September 4, 2015

St. John’s Hosts Huge Rummage Sale, Oct. 16 & 17

Glasses galore!  All available for purchase at the Rummage sale.

Glasses galore! All available for purchase at the Rummage sale.

ESSEX — Another year has rolled on by and now it’s time again for the much anticipated Rummage Sale at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Essex.

The Sale will be on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 16 and 17 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  It is a huge sale with way too many items to list – everything from furniture, household appliances, books, clothing, electrical appliances, tools, etc.  Hundreds of items are priced under $10.

The finest jewelry is yours for a (very small) fee!

The finest jewelry is yours for a (very small) fee!

Rummage_Sale_2015_posterYou can find the perfect outfit in our Boutique, where the clothing is chic and stylish. “Essex Attic” has many exceptional treasures and cool costume jewelry.  The Silent Auction is full of unique and special items waiting for your bid.

Cider and donuts will be available, and on Saturday there will also be a bake sale, plus hot dogs!

The Church is located at the corner of Main & Cross Streets, Essex, CT 06426 – opposite the park.

For more information, call the church office at 860-767-8095.

Discuss Harper Lee’s New Book at Chester Library, Sept. 29 & Oct. 6

harper-lee-go-set-a-watchman-cover-leadCHESTER — Chester Library will be hosting a discussion of Harper Lee’s newly published Go Set a Watchman this fall.

Whether you are satisfied with this new book written by the author of the universally loved To Kill a Mockingbird or profoundly disappointed, everyone would agree with book discussion leader Marsha Bansavage, “There is much to explore, share and discuss.”

Two discussion evenings are scheduled, on Tuesdays, Sept. 29, and Oct. 6, at the Chester Library.

Bansavage, an educator who has led book discussions at the library for several years, added, “Our discussion will explore the journey of how and why Go Set a Watchman became To Kill a Mockingbird.  Written first, Go Set a Watchman contrasts with and complements Mockingbird.  We will explore how and why Go Set a Watchman was written, what themes (not just racial, but socio-economic and gender) are developed, what characters changed or stayed the same in treatment, and  how the town of Maycomb again becomes larger than life in our consciousness.”

Chester Library owns the novel in several formats, regular and large print, recorded and electronic, if you need to borrow a copy. Additional copies are needed, however, to fill the need for our discussion, so if you have your own copy,  that would be very helpful.

The discussion will take place on Sept. 29 and Oct. 6 from 7:30 to 9 p.m.  Sign up is required and space is limited. Call the library at 860-526-0018 or register online by going to the library page at

LVVS Welcomes New School Year with ‘Back to School Reading’ Promotion in September

AREAWIDE — Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore (LVVS) is welcoming the school year with its September Book Promotion “Back to School Reading”.  Whether your student has a monthly reading quota, book report or just enjoys the company of a good book, LVVS has the variety of popular contemporary or classics selections they are seeking.

Many teachers come to the book store for substantial savings as teachers often use their own money to supplement desired materials and supplies.

Children’s book prices range from $0.50-$1.

Literacy Volunteers’ book store is centrally located in downtown Westbrook on the lower level of the Westbrook Library, 61 Goodspeed Drive. Look for the roadside sign on Route 1.

For more information, visit or call 860-399-0280. Book sale hours are Mon-Thurs 9-2 and every 1st and 3rd Sat. 10-noon and benefit LVVS tutoring programs.

Ivoryton Playhouse Hosts Christmas Musical Auditions, Sept. 17

IVORYTON —  The Ivoryton Playhouse will be holding local auditions for non-Equity actors for I’ll be Home for Christmas – a Christmas musical by Tony Javed and David Edwards on Thursday, Sept. 17 from 5 to 9 p.m. at Rehearsal Studio, 22 Main St., Centerbrook, CT 06409.

The Playhouse is looking for strong singers for these parts:

Debbie – the mom – plays 30s-40s, soprano mix

Ray – the dad – plays 30s-40s, baritone

Grandma – plays 60s-80s, mezzo/mix

Shirley – mom’s friend, plays 30s-40s, mezzo/belt

Jay – dad’s school chum, plays 30s-40s, baritone/tenor

Jenna – the college-age daughter, soprano/belt

Jeffrey  –  son -plays early 20s, bari/tenor

Celine  – child, middle-school age, treble

James – child, plays grade school, treble

All auditions are by appointment and actors should bring a picture and resume. More information is available on line

For audition appointments, call 860-767-9520, ext.203

Essex Library Offers Yoga Intro in Community Wellness Series, Sept. 26

Grace Osora Erhart will teach an introductory yoga class Sept. 26 at Essex Library.

Grace Osora Erhart will teach an introductory yoga class Sept. 26 at Essex Library.

Are you interested in feeling calmer and less stressed?  Want to strengthen and tone your body and improve your posture?  Are you interested in learning about yoga but don’t know where to begin?

Essex Library’s Community Wellness Series continues oIntron Saturday, Sept. 26, from 10:30 a.m. to noon with yoga instructor Grace Osora-Erhart, RN, RYT 500.

She will introduce the practice of Hatha Yoga for anyone wishing to begin or learn more — bring your questions. Osora-Erhart will offer an optional experience of some yoga postures (exercises) along with yoga breathing and deep relaxation.  You may bring a mat if you wish to participate.

This is a perfect opportunity for anyone thinking about starting to practice yoga.  If you have ever gone into a yoga class and are not sure how to begin, Osora-Erhart will explain different types of yoga classes, what to look for in a teacher that will suit your needs, and how to protect yourself against injury.

A yoga instructor for more than 25 years, Osora-Erhart is also a registered nurse. She received her Yoga Teaching Certification from The Kripalu Center in Pottsville Pa., where she worked with Don Stapleton and Yogi Amrit Desai.  She complemented her skills with training in yoga and massage therapy at The Kripalu Center in Lennox, Mass.

