Thursday, April 30, 2015

Flanders Nature Center Botany Walks

Members of the Pomperaug Valley Garden Club will be offering the public guided strolls along Flanders’ award winning Botany Trail on the three Sunday afternoons of May 3, 10 and 17th.  Each program will begin at 2 PM.

The Botany Trail at Flanders Nature Center and Land Trust was developed and is maintained by the Pomperaug Valley Garden Club since 1965. The trail is a refuge for wildflowers and native plants that have been rescued from area development. The trail is approximately one mile in length and features gentle terrain suitable for any age level.  Since its inception, this Botany Trail had taken many awards and has delighted wild flowers enthusiasts. Flanders Botany Trail meanders through woodlands and fields and features more than 250 species of native perennials, trees, shrubs and ferns. It is at one of its loveliest times in the spring when there are over 150 wildflowers on the trail blooming at different times.

The walks are offered free of charge to the public but donations are welcomed. The group will meet in the Flanders Sugar House parking lot, which is located off Church Hill Road, approximately 1/4 mile from the intersection of Flanders and Church Hill Roads in Woodbury.  In the event of rain that day’s walk will be cancelled. For further information, call Flanders at 203-263-3711, ext. 10 or at

For area information

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Two Mothers Day Ideas at McLaughlin Vineyards

McLaughlin Vineyard located on 14 Albert's Hill Road, in  Sandy Hook has two festive events of special note planned in May, just in time for Mothers Day
On May 2 from 2:30 p.m. - 4 p.m., local artist Kelly Makuch of Kelly Makuch Studio joins event participants at the vineyard once again to help them create a whimsical wine bottle wind chime to adorn your summer garden while tasting wine. This could also be a unique gift for Mothers Day.

Making wine bottle windchimes is an easy, fun and imaginative process that doesn't involve any glass cutting. All materials will be provided for you to complete your summer wind chimes. You can choose to follow design inspirations provided or bring your own beads and other creative components to build upon the design that will  give your chime its' own artistic signature!
If you don't have any personal embellishments to bring, no worries, there are additional options such as fused glass and other whimsical items that will be available for purchase. This event is limited to 20 participants and the cost, including wine-tasting is $45. Reservations are required.

On Mother's Day, May 9, McLaughlin Vineyards is hosting a jazzy Brunch n' Lunch from 11 am - 4 pm. Music is provided by Gomez and Sadlon known for their smooth jazz expressions and brunch is provided by an award winning local catering company. Reservations are required. 
Visit to reserve your space for both events.  For more event information

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Greenwich Film Festival June 4-7

The Greenwich Film Festival is taking place this year on June 4 - June 7 and will kick off with the premiere screening of Colin Hanks' directorial debut ALL THINGS MUST PASS. Following the screening, U.S. Trust will host the Opening Night Party at Restoration Hardware on Greenwich Avenue. The Bill & Anne Bresnan Social Impact Award will be announced at the reception, where GIFF board member Jenna Bush Hager will serve as Master of Ceremonies.

ALL THING MUST PASS is an inside look at the rise and fall of the once ubiquitous Tower Records. How could a business go from a net worth of 1 billion dollars to complete bankruptcy in just 5 years? Colin Hanks' directorial debut examines this question and more, tracking the meteoric rise and tragic fall of the Tower Records empire and its tight-knit staff whose bond proved stronger than its fate. This sentimental and richly woven documentary is equal parts nostalgia and powerful, weaving stories of the employees who started the first store in Sacramento with the failures that led to its crash. The film features interviews with Russ Solomon, Stan Goman, Heidi Cotler, Mark Viducich, Dave Grohl, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen and David Geffen.
The full program of films, panels and special events will be announced by GIFF in the coming weeks. Passes are currently available for purchase and tickets will be on sale starting May 1 at
About the Greenwich International Film Festival
The Greenwich International Film Festival (GIFF) is a non-profit organization that will celebrate film and the visual arts in Greenwich, CT, June 4th through 7th, 2015. GIFF was founded by Carina Crain, Colleen deVeer, and Wendy Stapleton Reyes to bridge the worlds of film, finance, and philanthropy. The Festival's mission is to provide filmmakers the opportunity to showcase their work with the goal of finding financing and distribution. Additionally, GIFF will harness the power of film to support UNICEF'S OneMinutesJr program with a percentage of funds raised to support their 2015 charity partner. Learn more at:
For more information, visit

Monday, April 27, 2015

Va Va Vroom! The Art of the Vehicle @ the Carriage Barn Arts Center

The Carriage Barn Arts Center celebrates artists’ captivation with the romance, power and styling of motoring vehicles in its Va Va Vroom! The Art of the Vehicle exhibition at its Waveny Park gallery, 681 South Avenue, New Canaan, CT.  The show, on view from Sunday, April 19 through Sunday, June 14, 2015, features contemporary paintings, drawings, photographs and sculptures by 35 artists from Connecticut and New York as well as vintage advertising posters, motorcycles and car models.  Curated by Marianne Brunson Frisch, an art and automobile curatorial and public relations professional, the display highlights the reciprocal influence of both realms of creative expression.

