The Kent Art Association will open an exhibit of works by the late Barbara Goodspeed with a gala reception April 23 from 2 to 4 p.m.

The show will run through May 14.

Goodspeed, a longtime member of the KAA who served on the board of directors and six terms as president, died last December at the age of 97 at her home in Sherman, where she had lived since 1948.

The artist left the 94-year-old association not only her lasting influence on its operations, helping to establish and direct the KAA Charitable Trust, but also a collection of her paintings in both oil and watercolor, 75 of which will be on display at the KAA for this exhibit.

During the reception, catered by Patsy Stroble, visitors will have a chance to bid on the paintings at a silent auction, with proceeds to benefit the KAA.

Originally a freelance photographer in New York, Goodspeed changed careers upon discovering and moving into an 1812 farm house in Sherman in 1948.

There, with her longtime friend Betsy Miller, she began boarding and training poodles, and began doing drawings of poodles, which launched a new career in a line of Christmas cards.

Later, she and Miller began a business in restoring antique China.

A graduate of Stoneleigh College, Goodspeed later studied at the Famous Artists Schools in Westport.

After receiving her diploma from the school in 1955, she once again changed careers, and for the past 60 years had been one of the area’s best known and respected artists.

Goodspeed painted in both oils and watercolors and was fascinated by the colors and drama of winter.

She was the recipient of numerous awards, a member of many of the best known art associations such as the Salmagundi Club in New York City and the American Artists Professional League.

Her work has been included in several books.

The gallery at 21 South Main St. is open Thursdays through Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m., including holidays during shows.

For more information, call 860-927-3989 or visit www.kentart.org.