Sunday, September 29, 2013

Vijay Kumar: Etchings, A Retrospective at Center for Contemporary Printmaking

The fall exhibition, featuring a splendid array of original prints by Vijay Kumar, at the The Center for Contemporary Printmaking (CCP), 299 West Ave., in Mathews Park, Norwalk runs through Sunday, November 3, 2013. The Gallery is open Monday through Saturday 9 am to 5 pm, and Sunday, 12 to 5 pm; it is closed Columbus Day and Veterans Day and admission is free.

A narrative is apparent in all of Vijay Kumar’s artworks. When Vijay was a child, he and his family left their home, during the religious strife that troubled India as the country gained its independence from Britain. Traveling the world — from India to the Middle East, Europe and the United States — his artistic focus has centered on the geometry of urban spaces. In the fall exhibition, many pieces are untitled and are essentially architectural, linear jumbles such as stacked houses and buildings. The eighteen prints in the series “India Portfolio,” reflect the sorrow and loss of the refugee. In the background, a New York Times article from Dec 11, 1992, published the headline “Hatreds of India.” Abstracted figures set in conflict or in positions of mourning dominate the series.

Born in Lehore (then part of India) and based in New York City, Vijay Kumar has had numerous solo exhibitions of his drawings, prints and paintings in the United States and abroad.  Vijay is the curator for the Indo-American Arts Council’s annual Erasing Borders Exhibition of Contemporary Indian Art of the Diaspora. He has also curated print shows in New York and Ohio in the United States, and in India. Mr. Kumar teaches printmaking at several graphics centers in New York City, and at the Center for Contemporary Printmaking, in Norwalk, Connecticut.

About the Center for Contemporary Printmaking

The Center for Contemporary Printmaking (CCP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the art of the print: intaglio, lithography, monotype, silkscreen, woodblock printing, paperworks, book arts, and digital arts. Housed in a handsome 19th-century stone carriage house, this 5,000- square-foot historical landmark is located at 299 West Avenue in Mathews Park, in Norwalk Connecticut. CCP workshops, gallery, and offices are open Monday through Saturday, 9 am – 5 pm, and Sunday, 12 – 5 pm. The Grace Ross Shanley Gallery features acclaimed exhibitions throughout the year, and is handicapped accessible. Artists who participate in the Artist-in-Residence Program have the opportunity to live and work in the Helen Frankenthaler Printmaking Cottage, adjacent to the main building. Edition printing is offered by the CCP Master Printer and Associate Printer. For more information, please call 203-899-7999 or visit The Center for Contemporary Printmaking is a member of the statewide Connecticut Art Trail, a partnership of seventeen world-class museums and historic sites. 

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

8th Annual Watertown House Tour September 28

The 8th Annual Watertown House Tour will take place on Saturday September 28 from 11a.m. to 3 p.m., rain or shine. Five fabulous homes will be featured in this year's tour.

The Mailhot House at 26 Sunset Avenue was built in 1900 and was originally going to be a barn.  Today, this quaint house with its’ split rail fence and lovely front porch has beautiful woodwork throughout and is appointed with furniture made by the current owner.  Outside there is a display of classic cars.

The Guernseytown Schoolhouse at 1121 Guernseytown Road was built in 1848 and served as a school for 84 years until it was closed in 1932.  The current living room was the original classroom area.

Hotchkiss House at 237 Skilton Road built around 1800 has a modern addition. Entering the old section of the house visitors will notice wide chestnut floors, horsehair walls and low sloping ceilings.  Interesting collections from the owners’ travels are displayed though out the house.

The Silo at 25 Caruso Drive overlooks Lake Winnemaug, a man-made lake that was created as a feeder pond for the Oakville Company, also known as the Pin Shop. This house, with its distinctive silo and cobblestone driveway, was designed to look like a barn by the homeowners in collaboration with Litchfield architect Clifford Cooper in 2010.

The Wasilauskas House at 89 Maple Avenue built in 1910 has the distinction of being in the same family for nearly one hundred years. This arts and crafts style bungalow with its columned wraparound porch recently went through a major facelift, but it remains on the original footprint. Before you leave don’t miss the beautiful grounds and fieldstone barn.

The Watertown Historical Society Museum and the Nova Scotia Schoolhouse at 22 DeForest Street will also be open for viewing.

The Watertown House Tour is a benefit for the Watertown Historical Society Museum in Watertown, CT. The Watertown Historical Society is a private, nonprofit, all volunteer organization dedicated to collecting, preserving, and sharing Watertown and Oakville's history through the Museum.

