August 22, 2019

‘Cabaret’ Opens at Ivoryton Playhouse, Runs Through Sept. 1

Katie mack stars in ‘cabaret’ at the Ivoryton Playhouse as Sally Bowles.

IVORYTON – “There was a cabaret and there was a master of ceremonies and there was a city called Berlin in a country called Germany. It was the end of the world … and I was dancing with Sally Bowles and we were both fast asleep.” So begins the international classic musical and winner of eight Tony awards –  Cabaretwhich opened last night in Ivoryton to rave reviews. The show runs through Sept. 1.

Join other members of the audience at the Kit Kat Club as the Emcee takes us back to those tumultuous times with unforgettable musical numbers including,  “Wilkommen,” “Cabaret,” and “Maybe This Time.”

This Broadway classic is set in 1931 Berlin as the Nazis are rising to power. Cabaret focuses on the nightlife at the seedy Kit Kat Klub, and revolves around American writer Cliff Bradshaw and his relationship with English cabaret performer, Sally Bowles, as the world spins out of control.

The original 1966 Broadway production became an instant hit, winning eight Tony Awards in 1967 and four in 1998.  The show has inspired numerous subsequent productions in London and New York, as well as the 1972 film of the same name.

Cabaret is an unusual musical that has changed many times over the past 50 years to reflect the changes in the world, but the musical’s implicit warning about the temptations of fascism, nationalism and prejudice — the way they can sneak up on you when you’re having fun — has never seemed dated or irrelevant.

“It’s such an important piece of theatre, in what it says about the world and how quickly things can change,” says Playhouse Artistic Director, Jacqui Hubbard. “I think it is even more relevant today than when it was first performed over 50 years ago. Underneath the humor, the sex and the fabulous music is a constant alarm sounding, telling us to pay attention.”

Sam Given takes the lead male role in ‘Cabaret.’

The production stars Sam Given* as the Master of Ceremonies. Sam has appeared in Ivoryton in Godspell, A Chorus Line, I Hate Musicals: The Musical and in his own one-person show with his alter ego, Millie Grams. He has recently been seen as Ziggy Stardust inRebel Rebel: The Many Lives of David Bowie. 

Katie Mack* as Sally Bowles and Andy Tighe* as Cliff will be making their Ivoryton debuts. The cast also includes Will Clark, Carlyn Connolly*, Corrie Farbstein, Taavon Gamble*, Jade Genga, Aliah James, John Little*, Amanda Luppachino, Amani Pope, Carolyn Popp*, Renee Sutherland, Emerson Valentina, Max Weinstein and Jayke Workman. 

The production is directed and choreographed by Todd Underwood and musical directed by Michael Morris with set design by Daniel Nischan, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costume design by Katie Bunce.

Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

Additional matinee performances are on Saturday, Aug. 17, and Aug. 31, at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $55 for adults; $50 for seniors; $25 for students and $20 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org 

(Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

Pictures courtesy of Ivoryton Playhouse

*denotes member of Actors Equity

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Kidz Konnection Presents its ‘Outdoor Summer Theater on the Lawn’ Season Finale in Clinton, Aug. 23-25

AREAWIDE — Join a cast of 43 aspiring advanced musical theater actors as they get groovy with the beloved tracks of ABBA in this fun full length musical production on the lawn at Kidz Konnection Shoreline Theater Academy, Clinton.

Don’t miss this entirely free event to be held Friday, Aug. 23, at 6 p.m., Aug. 24, at noon and 6 p.m. and Aug. 25, at 4 p.m.  Bring your picnics, lawn chairs/blankets and get ready for some summer close-out fun!

For more information, contact kidzkonnectionct@gmail.com/860-227-2363 or go to kidzkonnectionct.org.

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Gainor Davis Starts as New Head of CT River Museum in Essex

Gainor B. Davis, New Executive Director at the Connecticut River Museum in Essex, Conn.

ESSEX – The Connecticut River Museum, on the waterfront in Essex, Conn., has announced the selection of Gainor Davis as the new Executive Director. Chosen after a nationwide search, Ms. Davis will assume the duties of Executive Director on July 10, 2019.

Davis currently serves as the Executive Director of the Historical Society of Carroll County in Westminster, Md., a museum which she has led since January 2015. She is an experienced museum executive, having previously led several important institutions, including serving as the President/CEO of the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland, Ohio, for six years; as President/CEO of the York (Pa.) County Heritage Trust; as Director of the Vermont Historical Society in Montpelier and Barre, Vt.; and as Executive Director of Longue Vue House & Gardens in New Orleans, La.

Davis has established a reputation of achieving financial stability for her institutions, along with overseeing up-to-date, audience-oriented, relevant programming that has attracted new audiences. Her accomplishments include overseeing the creation of three new hands-on spaces at three different museums – experience that uniquely qualifies her to create and open the Connecticut River Museum’s planned new River Discovery Center on its campus.

Davis brings a strong background in fundraising and marketing, and she has led two successful multi-million-dollar capital campaigns. Prior to her museum-director positions, her fundraising career included posts at Temple University in Philadelphia as Director of Development & Alumni Affairs for the College of Arts and Sciences; at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia as Associate Director of Corporate & Foundation Relations; at the Strong Museum in Rochester, N.Y., as Deputy Director for Public Affairs, and at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia as Director of Development and then as Associate Director of Administration.

Davis holds a Ph.D. in American History from Temple University in Philadelphia, an M.A. in American History and Certificate in Museum Studies from the University of Delaware, Newark, Del., and an A.B. in History from Smith College in Northampton, Mass. She has also published and lectured widely.

She stated, “I am very excited about the role that the museum can play in serving both the Essex-area community and the larger Connecticut River region north of the museum, extending into Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire. I look forward to partnering with local and regional organizations to serve new communities. I am delighted to move back to New England and to the Essex region, where I have many ties, and to become part of the community” Davis added, “It is an honor to be invited to join the capable staff at the CRM and to work with such a committed Board.”

Peter Coombs, who chaired the Search Committee as well as chairing the museum’s board, said, “Gainor Davis was selected after a rigorous national search, with a unanimous decision of the Search Committee and the unanimous approval of the Board. We were impressed with Gainor’s accomplishments over a distinguished career as a history-museum director and advancement professional.”

Davis will take the reins from Interim Director Tom Wilcox, who is leading the museum through the transition period. Previous director Christopher Dobbs announced last August that he had accepted an offer to lead the larger Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Mont., triggering the nationwide search.

The Search Committee was chaired by Board Chair Peter Coombs and co-chaired by Alison Brinkman. It included board and community members Tom Klin, Joanne Masin, Brenda Milkofsky and Tom Wilcox. For the national search, the Connecticut River Museum retained Marilyn Hoffman and Scott Stevens of Museum Search & Reference, an executive-search firm located in Manchester, NH and Boston that specializes in placing museum leaders.

Founded in 1974, the Connecticut River Museum has developed as a place where anyone interested in topics about the River can come and be inspired through exhibitions and collections, a library, educational opportunities and public programs. The mission is to lead in the study, preservation and celebration of the cultural and natural heritage of the Connecticut River and its valley.

Since 1986, it has been accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, a mark of distinction in the field. The Connecticut River Museum’s campus includes the preserved 1878 Essex Steamboat Dock and Warehouse, which was saved from demolition, the Hayden Chandlery, which now serves as the Thomas A. Stevens Library, and the historic 1732 Samuel Lay House.

Education is central to the museum’s mission, and public programs include workshops for school-age children, adult lectures, and on-water excursions aboard the recreation of Adriaen Block’s Onrust and RiverQuest as part of its popular eagle watches. Annually, the museum serves more than 20,000 general visitors, delivers programing to 4,000 school children, and provides scholarship support to a further 1,000 underserved school children and summer campers.

The museum is located on the Essex waterfront at 67 Main Street and is a membership-supported educational organization. Membership is open to all.

For more information regarding the Museum, call 860-767-8269 or see www.ctrivermuseum.org.

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Where Art Meets Nature: I-Park Hosts Free, Open Studios Events, Sunday

EAST HADDAM — The public is invited to visit I-Park for its first Open Studios of the 2019 season. Guests will be able to meet six of the seven resident artists on Sunday, May 19, at 2 p.m. I-Park is located at 428 Hopyard Rd. in East Haddam, which adjoins the Devil’s Hopyard State Park.

The facility is generally closed to visitors to give the artists undisturbed time to work on their creative endeavors. But once a month, at the conclusion of each residency, visitors are invited to meet the artists in their studios, attend the presentation segment that features select time-based works, enjoy complimentary refreshments and stroll the trails winding through I-Park’s scenic, art-filled campus.

The studios will only be open from 2 until 3:30 p.m. so guests are encouraged to arrive early so they have enough time to visit all the studios before the 3:30 p.m. presentations.

A reception with refreshments will follow.

I-­Park is an artists-in-residence program offering fully funded residencies in visual arts, creative writing, music composition/sound art, moving image and architecture/landscape design. Since its founding in 2001, I-­Park has sponsored more than 900 residencies, and has developed cross-­‐disciplinary projects of cultural significance and brought them to life in the public domain.

Set within a 450-acre nature preserve, I-­Park has a strong interest in site-responsive and environmental art – and has been the setting for exhibitions, performances, symposia and programs that facilitate artistic collaboration.

Photo collage of the Artists-in-Residence at I-Park for the month of May.

The artists-in-residence are:

Marianne Barcellona is a painter and professional photographer from New York City. Her extensive travels provide raw inspiration for her paintings.

Hugh Livingston is a composer and sound artist from California who creates multi-media installations related to natural and built spaces; he also performs exploratory cello music. His artworks have been installed internationally.

Colette Lucas is a mixed media artist and gardening enthusiast based in New Hampshire. Her botanical motifs are created from a combination of imagination, observation and research.

Tom Nazziola, a New Jersey composer, has had his music featured on virtually every medium in the world of music. From “live film music” to choral and orchestral pieces, his compositions have been performed around the world.

Dominica Phetteplace is a prize-winning Washington (state) poet and writer whose work has appeared in Asimov’s, Zyzzyva, Copper Nickel and Ecotone as well as numerous other publications.

Allison Roberts is a lens-based artist from Oklahoma. She works primarily with photography, video and installation to address memory, place and identity as such are experienced during periods of transition.

Jane Simpson is a mixed media artist from New Hampshire. Her collage and assemblage work is comprised mainly of found paper – made either by mother nature or human ingenuity. Recently she has incorporated graphite drawings inspired by vintage photographs.

Although admission to Open Studios is free, advance reservations are requested. To reserve your space, visit i-park.org. For additional information, email events@i-park.org, call 860-873-2468 or visit i-­‐park.org.

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Letter From Paris: Exhibition of Macke & Marc’s Art Unintentionally Makes Powerful Statement on European Current Affairs

Nicole Prévost Logan

The exhibition titled Franz Marc / August Macke. The Adventure of the Blue Rider (der Blaue Reiter) at the Musée de l’Orangerie is the exhibit to see this spring when in Paris.  It is a festival of colors by two German artists, Macke (1887-1914) and Marc (1880-1916), who both died very young on the front during World War I more than a century ago.

Long overdue, and shamefully so – I believe all art historians would agree – Macke and Marc have never before been shown in France in an exhibit dedicated exclusively to them. The event opened first at the Neue Galerie of New York, then will remain in Paris until June 17.  The curators have made a few changes, particularly stressing the connection with the Blaue Reiter movement and the relationship with other European avant-gardes, particularly the fauvism and cubism in France.

After writing an article myself on April 11 2015 on this very site, it was pure pleasure to see the original works hanging in the spacious lower level rooms of the Orangerie Museum in the Tuileries gardens.

Franz Marc, The Dream [Der Traum], 1912, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid. Image taken from the Musee de l’Orangerie website.

Although they are shown together, the two artists have distinct personalities and styles. They first met in January 1910 and became close friends until the war.  Macke lived in Bonn on the Rhine in central Germany.  Marc, with the Russian artist Wassily Kandisnky and his companion Gabriel Munter and other members of the Blaue Reiter, loved Bavaria in southern Germany. He settled  first in Mirnau, about 40 miles south of Munich, then on Lake Kochel.

At a time when Europe is currently torn by political fractures, when the closeness of France and Germany is crucial to the survival of the continent, this exhibit has a strong symbolic meaning.  The European Union was founded on a determination to put an end to all wars.  What a powerful message when the art of these two young men is displayed together in an exceptional exhibition in Paris, considering, ironically, both men loved France and its culture, and yet died fighting against the country they revered.

Editor’s Note: This is the opinion of Nicole Prévost Logan.

Nicole Prévost Logan

About the author: Nicole Prévost Logan divides her time between Essex and Paris, spending summers in the former and winters in the latter. She writes a regular column for us from her Paris home where her topics will include politics, economy, social unrest — mostly in France — but also in other European countries. She also covers a variety of art exhibits and the performing arts in Europe. Logan is the author of ‘Forever on the Road: A Franco-American Family’s Thirty Years in the Foreign Service,’ an autobiography of her life as the wife of an overseas diplomat, who lived in 10 foreign countries on three continents. Her experiences during her foreign service life included being in Lebanon when civil war erupted, excavating a medieval city in Moscow and spending a week under house arrest in Guinea.

