The East Hartford Art League was established in November 1958 to promote interest in all phases of creative art and to encourage the activities of artists and art-loving people in the Community.
History / About Us
It was back in 1958 that a group of art lovers here in East Hartford first started to think about forming a town-wide Art League. In September 1958, an art lesson was planned with local artist Mr. Charles Stepule, who had agreed to instruct an oil painting class if more than 10 people showed up. Unfortunately the attendance was disappointing with only Raymond and Elva Kiely, Mrs. William Sydenham, Mrs. Alfred Fish, Mrs. Raymond Smaglia, Miss Jeneave Nichols and Mrs. Louis Newmann attending.
However, Raymond and Elva Kiely would not give up the idea of forming an art organization to help teach art, hold organized art demonstrations for town residents along with instruction, and display local residents’ artwork. The story is that Raymond and Elva Kiely went back to Mr. Charles Stepule to ask him if he could contact any of his students and ask them to help form an Art League for the Town of East Hartford. Well, Charles Stepule did just that. By the time they had finished telling everyone what they were doing, they successfully formed a group of people including some from adult education, some of Charles’ art students and the schools as well.
Sure enough, this entire group of people met in the North End Community Building. With advice on procedure from Mr. Nicholas Foran of the East Hartford Parks and Recreation Dept., along with Elva Kiely as acting Chair, this first group of East Hartford art lovers proceeded to establish an art organization in East Hartford. At that first meeting, officers were chosen and installed, and Mr. Foran announced that the Parks & Recreation Dept. would help sponsor the organization.
Since that time so long ago many town residents have participated in the art demonstrations made possible through the East Hartford Art League. Most recently, art lovers have enjoyed presentations from Mr. Jeff Feldmann, photographer and naturalist; Mr. Neil LeFebvre, a modern painter from around the region; Ms. Charlotte Turner, a local artist who works with pastels; and renowned artist and instructor Luciana Heineman.