Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Pequot War and the Founding of Fairfield

The Fairfield Museum and History Center presents a new exhibition, The Pequot War and the Founding of Fairfield, 1637-1639, on view through January 18, 2015, concluding a full year of exhibits, programs and events that celebrated Fairfield's 375th anniversary.

A collaboration with the Mashantucket Pequot Museum, this exhibit presents the story of the Pequot War in 1637, which led to Fairfield becoming established as an English settlement 375 years ago. Roger Ludlow, then a member of the Windsor Settlement, came south to join the fight. He was so taken with the area and its beauty, he returned in 1639 and founded the town of Fairfield.
An Algonquian-speaking people, the Pequot had been living in southeastern Connecticut for thousands of years prior to European contact. Before the arrival of the Europeans, roughly 13,000 Pequot lived in villages along Long Island Sound and the estuaries of the Thames, Mystic, and Pawcatuck Rivers, raising food through farming, hunting, and gathering
The Pequot War (1637-38) was the first serious conflict in New England between European colonizers and the indigenous population. Historians have referred to the war as a seminal event in early American history, as it paved the way for English control of southern New England and the subjugation of the region's Native people.
Among the many objects displayed in the exhibit is the sword of Captain John Mason, on loan from the Stonington Historical Society. Mason was the leader of the Connecticut troops during the Pequot War, and he most probably used this sword to fight the Pequot.


The exhibit also includes an original copy of John Underhill's Newes from America (1638), on loan from the Connecticut Historical Society, rarely on public display. Captain John Underhill led the Mass Bay troops during the war and later published this account of the events. It is not only one of the most important primary sources of the war, but the publication also includes a remarkable woodcut of the attack on Mistick Fort that has become an iconic image. Also on view are other early 17th century examples of English arms and armor, including a helmet and matchlock gun, as well as a period bale seal and religious book, all on loan from the Plimoth Plantation.

Also featured is a photograph of George Avison's artwork, commissioned during the Great Depression by the Works Progress Administration to paint a series of five murals depicting Fairfield's history, including one of the Swamp Fight. When he completed them in 1937, they were hung in the Roger Ludlowe High School building, now known as Tomlinson Middle School, where they remain today.
About the Fairfield Museum and History Center 
The Fairfield Museum and History Center is a nonprofit, community cultural arts and education center established in 2007 by the 103-year old Fairfield Historical Society. The 13,000 square-foot museum includes modern galleries, a research library, a museum shop and community spaces overlooking Fairfield's historic Town Green. The Fairfield Museum and History Center believes in the power of history to inspire the imagination, stimulate thought and transform society. Located at 370 Beach Road in Fairfield, CT, the Museum is open seven days a week, 10 am – 4 pm. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for students and seniors. Members of the Museum and children are free. For more information www.fairfieldhistory.org.
For area information visit www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com

Sunday, December 28, 2014

WWI Themed New Years Tea Party at the Gunn Museum

Ring in the New Year with an old-fashioned World War One themed Tea Party at the Gunn Museum on Saturday, January 3, 2015 from 1-3pm. Servers and docents will be attired in a variety of period outfits and character actors will portray actual Washington residents from WWI. Visitors will have the opportunity to view the exhibit, Over There: Washington and the Great War, and socialize with friends. Guests are asked to bring their favorite tea cup, we’ll provide the rest. The party is free and open to the public, but registration is requested as space is limited; please call the Museum at 860-868-7756 to register.



The exhibit commemorates the 100th anniversary of World War One. Over 100 men and women from Washington, and more than 150 alumni and faculty from The Gunnery served in the Great War. Letters, pictures, and an interesting array of period artifacts from the museum, local families, and collectors are used to explore the dramatic experiences of Washington's soldiers, along with the extensive support efforts that were happening on the home front in Washington through such organizations as the Sister Susie Society, the Red Cross, the Women's Land Army, and the Home Guard.


