Thursday, January 30, 2014

Litchfield Hills Winter Wine Trail

The "Winter Wine Trail" was started in 2009 by a group of farm wineries to show off the beauty of the Litchfield Hills in the winter and to remind consumers that Connecticut wineries in the hills are open year-round.

 The customers are given a "Trail Card" that lists the six participating wineries and upon visiting each winery the card is then stamped. Once stamped by all six wineries, completed cards are then handed into the wineries and entered into a drawing for prizes. The drawing will take place early April 2014.

The participating wineries for this season are:

DiGrazia Vineyards  located on 131 Tower Road in Brookfield was founded in 1978 with the planting of a  forty-five acre vineyard. The winery was founded in 1984, with an initial release of four brands of wine. Over 15 wines are offered, ranging from dry to sweet, using estate grown grapes, local fruit and honey. DiGrazia Vineyards grows premium French Hybrid grape varieties exclusively.

Haight-Brown Vineyard  is located on 29 Chestnut Hill Rd. in Litchfield. More than two decades ago, Haight Vineyard planted Chardonnay and Riesling on the slopes of the Litchfield Hills, near the historic town of Litchfield. In 1978, the State Legislature passed a Farm Winery Act and Haight Vineyard became Connecticut's first established winery. The Haight-Brown Vineyard and Winery is situated on ten pastoral acres, representative of a New England farm winery. The Tasting Room includes a custom built wine bar for tasting each of the nine vintages, guided by the knowledge of educated and friendly staff, an upstairs patio and downstairs terrace for sipping wine on lazy summer days, and two stone fireplaces for lingering during chilly ones. 

Hopkins Vineyard is located on 25 Hopkins Rd. in New Preston and is set on the northern shore of Lake Waramaug.  Hopkins Vineyard is a family-owned Connecticut Century Farm, that proudly maintains a tradition of making fine wines of award-winning quality. In 1787 Elijah Hopkins, returning from the Revolutionary War, chose this rich and fertile site on Lake Waramaug to settle his family and start the Hopkins Farm. The unique location of Hopkins Vineyard makes it the only vineyard in Connecticut with a microclimate influenced by an inland lake; this allows an extended growing season and successful growing of grape varieties, which ordinarily would not thrive, in our northeastern climate. Classic grape varieties are grown on 30 acres adjacent to the winery.

Jerram Winery is located on 535 Town Hill Rd.  in New Hartford and is a small vineyard that was planted in 1982.  The conversion of an old horse barn and an impossible dream led to the opening of the winery in 1998. Located in the historic Town Hill section of New Hartford at an elevation of 1000 feet, the vineyards enjoy a longer growing season that enables the vines to produce well-matured grapes and wines of complexity and enjoyment.  The winery is situated among vineyards and gardens with patios and decks for guests to relax and enjoy a glass of wine with a picnic lunch. Tasting and tours are available. Currently, eleven wines are in production, both white and red ranging from very dry to sweet; pure varietals and a variety of blends.

Miranda Vineyard is located on 42 Ives Rd. in Goshen and was planted in 2001. Miranda was first opened to the public May of 2007. Its bright and airy tasting room and large exterior deck make an excellent place to sit, relax, have a glass of wine and enjoy the company of good friends. The Vineyard is two hours from New York City and only an hour from the Hartford area. A visit to the area with its famous autumn foliage, historic sights and many wineries makes a great day trip or romantic weekend getaway. Vintner, Manny Miranda, has taken Old World techniques passed down through his family for generations and perfected them by applying the latest modern technological advances. The results are handcrafted, small batch wines for the discerning connoisseur. 

Sunset Meadow Vineyards is located on 599 Old Middle Street in Goshen several miles from the center of Litchfield. Originally a working farm purchased in 1996 by George and Judy Motel, Sunset Meadow Farm, as it was known, raised beef cattle and hay. In 2003 Sunset Meadow Vineyards was established. Overlooking the captivating sunsets of the Litchfield Hills, the vineyards lie on 50 acres of rich and fertile soil that has a long tradition of agriculture dating back to the 1800's.  The vines here are hand pruned, hand harvested and maintained with extreme precision. Visitors can take a step into the past while enjoying the warm and friendly atmosphere of the historic tasting room. The winery is located inside a 1800s German Bank Barn that has been used to support the properties numerous agricultural operations over the years.

Each winery is required to be open from December through March, with their hours posted on the trail card.