The theme of the show was conceived as a way to educate visitors about the rich heritage of Waveny and the original function of the Carriage Barn. 
Waveny is long familiar with vehicles, being embraced by the Lewis Lapham family, who built their home on the 480-acre countryside property in 1912.  The 1895 Carriage Barn, which was restored by the Laphams in 1913, originally housed horses, carriages, and cars.  These included their stylish and expensive French 1903-04 Charron, Girardot et Voight touring car.  Son Jack Lapham, his wife and their four children were pilots, landing their planes on the Waveny fields.  Jack Lapham flew his two-seater Spartan biplane to Waveny from their Texas home in 1928, quite an impressive accomplishment at the time.  The exhibit includes early photographs documenting their feats.  
Automobiles, motorcycles, bicycles and planes are evocative muses for fine artists.  Symbols of freedom and fantasy, emblems of power and beauty, these “rolling sculptures” have sparked our collective imaginations.  Works in all media focus on the various modes of transportation, from the past to the present.  Max Itin’s Fins photographic study of a 1959 Cadillac Eldorado iconizes this symbol of 1950s American automobile design.  Miggs Burrough’s Indian lenticular photograph merges two images that alternate as the viewer passes by, conveying adventures from the motorcycle’s storied past. The masterfully rendered Radial Engine pencil drawing by Andre Junget details the elegant craftsmanship of a vintage airplane.  Alan Sosnowicz and Ken Scaglia draw and paint reverent portraits of cars, spotlighting their signature features.  David Barnett’s fanciful flying contraptions are intricately composed of extraordinary found materials.
The drama of motorcar and motorcycle racing is captured in the graphically charged prints and advertising posters by mid-20th-century French illustrator Geo Ham on loan from Doug Zumbach.  Ham’s dynamic compositions heightened the excitement for motoring and aviation competitions, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Monaco Grand Prix.  The photographer Louis Klemantaski, whose works are archived in the Klemantaski Collection, chronicled the European motor racing circuits from 1936-74.  He strategically positioned himself to capture the height of action, creating photographs that embody the spirit of the sport. 
Vintage motorcycles take the stage with three bikes from the collection of New Canaan-resident Buzz Kanter.  These two-wheeled sculptures include a British 1930s JAP racer, an American 1947 Indian Chief and a 1970s custom “street tracker” Harley-Davidson Ironhead Sportster.  Together with a 1915 Harley-Davidson motor and early racing posters, these works demonstrate the inventive ingenuity of engineering and design.
Information about the exhibition, symposium and related programs is available at or phone 203-972-1895.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Lockwood Mathews Mansion Open for the 2015 Season

Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, 295 West Avenue, Norwalk, CT. This Gilded Age Conservatory, with its ribbed half glass dome and Minton tiles, is a great example of early domestic conservatory architecture in the United States. 

Accessed directly from the Library, this small yet distinctive glass room has been brought to life with a rich installation of silk plants designed by Danna DiElsi of the Silk Touch, and pots and furnishings of the era. The Conservatory provides a glimpse into the beauty and diversity of, and passion for, the plant world as seen through the vision of the original owners of the Mansion.  Visitors can also take guided tours that showcase the decorative botanical details of architect Detlef Lienau's original mansion design and view displays of selected artifacts throughout the museum from LMMM collections of--dresses, fashion accessories, silver, ceramics, books and more-- with motifs inspired by flora and fauna. 

On April 9, 2015, 12-4pm a new exhibition entitled, Full Bloom: The Artist’s View on Gilded Age Botanicals, in collaboration with Center for Contemporary Printmaking (CCP), opened at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, 295 West Avenue, Norwalk, CT.  This exhibition explores the beauty and relevance of botanical art, through the medium of printmaking, in connection with the newly refurbished Conservatory.   Curated by Trustee Gail Ingis-Claus, this exhibition includes renowned printmakers and members of CCP, Margot Rocklen, who began making prints at Carnegie Mellon University, Betty Ball, Jane Cooper, Deidre de Waal, Sheila Fane, Sally Frank, Cynthia MacCollum, Joan Potkay, Eve Stockton and Ruth Kalla Ungerer.  The works included cover a variety of techniques including: etching, monotype, intaglio, woodblock, and solarplate, to name a few.  The exhibition will run through May 3, 2015.

