WESTPORT— Eight select artists spanning across the region will have their work displayed for the Westport Arts Center tenth annual SOLOS 2016 exhibition starting June 24.

Juror Douglas Hyland, former director of the New Britain Museum of American Art in New Britain, whittled 168 applications down to eight including three Westporters: mixed media artist Nina Bentley, photographer David Kalman and Daniel Lanzilotta, a sculptor. The field also includes: Cynthia Cooper, painter, Larry Gordon, painter, Allan Gorman, painter, Barbara Ringer, photographer and David Sheskin, printmaker.

"168 artists submitted four or more works so I spent three days studying the works of art, reading their artists statements and tried with great, great difficulty to narrow it down to eight artists that would provide great visual excitement and intellectual stimulation," Hyland said.

"There are artists from all over the region so there is a widespread regional respect for the Westport Arts Center and artists look forward to this because many people will visit the exhibition—it provides them with validation, encouragement and a chance to have people buy their works of art," Hyland added.

The SOLOS exhibition provides a unique opportunity for artists—instead of showcasing one or two pieces of art, the artists are given, as Hyland describes it "eight mini one-person shows." Each artists has at least six pieces of their work on display.

"In the show there are works of art that are very abstract and evocative on many different level. It’s a stimulating experience," Hyland said. ""I think it’s really remarkable that Westport has such an arts center and over the years I’ve know a number of accomplished artists in Westport."

Hyland has been familiar with Bentley’s work since she was given an exhibition in the New Britain Museum of American Art over 10 years ago.

"I have watched her work grow. She tackles a number of issues such as divorce, sexual assault, love, marriage," Hyland said.

The opening reception will be held on June 24 from 6-8 p.m. and the exhibit runs through August 20. Hyland will be at the exhibit on July 14 from 6-8 p.m. talk about his selection process, what the works mean to him and his take on contemporary art.

@chrismmarquette/ cmarquette@bcnnew.com