Essex Art Association

Established 1946

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2021 Gantner Gallery Artists

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.

Judith Gay 

Gantner Gallery Artist: May 8 - 29, 2021




A Connecticut native, whose mother was also an artist, Judith began drawing and painting at an early age. In early adulthood, she primarily worked in pastels, generally painting portraits. Later, Judith chose a career in School Psychology which left her little time for painting. After retiring a decade ago, she returned to the field, however this time working predominantly in watercolors. "I love the translucency, spontaneity and portability of watercolors. I also love those ‘happy accidents’ that occur when one color bleeds into another. Watercolor always maintains some mystery to me because one doesn’t always know how the colors will react with one another.” 

Judith is a member of the Madison Art Society, Essex Art Society and the Connecticut Shoreline Artists Plein Air Group. Her work has been accepted in a number of juried shows and she has won several awards, including the Gantner Gallery Solo Show Award from the Essex Art Association. Judith has painted with David Dewey, Alvaro Castagnet, Charles Reid, Tony Couch, Ted Nuttal, John Salminen and Jeannie McGuire.  


     Lisa Tellier

Gantner Gallery Artist: June 5 - June 26, 2021



Born in the paper mill town of Fitchburg, Massachusetts. She knew from an early age that she wanted to be an artist. Using a series of drawing instruction books she taught herself the basics of two dimensional work. She was especially attracted to the fields, forests and lakes surrounding her home.

Lisa began her formal training at the School of the Worcester Art Museum. These studies were transferred to the Paier School of Art when Lisa followed her high school sweetheart to Connecticut. Here she began to build a home and life with her husband and continued to follow her passion for art through participation in workshops and taking courses at the Old Lyme Academy of Fine Art.

It was here were she met Charles Chu and Chien Fei Chang. They introduced her to Chinese Brush Painting. The simple, elegant and intimate compositions of birds, flowers and other animals resonated with Lisa. This eastern approach is one side of her artistic personality. The other side, is a more traditional western view that seeks to establish depth in her landscapes and sometimes uses thicker paint application  in the creation of forms instead of the more linear elements of Chinese Brush Painting.

Her journey, like that of many artists, did not end here. Instead, it propelled her to explore further and she would return for more formal academic studies as an adult receiving her associate degree from MCC, and her bachelor's degree from the University of Hartford and her graduate degree from Wesleyan. Lisa's work has been in numerous shows in the New England area and earlier this year she received a Best in Show award for her depiction of the flooded Connecticut River in springtime.

Today, Lisa lives in East Haddam, CT, still with her high school sweetheart and their cats. She is an avid gardener, bird watcher, hiker and kayaker. And just as when she was a child, she finds inspiration in the woods and waterways that surround her home.


Laura Barr

Gantner Gallery Artist: July 5 - July 24, 2021





Laura Barr‘s work is distinguished by rich color, simplified form and light made material. She works in a painterly manner, at the intersection of representation and abstraction. Barr works in oil on canvas, oil pastel and gouache. Her influences include David Hockney, Wayne Thiebaud, Fairfield Porter and Alex Katz, as well as Barnet Rubenstein with whom she studied at Tufts University’s School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. In addition to her BFA, Barr received a BA in Art History from Tufts University. She also attended Tyler School of Art in Rome, Italy.

Barr is with Prince Street Gallery, New York, NY. In additional to painting and drawing, she has worked as a graphic designer. She is also a member of the New Haven Paint & Clay Club, an elected member of Connecticut Women Artists and an associate member of the Lyme Art Association. Her work has been shown in galleries in the Northeast and is in many private collections. She lives in Stony Creek, Connecticut.


"My work explores color, transparency, reflection and the material qualities of light. I seek the intersection of representation and abstraction, simplifying form and enhancing color, distilling and embellishing what I observe. I often use scale to illuminate my focus and work in series in order to more fully investigate the engaging variations in particular environments. I am interested in the theme of impermanence; the works often depict blissful, fleeting moments.

Works in my current series, Ocean Elegy, are visual odes that celebrate the beauty of the underwater world. I aim to bring attention to climate change and its effect on the planet’s endangered marine environment."



Kimberly Edwards

Gantner Gallery Artist: July 31 - August 21, 20 



As a neuropsychologist, Kimberly B Edwards is fascinated with human perception, both in the process of making art and viewing it.   She enjoys visual arts for the opportunity to explore nonverbal realms; where multiple, often seemingly competing, ideas can exist simultaneously.  Her works are primarily in pastel and oil, expressive figures and landscapes, often featuring elements of cycling and aviation.  She is a former competitive cyclist (a two-time masters world champion in track cycling), while her husband is a bicycle retailer.  They are both private pilots and part-owners of a small airport on a beautiful property that has inspired many of her paintings.  With cycling and aviation such significant parts of her world, the themes show up frequently in her art, in a manner that is evocative and personal rather than mechanistic.

Bob Gantner

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.