Monday, September 24, 2012

Pets, Portraits & Pastries, Gallery Opening at the Woodward House

L to R
Heather Norris, Heather Norris Photography. Lisa Banik, Animals for Life Middlebury. Adele Johnson, The Woodward House.

Bethlehem's Woodward House, on the Green  is calling all canine companions! On Sunday, September 30, from 2-4PM, The Woodward House will host a gallery opening on behalf of  Animals For Life.  The show in the gallery titled Pets, Portraits & Pastries'  is highlighting the fun photography of dogs by Heather Norris.

Adele Johnson, owner of Woodward House and Heather Norris Photography will be donating all proceeds to Animals for Life generated from this reception.  As an example, there is a  dog named Molly in need of surgery, living with a foster family and the  proceeds from Pets, Portraits & Pastries will go towards Molly's surgery according to Animals for Life, located in  Middlebury, CT.

Heather Norris has carefully mounted over 15 dog portraits. What makes Heather Norris' portraits pop with pizzazz is her desire to invest time interviewing the dog's companions. She poses questions such as, If your dog was a person, what car would they drive? What job would they have? What would they wear?'  Such thorough interviews lead to whimsical and amazing portraits such as the black and white feature of 'Barley' dressed in a bow tie and top hat positioned with a baby grand piano or Peaches looking white and elderly like she is The Queen of England and Stella, the boxer, who knows her value, what she desires, and is eager to please.

Adele Johnson, owner of the classic 1740's venue, The Woodward House adores animals.  Adele's love of animals has spanned a lifetime as she has  rescued every stray she found and recalls bringing home turtles, kittens, chickens, birds, and snakes.  Today, Adele has  three dogs: Peaches, Cocoa, and Barley as well as Woodward House's resident chicken, Duly.

Heather and Adele have each agreed to offer unique promotions to every attendee so that attendees can experience dining at Woodward House and photography sessions with Heather Norris Photography.

The cost of the reception is $20 per person in advance, $25 at the door. Entrance includes a champagne and dessert reception featuring Heather Norris Photography.  To confirm attendance for Pets, Portraits and Pastries, call The Woodward House 203-266-6902.

About the Woodward House
4 The Green, Bethlehem, CT 06751.Corner of Rte. 132 and Rte. 61.  (203) 266-6902. The historic Woodward House centered in Bethlehem across from The Town Green has been reborn. Four beautiful rooms, each unique can accommodate 50 guests, for intimate to mid-size dining and meetings. The chef's award winning hand is evident not only in the restaurants artistic entrées, but equally in the incredible desserts. Voted "Best New Restaurant Litchfield County", CT Magazine, NY Times *** - CT Magazine *** - Hartford Courant ****, Top in Service & Décor, Zagat's. Open Wed., Thurs., Sun. 5 pm – 8 pm and Fri. & Sat. 5 pm – 9 pm. Closed Mon. & Tues.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Flea Market at Lockwood Mathews Mansion

On Sunday, September 23, 2012, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum will hold its fifth annual Old-fashioned Flea Market at 295 West Avenue in  Norwalk.

The Old Fashioned Flea Market at the Mansion attracts thousands of like-minded shoppers every year looking for special bargains to treasure, and with over 80 vendors this year, the park surrounding the museum will be overflowing with an eclectic mix of old and new merchandise including antiques, repurposed furniture, collectibles, vintage jewelry, household items, clothing, toys and more. General admission to the event is free.

The Flea Market will also feature a concert with the Bob Lasprogato Dixieland Band, a display of antique and classic cars, half price $5 mini tours of the Mansion, face-painting, and much more. An all-American barbecue featuring hot dogs, hamburgers and pulled pork sandwiches courtesy of Michael Gilmartin of Outdoor Cookers will be available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Museum's Gift Shop will be open during the event and feature new Fall-Holiday merchandise and a broad selection of gift ideas including vintage costume jewelry, Titanic-related material, porcelain tea cups, books on Victorian era art and architecture, local history, and more. All proceeds will benefit the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum.

For details on the full Flea Market schedule please visit  For area information visit

Friday, September 14, 2012

ArtFest At Silvermine Arts Center September 15

The lush grounds of the Silvermine Arts Center, located in New Canaan will host the second annual ArtsFest on Saturday, September 15th from 2pm to 4pm.  Participants will enjoy a fun-filled day of music, puppet shows, and hands-on art activities at this free outdoor event.

