Kennedy Center calendar debuts artwork for 2016

More than 150 guests recently attended the debut of the Kennedy Center’s annual Calendar Reception where the 2016 Unique Perspective calendar was unveiled at Gallery@999, located in the Margaret E. Morton Government Center in Bridgeport. The artwork will be on display for public viewing until the end of January.

This year’s calendar is a tribute to the late Lois Gerety, a dedicated Kennedy Center art therapist for more than 27 years. She was the creative force behind A Unique Perspective as a project manager as well as an enthusiastic goodwill ambassador for The Kennedy Center.

This annual holiday tradition began decades ago with major support from People’s United Bank and has continued through the generous underwriting of People’s United Community Foundation, its major sponsor. More than 750,000 Unique Perspective calendars have been distributed all over the world since The Kennedy Center Calendar was created over 30 years ago.

The calendar reception drew a crowd of 150 Kennedy Center supporters, clients and their families.  Armando Goncalves, Southern Connecticut Market President, People’s United Bank, and Martin D. Schwartz, president and CEO of The Kennedy Center, presented personalized t-shirts to each artist during the awards presentation.

The beautiful, four-color calendar highlights The Kennedy Center’s Expressive Arts Program and celebrates the potential of all people through its monthly display of talent and creativity.

"We are delighted to continue to distribute the much-anticipated Kennedy Center Calendar, as it uniquely demonstrates the remarkable artistic abilities of Kennedy Center clients," said Armando Goncalves, Southern Connecticut Market President, People’s United Bank.

The calendar features the expressive, vibrant works of 20 Connecticut artists with disabilities and illustrates how people with disabilities can be productive, contributing members of their community.  Two of the featured pieces include group works from artists who collaborated in a multi-faceted arts program at the Kennedy Center’s Maggie Daly Arts Cooperative (MDAC).  Located in the Read’s Artspace building in downtown Bridgeport, this Arts Cooperative provides unique programming in mixed media, visual media, painting, music, dance, and yoga.

"The calendar has been a wonderful showcase for The Kennedy Center, demonstrating the diverse range of abilities of people with disabilities," said Martin D. Schwartz, president and CEO of The Kennedy Center. "People's United Bank and People’s United Community Foundation are exemplary corporate sponsors who have been distributing this popular calendar for over three decades."

Gallery@999 at the Margaret E. Morton Government Center has been transformed into a massive art gallery representing over 60 Kennedy Center artists and more than 70 paintings. The artwork will be on display for public viewing until the end of January.

Artwork featured in A Unique Perspective covers a variety of themes ranging from abstracts to still lifes.  Each piece reflects the personal interests and feelings of the artists. Some are drawn with whimsy and playfulness and others by the natural expression, directness and simplicity of the works.  Still others react to the color explosion and brilliance of the palette as the depths of imagination and creativity are explored.

As individuals, these artists have transcended their disabilities to reveal their own unique style, creative ability and spirit.  Many of the artists have had their work published in the calendar for several years.

The color calendar was designed by Meghan Gerety, a freelance artist in Marfa, Texas and a former Connecticut resident, and was printed by Imperial Graphics of Stratford.

About The Kennedy Center

The Kennedy Center, founded in 1951, is an internationally accredited, non-profit, community-based rehabilitation organization that currently serves 2,400 individuals annually. The agency actively responds to the needs of the community by offering innovative, comprehensive service options to persons with disabilities and special needs, from birth to senior years. The Kennedy Center operates 29 community experience programs, 16 group homes, an industries program composed of six businesses, supported and competitive employment and job placement services, a family support and respite service, travel training, and a variety of children’s programs. Visit for more information.

About People’s United Community Foundation

Established in 2007, People’s United Community Foundation was formed to help support programs and activities that enhance the quality of life for citizens in the communities that People’s United Bank serves. People’s United Bank, founded in 1842 and serving customers from New York to Maine through a network of more than 400 branches, is the largest independent bank headquartered in New England. The funding priorities of the Foundation include affordable housing, community development, and youth development.

2016 “Unique Perspective” Calendar Artists

January: Lisa Kellersman of Trumbull — “Colors”

February: Cloresa Francoeur of Bridgeport — “Family”

March: Todd Carboni of Milford — “Milk Delivery Truck”

April: Monica Rodriquez of Bridgeport “Bridgeport”

May: MDAC Group Painting* — “Movement of the Splatter”

June: Christina Bevans of Stratford — “Sunset Beach”

July: Michael Daly of Fairfield — “Ketchup”

August: Alice Dubois of Stratford — “A Light on the Ocean”

September: Ryan Gall of Stratford — “Rainbow in my Life”

October: Debra Willis of Bridgeport — “Pumpkin Garden”

November: Margaret Pettway of Bridgeport — “Lady”

December: Lisa Ellis of Fairfield — “Holiday Train”

Back cover: Henrik Evenson of Southport — “Green, Brown, Yellow”

Inside cover: MDAC Group Weaving* — “Entangle

*MDAC artists

Teddy Sutton, Bridgeport

Antonio Gadson, Trumbull

Michael Daly, Fairfield

Robert Robles, Bridgeport

Carmella Vallelunga, Oxford

Azalea Laberee, Bridgeport

Monica Rodriguez, Bridgeport

Rebecca Inwood, Fairfield