Explore your inner artist with a pro at Karen Rossi Studios

Karen Rossi Studios is sure to bring out the inner artist in you no matter what your artistic ability is. Karen is a highly regarded artist well known for her original metal sculptures. Rossi also licenses and imports her whimsical characters of hobbies and professions, known as Fanciful Flights™. A growing brand, Rossi Studios is constantly introducing many programs. The newest additions include Aviv Judaica, and puzzles by Ceaco, Stave and Ravensburger.

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In Litchfield Hills at Rossi’s newly opened studio in Torrington located on 27 East Main Street in the historic Allen Building she has organized a series of classes for the month of November that are sure to delight young and old.

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On November 1 Rossi is offering a Mermaid Fanciful Flights workshop. Participants will make their very own mermaid by painting the beauty first, and then attaching charms to tell the story of your sea creature. Materials are included, but you’re invited to bring old broken jewelry, sea glass& shells. $30.00 (Regular $40.00 per person).

Magic Mosaic Boxes are the highlight of the class on November 6 where participants will create a very special box for all their tiny keepsakes. In addition to mosaics, there are lots of mixed media in the studio to help make your piece unique. All materials supplied, but you’re invited to bring your old China plates to smash up! Making mosaics is a great way to let out stress and relax. $25.00 (Regular $40.00 per person).

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Shelf Sitters that sit on a table, shelf or desktop replete with dangling legs and shoes will be made on Nov. 8. This workshop is $50 (regular $40).

Sure to be favorites, on November 15 participants will make Christmas Dogs and Cats ($25/$40) and will personalize each one for a one of a kind keepsake. On November 22 participants will Make their own Menorah ($35/$55) and will be able to choose from one of Karen’s lasercut designs. You’ll be given a white menorah to fill with color, add beads and candle cups and you’ll be ready for Chanukah.

For more information and to sign up for one of these fun and affordable classes visit http://www.karenrossi.com. For information on Litchfield Hills www.litchfieldhills.com

Gunn Memorial Library’s Book Basement Boasts New Stock

The staff at the Gunn Memorial Library in Washington has been busy cleaning out old merchandise and restocking the shelves with “new” used books. The book basement has re-opened and is a treasure trove of finds for book lovers. The book basement is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 to 2.

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Visitors are invited to browse the newly added fiction, non-fiction, biography, history and children’s books. The history section has been organized into major wars as well as American and European categories and more. There is an entire wall of new fiction. The new stock includes “specials” – frequently collectible and highly sought after titles priced far less than what can be found on internet book sites. A large collection of books about antiques will be featured, among which the series, American Furniture by Luke Beckerdite, is covering 1993 to 2010. A selection of Irish literature includes many signed books of poetry. There is even a section of local authors and many are autographed.

If you haven’t been to the Book Basement before, now is the time! There are over 8,000 books on varied topics and for every age. Since the Book Basement is constantly restocking, if you miss the first day of opening, do not be dismayed – come in another day to find additional titles that have been added. It is a bibliophile’s cornucopia!

The Gunn Memorial Library is located on 5 Wykeham Road in Washington Connecticut. For more information call 860-868-7586 or visit http://www.gunnlibrary.org.

Howl-O- Ween — at Beardsley Zoo !

It is that spooky time of year again when the attractions are serving up plenty of chills and thrills and family fun in Fairfield County.

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The Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport for example, is calling all ghosts and goblins to their “Howl-O-Ween on Oct. 24 and 25 from 6:30. Visitors will spend a truly fun and frightful evening at the Zoo featuring a “Greek Mythology” Hayride, Haunted Farmyard, Gruesome Greenhouse, and magic show by Jim Sisti. Tickets also include FREE face painting, and of course, CANDY! Don’t miss this frighteningly good time. Admission is $12 per person in advance and for Zoo members; $15 per person at the gate. Event recommended for children ages 6-12, however, some of the “scarier” activities of the evening may be better suited for children ages 8+.
On Sunday, October 26, Boo is at the Zoo… from 12 pm to 3 pm. This spooktacular afternoon that includes harvest hayrides and many other seasonal enjoyments from 12:00pm – 3:00pm. Special scarecrows are guaranteed to delight and fright all visitors to the Zoo adding a ghoulish flair. Make sure you are on hand when the winner is announced so you can congratulate the winner and have your photo taken with winning scarecrow.

