In The Gallery

In The Gallery

Virtual Gallery Opening: Thursday, August 6 at 6:30pm

Join Charter Oak Cultural Center for a special virtual gallery opening of Her Dragons Fly from the Shanna Melton Collection. The artist will be joined in conversation with Rabbi Donna Berman.

To participate: CLICK HERE

Meeting ID: 826 8568 9157
Passcode: 145629

HER DRAGONS FLY – The Exhibition

Guardian Warrior

Image 2 of 25

24"x36" Acrylic on Stretched Canvas (2011), $1,000

Please click images to make them larger. If you are interested in purchasing or acquiring permission to reproduce images, please contact Shanna Melton HERE.

About the Virtual Exhibit:
Her Dragons Fly
The Shanna Melton Collection

Her Dragons Fly is an art exhibit featuring a selection of The Shanna Melton Collection. Through these vibrant paintings, Her Dragons Fly explores transition, evolution and blooming. The exhibition is a visual narrative about learning that wisdom comes when we claim our peace. Her Dragons Fly celebrates our ancestors, it welcomes us to stand in the midst of their energy and helps us navigate the soulful meaning of our lives.

“The dragonfly itself is a symbol of transformation and self-realization that brings us to the deeper levels of life. It celebrates the light of those who came before us.” – Shanna Melton.

Artist Shanna Melton

About the artist:

A recipient of the Connecticut Office of the Arts Hero Award (2018), Shanna Melton is a poet, painter, educator, and the author of Unraveling My Thoughts. Her contributions to Connecticut’s vibrant poetry scene include arts ambassadorships for the Mary & Eliza Freeman Center forHistory and Community, the Housatonic Museum of Art, and the founding of the open mic institution that is Lyrical Voices, a local showcase for contemporary poets and slam artists from across the region. You can find and support her work at


Speak to Me Always of Our Intimate Relation

A Collaboration with the New Britain Museum of American Art

On Thursday, June 25, Charter Oak Cultural Center partnered with the New Britain Museum of American Art for an online conversation entitled “Speak to Me Always of our Intimate Relation”: Kara Walker, Zadie Smith, and The Ties that Bind. This edition of our virtual Charter Oak Chatter series featured a walk-through of the NBMAA’s exhibition Kara Walker: Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated), a PowerPoint presentation by artist Marisa Williamson, and a discussion of Zadie Smith’s New York Times essay, “What Do We Want History to Do for Us?”, all of which can be viewed below.

VIRTUAL TOUR of Kara Walker: Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated) Exhibition at the New Britain Museum of American

The June 25 Charter Oak Chatter was moderated by Charter Oak’s Rabbi Donna Berman and artist and professor Marisa Williamson.

Watch the Charter Oak Chatter: Speak to Me Always of Our Intimate Relation

About Marisa Williamson

Marisa Williamson is a project-based artist who works in video, image-making, installation and performance around themes of history, race, feminism, and technology. She has produced site-specific works at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, and by commission from Storm King Art Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Monument Lab Philadelphia, the University of Virginia, and the National Park Service. Her work has been featured in gallery exhibitions nationally and internationally. Williamson holds a BA from Harvard and an MFA from CalArts. She is based in Newark, New Jersey and serves as an assistant professor of media arts at the University of Hartford in Connecticut.

Marisa Williamson’s PowerPoint

You can view Marisa’s accompanying PowerPoint presentation by CLICKING HERE.

About Kara Walker and Her Art

Learn more about artist Kara Walker and her work by CLICKING HERE.

Zadie Smith’s New York Times Essay

To read Zadie Smith’s essay “What Do We Want History to Do for Us?” CLICK HERE