Silvermine's popular Sculpture Walk can be enjoyed by young and old in addition to listening to the music of Howard Fishman and the Biting Fish Brass Band, a five-piece New Orleans-style brass band. This high-energy, contagiously exuberant band will perform originals, mixed with a classic brass band repertoire of spirituals, blues, gospel and funk. Howard Fishman is a critically acclaimed singer, guitarist, composer and bandleader. 
Howard Fishman and the Biting Fish Brass Band

Fishman's Biting Fish band is a tribute to the Big Easy, his former home, which features the singer-songwriter along with his band members on tuba, trombone, trumpet, drums and vocals performing an eclectic, funky repertoire that careens from street-beat style traditional gospel, to surprising covers, to Fishman's own quirky, fun originals. Fishman has headlined in some of the most prestigious venues in the U.S. and abroad, including: Lincoln Center, The Steppenwolf Theatre, the Blue Note, the Great American Music Hall and the Le Petit Journal in Paris. A testament to his wide-ranging appeal, Howard Fishman has appeared on bills with such diverse artists as Odetta, Yo Yo Ma, Madeleine Peyroux, Allen Holdsworth and Nellie McKay. You won't want to miss this wonderful opportunity to see and hear this small band with a mighty, infectious sound, suitable for both happy listening and ridiculous dancing.

In addition to music, kids of all ages will enjoy the puppetry of WonderSpark Puppets, who will perform "Kid Lancelot's Birthday Quest" at this year's ArtsFest.   Once upon a time, there was a brave knight and a beautiful princess who bravely saved the Kingdom of Lockheart! It's up to Kid Lancelot or Princess Petunia to defeat bullies, help wizards, ride a dragon and save the day. This medieval adventure includes lots of laughter and a cast of hilarious characters. Founded by husband and wife team Chad Williams and Lindsey "Z." Briggs, WonderSpark Puppets infuse fun and whimsy into all their performances. "Z" Briggs has been a professional puppeteer for the last 7 years as a performer and builder on numerous projects. Chad Williams is a filmmaker turned puppeteer, and has shot and edited two puppetry documentaries. WonderSpark Puppets present the sweet, funny puppet shows that engage the imaginations of kids and adults alike!

Other happenings of the day will include a variety of hands-on activities for children and adults led by the distinguished faculty of the School of Art.
And, of course, there is the opportunity to see the end of summer exhibits in the Silvermine Galleries that will run through September 16th. The exhibits during ArtFest feature a juried Guild show, "Collective Vision," a Historical Exhibition, "Silvermine, Milestone Graphics and the American Print Renaissance, 1979-1989," and "Full Tilt" a solo exhibition of the works by Silvermine Guild artist Robert Gregson.

For more information about ArtsFest, call 203-966-9700, ext.22, or visit For area information

About Silvermine Arts Center
Silvermine Arts Center located in New Canaan, Connecticut is one of the oldest artist communities in the United States. Located on a four ½ acre campus, the center is comprised of a nationally renowned artist guild; award winning school of art offering multi-disciplinary art classes for ages 2 to 102; and a gift shop and galleries, offering over twenty contemporary and historic exhibitions annually. The center also provides innovative arts education in Norwalk and Stamford schools through its outreach program, Art Partners, and hosts a lecture series and special programs throughout the year. Silvermine Arts Center is a nonprofit organization.
Silvermine Arts Center Mission
Grounded in the belief that art is vital to the spirit, creativity and wholeness of human beings, the mission of Silvermine Arts Center is to cultivate, promote and encourage growth through the arts; to showcase and serve artists; and to foster arts education and appreciation opportunities for the greater community.

Gallery Hours: Silvermine Galleries are open Wednesday through Saturday, 12p.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1pm to 5 p.m. For more information, call (203) 966-9700 ext. 20 or visit the website:

Monday, September 10, 2012

Domestic tools subject of new art exhibit

Battle Axe

The Housatonic Museum of Art is pleased to announce Reimagining the Distaff Toolkit, an exhibition that explores household tools as metaphor for the social and cultural histories of women embedded in them. Reimagining the Distaff Toolkit will be on view in the Burt Chernow Galleries at the Housatonic Museum of Art from September 6 through October 26, 2012.

The term "distaff" itself refers not only to the tool attached to a spinning wheel to hold unspun fibers, but over time, came to refer to women generally. Solinger points out, "Many of these old tools facilitated....repetitive labor and evoke the various cultural histories of women's unpaid, often diminished and disrespected status within the household and society. But in the 21st century, at a moment when 'old tools' have become aestheticized and expensive, we can look again and see their costly beauty.