General Admission April 9 through May 3, 12-4 p.m.: $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $6, 8-18. The exhibit, Full Bloom: The Artist’s View on Gilded Age Botanicals is sponsored in part by Investmark. The Museum’s 2015 cultural and  educational programs are made possible in part by generous funding from LMMM’s Founding Patrons: The Estate of Mrs. Cynthia Clark Brown, and the Museum’s Distinguished Benefactors: Klaff’s and The Maurice Goodman Foundation.

The restoration of the Conservatory was made possible in part by the Norwalk Historical Commission and the City of  Norwalk.  The Conservatory exhibit curated by Kathie Bennewitz is sponsored in part by Paul and Hadley Veeder and the LMMM Foundation. The Conservatory exhibit opens on April 8 and runs through Jan. 3. General Admission: $10 for adults, $8 for Seniors, $6, 8-18.
For more information

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Minute Man Day in Westport

For 105 years Westport's Minute Man Monument has honored the heroism of local patriots who took up their own arms in "a minute's notice" to defend their country when British forces invaded Connecticut on April 25, 1777.
On Sunday April 26th, let's come together on Minute Man Day as a community to celebrate Westport's iconic, newly restored Minute Man Monument, whose bronze patriot with a muzzleloader in hand waits and eyes peeled, for British troops. The day will provide people of all ages opportunities to explore Westport's colorful history through engaging activities sponsored by Westport Historical Society, Westport Library and Westport Young Woman's League.
The day starts in the morning with the 37th Annual Minute Man Race, which begins and ends at Compo Beach. From 10 am to 5 pm at Jesup Green, you can visit a recreated Revolutionary War militia encampment. Next, join the Westport Historical Society at Ned Dimes Marina, Compo Beach, for a guided walking tour to the Minute Man Monument. Afterwards, spend the afternoon at the Westport Library where, beginning at 2:30pm, you can learn how Francis Miller of ConserveArt, LLC restored the Monument, and hear Ed Hynes present an engaging interpretation of the April 1777 battle.

Minute Man Day Events
8:30 am: Minute Man Race, Compo Beach
For information, race times and registration, visit
The WYWL will celebrate its 37th Minute Man Race on Sunday. This is a 5K and 10K Race that begins and ends at Compo Beach. There is also a kid's fun run held on the baseball field at the beach. It's fun for the whole family and a great way to welcome spring.
Race Start times
8:30AM – Kids' Fun Run (on field w/basketball courts near marina)
8:30AM – 5K Run/Walk
8:40AM – 10K Run
11 am- 5 pm: Sons of the American Revolution Encampment, Jesup Green
Encampment - Free
Jesup Green: Visit a recreated Revolutionary militia encampment and learn about the American Revolution from CT Society of the Sons of the American Revolution Color Guards who will perform musket firing demonstrations. For information,
Noon -2 pm: Minute Man Walking Tours, Ned Dimes Marina, Compo Beach
Rain or shine; No dogs permitted
Advance reservations encouraged: Westport Historical Society, call 203-222-1424
Tours leave every 15 minutes: Noon; 12:15; 12:30; 12:45; 1:00; 1:15; 1:30; and 1:45
$10 donation for Adults; Youth, 12 and under free; Payments may be made at the Historical Society or on site.
(Net proceeds will be donated to the ongoing care of the monument.)
Meet at the Ned Dimes Marina at Compo Beach for a 25-minute docent-led talk on the history of the Minute Man, with a stop at the Revolutionary War cemetery. Inside Ned Dimes Marina, visitors can wait for tour to begin, watch I Love Lucy's famous last episode featuring The Minute Man, read information on the monument, and kids can enjoy Minute Man activities.
Parking is located in a designated area within the gates at Compo Beach and the adjacent parking lot. You do not need a beach sticker; parking is free.
Handicap Drop-off: at The Minute Man Monument, with police presence
2:30–4:00 pm: Minute Man Lectures, McManus Room, Westport Library
Town Curator, Kathie Bennewitz introduces the program and how The Minute Man became a town symbol; learn how Francis Miller of ConserveArt, LLC restored The Minute Man, H. Daniel Webster's life-sized figure commissioned by the State of Connecticut and the Sons of the American Revolution and dedicated on June 17, 1910.
History Storyteller Ed Hynes will present an interpretation of the Danbury Raid. Hynes first became interested in the raid as a child when he learned his neighbor's house was partially burned by the British during the raid. On April 25, 1777, Tryon's forces landed on what is now Westport's Compo Beach. As the British marched to Danbury the Patriots mustered their forces under the command of Major Gen. David Wooster and Brigadier Generals Benedict Arnold and Gold Selleck Silliman. What happens next to the British on their four-day raid and to the Patriots in their attempt to deny them safe return to their ships is a white-knuckle story of the men fighting for their lives and their countries. For information,