The snow date is Sunday, January 4. The exhibit will be on display until Sunday, January 18. The exhibit and associated programs are supported in part by a grant from the Connecticut Community Foundation. The Gunn Museum is located at 5 Wykeham Road, the intersection of Wykeham Road and Route 47, in Washington, CT. View http://www.gunnlibrary.org for more information.

For winter fun information visit www.litchfieldhills.com

Friday, December 26, 2014

Danbury's 25th Anniversary First Night

This year, First Night Danbury  will celebrate its 25th anniversary in spaces throughout CityCenter Danbury on New Year's Eve, Wednesday, December 31st, 2014.  The event theme this year is fittingly chosen: "Make New Friends, Keep the Old." The Auld Lang Syne maxim continues with, "These are Silver, Those are Gold." 



First Night Danbury was founded in 1989 by volunteers. One of only three First Nights in Connecticut and about 40 throughout the US, the event prides itself on being family-friendly.  First Night was adopted by CityCenter Danbury seven years ago  in order to rebuild and recognize First Night’s potential for significant impact on the downtown arts and business community, as well as to provide an alcohol free alternative to ringing in the New Year.  First Night's theme this year is chosen appropriately: "Make New Friends, Keep the Old." The Auld Lang Syne maxim continues with "These are Silver, Those are Gold." Appropriately, First Night has invited the participation of favorite past First Night entertainments as it heralds in a new 25 years.




If you want to get an early start, First Night will hold a Special 25th Anniversary Ribbon Cutting Ceremony from 4:15 to 5:00pm at St. James Church. Mayor Mark Boughton will make a proclamation; The Silvertones, a group of 62 to 95-year-old “hipsters” will regale you; Mrs. Connecticut USA Universal 2015, Susan Bawlick Pagan, will add a touch of “glam;” and a Carillon Concert will kick off  First Night's 4 hours of diverse and celebratory entertainments. Host venues, all within walking distance,  include the Danbury Ice Arena, Danbury Public Library, Danbury Music Centre, Palace Danbury, St. James Church, Heirloom Arts Theatre, and the Danbury Innovation Center.  

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Polar Express Returns to Imax at Maritime Aquarium

Renew (or begin) a family tradition by securing your tickets for a magical ride to the North Pole as "The Polar Express" steams back onto the giant IMAX screen for a limited engagement at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.
Based on the 1986 Caldecott Award-winning book by Chris Van Allsburg, "The Polar Express" follows a young boy who doubts the existence of Santa Claus. On Christmas Eve, a locomotive arrives to take him and other doubtful children to Santa's North Pole headquarters. Their shared experiences ­– onboard with a mysterious conductor, at the North Pole and then on the return leg – make a compelling adventure.

 The star of this adventure is Tom Hanks who cleverly plays five roles, including the train's officious conductor, a ghostly hobo and Santa Claus. Hailed by critics nationwide, this film, shot entirely in Performance Capture, a process by which an actor's live performance is digitally recorded by computerized cameras and becomes a human blueprint for creating virtual characters has been tapped to become a perennial classic that will be shared by the generations.

 Polar Express manages to sidestep all the tiresome Christmas cliches that children have inflicted on them this time of year and presents a fresh look at this magical time of year.

 Tickets for "The Polar Express" are specially priced at $11.50 for adults, $10.50 seniors 65 and older, and $9.50 for children ages 3-12.

 Maritime Aquarium members save $1 and can be reserved in advance online at www.maritimeaquarium.org or by calling (203) 852-0700, ext. 2206.