Advance tickets are $25 per person, and will be $30 the day of the tour. Tickets for this self-guided house tour are non-refundable & can be purchased by mailing a check or money order to:

Watertown House Tour
22 DeForest Street
Watertown, CT 06795

Checks should be made payable to the "Watertown Historical Society". Tickets can also be purchased online with a credit card or Paypal at:

Tickets and maps will be mailed to those that make advance purchases. Advance orders must be received no later than Friday September 20th. Requests for tickets after this date will be held for pick-up on the day of the tour at the Museum.

Tickets are available at the following retail locations: LaBonne's Market in Watertown, Chubba's in Watertown, the Health Complex, The Watertown Library, Hosking's Nursery, Depot Square Farm Shoppe, and Jimmy's of Watertown. On the day of the tour tickets will be available at all of the businesses, all of the houses and at the Museum, which will be tour headquarters. Call the Museum at 860-274-1050 or view for more information.

Artist: Lorraine DeRoyal

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Special Kids Tour of the Glass House in New Canaan

If your children are budding young architects and art lovers the special children’s tour offered by the Philip Johnson Glass House might be of interest.

The Glass House is offering special after-school tours for children only, ages 9-13 in grades 5-8. Tours will begin and end at the Glass House Visitor Center located on 199 Elm Street directly across from the New Canaan Train Station.
Space is limited to 12 children ensuring a fun and comprehensive tour of this cultural gem. 
The children will be shuttled to the Glass House for an interactive tour of the entire property and its buildings. Parents will drop off their children at the Visitors  Center at 4 p.m. and pick them up at 5:30 p.m. Children should dress for the weather and wear walking shoes for this tour of the property and buildings.
Tickets are $20 per child.  Tours take place on Sept. 23, and 30; October 7, 21, and 28. As an added bonus, children participating in this tour will receive the book From Saltbox to the Glass House, generously donated by the New Canaan Preservation Alliance.   For tickets visit:  For more information call 203.594.9884 or visit
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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Rare Amur Leopard at Beardsley Zoo

In the wild there are only 30-40 Amur Leopards left in the wild and only 176 in captivity worldwide.  One of the newest exhibits at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo features Sofiya, an amazingly rare female Amur leopard that now calls Bridgeport home. She was born on May 10, 2008 at the St. Louis Zoo and now resides in the newly remodeled space that once housed the Andean bear exhibit.
Sofiya’s new exhibit features rock outcroppings that will enable her to explore her surroundings at ground level. It also includes areas as high as 10 feet off the ground, to enable her to view her domain from a different level. Amur leopards have been known to leap more than 10 feet vertically, so Sofiya will have room to stretch her legs. Visitors will be able to meet Sofiya between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. daily, in this new space located next to the lynx exhibit. The exhibit would not have been possible without the support of the City of Bridgeport, the Connecticut Zoological Society, and through the generous donations of zoo patrons.
About Amur leopards
A rare subspecies of leopard that has adapted to life in the temperate forests from Northeast China to the Korean peninsula, they are often illegally hunted for their beautiful spotted fur. The Amur leopard is agile and fast, running at speeds up to 37 miles per hour. Males reach weights of 110 pounds and females up to 90 pounds. They prey on sika, roe deer, and hare, but the Amur leopard has to compete with humans for these animals. Some scientists have reported male Amur leopards remaining with the females after mating, and possibly even helping to rear the young. They live for 10-15 years in the wild, and up to 20 years in captivity.
Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is closer than you think and open daily from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Adult admission (ages 12 & older) is $12.00, children (ages 3 -11) and senior admission (62 and older) is just $10.00, and children under 3 years old are free. Zoo members also are admitted free. Parking at the Zoo is free of charge. For more information about Connecticut’s only zoo visit
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Friday, September 13, 2013

September and October at the Silvermine Arts Center

“Tree Muse II” by New York based artist, Christine Aaron
The set of exhibits opening at Silvermine Arts Center, located on 1037 Silvermine Rd. in New Canaan, CT September 15th will challenge the boundaries of perception. There will be a group exhibition that questions assumptions of what a book can be to; Amy Bilden's tactile domestic inspired sculptures; and the symbolically rich mixed media nature-based work of Christine Aaron. The opening reception will be on Sunday, September 15th from 2pm to 4pm. The exhibitions run through October 26th.

Christine Aaron's new exhibit "Liminal States: Beneath the Surface" focuses on themes of memory, loss and the passage of time in this rich mixed media nature-based work. Trees serve as a metaphor for the cycle of life; symbols of dormancy, growth, strength and renewal. Metals are rusted and oxidized so that time itself becomes an integral part of the completed work.

“Mending Broken Limbs” by Norwalk artist, Amy Bilden

The themes for Norwalk artist, Amy Bilden's new exhibit, "Inheritance," revolve around domesticity, including topics such as identity, sexuality, gender, and care giving. Her tactile domestic inspired sculptures map the artist's emotional and physical space, using a monotonous process in which she connects her internal and external landscapes. Simple daily household tasks can prompt a current theme in her art making.

