Local Artist’s Work Featured at Foundation Center

New Britain, Conn., March 4, 2020 – The newest installment of artwork from local artists is on display in the boardroom of the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain’s Foundation Center located at 74 Vine Street, New Britain.

Originally from Amherst, Massachusetts, New Britain resident Kathleen Curran Smits is Vice President of the Art League of New Britain and the second artist to be featured in the third floor meeting space with her exhibit “Shorelines”.

“We are thrilled to have this partnership with the Art League of New Britain,” Foundation President Dave Obedzinski said, “We are honored to share the work of local artists with the community. Not only does our organization use the boardroom, but many area nonprofits use the space as well. It’s a privilege to display Kathleen’s beautiful art and open our doors to the community we serve.”

Kathleen started her art career as a landscape painter, entering into oil painting as a way to recreate the New England landscapes that she loves. Her first inspiration to paint was at the Amherst College where she was taking an art history class. While there, she fell in love with a Thomas Cole painting in the gallery. Her work also reflects her knowledge of plants and trees in the landscape as she has a degree in horticulture. While living in Texas, she studied painting with James Stegall who was trained at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. She moved back to New England and settled in Connecticut. Since then, her landscapes have been accepted into the New Britain Museum of American Art members’ shows and two of them were sold at their Annual Gala. Senator Joe Lieberman exhibited a landscape of hers in his inner office in Washington D.C. as part of a juried Connecticut Artists exhibition sponsored by the Connecticut Office of the Arts. Smits serves as an associate Board member of the American Artists Professional League based at the Salmagundi Club in New York City. She has had several solo shows and regularly exhibits in the Connecticut area by entering juried shows and regional exhibitions.

“I’m excited to have an opportunity to exhibit my paintings of local shorelines at The Foundation Center in a place where such good things happen for our community,” said Smits.

In addition to creating art, Kathleen is an arts teacher. She complemented her career with teaching, drawing, and painting to a variety of age groups in a variety of settings, including working with special needs children. She returned to school and received an M.A., followed by a Digital Arts Certificate from Sessions School of Design in NYC.  Those two scholarly efforts landed her a job as a Digital Arts faculty member of the Multi-Media and Game Design department at Manchester Community College. She teaches landscape painting at the Art League of New Britain.

The boardroom’s art gallery is located on the third floor of the Community Foundation. The first floor hallways of the Community Foundation are also being used as an art space, highlighting the work from the Southington Community Cultural Arts All-Access Program. The Foundation works with local artists to rotate the pieces and give other exhibits a chance to be on display. The equipment used in both galleries was funded by a generous grant from Stanley Black & Decker.

Katheleen’s work can be viewed on her website: www.kcsmitsgallery.com, and she can be followed on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram @kathleen.curran.smits.

Established in 1941, the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain is “Where Good Begins” in Berlin, New Britain, Plainville and Southington. The Foundation works to inspire philanthropy, responsibly manage permanent charitable assets, and partner to address key community issues through strategic leadership. For more information, visit www.cfgnb.org. If you would like to visit the Foundation Center to see the artwork on display, please contact Candice Tabone at 860-229-6018 or ctabone@cfgnb.org.