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'Scents & Soles' exhibit opens Friday at Westport Arts Center

The Westport Arts Center's summer exhibition, "Scents & Soles," opens Friday.

The show features watercolor paintings and sculpture by Connecticut artists Robert Cottingham and Nina Bentley. Among the pieces on display are 230 rendered perfume bottles by Cottingham and an installation of 23 shoes by Bentley.

The "Scents & Soles" opening reception will be held Friday, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the arts center, 51 Riverside Ave.

Bentley is an assemblage artist who has lived in Westport for 21 years. She has exhibited in Europe and America, and her work has been featured in several juried shows. She was the featured artist in Barney's New York annual show "Madison Avenue: Where Fashion Meets Art" in 2004. She has been creating shoe sculptures for years to express different opinions and social views.

Cottingham is a photorealist painter and is best known for his paintings of vintage signs and marquees. He studied art at Pratt Institute and worked as an art director at the advertising firm of Young and Rubicam in New York. In 1974, he received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and in 1986 had a retrospective at the Smithsonian Museum. He is a resident of Newtown.

The arts center has also planned several other summer programs.

"Drink n' Draw," an evening of drawing from a live nude model in an informal environment will be held at 7 p.m. on three Thursdays: June 19, July 17 and Aug. 21. The cost is $20; $15 for arts center members. Supplies are provided.

"A Night of Art and Opera," is scheduled at 7 p.m. June 20. Students from the Opera Singers Initiative Vocal Institute will perform a program of "American Song & Opera," including operatic excerpts and songs by 20th-century American composers. Admission is $15 in advance; $20 at the door and $10 for students.

ArtCafe with coffee, croissants, and art news will be hosted by Helen Klisser During, the Westport Arts Center director of visual arts, on Fridays at 10 a.m. June 27 and July 25.

For more information and a full schedule of additional WAC summer events, visit www.westportartscenter.org or call 203-222-7070. The center's gallery, 51 Riverside Ave., is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m.

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