Rafael is originally from Franklin, CT, and a graduate of the high school fine arts program at Norwich Free Academy in Norwich, CT. Her father and grandfather were both painters. She has a BA degree from the University of Connecticut, where she studied art history and fine arts, focusing on drawing with pencil, charcoal, and crayon in studio classes and independent studies. After college, Rafael traveled extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Near East, Caribbean, and Central and South America before returning full time to New England in 1991. After many years as the owner of a niche-market heritage tourism business in Newport, RI, she moved to Vermont in 2006.
Rafael has recently returned to painting, her first time working with acrylics instead of oil paints. The current works are pieces she describes as “experimental and exploratory” because, after decades away from the easel, she is reacquainting herself with using a brush and palette knife. In addition to her recent paintings, Rafael is exhibiting several photographs which she took in Italy, Venezuela, and other locations during her travels.
Each month, the guest artist at the library presents a short program about his or her artwork or techniques in their craft. On May 20, at 1 pm, Rafael will demonstrate how she takes old picture frames, the kind you might pick up at a yard sale or a flea market for just a few dollars, from “drab to fab,” using layers of red, orange, green, and gold paint, rubbing and sanding each application of paint to produce the illusion of a vintage patina. The program is about 45 minutes, with time for questions and answers.
The exhibition is open during regular library hours, Monday from 10 am to 1 pm, Tuesday and Wednesday from 2 to 7 pm, Thursday from 10 am to 1 pm; and Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm. For more information call (802) 896-6988.