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Woodbridge Economic Development

Posted on: September 27, 2016

[ARCHIVED] First Selectman Visits Art Studio

First Selectman Scalettar visits Palette Art Studio

Vibrant and colorful paintings grace the walls of the light-filled Palette Art Studio. Most of the paintings are made by students who learned and honed their skills at the art studio, which opened at 245 Amity Road last spring.

First Selectman Ellen Scalettar recently visited and toured Palette Art Studio. The First Selectman has been visiting local businesses to highlight them as part of the “Shop Woodbridge, Dine Woodbridge, Try Woodbridge” campaign.
Palette Art Studio’s first location is in Cheshire – that studio opened nearly 20 years ago. The Woodbridge location is an expansion to serve the art studio’s students who live southwest of New Haven.

“What a delightful and inspiring addition to our commercial area,” Scalettar said after her visit to the business.

The business is a family affair: It was opened by Natasha Piskunova, who emigrated from Russia with her husband Vitaliy Romanenko. Their daughter, Vasilisa Romanenko, is now also an instructor. All three family members have formal art training and share their skills through teaching at the studio. Vitaliy and Natasha both graduated from the State Academy of Art and Design (Mucha) in St. Petersburg. Vasilisa began painting and drawing at the age of 2 and graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology.

The studio offers 10-session classes for adults and children, including oil painting, watercolor, structural drawing and botanical drawing.

During Scalettar’s visit an oil painting class was underway. Vasilisa explained that the adult students were working on an assignment to paint the same composition in two different color schemes. “It expands the imagination and we are learning about color combinations,” she said.

Some students have been with the studio for years, says Natasha. Each class builds on skills learned in the previous session.

“Have you launched any professional careers?” the First Selectman asked. One former student works at Pixar, said Vasilisa, and many college-age students are studying art-related majors, such as industrial design or architecture.

“This is a great location for us,” Natasha said. “People can come in and see what we’re doing, and with the larger space we can accommodate more students.” The family is also taking advantage of the Woodbridge storefront by hosting occasional exhibits, including an opening reception on Nov. 4 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. for a photography exhibit.

Student work has been exhibited at the Woodbridge Town Library, the Cheshire Library and Miya’s Sushi in New Haven.

For more information, about Woodbridge businesses visit the Town’s business website, And for more information about Palette Art Studio, visit

If you know of a new or expanding business in Town, or if you would like the First Selectman to tour your business, please contact Assistant Administrative Officer Betsy Yagla at or 203-389-3403.

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