Weir Farm Artist’s Photography Exhibition Memorializes Slaves of Connecticut’s William Floyd

Xiomáro (SEE-oh-MAH-ro), an artist at Weir Farm National Historic Site in Wilton/Ridgefield, presents The Other Side – Charles, Caesar, Harry, Sam, Pompey, Lon and Isaac from January 11 to March 29, 2015 at Oyster Bay Historical Society in New York.

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The collection of twenty-nine photographs presents General William Floyd (1734-1821), who fled to Middletown after the British occupation of his plantation on Long Island. During his period of exile, his wife Hannah died and remains buried at Middletown’s Mortimer Cemetery. Floyd, a slave owner, served in the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia where he set his signature to the Declaration of Independence in July 1776. His plantation is now a National Park unit of Fire Island National Seashore, which commissioned Xiomáro after seeing his photographic work for Weir Farm. Xiomáro was an Artist-in-Residence at Weir Farm in 2010 and, since 2011, continues his relationship with the park as a Visiting Artist.

At the heart of the collection are photographs of undated wooden crosses bearing generic slave names, set apart on the other side of a fence from the elaborate individualized stones of the Floyd family cemetery. The photographs serve as spiritual memorials to the laborers—both enslaved persons and paid house servants of color—who worked on the estate. These plain wooden crosses, put in place sometime in the 1870s, represent in part the Floyd family’s evolution from slave ownership to active military service in the Union army during the American Civil War.

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Xiomáro is a nationally exhibited artist whose work has been covered by The New York Times, News 12 and The Huffington Post. On January 5, The Other Side will be featured in the prestigious Aspect Ratio, a London-based photography magazine. His other National Park Service commissions include President Theodore Roosevelt’s Sagamore Hill mansion, which was exhibited at Harvard University. At present, Xiomáro is photographing the home of poet and abolitionist Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in Massachusetts and will be living in a Florida swamp for a month documenting the fragile ecosystem that feeds into the Everglades.

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The Other Side is on view January 11 to March 29, 2015 at the Oyster Bay Historical Society, 20 Summit Street, Oyster Bay, NY 11771, (516) 922-5032, oysterbayhistorical.org. A free opening reception and lectures by Xiomáro are scheduled. A free limited edition photo e-book can be downloaded at www.xiomaro.com.

The Millionaires’ Unit Documentary Film Screening

On January 29, the Greenwich Historical Society is hosting the screening of The Millionaires’ Unit Documentary from 3 pm to 5 pm. at the Vanderbilt Education Center on the grounds of the Society. The tickets are Members: $10; nonmembers: $15 and can be purchased at http://greenwichhistory.org or by calling 203-869-6899, Ext. 10.

Millionaires-Unit

The Millionaires’ Unit is the story of an elite group of college students from Yale who formed a private air militia in preparation for America’s entry into World War One. Known as the First Yale Unit and dubbed “the millionaires’ unit” by the New York press, they became the founding squadron of the U.S. Naval Air Reserve and were among the first to fight for the United States in the Great War. Using the squadron members’ letters and diaries, the documentary chronicles the coming of age of these young pioneers against the backdrop of an event that signaled America’s emergence as a world power.

The film focuses on their service and sacrifice and chronicles a great, untold story of early aviation in America. The documentary was inspired by the book The Millionaires’ Unit by Marc Wortman. After seven years in development and production by co-producers Ron King and Darroch Greer, the film is being presented to the public to commemorate the centennial of World War I.

Bee Gee’s Legacy stays alive at the Palace Theatre

A celebration of one of the most influential and famous musical groups of all time, the new Australian Bee Gees Show keeps the legendary music of the Gibb brothers “Stayin’ Alive” with a special one night only performance at the Palace Theater in Waterbury on Tuesday, February 3, at 7:30pm. Tickets for the multimedia stage show are $55, $45, and $35 and can be purchased by phone at 203-346-2000, online at www.palacetheaterct.org, or in person at the box office, 100 East Main Street in Waterbury.