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Essex Winter Series presents New Haven Symphony Orchestra with Violinist Tai Murray, Sunday

Violinist Tai Murray, who will perform Sunday in the Essex Winter Series.
Photo: Marco Borggreve for HM

DEEP RIVER — Essex Winter Series presents its Fenton Brown Emerging Artist Concert featuring the New Haven Symphony Orchestra (NHSO) with violinist Tai Murray on Sunday, March 17, at 3 p.m. at Valley Regional High School, Deep River.

Maestro William Boughton, in his final season with NHSO, conducts four masterpieces showcasing the string family of the orchestra, as well as the internationally and critically acclaimed violin soloist Tai Murray. The concert will include Mozart’s Symphony No. 31, better known as the Paris Symphony; Violin Concerto in G minor by Prokofiev; Barber’s solemn, yet powerful Adagio for Strings; and Haydn’s Symphony No. 102.
An inspiring talent with a silky and sweet tone from even the highest registers of her instrument, impeccable intonation, the hugely musical Murray has become an essential personality in today’s classical musical world. A former BBC Young Generation artist, member of the Marlboro Festival and of Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Society, she gave her London Proms Debut during the summer of 2016 with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Thomas Sondergard.
Living between New York and Berlin, Murray has been heard on stages such as the Barbican, London’s Queen Elizabeth and Royal Albert Halls, aside orchestras such as Chicago Symphony, BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic.
Essex Winter Series’ 42nd season concludes on April 7 at Old Saybrook High School with Chanticleer, known around the world as “an orchestra of voices.” The program celebrates the ensemble’s 40th year with a program of beloved composers, from Palestrina and Victoria to Mason Bates and Steven Stucky, as well as audience favorite arrangements by Jennings, Shaw and others.
Seating for all concerts is general admission and tickets may be purchased by calling 860-272-4572 or visiting www.essexwinterseries.com.

The 2019 season is generously sponsored by The Clark Group, Essex Meadows, Essex Savings Bank, Jeffrey N. Mehler CFP LLC, Masonicare at Chester Village, Tower Laboratories, Guilford Savings Bank, and BrandTech Scientific.

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Centerbrook Architects Garner Award for Mystic Seaport Design

The award-winning Centerbrook Architects & Planners-designed Thompson Exhibition Building at Mystic Seaport Museum. Photo by Derek Hayn/Centerbrook Architects.

CENTERBROOK – The Centerbrook Architects & Planners-designed Thompson Exhibition Building at Mystic Seaport Museum has been recognized with a national award by WoodWorks – Wood Products Council.

The Thompson Exhibition Building was recognized in the “Commercial Wood Design – Low-Rise” category – one of nine national awards bestowed by WoodWorks. The Wood Design Awards celebrate innovation and excellence in wood building design across the country.

This is the fourth recognition for the Thompson Exhibition Building since it opened to the public in the fall of 2016 in Mystic, Connecticut. The design previously garnered the Honor Award-With Distinction by the AIA QUAD Awards, and was named by the CT CREW Blue Ribbon Awards as the Best Specialty Project. In 2018, ArchDaily – the world’s most-visited architecture website – named the Thompson Exhibition Building one of the 100 Best Wood Architecture Projects in the U.S.

The Centerbrook design team, led by Principal Chad Floyd, FAIA and Senior Director Charles Mueller, AIA, chose wood as the predominant building material for its form, function and aesthetic capabilities. The Thompson Building’s more prominent wood features include Douglas fir glulam beams spanning the entire width that give the building its unique curvilinear shape, and arresting western red cedar exterior cladding.

With its 5,000-square-foot exhibition gallery, the Thompson Building is the centerpiece of Mystic Seaport Museum’s reimagined mission that brings a new focus to exhibitions. With its functional flexibility, the Thompson Building has strengthened the museum as a year-around tourist destination.

Centerbrook Architects & Planners is a firm conceived in 1975 as a community of architects working together to advance place-making and the craft of building. A collaborative firm with an exceptional history of building, Centerbrook is known for inventive design solutions that are emblematic of its clients. Centerbrook’s designs have won more than 380 awards, including the Architecture Firm Award, a distinction held by only 40 active firms nationwide. Centerbrook was named a 2018 Top Workplace in the Greater Hartford Area by the Hartford Courant.

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Musical Masterworks Presents Barrière, Schoenberg, Brahms in Concerts This Weekend

AREAWIDE –– Musical Masterworks welcomes back several internationally acclaimed artists, along with a handful of exciting Old Lyme debuts on Saturday, Feb. 9, at 5 p.m. and on Sunday, Feb. 10, at 3:00 pm. 

Violist Ettore Causa

This concert represents the Musical Masterworks debut of violist Ettore Causa, who will perform alongside veteran Masterworks violinists Jesse Mills and Jennifer Frautschi, violist Nicholas Cords, and cellist Wilhelmina Smith.

This program features two masterpieces for a string sextet: Arnold Schoenberg’s romantic Transfigured Night, based on the poignant poem bearing that title by Richard Dehmel; and Johannes Brahms’s exquisite G Major Sextet.

The concert will begin with a charming duo for two cellos by the French Baroque-era composer, Jean-Baptiste Barrière. 

Violinist Jennifer Frautschi

Join Artistic Director, Edward Arron, one hour before each concert for a pre-concert talk about the lives of these composers.

Musical Masterworks’ season runs through May 2019.  Mini subscriptions include three concerts and are available for $100 each or individual tickets are $40 for adults and $5 for students.

Visit Musical Masterworks at www.musicalmasterworks.org or call 860.434.2252.

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Late Registration Tonight to Sing Mendelssohn’s ‘Elijah’ with Cappella Cantorum in April 14 Concert

Cappella Cantorum logo

AREAWIDE — Join the Cappella Cantorum Masterworks Chorus for registration and its first rehearsal of Mendelssohn’s “Elijah” on Monday, Jan. 7, at 7 p.m., at John Winthrop Middle School, 1 Winthrop Rd., Deep River (use rear entrance).

The lyricism and use of orchestral and choral color in “Elijah” reflect Mendelssohn’s genius as an early Romantic composer.This inspiring work will be performed in concert Sunday, April 14, at John Winthrop with professional orchestra and soloists.

Simon Holt of the Salt Marsh Opera will direct. All singers and high school students are welcome; auditions are not required.

Registration is $50 plus cost of music. Late registration is the following Monday, Jan. 14, same time and place. Singers may register on-line or in person at John Winthrop.

For more information, visit www.CappellaCantorum.org or call 860-526-1038.

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Return of ‘The Movie Man’: ‘Beautiful Boy’ Reveals Realities of Relationships Controlled by Addiction

Editor’s Note: We welcome Kevin Ganey back to LymeLine.com. We have missed his stimulating, thought-provoking, intensely personal reviews of movies and are thrilled he has returned

Author’s Note: It seems that in the last two years, I’ve fallen off the edge of the earth when it comes to keeping up with current films. In this time, I’ve skipped the Oscars, and have not even watched trailers to highly anticipated future features. I’m also too intimidated to watch whichever new Marvel film has been released, due to fear of being unable to follow the story. But I have spent a great deal of time immersing myself in older ones, and I owe a great deal to the Criterion Collection for this. But make no mistake, I intend to continue critiquing films for the readers situated in the Connecticut River and Long Island Sound.

The cover of the book on which the movie is based. Image: SODIL

I left the screening of Beautiful Boy in a depressed mood.

The film, starring Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet, depicts the relationship of a father and son, David and Nic Sheff, during the latter’s tumultuous period of drug addiction. While many fans of Dunder-Mifflin’s greatest regional manager will take delight in seeing that Nic’s mother is played by none other than Amy Ryan (Michael Scott’s wife), this will not contain any of the goofy humor we saw on the iconic sitcom. It deals with the gut-wrenching and horrific truths of what addiction is.

This is a true story, based on the memoirs of both father and son.

It captures the grim reality of addiction. From Nic’s days of smoking weed (with his father, on occasion) to his bodily dependency on heroin and crystal meth. In several points, Nic gets sober (at one point lasting over a year without using anything), only to fall into relapse.

The film captures the ugly truth of addiction’s harm to the user, and to the user’s loved ones; depicting Nic stealing prescription medicine from his girlfriend’s family, as well as taking the only money his younger half-brother has (a mere $8).

Along with addiction, this film also brilliantly depicts the relationship between David and Nic. We get to see things through David’s perspective as he watches his son spiral out of control and sends him to rehab time after time after time. We clearly see David’s frustration as he wants what is best for his son, whom he loves more than everything.

While I never struggled with drug addiction, I could see myself in Nic pleading to David in regards to numerous subjects, asking his father to have faith in him, and David’s stern responses, all in vigilance to protecting Nic’s well-being. For once, I could understand the mindset in which my parents denied my numerous requests throughout youth, and I could see the arrogance in the “What do they know?” reaction I would give.

This is not a film to see on the basis of pure entertainment. I could hardly imagine any filmmaker with a sound conscience taking addiction as a subject with the intent of making a light-hearted humorous project. I was also dissatisfied with the story’s editing and basic setup.

Without giving away the ending, I was unable to perceive the narrative had finished until the credits began to roll. The performances were stellar, and I would not be surprised if any of the cast receives award nominations, Chalamet, in particular.

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Cappella Cantorum Hosts Late Registration Tonight for December Concert; Includes Works by Puccini, Saint-Saens


AREAWIDE: 
Join the Cappella Cantorum Masterworks Chorus for its first rehearsal of Puccini’s Messa di Gloria and Saint-Saens’ Christmas Oratorio on Monday, Sept. 17, 7 p.m., at John Winthrop Middle School, 1 Winthrop Road, Deep River. Use the rear entrance.

These melodious and inspiring works will be performed in concert Sunday, Dec. 2, at John Winthrop with professional orchestra and soloists. Simon Holt of the Salt Marsh Opera will direct.

Auditions are not required.

Registration is $50 plus music: Puccini $9, Saint-Saens $11. Late registration is the following Monday, Sept. 24, at the same time and place.

For more information, visit www.CappellaCantorum.org or call 860-526-1038.

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Major Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition on View in Old Lyme

Looking across Gilbert Boro’s Sculpture Grounds towards his own Studio 80, the sculptures shown in the photo are all by Boro himself.

OLD LYME — Gilbert Boro, owner and curator of Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds in Old Lyme, will host Summer Sculpture Showcase 2018: An Exhibition of Unique Landscape Sculptures on his property in the center of this historic town. Boro’s towering studio is also on the beautiful four-and-a-half acre landscaped grounds, as well as his home.

Featuring 20 works by both established, nationally renowned sculptors, as well as fresh new faces, the summer-long show opens June 4. A meet-the-artist opening reception is set for Saturday, June 9 from 5 to 7 p.m., which will feature a live jazz band and a performance by David Dorfman Dance. There is no charge for admission and all are welcome.

Competition to exhibit was keen, with 120 submissions from around the country. Entries were evaluated for concept, execution, creative process, artistry, and how it would fit in the landscape. Boro, a nationally acclaimed sculptor in his own right, hosts this annual show to provide a venue for both young and mid-career sculptors to showcase their work to a diverse audience.

Boro also holds a firm conviction that art and viewer should be interactive. His Sculpture Grounds are an environment where viewers are not only permitted – but encouraged – to touch sculptures. “I really think that three-dimensional art should be handled, touched, pushed, and experienced in three dimensions,” he says. “It’s the only way you can understand it.”

The exhibitors accepted for the Summer Sculpture Showcase embrace this concept. Acclaimed exhibitor artists from Connecticut, the northeast region, and around the country are represented in the show.

‘Lustration’ by Sarah Haviland is one of the features works in Summer Sculpture Showcase 2018.

New York sculptor Sarah Haviland, who received a Fulbright Award to study in Taiwan this fall, had two pieces selected: Lustration, a contemplative female figure of aqua resin and mirrors, and Seraphim Mirror, a butterfly-shaped wall hanging created with galvanized mesh, resin, and a mirror. Haviland’s abstract work explores female identity and is exhibited both nationally and internationally.

Aether by Andreas von Huene is on display at Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds.

Miguel Castillo Hernao, a native of Colombia, evolved to sculpting after university studies in literature and philosophy. Hernao explores geometry, color and repetitive forms in his works composed of stone, wood, metal and plexiglass. His seven-foot tall entry, Composition #28, is formed of painted riveted aluminum.

Chicago artist Ruth Aizuss Migdal’s bold and striking Radiate, standing more than eight feet tall, also plays with female forms and is composed of patinated bronze gilded with gold leaf.

Connecticut-based artists include Deborah Hornbake, whose Running Man is a fusion of wood, pipe, copper tubing, wire and stones; Eric Camiel, who has works in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art and The Library of Congress, and whose film work has received numerous Emmy and Academy Award nominations, will have his aluminum sculpture, Sail Dream, on display; and Denis Folz’s monumental 11- foot steel sculpture, Feathered Resting Spot.

