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James L. Buxton Jr., New Britain

James L. Buxton Jr., who created the sculpture on this week's cover, has been an art professor at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain since 1991. A native of Newburgh, N.Y., he is a graduate of Cornell University and received two masters' degrees from the University of Pennsylvania — one in sculpture and the other in printmaking. As a young child, Buxton knew that art would play an important role in his life. Art created a way out of many negative street occupations. Buxton grew up in a nontraditional household with his Southern Baptist grandmother and uncle, who had strong religious values and work ethics. He remembers his early years growing up in the Mid-Hudson Valley, roaming the hills and riverfront. The cover piece, "Hudson River Landscape Series," is a painted wood sculpture made in 2005.