The fun at Beardsley Zoo continues with Harvest Hay Rides through the month every weekend in November on at 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The rides begin at W.O.L.F. Cabin and are $2 per person.
Beardsley Zoo is located on 1875 Noble Ave. in Bridgeport. For more information visit http://beardsleyzoo.org. For area information www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com

Haunted Graveyards and Witches Dungeon Deliver Chills and Thrills

It is that spooky time of year again and Bristol Connecticut in the Litchfield Hills is “spook central”!

For chills, make haste to the Haunted Graveyard at Lake Compounce Family Theme Park in Bristol, which has been called “The granddaddy of the horrifically good time.” An unholy order of monks keep watch over the graves in the dark caverns of the Catacombs here and a dark and misty fog envelops the graveyard where zombies and night stalkers have wakened from the dead. Some are real, others are amazing animatronic creations made by The Haunted Graveyard’s crazed staff.

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Recommended for adults, teens and very brave children, the park opens at dusk weekends from through November 1, and runs to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, to 10 p.m. on Sundays. Lake Compounce will also be operating 17 thrill rides including Boulder Dash, Ghost Hunt, Down Time, and Zoomerang. Proceeds will benefit the American Diabetes Associations. For tickets visit https://www.lakecompounce.com or http://hauntedgraveyard.com.

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This will be the 48th year for the annual Witches Dungeon Halloween Classic Movies Museum in Bristol. The Graveyard Of Classic Ghouls sets the atmosphere as you enter the dungeon where accurate life-size figures of Boris Karloff, Vincent Price, Lon Chaney, Bela Lugosi, and others are featured in 13 scenes or dioramas based on the vintage movie chillers. Many of the figures are made from the actual life casts of the actor’s faces, plus some original costumes or props, in a wax museum style setting with special voice tracks by Vincent Price, Mark Hamill, and John Agar. Many Hollywood props are on display and vintage films may be shown outdoors, weather permitting.

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While waiting for each wax museum tour, you can view actual film props, actor’s life casts and movie posters, or step into our film room, to view classic silent horror movies, shown on film, not video. Featuring far more life size figures & original movie props than we have ever had on display before! Figures based on the classic films of Vincent Price, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney, Bela Lugosi and more.

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The new location for Witches Dungeon is 98 Summer Street, Bristol Historical Society in Bristol. The hours are Friday through Sunday evenings, 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Oct. 24-26 and Oct. 31 – Nov. 2. The Museum is not recommended for children under age 7. For additional information visit http://www.preservehollywood.org.

7th Annual Washington Green Cemetery Tour

The 7th Annual Washington Green Cemetery Tour, with a special World War One theme, will take place on Friday, October 24from 6:30-8:30pm.

Costumed guides will lead groups of visitors every ten minutes from the Gunn Museum to the Washington Green Cemetery where the town’s departed citizens will be stationed at their gravestones to tell their tales of tragedy and triumph.

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Tour groups will follow a magical path of 1,000 luminaries spanning a quarter mile through the shadowy cemetery and hear the lively and dramatic stories of Washington’s residents from World War One. The costumed character actors stationed at each gravestone will share such stories as the perilous tales of combat in Europe; the life of a soldier stationed in muddy rat infested trenches; women will describe what the fascinating experiences they had as nurses and YMCA workers; summer residents from New York City will talk about how they joined forces with the locals to form war relief organizations such as the Sister Susie Society on the home front; and so much more.

The tours depart from the Museum in groups of fifteen people every 10 minutes between 6:30-8:30 pm, and last approximately 45 minutes. Numbers for the tours are handed out at the Museum starting at 6:15pm. A Halloween themed movie will be shown and treats will be served in the Wykeham Room of the Gunn Library as you wait for your tour group to depart. The Museum will also be open for viewing of the exhibit, Over There: Washington and the Great War. The cemetery is dark and cold, please bring a flashlight with you and dress warmly.

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While this event is free, donations are always appreciated. The rain date is Sunday October 26. The Gunn Museum is located at 5 Wykeham Road, at the intersection of Wykeham Road and Route 47, on Washington Green, Connecticut. Parking at the Gunn is limited, please use nearby lots and side streets. Call 860-868-7756 or view www.gunnlibrary.org for information.