Rickie Solinger, an award-winning author, historian and curator, reexamines women's history by positioning tools used in a domestic setting as the "fulcrum for a contemporary work of art." The artists in this exhibit place these old tools at the center of their own work: washboard, a dressmaker's dummy, graters, doilies, an advice book, cooking pans, a basket, a garden hoe, dress patterns, a rolling pin, buckets, darning eggs, a work glove, a needle threader, rug beaters, ironing boards, mason jars and a telephone.

Alison Saar

Twenty-eight artists are represented in this show including Betye and Alison Saar, Lisa Alvarado, Dave Cole, Judy Hoyt, Larry Ruhl, Flo Oy Wong, Debra Priestly, to name a few.

Gallery Hours are: Monday through Friday from 8:30am until 5:30pm; Thursday until 7pm; Saturday from 9am until 3pm; Sunday from Noon until 4pm. For additional information and/or direction please visit our website

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Norwalk Oyster Festival September 7-9

Lobsterman. Photo credit: Kersten Schriel, Shadow Lounge Productions.

Fun for families and friends from nine to ninety, the 35th annual Norwalk Seaport Association Oyster Festival will be held this year from Friday, September 7 through Sunday, September 9. This year’s entertainment highlights include music from nationally known-bands such as: The Rising on Friday, Village People on Saturday and Lou Gramm on Sunday.  Festivalgoers will enjoy a wide variety of rides, cooking competitions, arts and crafts and a diverse assortment of attractions and entertainment that promise unforgettable fun.

New this year the festival will feature the action packed Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Festival that will feature world champion lumberjacks demonstrating their log rolling, axe throwing, chopping, sawing, tree climbing and dragster chainsaw skills. Another new event venue will offer hands on interactive race-themed attractions by nationally recognized Fast Action Motorsports Entertainment. These dynamic additions to the Oyster Festival are awe inspiring and unforgettable.

For the Kids
The festival’s Pirates Coast Adventure will wow children of all ages. Here, kids can meet real life pirates and look for booty in treasure hunts, hear storytelling and join in other fun-filled activities. The Kids’ Cove includes games, rides and entertainment. This interactive pirate encampment gives kids a taste of what seafaring was like during the golden age of piracy from 1650-1750.  In addition, there will be an action-packed performance by Marvel Super Heroes.

Sunday is Family Day with special family and children’s packages for entrance, rides and meals. The perk of family day on Sunday is that one child under 12 gets in free with each adult paid admission and for a mere $15 can ride all the amusement rides free from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. To round out the family fun there will be live shows for kids on the festival’s main stage.

For the Whole Family
The festival offers a wide array of attractions the whole family will enjoy, including continuous entertainment by local musicians and national acts.  A multitude of fine artists and crafters display whimsical as well as practical items that appeal to all tastes, budgets and ages.  For on the water fun, head to the festival docks  to tour historic vessels and to cruise the scenic and historic Norwalk Harbor.

For the Foodies

Food demonstrations and competitions, including the always-popular chowder and chili cook-offs will take place throughout the fesitval.  A highlight of the Festival is the wide variety of great food from around the world that is available at the International Food Court. This culinary fare is prepared by dozens of local nonprofit organizations allowing them to raise vital funds for their charitable causes.   At the Oyster Pavilion, learn about Norwalk’s oystering history while watching slurping and shucking contests.

The event is held at Veteran’s Park, adjacent to Norwalk Harbor on Seaview Avenue in Norwalk, CT. Admission for adults is $5 on Friday, $12 on Saturday and Sunday. Senior tickets are $10 all days. Children 5-12 year’s old are $5. Children under 5 and U.S. military personnel on active duty are free. Sunday is Family Day with special pricing on that day only — 1 child (age 5-12) free with each paid adult admission. Tickets can be purchased at  Free Parking and Free Shuttle Bus service is provided from four (4) local parking lots, just follow the signs to Oyster Festival Parking.

Festivalgoers can save on admission and rail fare when they purchase the Metro-North Railroad/Norwalk Seaport Association Oyster Festival discount package. Packages are available at all ticket offices and ticket machines (except South Norwalk Station) or by visiting

About the Norwalk Seaport Association

The Norwalk Seaport Association was founded in 1978 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation, education and public awareness of Norwalk’s maritime environment and heritage. The Seaport Association and its volunteers are solely responsible for organizing and financing the Oyster Festival. In addition to the Oyster Festival, the Norwalk Seaport Association owns Sheffield Lighthouse and its volunteers maintain the lighthouse and grounds as a museum and nature preserve. For more information, visit or call (203) 838-9444.

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