Boro is committed to supporting and exhibiting promising new artists. This year he presents Shelli Weiler as the featured indoor artist, with her photography exhibit titled Intimate Exchange. Weiler, a native of Scarsdale, NY, is studying photography at Wesleyan University in Middletown. Her photography explores the deep hidden character of people through ground-breaking and provocative poses and settings. Boro is presenting her work in the small, freestanding ESB Gallery, created in honor of his late wife, Emily.

Situated halfway between Boston and New York, Summer Sculpture Showcase 2018 is set on Boro’s four-and-a-half acre estate in the heart of Old Lyme’s historic village. In addition to special exhibits, the permanent display consists of approximately 100 works strategically placed around the park-like grounds.

Now in its 14th year, the Sculpture Grounds host more than 5,000 visitors a year. Visitors are welcome to bring their own picnic to the cafe. The grounds are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, year-round, admission is free, and touching the sculptures is encouraged.

The show runs through Oct. 26 and is curated by Gilbert Boro, and Exhibitions Coordinator and photographer, Christina Goldberg.

For more information about Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds, visit www.sculpturegrounds.com. The David Dorfman Dance group performs and holds workshops around the country and will be in residence at Conn College in New London June 6-11.

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Last Chance to See ‘Grease’ Today at Ivoryton Playhouse

Danny, played by Johnny Newcomb, and  Sandy (Kimberley Immanuel) are the leads in ‘Grease’ at Ivoryton Playhouse.  Both are members of Equity. Photograph by Anne Hudson.

IVORYTON — Dust off your leather jackets, pull on your bobby-socks and take a trip to a simpler time as Danny and Sandy fall in love all over again at the Ivoryton Playhouse. Opening on July 5, and running through July 29, Grease, by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey,  features all the unforgettable songs from the hit movie including “You’re The One That I Want”, “Grease Is The Word”, “Summer Nights”, “Hopelessly Devoted To You”, “Greased Lightnin’” and many more.

Here is Rydell High’s senior class of 1959: duck-tailed, hot-rodding “Burger Palace Boys” and their gum-snapping, hip-shaking “Pink Ladies” in bobby sox and pedal pushers, evoking the look and sound of the 1950s in this rollicking musical.

Head “greaser” Danny Zuko and new (good) girl Sandy Dumbrowski try to relive the high romance of their “Summer Nights” as the rest of the gang sings and dances its way through such songs as “Greased Lightnin’,” “It’s Raining on Prom Night,” “Alone at the Drive-In Movie” recalling the music of Buddy Holly, Little Richard, and Elvis Presley that became the soundtrack of a generation.

The Burger Palace Boys comprising (Kenickie, (Natale Pirrotta*), Roger (Taylor Morrow), Danny (Johnny Newcomb*), Doody (Luke Linsteadt*) and Sonny (Max Weinstein) play a key  role in ‘Grease.’ * denotes member of Equity. Photograph by Anne Hudson.

Grease‘ opened Off-Broadway at the Eden Theatre on Feb. 14, 1972 but was deemed eligible for the 1972 Tony Awards, and received seven Tony Award nominations. The 1994 revival also garnered Tony nominations and the show went on to a successful national tour, featuring local hero Micky Dolenz as Vince Fontaine.

The movie that we all know and love opened 40 years ago and it is a testament to the music and the iconic characters that ‘Grease‘ is still the word today.

The best part of this quintessentially American high school story (aside from the music, of course) is what Danny, Sandy, Rizzo, Kenickie, Frenchy and the rest of the Rydell High gang taught us – that the people who really care about you will stay by your side no matter how different you are from one another, and support you just the same whether you’re a pom-pom-wielding goody-two-shoes, a leather-touting T-Bird or a starry-eyed, pink-haired aspiring beautician, who drops out of school months before graduation.

So throw your mittens around your kittens and hand jive the night away with the show that’ll make you want to stand up and shout, ‘A-wop-bop-a-loo-bop, a-wop-bam-boom!

This production stars Johnny Newcomb* as Danny Zuko and Kimberley Immanuel* as Sandy. Johnny made his Broadway debut in The Last Ship and was part of the national tour of American Idiot. He was last seen in Ivoryton as Roger in Rent. This season’s audience may remember Kimberley for her luminous performance as Luisa in The Fantasticks

Other cast members that may be familiar to Ivoryton audiences are Alyssa V. Gomez* (Rizzo), Amy Buckley (Miss Lynch), Cory Candelet (Eugene), Jonny Cortes (Johnny Casino), Taylor Lloyd (Marty), Alexa Racioppi (Patty Simcox) Max Weinstein (Sonny) Amanda Lupacchino, Andee Buccheri, and Nathan Russo. Making their Ivoryton debut are Katelyn Bowman (Frenchy) Lawrence Cummings* (Vince Fontaine/Teen Angel), Luke Linsteadt* (Doody), Taylor Morrow (Roger), Natale Pirrotta* (Kenickie), Shalani Taylor (Cha-Cha), Audrey Wilson (Jan), Jamaal Fields-Green, Jared Starkey and Clementine Wurzbach

The production is directed and choreographed by Todd L. Underwood and musical directed by Michael Morris, with set design by Daniel Nischan, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costume design by Elizabeth Saylor Cippolina.

Grease opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on July 5 and runs through July 29, 2018. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2pm.Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm.

Additional matinee performances are on Saturday, July 7, 14 and 28 at 2pm.

Tickets are $55 for adults; $50 for seniors; $25 for students and $20 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting www.ivorytonplayhouse.org 

Group rates are available by calling the box office for information. The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

*denotes member of Actors Equity

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Letter From Paris: Exhibition Explores Work of American Female Artist in Male World of French Impressionism

Nicole Prévost Logan

“Mary Cassatt (1844-1926) was the most French of all American artists,” said art historian Jerome Coignard.  She was the only woman – along with Berthe Morisot – to be recognized by the Impressionist movement and therefore permitted to show her works in their annual Salons. 

A rare photograph of Mary Cassatt — supposedly the only photograph for which she ever posed.

For 40 years she developed a personal and artistic friendship with Edgar Degas, which was somewhat surprising considering Degas was well known for his misogyny.  Her long association with the famous art merchant Paul Durand Ruel, especially after he opened a gallery on Madison Avenue, increased the exposure of impressionism in the US.

The Jacquemart-André Museum in Paris is currently holding a retrospective exhibition of monographs by Mary Cassatt titled, ‘An American Impressionist in Paris.’  It is a long overdue recognition of an artist whose works are found mostly in the US, but who is better known in France.  Jacquemart-André is one of the most elegant art galleries in Paris.  It was built in the 1860s as one of the townhouses of the imperial aristocracy in the “plaine Monceau” (an area of Paris in the 17th arrondissement.)

The property is slightly set back from Boulevard Haussmann, and on the upper level, opens up onto a vast courtyard under the watchful eyes of two stone lions.  The magnificent residence, with its eclectic furniture, boiseries (wood wall paneling), fireplaces and Gobelins tapestries, used to attract thousands of guests from the high society.

In the West Wing of the Metroplitan Museum in New York, paintings by Cassatt are hung in a gallery exclusively reserved for the works of other women.  Cassatt might have been upset by this apparent patronization by critics and art historians toward domestic scenes created by women.  She might have deemed it unfair because painters like Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940) or Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947) are famous for their paintings inspired by the intimacy of the home. 

Art historian Guillaume Morel comments that the many mother and child scenes painted by Cassatt were, in fact, more feminist than it appears at first.  He writes that she may have found herself endowed with a mission to represent scenes to which men did not have access.  Her “maternity scenes” effectively propelled her into modernism.

La Loge (The Theatre Box) by Mary Cassatt.

At the turn of the 20th century, women were tied to their homes, seemingly leading an indolent existence limited to feminine activities, primarily the care of small children.  They almost never ventured onto the public place – like a café, race track or a prostitute’s haunt.  The subject in “La Loge (The theater box)” (1878) is a departure from this tradition: a self-assured woman is by herself looking through her opera-glasses, and apparently unconcerned by the male spectator staring at her from another balcony.

Even in France, the obstacles inflicted on women artists were enormous: they were neither allowed in the Ecole des Beaux Arts nor were naked models permitted in their art classes.  Women could not copy the grands maitres (Old Masters) in museums like the Louvre.

The special talent of Cassatt was to have overcome these obstacles by taking advantage of her place in the privileged class, traveling extensively and establishing contacts with members of the artistic elite such as Isabella Stewart Gardner (Boston), Alfred Atmore Pope (Connecticut) or Henry Walters (Baltimore.)

From a very young age, she rebelled against the formal teaching offered in the few fine art institutions open to women.  She hated the idea of learning her craft through the use of castings and copies.  She showed an intrepid personality when she told her father she wanted to pursue her artistic education in Europe.  Her father admonished her, saying, “I would rather see you dead.”

And her response to her father’s threat?  She went anyway.

Cassatt was born in Pittsburgh into a well-to-do family.  Her father was an investment banker and her mother was educated in a school created by a former chambermaid of Marie Antoinette.  At the age of seven, she sailed for the first time to Europe with her family.  David McCullough, in his superb book titled The Greater Journey, published in 2011, describes the luxury steamers carrying less than 300 privileged passengers, who could afford the crossing in comfortable accommodations in an “interior richly embellished with satin wood, gilded ceilings … and indoor plumbing.”

The co-curator of the present exhibit held in Paris,  Nancy Mowell Mathews, rejects the expression “woman Impressionist.”  She comments, “Mary Cassatt did not paint differently from other Impressionists.  What she had in common with them was her taste for rough sketches, the unfinished feel of strokes and her daring cadrages (framing of the subject) mostly used in photography or  cinematography.”

‘The little girl in the blue armchair’ was painted in 1878 by Mary Cassatt.

Cassatt’s models – mostly members of her family – do not pose in a stilted attitude, but appear relaxed and natural.  In “The little girl in a blue armchair” (1878), the little girl is literally sprawling on a big, shapeless, overstuffed blue armchair.  And so is the small boy looking at us in the painting called, “Woman sitting with a child in her arms. 

‘The Cup of Tea’ is a classic Impressionist work by Mary Cassatt.

“The Cup of Tea “(1880) is an unsurpassed exercise in Impressionist virtuosity.  Fast brush strokes  and the rejection of details are sufficient to render volumes.   The dramatic contrast between the fluffy, pink dress and the black of the solid armchair creates a strong composition.  In 1879, Cassatt was officially accepted in the Impressionist Salon.  The two following decades marked the summit of her career. 

Although Cassatt painted mostly in oils and pastels, Degas had also detected her exceptional talent as both draughtsman and engraver.  Her eaux-fortes (etchings) constitute a large part of her works, while “La Toilette” and “The letter ” (both dated 1891) show signs of japonism.  The engraving process with a pointe-sèche (dry point) is a painstaking and dangerous process since acid is used.

She was the friend of the most influential American feminists and joined their movement for equality, which had started in the US in 1840.  Toward the end of her life, she increasingly devoted her time to counseling American art collectors.  Among them was her close friend Lousine Hvenmeyer, wife of wealthy sugar baron, who owned more than 2,000 Impressionist works. 

After spending 60 years in France, she died in her estate, the Chateau de Beaufresnes in Le Mesnil Théribus, north west of Paris, although interestingly, she never took French nationality.

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Sing for Joy! Cappella Cantorum Hosts Vocal Camp in Old Saybrook, July 23-27

AREAWIDE — Bring the joy of singing to your summer by attending Cappella Cantorum’s Summer Vocal Camp July 23 to July 27 from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church on Great Hammock Road in Old Saybrook.

Founder of the Salt Marsh Opera and Cappella’s music director Simon Holt and nationally known tenor Brian Cheney will lead instructive sessions on improving singing skills and how to sing in a choral environment.

Physical therapist Bonnie Brenneman will talk on strengthening diaphragm muscles to improve breathing.

Each evening will consist of two workshops – one in vocal production and one in music theory. A short concert will be given by participants at the end of the week. Camp will be limited to 100 singers. Anyone interested in improving their singing from high school students to adults are encouraged to come and perfect their art.

The church is air conditioned. Cost will be $85. For more information or to register, visit CappellaCantorum.org. or e-mail wrspearrin@yahoo.com.

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Poetry and the Human Condition: Final Talk of Series by Prof. David Cappella is Tonight

ESSEX — Poetry is a spiritual gift. Poetry reclaims the worth of subjective experience, expanding the human mind and spirit in endless ways. It celebrates our basic experience of living in the world. Thus, poetry cannot be reduced to a stock answer. In this sense, it is an art that pushes back against our commodified society.

Using selected poems from a pairing of various poets, these sessions will explore the enormous possibility that poetry, through the art of language, offers its readers to plumb the experience of being human.

Join Essex Library for five consecutive Thursday evenings beginning April 19 and running through May 17, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Poets will include: Robert Frost/ Emily Dickinson; Hayden Carruth/Jane Kenyon; Wallace Stevens/Elizabeth Bishop; Jim Harrison/Maxine Kumin and Czeslaw Milosz/Anna Akhmatova.

Dr. Cappella is Emeritus Professor in the English Department at Central Connecticut State University. He has co-authored two widely used poetry textbooks, Teaching the Art of Poetry: The Moves and A Surge of Language: Teaching Poetry Day to Day.

This series is free and open to all.

