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Secretary Thomas Commemorates National Arts and Humanities Month with Connecticut-based Artists

(Hartford, CT) – Today, Secretary of the State Stephanie Thomas, commemorated National Arts and Humanities Month by highlighting the works of art currently on loan to the Office of the Secretary of the State by Connecticut-based artists. Secretary Thomas emphasized the important role of art as a vehicle for social change and drew parallels to the role of civic engagement in our communities.

“Through their work, artists can galvanize groups to engage with critical issues affecting communities, pushing governments to take action to address inequalities and injustices,” said Secretary Thomas. “Art can also inspire us to contemplate our own role in the world. Civic engagement is no different. Through regular participation in our governmental and electoral processes, we can inspire and create change.”

Five artists – Robert Eisig Bienstock, Miggs Burroughs, Tina “TL” Duryea, Eddie Hall, and Jay Petrow – joined Secretary Thomas to celebrate the occasion and offered their perspectives for why they chose to loan their work to the Office of the Secretary of the State.

Connecticut Artists - Group Shot

Robert Eisig Bienstock – “I aimed to portray a love for the country that is not blind, by integrating the idealism of red, white, and blue with the complex reality of our country. Having this piece displayed in Connecticut's government office shows our country in the most inclusive way possible and expresses optimism that the flag's ideals can help pave the path to further progress.”

Miggs Burroughs – “It is important to me to have lent my artwork to the Office of the Secretary of the State of Connecticut because our state has a rich artistic heritage, and I am honored to have been recognized as an artist whose work is thought to be worthy of hanging on these distinguished walls in this distinguished house of the people of Connecticut.”

Tina “TL” Duryea – “Having my artwork in the office of an historic Secretary of the State like Stephanie Thomas is such an honor for me. My series of ‘Sheroes’ was born of the idea that we need to normalize women in leadership roles. By celebrating women in leadership positions through portraiture I hope that more people will associate leadership with women.”

Eddie Hall – “It was important to me to lend my artwork to a public space because I believe it’s important that artistic expression reach a wide audience. You often see the same people in attendance again and again at art gallery shows. Having work in a public space like the Secretary of State allows the opportunity for it to be seen by someone who is not necessarily seeking out or even interested in art. It is exhilarating to think that maybe the image of my work could inspire an idea by someone or even just make them think about something differently for just one moment.”

Jay Petrow – “I wanted to loan my art to Stephanie Thomas because of my personal relationship with her, her need to decorate her office in Hartford, and the chance for the general public to view my work.”

The artwork is on display at both the Office of the Secretary of the State’s office at 165 Capitol Avenue, as well as the Secretary’s office in the Capitol Building. All loaned pieces will be returned to the artists at the conclusion of Secretary Thomas’ time in office.

Artists/Work on Loan to the Office of the Secretary of the State:

Robert Eisig Bienstock – “Stars and Stripes”
April Bey (on loan from The Center for Contemporary Printmaking) – “The DJ’s Gay, My Love” and “You Can Heal Yourself When You Take the Time”
Miggs Burroughs – “Be Nice” and “Sisters”
Lynda James Carroll – “Between Heaven and Earth” and “Flowers”
Tina “TL” Duryea – “Sheroes”
Eddie Hall – “Profusion”
Jay Petrow – “New Horizons” and “Red Barn”

Other Artwork Displayed in the Office:

Pamela Hovland – “Vote=Voice” and “Suffragettes” (graphic design prints)
Jasper Johns – “Three Flags” (print)


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