January 25, 2020

Kyle Carey in Concert with “Gaelic Americana” at The Kate

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OLD SAYROOK – The Katharine Hepburn Theatre presents Kyle Carey in concert on Thursday, June 23, at 7:30 p.m.

The ingredients of Kyle Carey’s music include the songs of the American Folk Anthology, the Appalachian poetry of Louise McNeill, and the traditional music of Ireland, Cape Breton and Scotland. The results are well described by Jeremy Searle of R2 Magazine: “Kyle Carey is, quite simply, a delight. Drawing from both the American and British folk traditions, her songs, including some very fine originals, are beautifully crafted and performed. She’s assured, confident, charming and irresistible.”

Kyle’s debut album Monongah, produced by former Lùnasa guitarist Donogh Hennessy, rose to number eight on the Folk DJ charts, landing on a number of “Best of 2011”lists by year’s end. Her original songs draw heavily from the American folk tradition, while her fluency in Scottish Gaelic makes for her own brand of “Gaelic Americana” music.

Kyle’s sophomore release North Star recorded in Scotland and produced by Solas founding member Seamus Egan was released in the fall of 2014 to widespread critical acclaim, charting at #45 in the top 200 CDs of 2014 compiled by Folk DJs nationwide.

Having toured for five years on both sides of the Atlantic, Kyle Carey is a unique and innovative artist not to be missed. Doors open at 7 and the show begins at 7:30. Tickets are $20 to the general public and can be reserved by calling 877-503-1286 or by visiting www.katharinehepburntheatre.org. The theater is at 300 Main St., Old Saybrook. More information: www.kyleannecarey.com and www.katharinehepburntheatre.org.

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“Clouds & Shadows” Exhibition on View at Essex Art Association Through June 25

Judy plein air painting in Chester

Dianne Gorrick plein air painting in Chester

ESSEX – The Essex Art Association will continue its 2016 season with the Elected Artists Member Show, which is on view through June 25. Juror, Judy Atlas, is an exhibiting member of City Gallery in New Haven and teaches art classes at Creative Arts Workshop, also in New Haven. A total of $1900 in award money will be given to exhibiting artists for their work in various media.

Each season five EAA artists are selected by a juror to exhibit their work in the small “Exit Gallery.” The Exit Gallery artist during this exhibition is plein air painter Dianne Gorrick, who creates vibrant works of art depicting the beauty of the natural world. Although she selects peaceful subjects, her paintings are invigorated by bright colors and impasto painting.

Gorrick explains that the thick application of paint gives the paintings “a three-dimensional quality,” which enhances the sense of depth within her compositions. Concerning her technique, she writes, “I would say my style is Romanticized Realism. I want the viewer to be drawn into the scene and to enjoy looking at the painting.”

Gorrick’s paintings display skill and knowledge, which she acquired from years of study and exploration. After earning a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University and a master’s in Studio Art from Wesleyan University, she continued her education in painting at the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts, Dartmouth College and the Scottsdale Artist School with the Plein Air Painters of America.

Her artwork has been exhibited throughout the state of Connecticut, earning numerous awards and grants over the years. She is the recipient of two National Endowment Fellowships; a research grant concerning the Hudson River School of Painters and a fellowship to attend Dartmouth College, where she studied the art and culture of New England. Her work has been included in exhibitions at the Wadsworth Athenaeum, the New Britain Museum, the Slater Museum, and the Ward-Nasse Gallery in NYC.

She is an Elected Artist of the Essex Art Association and the Mystic Art Center. Currently, she teaches painting and drawing at the Glastonbury Art Guild. Gorrick had a long and rewarding career as an art educator in the public school system at Bacon Academy, where she also served as department head.

The Essex Art Association Gallery is located in the sunny yellow building in the center of Essex at 10 North Main Street. Gallery hours are 1-5 p.m. daily, closed Tuesdays. For more information, call 860-767-8996.

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Eric Fresia to Perform Concert in the Garden, June 16

Eric Fresia

CHESTER – The Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio and Gallery at One Spring Street in Chester, presents the next  Concert in the Garden on Thursday, June 16, from 7 to 9 p.m.

Nova Scotia Singer Songwriter Eric Fresia will perform.

Eric Fresia’s eighth album is a stripped-down honest portrayal of his 30 years as a singer songwriter. The album was inspired by a six-month journey in 2015 from London to Morocco, and time spent living in Provence, Barcelona and Andalusia. There are echoes of North African blues and Moroccan rhythms throughout. Eric’s new album is a songbook filled with stories from the road. After years of trying different bands from a four-piece roots/rock band to an eight-piece world music ensemble, and ten years of touring as a trio with two of his children, he is performing these new songs solo, just the way they were written, with one mic, one voice and one guitar. The new album will be released at the 8th Beckwith Bash music festival Aug. 20, 2016 in the Fresias’ backyard. More information at http://ericfresia.com/.

A $20 donation at the door is requested. Feel free to BYOB and picnic and enjoy the outdoor bistro style seating in the amphitheater (inside the gallery if inclement weather).

Gates open a half hour before the show. First come first seated. Sorry, no pets allowed.
For more information, call (860) 526-2077 or visit http://www.nilssonstudio.com.

 

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“Invaders” Exhibit Now Open at CT River Museum

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Sponsors of the exhibit gathered for a sneak peek prior to the Invaders: They Come by Air, Land and Water exhibit opening at the Connecticut River Museum. From left to right are: John Lombardo, Stephen and Viola Tagliatela from Saybrook Point Inn and Spa; Thayer Talbot from the Community Foundation of Middlesex County; Representative Phil Miller; Cynthia Clegg from the Community Foundation of Middlesex County; Joanne Masin and Christopher Dobbs from the Connecticut River Museum; Brenda Kestenbaum from Eyewitness News (WFSB); and Tony Marino and Marilyn Ozols from the Rockfall Foundation.

ESSEX – On Thursday night, March 31, the Connecticut River Museum unveiled its 2016 feature exhibit, Invaders: They Come by Air, Land and Water. The exhibit explores one of the most significant threats today to the 410-mile-long Connecticut River Valley:  invasive species.

Representative Phil Miller was one of many honored public figures and supporters in attendance. Miller said, “I’m thrilled that the State of Connecticut was able to provide some support for this important project and I encourage everyone to come out and see this great show.   Building public awareness is a big part of the solution to the problem of invasive species.”

The vibrantly campy, yet serious exhibit was in production for two years and involved numerous organizations including Channel 3 Eyewitness News, the Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge, the Connecticut DEEP Marine Fisheries Division, and the Long Island Sound Study. Stunned by the creative energy and theatrical elements of the exhibit, one observer said, “Move over Universal Studios.”

Taking on the feel of a classic, 1950s Ed Wood science fiction monster movie, the exhibit explores the many air, land and water invasive species to our region. Critical environmental, economic and recreational impacts are highlighted and help to answer why we should care about this invasion.  More importantly, according to the museum’s executive director Christopher Dobbs, “The exhibit provides information on how we can make a difference by changing our habits, identifying invasive species before they are established, and getting involved with environmental organizations such as local land trusts.”

Stephen Tagliatela, owner of Saybrook Point Inn, said, “We are proud to support this kind of effort. The Connecticut River is one of our great regional and national assets.  It is something that brings visitors to the area and it is our duty to ensure its vitality.”

The Invaders exhibit is on public display now through Oct.10.  It has been made possible by Presenting Sponsor Long Island Sound Study.  Other dedicated sponsors include: Channel 3 Eyewitness News; the William and Alice Mortensen Foundation; the Rockfall Foundation; the Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of Tourism; the Community Foundation of Middlesex County; the Saybrook Point Inn & Spa; the Edgard & Geraldine Feder Foundation; and the many supporters of the Connecticut River Museum.

The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex, and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is the only museum dedicated to the study, preservation and celebration of the cultural and natural heritage of the Connecticut River and its Valley.

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Community Music School Jazz Ensemble in Concert, June 11

Community Music School Jazz Ensemble

Community Music School Jazz Ensemble

CENTERBROOK – Community Music School will present a concert by the CMS Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Tom Briggs on Saturday, June 11, at 7:30 pm at the Centerbrook Meetinghouse, 51 Main Street, Centerbrook.

The ensemble, comprised of students ages 12 to 17, will perform a mixed repertoire of blues, traditional jazz standards, swing, Latin jazz and one new original song. The concert will feature group ensemble performance with an emphasis on improvisation. The concert is free and open to the public. Please call 860-767-0026 for additional information.

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“Operatic Disasters,” a Free and Fascinating Lecture, June 4

Kuslan_James editOLD SAYBROOK – James Kuslan, opera devotee and popular dynamic speaker on operatic topics, will present a lecture entitled “Operatic Disasters” on Saturday, June 4, at 11 a.m. at the Acton Public Library. This event is sponsored by the library and the Guild of Salt Marsh Opera.

With the help of fascinating and some hilariously funny sound clips, Kuslan will explore the challenges of singing opera. According to Kuslan, “My objective is not to ridicule, but to demonstrate that the extreme difficulty of the art form means that an audience in the presence of a superb performance is, in reality, beholding a miracle.”

Kuslan graduated with an MFA from the Yale School of Drama.  He has consulted for the German classical music recording giant, Deutsche Grammophon.

