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Portrait of a Woman by Christopher Pugliese, Oil on Canvas, 12x24
December 13 - January 9, 2013
Opening Reception
Thursday, December 13, 6:00-10:00pm
Meet the Artists @ Opening Reception
Artist Talk and Intro @ 7:30pm
Featured Artists
Aleksander Betko, Janet Cook, Stephen Early, Max Ginsburg, David Kassan, Maria Kreyn, Travis Little, Stefano Losi, Daniel Maidman, Petros Pappalas, Christopher Pugliese, Victoria Selbach, Patricia Watwood and Leah Yerpe

Dacia Gallery proudly presents our Annual Holiday Celebration and Group Exhibition. This exhibit entails an eclectic mix of realist and contemporary artists. From renowned realist painters Max Ginsburg, David Kassan, Christopher Pugliese and Patricia Watwood to rising stars in the art world Leah Yerpe, Travis Little and Maria Kreyn to name a few. The collection encompasses a variety of small to medium size works that form a mosaic of figures and portraits from classical studies to works in charcoal and mix medium. Come celebrate the holidays with us and meet some of today’s most inspiring artists. 


Aleksander Betko's paintings capture the definition of life in New York City. Born in Poland in the late 70's, a hot political climate lead to a chain of events that brought his family to start over in the United States. Aleksander grew up in New York City during the 80's amidst extreme creativity and the danger that was daily life at that time. As a child he frequented museums and became enamored with the rich tradition of classic art whilst being influenced by the electric atmosphere of modern life in New York. It took a very short amount of time until he started to express himself and began attending the Art Students' League to be taught by professional artists. These juxtapositions continue to be an integral part of his work as themes of intimacy, isolation, love, heartbreak, and the resiliency it takes to live one's life on their own terms continue to be played out in his subjects. If his subjects are the actors, then New York is the stage. Betko's work is part of numerous private collections, and has appeared in numerous group shows in several marquis galleries in New York. His work has been featured by the Brooklyn Spectator and was featured by the Brooklyn Museum as a GO Brooklyn finalist.

Janet A. Cook recently participated in a four person invitational at the Trenton City Museum, NJ and was featured on NBC's 'Dateline' program, the 'Da Vinci Code'.  Her work was featured in the New York Times and reviewed in the Times of Trenton, NJ. The American Artist Magazine and The Pastel Journal, have also published featured articles on her work. Cook has also won numerous accolades and prizes in both state and national competitions including two first prizes at the National Academy Museum, School of Art, Best 2d work in show at The Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club, the Silver Medal at the Allied Artists of America  and the Gold Medal Master Circle Award at the International Association of Pastel Societies. Cook is an elected Resident Artist Member of the Salmagundi Club, NYC. A Signature Member of the Pastel Society of America, the Connecticut Pastel Society, Her paintings are to be found in many collections including the permanent collection of the Trenton City Museum, NJ, The Buckingham Hotel NYC, and numerous private and corporate collections through out America, Israel and Europe. She studied at the National Academy School of Art and the Art Students League in New York City, with Sharon Sprung, Mary Beth Mckenzie, and Peter Cox and holds a BA in Art History with honors from DeMonford University in England.

Stephen Early has received many notable commissions and was a  Finalist at the 2012 Portrait Society of America's Portrait Competition, was also the recipient of a Certificate of Excellence in 2010 and 2008. Early, a Studio Incamminati teaching fellow who joined the school in 2002 at its inception, has served as principal instructor in Nelson Shanks' Intensive and Advanced Painting Workshops at Studio Incamminati, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Workshop, and the New York Academy of Fine Arts Workshop, among others. He also served as Shanks' teaching assistant at the Art Students League of New York. Previously, he worked as an illustrator after receiving his A.S. degree in commercial art from the Art Institute of Philadelphia. He completed additional studies at the Art Students League of New York and at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, in Philadelphia. Early was one of American Artist's 12 Artists to Watch in 2012. For more information on Early, visitwww.stephenearly.com.

Max Ginsburg has exhibited extensively.  He recently had a retrospective at The Butler  Institute of American Art (Sept. 15 - Nov. 13, 2011) and at The Salmagundi Club (Summer of 2011 and at other public venues.   He has won many awards, most recently the "Best in Show" in the Art Renewal Center online competition of 2011 for his War Pieta painting.  Several of his paintings will tour five museums in China with the World Art Museum and ACOPAL in 2012 - 2013.   From 1980 - 2004 he was one of America's foremost illustrators and for over forty years he taught art at The Art Students League, The School of Visual Art and the High School of Art and Design.  Ginsburg recently published a coffee table art book of his paintings (1956 - 2010), "Max Ginsburg - Retrospective", available online atwww.ginsburgretro.com.  He has also recently completed a DVD which includes a three hour Painting from Life demo, an interview with Peter Trippi, his exhibition at The Butler Institute and more.  To see a trailer and order visit www.ginsburgvideo.com.

