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Participants in ‘Thinking Visually’ exhibition to discuss their works and creative careers: Seven Connecticut illustrators featured at WCSU forum on Nov. 15

DANBURY, CONN. — Seven critically acclaimed Connecticut illustrators whose works are featured in a continuing exhibition at Western Connecticut State University will discuss their artistic works and careers at a panel discussion at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017, in Room 108 of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the WCSU Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury.

The panel on “The Art and Business of Illustration” will be moderated by Associate Professor of Art Jack Tom and hosted by the WCSU Department of Art. Participants will include Bruce Degen, Randy Enos, James Grashow, Gerard Huerta, Christine Kornacki, Ross MacDonald and David Wenzel. Light refreshments will be served.

Admission will be free and the public is invited; donations to support the WCSU Art Gallery exhibitions program will be accepted. Reservations to attend the forum should be made online on the VPAC events web page at

The panel will be held in conjunction with the current exhibition at the VPAC Art Gallery, “Thinking Visually: The Art of Connecticut Illustrators,” which presents works by 15 local illustrators spanning a wide spectrum from popular children’s book illustrations, magazine covers, cardboard constructions and stamp designs to graphic images for cartoons, albums, advertising, video games, films and television series. The exhibition will continue through Sunday, Dec. 3, and is open for public viewing during gallery hours from noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Degen has gained international recognition as the illustrator for popular book series including “The Magic School Bus,” “Jesse Bear” and “Commander Toad,” and as author and illustrator of children’s books including “Daddy is a Doodlebug” and “Jamberry.” Enos has worked primarily with linocuts, a printmaking technique using a sheet of linoleum for a relief surface, to create illustrations and cartoons that have been featured in National Lampoon, The Nation, Time, Sports Illustrated and other national publications, as well as children’s books and advertising campaigns.

Grashow, whose recent exhibitions include his “Corrugated Worlds” show at WCSU and his replica of Rome’s Trevi Fountain outside the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, has created cardboard constructions featured in installations that have earned him widespread renown as “The Cardboard Artist.” Huerta is a premiere designer of letter forms for the recording and movie industries, national publications and major corporations, developing corporate alphabets for Time-Life, Pepsi and Conde Nast, dials for the Swiss Army Watch, and logos for Nabisco, Waldenbooks and Calvin Klein’s Eternity.

Kornacki is the author and illustrator of children’s books including “The Sparkle Box,” “The First Christmas Night,” “The Sparkle Egg” and the series created for the American Girl doll characters Marie-Grace and Cecile. MacDonald’s illustrations have been published in national publications and children’s books; his skill with letterpress and drawing in re-creating retro-styled illustrations also has placed him in high demand for creation of period “graphics props” for many TV series including “Boardwalk Empire” and movies such as “Silver Linings Playbook,” “National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets” and Quentin Tarantino’s “Hateful Eight.” Wenzel, who has received international acclaim for his re-creation in graphic novel format of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit,” has dedicated much of his artistic work over the past three decades to the visualization and illustration of characters and creatures from mythological, fantasy and folk tales, ranging from graphic novels such as “The Wizard’s Tale” to children’s books such as “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and the “Little Bear” series.

For more information, contact the Department of Art at (203) 837-8403 or the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486.



Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.