Show times through Dec. 21: 4 & 7:30 p.m. Fridays & Saturdays and 4 p.m. Sundays; and Show times Dec. 26-Jan. 1: 4 & 7:30 p.m. daily. The movie is one hour and 40 minutes long.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Whizzing Wonders in New Milford & Cooking Class at the Silo

The New Milford Chamber of Commerce is once again hosting a special railroad display that provides special fun for families this year in  the Litchfield Hills community of New Milford where visitors will find a  lavish display of working model trains.
The 27th Annual Hands On Train Display will again transform the waiting room of New Milford's restored vintage train station. Four big layouts covering almost 100 feet of track will traverse a Lilliputian landscape of hills, valleys and villages.
Here, visitors are invited actually to take the controls, starting and stopping the action and operating signals and lights. The trains operate daily from noon to 4 p.m. December 22 to 28. This yearly free event is sponsored by the Greater New Milford Chamber of Commerce, 860-354-6080, www.newmilford-chamber.org.  The display is closed Christmas Day.  

While in New Milford, don't miss a visit to Hunt Hill Farm Trust where you will find a 50 foot Christmas Tree beautifully decorated in the gallery.  In addition to crafts and artwork, the Silo at Hunt Hill Farm offers a series of cooking classes. On Saturday, December 27, just in time for New Years, the Silo is offering a Champagne and Tapas class at 6:30 p.m.  This full participation class with Chef Jessie Riley and Kathryn Gordon will feature a full menu of tapas plus a sampling of sparkling wines and champagne.  To sign up for the calls visit http://www.hunthillfarmtrust.org/index.php?/silo/cooking#December
For area information on Litchfield Hills visit www.litchfieldhills.com

Friday, December 19, 2014

"A Prairie Refrain" at Carole Peck's Good News Cafe

Contemporary realist painter, Karl Hartman, will exhibit his new show titled "A Prairie Refrain" through January 27, 2015 at Carole Peck's Good News Cafe and Gallery, 694 Main Street South, Woodbury CT.

Hartman's paintings focuses on his memories of the prairie landscapes that he grew to love and his evolvement with these landscapes as a geologist in Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas. Hartman describes this part of the United States as spare, quiet and infinitely dynamic, beautiful and terrifying all at the same time. In contrast to his painting of the plains, he is also working on drawings of Bergen County, New Jersey that reflect the tightly packed, crowded suburban local domestic world of this area as well as its occupants and their imprint on it."
Karl Hartman was born in Billings Montana and grew up mostly in the plains states of Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma. He received his BS from the University of Oklahoma majoring in geology and minoring in art. He received his MFA in painting from the School of Visual Arts in New York where he studied with Sam Cady, Ursula von Rydingsvard and John Lees. He lives with his family in New Jersey and travels back to Oklahoma to see family, take photographs and sketch.
Karl shows at the Mary Ann Doran gallery in Tulsa, OK and the New Arts Gallery in Litchfield, CT. He has exhibited at the Kansas Museum of Fine Art in Wichita, KA, The Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, OH, The Charles A. Wustum Museum, Racine, WI. He has also shown at The Grand Central Galleries, The Adam Baumgold Gallery, and the National Academy of Design in New York as well as the Yoyogi School of fine art in Tokyo Japan.
His most recent award was the New Jersey State Council for the Arts Fellowship for painting. For area information visit http://www.litchfieldhills.com.  For New Year or dinner reservations, contact Good News Cafe at http://www.good-news-cafe.com/

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Voices of Poetry at Hunt Hill Farm - Comfort and Joy!

The Silo will present "Voices of Poetry / Comfort & Joy" on Sunday, December 21, 2014 at 2 p.m. This afternoon of original poetry and music – to celebrate the holiday season - will be held at The Red Barn at Hunt Hill Farm, Crossman Road, New Milford, CT. A "meet and greet" reception with the poets & musicians – with holiday desserts - will follow the program.