This program is free and open to the public.

For more information and to register for this program, call (860) 767-1560. The Essex Library is located at 33 West Avenue in Essex.

Acton Library Announces Fall Program of Children’s Story Times

The Fall Session of drop-in Story Times at Acton Public Library will begin the week of Tuesday, Sept. 8 and end on Friday, Dec. 11. All programs are free and open to all. No registration is required.

All story times are drop-in, free and open to all. No registration is required. Although each program is designed for the specific developmental needs of its intended age group, siblings are welcome to attend with their parent or caregiver.

Story Time Goals are:

  • To foster a love of language and books.
  • To develop early literacy with stories, movement, and music.
  • To provide young children with an early group experience.
  • To foster parent connections through shared story and play experiences.

Details of each program are given below:


Wednesday mornings

10:30 – 11:00 a.m.

Drop in and share stories, songs and simple rhymes together. A program for children             age 0 – 2 and their families. Stay and socialize after the story time with our special toddler toys.


Wednesday mornings 

11:00 – 11:30 a.m.

Expand your baby’s story time experience with a 1/2 hour of social time immediately following Wiggle Bookworms. Parents and caregivers can mingle as babies enjoy social play with toys provided by the Library.


Thursday evenings

6:30 – 7:00 p.m. 

Wear your pajamas to this drop-in evening story time with simple craft.                                     For kids ages 2-6 with their families .


Friday mornings:

10:00 – 10:30 a.m.

A drop in preschool story time for children ages 3-5. Have fun sharing stories, music and a craft together. (A special Music with Miss Martha will take place on the 3rd Friday of every month. See below.)


3rd Friday of every month

10:00 – 10:45 a.m.

Sept. 18; Oct. 16; Nov. 20 and Dec. 18.

Join Miss Martha from the Community Music School for a special musical story time! Ages 3-5.


Acton Library Hosts ‘Six Friday Flicks’ Through Fall, Starting Sept. 11

OLD SAYBROOK — The Acton Public Library in Old Saybrook will be hosting ‘Six Friday Flicks’ this fall at 1 p.m. in the Grady Thomas Room.

The Hundred-Foot Journey will be shown on Sept. 11

Somewhere in Time will be shown on Sept. 25

Far From the Madding Crowd will be shown on Oct. 9

Three Days of the Condor will be shown on Oct.  23

Saving Mr. Banks will be shown on Nov.  13

Finding Neverland will be shown on Dec. 11

For more information, call The Acton Library at 860-395-3184, or visit the library during regular hours: Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. – 8:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Oct – May on Sundays 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. or visit online at .

Ramanauskas of Ivoryton is September’s ‘Artist of the Month’ at Marshview Gallery

'Vernal Pool' by Dalia Ramanauskas is one of the signature paintings of the artist's show at the Marshview Gallery during September.

‘Vernal Pool’ by Dalia Ramanauskas is one of the signature paintings of the artist’s show at the Marshview Gallery during September.

OLD SAYBROOK –The Marshview Gallery features the art of Dalia Ramanauskas during the month of September.  Her impressive art career spans decades, with her work being on display in many galleries and collections, across the country.  She has also had several solo museum shows in the United States and abroad.

Ramanauskas has been referred to as a master draftswoman, and her artistic style called Magic Realism.  The intricacies of her work are truly awe-inspiring. It is an honor to have her work on display. Dalia resides in Ivortyon, Conn.

The Gallery will host an Artist Reception on Friday, Sept. 11, from 5 to 7 p.m.  All are welcome and refreshments will be provided.

The Marshview Gallery at the Estuary Council is located at 220 Main St. in Old Saybrook.  It is open daily, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon.

Essex Library Presents Program on Alzheimer’s Care & Caregiver, Sept. 23 & Oct. 14

alzheimersvisitingnursesOne in eight older adults has Alzheimer’s Disease, the most common type of dementia.

If you would like to learn more about Alzheimer’s and caring for a loved one or friend, Deborah Ringen, MSN, RN, from the Visiting Nurses of the Lower Valley will present a program titled, Alzheimer’s Care & The Caregiver: What Works? — an illustrated talk at the Essex Library on Wednesday, Sept. 23, at 2:30 p.m. and again on Wednesday, Oct. 14, at 6:30 p.m.

Ringen will discuss how to recognize the warning signs of dementia, how early detection factors into successful treatment and will explore the differences between dementia and Alzheimer’s. The talk will also focus on teaching caregiver methods to promote the quality of life for the patient and how to understand better the mystery of the challenging behaviors they exhibit.

Ringen is a board certified Faith Community Nurse who earned her BSN from Simmons College in 1982 and her Master of Science in Parish Nursing and Health Ministry from Azusa Pacific University in 2010.

These programs are free and open to the public.

For more information and to register, call (860) 767-1560. The Essex Library is located at 33 West Ave. in Essex.

Local Author James R. Benn Talks About His New Book, “The White Ghost,” Sept. 24

whiteghostESSEX — The Essex Library welcomes local author James R. Benn on Thursday, Sept. 24, at 7 p.m. for a talk celebrating the release of “The White Ghost,” Benn’s tenth volume in the popular Billy Boyle World War II mystery series.

Booklist gave the book a starred review and said, “Working with recently declassified documents about the Solomon Islands Campaign, Benn spins an absolute corker of a war story.”

The Historical Novel Society praises the book saying, “Replete with riveting and beautiful descriptions of the customs, rituals, and geography of these beautiful islands, this makes for great historical fiction for readers who crave a good mystery as well as a good war story.”

Crime novelist Lee Child declared, “Billy Boyle gets better and better. This is a must-read series.”

James Benn

James Benn

Benn, a resident of Hadlyme, Conn., worked in the library and information technology field for more than 35 years before he started writing full-time. One lesson he says that’s helped him greatly as an author is a quote from Oscar Wilde, “The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of one’s pants to a chair.” Copies of his books will be available for sale and signing.

