Barbara Beck, an art teacher who retired from the Middletown Public Schools in 1998 with 27 years of experience teaching art to children and adolescents, created the artwork for this week's cover. Shortly after retiring she opened her own studio at Starr Mill overlooking the Cauginchaug River in Middletown. Her studio has permitted her to follow her passion of creating art in a variety of media: watercolor paintings, prints, and collages. Beck often combines printmaking and collage with her watercolor painting. Beck is a member of the Art Guild of Middletown and recently chaired their 5th Annual Juried Exhibition at Wesleyan University. She also exhibits with the Arts and Crafts Association of Meriden and with the Essex Art Association.