For more information, call the Essex Library at 860-767-1560 or visit this link. The Essex Library is located at 33 West Avenue in Essex.

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Community Music School Offers Performance Anxiety Workshop This Afternoon

Community Music School faculty member Cheryl Six of HMHB offers a Performance Anxiety Workshop, June 3.

CENTERBROOK — Community Music School (CMS) will be offering a Performance Anxiety Workshop specifically for musicians on May 12, from 3 to 5 p.m.  Many musicians struggle with stage fright and this workshop will address all the usual symptoms including butterflies, trembling hands, a racing heart, or worse.  The workshop is open to the public and costs just $30 for a two hour interactive workshop.

Community Music School faculty member Cheryl Six will discuss the roots of performance anxiety, the common symptoms, the most popular remedies, and tricks, tips and techniques that you have probably never heard of!  This is your opportunity to listen, learn and share with other musicians.  You will leave feeling hopeful and prepared to tackle your performance anxiety head on.

Six is an active performing flutist and instructor, specializing on piccolo.  She served as piccolo player in the US Coast Guard Band from 1977 until her retirement in 2007, and currently performs with the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, a position she has held for over 35 years.  In addition, Six is often heard in the flute sections of the Salt Marsh Opera, the Con Brio Choral Society Orchestra, and other Connecticut ensembles.

After retiring from the US Coast Guard Band, Six pursued a life-long interest in hypnosis and received a certification in Hypnotherapy in 2008.  In 2012, she completed a Master’s Degree in Holistic Thinking with a focus and culminating project on “Insights in to the Use of Hypnosis for Musical Performance Anxiety.”

For additional information or to register, visit www.community-music-school.org or call CMS at 860-767-0026.

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.  Programs cultivate musical ability and creativity and provide students with a thorough understanding of music so they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives.

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Quodlibet Ensemble Plays Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’ This Afternoon in Final Essex Winter Series of Season

The Quodlibet Ensemble who will play the final Essex Winter Series concert for 2018.

ESSEX — Essex Winter Series closes its 2018 season on Sunday, April 8, with the Fenton Brown Emerging Artists Concert featuring a 10-member string chamber orchestra, the Quodlibet Ensemble, performing Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, among other works.

The concert takes place on April 8, at 3 p.m. at Valley Regional High School, 256 Kelsey Hill Road, Deep River. Tickets are $35 and $5 for students and may be purchased by visiting www.essexwinterseries.com or calling 860-272-4572.

The New York City-based Quodlibet Ensemble is comprised of young, dynamic artists who present a range of music from the Baroque to the modern day. The players hold degrees from the Yale School of Music, Curtis Institute, Juilliard, New England Conservatory, and Harvard University, among others.

Currently they pursue careers as performing artists in both solo and prominent chamber ensembles ranging from early music group The Sebastians, to contemporary ensemble New Morse Code, to the Amphion String Quartet. A few of the players also serve as faculty at universities such as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Yale School of Music, and Connecticut College.

In addition to The Four Seasons, the April 8 program will include music by Mendelssohn, Mozart, and an original piece by Nathan Schram, one of the Ensemble’s members.

Three of the players will take part in Essex Winter Series’ outreach residency and will travel throughout the area conducting workshops, master classes, and special performances in schools and community settings from April 9 through 11.

Essex Winter Series is not-for-profit arts organization and is generously sponsored by The Clark Group, Essex Meadows, Essex Savings Bank, Guilford Savings Bank, Jeffrey N. Mehler CFP LLC, Tower Laboratories, and BrandTech Scientific.

Media sponsor is WSHU Public Radio and outreach activities are supported by the Community Foundation of Middlesex County and donors to the Fenton Brown Circle.

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Closing Reception for ‘Mighty Minis’ at Melanie Carr Gallery

This work titled ‘Juncture’ by Susan Breen is one of the signature paintings in ‘Mighty Minis’ at the Melanie Carr Gallery.

ESSEX — A Closing Reception for Mighty Minis curated by Suzan Shutan will be held Saturday, April 7, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Melanie Carr Gallery in Essex.

In the art world where ‘bigness’ reigns, 30 contemporary artists from United States and abroad have come together to reflect and respond to working small. For centuries, artists have utilized pint-size scales to depict and explore cherished, esteemed, and intimate subjects. The contemporary miniature can be seen as an approach to art making that marries craft and concept with gemlike details of tiny treasures.

Despite our fast-paced world, small works require giving time for reflection and thought. The reward may be the element of surprise. There are many reasons for an artist to favor working small. There can be practical limitations regarding space, time or resources, but in the case of the works presented here, working small is the objective.

There is also the reality that few collectors can accommodate only large-sized work. The focus of this exhibit is on the process of abstract painting, the exploration of work in two and three dimensions, on traditional and modern approaches, the space between craft and concept, and content and form.

The artists exhibiting include: Nancy Baker, NY Caroline Blum, NY Susan Breen, CT Andy Cunningham, CA Kevin Daly, CT Ellen Hackl Fagan, CT Judith Farr, SPAIN Kathy Goodell, NY Elizabeth Gourlay, CT Bob Gregson, CT Richard Griggs, CT Julie Gross, NY Debbie Hesse, CT Jeffrey Cortland Jones, OH Zachary Keating, CT Susan Knight, NE Bonny Leibowitz, TX Barbara Marks, CT ML McCorkle, GA Irene Miller, CT Juan Alberto Negroni, TX Paula Overbay, NY Heidi Pollard, NM Karen Schifano, NY Susan Scott, CT Belle Shafir,ISRAEL Dee Shapiro, NY Suzan Shutan, CT Andrew Small, PA Jill Vasileff, CA

Suzan Shutan graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting/Drawing from California Institute of the Arts and a Master of Fine Arts in Installation from Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts. Shutan has taught at Rhode Island School of Design, Quinnipiac University, CT, University of Omaha, NE and currently teaches Sculpture at Housatonic Community College.

She has attended artist residencies, has been awarded grants that include CEC Artslink, Art Matters, Berkshire Taconic Foundation’s A.R.T, and recently a Fellowship in Sculpture from the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism funding all work created in 2012-13. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions nationally including Bank of America Headquarters in N. Carolina and internationally in Germany, France, Sweden, Poland, Argentina, Russia, Canada and Columbia.

She has been reviewed by the NY Times, High Performance Magazine, and has work in private and public collections such as the Villa Taverna Foundation and UCLA.

Melanie Carr Gallery is an artist-run project space dedicated to the practice, exhibition, and sale of contemporary art and design. The goal of Melanie Carr Gallery is to promote the importance of contemporary art and examine its impact on society while providing its artists greater exposure to new audiences.

Melanie Carr, Owner and Director, is a Connecticut-based artist, who received her MFA from the College of Art and Design at Lesley University in 2011. She began her studies in visual art after serving in the United States Navy as an Operations Specialist onboard the USS Willamette (AO180) in Pearl Harbor, HI.

Carr spent over10 years at the New Britain Museum of American Art, her most recent role as Curator of New Media. She is now Adjunct Professor at Central Connecticut State University, where she teaches drawing, and joined the staff at the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, University of New Haven. Other teaching venues include Spectrum Art Gallery, Centerbrook, Pathways Senderos, New Britain, CT, Green Street Arts Center, Middletown, CT, and the New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT.

Carr’s work has been featured in solo exhibitions at Soapbox Gallery, NY, Stockman Gallery, New Britain, CT, City Arts on Pearl, Hartford, CT, Westport Arts Center, Westport, CT, and Pegasus Gallery, Middletown, CT. In addition, her work was included in numerous exhibits that include The Point, United Kingdom, Gibney Dance, NYC, Gallery Aferro, New Jersey, The Delaware Center for the Cotemporary Arts in Wilmington, Mattatuck Museum, CT, Hans Weiss Newspace Gallery, CT, and Herter Gallery, MA.

Carr has work in the collections at the New Britain Museum of American Art, The Loomis Chaffee School, and the Boston Public Library, as well as many private collections

For more information, email melaniecarrgallery@gmail.com or call 860.830.6949

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Essex Winter Series, Community Music School Present Master Class for Strings, Tuesday

CENTERBROOK Community Music School (CMS) and Essex Winter Series present a master class with members of the Quodlibet Ensemble, April 10, at 4 p.m. at the Centerbrook Meeting House, 51 Main Street in Centerbrook. The musicians will offer advice on technique and performance for student musicians who will each play during the class. The master class is free and open to the public.

The Quodlibet Ensemble is a New York-based string chamber orchestra of young, dynamic artists, who present a range of great music from the Baroque to the modern day. After its debut in 2008, the Ensemble has since performed at the Shepherd Music Series in Collinsville, the Yale British Arts Center, and at Drew University in Madison, N.J.

The Quodlibet Ensemble made its New York debut in March 2016, followed by an appearance at Rockefeller University. Their debut CD, Quodlibet Ensemble: Concerti Grosso, in which all players adapt gut strings, was released in the fall of 2014.

Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 34-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 they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives.  Learn more at visit www.community-music-school.org or call (860)767-0026.

As part of its robust outreach program, EWS brings highly accomplished young artists to public schools, senior residences, and community organizations in several Shoreline communities each year. This year’s outreach program expands to two cities, five towns, eight schools, three senior residences, and two community service organizations over the course of just three days, from May 8 through 10. These outreach programs are sponsored by the EWS’ Fenton Brown Circle, Community Music School, and in part by a grant from the Community Foundation of Middlesex County/River View Cemetery Fund.

For additional information or to register, visit www.community-music-school.org/argus or call CMS at 860-767-0026.

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Melanie Carr Gallery Hosts a ‘Critical Conversation’ on the ‘Artist as Curator,’ Saturday

ESSEX — The Melanie Carr Gallery in Essex will host a ‘Critical Conversation: Artist as Curator Round Table,’ Saturday, March 31, at 2 p.m.

All are welcome and admission is free.

Join Melanie Carr Gallery representatives for a discussion of how the role of artist influences the job of curator featuring:

Suzan Shutan, Independent Curator
Jacquelyn Gleisner, Independent Curator
David Borawski, Independent Curator for Real Art Ways
Joe Bun Keo, Independent Curator
Ellen Hackl Fagan, Owner, Odetta Gallery
Jane Rainwater, Independent Curator

See the current exhibition on view through April 8, Mighty Minis, curated by Suzan Shutan, which has been described thus: In the art world where bigness reigns, 30 contemporary artists from the United States and abroad have come together to reflect and respond to working small. For centuries, artists have utilized pint-size scales to depict and explore cherished, esteemed, and intimate subjects.

The contemporary miniature can be seen as an approach to art making that marries craft and concept with gemlike details of tiny treasures. Despite our fast-paced world, small works require giving time for reflection and thought. The reward may be the element of surprise. 

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The Kate, Community Music School Team Up to Offer Kid’s Camp Starting March 21


OLD SAYBROOK –
The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center and Community Music School (CMS) are partnering again under the umbrella of their performing arts summer camp, “Kate’s Camp for Kids,” to present a spring program and show entitled “It’s Saturday!”

This exciting program takes place at The Kate, 300 Main Street in Old Saybrook, and runs for seven weekly sessions on Wednesday afternoons from 4 to 5 p.m. beginning March 21.  Launched in 2013, Kate’s Camp for Kids is a performing arts camp for children in grades K-5 incorporating music, dance, theater, and visual art.

Directed by Martha Herrle, a 16-year member of CMS faculty and certified Kindermusik educator, this year’s camp theme will be “It’s Saturday!”  Join the celebration of a ‘day off’ in the life of a kid with this clever mini-musical.

From watching cartoons to piano lessons, from football practice to chores, you’ll explore all the options for activities … or are they options? Featuring five original songs and easy-to-learn rhyming dialog, the program culminates in a lively performance for friends and family.

Tuition for this camp is $165 and scholarships are available for families with a financial need.

For additional information and to register, visit www.community-music-school.org or call 860-767-0026.

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. The School’s programs cultivate musical ability and creativity and provide students with a thorough understanding of music so they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives.

Learn more at www.community-music-school.org or call (860)767-0026.

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The End of an Era … but the Journey Continues: Jeff Andersen Retires From the FloGris Museum After 41 Years

Retiring Florence Griswold Museum Director Jeff Andersen stands between State Senator Paul Formica (left) and State Rep. Devin Carney holding the State Citation with which the two legislators had presented him.

OLD LYME — There wasn’t a parking spot to be found Sunday afternoon at the Florence Griswold Museum, nor come to that at the Lyme Art Association. And the reason?  Despite torrential rain, it seemed as if the whole town had come out to say a fond farewell to Jeff Andersen, the much beloved Director of the Florence Griswold Museum, who was retiring after an amazing 41 years in that position.

Jeff Anderson stands with Charter Trustee George Willauer and New York Times best-selling author Luanne Rice alongside the Willard Metcalf painting, “Kalmia,” which the board has now dedicated to Andersen in honor of his 41 years service.

The Museum hosted a wonderful party to celebrate Jeff and his wife, Maureen McCabe, and both Marshfield House and the tent situated in the courtyard outside were packed almost to capacity. Federal, state and local dignitaries were there along with Museum trustees, staff, volunteers, friends and pretty much anyone who had ever had a connection with Jeff, Maureen or the Museum — well over 400 people in total.