“Operatic Disasters” at the Acton Public Library is free, open to the public and handicapped accessible. For additional information, call 860-388-2871. The Acton Library is at 60 Old Boston Post Road, Old Saybrook.

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Marshview Gallery Exhibits Paintings by Maureen Tarbox in June

AOM 2016 06 Tarbox

OLD SAYBROOK — Maureen Tarbox, a resident of East Haddam, will be exhibiting her paintings at Marshview Gallery in Old Saybrook in June.

Tarbox moved to Connecticut in 2002 when she retired from teaching science. She began plein air painting because of the extraordinary light, beautiful scenery and many opportunities to attend art workshops and classes in southeast CT. She paints with a group called The Brushstrokes, who all share the love of nature and desire to try and recreate on canvas the beauty that surrounds us .

For the past 10 years she has developed her oil painting style  under the guidance of Noel Belton and other talented instructors. She is currently a member of the  Essex Art Association, the Middlesex Art Guild, Brushstrokes and the Connecticut River Watercolorists.

Tarbox loves to paint landscapes, seascapes, old buildings and anything with water. She loves the proximity to the many beaches, woods and historical towns.

All are welcome to attend the artist reception on Friday, June 10, from 5 to 7 p.m.  and meet the artist. Refreshments will be provided.

Marshview Gallery is located in the Estuary Center, 220 Main St., Old Saybrook.

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Registration Opens for Madhatters Summer Theater Programs for Ages 6-18

AREAWIDE – Madhatters Theatre Company is currently accepting registration for its youth summer theater programs at Chester Meeting House.

The junior program, open to ages 6-12 years, will be “The Little Rascals, The Musical.” The program runs Monday through Friday, July 25 through July 29, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a performance on Friday.

The senior program, open to ages 13-18 years, is “The Roaring 20’s Musical.” The program runs Monday through Friday, Aug. 1 – 5, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a performance on Friday.

For further information and/or to register, e-mail: madhattersctc@aol.com or call (860) 395-1861. Information is also available at www.ctkidsonstage.com/madhatterstheatrecompany.

The Chester Meeting House is at 4 Liberty Street in Chester.

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‘Discovery Sundays’ at Florence Griswold Museum

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One of the highlights of Discovery Sundays at the Florence Griswold Museum is an outdoor Art Cart that guides families to explore the grounds and its connection to the artists. Explorer Kits are designed for various ages and skill levels.

OLD LYME – Beginning Sunday, April 3, the Florence Griswold Museum invites visitors to shake off any leftover winter blues and celebrate the beginning of Discovery Sundays. In addition to the popular “Make-A-Painting” activities, where visitors of all ages use the museum’s supplies to create their own masterpieces, Discovery Sundays now include an outdoor Art Cart that guides families to explore the grounds and its connection to the artists who famously painted there.

In addition, seasonal buildings including the Chadwick Studio and the Rafal Landscape Center will open for the season. And who knows! With any luck you’ll find some pops of color starting in the garden!

The museum is open every Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. and all activities are included with admission ($10 for adults, $9 for seniors, $8 students). Children 12 and under are always free.

The museum is located at 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme. For more information, visit www.FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org or call 860-434-5542 x 111.

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Land Trusts’ Photo Contest Winners Announced

Hank Golet Mitchell Award a

Winner of the top prize, the John G. Mitchell Environmental Conservation Award – Hank Golet

The 10th Annual Land Trusts’ Photo Contest winners were announced at a March 11 reception highlighting the winning photos and displaying all entered photos. Land trusts in Lyme, Old Lyme, Salem, Essex and East Haddam jointly sponsor the annual amateur photo contest to celebrate the scenic countryside and diverse wildlife and plants in these towns. The ages of the photographers ranged from children to senior citizens.

Hank Golet won the top prize, the John G. Mitchell Environmental Conservation Award, with his beautiful photograph of a juvenile yellow crowned night heron in the Black Hall River in Old Lyme. Alison Mitchell personally presented the award, created in memory of her late husband John G. Mitchell, an editor at National Geographic, who championed the cause of the environment.

William Burt, a naturalist and acclaimed wildlife photographer, who has been a contest judge for ten years, received a special mention. Judges Burt; Amy Kurtz Lansing, an accomplished art historian and curator at the Florence Griswold Museum; and Skip Broom, a respected, award-winning local photographer and antique house restoration housewright, chose the winning photographs from 219 entries.

The sponsoring land trusts – Lyme Land Conservation Trust, Essex Land Trust, the Old Lyme Land Trust, Salem Land Trust, and East Haddam Land Trust – thank the judges as well as generous supporters RiverQuest/ CT River Expeditions, Lorensen Auto Group, the Oakley Wing Group at Morgan Stanley, Evan Griswold at Coldwell Banker, Ballek’s Garden Center, Essex Savings Bank, Chelsea Groton Bank, and Alison Mitchell in honor of her late husband John G. Mitchell. Big Y and Fromage Fine Foods & Coffee provided support for the reception.

The winning photographers are:

John G. Mitchell Environmental Award, Hank Golet, Old Lyme

Youth
1st: Patrick Burns, East Haddam
2nd: Judah Waldo, Old Lyme
3rd: James Beckman, Ivoryton
Honorable Mention Gabriel Waldo, Old Lyme
Honorable Mention Sarah Gada, East Haddam
Honorable Mention Shawn Parent, East Haddam

Cultural/Historic
1st: Marcus Maronne, Mystic
2nd: Normand L. Charlette, Manchester
3rd:  Tammy Marseli, Rocky Hill
Honorable Mention  Jud Perkins, Salem
Honorable Mention Pat Duncan, Norwalk
Honorable Mention John Kolb, Essex

Landscapes/Waterscapes
1st: Cheryl Philopena, Salem
2nd: Marian Morrissette, New London
3rd:  Harcourt Davis, Old Lyme
Honorable Mention Cynthia Kovak, Old Lyme
Honorable Mention Bopha Smith, Salem
Honorable Mention  Pat Duncan, Norwalk

Plants
1st: Mary Waldron, Old Lyme
2nd: Courtney Briggs, Old Saybrook
3rd: Linda Waters, Salem
Honorable Mention Pete Govert, East Haddam
Honorable Mention Marcus Maronne, Mystic
Honorable Mention Marian Morrissette, New London

Wildlife
1st: Chris Pimley, Essex
2nd: Harcourt Davis, Old Lyme
3rd: Linda Waters, Salem
Honorable Mention Thomas Nemeth, Salem
Honorable Mention Jeri Duefrene, Niantic
Honorable Mention Elizabeth Gentile, Old Lyme

First place winner of Wildlife category - Chris Pimley

First place winner of Wildlife category – Chris Pimley

The winning photos will be on display at the Lymes’ Senior Center for the month of March and Lyme Public Library in April. For more information go to lymelandtrust.org.

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Salt Marsh Opera Hosts Master Class Led by Soprano Patricia Schuman

Patricia Schuman

Patricia Schuman

AREAWIDE – The internationally acclaimed soprano Patricia Schuman will lead a Master Class on Friday, April 1, at 7 p.m. at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme. The class is sponsored by the Guild of Salt Marsh Opera.

Ms. Schuman has been engaged with the most distinguished opera houses throughout Europe and the United States, including the Metropolitan Opera with James Levine, La Scala with Riccardo Muti, Vienna State Opera and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden.

The church is located at 2 Ferry Rd., Old Lyme. Suggested donation is $20. A reception will follow the Master Class.

 

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New Trustees Join the Board at The Kate

kate logoOLD SAYBROOK – The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (the Kate) has welcomed three new members to the Board of Trustees that oversees the Kate – Devin Carney, Thomas Gezo and Anne Barosewicz-Mele.

Devin Carney is the Connecticut State Representative for the 23rd District, which includes Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook.   For several years he has been involved with the Kate’s Oscar Party, where he proudly contributes his grandfather Art Carney’s Oscar to the festivities.

A business coach and consultant, Thomas Gezo has previously managed projects and contracts in his corporate career for high-tech software companies. He is a certified SCORE business mentor and the AVP of the Southern New England Chapter of PMI, responsible for programming in the New London region.  He and his wife, Evelyn, are current volunteers with the Kate.

Anne Bartosewicz-Mele is an energy infrastructure expert, having worked with Northeast Utilities and currently Burns & McDonnell. She has also served on various nonprofit boards, including the Bushnell Park Foundation and Leadership Greater Hartford.

“The staff and the Board of Trustees of the Kate are delighted to welcome the new trustees into the organization,” said the Kate’s executive director, Brett Elliott. “We look forward to combining backgrounds and talents on behalf of the Kate for its long-term mission.”

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Kate’s Summer Camp for Kids Opens for Registration

Kate's Camp, 2015

Kate’s Camp, 2015

OLD SAYBROOK – The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center and Community Music School present Kate’s Camp for Kids, a performing arts summer camp program, which will be held at The Kate, 300 Main Street in Old Saybrook, from July 11 to Aug. 5.

Launched in 2013, Kate’s Camp for Kids is a state-licensed arts camp for children ages 5 to 10 years old incorporating music, dance, theater, and visual art in weekly sessions that culminate in a performance for family and friends. A diverse range of activities is offered on a rotating basis to ensure a fresh experience for even the most frequent camper.

Directed by Nancy Thomas, a 20-plus-year member of the Community Music School faculty and certified Kindermusik educator, the camp features four, one-week sessions that meet Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Tuition for each camp week is $260 and scholarships are available for families with a financial need.

