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CU president’s daughter wows at 77 Gallery

By Max Tempel
On November 16, 2018

\Artist Danielle Klebes, daughter of CU President Karen Scolforo, poses with her art at 77 Gallery.

Intricate paintings with colors of all kinds were on display for the public on Sunday at 77 Gallery in Rutland.

The artwork was done by Danielle Klebes, who just so happens to be President Karen Scolforo’s daughter.

The painter seemed really happy walking around the gallery and chatting with different visitors about her art.

“They are oil on canvas and I usually start with spray paint to bring some brighter colors. I am really focused on people of my own generation so I’ll paint from photo collages that I’ve taken of friends and people around me. I try to capture that weird in between time after college where you feel lost as far as identity goes,” Klebes said with a smile.

Her paintings come from a variety of places she has visited, including a Techno Parade in Paris.

An obviously proud Scolforo said she is extremely thankful to be able to watch her daughter progress as an artist.

“The work that she does has become very artsy and whimsical, the themes beneath what she’s done are just compelling,” she said. “We have a lot of artistic talent in our family and I saw it within Danielle since she was very young. I had her enrolled in museum art classes young and she was taking courses with adults by the time she was eight.”

Onlookers were equally impressed with Klebes unique style and skill and were very pleased to be able to see the work up close.

For Chinese brush artist Ying Lei Zhang, it was the unfamiliar territory that drew her in.

“This art is very different from mine, it has so much energy, it really brings real-life into picture and the artist uses very brilliant color in catching a live scene,” Zhang said.

Jennifer Scott, president of Rutland’s College of St. Joseph, was formerly a psychologist and said she is impressed with the human emotion Klebes captures.

“What strikes me the most is the vividness of the colors and the focus on the people in it. She shows the relationships between them,” Scott said. “She captures curiosity and the search for self and identity in young people’s lives through exploration.”

Scolforo said she also feels lucky to own many of her daughter’s works.

“I am blessed to have her pieces hanging in my office and my home. They are my most cherished possessions. I love when I see my children’s faces in the figures in her art and she does it in very subtle ways,” Scolforo said.

With all this talent and promise the questions begs what’s next for Klebes?

“Whatever it takes to keep painting. Right now, I am an artist in residence at Mass MoCA, (an art museum in Massachusetts) and I have more residencies coming up. Any opportunity to show and keep making work. It’s nice to share it with people,” Klebes said.

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