The Silo will present "Voices of Poetry / Comfort & Joy" on Sunday, December 21, 2014 at 2 p.m. This afternoon of original poetry and music – to celebrate the holiday season - will be held at The Red Barn at Hunt Hill Farm, Crossman Road, New Milford, CT. A "meet and greet" reception with the poets & musicians – with holiday desserts - will follow the program.
There is an admission charge of $15 @ person for this program; and reservations are encouraged. For more information, and to reserve tickets, please call (860) 355-0300, visit www.hunthillfarmtrust.org, or e-mail info@hunthillfarmtrust.org. Reservations can also be made at The Silo during regular business hours. The Silo Gallery and Store are open Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 12 to 5 p.m.
For more holiday event information www.litchfieldhills.com
About The Silo
Drawing on the creative legacy of Skitch and Ruth Henderson, the Henderson Cultural Center at Hunt Hill Farm, a Smithsonian Institution affiliate, is a vibrant and unique regional resource, offering the public opportunities to explore music, art, cuisine, and permanently protected historic open space.
About Voices of Poetry (VOP)
VOP was founded by poet and poetry activist Neil Silberblatt. Since 2012, VOP has presented a series of poetry and music events featuring distinguished poets and writers at venues throughout the state, including The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield; The New Britain Museum of American Art; The Sherman Playhouse; Minor Memorial Library in Roxbury; Gunn Memorial Library in Washington; Ridgefield Library; Hopkins Vineyard; and Hartford Public Library. VOP also has presented poetry events to raise support for community organizations. Voices of Poetry / Thanks for the Giving events (in 2013 and 2014) raised more than $2,500 for Loaves & Fishes, New Milford's community soup kitchen and food pantry. VOP hosts a Facebook "group" page which (at last count) had more than 1,900 members, including numerous poets and writers, editors, publishers, composers, musicians in all genres, professors, and fans of the printed, written or sung word. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

All Aboard with Santa in Thomaston and Danbury

We know that Santa gets around during the holiday season, but sleighs are not his only favorite mode of travel. In Litchfield Hills, you can often find the man in red enjoying a holiday train ride--and he loves company.



On December weekends, Santa can be found aboard the Santa Express leaving from Thomaston, CT, ready with bags of goodies for all the young passengers he meets along the way. Santa is so fond of trains that he even has two satellite workshops in train cars, one reached via a vintage train ride at the Danbury Railway Museum and another along the way on the Northern Lights Limited, a nighttime train excursion from Thomaston.

Rides are just part of the special railroad fun for families this year in Fairfield and Litchfield Counties, where lavish displays of working model trains are a traditional holiday treat in several locations.



The Santa Express in Thomaston This 1920s vintage train travels along the scenic Naugatuck River for a warm, cozy 80-minute round-trip ride. Santa brings along Mrs. Claus and some friendly helper elves to visit with each child on board. Trains depart from the historic 1881 station in Thomaston Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. Dec. 13,14,19,20,21.


Light displays inside and out make for an exciting outing at night aboard the Northern Lights Limited from Thomaston. The train makes a stop at Santa's Train Workshop, where the great man will board and greet everyone with gifts. Trains depart at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. on December 14,19,20,and 21.

Back at the gaily decorated station, a model train layout is in action, and a large selection of railroad theme gifts, books and memorabilia can be found. Tickets and information are available from the Railroad Museum of New England, online atwww.rmne.org, or by phoning (860) 283-7245.



All Aboard in Danbury At the Danbury Railway Museum, a classic 1903 station with a railroad yard filled with vintage train cars, visitors can ride a working vintage train through the yard to Santa's Workshop. They will find him busily supervising his elves as they make toys, but still with time to talk with visitors and offer a small gift for every child.

A miniature train layout whizzes its way around the restored station, where once again, there are gifts for railroad buffs of all ages. Trains leave every half hour from noon to 3 p.m. on weekends, December 14, 20 and 21. For tickets and information, seewww.Danbury.org/drm or phone: (203) 778-8337.

For information on the Litchfield Hills visit www.litchfieldhills.com

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Holiday Lights at Lake Compounce

Lake Compounce, located on Lake Ave. in Bristol is proud to announce their third annual "Lake Compounce Holiday Lights", a seasonal holiday themed family event taking place on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings beginning December 5-7, 12-14, and 19-21. The park gates will open at 5:00 P.M. on Fridays, and at 4:00 P.M. on Saturdays and Sundays.

