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Fairfield, Westport Artists Team Up for Exhibit

Fairfield’s Dave Pressler and Westport’s Toby Michaels create very different art for very different reasons. Yet that’s the exact reason they’ve chosen to work together in an exhibit at ArtPlace’s gallery at The Watermark assisted living center. The show, dubbed “Creative Diversity,” highlights the differences between the two artists and within their respective bodies of work.

Pressler is a classically trained artist, a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and a student of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., and New Canaan’s Silvermine Arts Center. He creates art for its own sake, displaying his paintings in galleries such as Silvermine, Westport Arts Center, Nylen Gallery in Westport, Vertrue Corporation, American Museum of Natural History in New York City, Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, and The Hudson River Museum in Yonkers.

“For my exhibit, I have selected groups of work that are diversified and that may be viewed as visual chapters in my creative activity over time,” said Pressler.

Michaels focuses on art as a form of healing. Originally an elementary school art teacher, she now is a registered art therapist and licensed counselor. She has previously started art therapy programs at Norwalk Hospital and New Canaan’s Silver Hill Hospital and now has a private practice in Westport.

“Making art for me becomes a doorway into self-knowledge, allowing for a deep connection to a higher source, the basis of all creativity,” said Michaels. “My abstract paintings inspire me to inquire into the ‘unseen,’ the endless cosmic and universal possibilities that give life to artistic expression.”

The two artists work through ArtPlace , a collective of local artists based in Fairfield County. Though the cooperative’s main gallery is located in Fairfield Center, Pressler and Michaels’ current show is on display in ArtPlace’s gallery at The Watermark  at 3030 Park Ave. on the Bridgeport-Fairfield line. Art lovers can check out the show Mondays through Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sundays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until June 29.

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