Lora Ballou, circa 1899

For almost all of my life I thought of my grandmother, Lora Eberly Ballou (Gam), as an extraordinary, quiet, little women who over a very long life had witnessed an incredible variety of historical events, traveled practically everywhere in this world, and lived in a grand house that provided my brother and me with endless memories ofyouthful experiences and adventures. We were aware of her painting, but it was not central to our family life, and visits to her home were more or less "structured" events where being on your best behavior was the order of the day.

I do remember when I was around nine or ten, wandering into her 3rd floor studio on a week-end sleep-over as she was struggling with a new technique of pallet knife paint application. Rather than continue to labor in frustration she decided to set her work aside and engage me in helping her with a rather laborious clean up activity. Mostly she painted out of family view, and this activity was never a primary conversation topic. Her finished art was often given away to friends and family, or donated to the local hospital; thus we never saw it as an entire collection. However, as time passed and homes were sold, my wife Pat and I made the effort to collect, store, and maintain the Lora Ballou art along with other objects of family history.

The genesis for this exhibition came while attending the celebration of Governor-elect Malloy at the restored Old Town Hall. My wife, Pat commented on its appropriateness as an art gallery, and the benefit to Stamford downtown if it became an exhibition hall. That night artist Lora Eberly Ballou materialized as we reevaluated her paintings for a public viewing. We gained reinforcement and support of this project from the Board of Old Town Hall, and the team of art professionals we assembled to create this exhibition. Rediscovering the art of Lora Eberly Ballou, and making it public celebrates the artistic talent of an extraordinary woman previously known to us simply as GAM.

Bob Phillips