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From the producers that brought the world RAIN: A Tribute to The Beatles, London’s West End production of Let It Be, and PFX: The Pink Floyd Experience, Annerin Productions and co-producer SPI Entertainment present The Australian Bee Gees Show, a multimedia theatrical concert experience that takes a nostalgic trip through the legacy the Bee Gees left behind while celebrating over 40 years of infectious music written by the Gibb brothers.

Together for more than 17 years, The Australian Bee Gees Show has mastered the look, sound and personality of the adored trio, while cementing their reputation as the world’s leading Bee Gees show. The band’s record breaking music is captivated live on stage with mesmerizing resemblance in sound and mannerisms and features live camera images, vivid graphics and state-of-the-art sound that will get audience members dancin’ on their feet. From early hits (“Massachusetts,” “New York Mining Disaster 1941,” “To Love Somebody”) to later classics (“Stayin’ Alive” and “You Should Be Dancin'”) this show will have music fans reliving all of their favorite Bee Gees moments.

The Bee Gees are one of the top five of the most successful recording artists of all time alongside the Beatles, McCartney, Elvis and Michael Jackson. Having sold more than 220 million records worldwide, the group is still proving that their music is Stayin’ Alive and have had at least 2,500 artists record their songs.

Carriage Barn Arts Center Lecture: Andre Kertész: An Artist’s Life

On February 5 at 7 p.m. the Carriage Barn Arts Center located in Waverly Park in New Cannan is hosting a lecture entitled “André Kertész: An Artist’s Life.” The talk will be given by Robert Gurbo, the Curator of the André and Elizabeth Kertész Foundation in New York, and the Juror of the 35th Annual Photography Show at the Carriage Barn Arts Center. There is a pre lecture reception at 6:30 pm.

Homing Ship, Central Park, New York, 1944 by Andre Kerteasz

Homing Ship, Central Park, New York, 1944 by Andre Kerteasz

André Kertész (1894-1985) is an undisputed master of photography. Widely seen as the father of photojournalism and street photography, he created much of the visual vocabulary of the medium that is still in use today. From his pioneering work in Hungary (1912 -1925), through his influential work during Paris’s artistic heyday (1925- 1936), right up to his final days in New York (1936 -1985), his photographs display an ability to infuse personal narrative and design into a documentary style that was uniquely his own. In a body of work that spans much of the 20th century, Kertész created deceptively simple images of everyday life that also reflected his own state of mind and questioned his very existence and relationship to the world around him

Long-time curator Robert Gurbo worked with Kertész over the last 7 years his life and has spent the last 37 years combing through his archive. He has contributed numerous essays to catalogues and magazines; is the author of three books on Andre Kertész and co-author of Andre Kertész, the catalog that accompanied the 2005 National Gallery retrospective. In a talk that offers an intimate and personal look, Gurbo interweaves the artist’s work, self-portraits into the timeline of Kertész’s complicated life story. His talk offers his unique and personal perspective of the life and work of a man he claims to have been obsessed with since he was 16 years old.

Gurbo juried The 35th Annual Photography Show: History and Process, which includes the work of 75 contemporary photographers as well as a display of vintage cameras and early photographs, such as daguerreotypes and tintypes.

A $10 fee for members; $15 for non-members includes a reception at 6:30pm, followed by the lecture/discussion at 7pm. To register for the lecture please go to http://www.carriagebarn.org/lecture-robert-gurbo/ or contact 203.972.1895.

Chocolate Expo at the Maritime Aquarium Norwalk

Once again, on January 25 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk located on 10 North Water Street is hosting one of the one of the largest consumer-oriented chocolate events in the United States. Chocoholics will have the opportunity to sample chocolates from 30+ vendors that will offer FREE tastings and sales of their products. They’ll be set up throughout the Aquarium’s galleries.

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This event is for people that are serious about chocolate and unique specialty foods. It has been suggested that you think of the chocolate tastings in the way you might think of a wine tasting at a winery: you get a small sample to try and you often get to talk with the person who made the product. If you like what you’ve tasted, you can purchase that product directly at the show for yourself or to give as gifts.