From the Group Show “Beyond the Book” featuring Kerry Brock (Weston, CT), Shiela Hale (Katonah, NY), Barbara Harder (New Haven, CT), Stephanie Joyce (New Canaan, CT), Elisa Khachian (Fairfield, CT), Claudia Mengel (Westport, CT), and Susan Newbold (Fairfield, CT)

The Guild Group show, "Beyond the Book," questions assumptions of what a book can be. Seven artists: Kerry Brock, Shiela Hale, Barbara Harder, Stephanie Joyce, Elisa Khachian, Claudia Mengel and Susan Newbold, use the concepts, craft and content of books as a springboard to create artworks that go beyond the book. Working individually and in collaborative conversations, employing a wide range of media, the group set out to explore and elaborate diverse pathways to and from the book. The result includes paintings, prints, drawings, sculpture and furniture.

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 acre campus, the center consists of a nationally renowned artist guild, award winning school of art offering multi-disciplinary art classes for all ages, an art and fine crafts shop and galleries, offering over twenty contemporary and historic exhibitions annually. The center also provides innovative free and subsidized arts education in Norwalk and Stamford schools through its outreach program, Art Partners; and hosts a lecture series, performances, and special programs throughout the year. Silvermine Arts Center is a nonprofit organization.

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:

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Old-Fashioned Flea Market at Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Sept. 15

If you like treasure hunts, the old-fashioned flea market taking place at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion located on 295 West Ave. in Norwalk in Mathews Park is an event that you won't want to miss. 

 The flea market is taking place on Sunday, September 15 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the grounds of the museum.

More than 80 vendors will be offering a variety of items from new to vintage, including antiques, repurposed furniture, collectibles, vintage jewelry, household items, clothing, and toys.  In addition, the Museum has donated 10 booths to area nonprofits that will exhibiting and be sharing their message with attendees.
While perusing the wares, shoppers will be able to view a display of antique and classic cars, have their children’s faces painted and enjoy hot dogs, hamburgers and pulled pork sandwiches at the all-American BBQ, courtesy of Michael Gilmartin Outdoor Cookers and Stew Leonard’s.  The Museum’s gift shop will also be open where shoppers can find fall-holiday items and other gifts such as vintage costume jewelry, porcelain teacups, and books on Victorian era art and architecture.  Proceeds from gift shop sales benefit the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum.

General admission to the event is free. The Museum will be open for mini-tours where guests are invited to walk throughout the Museum’s period rooms on the first floor and enjoy the beauty of the Victorian era building for  $5.  There will be docents available to answer any questions, and guests will have the chance to view the successful exhibit What Is It? Technologies and Discoveries of the Victorian Era that is closing October 6th.
About Lockwood Mathews Mansion
The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum is a National Historic Landmark.  Tours for the museum and exhibit are offered Wednesdays through Sundays, at noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m.  Admittance is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $6 for children.  Children under 8 are admitted free.  For more information, visit, e-mail, or call 203-838-9799.
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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Frolic at French Farm in Greenwich

French Farm - Greenwich Historical Society
French Farm on 516 Lake Ave. in Greenwich was the first property in the town to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975; and just recently it was designated as a Local Historic Property that will preserve it for future generations.  

Originally, the house was designed by H. VanBuren Magonigle and was built in 1911-1915 for Mary Billings French.  Today, this four-acre, 100 year old property has beautifully restored farm buildings and a rare plant collection that creates a series of distinctive gardens designed by late owner, David Wierdsma making this landscape a living work of art. Wierdsma inherited the property in 1972 and endeavored to preserve the original structures on the property and to create beautiful and whimsical gardens.

The farm is not always open to the public, however on Sunday, September 15, on behalf of the Greenwich Historical Society, the entire family is invited to visit French Farm for an afternoon of art and nature from 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., rain or shine.

This is the perfect place to celebrate the final days of summer and explore this unique private landscape that is part gentleman’s farm and part living work of art.  Kids will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with the farm’s animal occupants, enjoy a scavenger hunt, press cider, climb the “pterodactyl nest” tower, explore the fossil garden and enjoy nature crafts and activities on the lawn.

Adults have the option of two tours–one led by Florence Boogaerts, focusing on the horticultural aspects of the property; the other by farm manager Jacek Nidzgorski who will talk about the property’s cultural landscape, its collections and its origins and development. Artists are invited to set up their easels during the event, and photographers will be free to snap.

Buffet refreshments, served on the main lawn, will include an artisanal cheese board, seasonal bites and sweet and savory pastries, all created by celebrity chef John Barricelli of Sono Baking Company and Martha Stewart Everyday Cooking fame. Advanced reservations are required no later than September 11 and made be made

Admission to this event is $35 for adults, Children 4 to 12: $10. No charge for children 3 and under.

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