Each week of camp has a different theme. On July 11-15, “In a Galaxy Not So Far Away,” explores the music by composer John Williams made famous in the “Star Wars” movies. July 18-22 is “Dreamcatcher,” an original musical story of peace, harmony and joy. July 25-29, “Hats!”  features a clever rhyming script and songwriting; and Aug. 1-5, “We Haz Jazz,” which will explore the work of great jazz musicians.

Kate’s Camp for Kids is generously supported by the Boody Family Fund, the Maximilian E. and Marion O. Hoffman Foundation, NewAlliance Foundation and the Community Foundation of Middlesex County/River View Cemetery Fund.

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

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Help your friends celebrate their first baby

Posted: March 14, 2019

All new-parents need a good laugh. They are probably tired because of the white nights they are spending when the baby has difficulties in finding their sleep. If one of your friends has recently become a parent then you should offer them a gift that will make them have a good laugh. And let’s face it finding gifts for new babies is a difficult task because very few times you match the taste of the new parents. Sure, you can buy them a cute onesie or a parenting book, but they have probably received dozens of them.

Becoming a parent is a stressful thing, and your friends definitely need comic relief and you can help them cheer up with the gifts you bring. Here is a list with some of the funniest things you can offer to new parents.

Start with accessories

Sometimes it is easier to find some baby accessories that will make the adults laugh. The number one accessory you can find is a baby dumbbell, it weighs less than a pound but it will cheer up the parents every time they will see the little one pumping iron like a gym passionate.

In the accessories category is also included the beer bottle. Yes, everyone knows that the baby is drinking milk or tea but a cute undercover will make them look hilarious. And if you do not like beer there are countless alcoholic-inspired bottles you can offer to the parents to spice up the way their baby looks.

Everyone knows that when you want to make the baby stop crying you offer them a binkie. If the little one is known for being silent only when they have a binkie you can check the market and find one that looks like a moustache. If they have a baby girl then you can opt for a Botox lips binkie, the little one will look bomb from a small age.

You want to buy them outfits

If you still want to offer them clothing items but you do not want to choose the classic onesie you can find online some crazy but useful items. First, you know that before walking, the baby will crawl. And because they are already on the floor why not offering them a baby mop outfit like the one you can find here. The outfit is made from a soft and breathable fabric but it will make the baby look adorable while they dust the floor.

In addition, if you want to take the outfit gift a step further then you can get them a tortilla swaddle, especially if the parents are known for being food lovers. What is cuter than a baby looking like a burrito?

Have you ever seen a baby who does not spill food? Neither we. You can add a comic touch to this activity, all babies do with a funny bib. If you know what the super power of the baby is then you can customise a bib with their superhero name on it.

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FloGris Offers Free Admission to All, Saturday, May 7

Families are invited to create hands-on crafts during Community Free Day on May 7.

Families are invited to create hands-on crafts during Community Free Day on May 7.

OLD LYME – The Florence Griswold Museum presents its annual Community Free Day on Saturday, May 7, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event offers free admission to the museum’s 11-acre campus on Lyme Street in Old Lyme, and includes family activities as well as two performances by Master Storyteller Tom Lee.

A performer for all ages, Lee will present “Mysteries at the Museum: Stories That’ll Make You Think” at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. With training in classical theater, Lee has been performing in museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art for over 15 years (www.tomleestoryteller.com). The museum will also offer a special family craft activity in the Hartman Education Center from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., a scavenger hunt, and a “Can You Find Me” art hunt.

“Our Community Free Day is a great way for all ages to spend the day at the museum,” said David D.J. Rau, Director of Education and Outreach. “The fun and educational activities planned for this year are a wonderful introduction for the many first-time visitors we get on this annual day.”

Museum-goers visiting the original Florence Griswold House are treated to guides sharing stories of the Lyme Art Colony artists who stayed with Florence Griswold in the boardinghouse over 100 years ago. The house, decorated as it was in 1910, includes the original paintings that artists created on the door and wall panels of the house.

On view in the museum’s Krieble Gallery is “Ten/Forty: Collecting American Art at the Florence Griswold Museum.” The exhibition details the growth of the museum’s art collection over the past 40 years, including a range of American art from the Tonalist style of the late 1800s to today’s modern Abstraction.

Community Free Day attendees can also visit the Chadwick Art Studio, presented as it would have looked in 1920; the Rafal Landscape Center; as well as the museum’s gardens and grounds along the Lieutenant River.

A historic center for American art, the Florence Griswold Museum is considered the Home of American Impressionism. The museum is located at 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT, exit 70 off I-95. For additional information contact the museum at 860-434-5542 or visit  www.FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org.

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Visitors will hear about life in an artists’ boardinghouse at the Florence Griswold Museum.

Visitors will hear about life in an artists’ boardinghouse at the Florence Griswold Museum.

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Gallery Openings & Receptions at May Daze Night, May 6

CHESTER – On Friday evening, May 6, when Chester Center celebrates its annual May Daze Night, two of Chester’s well-known art galleries will be hosting opening receptions from 5 to 8 p.m.

Leif Nilsson will have a reception for his exhibit of his new gouache paintings done in the United Kingdom this spring. Gouache is a new medium for him to explore, Leif said, adding, “Especially for traveling, it dries so quickly and is easy to move around with.” The Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio and Gallery is at One Spring Street. More information at http://www.nilssonstudio.com

"Spring in Chewstoke, England" - gouache, 7 x 11 inches by Leif Nilsson 2016 ©

“Spring in Chewstoke, England” – gouache, 7 x 11 inches by Leif Nilsson 2016 ©

Chester Gallery, at 76 Main Street, opens “Housing for the Birds,” with bird houses by Hans Lohse, works on paper by Elizabeth Gourlay, and etching and engraving by Richard Ziemann. Meet the artists at the reception till 8 p.m. This show will remain up through the summer.

Photo by Tracey Kroll

Photo by Tracey Kroll

Chester’s May Daze Night also includes store events and refreshments throughout the Center. At 8 p.m., stay for some street dancing to music by DJ Gary Torello, in celebration of the almost done Main Street Bridge reconstruction. Watch for more information at Facebook.com/visitchesterct or Finditinchesterct.wordpress.com.

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Sinfonia and String Ensemble in Free Concert, May 3

Community Music School's String Ensemble in concert

Community Music School’s String Ensemble in concert

DEEP RIVER – On Tuesday, May 3, at 6:30 p.m., nearly 50 string musicians will take the stage at John Winthrop Middle School in Deep River for the Community Music School’s Sinfonia and String Ensemble Concert. Ranging in age from eight to eighty-four, members of the two multi-generational performance groups will play a variety of classical pieces, including works by Bach, Tchaikovsky, Saint-Saëns, as well as popular movie music, fiddle tunes and pop, all under the direction of Martha Herrle. The concert is free and open to the public.

Sinfonia and String Ensemble members come from several shoreline towns (and beyond) to rehearse together at Old Saybrook High School for 26 weeks beginning in September and ending just prior to the annual concert performance. Compared to String Ensemble’s modest start in 2002, with just four children and one senior adult, the orchestra’s growth is a testament to its all-inclusive policy of being open to all intermediate to advanced string musicians, regardless of age and with no audition requirement.  It also serves as a great opportunity for family members to share in their musical interests and spend time together.

For more information, go to www.community-music-school.org or call 860-767-0026. The Community Music School, located at 90 Main Street in Centerbrook, is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to building community through music since 1983.

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Marshview Gallery Exhibits Elaine Lifland’s Paintings in May

Elaine Lifland with some of her paintings to be exhibited in Old Saybrook.

OLD SAYBROOK – The Marshview Gallery at the Estuary Council of Seniors in Old Saybrook will exhibit the work of Elaine Lifland during the month of May. An artist reception will be held Friday, May 13, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Elaine Lifland always had a love for painting. Raising a family and having a full-time job meant she waited until retirement to pursue her passion. Her experience began with watercolor, studying with Timothy Clark. Later she was introduced to oil paints and it changed everything for her. She studied at the Art Students’ League in NYC where she lived. She gives credit to instructor Kenneth MacIndoe for encouraging her.

Elaine is a member of the Essex Art Association and the Old Lyme Art Association, where she has won Best of Show. She hopes that her paintings stir your emotions and bring a smile to your face!

All are welcome to attend the reception and meet the artist. Refreshments will be provided. The Estuary Council of Seniors is at 220 Main Street in Old Saybrook.

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Juniper Foster Art Exhibit on Show at CBSRZ Through April 30

Emerging Worlds I, 2016, 36x36" (Photo: Nazim Khan)

Emerging Worlds I, 2016, 36×36″ (Photo: Nazim Khan)

AREAWIDE – “Juniper Foster has evolved to a place in the artistic community where she and her work can no longer be ignored. There are many paintings and many artists but rarely do paintings arise with such strength of purpose and overwhelming originality.” – Harry Folsom

An opening reception will be held on Sunday, March 13, from 3 to 5 p.m., for one of this year’s most exciting artistic events at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek’s Main Street Gallery.

New York artist Juniper Foster’s dynamic, unencumbered palette forms a conversation with the canvas, effortlessly draws the viewer into her world, and brings each painting to life, transforming the spectator into a participant whose perspective is free to shift with time and mood.

