The Westport Arts Center announces the artists selected for its twelfth annual summer member artist exhibition, SELECTS 2018. The exhibition will be on view June 22 – August 24, 2018.

An opening reception will be held on Friday, June 22 from 6 – 8 p.m. at the Westport Arts Center. The event is free and open to the public.

The exhibition is juried by Joe Amrhein and Susan Swenson of Pierogi Gallery (NYC), arguably known as one of the most prominent established galleries dedicated to emerging artists. Joe Amrhein is the co-owner/director of Pierogi Gallery (NYC) and The Boiler (Williamsburg, Brooklyn) and Susan Swenson is co-owner of Pierogi Gallery and co-founder and editor of Pierogi Press.

Of their selections, the jurors stated, “Among the diverse works of the ten artists selected emerged two groups: one of a personal subjective nature and another directed towards intuitive abstraction. This involved a more eclectic and inclusive approach to our curation. We want to thank the artists and everyone involved in putting this exhibition together.”

The jurors reviewed more than100 entries and selected the following ten artists for inclusion in SELECTS 2018:

  • Bethany Brooke (Westport, CT) 
  • Alexandria Donovan (Westport, CT) 
  • Camille Eskell (South Norwalk, CT)
  • Jana Ireijo (Westport, CT) 
  • Susan Lloyd (Westport, CT) 
  • Mary Tooley Parker (Yorktown Heights, NY)
  • Margaret Roleke (Easton, CT) 
  • Susan Sharp (Easton, CT)
  • Angela Strassheim (Stamford, CT) 
  • Charlotte Strick (Brooklyn, NY)


The exhibition includes a wide diversity of themes and mediums including photography, painting, digital media, video, mixed media, ink and textile.


Included in SELECTS 2018 are Easton, CT-based artist Margaret Roleke’s painted plastic toys on wood that explore sensationalism, consumerism and the relationships that develop when popular culture mixes with war and religion.


Visitors will also have the opportunity to explore the works of Brooklyn, NY-based artist Charlotte Strick, who transforms discarded matchbooks found in the street into unique sculptural objects after their lengthy exposure outdoors. She composes these insignificant objects into tightly composed grids — each one its own urban tale.


Westport, CT-based artist Bethany Brooke is also featured in SELECTS 2018. Her oil on canvas paintings are an exploration of the emotional response to action. Brooke approaches the canvas instinctively, building layers of paint followed by scraping and dissolving those same layers until an emotion or reaction is discovered.


The member exhibitions are one way in which the Arts Center celebrates the artistic talent and diversity of its artist members. Now in its twelfth year, the summer member exhibition is designed to showcase new works of art by talented artists in the region, and allows collectors, gallerists, and other museum curators to discover new and noteworthy artists.

For any questions about the exhibition or other visual arts programs, please contact the Westport Arts Center at 203.222-7070 or visit

About The Jurors


Joe Amrhein is the founder and co-owner/director of Pierogi Gallery (NYC) and The Boiler (Williamsburg, Brooklyn) and is an active visual artist as well. Known for its inventive program, Pierogi was launched in 1994. Pierogi exhibits the work of contemporary emerging and mid-career artists in a wide variety of media; from drawing and painting, to sculpture, installation, photography, and video. Their artists range from recent graduates having their first exhibitions, to veterans who have been included in important exhibitions such as the Venice Biennale, Site Santa Fe, and the Whitney Biennial. Pierogi has monthly solo shows, participates in art fairs such as the Armory Show and Frieze (NYC), among others and is also known for its Flat Files that house original works by 800+ artists. As an artist, Amrhein is a painter who works primarily with text on a variety of media, including translucent vellum and glass. He has exhibited widely in the US and Europe and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Susan Swenson holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars (Bennington, VT) and an MA from the New School for Social Research Graduate Studies (NY, NY). Her poetry and writing have appeared in AGNI, The Brooklyn Rail, Cabinet Magazine, and elsewhere and her artist interviews have appeared in numerous exhibition catalogues. She is the co-founder and editor of Pierogi Press. She is co-owner of Pierogi with her husband, Joe Amrhein, and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.


About the Westport Arts Center

The Westport Arts Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting our community through the arts, reaches more than 11,000 people annually through outstanding programs in visual arts, arts education, and the performance arts of Chamber music and jazz.

The Westport Arts Center receives philanthropic support from the Katherine and Howard Aibel Foundation; Artur and Heida Hermanns Holde Foundation, Inc.; Cohen and Wolf, P.C.; Critical Mix; Delamar Southport; Design Within Reach; Fairfield County Bank; Fairfield County Hunt Club; 4th Row Films; First County Bank Foundation; GWAY Print Solutions; Hal Prince Music; the Hall Art Foundation; Halloran & Sage LLP; The Hofstetter Baron Group; Hotel Zero Degrees; Moffly Media; Newman’s Own Foundation; Northeast Tent; Shack Sackler Foundation; Sontag Advisory LLC; Tito’s Handmade Vodka; Wells Fargo Advisors; Westport Now; Wiggin and Dana LLP; WPKN and WSHU Public Radio Group. The Westport Arts Center operates with the support of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts, which also receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.


For more information, contact the Westport Arts Center at 203/222-7070 or The Westport Arts Center gallery is open Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 51 Riverside Avenue, Westport, CT.




Images (L to R):

  1. SELECTS 2018 artist Bethany Brooke’s Blue Study, 36” x 48”, oil on canvas, 2017.
  2. SELECTS 2018 artist Margaret Roleke’s Holy Wars, 31” x 31”x 6”, painted plastic toys on wood frame, 2015.
  3. SELECTS 2018 artist Charlotte Strick’s Strike Gently #2, 8 1/2 x 11”, mixed media/found objects, 2017.

Thursday, September 16: Our gallery and Academy are closed today in observance of Yom Kippur. Happy Hour will still take place from 5-7 PM.