Prizes for this year's wine trail includes:

An overnight stay and breakfast for two at the Interlaken Country Inn and Resort, located in scenic Lakeville Connecticut 

A  5 hour, 6 passenger limo tour to wineries by Gateway Limousines, located in Waterbury, CT  

Two tickets to a concert at Infinity Hall, in Norfolk CT.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Inside the Artists’ Studios at the Bruce Museum

If you have ever wished you could observe artists engaged in the process of creation, Inside the Artists’ Studios presented by the Bruce Museum on One Museum Drive in Greenwich allows you to explore the individual investigations and analyses of four artists through their paintings, prints, photographs and three-dimensional miniature constructions.  This exhibit runs through March 9 and features a Guide-by-Cell Audio Tour that is free of charge and may be accessed simply by using your cell phone. 

The artists participating are well known and bring special skills to this exhibit.

Perspective Box
Jimmy Sanders (American, b. 1963) Perspective Box, 2007
Wood, oil paint, 28 x 36 x 28 in.
New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT Photo courtesy of Hirschl & Adler Modern, New York 
Jimmy Sanders, for example  has been influenced by the work of 17th-century Dutch painters, most notably in his Perspective Box, Studio in Florence, which he modeled after his own Florentine studio. Sanders traveled in Europe in the late ‘90s and, after seeing Hoogstraten’s A Peepshow with Views of the Interior of a Dutch House (c. 1655-60; The National Gallery, London), was inspired to create a contemporary version of this Old Master creation.

Lori Nix Studio
Lori Nix (American, b. 1969) Lori Nix Studio, 2013 Chromogenic print, 42 x 69 in. Courtesy of the Artist
© Lori Nix 
Describing herself as a “non-traditional photographer,” Lori Nix constructs her sets and then photographs them. After photographing the “scene” she has laboriously constructed, Nix dismantles the diorama, leaving the photograph as the ultimate creative object. Her latest project is a self-reflective examination of her own crowded living/work space.
ack the Dripper
Joe Fig (American, b. 1968)
Jack the Dripper, 2006
Cibachrome print, Ed. of 10, 16 x 20 in.
Courtesy of the Artist and the Tierney Gardarin Gallery, New York 
Examinations of artists’ working lives also inform the pieces created by Joe Fig. Like Haas, 
Fig moved to the representation of contemporary artists’ spaces, interviewing artists before recreating their studios in miniature. Fig’s intimate views clearly appeal to the viewer’s desire to sneak a peek into the artistic process of artists such as Chuck Close, Ross Bleckner, Eric Fischl, April Gornik, Bill Jensen, Ryan McGinness, Philip Pearlstein, James Siena and Joan Snyder.

he Art of Painting
Richard Haas (American, b. 1936)
The Art of Painting a.k.a.The Allegory of Painting, 1968-69 Wood, cardboard, cloth, paper, acrylic, pencil, masonite, lights, 221/2 x221/2x221/2in.
Courtesy of the Artist
Art © Richard Haas/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY 

Richard Haas began exploring the artist’s studio environment in the 1960s. He started with iconic masters, then moved into creating dioramic boxes of his contemporaries’ studios – including Jackson Pollock and Franz Kline – as well as views from his own 12-foot studio windows in New York’s then-gritty and industrial SoHo.

About the Bruce Museum: Explore Art and Science at the Bruce Museum, located at One Museum Drive in Greenwich, Connecticut. The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday from 1 pm to 5 pm; closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for students up to 22 years, $6 for seniors and free for members and children under 5 years. Individual admission is free on Tuesday. Free on-site parking is available and the Museum is accessible to individuals with disabilities.  For additional information, call the Bruce Museum at (203) 869-0376 or visit the website at

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Friday, January 24, 2014

“On The Wire: Veiled Rebellion” An exhibition at the Westport Arts Center

Lynsey Addario On the Wire
Lynsey Addario uses her camera to speak for the people she photographs. She documents the issues and events on the periphery of war, capturing the emotions as a way to draw in the viewer. Ms. Addario, who is a Westport native and Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, has traveled to war torn countries such as Afghanistan, Sudan, and Libya, to focus her lens on the effects of war. 

Her stunning photographs will be featured in “On The Wire: Veiled Rebellion” this winter at the Westport Arts Center. This exquisite exhibition will showcase 34 color photographs by Ms. Addario, depicting the plight of women in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. Throughout her numerous visits, Ms. Addario has trained a close eye through her lens on women’s lives in all areas of Afghan society: culture, politics, education, employment, and domestic life. “Veiled Rebellion” was originally published in National Geographic in December 2010.