Her 37 works range in size from 4×4″ to 58×84” and will be on display through April 30.

Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek is located at 55 East King’s Highway in Chester. For more information, visit cbsrz.org or call 860-526-8920.

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Gowrie Group Supports ‘The Kate’ with Annual Sponsorship

OLD SAYBROOK – The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, Inc. (The Kate) has announced a generous annual corporate sponsorship from Gowrie Group. The sponsorship enables the Kate to continue to develop unique and diverse productions, as it enters into its seventh year of operations as a nonprofit performing arts organization.

Brett Elliott, the Executive Director of the Kate, said, We are thrilled to partner with Gowrie Group this year to produce wonderful entertainment with creativity and wit, just like our namesake.  Carter Gowrie has been instrumental in numerous initiatives here at the Kate, since his time joining the Board of Trustees.  It is with great pleasure that we welcome Carter and the Gowrie Group into the family here at the Kate.”

Carter Gowrie, CEO and founder of Gowrie, commented, “I love the Kate and am excited to be serving on the Board of Trustees. It is very special to have such an active performing arts theatre in our beautiful town, and Gowrie Group is very happy to help support it.”

The Gowrie Group, one of the nation’s Top 50 independent insurance agencies, is located in Westbrook, along with several offices in other New England states.

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Wadsworth Atheneum Curator to Speak at River Museum Dinner, April 21

Erin Monroe

Erin Monroe

OLD LYME – Erin Monroe of the Wadsworth Atheneum will be the speaker at the Connecticut River Museum’s annual Brenda Milkofsky Curatorial Fund dinner at the Old Lyme Country Club on Thursday, April 21, beginning at 6 p.m.

Erin Monroe joined the Wadsworth staff in 2007 and today serves as the Robert H. Schutz, Jr. Assistant Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture. She entitled her talk, “Pioneering Visions: American Landscape Painters and Their Patrons.”  Using works from the Atheneum’s collections, she will discuss how the emergence of American landscape painting is closely interwoven with the founding of that museum in 1842.  Erin has worked with the Atheneum’s extensive painting collection, which includes Hudson River School, landscapes, portraiture, folk art, American impressionism and modernism, among others.

The Milkofsky Curatorial Fund is restricted to the acquisition and conservation of objects and manuscripts that enhance the historical focus of the Connecticut River Museum’s collections. Purchases from this fund have included the portrait of a Middletown merchant-mariner, a landscape of the oft-painted view of the Ox Bow below Mount Holyoke, the stern board of a Portland-built stone schooner, an Old Lyme hunting scene and a model of a Blue Line tug-boat, among others.

For more information or to make a reservation, please call the Connecticut River Museum at 860-767-8269.

 

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Connecticut Valley Camera Club Features Wildlife Photographer, April 19

Wildlife photographer Kristofer Rowe will be the guest speaker at CCVC on 19 April, 2016 (photo by Kristofer Rowe)

Wildlife photographer Kristofer Rowe will be the guest speaker at CVCC on April 19 (photo by Kristofer Rowe)

The April meeting of the Connecticut Valley Camera Club (CVCC) will be on Tuesday, April 19 at 7:00 p.m.

The program will feature Kristofer Rowe, a wildlife photographer focusing on osprey, owls and hawks.  You can view some of his photos on Facebook here www.facebook.com/ KristoferRowePhotography/.

For further information, please call Ed McCaffrey at 860-575-4694.

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Captivating Children’s Musical Delivers Social Message, April 16

polkadot pic
IVORYTON –
The Ivoryton Playhouse will be producing Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical for schools in Middlesex and New London Counties in April.

This show delivers the message of treating others with dignity and compassion. Polkadots was inspired by the 1957 events of the Little Rock Nine in Arkansas and serves as a colorful history lesson for children, reminding them that our individual differences make us awesome, not outcasts.

It is the story of Lily Polkadot, who has just moved to the “Square’s Only” small town of Rockaway with her mother. As the first Polkadot in an all-Square school, Lily faces the almost impossible task of gaining acceptance from her peers. From daily bullying by mean girl Penelope to segregated drinking fountains, Lily’s quest seems hopeless until she meets Sky, a shy Square boy whose curiosity for her unique polkadot skin blooms into an unexpected pal-ship and a turn of events for the courageous Lily. The show is brought to life with costuming and 14 entertaining musical numbers.

Co-produced by Marc Blakeman, Polkadots was conceived by Douglas Lyons, who wrote the music and lyrics. Lyons, a Connecticut native and graduate of the Hartt School, is a Broadway actor whose credits include Beautiful: The Carole King Musical and The Book of Mormon.

Besides the school shows (which include the Chester, Deep River and Essex Elementary Schools), there will also be public performances (suggested for ages 11 and under) on Monday and Tuesday, April 11 and 12, at 7 p.m., and Saturday, April 16, at 2 p.m. Tickets for these public shows $15 all ages (special pricing of groups of 10 and more).

For tickets and information, call the Ivoryton Playhouse at (860) 767-7318 or visit www.ivorytonplayhouse.org.

Funding for this program provided by Marc Blakeman, the Bauman Family Foundation and Thomas J. Atkins Memorial Trust Fund, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee and Essex Community Fund.

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Vendors and Artisans Sought for May 14 Sale

OLD SAYBROOK – Vendors and artisans who want to showcase their one-of-a-kind treasures, antiques, vintage pieces, arts and crafts and other assorted bric-a-brac during the one-day shopping event, “Junk in the Trunk,” are asked to fill out an application by April 15.

The event will be held on Saturday, May 14, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Estuary Council of Seniors, 220 Main Street, Old Saybrook, rain or shine.

Application and $30 payment are due by April 15. Call Paul Doyle at (860) 388-1611, ext. 211 or stop by the Estuary Council for an application.

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Registration Begins for Summer Dance Programs at Eastern Connecticut Ballet

Registration for all Summer Dance classes at Eastern Connecticut Ballet has begun.

AREAWIDE – Eastern Connecticut Ballet’s Summer Dance program will help all young dancers to grow and improve. The school for classical ballet training is offering many different workshops at its East Lyme studio in July and August with options of taking a single or multi-week program.

The youngest dancers (ages 3½-6) may enroll in a Storybook Magic Adventure featuring ballet, jazz and special crafts.  The Petite Dancer Workshop (ages 6-8) is designed to bridge the gap between the young children’s program and the graded classical ballet program.  Older children (ages 8-12) will build their skills and have fun in the Young Professional Summer Workshop.

More experienced students will benefit from the Intermediate/Advanced Workshop and/or the Summer Intensive, “In Balanchine’s Footsteps.”

Headlining the guest faculty for the Intensive is New York City Ballet’s extraordinary principal dancer Sara Mearns, described by Alastair Macaulay of the New York Times as “the great American ballerina of our era.”  “In Balanchine’s Footsteps” will also be taught by Pennsylvania Ballet principal Amy Aldridge and Gloria Govrin, ECB Artistic Director, master teacher and former New York City Ballet soloist.  These distinguished artists were either students of Balanchine or members of companies in the Balanchine tradition.  To round out the program, students will enjoy jazz with Broadway veteran Mary Ann Lamb and modern dance with Paul Taylor Company member Eran Bugge.

“There’s no better way for a young dancer to learn than from master teachers who were either students of Balanchine or members of companies that embrace his style and choreography,” said ECB executive director Lise Reardon.

In addition, teens and adults may take classes in ballet and jazz on summer evenings. A full schedule, costs and registration form are available at easternctballet.com. Register by April 8 and receive a $15 discount. For inquiries, call 860-739-7899 or visit ECB at 435 Boston Post Road in East Lyme.

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Paul Winter Consort to Perform in Chester, April 10

Paul Winter at Crestone (2)a

Paul Winter at Crestone

CHESTER – Seven-time Grammy winner Paul Winter brings the environmental melodies of whales, birds, seals, wolves, elephants and the earth’s melodic treasures to Chester on Sunday, April 10, at 5 p.m. at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek.

Booking such world-renowned musical talent for the synagogue’s Music & More program was not easy, but for the series producer, David Zeleznik, it was the result of an enduring passion.

He says, “I first encountered the Paul Winter Consort as a college student at Northwestern University in the 1970s. As a former student there himself, Paul’s jazz legacy was well known on campus. I was a budding acoustic string musician at the time and I was blown away by the amazing talents of the band and their ability to set a groove with no need for vocals.

“The virtuosity of the guitarist Ralph Towner especially caught my attention, and the Consort’s groundbreaking album ‘Icarus,’ composed by Ralph Towner and produced by George Martin, was breathtaking. [It was taken to the moon by Apollo 15 astronauts.]

“Fast forward four decades…I discovered that Paul Winter’s base of operations is Litchfield County. As I learned about the far-reaching musical projects that Paul Winter had been engaged in, I found that he and his music were as vibrant as ever.

“In fact, I dare say in these ecologically challenged times, his work has fresh urgency and is even more relevant than before. Paul Winter recently completed work on his Flyways project, which celebrates the great bird migration between Africa and Eurasia. That, coupled with his Music for the Earth foundation and its mission of awakening a spirit of involvement in the preservation of wildlife and the Earth’s natural environments, led us to engage the Paul Winter Consort to perform ‘In Celebration of the Earth.’ The program will be an exciting musical connection to nature’s Spring awakening and Earth Day, which follows on April 22.”