'Holiday Lights' will provide full family entertainment for all ages, and include festive activities such as a spectacular light show every half hour at the main gate, which will feature tens of thousands of dancing lights set to holiday music. Kiddieland rides and family themed rides will be in operation. The Train will be transformed into the North Pole Railway, operated by a very special, uniformed train conductor with a magical holiday story to tell.

There will be indoor activities such as cookie decorating and gingerbread house making. Children will be given the opportunity to customize their very own letter to Santa, and will then receive a personalized letter sent directly to them, from Santa, just a few days later. On the Kiddieland stage children can enjoy Story Time with Mrs. Clause. There will be carolers strolling throughout the park, an ice carver creating unique, frozen sculptures, and lots more festive entertainment including clowns making balloon animals and lots of holiday characters greeting guests. The childhood favorite; photos with Santa is not to be missed in the Winter Wonderland Starlight Theatre. The park's gift shops will also be loaded with holiday themed merchandise for sale, so guests can get their holiday shopping done, too.

Admission is $14.99 plus tax per adult, $10.99 plus tax for children 4 thru 10, and free for children 3 and under. Platinum Season Pass holders may enter for free with their 2014 or 2015 pass. Tickets may be purchased online now, or at the park gate once the event begins. Nominal fees will be charged for select activities. 2015 Platinum Passes are being offered at the park at a
special sale price of $74.99 plus tax. For more information https://www.lakecompounce.com
For area information and more holiday events www.litchifeldhills.com

Monday, December 15, 2014

Osborne Homestead decked out for the holidays

The Osborne Homestead Museum located on 500 Hawthorne Ave in Derby is festooned for the holidays.  Each year six regional garden clubs get together to decorate the house in accordance with a theme, this year the theme is music... and they are celebrating Holiday at the Symphony!

Each room if the Osborne Homestead showcases the different musical components of the symphony orchestra.  Upon entering the museum, visitors will see and learn about the musical instrument families and the Osborne family's influence in the music industry.  
Frances Osborne Kellogg, an accomplished violinist and secretary of the National Association of Conductors and Composers shared her love of music with the community by bringing world-renowned performers and opera singers to the Sterling Opera House in Derby.  She was also the founder of the Derby Choral Society and hired the distinguished  Yale composer, Horatio Parker to direct the choral club. This years holiday decorations showcase the love of Frances' and her family's love of music.

Recently renovated, the Osborne Homestead built in the mid.-1800's encompasses the former Frances Osborne Kellogg Estate. This house was enlarged and remodeled in the Colonial Revival style during the 1920s.  The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the interior displays original contents of the estate that includes fine antiques and paintings.
This festive house tour, with each room lavishly decorated are sure to inspire you to decorate your home or apartment. The tours are free of charge although donations are appreciated.  Tours of the house are available on Thursdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through December 20.  For a special treat, take one of the twilight house tours on Friday, December 12 and 19.  If you will be touring the house with a group of 8 or more people, please call ahead 203-734-2513 to reserve a tour date and time.
For information on the Litchfield Hills visit www.litchfieldhills.com

Friday, December 12, 2014

Reindeer Festival in Greenwich

It’s that magical time of year again when Santa and his LIVE reindeer, Dasher Dancer, Prancer and Blitzen, return to McArdle’s Florist & Garden Center, 48 Arch Street, in Greenwich, Conn, for the 6th Annual Greenwich Reindeer Festival and Santa’s Workshop, through Christmas Eve, December 24, 2014. Last year, over 800 photos with Santa were taken and many more are expected this year.

