Visual art has never been played as important a role as it does now in the 21st century. Whether art is considered a mirror to this ever-changing, tech-obsessed society, or the refinement of skills that transcend the ordinary and enter into the realm of extraordinary, art is key to understanding our world. While we praise and savor the art of the past, it’s the up-and-coming artists that we want to pay close attention to. Through the eyes of the following up-and-coming Connecticut artists, we can treasure the ongoing tradition of visual art.

Christina Ciacci

(203) 383-3546

While painting still lifes in her studio, Christina discovered that what really caught her attention was the fabric in her paintings. More and more, this became the focal point of her paintings until she realized that what she was observing was “small worlds in themselves that were meaningful and whole.” For Christina, textures ranging from satin and velvet to plastics became the fabric of her art. “Light and dark, air and gravity, abstraction and observation; these are the relationships that I am interested in exploring and portraying.”

Amy Almeida
(203) 241-3215

Amy Almeida is an expressionist artist who likes to work on a big canvas. Some of her canvases reach 70” by 70”. She paints in oils and prefers still life. What distinguishes her work is reflection. Therefore, often featured in her work are light bulbs. She likes the quality of reflection in her pieces. The juxtaposition of her still life objects is especially creative. “I reproduce recognizable inanimate objects by portraying them in unrecognizable situations rooted in my own experiences.” Her use of scale and color are especially noteworthy as is what the artist has described as “visual tension” between recognizable objects functioning differently.

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Zachary Cowan
(203) 543-8759

Zachary Cowan is a photographer who captures candid street scenes. “I like to catch people doing everyday things,” he said. This up-and-coming artist prefers black and white because he doesn’t like distractions from his subjects. However, he does not rule out color from his palette. Looking at his color photography, one can easily see that it does not distract from his photographs. The black and white signature photos feature diversity and honesty through a most profound lens.

Tiffany Johnson
(203) 559-8044

When it comes to art, Tiffany Johnson is a master of color. Distinguishing this artist from most others is that her palette of color is not the observational colors that are most familiar. Rather, her colors are inventive. Her subject matter, however, is observational. Another distinguishing attribute is the artist’s preference for rectangles and squares. These shapes capture the places integrated in her work. Partial to cityscapes and landscapes, she likes to capture these spaces in unique environments. Included in her work are self portraits and abstracts.

Megan Marden
(203) 743-6645

Here’s a contemporary artist on the move who is taking dinosaurs along with her art. No kidding. Much of her artwork features dinosaurs. Apparently, a collection of dinosaur toys were in her studio. “I was fascinated by their color and texture and started painting them,” said the up-and-coming Connecticut artist. She uses oil paints but she likes all mediums and lots of color and texture. The work is observational with a lot of liberty. “I think of paint as a sculpture source,” she said, adding that light and spaces are also important to her work. Most of her work ranges from small to medium in size. However, even as her work continues to evolve, dinosaurs, or rather parts of dinosaurs, are still evident on her canvases.

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Joanne Greco Rochman is the arts editor of The Fairfield County Review, a columnist, critic, feature story writer and English professor. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Republican-American and Hersam-Acorn Publications. Her work can be found at