Untitled”, by the late Janet Ruskin.

“We are delighted to welcome these new works by Milford artists to the City’s Permanent Art Collection’’, noted Curator Marion Morra. “We thank the Jury Committee, which included Milford artists Freda Howling and Mim Mills and Milford’s Block Grant Coordinator Thomas Ivers, for its diligence and care in selecting these new paintings to join the over 200 works in the Collection. The art, presently displayed at the Milford Fine Arts Center (40 Railroad Street), will be moved to the Parsons Building in January.”

The City of Milford’s Permanent Art Collection, curated by The Milford Fine Arts Council, consists of works by artists ranging from the celebrated to the recently discovered. Media also span the gamut - oils, acrylics, pastels, etchings, charcoal, murals, watercolors, pen and ink. There are bronzes and wooden sculptures and some clay pieces. Subjects portrayed vary from landscapes and shorelines to portraits and cups. The Collection is named in honor of William Meddick, Executive Director of the Milford Arts Center for over 30 years who retired in 2012. Meddick inaugurated the Collection and is responsible for its breadth and depth. Much of the artwork in the Permanent Art Collection was purchased by the Milford Fine Arts Council, with other pieces donated to the City of Milford or to Milford Fine Arts.

About the three new artists:

Albert Leiper began painting oils seriously about ten years ago, moving to Milford after retiring from a successful career in the computer field. His themes are nostalgic, representing happy moments in the life of people and places. Subjects range from babbling brooks, and serene harbor scenes to parades, country fairs, horses, dogs and flowers. Al attempts to ‘capture gesture above all else’.

A self-taught artist, Al had formal training at the Silvermine Art School, Naugatuck Valley and Gateway Community Technical Colleges, Southern Connecticut State University and the Creative Arts Workshop. He has won numerous awards, including a best of Show at the Connecticut Artists Show and a special award in honor of the father of Wllia Meddick also at the Connecticut Artists School. He has been a jurist including for the Bridgeport Art League annual show. He is a member of the Milford Fine Arts Council, Milford Art League and the Connecticut Classic Arts. Al frequently contributes to the Firehouse Art Gallery where he has won numerous awards.

Alice Fredericks’ painting studies began after she retired. She has had one-man shows of art in Trumbull City Hall and at Stevens Ford and was represented at a juried show in Newtown. Her paintings have hung at shows at the Milford Public Library, Kellogg Environmental Center and at the Audubon Coastal Center. Alice has studied with Ron Grobes at Jonathan Law High School and with Mim Mills. She is represented at the SoBoBo Gallery, Connecticut Coastal Audubon Center, at the Firehouse Gallery and also on Martha’s Vineyard.

Janet Ruskin (1959-2004) is a contemporary artist who accomplished great achievements in her short lifetime. Janet studied at Southampton College, Long Island University (1977-1978) and at Pratt Institute (1978-1981) where she was a President Scholar. Her works are placed in permanent collections in Patterson Museum, Patterson, NJ; Mid-Hudson Arts and Science Center, Poughkeepsie, NY; Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY; and Long Island University, Southampton, NY. Three of her works have been acquired by the Housatonic Museum of Art in Bridgeport.

Janet painted on shaped stretchers that she built herself. She felt that the shapes chose themselves and were realized upon completion. She painted with high tech acrylic polymers mixed with other components such as silica or thickeners to form paint that has many characteristics; high gloss, flat, transparent, opaque, quality of thickness, pigment content and hue. A prolific painter, Janet had 19 solo shows from 1978 to 2003 in galleries from New York City to North Carolina to Vineyard Haven Maine and 40 group shows from 1979 to 2004. A respected colleague and alum of the Art World, Janet Ruskin, passed in 2004 at the age of 45. Her mother Judy Ruskin donated her daughter’s work to the Permanent Art Collection.