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The original item was published from 2/2/2022 12:05:00 PM to 3/1/2022 12:00:05 AM.

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Posted on: February 2, 2022

[ARCHIVED] The Gallery at Lofino Plaza features watercolor artist and photographer in February

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The artwork of Connie Gifford and James Gifford will be featured at The Gallery at Lofino Plaza throughout the month of February. Connie is a watercolor artist and James is a photographer. 

Connie grew up in Dayton, Ohio and has always had a passion for drawing, painting, and art. She earned a degree in visual communication and worked as a graphic artist for 30-years. 

“I’m inspired by all things in nature and strive to focus the bright, transparent freshness of watercolor to lure a viewer into my painting,” Connie said. “I want people to feel the life pulsing in a wild or captive animal, in the promise of a sunrise, a bright day, or the release of a day’s stress in a sunset. My limited palette from three to eight transparent colors, is selected to intensify a mood, celebrate a moment, and make my work sing.”

Connie has won many awards and attended workshops taught by nationally acclaimed watercolor artists. She also co-chairs a paint-in watercolor group every Thursday with local watercolor artists. She is a signature member of the Ohio Watercolor Society, President and a signature member of Western Ohio Watercolor Society, and a member of Fairborn Art Association. Many of her paintings are in private collections in Cincinnati, Dayton, London, and Beavercreek, and Piqua, Ohio.

Connie lives in Kettering, Ohio, with her husband and family. She can be contacted by emailing

James Gifford started in photography as a Boy Scout in the mid-1960s while working to earn a Photography Merit Badge. For many years, he had a makeshift darkroom set up in his basement to develop B&W photographs. Screen Shot 2022-02-02 at 11.53.27 AM

As a Dayton Police officer in the 1970s, Jim took an academy class in photography, and although he never worked as an evidence technician, he used his camera to record many day-to-day events. 

After leaving the police department, James attended seminary and was ordained as a Southern Baptist minister. He pastored small congregations and worked at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base as a technical writer and editor. James used his photography skills many times to enhance his papers or articles. He retired from the base after 25 years of service. He is still active in ministry.

“My favorite tool is a medium-length portrait lens,” James said. “I can capture a person or an animal very effectively without crowding closely and making them uncomfortable. I also love macro photography, which allows me to close in on plants or insects for a pristine, close-up view.” 

James can be contacted by emailing

The Gallery at Lofino Plaza can be accessed through the Beavercreek Senior Center.

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