Contact: Melissa A. Bernstein, 203-367-7917,



BRIDGEPORT – Beginning November 7 the Housatonic Museum of Art, St. Ann School and the Black Rock Art Center will proudly introduce student artwork centered on the history of Connecticut.

Illustrating Connecticut: A Student Response is a new exhibit that focuses on Connecticut history as seen through the eyes of middle school students in the Diocese of Bridgeport. In the spring, students attended the exhibition, Illustrating Connecticut, at the Housatonic Museum of Art in Bridgeport. Following that visit each student conducted research on an historical topic in Connecticut and created his/her own relevant illustration. Art submissions were judged by museum director Robbin Zella and Blaine Kruger of New Haven, a featured artist in the Illustrating Connecticut exhibit.

St. Ann School teachers Dawn Pilotti and Elizabeth James developed the teachers’ workshop and educational program for the Illustrating Connecticut: A Student Response exhibition. They were also responsible for writing and creating a short film about the students’ experiences.

Pilotti explained, “The exhibition at Housatonic Museum of Art provided a unique opportunity for students to learn about the history of our state through illustrations created by local artists… Our students learned how to use art as a method of communication for topics such as Nathan Hale, the Charter Oak, the Freedom Trail, the whaling industry, and the Revolutionary War--- all are a part of our intermediate and middle school social studies curriculum in the Diocese of Bridgeport.”

The opening reception for Illustrating Connecticut: A Student Response will be held on Friday, November 7th from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at the Black Rock Art Center. The film about the process will be shown and student awards will be presented in a ceremony. Awards will go to students from St. Ann School of Bridgeport, Saint James Regional School of Stratford, St. Catherine of Siena School in Trumbull, Our Lady of Fatima School in Wilton and Saint Mary's Regional Catholic School in Ridgefield. Family, friends and the public are invited to the reception at no charge.

Student work will be on display to the public at the Black Rock Art Center from November 7th to the 23rd. Gallery hours are 12:00 noon to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday, and Saturdays 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. The Black Rock Art Center is located at 2838 Fairfield Avenue, Bridgeport, on the corner of Brewster Street. Free parking and the Gallery entrance can be found in the rear of the building.

International Performing Arts, Inc. (IPA), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has a mission to promote a deeper understanding and appreciation of the traditional arts and customs of the world, particularly those that reflect Bridgeport’s own ancestral diversity. Special focus is placed on the organization’s role within the Coastal Connecticut area as a cultural leader, and the importance of the arts to healthy economic and community development. Based in the former Black Rock Bank building on Fairfield Avenue, our Black Rock Art Center (BRAC) offers artists-in-residence, Sounds of the World (SOW) concerts, educational programs for children, exhibitions and film showings. BRAC offers two galleries, a black box theater/performance space, and office space used for IPA/BRAC itself, and over 60 other organizations.