The  reindeer will reside at McArdle’s, for one month.  There, young and old can marvel at the reindeer and learn more about these special animals. 
Inside, McArdle’s will be transformed into Santa’s Workshop, an unforgettable holiday wonderland where families, children, corporate groups and even pets can have their photo taken with Santa.  Photo packages begin at $29.99 and include special coupons to shop at over 100 participating downtown Greenwich stores and restaurants. This year’s festival will feature a new component – Reindeer Fun Facts - educational information about the animals, the mystery of their antlers, eating and sleeping habits and more.
New this year is the chance to win a Mercedes-Benz Peddle Car when you have your photo taken with Santa. One entry per purchase of every Photo with Santa Package. Two winners will be drawn December 24, 2013, 3pm. The two (2) winners will be notified immediately Christmas Eve. Compliments of Mercedes-Benz of Greenwich.


The 6th Annual Greenwich Reindeer Festival and photos with Santa  will take place Monday through Friday, noon to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Reindeer feeding times will take place daily at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. The reindeer will head to the North Pole around 1 p.m. on December 23, but Santa will remain until 4 p.m. Christmas Eve before beginning his busy night.
For more information and a list of the over 100 participating retail stores and restaurants, visit www.GreenwichReindeerFestival.com.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Can you smell the gingerbread in Kent Connecticut?

The sweet scents will tease your sense of smell as you enter the quaint village of Kent CT. The rolling pins are spinning and creative minds of all ages are working hard to create over 40 Gingerbread Houses. Ovens are filled to capacity and working overtime to get ready for the 3rd ANNUAL KENT GINGERBREAD FESTIVAL through Jan. 5, 2015.


Gingerbread Houses of all shapes and sizes will be on display in over 40 beautifully decorated shop windows until the first week in January. As you approach Kent you will find yourself in what looks like a movie set of the perfect little New England town, twinkling lights will guide you through the unique one of a kind shops. What an enjoyable way to do your holiday shopping. Add to that, a little Naughty Gingerbread Man named FREDDIE and you have the recipe for the most exciting Holiday Destination in Connecticut.
FREDDIE and his crew of ten Gingerbread Bad Boys will be hiding out in the shop windows amongst the Gingerbread Houses. So bring the family and friends and put on your detective hats and gumshoes. Vote for your favorite Window Display and House and you can also enter for free to win a great prize. Download a Gingerbread Manhunt Walking Map to find FREDDIE and his girlfriend GINGER, the cute, hot & spicy Gingerbread Girl he rescued from the bakery. Even though FREDDIE has been NAUGHTY, while you are in Kent, you can complete your NICE shopping list, away from the crowded malls & parking lots. Here you will find smiling faces, and even get your gifts wrapped for free in most shops.


Should you be hungry after your Gingerbread Manhunt Walk there are many temptations that will lure you, from a chocolate shop and baked goods to delicious culinary delights in one of Kent's twelve restaurants & caf├ęs. Join in the "Find Freddie Fun" and make Kent CT your Annual Holiday Destination.
For more holiday information and the latest on Freddie visit www.kentct.com

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Celebrate the Season at the P.T. Barnum Museum

The PT Barnum Museum located on 820 Main Street in Bridgeport is hosting two holiday events that detail traditions that began in the Victorian times and are still celebrated today. 

On December 10 at 12:15 for example, guests will get a sneak peek at the Barnum Museum.  This free event is open to the public and will explore the fact that Christmas as we know it today is really a  wonderful creation dating back to the Victorian times. The tradition of the Christmas tree, gift-giving and joyous celebrations with family and friends began in America in the mid 19th-century. Join the museum staff as they showcase some holiday costumes and finery that speak to the opulence of the holiday season!
On December 14 at 2 p.m. the musuem is celebrating the season with journey back in time.  Escape the hustle and bustle of the holiday season for an hour or so while listening to the lecture by Museum Director Kathy Maher.  She will present the evolution of the tales and traditions of the Victorian Age Christmas. There is no registration but a $5 donation is suggested. The museum is free for kids under 12.
For more information about the P.T. Barnum Museum visit http://www.barnum-museum.org.