The formal segment of the event was emceed by Charter Trustee Jeff Cooley, who opened the proceedings by introducing Senator Richard Blumenthal. Describing the Florence Griswold as “a world-class Museum,” Blumenthal went on to present Andersen with a Certificate of Recognition from the US Senate, which he noted to considerable laughter, “was approved by an overwhelming bi-partisan vote.” He thanked Andersen warmly for, “Your immense public service … and your values.”

State Rep. Devin Carney says, “It all started with just one … and that was, you, Jeff.”

State Senator Paul Formica (R-20th) and State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd) stepped up next the podium and Carney noted poignantly, “It all started with just one … and that was you, Jeff.”  Carney was referring to the fact that 41 years ago, Andersen was the Museum’s first — and only – employee whereas now the Museum has 20 staff, 255 volunteers, 3,000 members and 80,000 visitors annually.

Saying, “I truly want to thank you, Jeff, for doing so much good for the economy as a whole,” Carney pointed out that many of the visitors to the Museum, “come, stay and shop,” in Old Lyme and the surrounding area, adding, “You did a great job at the Museum … but you also stopped a train!”  This latter was a reference to the Federal Railroad Administration’s proposal to route a high speed train through the center of Old Lyme, which Andersen actively worked to defeat.

State Sen. Paul Formica reads the Citation from the state in honor of Jeff Andersen.

Formica then presented Andersen with a Citation from the Connecticut House and Senate, which recognized Andersen for his “passionate dedication directing, restoring and revitalizing the Florence Griswold Museum,” noting, “For 40 years you shared your vision and inspired countless volunteers and workers to help fulfill this vision expanding exhibits, gardens and collections making it into the reputable attraction we know today.” The Citation concluded, “We want to thank you for your tireless leadership and congratulate you on your retirement.”

Following the legislators was Old Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder, who immediately confessed, “Frankly, I have to say I didn’t think there would ever be a time when Jeff wouldn’t be here.”  She continued, “It’s good for him [Jeff] and all of us to be aware of all you have done.  You’re part of our DNA, you’re the heart of our culture,” and then announced that the Town of Old Lyme was declaring Feb. 11 as “Jeff Andersen Day,”  adding to loud applause and much laughter that it was a unanimous vote.

Andersen mingled freely with the more than 400 guests gathered to say their goodbyes.

She read a Proclamation from the Town which stated, “Since he began working with the Museum in 1976, the Florence Griswold Museum has grown from a small seasonal house museum where he was the only staff member to a nationally recognized center for American art.” The Proclamation also noted that, “Jeff is recognized today as the pre-eminent scholar on the historic Lyme Art Colony … and has helped grow the Museum’s modest collection of works of American Impressionism into a deep and distinguished regional collection of American art.”  Describing Andersen as a “visionary Leader,” with a “thoughtful devotion to excellence,” Reemsnyder concluded, still reading from the Proclamation, that Andersen’s, “tireless advocacy for the Museum and its uniquely Connecticut story has transformed the Florence Griswold Museum into one of the state’s most important and beloved cultural destinations.”

Jeff Cooley (center) emceed thw formal proceedings at the party. His wife Betsy stands to his left.

Charter Trustees George Willauer and Cooley then unveiled the beautiful 1905 painting titled, “Kalmia,” by Willard L. Metcalf to which a plaque had been attached stating that it now honored Andersen’s 41 years of service during which he “transformed” the Museum “through his unswerving devotion to preserving the legacy of the Lyme Art Colony.”

Jeff Andersen addresses the at capacity audience.

A clearly emotional Andersen then addressed the audience, which by now was overflowing the tent, saying simply, “We are feeling the love …”  He gave a long list of thank you’s, noting that he and his wife had, “felt such affection and regard since announcing his retirement.” Andersen then shared his opinion that, “whatever you give to the Museum – whether time, talent or money – it is returned to you many fold.”  He said, “Not many get the opportunity to have a career in one place [in his case, from age 23 to 64] and for that I am deeply grateful and humble.  Stressing, “Be assured the future is bright,” he commented almost wistfully, “What an incredible journey this has been … but the journey continues.”

Jeff Andersen and his wife Maureen McCabe applaud the pianist after he played a tune to which they had danced together at the very end of the party.

And with that, Cooley proposed a toast to Jeff and Maureen, glasses were raised, Prosecco was drunk and then vigorous applause and loud cheers erupted all around.

Florence Griswold Museum docent Linda Ahnert points out a detail from the newspaper cutting to fellow doscents.  The cutting announced Andersen’s arrival as the Museum’s first director — and then only employee — 41 years ago.

We here at LymeLine.com can only add our deep and personal thanks to Jeff and Maureen for an extraordinary career in which so much given with such incredible warmth and humility.  Rep. Carney said it best so we’ll end by echoing his words, “The Florence Griswold is truly a treasure, but so are you … Miss Florence would be really proud of you.”

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Cappella Hosts Late Registration/Rehearsal for Haydn’s ‘Creation’

AREAWIDE — Cappella Cantorum Masterworks Chorus late registration and second rehearsal for its spring concert will take place Monday, Jan. 22, at 7 p.m. at John Winthrop Middle School, 1 Winthrop Rd., Deep River. Use the rear entrance.

Auditions are not required.

The concert will feature Haydn’s masterpiece, “The Creation,” that includes the well-known “The Heavens are Telling the Glory of God.” It will be performed Sunday, April 22, with professional soloists and orchestra with Simon Holt of the Salt Marsh Opera directing.

Registration is $40; music is $13.

For more information visit www.CappellaCantorum.org or call 860-526-1038.

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See ‘How The Other Half Loves,’ Presented by Saybrook Stage, at ‘The Kate,’ Runs Through Sunday


OLD SAYBROOK —
Alan Ayckbourn’s farcical tale of matrimonial mishaps, “How The Other Half Loves” will have audiences in stitches. Aykbourn enthralls with his clever use of space and time as he intertwines the lives of two very different couples – a perfectly posh upper-class older one and a messy middle class younger one – on the same stage!

As Bob Phillips and Fiona Foster clumsily try to cover up their affair, their spouses’ intervention only adds to the confusion. William and Mary Detweiler – the third couple – find themselves in the middle of the mayhem when they are falsely accused of adultery – with no idea as to how they’ve become involved.

The fact that all three of the men work at the same company – in the same department adds to the fun. The plot culminates in two disastrous dinner parties on successive nights, shown at the same time – on the same stage – after which the future of all three couples is definitely in question.

The fast pace and physical humor of this piece makes this one of Ayckbourn’s funniest and most exciting plays to experience. The play is set in 1969 which allows for plenty of comic routines around landline telephones, distinct class structures and changing sexual mores.

The play originally opened in London in 1970 to rave reviews and ran for over 850 performances – it also opened on Broadway in 1971.

Ayckbourn has spent over 55 years as a theatre director and a playwright. To date he has written 80 plays – the latest of which opened at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough in 2016 – and his work has been translated into over 35 languages, is performed on stage and television throughout the world and has won countless awards.

The Saybrook Stage Company returns once again to The Kate in “How The Other Half Loves” directed by Michael Langlois, who previously directed Saybrook Stage’s “A Piece of my Heart” in January 2013. Their more recent plays include The Farnsworth Invention, Noises Off, Deathtrap, The Wayside Motor Inn, Moon Over Buffalo and this past July, Barefoot in the Park.

Visit www.thekate.org or call 877.503.1286 to reserve your tickets. The play will be performed Jan. 18 , 19 and 20 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, Jan. 21 at 3 p.m.

Also, visit www.SaybrookStage.org for more information about The Saybrook Stage Company.

The Saybrook Stage Company was founded as a non-profit organization dedicated to providing quality local theater on the Connecticut Shoreline at the Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center. Saybrook Stage welcomes actors of all levels and abilities – and anyone who genuinely loves the arts – to come together and share in the experience that only live theater can provide. The actors that have been part of The Saybrook Stage Company to date have varied backgrounds and “day jobs” from teachers, artists and homemakers to lawyers, business people and judges.

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Join a Watercolor Workshop With Alan James at Deep River Public Library, Jan. 24

DEEP RIVER — The Deep River Public Library presentS a Watercolor Workshop Series with local artist, Alan James. Budding artists will enjoy a step-by-step guided process to make the art of watercolor easy. Interested participants will have a choice of two dates to learn these techniques to master watercolors, Jan. 10, 5:15 – 7:45 p.m. or Jan. 24, 5:15 – 7:45 p.m. All levels are welcome.

Registration is required for this program and will be done through Signup Genius. The link can be found on the library’s website as well as their Facebook Events page. In addition, the class is free, but artists must bring their own supplies. A list of these supplies can be viewed when you register for the class. They include professional quality paints and paintbrushes, a palate, rough or cold pressed paper, an eraser and paper towels.

Direct links to sign up for the classes are:

WATERCOLOR CLASS ON JANUARY 10

WATERCOLOR CLASS ON JANUARY 24

For more information, visit http://deepriverlibrary.accountsupport.com and click on the monthly calendar, or call the library at 860-526-6039 during service hours: Monday 1 – 8pm; Tuesday 10 am – 6 pmWednesday 12:30 – 8 pmThursday and Friday 10 am – 6 pm; and Saturday 10 am – 5 pm.

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Essex Library Presents Baldwin on Burne-Jones’ ‘Le Chant d’Amour’ and the Pre-Raphaelite Dream, Monday

Burne-Jones’ ‘Love Song,’ dated from 1868 will be the subject of a lecture by Prof Robert Baldwin at Essex Library.

ESSEX — Following the Romantics, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood took up four thematic arenas which were newly spiritualized since 1790: 1) the late Medieval Catholic past which the Pre-Raphaelites elevated to the highest level, 2) Woman as a refined, emotionally and spiritually intelligent object of male devotion, 3) an unsullied, pre-industrial Nature usually shown as a refined garden, a pastoral meadow, or a lush forest, and 4) the Arts themselves, especially music, poetry, painting, and architecture.

On Monday, Jan. 8, 2018 at 7 p.m. at the Essex Library, Associate Professor of Art History, Robert Baldwin, will explore Burne-Jones’ painting, Le Chant d’Amour, as it combines all four arenas in a particularly rich composition.

Historically, it returned to an imaginary chivalry where “true love” existed far from mercenary London with its modern marriages of convenience. In its gender configuration, it placed a pure, glowing, aristocratic woman on an artistic pedestal against a distant cathedral and flanked by two male worshippers. As a landscape, it removed itself from the ugliness of modern London into a twilight arcadia combining a garden and a pastoral meadow. And aesthetically, it featured music, the art form universally hailed in the nineteenth century as more spiritual, universal, and emotionally charged.

This illustrated lecture is free and open to the public. For more information or to register, call the Essex Library at (860) 767-1560. The Essex Library is located at 33 West Ave. in Essex.

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Chester Ornaments From Prior Years for Sale at Maple & Main

These wonderful Chester ornaments from prior years are for sale at maple & Main Gallery.

CHESTER — Each year for a number of years, a Chester artist designed a pewter ornament and a limited number were made and sold at this time of year to support local, non-profit organizations.

The last one was done in 2015, and there are no plans to continue the tradition, making the remaining ones definite collector items. Each one has the singular Chester seal, designed by Cummings and Good, on one side; the art on the other.

There are about 70 of these terrific treasures left from the various years, and they’re for sale at $10 each at Maple and Main Gallery while they last. They make excellent stocking stuffers, hostess gifts, additions to your Christmas tree and even classy pulls for window shades.

All the proceeds go to the Chester Merchants to help with their efforts on behalf of the town.

Maple and Main is open Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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‘Con Brio’ Presents its Christmas Concert in Old Lyme This Evening, Tomorrow

Danielle Munsell Howard is the soprano at the Con Brio Christmas Concerts this weekend.

Con Brio presents two performances of its acclaimed Christmas Concert this weekend on Saturday evening, Dec. 9, at 8 p.m. and Sunday afternoon, Dec. 10, at 3 p.m., both at Christ the King Church in Old Lyme.

Imagine sitting in the center of the bright, high-ceilinged space of Christ the King Church in Old Lyme. The music begins. First from behind you. Then to your left, your right, up in front. It is surround-sound live – provided by the voices of the Con Brio Choral Society arrayed around the great space.

As each of 19 – yes, nineteen! –  parts begin to sing, the sound moves from place to place, the voices echoing one another, harmonizing and weaving a musical fabric that envelopes you.

It’s not like any other Christmas concert you have ever attended … unless you have been to one of Con Brio’s Christmas Concerts before. Attend one of this year’s concerts and experience a musical treat to calm your mind and move you into the Christmas spirit.

Under the baton of Dr. Stephen D. Bruce, Con Brio will perform with the professional 31-piece Con Brio Festival Orchestra, and soprano soloist Danielle Munsell Howard, acclaimed by Opera News Online for her “bright, pretty timbre and remarkable facility.”

Con Brio has sung many Magnificats over the years but Rutter’s setting manages to maintain the traditional approach to the well-known text while infusing it with lush contemporary harmonies and textures. Soloist Danielle Munsell Howard, has a voice well-suited to expressing the wonderment of Mary. The choral movements range from the delicacy of Esurientes (The poor) through the power of Fecit potentiam (He has shown strength) to the thrill of the Gloria Patri.