Expo/Aquarium visitors will find not only traditional and gourmet chocolates, but also unique offerings like chocolate tarts, chocolate-covered pretzels, chocolate balsamic dressing, chocolate-covered bacon and even chocolate-scented bath soaps. But Chocolate Expo isn’t entirely about chocolate. Vendors also will present baked goods, specialty foods and even fine soaps and bath products.

The Maritime Aquarium exhibits will be open on Jan. 25 – and will stay open two hours longer than normal: from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Please note that our new “Jiggle a Jelly” jellyfish touch adventure will not be open on Sun., Jan. 25 during Chocolate Expo because of the crowds expected. Jiggle a Jelly will be open Saturday, Jan. 25, and weekends and holidays and school vacation weeks after Chocolate Expo.
Admission to this event is $15 for adults and $10 children ages 3-12. These are discounted admissions that include chocolate, the aquarium and free chocolate samples.

For more information visit http://www.maritimeaquarium.org. For area information www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com

Greenwich Historical Society — Greenwich Faces the Great War

World War I marked the beginning of modern nation states, modern warfare technology and the emergence of the United States as an international power. Commemorating the centennial of the 1914 onset of that shattering event in Europe, the Greenwich Historical Society will launch a multi-faceted project beginning with an exhibition mounted in the Storehouse.

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Compelling images, artifacts and documents will illustrate the diverse experiences of military personnel, volunteers, and civilians alike. For the first time in the Storehouse Gallery, touch-screen technology will be used to enhance the visitor experience through supplementary shared audio and visual resources including personal remembrances, photographs, newspaper reports, wartime letters, popular songs and more.

The project will also include a special tour and temporary installation in Bush-Holley House demonstrating how Greenwich inhabitants supported the war effort at home, along with a World War I-period, patriotic home vegetable garden (on view during the 2014 growing season). Online resources for educators and students and a menu of public events featuring lectures, workshops, and performances will round out the program.

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From the discourse preceding the war to the actions and influence of its citizens once engaged, Greenwich provides rich material and multiple perspectives on a conflict that to this day influences international politics and continues to shape history.

The exhibition hours are noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is free to members and $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors. Admission is free the first Wednesday of each month. For more information visit http://greenwichhistory.org. For area information and more events on Fairfield County www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com

Pequot Library’s Mid-Winter Book Sale

Pequot Library’s Mid-Winter Book Sale is the little sister of the Library’s nationally known Summer Book Sale. The Mid-Winter Sale is smaller but more intimate with many treasures and bargains to be found. The sale runs from Saturday, January 17 – 18, 2015, from 9:00am – 5:00pm daily.

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As the result of a mammoth donation, this sale will feature vinyl in outstanding condition, particularly in the Jazz and Classical categories. There are some sealed albums and many in pristine condition. Jazz includes albums from Verve, Jazzology, Citi, and Blue note, and Classical albums are ninety percent European imports. As always, there is plenty of Rock and Roll and other genres. The base price for albums remains highly affordable!

Two rare performances by former Paul Butterfield Blues Band keyboard player Mark Naftalin & Friends will be scheduled for both Saturday and Sunday. Mark Naftalin will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, in 2015. Naftalin, is known as one of the best blues piano players anywhere. He will hand-pick other equally renowned musicians to play acoustic music during the book sale. Go to pequotlibrary.org for confirmed times and performers.

Admission to the book sale is free and all Sale proceeds help fund Pequot Library’s over 500 annual programs, serving 30,000 participants of all ages. Categories include: Fiction; Classics; Mystery; Biography; History; Cookbooks, including Americana regional cookbooks; LP Records including Vocal, Stage and Screen, and World; CDs, DVDs, other Media; Comics 1970s – 1990s; and Connecticut/New England books.

If snow or weather-related conditions cause the Library to be closed on Saturday or Sunday, the book sale will resume on Monday, January 19th.

Please visit www.pequotlibrary.org to learn more about this vibrant library, educational, arts and cultural institution.