The event is free and open to the public.

The Essex Library is located at 33 West Ave. in downtown Essex.

For further information or to reserve a seat, call the Library at 860-767-1560

Deep River Historical Society Hosts C.D. Batchelor Presentation by Bob Englehart, Sept. 26

Bob Englehart

Bob Englehart

DEEP RIVER — If you missed the Deep River Historical Society’s well-received summer exhibition of their collection of C.D. Batchelor memorabilia, this presentation on Sept. 26, at 7 p.m. at the Carriage House will feature original cartoons from the exhibit and a discussion of the evolution of this genre over time by his colleague, Bob Englehart.  Admission is free.

Most people know Englehart as the full time Editorial Cartoonist for the Hartford Courant for 35 years (whose cartoons get us thinking each morning).   What many don’t know is that his career began due to an unusual event: one day, in a composing room error, his weekly cartoon ran large at the top of the editorial page (instead of the one for the lead cartoonist) – and a career was born.  A Midwesterner, like Batchelor, he was educated in Chicago at the American Academy of Art.

Englehart has awards from the Overseas Press Club, John Fischetti Contest, Planned Parenthood, and Free Press Association and was the finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1979. His cartoons have appeared in USA Today, Time, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, the New York Times, the London Times, and, also, Playboy and Hustler. His cartoons are in the collections of the Thomas Dodd Research Center at the University of Connecticut and the Connecticut Historical Society.

Englehart has appeared in a political comedy review on Broadway, had cartoon shows on ESPN and Connecticut Public Television, illustrated a children’s book, drew a daily and Sunday comic strip and has written many articles for The Courant’s op-ed page and Northeast magazine, now called NE.  His hobbies are golf and writing novels.  He describes his political philosophy as “moderately confused.”

This presentation is funded by a grant from CT Humanities.

Old Saybrook Land Trust Hosts Fundraising ‘Swallow Watch’ Cruise, Oct. 2

The nightly wonder of the tree swallows.

The nightly wonder of the swarming tree swallows.

Come witness the annual swarming swallow phenomenon aboard the RiverQuest with the Old Saybrook Land Trust Friday, Oct. 2, from 4:30 to 8 p.m.

The RiverQuest boat offers a perfect viewing spot to see the swallows in action.

The RiverQuest boat offers a perfect viewing spot to see the swallows in action.

RiverQuest Captains, Mark and Mindy Yuknat, are the pioneers of sunset tree swallow watching by boat.  For the past 12 years they have taken passengers to a special spot on the Connecticut River to witness hundreds of thousands of tree swallows perform aerial ballets in an amazing display of art, coordination and cooperation.

The Old Saybrook Land Trust (OSLT) offers this opportunity as a fundraiser for their annual OSLT Scholarship award. The boat will leave promptly at 4:30 p.m. from Eagle Landing State Park, Haddam for the 3 to 3.5 hour adventure. Bring along a picnic basket and your favorite beverage to enjoy on the cruise.  The OSLT will provide hors d’oeuvres.

The swallows swarm over Goat Island.

The swallows swarm over Goat Island.

Binoculars are recommended, bring your own, or borrow a pair from RiverQuest.

Tickets are $45 per person. Send an email to for reservations and other information.

Ivoryton Congregational Church Hosts Roast Beef, Pork Dinner, Oct. 3

The Ivoryton Congregational Church at 57 Main St., Ivoryton, will hold a roast beef and roast pork dinner on Saturday, Oct.  3, from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
The cost is $15 for adults, $8 for children ages 6-12, and free for children ages 5 and under.
Tickets are limited to 100.  Advance reservations are requested.  Call ahead for take-out.
Call Isobel at 860-767-8167 for tickets and more information.

Tri-Town Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition to Hold First Meeting of New School Year, Sept. 9

The Tri-Town Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition will hold its first meeting of the new school year at Tri-Town Youth Services at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 9, with guest speaker, John Daviau.

The Tri-Town Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition is a grassroots organization whose membership is open to all who live or work in the tri-town area who are concerned about substance abuse and committed to its prevention.  Many “sectors” of the community are represented on this council: schools, youth serving organizations, law enforcement, government, civic groups, parents, students, the faith community and health care to name a few.

At the September meeting, prevention programming already in place will be discussed as well as ways of strengthening the coalition.  Future meeting dates for this year are Nov. 18; Jan. 20, 2016; March 9, 2016; May 18, 2016.

Tri-Town Youth Services supports and advances the families, youth and communities of Chester, Deep River and Essex.  The organization coordinates and provides resources needed to make positive choices, reduce substance abuse, and strengthen the relationships that matter most.  Discover programs and information for families, as well as opportunities for community collaboration at

For further information, call Tri-Town at 860-526-3600.

Essex Corinthian Yacht Club Hosts 2015 Cross Sound Challenge Sailboat Race, Sept. 26

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 8.00.09 AMThe Essex Corinthian Yacht Club will host the 2015 Cross Sound Challenge Sailboat Race to be held on Saturday, Sept. 26.

The Cross Sound Challenge is open to all Performance Handicap Racing Fleet (PHRF) rated cruising/racing boats 23.5 feet or longer with a valid PHRF certificate.  Racing classes will include both non-spinnaker and spinnaker.

The Race Committee intends to set a course starting west of the Saybrook Outer Light, through a gate formed by the buoys Bell 8 and the east end of Long Sand Shoal, to a turning mark off Truman Beach on the North Fork of Long Island, then a return to the finish line near the Outer Light.  First warning will be at 11 a.m.

The Cross Sound Challenge is a sanctioned Eastern Connecticut Sailing Association “points” race.

For more information including the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions, and an entry form, visit:

‘Abstract Imaginings’ on View at Maple & Main from Sept. 2; Opening Reception, Sept.12

'Metalling in Nature' by Ashby Carlisle.

