ArtFul Visual Arts Initiative

Board Of Directors

Dee Dee Perrone Colabella – President

Dee Dee Perrone Colabella is an art dealer and gallerist, and the owner and director of the RPAC Gallery and RPAC Art Center and Academy based in Ridgefield, Connecticut. She holds a master’s degree in fine arts from the Western Connecticut State University. 

She has over 30 years of experience in the arts, with a focus on graphic arts, advertising, event planning, and education. She is also an artist, capturing mood and emotion in still life and figurative works on canvas. 

 

Not only is Dee Dee passionate about art, but as an art dealer she knows how to foster the creative process and development of an artist, expanding their opportunities to turn their dreams into reality. She has a keen eye in discovering talented emerging and mid-level artists and knows how to evolve their careers towards higher levels of success.

Dee Dee represents working artists at the RPAC Gallery, collaborating with private collectors to help build each artist’s career.

“The right art dealer will represent the artists and teach them how to make a career out of their craft. Getting noticed by a Gallery is hard work,” Dee Dee says. “It’s all about timing. That’s why we wanted to create a gallery where artists at different stages of their careers can show and find opportunities. It’s a huge benefit to have a gallery to show your work in and expanding their collector base is an important key to their success.”

“In addition, through the RPAC Art Center and Academy (Dee Dee’s studio and art education center), we are able to do everything from helping a student prepare his or her portfolio for art school to supplying a creative and nurturing studio space for artists to create and develop their artistic vision.”

Dee Dee plans to expand into different collector markets and to give more artists the representation they need to succeed.  “I love art in all forms, and I believe in the artists who I represent. My mission supports their careers.”

RPAC Gallery is located at 410 Main Street and the RPAC Art Center and Academy is located on the 2nd floor at 424R Main Street in Ridgefield, Connecticut.

Brooke Heinen – Secretary/Treasurer

 

Brooke brings over 21 years of financial accounting and reporting experience. She is the strategic leader responsible for the overall financial aspects of ArtFul whereby her highly detailed and structured approach to financial reporting, forecasting, and general accounting practices has proven indispensable. Brooke also plays a significant role in overseeing the day-to-day administrative and operational functions of ArtFul.

Brooke received her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida.

 

Kenneth Scaglia – Member

Kenneth Scaglia grew up in Indiana and graduated from Purdue University with an Associate degree in Industrial Illustration and a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Communications. After working as a draftsman, a production designer and freelance illustrator, Ken worked for Karlsberger Companies, a leading healthcare architecture and planning firm. In 1988, attended Yale University’s School of Art graduate program in graphic design. After graduating in 1990, Ken free-lanced in book and publication design, working for publishers of art collections ranging from Yale University Art Gallery, Storm King Art Center, Colonial Williamsburg, and Rizzoli. He has also worked as a decorative painter creating murals, wall finishes, and floor cloths for private residences. Since 1991 Ken has also been an educator; he began teaching at Norwalk Community College and currently teaches foundation courses at Western Connecticut State University. He also maintains an active exhibiting schedule of his photorealist automotive paintings in local galleries and galleries in Virginia, New Mexico, Florida, and California. Ken and his family live in Weston, CT.

Caren Strauss – Member

Born and raised in New York City, Caren Strauss has lived in Ridgefield for the past 18 years. Years ago, during a break from her career in finance, Caren came to Ridgefield to open a children’s store. While the store has long-since closed, Caren has remained an active member of the Ridgefield community while raising her now thirteen-year-old twins. Caren was most recently the Vice President of Titan Advisors’ Custom Solutions platform where she applied over 20 years of market experience to help manage bespoke mandates for over $2.5B in clients. Caren began her career with The CIT Group and has also held positions with Smith Barney, Warburg Pincus Asset Management, Credit Suisse First Boston, and ArcherOak Capital Management. She holds an M.B.A. in Finance and International Business from Columbia Business School and a B.S. in Finance, cum laude, Beta Gamma Sigma from the Lehigh University School of Business and Economics. She is fluent in French, conversant in Spanish and is an avid traveler.

Melissa Kraus – Member

Melissa Kraus is a Life Design Coach/Facilitator who works with professionals, executives and ambitious individuals, (as well as teens),to live the life they desire and by design. She lives just outside of Ridgefield, Connecticut in North Salem, New York with her husband and two children. Melissa earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Hartford. From there she worked at a computer animation special effects house in Hollywood, California.  Here she began to hone in on her artistic side for hiring visual art designer’s as well as 2D painters and sculptors for movies.  She has been an executive in business for over 20 years before starting her life design coaching business in 2017. She has a passion for art and is a champion for leading and gathering communities together for the greater good of humanity.