Monday, December 8, 2014

‘Let’s Play Shakespeare’ free in Rowayton Dec. 12

 Shakespeare on the Sound reaches down through the centuries to introduce the enduring and timeless themes of The Bard in premiering the 2015 version of "Let's Play Shakespeare" Dec. 12 (Friday) at 3:30 p.m. in the Moose Room of the Rowayton Community Center on 33 Highland Avenue.



The 50-minute production—to be followed by a question-and-answer opportunity—is an original and interactive theatrical work designed to give children from kindergarten to grade five an insight into Shakespeare-- but appealing to all ages. Admission is free, donations optional.
The sweep of Shakespeare's lyrical scythe from comedy to tragedy unfolds onstage as the actors argue over which passages they should perform—and who gets the biggest part-- from a palate that shuffles iconic scenes from "Macbeth," "Henry V," "Much Ado About Nothing," "As You Like It" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream.
The performers work with props extracted from a trunk they bring onstage with them. All three are New York-based professionals who have all appeared in previous outdoor productions of Shakespeare on the Sound in Rowayton's Pinkney Park. They are Katie Wieland, Matthew Lynch and Daniel Levitt.
The playwrights, Kelly and Bryan, created an innovative format where youngsters from the audience are invited on-stage to warm up with the actors and to act in the performance, becoming, for example, part of Henry V's army. The play with its interactive dimension is also portable and available for presentation in schools and libraries.
For more information visit http://www.shakespareonthesound.org   For area information www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com

Friday, December 5, 2014

Small Works! at Carriage Barn Arts Center

The Small Works! art exhibition at the Carriage Barn Arts Center runs through December 21 and highlights small scale art. The work on view by 50 artists, mainly from Connecticut and New York, range from delicate drawings, paintings, and photographs to finely crafted sculpture and ceramics. The juror of the exhibition is Lee Findlay Potter, Director of the David Findlay Jr. Gallery in New York, which specializes American painting and sculpture from the late 19th century to the present. Lee is the fifth generation of art dealers in her family and her father David Findlay is a long-time resident of New Canaan.
Birds, by Isadora Lecuona Machado

Miniature works for the show were thoughtfully selected to provide a a historical and educational context for some of the contemporary art in the show. The history of miniature art goes back to the earliest periods of artistic production. The exhibition includes miniature manuscripts and Old Master prints, thereby tracing the evolution of such intimate gem-like works that require close examination. An early illuminated manuscript leaf exemplifies the painstaking attention to detail in medieval and early Renaissance devotional works. Two later examples of the highly sophisticated art of printmaking from the 1600s are Wenceslaus Hollar's masterful etchings. Hollar, a leading 17th century Bohemian printmaker, made a notable series of tiny etchings after the Renaissance sketches in the renowned collection of Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel, who intended to catalogue his drawings.
These early examples of miniature art are juxtaposed with contemporary works to provide a deeper understanding of their changing functions and meanings over time. The painting on an antique book cover by New York artist Holland Cunningham is contrasted with an early printed mathematical manuscript dated 1734 that has tiny decorative illustrations. Italian Renaissance paintings provide the inspiration for David Barnett's assemblages in shadow boxes, notably the Madonna whose head with a golden halo is placed on a body made up of mechanical parts. Another re-interpretation of a Renaissance painting is Isadora Machado's intricate pen drawing of the Mona Lisa. Machado's elaborate and patterned drawings of moths and birds have the luminescent and decorative quality of early stained glass windows. Robbii Wessen's assemblages of found organic and mechanical elements recall the imaginative objects from Renaissance cabinets of curiosity. Other such fanciful creations include the ceramic Pot Heads by Connie Nichols, literally tiny pots with whimsical heads on top.
The exhibition transitions to a group of abstract works, beginning with some examples of the recently deceased Sal Sirugo (1920-2013), who has been called "a hidden treasure of the Abstract Expressionist movement". Sirugo began creating highly original works in the late 1940s, but while many of his Abstract Expressionist contemporaries worked on huge canvases, he preferred to work in more modest dimensions. His miniature ink drawings on paper have a mysterious, meditative quality that draw the viewer into his unique way of seeing.
To accompany this show, there will be a Children's Art Workshop led by Nancy Scranton on December 7 and 14. The Gallery hours are Wed.-Sat., 10 am - 3 pm; Sunday, 1 - 5 pm. The gallery is located in Waveny Park, New Canaan. For more information, visit www.carriagebarn.org