As always at Music & More programs, the ticket price includes a reception and a chance to meet the musicians. General admission tickets are $35 in advance through the website, cbsrz.org, or $40 at the door, depending on availability.  Tickets for children under 16 are free.

Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek is located at 55 East Kings Highway in Chester. For more information contact the office (860) 526.8920 or visit the website, cbsrz.org.

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Maple and Main Gallery Spring Exhibit Open

"Spring in Paris" by BL Taylor of Essex

“Spring in Paris” by BL Taylor of Essex

CHESTER – The sixth annual Spring Exhibit at Maple and Main Gallery with art from 45 Connecticut artists will open Wednesday, April 6, with a reception Saturday, April 9, from 6 to 8 p.m.

The show of over 200 newly created paintings includes landscapes, marsh and marine views, city and country depictions; abstracts and semi-abstracts in a wide variety of mediums, sizes and price points.

The opening party features a beer and wine tasting by Tony’s Package Store in Haddam plus appetizers and wine. Many of the artists will be on hand.

The Spring Exhibit runs through June 19.

Also during the month of April, the artwork by students at Haddam-Killingworth High School will be exhibited in Maple and Main’s Stone Gallery.

Maple and Main, at the corner of Maple and Main Streets in Chester Center, is open Wednesday and Thursday, noon to 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, noon to 7 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Visit mapleandmaingallery.com and the gallery’s facebook page or call 860-526-6065.

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Vista Hosts “Pirates of Penzance,” May 20-22

square logoAREAWIDE – “The Pirates of Penzance” will run May 20 through May 22 at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center — The Kate — in Old Saybrook. Hosted by Vista, Pat Souney will direct.

For additional information, contact Amanda Roberts at (860) 399-8080 ext. 255 or aroberts@vistavocational.org.

Editor’s Note: Based in Madison and Westbrook, Vista Vocational & Life Skills Center is a 501©3 nonprofit organization.  Vista’s mission is to provide services and resources to assist individuals with disabilities achieve personal success. For more information about Vista, visit www.vistavocational.org.

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Essex Winter Series Presents Master Class for Strings, April 4

 tessa
CENTERBROOK –
Community Music School and Essex Winter Series will present a Master Class with violinist Tessa Lark on Monday, April 4, at 4 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church, 109 Main St., Centerbrook. Tessa 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.

Tessa Lark is the Fenton Brown Emerging Artist for the 2016 Essex Winter Series. Prior to the Master Class, Tessa will perform the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra on Sunday, April 3 at 3 p.m. at Valley Regional High School. Winner of the prestigious Naumburg International Violin Competition in 2012, Tessa one of the most captivating artistic voices of her time.

As part of its outreach program, Essex Winter Series brings highly accomplished young artists to public schools and senior residences in several shoreline communities each year. This year’s outreach program expands to two cities, four towns, seven schools, three senior residences, and two community service organizations over the course of just three days, from April 4 to 6. These outreach programs are sponsored by the EWS Fenton Brown Circle and Community Music School.

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

 

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Two Authors to Speak at AAUW Book Author Lunch, April 2

Lisa Reisman

Lisa Reisman

AREAWIDE – The Lower Connecticut Valley Branch of the AAUW (American Association of University Women) will hold its annual Book Author Luncheon on Saturday, April 2, at 11:30 a.m. at the Saybrook Point Inn.  The featured authors are Lisa Reisman and Kate West.  The event includes lunch, a silent auction and raffle baskets.  Tickets are $50 (cash or checks please) and support AAUW’s mission to provide educational grants to Connecticut women.

Lisa Reisman is an area freelance writer for newspapers and magazines. Her memoir as a cancer survivor and tri-athlete is 5 Months, 10 Years, 2 Hours. Many people personally know how cancer affects family and friends as well as the patient; Lisa beautifully depicts this struggle with vivid characterizations and prose you will find mesmerizing.  It is a victorious journey through honest emotions, mechanisms for coping, humor and resilience, resulting in a reborne zest for life, especially given her initial diagnosis predicted a year survival for her brain tumor. In a review, Santa Fe Writers Project said, “This book is like a ticking clock.  It is an excellent memoir that uses the narrator’s battle with cancer, even in its trim form, as a springboard into so much more.”

Lisa describes herself as a “recovered lawyer” who left a Manhattan firm; she majored in Greek and Latin at Yale and Oxford with a University of Virginia law degree.  She has won many writers fellowships in her journey to her new life on the Connecticut shoreline. Lisa also manages the Sin Sisters’ Band and says, “Being around them—hearing their lively, make-you-dance-like-nobody’s-watching music—just makes everything seem all right.”

Kate West

Kate West

 

Kate West studied at the Art Students League in New York, taught art to schoolchildren, acted in front and behind a camera, and is now writing books and producing a TV series.  Originally from Madison, Kate now lives in Los Angeles.  Her children’s book, La Befana and the Star, is her first book of an expected series.  Italian children celebrate the legend of La Befana on January 6, as Kate did as a youngster. In Kate’s version, La Befana notices the brightest star she has ever seen in the Christmas Eve sky, which inspires her to bake star cookies.  They are filled with so much La Befana love that the townspeople she gives them to also feel the love.

Mangia Magic with La Befana and her Friends is a 26-series project Kate is producing for a future TV show.  Focusing on current trends towards healthy family eating and global cultural education, the show will feature famous chefs like the shoreline’s Jacques Pepin and other celebrities who will share their family style, recipes and culture with Kate and three special puppets.  Kate’s dad, Ken Shuey, has been her illustrator, puppet designer and composer of the theme song for her show. An artist also, Ken teaches and exhibits his paintings as well as illustrating for other authors.

For more information about the luncheon and to make reservations, contact Sally Keating by mail at 24 Sea Lane-Cornfield Point, Old Saybrook 06475 or by email asfkeating@comcast.com.

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Marshview Gallery Exhibits Cindy Fiano Photography in April

AOM Cindy Fiano April 2016aOLD SAYBROOK – During April, local photographer Cindy Fiano will exhibit her works at the Marshview Gallery at the Estuary Council of Seniors, Inc. – Regional Senior Center in Old Saybrook.

Cindy’s photography is inspired by serene seascapes and graceful birds located on the beaches and marshes in Old Saybrook and nearby shore towns. She spends countless hours walking the many area beaches.

Her biggest inspiration has been to capture and share the beauty in the common that often gets overlooked. Seagulls are a favorite subject. Cindy calls seagulls “intelligent, clever and extremely adaptable.” She appreciates that she can always count on them being on the beach no matter what the weather conditions are.

A reception to see Cindy’s photographs and to meet her will be held on Friday, April 8, from 5 to 7 p.m. Refreshments will be provided.

The Estuary Council of Seniors is at 220 Main Street, Old Saybrook.

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Community Music School Hosts Open House Week, Feb. 1-5

Suzuki Violin StudentCENTERBROOK – Community Music School (CMS), located in the Spencer’s Corner professional complex at 90 Main St. in Centerbrook, invites the general public to visit during Open House Week, Feb. 1 – 5.

Children and adults can tour the school’s studios, meet teachers and staff, enjoy a free preview lesson, and learn about a vast array of programs for all ages, including private and group lessons, clarinet, jazz, and string ensembles, music therapy services,  and Kindermusik.

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

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

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

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Robert Langer Art Exhibit at Marshview Gallery in March

AOM March 2016 Bob Langer estuaryOLD SAYBROOK – During March, the Marshview Gallery at the Estuary Council of Seniors will feature the art of Robert Langer. A reception to meet the artist will be held Friday, March 11, from 5 to 7 p.m. All are welcome. Refreshments will be served.

Robert Langer is a graduate of Art Instruction Inc. with a diploma in commercial art. He studied at Paier College in Hamden for two years and is an elected member of several shoreline art societies.  He has taught classes in pastel at Artisans Harbor in Old Saybrook and is currently teaching at Indian River complex in Clinton. His subject matter and media vary, but pastel, oil and acrylic are his favorites and animal illustration is his forte. During the summer he takes small groups out on location to paint plein air subjects. His work has been exhibited in banks, libraries and galleries along the shoreline.

The Marshview Gallery at the Estuary Council of Seniors, Inc., 220 Main Street in Old Saybrook, is open daily, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon. All ages are welcome to view the gallery.

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Two New Shows on View at Maple & Main

 "Essences of Dreaming" by Rachel Carlson of Deep River


“Essences of Dreaming” by Rachel Carlson of Deep River

CHESTER – The Winter Exhibit and the first Annual Juried Show at Maple and Main Gallery in Chester open Wednesday, Jan. 27, with a gala reception Saturday, Jan. 30, from 6 to 8 p.m.

The Winter Exhibit, featuring newly created works from 40 Connecticut artists, fills the first floor of the gallery, while paintings by artists chosen for the juried show are displayed in the Joslow and Stone galleries on the lower level of Maple and Main.

The juror was noted artist Robert Noreika, who chose 85 works from hundreds of paintings that artists from Connecticut and surrounding states submitted for the new show. Visitors will be able to view a versatile selection of landscapes, seascapes, still lifes, abstracts and highly original work in both shows.

Alan James will provide live music during the opening party on Jan. 30, and wine, appetizers and desserts will be served. Many of the artists represented in the juried and winter shows will be at the event.