‘Metalling in Nature’ by Ashby Carlisle.

CHESTER — Ashby Carlisle of Old Lyme, a sculptor, and Victoria Sivigny of Meriden, an abstract painter, are award-winning artists exhibiting major bodies of work during the month of September in Maple and Main’s Stone Gallery in Chester, Connecticut.  The works of each artist invite close, careful, deep seeing and reward the viewer’s energy and time.

The public is invited to attend the opening reception of ‘Abstract Imaginings’ on Saturday, Sept. 12, from 5 to 8 p.m with live music by The Jazz Circle.  The show runs from Sept. 2 to Sept. 30.

Sivigny works in acrylic paint on large canvases, often 36″x 36″, in a palette of neutral tones, and her mark-making varies from the extremely subtle to the grand gesture, from something so slight as to seem like a dried teardrop, to circles, grids, or pseudo grids, and other marks of time and wear.  The artist prints, scratches, paints, stamps, embeds, collages, tears, etches, pours, rakes, drips, and throws; with no end to the verbs one might use when imagining how her highly-textured marks are made.

'Point of Departure No. 3' by Victoria Sivigny.

‘Point of Departure No. 3’ by Victoria Sivigny.

There are, in some of Sivigny’s paintings, word-like inscriptions, either decorative script, or Cyrillic and Arabic letters, but the suggestion is that language is just one more graphic element, not a factor of greater signifying power than any other mark.

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of encountering a Sivigny work, is alchemical: the whole is more mysterious than the sum of its parts.  One senses an artist who begins in control and ends in abandon, having tossed-up the fundamental elements of art, then stepped back as they fell into place.  Like an oxymoron, each of Sivigny’s paintings embodies an intriguing paradox: one is strangely familiar; another, naturally uncanny; or randomly ordered; or disparately harmonious.

Through the combination of a muted palette, a seesawing of delicate and bold mark-making, patterns repeated with variations, as well as recurrent or unique gestures, Sivigny’s work is both aesthetically satisfying and intellectually challenging.

Ashby Carlisle is a sculptor whose foundational materials are fiber in the form of hand-dyed and printed paper, pages from books and magazines, metal and clay which she forms into wall sculptures contained in thin wooden boxes. Within these boxes she assembles tattered layers of papers limned with gold suggestive of sky, clouds, horizon and land.  Where the horizon separates sky from ground, Carlisle has secured a clay plate through which twisty vines penetrate the lower and upper divisions: earth and sky.  She uses the organic to suggest the supra-natural, and the natural to create objects that might be organic, but are not.

At times in her work, Carlisle inscribes the marks of culture, specifically writing and other forms of symbolizing. Sometimes the lettering is superimposed on other lettering as if to say not only are land and sky entirely a cultural construct, they are a jumble, a cacophony of inscriptions, so over-written by “signs’ as to be imperceivable as they truly are. In several of Carlisle’s works, a representation of the natural world is completely written-over, seeing itself entirely codified.  Such work acknowledges the inescapable distortion of culturally-inscribed perception.

Carlisle and Sivigny are both members of GalleryOne, a cooperative of mid-career artists who exhibit along the Connecticut shoreline, and each has exhibited work in numerous local, regional and national exhibitions.  Among other opportunities, both artists have exhibited work at the John Slade Ely House Center for Contemporary Art in New Haven, Spectrum Gallery in Centerbrook, Guilford Art Center, Golden Thread Gallery in West Hartford, and the Valentine H. Zahn Community Gallery in Westbrook.

Carlisle’s work has been on view in The Cooley, Sill House, and Studio 80 Sculpture Galleries in Old Lyme.  Sivigny has also exhibited her work at The Slater Memorial Museum in Norwich, the New Britain Museum of American Art, and West Hartford’s Art League Saltbox and Clubhouse Galleries.

Sivigny holds elected memberships with the New Haven Paint and Clay Club, West Hartford Art League, and Connecticut Women Artists.  She was awarded second prize for “Temple of the Soul” at the New Britain Museum of Art Annual Members’ Exhibition.

For additional information, visit,

Essex Library Hosts Karpinski Art Exhibit During September

Marsh Study by Chris Karpinski.

Marsh Study by Chris Karpinski.

The Essex Library will host an art exhibit by painter Chris Karpinski during the month of September.

After studies at the Rhode Island School of Design and Lyme Academy of Fine Art followed by years of plein-air painting, Karpinski’s works have become meditative, non-objective allusions to places or feelings remembered.

Created in the moment, with diverse methods of paint application, each mark leads to the next, and the process takes over.  There is much scraping and sanding, with unintended results and surprises.

Through color, light, texture, and the inspiration of nature’s beauty, Karpinski hopes to generate a sense of serenity and contemplation.

'From the Deep' by Chris Karpiski is part of the artist's exhibition on show at Essex Library during September.

‘From the Deep’ by Chris Karpiski is part of the artist’s exhibition on show at Essex Library during September.

Her paintings may be found at the Essex and Lyme Art Associations, Artisan Framing and Gallery in Niantic, and in numerous private and corporate collections here and abroad.

The Essex Library is located at 33 West Ave. in Essex.

Call 860-767-1560 for more information about the exhibit and sale.

Join a Historic Waterfront Tour in Deep River, Sept. 12 & 26

Deep River Historical Society will explain the history of the town's waterfront during walking tours this summer.

Deep River Historical Society will explain the history of the town’s waterfront during walking tours this summer.

DEEP RIVER — Deep River’s commercial connection to the rest of the world started at the end of Kirtland and River Streets in the early 1800’s. What is now known as the Town Landing, was a shipyard and dock, which collectively, were the linchpin to Deep River’s mercantile success. The shipbuilding provided the vessels and the dock provided the point of delivery of raw materials and the shipment of end products, that made Deep River an economic success.