For information on Litchfield Hills www.litchfieldhills.com

Wednesday Workshops Challenge Kids’ Creativity

Every Wednesday now through December 17, the Westport Historical Society has organized a series of workshops for curious creative kids from 3:45 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. These fun workshops will allow kids ages 6 to 12 years old to create a new project each week.

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The workshops will be a fun way to encourage kids to explore their creativity. Projects will be of interest for kids with a variety of interests. For the child fascinated by technology, there’s “Industrial Revolution Robots,” where kids will make their own bots from nuts and bolts. For the budding artist there are workshops on how to make folk art signs and decoupage treasure boxes. Workshops on making sock dolls, parchment paper, scary Halloween stuff, antique toy reproductions and holiday gifts round out the syllabus.

“Wednesday Workshops,” Wednesdays, Oct. 1-Dec. 17, 3:45 to 5:15 p.m. Ages 5-12. There is a $25 per session fee, $20 for members. For 10 sessions, the fee is $150 members, $200 non-members; includes all supplies. Reservations suggested: (203) 222-1424. For additional information visit http://westporthistory.org.

New Show at Franklin Street Works through Nov. 9

This fall, the Franklin Street Works presents It Narratives: The Movement of Objects as Information, an exhibition featuring artists’ projects that engage the postal system and its intersections with digital communications media. The artists in It Narratives find forms for everyday experiences of distance and time by reflecting on the way objects move through information networks. The exhibition is curated by New York-based guest curators Brian Droitcour and Zanna Gilbert and will be on view through November 9, 2014.

Artist: Frank Heath Title: Bcc: Fort Lafayette Island / David's Island (Bed)  Medium: Powder Coated Steel, Photograph, Postage Year: 2013 Photography by: Frank Heath

Artist: Frank Heath
Title: Bcc: Fort Lafayette Island / David’s Island (Bed)
Medium: Powder Coated Steel, Photograph, Postage
Year: 2013
Photography by: Frank Heath

With areas of expertise in mail art (Gilbert) and Internet art (Droitcour), the curators take into consideration how Internet technology and digital forms of commerce have changed the way artists use the postal system. Mail art emerged in the late 1960s as a collective, networked medium allowing artists to circulate and exchange works and ideas in a sphere uncontrolled by curators, institutions, the art market, or state censorship. Today, mail is employed less frequently as an artistic medium, in keeping with an overall shift in how information is experienced and exchanged. News and greetings from friends and family have migrated from the postal system to the faster networks of email and social media, yet “snail mail” has not become obsolete. Sending objects over great distances is part of online commerce. Print-on-demand services that allow users to design their own T-shirts, books, or mugs with a few clicks of a mouse connect Internet browsing and data input to receiving objects by mail and handling them in everyday life.

artist: Lance Wakeling Title: video still from A Tour of the AC-1 Transatlantic Submarine Cable  Year: 2011 Medium: video

artist: Lance Wakeling
Title: video still from A Tour of the AC-1 Transatlantic Submarine Cable
Year: 2011
Medium: video

It Narratives: The Movement of Objects as Information takes its title from a prose genre popular in the late 18th century, the “it-narrative.” These were accounts of objects circulating in the structures of emergent industrialized capitalist markets written in the first-person from the perspective of the objects. It Narratives the exhibition updates this concept for the 21st century by presenting artists’ projects that track the movement of objects online and by mail, taking measure of the physical and emotional experiences of time and distance inherent to these networks.

Exhibiting artists include: Greg Allen, Tyler Coburn, Tim Devin, Yevgeniy Fiks, Lukas Geronimas, Frank Heath, David Horvitz, Jean Keller, Alexandra Lerman, Kristin Lucas, Cat Mazza, Kristina Lee Podesva and Alan McConchie, Paul Soulellis, Emily Spivack, The Thread, Ehren Tool, Print All Over Me, Forms of Melancholy, Lance Wakeling, Roberto Winter.

Franklin Street Works is located at 41 Franklin Street in downtown Stamford, Connecticut, near the UCONN campus and less than one hour from New York City via Metro North. Franklin Street Works is approximately one mile (a 15 minute walk) from the Stamford train station. On street parking is available on Franklin Street (metered until 6 pm except on Sunday), and paid parking is available nearby in a lot on Franklin Street and in the Summer Street Garage (100 Summer Street), behind Target. The art space and café are open to the public on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday: 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. with extended hours on Thursdays, 12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Franklin Street Works does not charge for admission during regular gallery hours.