WILTON, Conn. -- "The Suzanne Crossland Retrospective" art exhibition will be held at Wilton Library from Oct. 1 through Oct. 29.
An opening reception is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 9, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The reception is open to the public.
Suzanne Crossland was a well-known and respected artist who lived in Norwalk for 25 years before moving to Wilton in 1972 where she lived for more than 40 years; she died in 2013.
With more than 50 pieces of her acrylics, oils and watercolors on display, her works can best be summarized in her own words, “Most memorable are my ‘counterpane pastorals’ that capture the New England countryside and accent its patchwork of fields, rivers and hills and capture its almost quilt-like designs.”
Crossland was born in Casablanca, Morocco, in 1922. Shortly after the landing of the Americans and Free French in 1942, she rode her bicycle to the Casablanca Military Hospital and volunteered her nursing skills to the Croix Rouge Francaise, the French Red Cross. She had always been interested in painting, but there was a war on and painting had to take a backseat.
After the war, Crossland flew from Lisbon to the Azores to New York by a Pan Am Clipper flying boat, and upon landing married Lloyd Crossland, a former Army Air Force officer she had met in Casablanca. They settled in Norwalk in 1948, and a few years later, she successfully revived her interest in painting and became a member of the Silvermine Art Guild. It was there she harnessed her skills as an observer — an observer from a very different world. People may be familiar with Crossland’s works since her paintings were often part of the Wilton Artists Summer Show, and she had her own one-woman exhibition at the library in 2007.
Her sons Roger and Garry Crossland have lovingly culled through her canvases to bring her legacy to the community one more time. “My mother’s life was colorful from the beginning – starting with her stint as a Red Cross nurse in a French military hospital, to traveling alone on a transatlantic journey to finally arrive in the U.S. where she married my father. Her paintings often reflect quiet pastoral settings, yet they are paradoxically enlivened with bold color and powerful lines capturing each scene – a strong reflection of her,” remarked Roger.
All of the paintings in the retrospective will be available for purchase with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the library. For information and directions, visit www.wiltonlibrary.org. or call 203-762-3950, ext. 213.
Wilton Library is at 137 Old Ridgefield Road in the heart of Wilton Center. Library hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays. The library is closed Monday, Oct. 12, for Columbus Day.
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