Monday, April 20, 2015

"Leitmotif" at Good News Cafe in Woodbury CT

Artist Katie Danahay Samuelson's new show "Leitmotif" will be  on view through June 2nd, 2015 at Good News Café & Gallery, 694 Main Street South in Woodbury.

Katie Danahay Samuelson's artist statement expresses that her recent work continues the exploration of dark vs light, while at the same time exploring the nature of the paint medium itself. The paint is both manipulated and allowed to run free, to create shapes
and colors as it flows and mixes. Use of thinned paint creates both drips and broad fields of color, some with hard edges and some that are soft. Colors blend and overlap, creating new and complex colors. Thicker paint strokes give weight and clarity to some of the shapes. Graphite and oil pastels are sometimes used to add line and texture.
While the forms suggest cityscapes or landscapes, they are intentionally vague and melt into the light around them. Light colors contrast with darks, suggesting conflict, yet the light dominates and creates a sense of optimism and possibility. The intent is to engage the viewer's imaginations and memories as they connect with the images in their own personal way.
Good News Café & Gallery is open from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily; closed Tuesdays and open from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday's. For more information visit
For more event information

Friday, April 17, 2015

Gershwin celebration set for April 26

A recital and workshop for children celebrating the iconic musical book of George Gershwin has been arranged for April 26 (Sunday) at the Greenwich Arts Council (299 Greenwich Ave.), starting at 4 p.m. "Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue" has been assembled by Naomi Onda, a piano teacher and composer at the Riverside School of Music who recently moved to Cos Cob from New York City.
Pianist Naomi Onda

The presentation showcases the musical talent of Onda, saxophonist Yuto Mitomi, vocalist Nagisa Karia and dancer Honomi Kuwana, all of New York City. As part of the workshop, youngsters get the opportunity to dance under Kuwana's tutelage.
Gershwin's place in the American musical mosaic is also to be reviewed by Valerie Cella, a student at Greenwich High School. Admission is $10, payable at the door.
Onda has been a teacher at the Riverside school since 2008, the year her CD "From Manhattan" was distributed globally. She was three when she started playing the piano and attended Osaka University in her native Japan where she composed music for television. She also composed music for the New York Men's Choir since immigrating to the U.S. in 2004.
Saxophonist Yuto Mitomi

Mitomi, the saxophonist, also plays clarinet and flute and composes and arranges jazz. He has performed across the tristate area and his debut album, "At The Park," is scheduled for release this year. He took up the saxophone in junior high school in Japan and also studied at City College of New York. The vocalist, Karia, majored in music at Senzoku Gakuen College in Japan and has appeared as a jazz singer at the Rockwood Music Hall in New York City.
Dancer Honomi Kuwana

Kuwana is associated with New York's Vissi Dance Theater and Phyllis Rose Dance Company and has appeared with the Cirque de Soleil and at the Apollo Theater. She studied at the Joffrey Ballet School and was a first-place winner in the House Dance International last year. Her dance repertoire extends over jazz, hip-hop, the Gyrokineis method of movement and even capoeira, Brazilian martial arts.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Flanders Nature Center Holding Woodcarving Demonstration

On Sunday, April 19 members of the Connecticut Woodcarvers Association will be bringing their expertise to Flanders Nature Center to hold a demonstration on the craft of woodcarving. People will have the opportunity to meet and watch these award winning wood artists at work. They will be sharing their knowledge and love of their craft and providing tips and techniques on the carving of walking sticks, sculpture and more.

This program is best suited for adults and older children although well supervised younger children are also welcome.

The sticks used for carving that day will all be sustainably harvested from Flanders properties. There will be a display of member’s previously carved pieces as well as some items for purchase.

The program will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the grounds of the Flanders Sugar House  located  a quarter mile from the intersection of Flanders and Church Hill Roads in Woodbury.  The event will be moved inside in the case of inclement weather.

The fee for the demonstration workshop is $5/members and $10 non-members. Pre-registration is required.

Those interested can register online at or call (203) 263-3711 Ext. 10 for more information.
For a full listing of all the programs for kids and adults coming up at Flanders Nature Center & Land Trust visit the website.  For more area information