Painter Donates “Shared Landscape” Painting to Hartford Public Schools

Painter Donates “Shared Landscape” Painting to Hartford Public Schools

Julie Schnatz Rybeck is a Connecticut painter and artist who has donated a painting called Shared Landscape to Hartford Public Schools.  On April 1, 2021, Superintendent Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez met the artist where the picture hangs, on the second floor of the Hartford Public Schools Welcome Center to officially thank Ms. Schnatz Rybeck and officially accept the inspired gift.

Painter Julie Rybeck reflects, “Shared Landscape was ready for a home, a place that would welcome the suggestion of light, life, and hope through color. This particular abstracted landscape might offer a resting spot, a positive outlook or an encouraging message to a visiting family, student, or educator. Creativity, education, and family strength are topics close to my heart, so The Welcome Center seemed like an ideal landing place for the painting.”

Begun in 2019, this 144” long, diptych painting with a base of colored gesso, topped with gel medium and layered acrylic, was completed in 2021.

Dr. Torres-Rodriguez states, “We are so grateful to Julie Schnatz Rybeck for considering Hartford Public Schools for the destination where our beautiful and capable students and their families can enjoy this stunning, inspirational and calming piece. Art and expression are some of the most powerful ways we can spread joy and beauty during this challenging time. I foresee many people, whether families or staff, coming to this spot to gaze at Shared Landscape to reflect, and to find some peace.”

As part of the greater Hartford community, the painter and her husband have supported the city of Hartford and its children. Her hope is to bring a colorful resting spot, an uplifting place to slow down, if even for a moment, “Perhaps viewers will be encouraged as they move through their day. Perhaps creativity will be stirred.”

Ms. Rybeck believes that art and creativity are important because they encourage freedom of expression, instill self-confidence and provide an opportunity for people to see possibilities in the world. “A painting moves us beyond words. We can find beauty in our community by creating it. Art gives everyone a voice, whether they are creating, listening, or looking at it; there is freedom of expression.”

She enjoyed meeting with Dr. Torres-Rodriguez and remarks about the Superintendent that, “Her dedication to the lives of Hartford students and families is inspirational.”

Per the artist, Shared Landscape follows a series that began with another large and long diptych painting called Fruit Share. In that painting, the orchards that provide fruits to our community farmers’ markets were highlighted. Shared Landscape seemed like the next likely focus and title in the grouping. Fruit Share hangs in FoodShare’s headquarters in Bloomfield, CT.

True to its name, Shared Landscape can be viewed by the public by visiting the second floor of The HPS Welcome Center located at 330 Wethersfield Avenue in Hartford.

The Welcome Center staff flanks painter Julie Schnatz Rybeck (center).  Superintendent Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, who accepted the donation on behalf of Hartford Public Schools, is at far left.