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3D Card making with Mat Gonzalez


Don’t forget to get your spot for Mats $15 Creative Saturday Card making class tomorrow.


Mat Gonzales brings his 3D card making workshop to The 550 community classroom for $15 Creative Saturday’s

Join us at The 550 on Saturday November 9th @11:00 for  3D Card Workshop with Mat Gonzales Nothing says it better than a beautiful hand-made card. Artist Mat Gonzales will teach the basics of paper sculpture along with simple pop-up designs, so that you can create spectacular 3-D cards for any occasion.

All materials will be supplied, but participants are welcome to bring their own special paper, favorite scissors, and a plastic cutting mat if they have one.



Nov 20th Wednesday evening Drawing with Mat

All skill levels are welcome

Unravel the mysteries and techniques of drawing. This series of classes will cover basic and advanced principles of drawing, so whether you are a practiced artist looking to refine your skills, or a beginner looking to draw the perfect stick figure, this class will help everyone move forward with fun, unique and challenging exercises and projects.

Whether it’s the world around us, our personal lives, or what we see in our imaginations, we are all unique and have our own way communicating our experience through drawing. Each session will focus on practical drawing approaches and techniques that artists can use to broaden their skill sets. Areas we will cover are: training the eyes to see proportions, visual exercises, drawing from memory, seeing underlying 3D forms, light and shadow, and composition. As the class progresses, we will delve into these categories in more detail. Perspective and draw through techniques will round things out for a series of inspiring final projects involving design and conceptual illustration; real world applications of what we have learned.

You will need:

1) A drawing pad, no smaller than 14” x 17”. This can be normal drawing paper with a slight texture depending on preference. The paper should be durable enough to withstand repeated erasing.

*** (For design work, I often use pencil on magic marker paper as it’s very durable and can withstand a lot of erasing. It is white paper, but also semi-transparent so it can be used to overlay sketches)

2) Pencils, etc: A hard lead pencil such as a 2H for preliminary sketching, an HB for line work, and a 2B for shading is suggested. Charcoal, ebony or graphite pencils can also be used for shading and bold line work.

*** ( Pentel mechanical pencils 7mm and 9mm work great for detail line work, and have good erasers. I have used HB & 2B lead refills in the past)

3) Erasers: A soft eraser such as a Magic Rub, Kneaded or gum are suggested.

4) Patience and an open mind: We will supply as needed!

5) Optional: Any drawing materials you are comfortable using. We will be working on flat tables. If you need an angled board, you will need to bring it with you. We will also do our best to accommodate you with what we have in the studio.

Matang Gonzales is a 4th generation artist and currently works from his studio located in Bethlehem CT. After graduating from Western CT State University, he apprenticed with several known artists in the area. His career and accomplishments include Fine Art, Illustration, Murals, Architectural Fabrication, Sculpture, Special Effects, Product Design and Conceptual Illustration. Some examples of his work can be seen at




Beyond Reality: Surreal Visions of 5 Contemporary Connecticut Artists

550 Gallery and Studios, 550 Main St. South, Bethlehem, CT  is proud to announce the Beyond Reality show with an opening reception on Sat. Aug. 17 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. running through Sun. Sept. 8 when there will be a closing reception from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The artists will be present at the opening reception. 

The exhibit features the artworks of Salvatore Gulino of Southbury, Stewart Wilson of New Hartford, Matang Gonzales of Bethlehem, Joseph Copija of Torrington and Clinton Deckert of Southington. The show highlights the unique vision of each artist as they all share a common theme of providing artistic expression and unique context to familiar images brought to a different reality by incorporating elements of color and design to create new visual experiences.

Clinton A. Deckert is an award winning artist whose Dada-esque influences merge abstract thoughts with surreal imagery to create a primordial stew where infinite possibilities evolve into works of fine art. Clinton’s work has been exhibited all over the world and he is represented in the permanent collection of the New Britain Museum of American Art. His work is held in many collections including the Jack and Susan Warner Collection of Alabama, noted to be one of the greatest privately held art collections of American art in the world. 

The paintings of Salvatore Gulino have been exhibited in many of the finest galleries in Connecticut and elsewhere, including the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, The New Britain Museum of American Art, and the Mattatuck Museum to name a few. He has received the Williams College Purchase Award (permanent collection) and eight awards from the Silvermine Guild’s Art of the Northeast USA exhibitions as well as several other awards and has been featured in several art periodicals. His work features abstracted images of master art works superimposed with contemporary iconography. 

Matang Gonzales is a 4th generation artist who works from his studio in Bethlehem, CT. He graduated from Western Connecticut State College with a B.A. in Graphic design after which he pursued a career in illustration and fine art. He found an interest in mixed media and kinetic sculpture and is responsible for many amazing art installations which have been displayed in New York City and Connecticut, garnering a favorable review in the CT section of the New York Times. Before embarking on his current course of freelance art and design he served as Design Director of Marvel Entertainments toy division. 

Stewart Wilson has been creating his iconic Personamen for over 40 years and has created over 31,000 Personas, small sculptural people and animals. He has used them as the basis for paintings, drawings, photographs, prints and more. The personas have been exhibited nationally and internationally in Canada, Mexico, Austria, Germany, Italy and Japan and are held in many collections worldwide. In addition to being a prolific artist Stewart co-founded and was executive director of Public Image Gallery in New York City from 1981-1984 and Artwell Gallery, Torrington, Ct. from 1995-2011. Stewart’s most recent project is the creation of an online arts community gallery called Personaland,, where artists from all over the world can share their creative visions. 

Joseph Copia is a young up and coming artist with a unique vision and style. Joe grew up in Torrington, CT. He took his major in graphic design and visual communications at Northwestern Connecticut Community College and Hartford Art School. His art is informed by his bi-racial heritage and he is influenced by African tribal art and masks. He also draws inspiration from artists such as Jean Pierre Basquait, Jackson Pollack, Pablo Picasso and contemporary ‘street art’. 

Live music will be performed at the exhibit opening by Preston Parish of Django’s Reserve. Preston will be playing acoustic jazz guitar and other acoustic favorites. Beyond Reality will open on Sat. Aug. 17 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and will run through Sun. Sept. 8 with a closing reception from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m

For further information contact Dale Amber at or the 550 Gallery at 203-266-6995 or visit and 550 Gallery and Studios

Press contact: Dale Amber  203-558-2900

Nurture by Clinton Deckert 

Icons (after Ghirlandaio) by Salvatore Gulino

Cat by Matang Gonzales

Owl by Joseph Copija

Personaman by Stewart Wilson