David Jon Kassan (Born in Little Rock, Ar, 1977) is a contemporary American painter best known for his life-size realist portraits. The paintings combine figurative subjects with abstract backgrounds or “tromp l’oeil texture studies,” reportedly inspired by Franz Kline and Robert Rauschenberg. Of this dual representation strategy Kassan notes, “my effort to constantly learn to document reality with a naturalistic, representational painting technique allows for pieces to be inherent contradictions; paintings that are both real and abstract.” David Kassan received his his B.F.A. in 1999 from the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY. He continued his studies at The National Academy, and the Art Students League of New York, both in Manhattan. Kassan currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York, and teaches painting classes and workshops at various institutions around the world.

Maria Kreyn’s work is a fusion of the baroque old master technical experience and contemporary psychology. It offers a critique of together-ness in a world where humanity finds itself so separate from deep sentiment, and from nature. Maria's training in mathematics reveals itself subtly in her paintings' graphic design: often referencing permutations and inversions, duplicates and triples. Similarly, a background in philosophy forces spiritual or archetypal elements to pierce through the canvas: "What brings me to painting is sensuality and movement, and the focused energy of a timeless story spatially wrapped into a single moment. It is about looking at the vastness of our life slowly and deeply, and connecting our heart back into that ecstatic and tragic shared experience."

Travis Little is a primarily self-taught Contemporary Realist painter. A graduate of The School of Advertising Art in Kettering, Ohio, he worked as a graphic designer and freelance marketing consultant until 2001, when he refocused his time primarily to fine art, illustration and photography. He started "Hommage Studios" to manage and market his fine-art, illustration, photography and interactive media work. The primary mission of Hommage Studios is also to support other artists by hosting networking events and workshops, and sharing facilities and other resources among creative hobbyists and professionals alike.  He is proud to support several local youth art education programs and facilities, including the Indiana School for the Blind. Most all his paintings are made from a combination of pigments (watercolor, gouache, dye, acrylics, pencils, pastels, etc), materials and applications that are sometimes handmade and unconventional. Some pieces use only a select few mediums, while others use anything available. Travis starts with an idea and a pencil sketch. Working in very controlled thin layers, the artist builds up the work and controls the tooth of the surface by additives and surface prep, using the interference and nature of dislike media to create finer detail than would be possible or practical by more conventional methods. The process is laborious, and a piece can easily take between 18 to 30+ hours of work. He currently resides in Indianapolis, Indiana and Oro Valley, Arizona, and works from a studio in Downtown Indianapolis in the historic Stutz Business Center.

Stefano Losi was born in Lake Como, near Milan, where he was raised and classically educated in fine arts.  After having received his graduate degree at the Luigi Bocconi Universityof Milan in 1993,he worked in different senior management roles at the EBRD in London and other International Institutions, and currently works at the United Nations in New York, where he is also President of the UNSRC Literary Cultural Circle. In 2005 he was nominated Knight of the Italian Republic by President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi. After a long series of events organized since the early 1990s in Europe, including several shows and poetry readings in formal and alternative spaces, ranging from galleries, to workers unions and social centers, in December 2008 he presented "The imperfect dialectics of experience", a solo exhibition of paintings and poems at the United Nations in New York. Stefano Losi’s work has been featured in different publications, among which a book on Italian contemporary artists curated by Renato Miracco, and published under the auspices of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  In March 2011 he presented "Under The Burnt Walls", his second art and poetry solo exhibition at the United Nations in New York. The author continues to create visual art and poetry in his Studio on 23rd street in Chelsea, New York.

