Art collective to pass on message at New Haven show

Photo of TinaMarie Craven

Members of a Fairfield County artist collective, known as the Concepts Group, will be paying their mentor’s message forward in their “Creativity is the Key” show Nov. 2-3 as one of the 13 projects commissioned for Artspace’s annual City-Wide Open Studios exhibit in New Haven.

Meg Tweedy, a member of Concepts Group, said the 11 members of the collective will be displaying a piece of art inspired by a key given to each of them by their former mentor Constance Kiermaier. In 2016, at age 88, Keirmaier moved to Maine, but not before the retired art instructor took the time to impart a personal message with a key to each of her students in the Concepts Group.

Now years later, the students will reunite with Keirmaier for the Concepts Group’s “Creativity is the Key” show at the West Yale Campus in Orange. During the show, the artists will display their individual keys and messages with their recent work to show how Keirmaier’s passion inspired her students.

“We are excited to be able to pay this act forward during our show,” Donna Collins, a founding member of the group, said. She added that they will provide an interactive table with materials where visitors can craft their own “creativity keys.”

In addition to Collins and Tweedy, the Concepts Group is rounded out by Carol Conze, Karen Neems, Cate Leach, Pam Lindberg, Jane Lubin, Mary Manning, Lisa Thoren, Cynthia Whalen and Mary Whalen. All of the members vary in age from 60-92 and reside in Darien, Stamford, Norwalk, Greenwich and Westport.

The City-Wide Open Studios exhibit in New Haven runs the month of October and revolves around a “older, but younger” theme. For more information about the festival and the Concepts Group show, visit