Maple and Main’s two shows run through March 13 and the gallery, at One Maple Street in Chester, is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Maple and Main artists are also showing 31 selected works at the Valentine H. Zahn Community Gallery at Middlesex Hospital’s Shoreline Medical Center in Westbrook through March 18. That gallery is open during business hours every day.

More information about Maple and Main Gallery is on its website at mapleandmaingallery.com.

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Susan Strecker Talks about Her Latest Thriller with John Valeri

strecker 1ESSEX – Susan Strecker’s debut novel, Night Blindness, was released by Thomas Dunne Books in 2014 and garnered rave reviews: “Strecker builds fine portraits” (Kirkus Reviews); “the characters will pull you in” (Booklist); “a powerful beginning and characters who are easy to connect with” (Library Journal).

Nowhere Girl, Strecker’s next novel with Thomas Dunne Books, seems destined to make her a household name for thriller readers who enjoy strongly detailed characters and page-turning plotlines. Kirkus Reviews praised Nowhere Girl as “compulsively readable.”

Join John Valeri, of Hartford Books Examiner, in a conversation with Strecker about her latest psychological thriller on Sunday, March 20 at 2 p.m. at the Essex Library. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing, or buy your copy ahead of time for $19 at the library. Refreshments will be served.

This program is free and open to all. Please call the Essex Library at (860) 767-1560 to register or for more information. The Essex Library is located at 33 West Avenue in Essex.

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Tickets on Sale for Ivoryton Playhouse Comedy Night, March 18; Proceeds Support Ivoryton Illuminations

Vincent McElhone

Vincent McElhone

IVORYTON – Leave winter behind and come out for some big laughs at the Ivoryton Playhouse on Friday, March 18, when the theater hosts Comedy Night, headlined by Vincent McElhone.

McElhone, an Old Saybrook resident for 25 years, has worked such famous venues as the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas, Caroline’s on Broadway, Dangerfields in NYC and Mohegan Sun, sharing the stage with such acts as Brian Regan, Jim Gaffigan, Dom Irrera and Denis Leary. He returns to the Ivoryton Playhouse with his special blend of comedy, discussing subjects close to him such as his family, marriage, being raised Irish Catholic and living on the shoreline.

Also on the bill are comedians Tony Liberati and Rick Roberts.   Since making his stand-up debut in 1998, Liberati entertains crowds all over the country. His energetic and charismatic delivery of observational humor connects with all types of audiences and his experience as an elementary school teacher blends a unique feeling of nostalgia and silliness that has audiences crying with laughter.  He has been on ABC’s America’s Funniest People and his jokes have been published alongside greats like Chris Rock and Henny Youngman in The Idiot’s Guide to Joke Telling by Alpha Publishing.

Rick Roberts is a lawyer by day and comedian by night. He has performed in over 300 shows throughout the Northeast. A graduate of the Manhattan School of Comedy through Caroline’s, Rick performs regularly at comedy clubs in New York City.  His unique and jaded perspective on the frustrations of middle-aged life and modern technology are central themes of his hilarious comedy.

Comedy Night takes place at the Ivoryton Playhouse at 103 Main Street.  Doors open at 7:30 p.m.  Tables of six and eight are available.  Tickets are $30.  Balcony seats are $20.  Wine and beer cash bar and teacup auction.  Please call 860-767-9520 x205 to book your seats. A portion of the proceeds of this event will go toward producing the annual Ivoryton Illuminations in December.

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Lyme Art Association Presents ‘An Exhibition in Four Acts 2016′

'Ratatouille,' oil, by Cheryl Weyman is the signature painting of the Palette to Palate segment of the exhibition.

‘Ratatouille’ by Cheryl Weyman in oil is the signature painting of the Palate to Palette segment of the exhibition.

Four new exhibitions, each with a different theme, will be on view in the Lyme Art Association’s (LAA) beautiful historic galleries from Friday, March 4, through April 15. A Contemporary Look, Drawing Attention, Palate to Palette, and Urban Landscape run concurrently. An opening reception for all four exhibitions will be held on Sunday, March 13, from 1 to 3 p.m.

The Exhibition in Four Acts is one of the LAA’s most dynamic and exciting exhibitions, bringing together four distinct types of representational art. Urban Landscape showcases the work of talented artist members who set out to capture the architecture and life of town and city. A Contemporary Look is an exhibition of abstracted, yet still representational work. Drawing Attention features work of all themes in charcoal, graphite and ink, and Palate to Palette focuses on food, dining and cooking. Each exhibition is shown in one of the four skylit galleries in our historic building.

“A visit to the Lyme Art Association to see the Exhibition in Four Acts feels like visiting four different galleries. There is a variety and a shift in mood as you move from one gallery to the next,” states gallery manager, Jocelyn Zallinger. “This show also allows a visitor to focus on each genre in a way that is not possible in other exhibitions.”

The opening reception for all four exhibitions is free to the public and will be held on Sunday, March 13, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the gallery located at 90 Lyme St., Old Lyme, Conn.

The LAA was founded in 1914 by the American Impressionists and continues the tradition of exhibiting and selling representational artwork by its members and invited artists, as well as offering art instruction and lectures to the community. The Association is housed in a building designed by Charles Adams Platt and located within an historic district. Admission is free with contributions appreciated. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 12 to 5 p.m., or by appointment.

For more information on exhibitions, purchase of art, art classes, or becoming a member, call 860-434-7802 or visit www.lymeartassociation.org

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Cappella Cantorum to Perform Mozart’s ‘Requiem,’ April 10

AREAWIDE — Late registration and rehearsal for Cappella Cantorum’s performance of Mozart’s Requiem will be Monday, Jan. 11, 7 p.m. at John Winthrop Middle School, 1 Winthrop Rd., Deep River. All singers are welcome; no auditions are required.

The concert, scheduled for Sunday, April 10, will also feature Mozart’s Regina Coeli. Soloists will be Patricia Schuman, Brian Cheney, Heather Petrie and Christopher Grundy.

Registration can also be done online at CappellaCantorum.org. Membership fee is $50, registration $10 and music $15.

For more information, check the web site or call Barry Asch at 860-388-2871.

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Paint “The Starry Night” with Vista, March 7

Paint like Van Gogh at a gathering sponsored by Vista.

Paint like Van Gogh at a gathering sponsored by Vista.

AREAWIDE – Artists of all abilities can channel famous painter Vincent Van Gogh on Monday, March 7 during Paint Night with Vista at the Pub, a social art class open to the community.

No prior painting experience is required to join the fun. Local artist and Vista staff member Samantha Listorti will guide participants step-by-step as they recreate “The Starry Night,” one of Van Gogh’s most recognizable works. At the end of the night, participants will leave with their finished work.

The class will be held at Penny Lane Pub in Old Saybrook from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Cost is $35 and includes one complimentary glass of wine or beer. Food and drink will be available for purchase throughout the evening. Space is limited. To reserve a seat, visit www.vistavocational.org or email Amanda Roberts at aroberts@vistavocational.org.

Paint Night with Vista is one of many community arts classes offered by Vista. For more information about arts classes and programming, contact Amanda Roberts at (860) 399-8080.

Editor’s note: Vista Vocational & Life Skills Center is a 501©3 nonprofit organization. Vista’s mission is to provide services and resources to assist individuals with disabilities achieve personal success. For more information about Vista, please visit www.vistavocational.org.

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Marshview Gallery Exhibits Work of Carlos Rios During February

marshview photo
AREAWIDE –
During February the Marshview Gallery at the Estuary Council of Seniors in Old Saybrook features the art of Carlos Rios.

Born in Colombia, Rios began his training at the Academia Superior de Arte and Bellas Artes in Colombia.  He moved to the U.S. in 1965 to further his education at the Paier College of Art in Connecticut.  He has lived with his wife in Milford for over 30 years.

Rios works in oils, acrylics, pastels and watercolors. His style and taste is eclectic, ranging from impressionistic to contemporary.  He is constantly experimenting and creating new works, as well as researching and developing new materials, media and ideas to use in the creation of new pieces.

His work is internationally known, and his original paintings and prints are in collections and exhibits throughout the world, including many foreign embassies. More information can be found at his website, www.carlosriospaintings.com.

A reception will be held Friday, Feb. 12, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Marshview Gallery. All are welcome to meet the artist. Refreshments will be provided.

The Marshview Gallery at the Estuary Council of Seniors, Inc., 220 Main Street in Old Saybrook is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon. All ages are welcome to view the gallery.

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Essex Library Hosts Wnek’s ‘Soul of the Landscape’ Photo Exhibit During February

'Whispers of Past' by Peter Wnek illustrate's the photographer's captivating style.

‘Whispers of Past’ by Peter Wnek beautifully illustrate’s the photographer’s captivating style.

ESSEX – Award-winning photographer Peter Wnek explores the ‘Soul of the Landscape’ in his exhibition and sale of fine art photography at the Essex Library, which runs through February.

‘Soul of the Landscape’ celebrates the beauty and spirit of our woodlands and waterways, as seen in Whispers of the Past and its breathtaking view along the Connecticut River. Wnek’s work captures the light and details one might expect from a painting—which is no accident. He has long been inspired by the purity and innocence of the American landscape as portrayed by the 19th century Hudson River painters. “I strive for that same warm light, the luminous or stormy skies, to invoke a charm or a mood,” he explains.