A lecture and tour of Deep River’s Historic Waterfront will be offered every second and fourth Saturday morning, this June, July, August and September. Tours are sponsored by the Deep River Historical  Society. The tour will start at the home of sea captain and ship builder, Calvin Williams, at 131 Kirtland Street, (immediately left of the Mt. Saint John entrance pillars), starting at 10 a.m. SHARP, each tour day. Each tour is expected to be about 1 1/2 hour duration and will start punctually at 10 a.m.

Reservations are recommended and tickets may be acquired at the door, or in advance, from the program’s director: James Hogan, by calling 860-391-2354, or at two convenient store locations: Celebrations, 161 Main Street, Deep River and Old Saybrook Antiques Center, 756 Middlesex Turnpike, Old Saybrook.

The costs for tickets is $20 per family; $10 adults; $5 students and senior citizens. 100% of all donations will benefit the Deep River Historical Society. All donations are tax deductable. Program is “rain or shine”.

For more information, call James J. Hogan III  at: 860-391-2354

Tour Dates are:
June: 13 and 27
July: 11 and 25
August: 8 and 22
September: 12 and 26

Community Music School Hosts Open House Week, Sept. 14-18

CMS Solstice Singers

CMS Solstice Singers

CENTERBROOK – Community Music School (CMS), located in the Spencer’s Corner professional complex at 90 Main St. in Centerbrook, welcomes the general public to visit during Open House Week Sept. 14 through 18.  Children and adults can tour the School’s studios, meet teachers and staff and enjoy a free preview lesson.

Attendees can also learn about a vast array of programs for all ages including private and group lessons, clarinet, jazz, and string ensembles, music therapy services, the Solstice Singers youth choir, and the Kindermusik early childhood program.

Community Music School is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday to Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays. Those interested in a 15-minute preview lesson are requested to call 860-767-0026 for scheduling.

Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 30 year tradition of providing quality music instruction to residents of shoreline communities. CMS programs cultivate musical ability and creativity and provide students with a thorough understanding of music so that they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives.


For additional information visit or call 860-767-0026.

Save the Date for Eastern CT Ballet’s “Spooktacular,” Oct. 17 & 18

DancerOLD SAYBROOK — Treat children of all ages to family-friendly Halloween fun with Eastern Connecticut Ballet’s “Ballet Spooktacular” on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 17 and 18, at 11:30 am and 3:30 pm.

Special effects and bewitching costumes set the stage for spirited performances of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Dancing Bones, and Halloween Waltz at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, ‘The Kate,’ in Old Saybrook.

Children are invited to wear their costumes to parade on stage, trick-or-treat throughout the decorated theater and pose for spellbinding photos with the dancers.

Tickets to Ballet Spooktacular are $18 for adults and $12 for children (age 12 and under) and are available through ‘The Kate’ box office at 877-503-1286.

Essex Art Association Hosts Summer Exhibition of ‘Memories,’ on Display Through Sept. 12

'Irish Splendor' is a featured painting in the upcoming Essex Art Association’s Summer Open Exhibition

‘Irish Splendor’ is a featured painting in the upcoming Essex Art Association’s Summer Open Exhibition

ESSEX — Dr. Seuss said, “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory,” and “Memories” is the theme for the Essex Art Association’s (EAA) 2015 Summer Open Exhibition. This open exhibition is juried for awards only.

Juror David T Wenzel is an illustrator and children’s book artist living in Durham, Conn. He is best known for his visualization of J.R.R.Tolkien’s “The Hobbit”, illustrated in graphic novel format. Award money totaling $1,800 will be given to artists for their work in various media.

'Marshes of the Connecticut River' is a featured painting in the upcoming Essex Art Association’s Summer Open Exhibition.

‘Marshes of the Connecticut River’ is a featured painting in the upcoming Essex Art Association’s Summer Open Exhibition.

Additionally, each season five EAA artists are selected by a juror to show their work in our small “Exit Gallery” — (labeled such because the EXIT sign for the gallery is located directly above the entrance to that small gallery!) The Exit Gallery artist during this exhibition is Jill Beecher Matthew.

She is an oil painter who uses palette knives to create her works of art, enabling her to bring texture, vibrant color, and light into her paintings. Working both en plein air and in the studio, Beecher Matthew especially enjoys painting the landscapes of New England and Florida. Recently she also savored an opportunity to paint on retreat along the northwest coast of Ireland.

Beecher Matthew has mentored with accomplished Connecticut artists and has studied the methods of Henri Hensche at the Cape School of Art in Provincetown, Mass. Her works are displayed and sold in galleries in Connecticut and Florida. To view more of Beecher Matthew’s art, visit:

'Catmint on the Wall' is a featured painting in the upcoming Essex Art Association’s Summer Open Exhibition

‘Catmint on the Wall’ is a featured painting in the upcoming Essex Art Association’s Summer Open Exhibition

The exhibition opening will be held Friday, Aug. 21, from 6 to 8 p.m. These exhibits are open at no charge to the public Aug. 22 – Sept. 12 at the Essex Art Association Gallery located in the sunny yellow building in the center of Essex at 10 North Main Street, Essex, Connecticut. Gallery hours are 1 to 5 p.m. daily, closed Tuesdays.

For more information, call 860-767-8996.

Summer Exhibit on View at Maple & Main Through Sept. 20

'Sheep in the Meadow' by Amy Knaggs of Chester is one of the signature paintings in the Summer Exhibit.

‘Sheep in the Meadow’ by Amy Knaggs of Chester is one of the signature paintings in the Summer Exhibit.

CHESTER – All new art from cutting edge to traditional is featured in the sixth annual Summer Exhibit at Maple and Main Gallery where a gala opening reception will be hosted by the gallery Saturday, July 25, from 5 to 8 p.m.

The exhibition includes paintings and sculptures by 40 Connecticut artists, some showing at Maple and Main for the first time.