Ms. Addario has traveled throughout Afghanistan to capture the images featured in “On The Wire: Veiled Rebellion.” Her photographs explore the differences of the lives of women living within the same country. The series depicts births and operations in a hospital in Faizabad, women graduating from Kabul University, and female boxers training for the 2012 Summer Olympics. She has traveled with mobile health clinics, American soldiers, and Abiba Sarabi, the only female governor in Afghanistan. Several of her photographs detail the training of Afghan women by Italian Carabinieri to become police officers. In the photographs, the women shoot AMD-65 rifles at a firing range. Few Afghan women train to be police, about 700 out of 100,000, but their presence is welcome, as many men cannot perform certain tasks due to Islamic custom, such as frisking other women.

Ms. Addario, who is now based in London, England, grew up in Westport, CT and is a graduate of Staples High School. She photographs for The New York TimesNational Geographic, and Time Magazine. She was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship, also known as the 'Genius Grant,' in 2009 and, along with a team from the New York Times, won the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting for her photographs in “Talibanistan,” in 2008. Her passion for photography has sent her all over the world and placed in her the middle of several wars. In 2011, Lynsey and fellow Westport native and international photographer Tyler Hicks were kidnapped in Libya with two other journalists, Stephen Farrell, and the late Anthony Shadid. The four co-wrote an article for The New York Times detailing their time as captives. While covering the Libyan revolution they were captured outside of Ajdabiya by soldiers loyal to Muammar Qaddafi and held captive for several days.

Visitors to the Westport Arts Center can hear Lynsey Addario speak about her work on January 25th, 2014 from 3 - 5pm where she will discuss topics presented in the exhibition. The opening reception for “On the Wire: Veiled Rebellion” will be held at the Westport Arts Center on January 24, 2014 from 6-8pm.

For more information visit For area information

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Silvermine Arts Center Annual Guild Members Exhibit through Feb. 16

The Silvermine Arts Center located on 1037 Silvermine Road in New Canaan Connecticut is hosting the the highly anticipated annual New Guild Members show, plus the work of Lifetime Guild Artist member, Jens Risom, and the Gabor Peterdi International Print Collection.

“Death of the Prince, Richard III” by Fritz Brosius from the Gabor Peterdi International Print Collection
In 2012, Silvermine Galleries officially named its print collection The Gabor Peterdi International Print Collection, in honor of Silvermine’s print collection founder, Gabor Peterdi. Having started the printmaking department at Yale University, Peterdi established the National Print Biennial competition at Silvermine in 1956.  The juried exhibitions, the Arts Center established the foundation of a permanent print collection through the acquisition of juror purchase awards.  In subsequent years, additional prints were added to the collection via donations and bequests.  The recent efforts have enabled the Galleries to conserve the collection, while actively growing its holdings.

The past year, The Gabor Peterdi International Print Collection received, several significant donations to the collection; including works by such renowned artists as Josef Albers, purchased with funds honoring the late Guild Member, Tina Rohrer; a Robert Cottingham screened print; and a Gabor Peterdi Print donated by the Gabor Peterdi Estate.   This year’s exhibition will feature recent acquisitions of prints by Fritz Brosius, Alexander Calder, James Flora, Charles Hinman, Liliana Porter, and a print attributed to Salvador Dali; and  a selection of other highlights from the collection.

Stool made of birch wood and parachute straps by Jens Rison (resident of New Canaan) from his exhibit “The Answer is Risom”

Silvermine Arts Center is honored to showcase the works of Jens Risom (b. 1916), an icon of Danish American furniture design, and a Silvermine Guild Member since the 1950’s.  The upcoming exhibit “The Answer is Risom,” will feature several of Mr. Risom’s signature furniture designs along with original drawings and other historical items from an influential career that has spanned over 70 years. Although he learned the trade in Denmark (he trained at the Copenhagen School of Industrial Arts and Design), he is often counted among the American designers who were shaping postwar design, and indeed his most important contributions to the modern style were made after his emigration here in 1939.  Mr. Risom’s commitment to design also extended to his advertising. One of the more notable examples, a series of ads he did in the 1960’s with famed fashion photographer, Richard Avedon will be included in the exhibition.   Throughout the decades, Risom's work has continued to reflect our human need for warmth, beauty, and simplicity. 

For more information on upcoming exhibits and events, visit our website at or call 203-966-9700, ext. 20. For information on Fairfield County Connecticut

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.