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'Gardens & Abstractions' Invites The Outside In At The Wilton Library

"Gardens & Abstrations - Jay Petrow" will debut on Friday, May 8 at the Wilton Library.
"Gardens & Abstrations - Jay Petrow" will debut on Friday, May 8 at the Wilton Library. Photo Credit: Contributed

WILTON, Conn. -- The Wilton Library presents Jay Petrow's one-man show, "Gardens & Abstractions - Jay Petrow," which opens on Friday, May 8, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

The reception is open to the public. 

Petrow gravitated to painting abstract expressionist works after many years of painting representative landscapes, still lifes and portraiture. Finding inspiration in Kandinsky's vibrant use of color and the expressive brushstrokes of Hans Hoffman, Franz Kline and Robert Motherwell, he started down his own path of expression. 

His professional background as a landscape designer appears to influence his painting, in which some viewers see imagery reminiscent of landscapes.

He is principal owner of PetrowGardens Landscape Design in Westport, designing gardens throughout Fairfield and Westchester counties. According to Petrow, designing landscapes and painting abstract art have more similarities than one might expect. 

“When a garden is designed, groups of plants are used to compose areas of color and texture that interplay with each other. I approach painting in a similar way, almost from an explorer's point of view. Initially I may choose a few colors as a starting point to explore the tension and vibrancy between them, but as the painting develops, it becomes more an exploration of my inner world,” he said about his process. 

The exhibition features close to 30 abstract paintings and 30 photographs of his landscape designs. Before turning to landscape design, Petrow was the art director of magazines for many years in New York, first at Time and Sports Illustrated and then at BusinessWeek. He studied painting at the Silvermine School of Art, landscape design at the New York Botanical Gardens and advertising at the School of Visual Arts. He received a bachelor’s degree in fine arts and biology from Middlebury College in Vermont. 

The exhibition runs through Saturday, May 30. A majority of the works will be available for purchase with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the library.

For information and directions, visit and click on 'events' or call 203-762-3950, ext. 213. Wilton Library is located at 137 Old Ridgefield Road in the heart of Wilton Center.

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