'Down the River' by Claudia Van Nes of Chester.

‘Down the River’ by Claudia Van Nes of Chester.

Popular musician Alan James will play during the reception and from 6 to 7 p.m, there will be wine tasting by the Chester Package Store. The gallery will also be serving wine and a selection of hors d’ouevres, including pizza, during the evening.

'Color Jam' by Andy Teran of Essex

‘Color Jam’ by Andy Teran of Essex

Concurrently, the “Hats, Hats, Hats” show of paintings depicting hats in all manners and styles is on view in the Stone Gallery in the lower level of the gallery.

The show opens Wednesday, July 22, and runs through Sept. 20.

Maple and Main, at One Maple Street, is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m, and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.;; 860-526-6065. The gallery is also on Facebook and Instagram.

Auditions for Community Music School Jazz Ensemble, Sept. 12

Auditions for the CMS Jazz Ensemble will be held Sept. 12.

Auditions for the CMS Jazz Ensemble will be held Sept. 12. 

CENTERBROOK –- Auditions for the Community Music School (CMS) Jazz Ensemble will be held on Saturday, Sept. 12, beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the School, located at 90 Main St. in Centerbrook.

Directed by Tom Briggs, the ensemble is for students ages 13 to 18 with a strong interest in jazz performance and learning more about improvisation. Instrumental students on trumpet, trombone, flute, clarinet, saxophone, and guitar are encouraged to audition.

Call CMS at 860-767-0026 to schedule a 20-minute audition timeslot. The regular Jazz Ensemble rehearsal schedule begins on Saturday, Sept. 19, at 10 a.m.

The CMS offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 30 year tradition of providing quality music instruction to residents of shoreline communities. Community Music School programs cultivate musical ability and creativity, and provide students with a thorough understanding of music so that they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives.

For additional information about the Jazz Ensemble and other CMS programs, visit

Acton Library Presents Repro of Infamous Mercer-Williams House Thru Sept. 30

OLD SAYBROOK — For the months of August and September, the Acton Library in Old Saybrook will be hosting a reproduction of the Mercer-Williams House.  The reproduction was painstakingly made by Maribel Girnius.

The house and the infamous crime that occurred in it were the focus of the book and film Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt.

The Acton Library is open from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Burt’s Photo Exhibit, ‘Hidden Lives of Baby Wetland Birds,’ on Show at CT River Museum Through Oct. 12

Tri-colored heron ©Wm Burt (15.2 x 20)

Tri-colored heron ©Wm Burt (15.2 x 20)

ESSEX — An exhibition of photos by William Burt titled, “Water Babies – The Hidden Lives of Baby Wetland Birds,” is on show at the Connecticut River Museum through Oct. 12at the Connecticut River Museum.  This is the fourth of William Burt’s photo exhibitions, each based on one of his books, to show at the Museum.

The exhibition features 40 framed archival pigment prints, all made by the photographer, and 18 text panels quoting passages from the book of the same name.  The pieces are sequenced such that every “water baby” is juxtaposed with the adult bird it becomes.

For 40 years, photographer William Burt has chased after the birds few people see: first rails, then bitterns, nightjars, and other skulkers – and now these, elusive creatures of a very different kind: the Water Babies.  They are the subjects of his coming book, and also this exhibition at the Connecticut River Museum in Essex. The book will be published in October 2015 by W. W. Norton/Countryman.

Red-necked phalarope ©Wm Burt

Red-necked phalarope ©Wm Burt

The “babies” are the downy young of ducks, grebes, gallinules and shorebirds, herons, and other wetland birds – those that get their feet wet, as it were – and challenging they are, to birder and photographer alike: quick-footed, wary, and well-camouflaged, to say the least; and temporary.

You have only a week or two each year in which to find them.  But above all else, they are endearing.  From the comic-monster herons to the fuzzy ducklings and stick-legged sandpipers, these tots have personality, and spunk.  You see it in their faces, each and every one.

To find these youngsters and adults, Burt prowled their wetland breeding grounds each spring and summer for some seven years, all over North America, from the Arctic Circle to the Gulf of Mexico.  The result is a portrait of these wild birds of the wetlands as both young and old, unknown and known, new and familiar.

Burt is a naturalist, writer, and photographer with a passion for wild places and elusive birds – especially marshes, and the shy birds within.  His feature stories are seen in Smithsonian, Audubon, National Wildlife, and other magazines, and he has written three previous books: Shadowbirds (1994); Rare & Elusive Birds of North America (2001); and Marshes: The Disappearing Edens (2007).

Burt’s photo exhibitions have been shown at some 35 museums across the U.S. and Canada.  He lives in Old Lyme, Conn.

For more information on this and other museum programs, visit

The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main St., Essex and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  For more information, call 860-767-8269 or visit

Literacy Volunteers Hosts Wine Tasting & Silent Auction, Oct. 23 

Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore will hold a Wine and Brew Tasting and Auction Event on Thursday evening, Oct. 23, between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. at the Saybrook Point Pavilion in Old Saybrook. Tickets are $25 per person for an evening of great wines, beers and wonderful foods.

Some of the sponsors for the event are The Wine Cask of Old Saybrook, Murphy and Company CPA’s, Bogaert Construction, Whelen Engineering, Clark Group, Ivory Wealth Management, Tower Labs and Essex Savings Bank.

Join in the fun now and take advantage of a great opportunity to bid on and win great auction items as well enjoying a great evening on the Connecticut River. Music will be provided by The Captain, Tom Ferrara with soft rock selections from the 50’s right up to today.

As an accredited affiliate of ProLiteracy America, Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore is in its third decade of helping people in Valley Shore towns learn to read, write, and speak better English to improve their lives. These services are free of charge to the student and completely confidential.

