Winter’s gray will be replaced with vivid colors, in Wilton Library at least, when the latest art exhibition, February Awakenings — Five Artists, opens Friday, Feb. 5, with a reception from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wilton artists Shannon Cruickshank, Elizabeth Emerson, Trish Nelson, and Margaret Vickers will be joined by Westporter Karen Siegel in showing close to 60 works.

Shannon Cruickshank knew from an early age that art would always be a part of her life. While at Roanoke College, she majored in fine art, and later went to the University of Tennessee where she studied art education. She worked at several galleries, and then devoted herself to her family, which includes two children. Now that they are both in school, Cruickshank has been working on commissions of childhood homes, and portraits of people and pets. Of her clients, she said, “Capturing their memories and loved ones in an artful way and as an heirloom that can be passed on fills my heart with insurmountable joy.”

Originally from Indianapolis, Elizabeth Emerson has lived in Brooklyn, San Francisco, Seattle and Basalt, Colo., before settling in Wilton. She earned a master of fine arts for painting in 1994 from the Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Arts at Indiana University. No matter where she has settled, the human form has always been her choice for the subject matter in her paintings.

By age 5, Trish Nelson had acquired a collection of crayons and coloring books. Encouraged by both her grandmothers to draw and paint, she developed her skill in realistically portraying her subjects, especially the details. Focusing on illustration, graphic design and photography, shw studied at Skidmore College, Silvermine Arts Guild and the University of Arizona. After having raised two children in Wilton, owning a restaurant in Norwalk along with various other business pursuits she is now fully engaged in creating art.

After working on all sorts of art projects in high school, from scenery to posters, Margaret Vickers was voted “Most Artistic” in her senior year. She then attended Barnard College where she majored in art history. Her eyes were opened when she studied Chinese art. According to Ms. Vickers, “The Chinese had different artistic values. Ceramics were not considered ‘crafts’ as they are in the West, but high art; paintings were done in ink on silk, not oil on canvas.”

Karen Siegel is a painter and multi-media artist who counts Save the Children, Children’s Television Workshop (Sesame Street), Oxford University Press and The New York Times among her graphic design clients. She is on the faculty of The Silvermine School of Art in New Canaan and has exhibited her work at Silvermine Arts Center, Lockwood-Mathews Museum, and the Rowayton Arts Center.      

The reception is open to the public and the exhibition runs through Saturday, Feb. 27.  A majority of the works will be available for purchase with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the library.

Information: www.wiltonlibrary.org or 203-762-3950.