Celebrating nature’s beauty

Aspetuck Land Trust (ALT) is sponsoring an exhibition of paintings that spotlights, organizers say, “the scenic beauty of Fairfield’s precious open space landscapes.”

Paintings by Gail Bell will be exhibited next month at the Fairfield University Bookstore at 1499 Post Road. The show will open with a reception set for 6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 3 and continue throughout the month.

The show will feature Bell’s impressions of a selection of the 12 land preserves across some 60 acres in Fairfield owned by Aspetuck Land Trust “for the benefit and education of the public,” according to its mission.

Advance materials share that Bell began studying ALT’s Fairfield preserves and creating the work in 2017. The artist has agreed to give a 20 percent discount to ALT members and will also donate 20 percent of the exhibit’s proceeds to benefit ALT.

“I fell in love with this land and I hope the paintings make others feel the same,” Bell said in the advance.

Since its founding in 1966, ALT properties have grown to include more than 1,800 acres in 149 preserves in Fairfield, Easton, Westport, Weston and other nearby towns. ALT has also said it is targeting 350 acres of unprotected forest in Weston and Wilton for acquisition. It additionally recently informed its 1,100 members of a larger strategy to create a 17,000-acre greenbelt corridor of adjoining or nearby parcels of open space in the area over the next 10 years.

The advance also shared some thoughts from David Brant, executive director of ALT: “When people talk about the beauty of Fairfield today, whether along the coast, in meadow land or in wooded interior areas, most would agree that it is these large, protected open space vistas that make our towns beautiful. We need homes. We need roads. But we also need to be able to see the beauty of our serene New England landscape to be happy. The beauty of our natural landscapes is one reason local real estate has become so desirable.”

And, he added, “Gail’s work makes a statement about the importance of land conservation in an area that faces intense commercial and residential real estate development pressure. We believe if it’s worth painting or photographing a landscape, it’s also worth preserving. We are grateful to Gail and to the university bookstore for making this exhibit possible.”

For more, visit aspetucklandtrust.org/fairfield-preserves.

Mary Shustack

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