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Essex Art Association

The Gantner Gallery

The Gantner Gallery Award is a once-in-a-lifetime award and is the Essex Art Association's highest tribute to an artist. It is given to one artist during each EAA show. It affords the recipient the opportunity to present a body of work in a dedicated space during a show at our gallery.

The Gantner Gallery

Bob Gantner had been a driving force behind the Essex Art Association.  He wore many hats during his approximately 20 years on the EAA Council, including: council member, vice president, president, treasurer, and most importantly, friend and mentor to everyone who has followed in his footprints.
In honor of Bob's steadfast and caring service to the Essex Art Association, we dedicated The Gantner Gallery in acknowledgement for all he had done.

Gantner Gallery Artists for 2019 Season

B. Rossitto - "Gushing, Streaming, Still...Water and Reflections on Nature"

Gantner Gallery Artist: Spring Juried Show, May 4 - 25, 2019



I paint with my heart, bringing the viewer with me on an exploration of essence and perception. I look at things anew, and am continuously studying to develop my skills, in composition, perception, and technical execution. I portray not only the image, but my impression, and the feeling or essence of the place. I aim to take the viewer with me on the journey, and share my appreciation of life.

As an artist, Barbara pushes herself to try new techniques and styles. She enjoys the company of other artists and the critique that comes from studying with local artists as well as internationally acclaimed artists. Barbara paints in oils, watercolor and pastel, a variety of subjects, mainly representational.  She accepts commissions for pet portraits, and also for landscapes and homes, boats and gardens.

Barbara’s work has won several awards and has been chosen for International and regional as well as local shows, and she belongs to several prestigious societies.


Ralph Levesque - "Mini Retrospective"

Gantner Gallery Artist: Electected Artist Show, June 1- 22, 2019


I am a romantic visual poet - aware that all designs and symbols are inspired by the Natural. Therefore, I am not concerned with producing copied images of Nature, but, seek to find beauty within the concrete; behind the material level.

Instinctively and unconsciously I seek the essence of 'universal beauty'- the intrinsic force of all. The true artist is but a person who understands what others only know about. Using materials both Natural and 'man-made,' old and new, discarded/ found or recycled; I discover their hidden truth. The hidden reality of matter it is always moving/ changing, evolving and becoming anew.


My works are like ARTIFACTS from some distant past civilization and places unknown- pointing to new yet to be discovered worlds and realms. The element of time revealing past and future cycles of the universe are revealed, and appear in recognized/ yet forgotten memories, I have been granted a gift - a 'child like mind' - seeing the constructive patterns/ the rhythmic hidden constructs in nature and seeing the spiritual things that it really is.


In our machine minded culture, guided by science and industry; I find soulless monsters with slick cold engineering, killing the natural - doing away with the "human touch." Reaching back, I allow the handicrafted, "touched by man" to show. By allowing the hand made - sometimes crude - naturally inspired art, lost in the machine age; my works point to a time when art was a spiritual endeavor, reaching for the unexplainable. "Using matter; I focus on being a conduit, through which timeless invisible sources and untouchable mysterious forces connect the physical and spiritual."

Matt Ruocco - "Far Off Places”

Gantner Gallery Artist Summer Open Show, June 29- July 20, 2019



Matt is currently creating most of his work digitally through a process called digital painting. This process involves using software and a drawing tablet connected to a computer. All of the paintings are made by hand with the drawing tablet translating the physical movements of drawing and painting into something the computer understands. He continues to work traditionally as well with a focus on oil painting. Everything began there, and over time the transition to the digital world was made. This was not an easy journey as there was a lot to overcome and many challenges to face. It was like starting over entirely for him, but all of it was worth the effort. He looks forward to continuing this process and learning more. The paintings he has been working on recently are a reflection of places both real and imaginary. They attempt to create a feeling of memory, emotion, familiarity, and at times otherworldliness.

To view his work including some of the paintings from “Far Off Places” please visit

Richard Raicik - "Papa's Retirement" 

Gantner Gallery Artist Summer Juried Show, July 27 - August 19, 2019


Richard Raicik is an award winning Watercolor artist who is mostly self-taught, with the exception of the many workshops he has attended from his good friend and mentor national award winning artist Robert Norieka.

Richard is an Elected member of the Essex Art Association and the Clinton Art Association.

Richard has been accepted into the following Juried Art Exhibits:
Middletown Art Guild, Essex Art Association, Clinton Art Society, Glastonbury Art Association, West Hartford Art League, Hospital for Special Care, Madison Art Center, Guilford Art League, New Britain Museum of Art, Southington Art Association, Lyme Art Association, CT Watercolor Society, and the, New England Watercolor Society, Tolland Art

Richard has won awards at the following Exhibits:
Middletown Art Guild (4), Clinton Art Society (3), Essex Art Association (4), Southington Arts (2), Hospital for Special Care (2), Guilford Art League, Tolland Art

Anne Coffey - "In Love with Paper and Paint"

Gantner Gallery Artist Late Summer Open Show, August 24 - September 14, 2019


Although I grew up in the Midwest, I have spent my adult life in Connecticut where I taught math and computer programming to high school students. During the last ten years, I have been able to indulge my lifelong love of creating art. Initially I painted in watercolor, loving the unexpected surprises created in that medium. Then, one of my mentors introduced me to collage using my own hand-painted papers and I think I’ve found my medium!

My Work
As many artists will understand, I can totally lose myself for hours in my studio. Creating art is a form of meditation. Soft music in the background, or bird noises from my garden, a cup of tea nearby….and tons of beautiful papers to select from, papers that I’ve created. I’m relaxed and excited at the same time, nothing in my mind but the colors, the feel of the papers and pencils in my hands. No worries.

I make a sketch of the idea I have for my collage, drawing simple shapes. Then I rummage through my paper stash, selecting a group of painted papers to use in the collage. I love not being too realistic. I might pick a soft green for the sky because why not? From then on, the collage just evolves….it usually ends up differently from my initial sketch. I like to paint in a series. That way one collage gives me an idea for the next and I continue that way until I begin another series. I think my love for math and art has come together in collage…..neat, precise, yet messy at times!

To view my work, please visit