Wnek’s photographs often reveal the story of the landscape—its whisper of bygone days, the intrinsic cycles of nature. With a focus on local scenes, this exhibit speaks to the beauty that surrounds us, the coastal vistas and woodland spaces that are unique to our state. In a familiar kaleidoscope of colors, see the rising and setting sun, the harmony of sky and land, the collusion of rock and sea.

As Wnek explains, “I am intrigued by the soothing compositions and repetitive patterns that collectively reveal the Divine at work.”

Featured in this exhibit is Silver Glade, an image of trees on a ridge near Meriden. It recently won the Salmagundi Club of NYC’s 2015 “Henry O’Connor Award” for excellence, portraying the gentler, quieter landscape of New England.

It is that voice of New England which Wnek most hopes to capture in his photographs, “those intimate moments of our own landscapes” waiting to be revealed.

The exhibit is free and open to the public during the Library’s regular hours. The Essex Library is located at 33 West Ave. in Essex. Call (860) 767-1560 for more information.

 

For more information about photographer Peter Wnek, visit www.PeterWnekPhoto.com.

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‘Abstract Imaginings’ on View at Maple & Main

'Metalling in Nature' by Ashby Carlisle.

‘Metalling in Nature’ by Ashby Carlisle.

CHESTER — ‘Abstract Imaginings’ is currently on view at Maple & Main’s Stone Gallery in Chester.

Ashby Carlisle of Old Lyme, a sculptor, and Victoria Sivigny of Meriden, an abstract painter, are award-winning artists exhibiting major bodies of work during the month of September in this exhibition titled, ‘Abstract Imaginings,’  and on show through Sept. 30. The works of each artist invite close, careful, deep seeing and reward the viewer’s energy and time.

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

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

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

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

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of encountering a Sivigny work, is alchemical: the whole is more mysterious than the sum of its parts.  One senses an artist who begins in control and ends in abandon, having tossed-up the fundamental elements of art, then stepped back as they fell into place.

Like an oxymoron, each of Sivigny’s paintings embodies an intriguing paradox: one is strangely familiar; another, naturally uncanny; or randomly ordered; or disparately harmonious.

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

Ashby Carlisle is a sculptor whose foundation materials are fiber in the form of hand-dyed and printed paper, pages from books and magazines, metal and clay which she forms into wall sculptures contained in thin wooden boxes. Within these boxes she assembles tattered layers of papers lined with gold suggestive of sky, clouds, horizon and land.

Where the horizon separates sky from ground, Carlisle has secured a clay plate through which twisty vines penetrate the lower and upper divisions: earth and sky.  She uses the organic to suggest the supra-natural, and the natural to create objects that might be organic, but are not.

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

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

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

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

For additional information, visit www.ashbycarlisle.comwww.victoriasivigny.com,

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Move to ‘Memphis’ at Ivoryton Playhouse! Show Opens to Rave Reviews

Taavon Gamble*, Michael Sullivan, Teren Carter*, Mya Rose and Kevin Moeti in a recent rehearsal.

Taavon Gamble*, Michael Sullivan, Teren Carter*, Mya Rose and Kevin Moeti in a recent rehearsal.

IVORYTON – After the first two previews and two instantaneous standing ovations, the phones are ringing off the hook at the Ivoryton Playhouse.  Memphis exploded onto the Ivoryton stage yesterday evening and audiences were captivated from the first “fantastical” number.

The Ivoryton Playhouse has now left the sunny tropical shores of the South Pacific and traveled to the sizzling backstreets of ‘50s Memphis. The show is set in the places where rock and roll was born – the seedy, underground dance clubs, radio stations and recording studios in 1950s Memphis, Tenn.

Inspired by true events, this high energy musical tells the story of DJ Huey Calhoun, who falls in love with a beautiful singer and battles cultural divides as he tries to bring her voice to the airwaves of America.

Renee Jackson* and Chawnta Marie Van in rehearsal.

Renee Jackson* and Chawnta Marie Van in rehearsal.

As their careers rise, a revolution erupts when his vision meets her voice and the music changed forever.  With an original score, this musical is filled with heart, soul and energy to burn!  Winner of four 2010 Tony Awards, Memphis was written by Joe DiPietro (I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, All Shook Up) with electrifying blues, rock, ballads and gospel music created by Bon Jovi’s David Bryan.

Writer Joe DiPietro will be joining the cast on stage for talk back after the performance on opening night, Friday, Aug. 7,  followed by a reception with the cast and crew. Limited tickets are still available for this performance.

Renee Jackson* and Carson Higgins* practice a song.

Renee Jackson* and Carson Higgins* study their parts for Memphis.

The Playhouse production of Memphis is directed and choreographed by Todd Underwood, whose last work was seen at the Ivoryton Playhouse as choreographer for La Cage aux Folles and Dreamgirls.  The show features Carson Higgins* as Huey, Rénee Jackson* as Felicia Farrell, Teren Carter* as Delray, Jamal Shuriah* as Gator.

This musical is directed by Michael Morris, the set is designed by Martin Scott Marchitto, lighting by Doug Harry and costumes by Elizabeth Cipollina.

memphis

Memphis opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse in previews on Wednesday, Aug. 5, (official opening Friday, Aug. 7) and runs through Aug. 30. 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.  There will be two additional Saturday matinees on Aug. 22 and 29 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $42 for adults, $37 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 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.

*denotes member of Actors Equity

This production of ‘Memphis’ is generously sponsored by:  Pasta Vita, First Niagara, Sennheiser and Saybrook Country Barn.

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Lyme-Based Julia Balfour Creative Agency Receives 14 Connecticut Art Directors Club Awards

LYME — The Julia Balfour LLC creative agency located in Lyme, Conn., has been honored with 14 Connecticut Art Directors Club awards.

Julia Balfour, LLC has been honored with 14 Connecticut Art Directors Club awards for design projects undertaken by the company in the past year. The works include Exhibition Kiosks, Interactive Apps, Social Media Campaigns, Websites, Logos, and Invitation designs.

Work honored for the following nine partners were:

Gold Awards

StoptheStigmaCT_Facebook

  • Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network “Stop the Stigma” Campaign – Social Media (see image above)
  • Mystic Aquarium Exploration Wild Kiosks – Educational and Museum Information Design
  • Mystic Aquarium Exploration Wild Kiosks – Interactive App (see image above)

Silver Awards

  • New England Society of Healthcare Communications Conference Logo – Logo System
  • High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Holiday Market Series – Announcements / Invitations / Greeting Cards
  • High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Symphony Invitation – Announcements / Invitations / Greeting Cards

Excellence Awards

  • Hartford HealthCare Web Style Guide – Employee Publications
  • Florence Griswold Museum Website – Cultural & Educational Websites
  • High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Fall Newsletter – Pro Bono Design
  • High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Symphony Poster – Poster Series
  • James Merrill House Website – Cultural & Educational Websites
  • Dreamup Toys Microsite – E-commerce Websites
  • Structural Graphics Google Adwords Landing Page – Online Promotion
  • Twin Networks Presentation Folder – Brochures / Folders

Julia Balfour, founder and Creative Director of the agency, comments, “I’m so proud of the work our team has done over the past year. We’ve gone from a one-woman shop to a 15-person team in four years. The work we’ve produced, this year in particular, demonstrates the passion, strategy, and innovation that this team has poured into their work. And of course we couldn’t do any of it without our fabulous clients.” she said.

Julia Balfour, LLC is a full service creative agency specializing in design, strategy, innovation, and social media. Located in Lyme, CT, the studio works within Healthcare, Finance, Travel & Tourism, Non-Profit, Retail, Beauty and Museum & Fine Art.

The Connecticut Art Directors Club seeks to promote standards of excellence in the field of creative design within the state. Their yearly awards show brings together and highlights the exceptional design work of the past year.

For more information about Julia Balfour, LLC, visit www.juliabalfour.com and/or www.facebook.com/juliabalfourllc

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Artists for World Peace Host 3rd Annual Dance for Peace

Dance For Peace
OLD SAYBROOK — Artists for World Peace will present its 3rd Annual Dance for Peace on Saturday, June 27, at the Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (The Kate), 300 Main St., Old Saybrook, Conn. (860-510-0473).

A reception and pre-show performance begins at 7 p.m.; show time begins at 8 p.m.

Eight celebrated local and regional dance companies will be featured, as well as the International Peace Belt.

Since 2003, the Peace Belt has traveled to over 28 countries on five continents, and has been worn during hundreds of artistic performances and sacred ceremonies.

Join Artists for World Peace as they celebrate the creative spirit in the name of peace.

For online tickets, visit <http://www.katharinehepburntheater.org/blog/box-office/http://www.katharinehepburntheater.org/blog/box-office/
or call The Kate Box Office at 877-503-1286.

For more information about Artists for World Peace, visit: http://www.artistsforworldpeace.org/ or contact Wendy at 860-685-1789

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Essex Art Association’s Elected Member’s Show on View Through June 12

'The Flying Bergdorfs' by Carol Young.

‘The Flying Bergdorfs’ by Carol Young.

Each year, at every individual summer exhibit, the Essex Art Association gives a special top prize to “the artist they would like to see more of.” The prize is an opportunity to have a solo exhibit in the Exit Gallery alongside the next year’s regular exhibits.