For more information, to purchase tickets or to donate auction items, contact 860-399-0280 or email the LVVS office at

Ivoryton Hosts Village Farmers Market, Saturdays

IVORYTON — Fresh produce and products are again offered on Saturdays through Oct 10, from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the Ivoryton Green, Main St, next to the Ivoryton

Local vendors provide Connecticut-grown produce, baked goods, honey, meat, fish, cheese crafts and more.

Live music is provided each week.

For more information, visit

Old Saybrook Farmer’s Market Open Wednesdays, Saturdays Through Oct. 31

Killam and Bassette were founding members of the market. At that time, there were only two vendors.

Killam and Bassette were founding members of the market. At that time, there were only two vendors.  Photo courtesy of the Old Saybrook Farmer’s Market.

Blueberries waiting to ripen for the market. Photo courtesy of the Old Saybrook Farmer's Market.

Blueberries waiting to ripen for the market. Photo courtesy of the Old Saybrook Farmer’s Market.

OLD SAYBROOK – The Old Saybrook Farmer’s Market is open for the season Saturdays,  9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and Wednesdays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., through Oct. 31, at 210 Main St.

As always, vendors will set up their tents to provide Connecticut grown fresh produce, handmade crafts, baked goods, honey, meat, fish, cheese and more.

Come visit favorite vendors who have been at the market for years, and discover some new soon-to-be favorites, who will join the market for the first time this year.

Wayne's Organics has been with the market for many years. Photo courtesy of Old Saybrook Farmer's Market.

Wayne’s Organics has been with the market for many years. Photo courtesy of Old Saybrook Farmer’s Market.

On Saturdays, there is live music along with educational demonstrations, author book signings and other surprises.

Find out more about the vendors and what they will bring to the market at (sign up for the newsletter while on the site) or visit them on Facebook at

Summer Sculpture Showcase at Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds Thru Oct. 23

The signature piece of Gil Boro's Summer Sculpture Showcase, "Queen Anne's Lace" by Gints Grinsberg.

The signature piece of Gil Boro’s Summer Sculpture Showcase, “Queen Anne’s Lace” by Gints Grinsberg.

OLD LYME — Gilbert Boro, owner and sculptor at Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds in Old Lyme, has announced an exciting new exhibition on the grounds of his studio featuring examples of his own contemporary work accompanied by a selection of works created by a number of other widely acclaimed sculptors working in contrasting media.  This Summer Sculpture Showcase will be on view through Sunday, Sept. 13, and feature an Opening Reception on Friday, June 19, from 5 to 7 p.m.  All are welcome to attend the reception at which light refreshments will be served.

Nine sculptors will be exhibiting in Boro’s expansive Sculpture Gardens located on the 4.5 acres of his residence on historic Lyme Street in the heart of Old Lyme, Conn.  Their works will be interspersed amongst Boro’s own sculptures along with works by 13 other contributing artists on the beautifully landscaped grounds offering a unique plein air experience combining both large- and small-scale contemporary sculptures, many of which are for sale.  The sculptors whose work – and in some cases, more than one piece – was selected for the Showcase are:

Diane Barcelo
Ashby Carlisle
Fay Chin
Gints Grinsberg
Lannie Hart
Deborah Hornbake
Elizabeth Knowles
David Millen
Elizabeth Miller McCue
William Thielen

The signature piece of the exhibition is “Queen Anne’s Lace” by Gints Grinsbergs.  It is a large — 144” in height, 56” in diameter — yet delicate structure that evokes the intricate design of lace in its welded and stainless steel structure.  Grinsbergs’ work has been featured at various museums and galleries and is Included in private and corporate collections throughout North America.

'Waves' by Fay Chin.

‘Waves’ by Fay Chin.

Fay Chin’s abstract aluminum sculpture in the exhibition titled, “Waves,” explores pyramidal relationships in a large, ground-based structure.  A sculptor and painter, she has exhibited stone and metal sculptures nationally and internationally in museums, galleries, and public spaces with larger installations.

“Modern Dance,” a multi-colored sculpture utilizing wire fencing wrapped in vinyl surveying tape, is a collaborative work by Elizabeth Knowles and William Thielen.  Natural patterns inspire the work of Knowles and Thielen, who live and work respectively in New York City and Carbondale, Ill.  Both have an extensive body of individual work and have received numerous awards, grants and residencies.

'Pipehenge' by Gil Boro.

‘Pipehenge’ by Gil Boro.

Boro has enjoyed a distinguished career as a sculptor, architect, educator and international design consultant.  He explores the interplay of space, place and scale in a wide range of media including stone, wood, metal and fiberglass.  His vast body of work has been exhibited in numerous galleries throughout the US and internationally, and has also been purchased by collectors, corporations and foundations in both the US and Europe.  Boro currently has several works being exhibited at off-site locations including the South Carolina-based Art League of Hiltonhead’s Biennale (where he was recently awarded second place in their 24th National Juried Exhibition), the New England Sculptor’s Association’s exhibition in Portsmouth, N.H., and Ramey Fine Art in Palm Desert, Calif.

This inaugural Summer Sculpture Showcase offers a unique opportunity for established sculptors to exhibit their work in a different location, while also effectively creating a new exhibition within the Sculpture Gardens.  Boro comments, “I’m delighted to be able to open my grounds to these exceptional sculptors whose work intrigues me.  Each one offers original creative thinking resulting in a fascinating combination of contrasting conceptual designs in a variety of media.  I think any visitor to the exhibition is going to be thoroughly engaged by what he or she sees – including children.”

Boro is somewhat unusual as a professional sculptor in that he loves to see folk of all ages directly interacting with his sculptures, noting that he has a strong aversion to exhibitions, “… where people can’t touch my work.”   Apart from attracting visitors to see the works on his grounds, Boro is thoroughly invested in the vibrant Old Lyme arts scene and hopes this exhibition will help cement the town as a summer destination for art-loving visitors from near and far, especially during the town’s Midsummer Festival on Friday, July 24, and Saturday, July 25.

