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Saturday, February 24 News

Chat with... Artists Roz Emmons and Lisa Thoren

NEW CANAAN — Art is more than a hobby for resident Roz Emmons and her family. More accurately, art is somewhat of a family tradition.

Emmons’ three adult daughters have all delved into creative pursuits, with one working as a chef, another dabbling in illustration and her eldest, Lisa Thoren, working as a freelance designer and artist. Her five grandchildren all have artistic talents, working at the likes of Facebook and Vevo. Even Emmons’ son-in-law, trained in law, has become an award-winning painter under her influence.

“It runs in the family,” she said.

Now Waveny LifeCare Network is exhibiting the work of both Emmons and Thoren, a testament to the family’s creative skills and history of being involved in the local art scene.

“There’s been times where it’s like a family jubilee,” Thoren said. “It’s nice to see the line of influence.”

More Information

Getting there

See the exhibit at Wavent LifeCare Network at 3 Farm Road in New Canaan.

The exhibit will be on display through the end of January 2018

For more information, call 1-855-WAVENY-1 or visit www.waveny.org.

Emmons, one of the founders of the Darien Arts Center, did not start out to become an artist.

“I’ve always been into art,” said the 85-year-old. “I’ve always painted and not taken it that seriously. Then I started showing and selling (my art) and became more serious.”

Under her mother’s influence, Thoren, got seriously into art from a young age while growing up in Darien, getting a free snack pass at the Tokeneke Club once because she designed a poster for one of their events.

“I grew up watching Mom,” Thoren said. “She is so talented. My dad was in the paper business, so I had unlimited supplies. You’re never afraid to experiment when you can just grab more paper.”

“It was very bad for a child to have their own snack bar chip,” Emmons joked. “It was a hobby, but it became a passion.”

Thoren went on to study printmaking in Florence, Italy before getting a bachelor’s of fine arts from Parsons School of Design. She went on to become an art director at Travel and Leisure Magazine and a creative director of advertising in New York City and now does freelance work around Fairfield County while living in Darien where she raised her three daughters. Her mother had a similarly creative career, working as a fashion editor and selling advertisements.

In addition to this, Emmons helped found the Darien Arts Center back in 1975 at Cherry Lawn Park. The DAC also incorporated dance, theater and music into its programming. Both mother and daughter served on the board of the arts center.

When Thoren, who has had exhibits at Atria, the Darien Nature Center and the Darien Rowayton Bank, was asked to exhibit at Waveny LifeCare Network in New Canaan, she thought it’d be a good opportunity to show her work alongside her mother’s.

“It was an invitation I got that I wanted to share,” she said.

Emmons prefers to works in oil painting, but also does acrylics and printmaking. Thoren works in print, linking back to her studies in Italy, but experiments in all mediums. The two work separately and chose their pieces for the show without consulting each other, but tried to choose pieces that would complement each others and showed seasonal colors.

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The show is on display until the end of January.

“I’m delighted (art in the family) flourished,” Emmons said. “It’s something we all enjoy together.”

“There’s a respect for the multi-generation situation that happened,” Thoren added.

ekayata@hearstmediact.com; @erin_kayata