Thursday, December 4, 2014

GET ON BOARD FOR THE FAIRFIELD MUSEUM’S HOLIDAY EXPRESS TRAIN SHOW

The Fairfield Museum and History Center announces the return of the highly popular family tradition, The Holiday Express Train Show December 5, 2014 - January 4, 2015.


On Friday night, December 5 at 7 pm, following Fairfield’s annual tree lighting ceremony, all are invited to stroll down an illuminated path across the town green to a brightly lit and welcoming Fairfield Museum and be among the first to enjoy the magic of the huge exhibit of model trains winding around a spectacularly decorated tree and through beautiful holiday scenery. 

Opening night admission is $3 for adults, free for children 5 and under.
 Members of the Fairfield based Housatonic Model Railroad Club and the Connecticut G-Scalers Clubs will be on hand to answer questions and point out details of the collectibles, classic trains, modular dioramas and antique trains in this eye-popping holiday display.

“Building model trains encourages kids to use engineering skills and think… plus it gets them away from the iPhone, TV and Nintendo screens,” says Ray Jakabcin, secretary/treasurer of the Central CT G-Gaugers Club, who fondly remembers his father’s Lionel train set running around the family tree throughout his childhood.
 

The Train Show continues through Sunday, January 4, 2015. Fairfield Museum presents loads of family programs throughout the month of December. A complete list of events/programs is available at wwwFairfieldhistory.org. The Museum, located at 370 Beach Road in Fairfield, will be closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. For area information about more holiday events www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com

Holiday Express Train Show Schedule:
Admission is $5 for adults; seniors and students $3; free for children 5 and under.
Weekends:
Saturday, December 6 – Sunday, January 4:   10am - 4pm
Weekdays:
Monday, December 8 – 23: 11am - 1pm

Holiday Vacation Hours:
Wednesday, December 24 – Friday, January 2: 10am - 4pm
(including Christmas Eve & New Year’s Eve)
Closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day

Holiday Express Train Show Opening Night
Friday, December 5, 7-9pm
Opening Night Admission: $3, free for children 5 and under.
Warm up at the Fairfield Museum after the town’s tree lighting ceremony and be one of the first to see the new displays at the Holiday Express Train Show! Kids and adults alike will delight in the magic of the model trains winding around a winter wonderland of spectacular trees and beautiful holiday scenery.

Choo Choo Storytime
Thursdays, December 11 & 18; Monday, December 22, Tuesday, December 23 and Friday, December 26
10:30 – 11am  Free with admission.
Enjoy your favorite stories about all things trains! Discover adventures on the tracks with books that spark the imagination.

Candy House Workshop
Saturday, December 13
Two Workshops: 10 – 11:30am OR 12 – 1:30pm
Members: $10; Non-Members: $15 per house
Each additional house: Members: $8; Non-Members; $10. Pre-registration strongly suggested by calling 203-259-1598.
Enjoy a fun, family-friendly activity creating your own Candy House. Decorate a holiday house with frosty icing, graham-cracker roofs, gumdrop windows, licorice fences and more!

See a Steam Train!
Friday, December 26 from 11am – 3:30pm  
Free with admission.
Watch real steam rise from a model train that travels around an elevated track. Collector Harvey Campbell will share his knowledge and enthusiasm about how these unique trains work.

Fun Workshop: Terrific Trains
Monday, December 22 & 29 and Tuesday, December 30
11am – 12pm OR 1:00 – 2:00pm
Workshop for ages 6 – 10. $5, please pre-register by calling 203-259-1598.
Build a wooden model train and paint it your own way!