The new Elisa Contemporary Art exhibit, Waterscapes, opens May 25 at the Elisa Contemporary Art Gallery in Riverdale NY. It will run through July 31, 2022 (closed June 1). The exhibit focuses on waterrelated artwork – both realistic and abstracted.

The exhibit featured artists are Hawaii Artist, Carol Bennett; San Francisco Artist, Jeffrey Palladini; Boston Artist, Nancy Simonds; and three Connecticut Artists: Betty Ball, Dale Najarian and Jennifer Glover Riggs.

Two artists, Bennett and Palladini, feature figures in or near the water. Ball captures seaside landscapes, while Najarian abstracts the water scenes. Simonds and Glover Riggs are inspired by the color and the movement of water.

Betty Ball received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and has been working as a designer and fine artist ever since. She brings her design influences to work in fine art compositions capturing light and color in the world around her. Light is a key element of her work, and she creates art that is “observational, beautiful, sensuous and open to interpretation.” According to Ball, “Light defines what we see. Light’s purity and transcendent qualities are at the heart of my work.” Her artwork has been exhibited and collected throughout the US and Internationally in Hong Kong, Germany, Ireland, Spain and Denmark.

Carol Bennett is one of the few artists I know who really captures what it's like to be in...and move through the water. She is a native of Los Angeles, who has spent the last 20+ years living in Hawaii in Kaua'i. She spends all of her time surrounded by water, and a great deal within it. Her work is a meditative journey through both the water and through life. She is intrigued by how life continues to flow and change, being both in the moment and timeless. Bennett’s fascination with the swimmer imagery began when she was living in Los Angeles and swimming at the LA Athletic Club. According to Carol, “The floor beneath the pool, with its ethereal skylight, was an underwater observation room...used by Olympic coaches in the 1920's. I would feel like a voyeur, watching the swimmer's private time and drawing in their beauty. I became the swimmer I observed in the images I later created.” Bennett’s work has been featured in many solo and group exhibits throughout California and Hawaii including a 2007 solo show at the First Hawaiian Center at the Contemporary Museum of Art (Honolulu) and a 2018 group show "Making Waves" exhibit at the Honolulu Museum of Art. Her work was seen alongside April Gornik, Agnes Martin, Kiki Smith, and Pat Steir. She has been featured in Hamptons Cottages & Gardens, Ocean Home Magazine and the New York Times. Carol artwork has also been featured in Designer Showhouses in Westchester NY and the Hamptons, and is part of public and private collections around the world. Elisa Contemporary Art has been representing her artwork since 2008.

Dale Najarian received her BFA from Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia. She began painting in 1998. In 2005 she relocated with her family to Singapore for several years and traveled throughout South East Asia, New Zealand, Australia and China. Dale's photographs taken during this time are a source of inspiration for many of her landscape paintings. According to Najarian, "Art is my passion and a huge part of my everyday life. My work is a colorful translation of everyday scenes and objects. I often work from life or in my studio using photography as a general guide. Once I get the feel for the painting, I abandon the actual image and create from within to develop a recognizable yet simplistic painting the viewer can identify with. I feel very privileged to be able to paint and show my work." Her work has been shown and collected throughout the US and UK. She currently works in her studio in Connecticut.

Jeffrey Palladini was born in the Chicago area, and grew up in Southern California. He studied Art at California State University, Long Beach, where he explored a wide variety of media, eventually gravitating toward drawing and painting. It wasn't until his studies in Florence, Italy in 1989 that he began to form a consistent creative voice. The ubiquitous beauty of art in everyday life in Italy had a profound effect on the young artist, and he began to experiment with combining the found objects and classical figurative imagery he found everywhere around him. From that time, Palladini has considered canvas simply too passive, and has continued to employ wood almost exclusively as the ground for his paintings. In 1991, Palladini relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lives and works along with his wife and daughter. He continues to develop his unique vocabulary of dramatic imagery. Palladini has exhibited his work around the U.S. and the world for over twenty-five years. His work is included in numerous private and corporate collections. Most recently, Palladini was honored with an SFMOMA SECA Award nomination, and was named one of San Francisco's Top 20 Artists.

Nancy Simonds is a graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She maintains a studio in the South End of Boston. Her work has been shown at the Butler Museum of American Art, the Danforth Museum and the University of Maine Museum of Art. Her work is part of over 50 corporate collections and collected by individuals worldwide. According to Simonds, "In painting each piece there is an experience of exhilaration and renewal. In each painting I stack and pile simple shapes, placing then sizing and creating visual relationships that build to larger rhythms. My best paintings work like Japanese haiku; each image is paired down to its essentials and each becomes a complete world of its own. In these paintings I aim for an effect deeper than the joy of beautiful surface and color; I want to generate visual places, points of departure for states of serenity and contemplation."

Jen Glover Riggs is best known for creating organic looking multi layered artworks with acrylic and epoxy resin. Jen Glover Riggs is an abstract painter and mixed media artist who is intrigued by the organic patterns and forms found in nature. She uses unconventional tools that make organic and unpredictable marks when she paints, but at the same time she likes to have a degree of control over her composition. She sees creation as a dance between herself and the paint as she both leads and follows, working intuitively and with purpose. She makes one mark, then evaluates the piece and makes another. For Jen, this is a study in the balance of chaos and control. Jen’s paintings have been shown in juried fine art shows both locally and regionally, and her commission work has been featured in art collections nationally.