Our Artists

Lemon Parade” by Randi Kahrll

About Our Artists

The Clinton Art Society has many artist members with websites where you can find more of their work and contact information. Click on the painting to link directly to their website.

New CAS Lifetime Member Betty Shea

Betty Shea has been a member of Clinton Art Society for over 40 years. 

Born December 21, 1932, Betty started painting in 5th grade.  She attended William Hall High School in West Hartford where her teacher discouraged her from taking art lessons – what did she know!  Her mother, Eleanor Wuelfing, who was a oil painter and watercolorist,  moved to Madison in the 70’s and became a member of Clinton Art Society.  Karen Wiesner who is an active member today recalls painting with Eleanor!

Betty’s professional career was as a banker and she worked at New Haven Savings Bank for 35 years eventually running the Guilford branch before her retirement.  Betty’s husband Charles was a huge encouragement for her to follow her love of art and take classes and paint.  She started to take classes in Madison and paint with Clinton Art Society members on weekends.  Her friend, Jane Scully Welch, encouraged her when Betty started making watercolor notecards and Betty’s line of small art crafts was born.

As a member with a strong business background, she was quickly recruited to become the Treasurer of Clinton Art Society, a post she held for 13 years.  Under her care and leadership CAS applied for and received their 501(c)3 non-profit status. Her professionalism allowed CAS to have and maintain accurate records that survive to this day.  These records of transactions were the guideposts when retracing the steps of the organization’s non-profit status and financial history.

After her husband died 13 years ago, Betty initiated the Charles E. Shea Memorial Prize for Watercolor to commemorate and create a legacy of support for artists just as her husband had done for her.  Betty has been a tireless volunteer and supporter.  In December, she celebrated her 90th birthday and she continues to be an active and enthusiastic supporter of many community organizations including The Clinton Historical Society and the Clinton Land Trust for which she was also Treasurer.  She currently is the President of her condo association and a great friend to the entire Clinton community.

It is with great pleasure that Clinton Art Society honors her contributions to and achievements with Clinton Art Society with a Lifetime Membership Award.

New CAS Lifetime Member Sister Joan Bernard

Joan Bernard has been a member of Clinton Art Society for over 30 years.
Born January 28, 1936, Joan Bernard grew up in New York, the youngest of 7 children, all of
whom were married by the time she was 10 years old. She started painting as a child and
attended Dominican Catholic HS in Jamaica, Queens. Joan entered the convent at 18 years old
and took her final vows in 1959. The Dominican order would send some sisters to college. Joan
thought that with her interests and background in art they would send her to art school, but
Joan was sent by the Order to St. John’s University where she majored in Secondary English
Education. She taught English at Queen of the Rosary High School in Amityville, NY for 18 years.
After her years of teaching, she moved to Parish Ministry becoming a Pastoral Associate
creating programs, counseling teens and adults, and visiting the sick. Joan was part of the
charismatic movement on Long Island.
Joan also holds a Masters degree in Religious Studies from Providence College and a Masters
degree in Christian Spirituality from Creighton College. In 1991 she took a sabbatical year in
Berkley, California where she received her certificate in massage therapy. In those days, sisters
in the Dominican order were required to hold a job. Joan applied for a position at the Mercy
Center leading retreats and providing spiritual direction. 1n 1992, she also opened an office in
Madison called “Thee Center: Where Body & Mind Meet”. Using elements of Swedish
massage and the art of anointing, she provided healing massage as well as counseling and
spiritual direction.
The building where her office was located had a café downstairs (now an Ashley’s Ice Cream).
It was at the café that she met former Madison Art Society president Jay Bolger and a group of
artists that painted together. She started painting with them in different locations, like the
VFW, on Mondays. This group would later become the Tuesday Painters’ Group, which Joan
continues to participate in, at the Old Town Hall in Madison. That same year she started taking
classes with Lou Bonamarte at The Art Cellar in Clinton and became a member of Clinton Art
Joan has been a tireless volunteer for Clinton Art Society these 30 years. She has co-chaired
exhibitions, done all aspects of Receiving, and coordinated volunteers. Though she can no
longer do massage therapy, she continues to see clients for counseling and spiritual direction at
her Madison office and on Zoom. Happily, she has transformed half of her office into her art
studio. She continues to lead retreats especially at Eastern Point Retreat House in Gloucester,
Massachusetts. Despite her busy schedule, Joan is always willing to volunteer for Receiving, sit
at shows, make phone calls and help in any way she can.
We are honored to be able to recognize Joan Bernard’s achievements and service to Clinton Art
Society with a Lifetime Membership Award.

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