The honoree for June is Carol Young of Essex, who will present paintings, mixed media, sculptures and assemblages in her show titled, “Through Rose-Colored Glasses.”

Young’s work has been variously described as “curious, imaginative, colorful, quirky, sometimes naughty, but never calm.”  “The Flying Bergdorfs,” for example, are a group of acrobats that the artist saw inside a microscopic photograph of a basal teardrop. “Maude’s Disturbing Wallpaper” is a portrait of a clearly chaotic, easily-confused nanny that she had had to endure.

Young’s most important mentors were her inventive father and more than a thousand creative art class children who, for over 30 years, privately taught ‘Mrs. Young’ at her previous home in Westport, Conn.

The Gallery at 10 North Street, Essex, will continue to be open and free to the public every day of the week from 1 to 5 p.m. from May 30 to June 12, when the gallery will close for indoor renovations.

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Nilsson’s Paintings on Show in CT DEEP Commissioner’s Office During Summer

Yellow Flag Iris on Seldens Creek by Leif Nilsson

Yellow Flag Iris on Selden’s Creek by Leif Nilsson, oil, 48″ x 36″, spring 2014 ©

CHESTER — Thirty paintings of Selden’s Creek in Lyme, Conn., done by Chester artist Leif Nilsson over the past 10 years from his boat will be hanging in the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner’s office for the summer months as part of the ‘Arts in the Parks’ series.

An opening reception will be held on Wednesday, May 27, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. at 79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106-5127.
Call 860-424-3000 for hours and to RSVP for the opening.
To see a preview of the works, visit http://nilssonstudio.com/deep/
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Essex Library Features Art Exhibit by Andrew Teran During June

Artwork by Andrew Teran

Artwork by Andrew Teran

ESSEX — An art exhibit will be held at the Essex Library Association through the month of June featuring guest artist, Andrew Teran of Essex.

Essex resident Andrew Teran attended Parson’s School of Design in the late 1970s, studying graphic design and then wood sculpture.  His working career focused on high-end carpentry and restoration for many years. As a second career, Andrew worked in construction & corporate sales for 15 years. Now retired from corporate life he has turned his focus back to art, his first love.  He has recently moved to the area to be on the Connecticut River and spend more time in his art studio.

He has always been fascinated by graphic shapes; triangles & hearts are favorites, by far. He finds that the triangle is the perfect shape- yet variations in size, shape, structure create totally different and beautiful dynamics.

In addition to graphic shapes, or in combination with them, he has a love for modern packaging labels and regularly finds that they create strong visual and sometimes literal statements when incorporated in a piece.  The pop art feel and look of modern packaging labels catches his interest everywhere he goes. Collage pulls him to combine visual elements and textures that build a richness he never tires of creating.

The exhibit is free and open to the public during the library’s open hours. The Essex Library is located at 33 West Avenue in Essex, CT. Call (860) 767-1560 for more information.

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Exhibition by Chester’s Leif Nilsson Currently on Show in Colinsville

The Studio with Poppies, oil, 30" x 40" , Leif Nilsson spring 2002 ©

The Studio with Poppies, oil, 30″ x 40″, Leif Nilsson spring 2002 ©

CHESTER — Gallery 526 at 20 Depot St. in Collinsville, Conn., is hosting a one-man-show by Leif Nilsson of Chester featuring 24 garden and Connecticut River paintings.

Leif (pronounced Layf) Nilsson comments, “This exhibition represents an autobiographical pictorial chronology of my process of painting and developing my gardens and understanding the Connecticut River over the past 28 years.”

Inspired by the natural beauty surrounding the Lower Connecticut River Valley, Nilsson paints his plein air impressionistic landscape compositions directly from life. Setting up his easel in and around his hometown of Chester, Nilsson creates engaging garden, Connecticut River and village paintings that invite the viewer to walk right in.

Some of the paintings are completed a la prima, meaning all at once, while others may take several sittings at the same time of day to achieve the correct harmonious atmosphere as he observes it. Generally, heavily textured paintings have more layers applied in an effort to represent the scintillating effects of light in nature over a period of time. Nilsson’s brushwork is a result of his dedication to observing nature.

Nilsson completed a full curriculum of Classical Studies at the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts in Old Lyme, Conn. He enhanced that education with several sojourns to Scandinavia, Asia Minor and Europe where he studied the French 19th and early 20th century painters; Bonnard and Monet for color; Pissarro and Vuillard for composition and Van Gogh for energy.

A successful working artist for over 20 years, Nilsson continues to exhibit his paintings in several galleries throughout the United States, while also promoting his work through his website, and at the Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio and Gallery, LLC in Chester where collectors visit him regularly to view and purchase his latest works. The studio is open on weekend afternoons from noon to 6 p.m. and other times by chance or appointment. Six times a year he hosts a gallery opening reception for his newest works along with other galleries in Chester. He also teaches painting to children and adults and gives lectures at high schools, universities, art clubs, and museums.

Nilsson has hand-made most of his Florentine style, metal leafed, finished corner frames in his studio. The soft luminous gold tone complements his paintings without overwhelming them. Now he orders them from reputable framemakers and assists collectors with their choices.

Limited Edition Fine Art Prints have been made of several of Nilsson’s original oil paintings and these will be available at the gallery.

Nilsson paints outdoors in all types of weather. He will often paint the same place over and over again, trying out different compositions and sizes at various times of day and in all seasons. These paintings often result in a series of works attempting to describe the many moods of nature on a particular subject.

Chester is a favorite subject of Leif Nilsson’s. Its uniqueness and charm have captivated his imagination for years. He has painted many scenes of Chester Center in different times of day, weather conditions and seasons. The vernacular architecture of old crooked buildings lining the curved piazza of Main Street come alive in his colorful paintings of the village in springtime with Rhododendrons in full bloom. Winter is a favorite time of year for him when the town is blanketed with virgin snow, especially at dusk when snowflakes swirl around the glowing lamppost in front of his studio.

The Connecticut River as seen from its banks in Chester to Old Lyme offers a wealth of pictorial opportunities for Nilsson to explore. From the hazy dawn of Eustasia Island in Deep River to the quiet harbors of Old Saybrook’s North Cove and from the golden marshes of Chester to the sweeping meadow of Pettipaug in Essex, there’s plenty of material to keep a landscape painter busy yearlong.

On spring mornings Nilsson is usually busy in his backyard garden tracking the sunlight with a loaded brush or knife revealing the rich colors and textures of the plants and flowers he has cultivated.

Occasionally Nilsson travels abroad to interesting European villages. His little paintings of Prague in the Czech Republic, Casares, Spain and Nova Scotia, Canada from recent trips are also favorites among his collectors. His most recent painting trip was to Cinque Terra in Italy where he produced several gems.

One of his favorite pastimes is to play the banjo. His new band “Arrowhead” will be playing at the opening reception.

For more information, visit http://www.nilssonstudio.com or http://www.gallery526.com or call 860-709-0987. Gallery 526 is open Thursday & Friday 12 – 5pm, Saturday & Sunday 12 – 6 pm, and other times by chance or appointment.

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Ivoryton Playhouse Looks at (Older) Love in “The Last Romance”

Rochelle Slovin* and Chet Carlin* in "The Last Romance," which opens at Ivoryton, April 22

Rochelle Slovin* and Chet Carlin* in “The Last Romance,” which opens at Ivoryton, April 22

IVORYTON — On an ordinary day in a routine life, an 80-year-old widower named Ralph decides to takes a different path on his daily walk — one that leads him to an unexpected second chance at love. Relying on a renewed boyish charm, Ralph attempts to woo the elegant, but distant, Carol. Defying Carol’s reticence — and the jealousy of his lonely sister Rose — he embarks on the trip of a lifetime and regains a happiness that seemed all but lost.

Tony Award winner Joe DiPietro’s The Last Romance, a bittersweet romantic comedy with a little Puccini and a smidgen of dog treats, opens in Ivoryton on April 22.

DiPietro recently won two Tony Awards for co-writing the musical Memphis, which also received the 2010 Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Musical and which will be opening in Ivoryton in August this year. DiPietro is an Ivoryton favorite; his shows I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (the longest-running musical revue in Off Broadway history), and the Broadway musical All Shook Up were both popular successes at the Playhouse.

Stephen Mir and Chet Carlin* in "The Last Romance"

Stephen Mir and Chet Carlin* in “The Last Romance”

Directed by Maggie McGlone Jennings, the cast includes Chet Carlin* as Ralph, whose Broadway credits include Fiddler on the Roof with Theodore Bikel and the National Tour of Sir Peter Hall’s As You Like It; Kate Konigisor*, the Artistic Director of Shakespeare with Benefits, as Rose; Stephen Mir as the Young Man and Rochelle Slovin*, making her Ivoryton debut as Carol and reigniting a theatre career after spending the past 30 years as the Founding Director of the Museum of the Moving Image in New York.

The set design is by William Stark, lighting design by Tate Burmeister and costumes by Vickie Blake.

The Last Romance opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on April 22, and runs through May 10. 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 $42 for adults, $37 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 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.

Photos by Anne Hudson

  1. Stephen Mir and Chet Carlin*
  2. Rochelle Slovin* and Chet Carlin*

*Indicates member of Actors Equity Association

This production is generously sponsored by Essex Meadows and The Clark Group

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