Stunning is the word often used to describe Morten Lauridsen’s Sure on This Shining Night. Its glistening harmonies and melodies so clearly express poet James Agee’s text and the magic of a December night. In 2007, two years after this piece was composed, President George W. Bush awarded Dr. Lauridsen the National Medal of the Arts, the highest artistic award in the United States.

Two pieces will be sung in the round—now a Con Brio tradition. The chorus loves to take advantage of the spacious and acoustically exceptional sanctuary of Christ the King Church. First will be the a cappella, eight-part, antiphonal motet, In Dulci Jubilo, by 15th century composer Michael Praetorious. That will be followed by the 19-voice Buccinate (Blow the trumpet), by Giovanni Gabrieli.

Other pieces include Fum Fum Fum in a playful arrangement by Mack Wilberg; Pietro Yon’s familiar Gesu Bambino which will feature the soprano soloist; Still, Still, Still in a special arrangement for chorus and harp; perennial favorite Es ist ein Ros’ entsprungen (Lo, How a Rose); Hodie Christus natus est (Today Christ is born) is one of the greatest renaissance motets; and Claude Debussy’s spritely and expressive Yver, vous n’estes qu’un villain (Winter, you are nothing but a villain).

Also, Con Brio will perform a rousing arrangement of the famous spiritual, Go Where I Send Thee. The concert will close with Stephen Mager’s wonderful arrangement of Ding Dong Merrily on High, which starts with a simple rendition of the familiar melody, accompanied by winds, and slowly transforms it into a thrilling finale featuring the full orchestra.

As always, each Christmas concert will include carols for audience participation.

Con Brio, over 70 voices strong, is the Shoreline’s auditioned chorus, known for the variety of its repertoire, and the strength of its programming and musical skills. Since it was founded in 1997, Con Brio has performed regularly to a growing and loyal local audience. Singers hail from more than 15 towns: from East Haven to Mystic and from Old Saybrook to Moodus. The choir has made six overseas concert tours, with the most recent to Portugal and Spain in 2016. The seventh will be to Slovenia and Croatia in May/June 2018.

Follow Con Brio on Facebook @conbriochoral or visit www.conbrio.org

Tickets are $30 each, $15 for students. Purchase them in advance online; major credit cards are accepted.

For more information, call 860-526-5399.

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Community Renewal Team Accepting Submissions for 2018 National Arts Program Through Jan. 11

AREAWIDE — For 27 years, Community Renewal Team (CRT) has served as the sole host in the state of Connecticut for the annual National Arts Program® (NAP), providing an opportunity for local artists to showcase their art within the community.

Professional artists, along with youth, teens, amateurs and intermediate artists from Middlesex and Hartford counties are invited to submit their work now for the 2018 art show, which will be on display at Capital Community College (950 Main Street in Hartford, CT) from Jan. 19 – Feb. 7, 2018.

All forms of visual arts are accepted for this show; from paintings and photographs to sculptures, crafts and textiles.

Applications are being accepted until Jan. 11, 2018, and it is free to submit work for the show.

The NAP provides materials and funding for this visual art exhibit, including cash awards totaling $3,450.

More information about how to get involved in the 2018 National Arts Program is available on the CRT website at http://www.crtct.org/en/events/national-arts

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Final Collomore Concert Features Soulful Sounds of ‘Ranky Tanky,’ Nov. 26

Ranky Tanky will play the final Collomore Concert, Nov. 26.

CHESTER — For its 44th season, the Robbie Collomore Music Series will offer all four of its concerts in the fall, between Sept. 24 and Nov. 26. These will be on Sundays at 5 p.m. in the historic and charming Chester Meeting House. It is now the time to buy your season subscription.

In recent years, Jason Vieaux and Julien Labro have thrilled Collomore Concert audiences separately – Jason playing classical guitar in a solo concert and Julien playing accordion with the Detroit Hot Club. When the Collomore committee heard they had joined forces touring, playing the guitar and bandoneon, they jumped at the opportunity to have them return to Chester on Sunday, Oct. 15.  You can expect something “entertaining, fun, exciting, virtuosic in the unusual pairing of these two instruments. The program contains some modern classical, world music from Brazil and Argentina, and even some pop music.”

Latin Jazz comes to Chester on Nov. 5, with the Curtis Brothers Quartet featuring Ray Vega, percussionist.  The Curtis Brothers Quartet takes bold steps towards a modern Latin Jazz sound, fearlessly pushing their musical approach into new territories. Their unique rhythmic concept is what separates them from most other jazz quartets. All of their music, original or not, is based on the percussive concepts that they have accumulated through their various musical experiences.

And on Nov. 26, the soulful songs of the Gullah culture will be brought to life by Ranky Tanky, a five-piece band of native South Carolinians who mix the low country traditions with large doses of jazz, gospel, funk, and R&B. They’ve been called “infectious, intoxicating and exotic” with
“frisky and hypnotic rhythms with a bone-deep mix of spirituals and gutbucket blues.”

Buy a season subscription now and save money, plus you’ll be certain you will have a seat even when a concert is sold out. A subscription to all four concerts is just $98. Individual concert tickets cost $28. For students from elementary through graduate school, a subscription is $15 ($5 per concert). Tickets and subscriptions can be purchased online at www.collomoreconcerts.org using PayPal. All ticket-holders are invited to stay for a reception after the concert to meet the performers. For more information, check the website or call 860-526-5162.

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Photographer Carin Roaldset’s Work on View at Essex Library Through November

‘Falling Cloud’ is one of Carin Roaldset’s featured photographs at Essex Library’s exhibition of her work.

ESSEX — Carin Roaldset grew up on a farm in Sweden and spent years in Germany and Norway before settling in Connecticut.  Her images have been featured on note cards, magazines and in Chamber of Commerce booklets and ad pieces.  She is also the chosen artist for Essex Savings Bank’s 2018 calendar and has illustrated the books A Measure of Joy – Opening to the Energy of Reiki by Gary Stinnet; Here After, Poetry by Mary Volk and Letters from Cornfield Point by Sally Ann D’Aquila.

Nature plays a major role in Roaldset’s life, and she eventually turned to photography to illustrate and share that joy.  “My photographs are mostly close-ups, representing positive emotions” she explains.  “I like to combine common objects and nature.  Texture, lines and simplicity are all important to me.  Clean images, often with an element of surprise, are what I strive to achieve in many of my photographs.”

Roaldset’s photographs and paintings have been displayed at juried shows at the Essex Art Association, Valentine H. Zahn Community Gallery, West Hartford Art League, and the Slater Memorial Museum’s Artists’ Exhibition.   She has also had several solo shows on the shoreline.

Her work can be viewed at the Essex Library throughout the month of November during its regular hours.

Roaldset will be on hand for a reception that will be held at the Library on Saturday, Nov. 11, from 12 until 2 p.m. 

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It’s ‘First Friday’ Tonight with Art, Beer, Books, Knives (Yes, Knives!) and More

The ‘Arrowhead String Band’ will play at the Spring Street Gallery tonight.

CHESTER – Art openings, free beer samples, wine tastings, a book signing, trunk show, artisan knife makers, a new collection of plaid and stripped clothes, music, fine art glass works, lots of wine and food and free items from the design archives of Cummings and Good.

All this and more is happening on First Friday, Nov. 3, when Chester restaurants, galleries and shops stay open until at least 8 p.m. with special offerings for visitors to the downtown.

Ruba Ruba will unveil a new collection of clothing with plaid and stripped themes while at French Hen, resident Caryn Davis will be signing her new book, “ A Connecticut Christmas,’’ and Uno de 50 jewelry will be featured in a trunk show.

At Maple and Main’s Stone Gallery, there will be an opening reception with wine, appetizers and desserts for “The Art of the Sea,’’ a solo show of marine and seascape oil paintings by artist Peter Barrett. A portion of the proceeds go to cancer research.

In her gallery, Dina Varano will display more one-of-a-kind designs that she has created in 14kt and 18kt gold for the new gold jewelry collection for the season. Be one of the first to see these dramatic creations in gold.

A sample of Stein Roaldset’s work.

The Perfect Pear will host two artisan knife makers: Stein Roaldset who will show, sell and discuss his work and woodworker Jerry Lalancette who will showcase his hand-made knife handles.

Cummings and Good are clearing out their design archives and offering for free on their porch: pins, cards, posters prints calendars, paper, pads and more – all designed by them.

Leif Nilsson is opening his Autumn Exhibit of new oil paintings of the Connecticut River and his garden while the artist’s house band, Arrowhead, entertains you at the Spring Street Gallery.

The Lori Warner Gallery will exhibit a new collection of fine art glass work by Carrie Gustafson (see image above), who is inspired by patterns and forms from art history and observations of nature.

Lori Warner Gallery will exhibit a new collection of fine art glass work by Carrie Gustafson.

Wine and goodies will be served at Lark and Strut Your Mutt while the Historical Society will keeps the Mill building open serving wine and appetizers to passers-by.

The Chester Package Store will offers tastings of wine to pair with Thanksgiving dinner and the Pattaconk will do free sample flights of any three beers on tap.

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Tickets on Sale Now for 10th Anniversary Season of ‘Music & More 2018’

The Maccabeats, who will be performing at CBSRZ, March 11, 2018.

CHESTER — Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek’s (CBSRZ) Music & More (M&M) 10th anniversary season 2018 is set to bring a diverse entertainment package to the shoreline community. For a decade the Music & More series has been known for first class entertainment offerings presenting artists with a broad spectrum of music from classical, folk and jazz to a cappella and has distinguished CBSRZ as a vibrant and significant cultural center. For this M&M 10th anniversary season, CBSRZ is changing it up just a little to present even more entertainment.

Kicking off the M&M series something familiar, something peculiar Comedy Tonight!, on Saturday, January 27, 2018 at 8:00 pm. The CBSRZ stage will be transformed into a New York comedy club featuring Alexandra McHale and Johnny Lampert, both veterans of Comedy Central, network TV, casinos, and the NYC comedy club circuit. This show is for audiences of 18 years old and older. Adult beverages will be served. Doors will open at 7:00 pm for a pre-show reception.

Back from last year’s extremely popular performance, The Maccabeats return on Sunday, March 11, 2018 at 4 p.m. to the M&M stage. The Maccabeats are the premier a cappella group from Brooklyn who are a social media sensation with their inspirational and infectious brand of entertainment. Using nothing more than the unadulterated human voice, a clean-cut presentation, and a little Jewish humor, this unique group of singers is able to connect with fans of all ages. Doors will open at 3pm There will be a reception following the concert for a chance to meet and greet the band.

Described as is an imaginative and dynamic new force on the national bluegrass scene, The Lonely Heartstring Band will bring their unique brand of music to the M&M stage on Sunday, April 15, 2018 at 4:00 pm. This multi-talented group of musicians are a classic Bluegrass quintet combining soulful instrumental virtuosity with soaring three-part harmonies.

“This unique anniversary season offers a tremendous entertainment package that I believe has something for everyone,” comments David Zeleznik, producer of Music & More and member of CBSRZ.

A season subscription through advance ticketing for the three show Music & More series can be purchased at a savings of a 14% discount by visiting www.cbsrz.org/events or through the Music & More at CBSRZ Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/music.more.cbsrz. For more information call the CBSRZ office at 860-326-8920 or through email at office@cbsrz.org.

Performances are held at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek, 55 E. Kings Highway, Chester, Connecticut.

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Maple and Main Hosts ‘Art of the Sea’ Solo Show by Peter Barrett During November

‘Convergence’ by Peter Barrett is featured in ‘Art of the Sea’ at Maple & Main Gallery.

CHESTER — Maple and Main artist Peter Barrett’s solo show during November in the Stone Gallery, “Art of the Sea,” could not be more aptly titled.

A graduate of the US Coast Guard Academy and an avid boater, for a quarter of a century, Barrett has been recording with his paint brushes the waves crashing against Maine rocks, boats bobbing at rest in quiet Connecticut coves and herons and terns at the water’s edge of New England beaches.

He is mainly self-taught but has been mentored and guided by well-known artists over the years including Elizabeth Sennett of East Hampton and good friends and internationally known artists Mary Erickson and Donald Demers.  His oil paintings are done both on location and in the studio. 

Barrett’s daughter-in-law, Lindsay Barrett recently died of cancer and the show is dedicated to her memory. Fifteen percent of all sales will be donated to Yale New Haven Hospital Closer to Free Hematology Fund in Lindsay’s name.

A recently retired businessman, Barrett is a founding member of Maple and Main, developing its financial model and serving as CEO for the majority of its eight years in business.

In addition to Maple and Main, Barrett is an Associate Artist at Lyme Art Association and has been in juried shows there, at Hartford Fine Art and the Mystic Outdoor Arts Festival.

The show opens Wednesday, Nov. 1, and a reception with wine, appetizers and desserts will be held Friday, Nov. 3 from 5 to 8 p.m. during First Friday in Chester. 

Maple and Main, at One Maple St., is open Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. See the werbsite for more images and information: Mapleandmaingallery.com; 860-526-6065. Visit on Facebook and Instagram.