Daniel Maidman's work has been shown in juried exhibitions nationally, as well as having been selected by the Saatchi Gallery to be displayed at Gallery Mess in London. His art and writing on art have been featured in ARTnews, Poets/Artists, American Art Collector, Hyperallergic, International Artist, Manifest, The Artist’s Magazine, and the publishing arm of SUNY-Potsdam. He blogs for The Huffington Post and Artist Daily. His writing on Da Vinci is currently taught at DePaul University and Roosevelt University. His paintings range from the figure and portraiture, to still lives and landscapes, to investigations of machinery, architecture, and microflaura. His images occupy a spectrum from high rendering to almost total abstraction. His work is included in numerous private collections, among them those of New York Magazine senior art critic Jerry Saltz, Chicago collector Howard Tullman, Disney senior vice president Jackson George, best-selling novelist China Miéville, and author Kathleen Rooney. He lives and paints in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Petros Pappalas’ work is created with heavy applications of paint and saturated colors.  His subject matter comes from people he knows or has heard enough about to develop an emotional association.  Largely influenced by Carl Jung, Petros paints by reaching into his unconscious, letting his hands do most of thinking.  The result is a visual dance between unrest and harmony. Petros only began to discover his gift for art after taking an elective class for painting at Temple University while studying for medical school.  Petros is predominantly a self taught artist and has done most of his work to date in his studio.  Since moving to New York, Petros has exhibited his work from Manhattan to Beijing, China, as well as been given demos at the National Art League in Queens, NY.

Christopher Pugliese studied at the New York Academy of Art under Ted Jacobs and Tony Ryder. At the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, he studies under a second set of influential teachers, Martha and Walter Erlbacher, who are famous for teaching anatomy in both sculpture and drawing. In order to fully master the principles he learned from these four teachers he continued his education at the Art Students League and the National Academy of Design with many different artists, including Max Ginsberg, Jacob Collins, Hillary Holmes and Ronald Sher. Pugliese has exhibited at Eleanor Ettinger, John Pence, Capro Nason, Arcadia, Hirschl and Adler and Bellwether galleries. He recently had a museum retrospective at the New Britain Museum of American Art.

Victoria Selbach is a conceptual realist painter. Her passion for drawing was encouraged from an early age with Saturday classes at Carnegie Mellon Museum of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. Her early years of classes at CMU provided a range of course work including drawing from live models, studying anatomy at the Pitt Medical School Morgue and just enough information to supply the questions she will spend the rest of her life answering. Selbach moved to New York City, graduated from Parsons School of Design and continues to live and work in New York. Her paintings have been featured in numerous exhibitions in galleries across the country and at the Heckscher Museum of Art and the Butler Institute of American Art. She has been discussed in publications such as Artists Daily, LI Pulse and Poets and Artists. Victoria contributes to the next generation of artists as a guest lecturer and one on one mentor to New York High School students.

Patricia Watwood has exhibited at galleries and institutions worldwide such as Hirschl & Adler and The Forbes Galleries in NYC, Galerie Albert Benamou in Paris, and John Pence in San Francisco. Her work is currently on tour in China in the historic presentation of American Realism, Contemporary American Realism, which opened in September 2012 at the Beijing World Art Museum.  The tour travels to Dalien, Tianjin, Hangzhou, Wuhan, and Shanghai throughout 2012 and 2013. Watwood’s solo museum exhibit, Patricia Watwood: Myths & Individuals opened in October 2011 at St. Louis University Museum of Art, and traveled to The Forbes Galleries, NYC, in the spring of 2012. Her paintings travel through worlds of mythology, allegory, and contemporary human life.  Her images are carefully designed to convey the beauty and emotion of the visual world.  Philosophically, the paintings reflect the artist’s search for meaning and desire for spiritual connection with both subjects and viewers. Her paintings have featured her in numerous art publications, and two covers of American Artist magazine.  Her portrait commissions include the astronomer Cecelia Payne-Gaposchkin for Harvard University; the journalist and anti-lynching campaigner Ida B Wells for the Kennedy School of Government; and Mayor Clarence Harmon, for the St. Louis City Hall. Watwood earned her MFA with Honors from New York Academy of Art, and studied with Jacob Collins at the Water Street Atelier, and Ted Seth Jacobs at the Ecole Albert Defois in France.  Watwood has been an adjunct professor of drawing at New York Academy of Art and has given lectures and workshops across the country.  She is a writer and blog contributor for American Artist and Artist Daily publications. She is also the Vice-President of ACOPAL, a non-profit artist alliance created to build international relations between realist artists in the US and China. Watwood lives with her husband and two daughters in Brooklyn, New York. 

Leah Yerpe was born and raised in upstate New York where she began her artistic pursuits studying the natural world.  She received a BFA in painting and drawing from SUNY Fredonia in 2007 and an MFA in painting from Pratt Institute in 2009.  Her work has been featured in numerous exhibitions in galleries, museums, and art fairs, and discussed in publications including The Paris Review, PMc Magazine, and Visual Overture. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.





Patricia Watwood Daniel Maidman David Kassan Aleksander Betko Stefano Losi Christopher Pugliese Leah Yerpe Maria Kreyn Travis Little Max Ginsburg Victoria Selbach Petros Pappalas Janet Cook Stephen Early