Located at 80-1 Lyme St., less than a minute from Exit 70 on I-95, the Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds are open 365 days a year from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.  Admission is free.  Children, field trips and group visits are all welcome. The Studio is open by appointment. 

For further information, contact 860-434-5957, visit or email

Lyme Farmers Market Open Saturdays for the Season

Fresh vegetables are always one of the big draws of the market.

Fresh vegetables are always one of the big draws of the market.

LYME — The perennially popular Lyme Farmers Market at Ashlawn Farm in Lyme opens for the season today from around 9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.
But the sad news accompanying the joy of Opening Day is that the irrepressible, larger-than-life impresario of the market, Chip Dahlke, has announced this will be his last season with the market, “Unless…” and this is Chip’s endearing dry humor rising to the surface, “… a deranged individual or some goody two-shoes organization wants to take on the burden.”
In his ever upbeat, positive spirit, however, Chip urges, “Let’s make this summer one to remember. The field should be full of vendors and the entertainment the best of what we’ve had for the last 12 years,” adding with his usual sharp wit, “There’s still not going to be eggplant carving contests, erotic vegetable displays, or god forbid poodle parades.”
tentsThe big draw of farmers’ markets is, of course, the fresh, local produce. What makes the one in Lyme so special is that it’s held on a real farm. And since this is the Lyme countryside, it’s as a pretty as a picture. In fact, Ashlawn Farm is a magnet for local artists who are attracted by its beauty—the old white homestead, the red barns, and the stone walls crisscrossing the pastures. An original member of the Connecticut Farmers Market Trail, Ashlawn Farm is located at 78 Bill Hill Rd. in Lyme
The farm is celebrating its 126th anniversary this year. Ray Harding, a dairy farmer, bought Ashlawn in 1909. Today his grandson Chip lives there with his wife Carol and their three children. By profession, Chip is a portfolio manager and Carol runs her popular coffee-roasting business in one of the old barns on the property.
As always, Dahlke has lined up a stellar selection of vendors, which includes:
flowersThe vendors change week by week but you can be certain that every Saturday morning from June to October, tents will go up in front of barns and local purveyors will sell vegetables, fruit, breads, cheese, meat, soaps, chicken, fish, fiber, specialty food, crafts, flowers, herbs, eggs, seafood and more. Music will be played — Dogbite are performing on Opening Day –and Chip will surely spring a few Saturday surprises!
Before the Market opens, Ashlawn Farm Yoga will be held at 8 a.m. each Saturday on the grass beyond the parking field for all levels. The class is taught by Lisa Tompkins Nasser. Drop in for only $15, which includes a free Ashlawn Farm cup of Coffee.
And, most of all, follow Chip’s advice to make it a summer to remember at the Market — see you there!

Editor’s Note:
Extracts of this article are taken from one written by Linda Ahnert that was originally published on in June 2009.

Weekly Bingo at The Estuary Through Summer

The new Bingo board at the Estuary Seniors Center.

Proudly displaying the new Bingo board at the Estuary Senior Center.

OLD SAYBROOK – The Estuary Council of Seniors, Inc. (ECSI) has announced the Grand Opening of BINGO at their facility, located at 220 Main Street on Thursday, June 18, at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.) Join in on the fun for this weekly event. Admission, including game package, is $12 per player. All are welcome. Cash prizes.

The Estuary Council of Seniors Inc. (ECSI) is a non-profit regional senior center located in the M. Monica Eggert Senior Center on the Connecticut River Estuary at 220 Main Street in Old Saybrook. Our mission is to enhance the quality of life for people 50 years and older.

The ECSI is a community resource for the nine-town Estuary region’s residents over 50-years-old providing nutrition, transportation, health support services, education opportunities, and socialization.

For more information, call 860-388-1611 or visit our website at

Harbor Nights pARTies at Artisan’s Harbor Thursday, Friday Evenings

Harbor Night pARTy 1
Harbor Nights pARTies are hosted every Thursday and Friday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. at Artisan’s Harbor at 188 Main St. in Old Saybrook.  Reservations 48 hours prior to evening of your choice are required.

Come into the studio and paint your own masterpiece. No experience necessary. BYOB – wine or beverage of your choice – the studio provides appetizers, set-ups and all your art supplies.

Private parties may be arranged any day or time based on availability.

Check for details on class times and Harbor Nights pARTies calendar at

To register, call Cheryl Powell at 860-608-5749 or e-mail

Enjoy ‘Discovery Sundays’ at Florence Griswold Museum

A family enjoys ‘Discovery Sunday’ at the Florence Griswold Museum.

On Sunday, April 12, the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme invites visitors to shake off any leftover winter blues and celebrate the beginning of Discovery Sundays. In addition to the popular “Make-A-Painting” activities, where visitors of all ages use the Museum’s supplies to create their own masterpieces, Discovery Sundays now include a new outdoor Art Cart that guides families to explore the grounds and its connection to the artists who famously painted there.

To celebrate the start of the season, the Co-Co Beaux, an all male a cappella group from Connecticut College, performs in the art gallery from 2 to 4 p.m.. In addition, seasonal buildings including the Chadwick Studio and the Rafal Landscape Center open for the season. And with any luck you’ll find some pops of color starting in the garden!

The Museum is open every Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. and all activities are included with admission. Children 12 and under are always free. The Museum is closed Easter Sunday.

The Florence Griswold Museum is known as the Home of American Impressionism. In addition to the restored Florence Griswold House, where the artists of the Lyme Art Colony lived, the Museum features a modern exhibition gallery, education center, landscape center, extensive gardens, and a restored artist’s studio.

The Museum is located at 96 Lyme St., Old Lyme, CT, exit 70 off I-95 and is open year round Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, $8 students, and free to children 12 and under.

For more information, visit the Museum’s website or call 860-434-5542 x 111.