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I-Park Begins Final Residency of 2017 with International Roster of Artists

EAST HADDAM— I-Park artists-in-residence program welcomed six new artists to its campus this week for the final residency of 2017. The artists represent a variety of disciplines, from architecture to moving image, and hail from the four corners of the globe. Their stay will culminate in an Open Studios day November 19 from 2 to 5 p.m., when the public can meet the artists and view some of the work they’ve produced during their residency.
 
Selected through a competitive, juried process from a field of more than 600 applicants, November’s artists are:
Zhiwan Cheung, a moving image artist from Pennsylvania, creates films that probe the intersection of national identity and personal psyche. 
 
Adam Haddow is an Australian architect whose work focuses on a sense of place and the patterns that appear in the natural and built environments.
 
Xiao Li is a visual artist and curator from Japan participating in her first U.S. residency. Her art probes the intersections of art and nature and art and science. 
 
Julie Anne Mann is a New York–based visual artist who uses materials found in nature to create botanical compositions that encourage us to see the natural realm in a new way.
 
Helen Betya Rubinstein is a writer and essayist from Iowa developing a nonfiction book about her family’s history and heritage.
 
Joseph Tasnadi is a Hungarian visual artist whose multimedia installations explore the relations between information and artistic expression, information and aesthetics, and information and philosophy.
 
“It’s always interesting seeing the parallels between the artists’ work when they gather for the first time,” says I-Park Executive Director Joanne Paradis. “A common theme for this group was the issue of “place”—in nature, architecture and society. It will be intriguing to see how each artist expresses that over the next four weeks.”
 
During their fully-funded residencies at I-Park, each artist will enjoy a private studio and shared accommodations in a c. 1840 farmhouse. Each individual is free to pursue projects of his or her choosing, with minimal distractions except the lure of nature and the camaraderie of their fellow residents. 
 
I-Park is an artists-in-residence program offering fully funded four-week residencies in visual arts, architecture, moving image, music composition/sound art, creative writing and landscape/ecological design. Since its founding in 2001, I-Park has sponsored more than 850 residencies, and has developed cross-disciplinary projects of cultural significance and brought them into the public domain. Set within a 450-acre nature preserve, I-Park encourages dialogue between the natural and built environments, and has been the setting for exhibitions, performances, symposia, and programs that facilitate artistic collaboration. For more information, visit i-park.org.
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CBSRZ Hosts Book Launch Event Today for ‘House of Peace & Justice’

Ellen Nodelman

CHESTER — House of Peace & Justice, a new illustrated book profiling 100 years of Jewish farming and community in the shoreline-lower Connecticut River area, is to be released in a celebration scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 29, at 11:00 am, at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek, 55 E. Kings Highway, in Chester, CT. The event is free of charge, open to all, and features brunch with foods linked to early Jewish farming in Connecticut.

Three years in the making, House of Peace and Justice, The First 100 Years of Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek chronicles the development of the synagogue from its dual roots: in a small rural temple, Rodfe Zedek (‘Pursuers of Justice’), founded in 1915 by hardscrabble Jewish chicken farmers in Moodus, and in another small Jewish group formed in Chester and Deep River in the 1930’s that grew into the Jewish Community Center, later Congregation Beth Shalom (‘House of Peace’) in Deep River.

Author Ellen Nodelman unearthed colorful details ofmomentous events in the Jewish community of the area, including how the two synagogues merged in 1998 to form one, Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek. The fused congregation moved in 2001 to its current home in Chester, a building renowned in the international art world as the only public space designed by 20th century artist, and CBSRZ congregant, Sol LeWitt.

Few American synagogues have their origins in farming communities. And few American synagogues can claim as diverse and wide-ranging a membership as today’s CBSRZ which has included not only business people, doctors and lawyers but artists, writers, teachers, politicians, musicians, media stars, and even a farmer or two. It marked its 100th birthday in 2015.

The launch event on October 29 will feature three speakers: Ellen Friedman, Jon Joslow, and Michael Price, representing Rodfe Zedek, the JCC/Beth Shalom and the merged CBSRZ. Rabbi Marci Bellows will moderate a session for long-time community members to share memories. House of Peace & Justice author Ellen Nodelman will read selections from the new book.

The general public is invited to attend the Book Launch celebration, a very special event not only for CBSRZ and the larger Jewish community in Connecticut but for everyone interested in the history of the shoreline and lower Connecticut River valley. Visit www.cbsrz.org to RSVP by Oct. 25. Books will be available for purchase at the book launch (list price: $36).  For a discounted pre-publication price of $27, books may be ordered on the website until the 27th of October and picked up at the book launch.

Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek is located at 55 East Kings Highway in Chester.  For more information, contact the office at CBSRZ: 860-526-8920.

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Artist-Run Contemporary Gallery Opens in Essex Village

‘Summer Series 1’ is one of the signature works in ‘Cool & Collected’ opening at the new Melanie Carr Gallery, Oct. 21.

ESSEX – Melanie Carr Gallery will host a grand opening featuring its inaugural exhibition of Cool & Collected, a group exhibition of 14 contemporary artists on view at 1 North Main Street (across from the Essex Art Association) from Oct. 21 through Dec. 3. The opening reception will be Saturday, Oct. 21, from 4 to 7 p.m.

This exhibition will highlight the work of artists in Carr’s collection including Mary Dwyer whose historical portrait paintings revolve around historic lore and her love of early portraiture paintings; Kevin Van Aelst whose cerebral photographs consist of common artifacts and scenes from everyday life, which he rearranges into various forms, patterns, and illustrations; Bombay born artist Rashmi Talpade’s photomontages are amalgamations of reconstructed landscapes that reflect the intersection of Eastern and Western cultures.

‘Untitled’ by Matthew Best.

The exhibition also includes mesmerizing graphite drawings by Thea Wilcox Ciciotte; Robert Gregson’s geometric drawings which stem from his love of architecture; Matthew Best’s collages deal with power, gender, and authority; Kathleen Jacobs’ landscape paintings reveal nature’s abiding beauty, grace and order; Artist Ben Parker delights in his masterful folded paper constructions.

Conceptual artist David Borawski’s Blast drawings will be on view, puppeteer and artist Kimberly Van Aelst’s combines her love of science, nature, and art, Suzan Shutan’s Tar Roofing Paper pieces straddle the worlds of two and three dimensions; University of Connecticut Professor of Art John O’Donnell’s works on paper utilize appropriated images and objects relating to art history, popular media and consumer culture; and Margaret Vaughan who appropriates imagery from the fashion and porn industry states “my works fit in the fine line between lust and revulsion.”

Carr’s studio will occupy the back of the gallery. Works on paper of gallery artists will be available in the Flat Files; a ten-drawer cabinet of flat drawers that will allow more intimate works on paper available for sale in addition to the artwork on view. Also, there will be a dedicated space to serve as a hand’s on mark-making lab for visitors of all ages. Visitors are invited to explore different artist’s materials as a way to demystify and encourage the process of drawing, encourage creativity, develop a deeper understanding, appreciation, and interest in art.

Melanie Carr is a Connecticut-based artist who received her MFA from the College of Art and Design at Lesley University in 2011. Carr began her studies in visual art after serving in the United States Navy. After 10 years at the New Britain Museum of American Art as a Director/Curator, Carr is now Adjunct Professor at Central Connecticut State University and recently joined the staff at Lyme Academy of Fine Arts, University of New Haven.

Melanie Carr

Carr’s work has been featured in solo exhibitions at Soapbox Gallery, NY, Stockman Gallery, New Britain, CT, City Arts on Pearl, Hartford, CT, Westport Arts Center, Westport, CT, and Pegasus Gallery, Middletown, CT. In addition, Carr’s work was included in numerous group exhibitions nationally. Carr has work in the collections at the New Britain Museum of American Art, The Loomis Chaffee School, and the Boston Public Library, as well as many private collections.

Susan Malan, Essex Economic Developer comments, “Essex is thrilled that Melanie Carr is opening a new art gallery at 1 North Main Street.  Her spirit and enthusiasm is bountiful and her gallery will add to the energy of Essex Village.  Melanie also chose Essex as her hometown – highlighting that Essex is a great place to live and work!”

Douglas Hyland Director Emeritus New Britain Museum of American Art notes, “As a respected curator, experienced arts administrator, and talented artist, Melanie Carr is ideally suited to found and operate an art gallery.  I look forward to her exhibitions as I know they will reflect her deep understanding and appreciation of our region’s burgeoning contemporary art scene.”

For more information, email melcarrstudio@comcast.net or call 860.830.6949

Editor’s Note: Melanie Carr Gallery is an artist-run project space dedicated to the practice, exhibition, and sale of contemporary art. The goal of Melanie Carr Gallery is to promote the importance of contemporary art and examine its impact on society while providing its artists greater exposure to new audiences. All are welcome. “artisnotdecoration  #theworldneedsmoreartists #neverenoughart  #collectart #ctartist #artsharpensthemind

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Centerbrook Architects Presents Lecture on Cuban, Russian Design

Photo by Ann Thompson.

The next presentation in the Centerbrook Architects Lecture Series is, The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming!’  On Friday, Oct. 20, at 7 p.m. Centerbrook Architects Principal Jim Childress, FAIA will take the audience on a whirlwind illustrated tour in The Cube at their office of some of the best architecture, new and old, from Cuba, St. Petersburg and Moscow.

Enjoy images of wonderful examples of mid-century modern houses in Cuba, and some of the best contemporary architecture in Russia including the Boris Eifman Dance Academy, the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art and the renovated French Impressionist wing of the Hermitage Museum.

Childress has won more than 60 design awards including the American Institute of Architects 1998 Architecture Firm Award. In 1994, he was selected as one of the decade’s “40 National Architects under 40” by the Architectural League of New York and Interior Magazine. 

He was invested, for design, into the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects in 2001 and recognized for Professional Achievement by the Rhode Island School of Design at their 2005 Commencement. He is a long-standing member the National AIA Committee on Design, serving on its Advisory Group and as the 2015 Chair.

This presentation is free and open to the public. Call the Essex Library at (860) 767-1560 for more information or to register.

Centerbrook Architects office is located at 67 Main St. in Centerbrook.

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Artful Living Invites Students to Submit Original Short Plays for Possible Production at ‘The Kate,’ Scholarship Award

AREAWIDE — Artful Living, Killingworth’s multi-generational community theatre, is seeking original scripts of short plays from Connecticut high school students.  This new program, Playwrights For Tomorrow, offers students the opportunity to win a scholarship and have their play produced on stage at Old Saybrook’s Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (The Kate) on April 29, 2018.

Plays will be reviewed by a panel of theatre professionals. Selected playwrights will be offered the opportunity to collaborate with directors and other theatre artists in the staging of their plays.  Submission Deadline is Jan. 8, 2018.

For full details and an application form, visit www.ArtfulLivingCT.com

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Last Day to see ‘I Hate Musicals: The Musical’ at Ivoryton Playhouse

Equity member Stephen Wallem plays the lead in Ivoryton Playhouse’s upcoming production of  “I Hate Musicals: the Musical.”

ESSEX — Simpsons’ television writer and producer Mike Reiss is back in Ivoryton with his hilarious world premiere of I Hate Musicals: The Musical. It’s the story of a cranky comedy writer trapped in the rubble of an LA earthquake.  His life is playing out before his eyes in the form of a musical — and he hates musicals …  With numbers sung by everyone from Sigmund Freud and Satan, will he learn to be less cranky?

Previews for I Hate Musicals: The Musical begin Sept. 27 and then the show opens at the Playhouse Sept. 29 and runs through Oct. 15.

Stephen Wallem*, a SAG Award-nominated actor best known as Thor Lundgren for seven seasons on the Emmy-winning Showtime series “Nurse Jackie”, will lead the cast as Alvin, the comedy writer. Stephen worked as a stage actor and After Dark Award-winning cabaret singer in Chicago before moving to New York to make his television debut on “Nurse Jackie.” Other television appearances include Randall on Louis CK’s surprise limited series “Horace and Pete” and Chad on “Difficult People.”

I Hate Musicals: The Musical features new music composed by Walter Murphy, composer of the 70’s classic A Fifth of Beethoven (which was included in the soundtrack of Saturday Night Fever. The play is one man’s zany ride through relationships with mothers and fathers, analysts and wives and with a host of surprising characters making unexpected appearances. Ultimately, the story is a traditional one about life, love, show business, and the importance of being kind.

Reiss, who is writer and producer for the long running TV show, The Simpsons, also created the animated series The Critic; the webtoon Queer Duck and worked on the screenplays for Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs; Horton Hears a Who!; The Simpsons: The Movies; and, My Life In Ruins. Ivoryton audiences turned out in droves in the June 2013 for his hilarious play, I’m Connecticut, which was a huge popular and critical success and Comedy is Hard in September of 2014 with Micky Dolenz and Joyce DeWitt.

Directed by James Valletti, the cast includes Playhouse favorite R. Bruce Connelly*, and Will Clark, Sam Given*, Amanda Huxtable*, Ryan Knowles*. The set design is by Dan Nischan, lighting by Marcus Abbott and costumes by Elizabeth Cipollina.

Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $50 for adults, $45 for seniors, $22 for students and $17 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org  (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

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Join ‘Kate’s Camp for Kids’ to Present ‘Elflandia’ Starting Oct. 18; Holiday Show, Dec. 13

OLD SAYBROOK – The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center and Community Music School are partnering again under the umbrella of their performing arts summer camp, ‘Kate’s Camp for Kids,’ to present a holiday after-school program and show entitled ‘Elflandia.’ This exciting program takes place at The Kate, 300 Main St. in Old Saybrook, and runs for 11 weekly sessions on Wednesday afternoons from 4 to 5 p.m. beginning Oct. 18.

Launched in 2013, Kate’s Camp for Kids is a performing arts camp for children incorporating music, dance, theater, and visual art.  The after-school program is offered for ages 7-10.

Directed by Martha Herrle, a 15-year member of the Community Music School faculty and certified Kindermusik educator, this year’s show theme will be ‘Elflandia.’ In Elflandia, the land of Santa’s elves, they are busy making toys and getting ready for Santa’s yearly trip around the world to bring presents to all the deserving humans on the planet. Do human beings really exist? The reports the elves have heard are not very encouraging. Many are grumpy, stressed and loud.

Discover what the elves learn about humans when Santa shows up with a real living example. The ensuing effort to get Elfie Selfies with as many humans as possible makes for a rousing finale!

The cast will rehearse traditional children’s choral repertoire to be performed at the Community Music School Holiday Concert on Dec. 10, and prepare the show Elflandia: a “short” musical about a land of big dreams and curly toes, with a performance on stage at the Kate on Dec. 13.

Tuition for this afterschool program is $165 and scholarships are available for families with a financial need.

For additional information and to register, visit www.community-music-school.org or call 860-767-0026.

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 they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives.  Learn more at visit www.community-music-school.org or call (860)767-0026.

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‘Five Women Painting’ on View This Weekend at Essex Art Association

‘Sunset through the Branches’ by Rosemary Cotnoir is one of the featured works in ‘Five Women Painting.’

ESSEX  — The ninth annual Five Women Painting show Oct. 6 through 9 at the Essex Art Association Gallery features a large selection of new works by Pam Carlson, Rosemary Cotnoir, Claudia Van Nes, Kathleen DeMeo and Janet Rayner.

The gala opening party is Friday, Oct. 6, from 5 to 8 p. m when a selection of wines, homemade appetizers and desserts will be offered and all five artists will be on hand to greet visitors.

The show showcases a wide diversity of styles, medium, sizes and price point by these five established artists. Kathleen, who lives in Old Lyme, primarily does abstract monotypes and Rosemary, from Essex paints large semi-abstract oils and does stone sculptures, Pam, also from Essex, paints water scenes and landscapes in acrylic, Janet from Haddam uses pastels for her realistic paintings while Chester resident, Claudia works in mainly in watercolor.

On Saturday, Oct. 7, from 1 to 4 p.m., Janet will give a pastel demonstration and on Sunday, Oct. 8 from 1 to 4 p.m., Claudia will do a painting using pen and ink and watercolor and Pam will do an acrylic demonstration.

There will be a free drawing for a painting during the exhibit as well.

The show is Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. and by chance that afternoon; Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. and Monday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Essex Art Association Gallery is at 10 North Main Street; 860-767-8996. See Five Women Painting Facebook page.

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Community Foundation of Middlesex County Helps Sponsor Essex Artist’s Residency at I-Park

Aly Maderson Quinlog

East Haddam — Multi-talented artist Aly Maderson Quinlog begins her four-week residency at I-Park this week, thanks, in part, to a grant from the Community Foundation of Middlesex County/Ann and George Petry Fund, Loffredo Performing Arts Fund.

The grant, which was bestowed on I-Park earlier this year, helps to underwrite the cost of a residency in the visual arts for a Middlesex County resident. Quinlog, who lives in Essex, was selected for the residency by an impartial jury of visual artists appointed by I-Park.

“I-Park has contributed to the cultural and economic life of Middlesex County since 2001,” says I-Park Executive Director Joanne Paradis. “We’re thrilled by this show of support from the Community Foundation of Middlesex County, and are pleased that their generosity will allow us to nurture the career of someone as gifted as Aly.”

A native of Charleston, S.C., Quinlog received her BFA in Photography from Winthrop University and went on to receive a Post-Baccalaureate certificate in Painting from the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts and a Masters in Art Education from the Rhode Island School of Design. Her work is exhibited in coastal Connecticut and New York City, and will be on view Sunday, October 22, from 2 to 5 p.m., as part of I-Park’s monthly Open Studios program. The event is free; for details visit i-park.org.

Community Foundation of Middlesex County is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in Middlesex County. Its mission is to work with charitably-minded individuals and organizations to build permanent endowments and other charitable funds and to support local nonprofit organizations through effective grant making to address community needs. Since its founding in 1997, the Community Foundation has provided 1,815 grants totaling more than $5.4 million to nonprofit organizations for the arts; cultural and heritage programs; educational activities; environmental improvements; and for health and human services.

Editor’s Note: I-Park is an artists-in-residence program offering fully funded four-week residencies in visual arts, architecture, moving image, music composition/sound art, creative writing and landscape/ecological design. Since its founding in 2001, I-Park has sponsored more than 850 residencies, and has developed cross-disciplinary projects of cultural significance and brought them into the public domain. Set within a 450-acre nature preserve, I-Park encourages dialogue between the natural and built environments, and has been the setting for exhibitions, performances, symposia, and programs that facilitate artistic collaboration. For more information, visit i-park.org

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Reception Held to Celebrate Photography Exhibit by 7th Grader to be held at Deep River Library

The Deep River Public Library is hosting a reception to celebrate the photography of Isabella Capezzone on Sunday, Sept. 24, from 3 to 6 p.m.

Capezzone is a 7th grade student at John Winthrop Middle School and has had a fascination with photography from an early age, photographing pets, sunsets, flowers and the beauty she sees in nature. After completing a photography course through Girl Scouts, Capezzone continued her studies by participating in a photography enrichment program at Deep River Elementary School.

Light refreshments will be served. Capezzone’s collected works will be on sale and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Deep River Food Pantry.

No registration is required. All are welcome.

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Musical Masterworks, Community Music School Announce Scholarship Recipient

From left to right, Alden Murphy and Abigail Nickell stand with Musical Masterworks scholarship winner Giovanna Parnoff at the piano.

AREAWIDE — Musical Masterworks and Community Music School are pleased to announce the recipient of the first Musical Masterworks Scholarship in Honor of Nancy D. Thomas.

Giovanna Parnoff, already an accomplished pianist and exceptional sixth grade student from Old Lyme, was presented with the scholarship by Alden Murphy, President of Musical Masterworks and Abigail Nickell, Executive Director of Community Music School.

“We are so pleased to honor Nancy’s memory with an award to one of her very own students, in partnership with another of her most beloved arts organizations.’ said Nickell.  Nancy Thomas was a devoted staff member of Musical Masterworks for nearly 25 years.   “It is particularly fortuitous that Giovanna, as a life-long student of Nancy Thomas, is the first winner of this scholarship; we couldn’t be more pleased,” added Murphy.

Giovanna has attended The Community Music School since she was six months old. She discovered her love of music through Kindermusik and Kate’s Camp programs and eventually started individual piano instruction under the tutelage of Nancy Thomas at the age of 3.

She has received perfect scores at the New London Piano Festival organized by the Middlesex/New London Chapter of the Connecticut State Music Teacher’s Association. Giovanna is a member of Mensa and Intertel, two high IQ societies and was recently inducted into the Junior Mensa Honor Society for her academic performance, leadership skills and volunteerism/community service.

Giovanna has been accepted into Duke University’s Talent Identification Program, Stanford University’s Gifted and Talented Program, and Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth. She is a competitive foil fencer, and has been coached for six years by the Fencer’s School of CT.

Giovanna is an award-winning poet, having seen her work published in “The Mensa Bulletin” and “The Young American Poetry Digest.” She lives in Old Lyme with her parents, Dr. John Parnoff and Ms. Monique Heller, and her younger sister, Mattea, who is also a piano student at The Community Music School.

The Musical Masterworks Scholarship in Honor of Nancy D. Thomas provides the tuition for a middle school student to take music lessons, 30 minutes each, for one full year at Community Music School.  The scholarship will be awarded annually for the next four years.  To be eligible, the candidate must be a student of classical voice or instrumental music and reside in Middlesex County or New London County.

Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 34-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 they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives.  Learn more at www.community-music-school.org or call 860.767.0026.

Musical Masterworks brings to Southern New England world-class chamber music performances and outreach programs which attract, entertain, and educate a diverse audience. Now planning its 27th season, Musical Masterworks offers five weekends of performances from October through May in Old Lyme.  Learn more by visiting www.musicalmasterworks.org or by calling 860.434.2252.

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David Handler Presents His Latest Book Today at Essex Library

ESSEX — On Saturday, Sept. 16, at 4 p.m. the Essex Library will host Edgar and American Mystery Award-winning author David Handler, who will discuss his latest book, The Girl With Kaleidoscope Eyes, published in August by William Morrow.

This is the ninth entry in the Hoagy and Lulu mystery series that Harlan Coben calls “One of my all-time favorite series! … David Handler is so good at writing one smart, funny page-turner after another that he makes it look easy.” 

Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing at the event.

David Handler

Handler has also written eleven novels in the bestselling Berger & Mitry series. He lives in a 230-year-old carriage house in Old Lyme, Conn. 

This event is free and open to the public. Call the Essex Library to register or for more information at (860) 767-1560. The Essex Library is located at 33 West Ave. in Essex.

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Pam Carlson of Essex to be Featured at Glastonbury Arts Holiday Art Sale, Nov. 11-12

On Saturday, Nov. 11, and Sunday, Nov. 12, Glastonbury Arts will host its 8th Annual Holiday Art Sale from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm at the Riverfront Community Center, 300 Welles Street, Glastonbury, CT. 

Pam Carlson of Essex, will be a participant in the show. She has been in the art world since before college where she majored in fine art and education.  She worked in commercial art prior to becoming an art teacher in various public school systems and she now concentrates on painting river, land and sky-scapes of the Connecticut River, but can also be found painting Montana’s “Big Sky” mountains, farms and high plains vistas. 

The diverse selection of styles and subject matter that will be on display offers something to fit most any artistic taste and budget. Meet & Greet Reception from 3:00 – 5:00 pm Saturday.

The artists invited to participate in this two day show were selected for the top-notch caliber of their work and talent; many have been recognized regionally and nationally.  “The secret to the show’s success is the high quality of art work exhibited for sale,” say Glastonbury Arts Co-Presidents Carol Ahlschlager and Richard Hoff, “and visitors to the show will find artists who are eager to engage with an appreciative audience.”

“The show takes place in an inviting setting,” says exhibiting artist Katherine Simmons, “at the Riverfront Community Center, located near the town’s new Boathouse.  Free parking is plentiful.  And, admission to the show is free.”  A portion of show proceeds benefits the education and community enrichment programs of Glastonbury Arts and are tax-deductible.  There will be tax-free shopping on both days, another great reason to browse and buy at the show.

GLASTONBURY ARTS was founded in 1962 by a dedicated group of men and women who were passionate in their commitment to the visual arts. Today, Glastonbury Arts continues to enrich and engage individuals in the creation and appreciation of art. It is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that provides art appreciation programs, art instruction, mentoring, scholarships, and art exhibitions. Proceeds from the Holiday Art Sales will benefit the education and community outreach programs of Glastonbury Arts.

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Estuary Hosts ‘Shoreline Artists’ Workshop’ Show

AREAWIDE — Members of The Shoreline Artists’ Workshop are exhibiting their paintings at the Marshview Gallery of the Estuary Council of Seniors in Old Saybrook for the month of September. An opening reception for the exhibition will be held Friday, Sept. 8, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Start your weekend with a lovely gathering to meet the artists and enjoy their works.

Representing six shoreline communities from Niantic and the Lymes to Old Saybrook and Essex, these artists paint and grow in their art each Friday at the Lymes’ Senior Center in Old Lyme.

The group includes: Beverly Ahlers, Gene Bekaert, Linda Beagle, Cathy Castonguay, Susan Coppejans, Jane Critchett, JoAnn Dongweck, Gerri Hallgren, Elin Larson, Keiko Kaiser, Frank Ossman, Hilde Reichenbach, Susan Simler, Sharol Stewart, Andre Walker, Valerie Washburn, Bob Whitcomb and Brian Willis.

Marshview Gallery is located at 220 Main St, Old Saybrook. Call 860-388-1611 for details.

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Registration Open Through Today for Madhatters December Production

AREAWIDE — Madhatters Theatre Company is registering for their December production of ‘Scrooged, with a twist.’  Registration is open to students age 6-18 years.  Rehearsals begin on Saturdays in September at Lyme’s Youth Service Bureau in Old Lyme.

Performance week is Dec. 11-17 at Chester Meeting House in Chester.  Registration is open through Sept. 8.

For further information and to register, email: madhattersctc@aol.com or call (860) 395-1861  www.ctkidsonstage.com/madhatterstheatrecompany

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