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Ridgefield's work reflects her interest in children's creativity

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RIDGEFIELD – Watching kids build sandcastles on a beach and draw with chalk on sidewalks, urban resident and artist Marsha Simha says she’s fascinated by how they “really get lost in their creativity.”

“You see kids with sidewalk art — there can be 50 people around them and they’re so focused on their own little world,” Simha said. “I love both the innocence and the focus they have. I think it’s the best part of childhood – I hope we can learn something from them.”

Simha’s interest in how children approach the world is at the center of her new art exhibition, “Through the Eyes of Children,” on view through January 31 at The Meetinghouse, a local hangout at 605 Ridgebury Road. is free and can also be viewed at

Part of Simha’s exhibition focuses on children who emerged in their creations, including chalk drawings and building sandcastles with friends. Her artworks are made with mixed media, but mainly with oil paint.

The other part of the exhibition shows storyboards for her children’s book ‘A Magical Journey’. Describing herself as an artist who writes, Simha said she created the children’s book for the pleasure of doing it.

Her book focuses on inclusion and acceptance, telling the story of three children from outer space who land in “a place where everything and everyone is different,” she said. The space kids don’t know they’ve ended up in a circus, she said, though they see how all the different people in the circus are accepted for who they are.

“Children are not born with prejudices,” Simha said. “They are born with an openness to the world and acceptance of people and they learn not to be. And it is my hope that we can get in touch with that part of ourselves without being judged.

Interest in art

Simha, a resident of Ridgefield since 1976, said she became fascinated with art when she was 10 years old.

On what inspired her to pursue art, Simha said, “I think some of us are just born to do what we were born to do – we just have it in us and that’s what we need to develop.”

Simha attended a local art school from the age of ten and then attended the Art Students League in Manhattan from the age of twelve until she graduated from high school. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in Manhattan.

In addition to studying art in class, Simha said, “Every time you go to a museum or look around with your eyes wide open, you’re studying art.”

Simha said she also likes the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford and the art galleries at Yale University. While she has visited museums during her travels abroad, including the Louvre in Paris, she said she prefers small, intimate museums and tries to take in one painting at a time.

“I find that when you try to go to places like the Met, as fantastic as they are, they can get a little overwhelming,” Simha said, referring to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan.

“And even in a large museum, I prefer to pick a small area and focus on that. … For me it was (Dutch painter Johannes) Vermeer at the Frick,” she said.

In addition to her art and writing, Simha volunteers in other creative fields such as musical theater with young adults with intellectual disabilities; a mural project at the Green Chimneys School in Brewster, NY; and join a writing group.

In addition to writing music, Simha said she is more drawn to writing poetry than prose “because like painting, it’s a way of evoking images and feelings.”

“Creativity doesn’t have to be single-focused,” she said.