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WCSU Virtual Art Workshops feature watercolors, printmaking

April online programs feature painters Rabinowitz and Bartlet, printmaker Mansberg

DANBURY, CONN. — The Western Connecticut State University Department of Art will present painter Abbie Rabinowitz leading an online creative experience for guests of all artistic skill levels in her “Intuitive Watercolor” program streaming live from 3 to 5 p.m. on Friday, April 9,  2021, as part of the department’s spring semester Virtual Art Workshop Series.

Watercolors by Abbie Rabinowitz

Rabinowitz, a 2015 Master of Fine Arts graduate at WCSU, will focus on experimentation and abstraction as she introduces participants to a variety of watercolor painting techniques including wet-on-wet applications, layering and creation of different textures. Recipient of a 200-hour yoga teacher training certification completed in India, she will begin the session with a guided meditation and gentle breath work designed to promote balance and prepare for creative expansion and surrender.

Rabinowitz will conduct the online workshop from the Big Island of Hawaii, where she now resides and pursues her career as a painter, educator and art retreat leader. The subjects of her artistic works include plein-air landscapes, figure drawings and portraits, and abstract imagery. She created an emotionally evocative series of portraits of her elderly parents as her M.F.A. thesis project at WCSU.

The public is invited to register for “Intuitive Watercolor” in advance at a general admission fee of $25 by accessing the Eventbrite web page for the workshop at Registrants will be sent the Zoom invitation link to attend online as well as a list of the inexpensive materials required to participate fully in the artistic experience.

“Watercolor allows us to explore our use of control while challenging our ability to let go,” Rabinowitz observed. She noted that students will be encouraged to experiment with materials and that parents are encouraged to involve their children in the workshop.

Potato Print Mandala by Karin Mansberg

The WCSU Virtual Art Workshop series will continue on Sunday, April 18, 2021, when printmaker Karin Mansberg will lead the online program, “Potato Print: Printed Mandala,” streaming live from 1 to 3 p.m. The focus of the workshop will be on process and experimentation with patterns and colors, creating marks in circles, semi-circles or more complex forms to make prints in mandala and other patterns on paper or fabric.

Mansberg, who earned a Master of Fine Arts in Illustration at WCSU, has taught classes in printmaking and other artistic disciplines for college students, adults and children, with special emphasis on block printing. She has participated in two solo and 20 group exhibitions across Connecticut and in North Carolina. She has collaborated with small business, entrepreneurial and nonprofit clients on a wide range of creative projects including banners, logo designs, art stamps, book illustrations, murals and artistic direction. She has created surface pattern designs for private clients and has sold custom-designed fabric, gift wrap and wallpaper products at her “BlockprintedArt” Spoonflower online store.

“My artistic style has developed over the decades through personal art practice and academic training,” Mansberg observed in the biographical notes on her website. “The balance between the left and right side of my brain makes me the happiest, and printmaking involves both control and surprise. I enjoy the precision of the design process and also the playfulness of the printmaking process.”

The public is invited to register in advance at a general admission fee of $25 by accessing the Eventbrite web page for the workshop at Registrants will be sent the Zoom invitation link to attend online as well as the workshop materials list; parents are welcome to include their children in the artistic experience.

Amaryllis Cityscape by Jess Bartlet

The series will conclude on Friday, April 23, 2021, with the workshop, “Out the Window: Amaryllis Cityscape,” led by painter Jess Bartlet, a B.F.A. graduate of Eastern Michigan University and M.F.A. graduate of WCSU who has exhibited her works in New York as a member of First Street Gallery since 2010. The class, streaming live from 3 to 5 p.m., will introduce students of all skill levels to various aspects of watercolor painting technique. Specific areas of emphasis will include differing approaches to portraying organic and inorganic shapes, nuances of creating three-dimensional images in two-dimensional drawings, and a whimsical method of using watercolor to suggest buildings.

“This class will be focused on making beautiful watercolor paintings that are simple to create, with the added benefit of teaching valuable lessons about technique, color theory and women in art history,” Bartlet observed.

Advance registration at a general admission fee of $25 will provide access to the Zoom invitation link and a sketchbook scale copy of a drawing for use in the workshop exercise, as well as a detailed list of materials required. Registrations may be made through the link to the Eventbrite web page for the workshop at

For more information, contact Lori Robeau of the Department of Art at or Sherri Hill of the Office of University Relations at


Western Connecticut State University changes lives by providing all students with a high-quality education that fosters their growth as individuals, scholars, professionals and leaders in a global society. Our vision: To be widely recognized as a premier public university with outstanding teachers and scholars who prepare students to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.