Cut Flowers from Paper Roads in Falls Village Connecticut

In the bucolic hamlet of Falls Village, the David M. Hunt Library is presenting an exhibit by Gail Jacobson, Cut Flowers from Paper Roads through May 9.

The artist’s work in this exhibit was created from old books bought at library and tag sales and then cut up, treated, and shaped into natural subjects such as flowers and insects.

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Jacobson, a self-described crafter, recently discussed her source of material and inspiration, “Today atlases and maps pile up at library sales, tag sales and in boxes marked “free” along the sides of the road. These documents of how to get places resulted from hundreds of years of work, adventure, and skill by thousands of explorers, travelers, and artists. Paper artists rejoice at this bounty, knowing that they are saving these relics from landfills. A bath of tea ages and helps to obscure their previous lives. Flowers, leaves and butterflies are cut from their pages and reassembled as Victorian bouquets full of cabbage roses, spiky mums and fantasy flowers that Mother Nature never imagined. No longer hidden away in seat pockets, the maps adorn our walls and remind us of our past and the miles we have traveled to get where we are.”

Gail Jacobson grew up in California where her father owned a printing business and scraps of paper were plentiful. She graduated from college with a BA in art. After her marriage to her husband Jeff they proceeded to move across the country and to England, settling in Cornwall, CT almost 20 years ago when they bought a 100-year-old hay barn and converted it into their home. Creating art has been a constant activity no matter where she is.

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After visiting the exhibit, stop in at the Falls Village Inn for lunch or dinner. This historic inn built more than 175 years ago has shaped the rich history of this quaint village nestled in the Litchfield Hills. For more information visit http://thefallsvillageinn.com

For area information visit www.litchfieldhills.com

Eye Candy kicks off the Silo Gallery Spring Season

The Silo at Hunt Hill Farm’s upcoming gallery exhibition, ties together the works of Washington artists Ken Cornet and Tyler Farmen with works that entice the eye. The exhibit runs to May 5, 2015.

Tyler Farmen, Blue Drip

Tyler Farmen, Blue Drip

The exhibit is aptly named, as Cornet describes his work as enticing “the eye through color and movement either with free forms or structures to create a feeling of excitement or serenity, thereby instilling a sense of fun, comfort and well-being.” Farmen says, “My work combines the real and tangible, however it gives the feeling of a surreal fantasy. My intention is to provide viewers with a sense of comfort and at the same time question.”
Ken Cornet was born and raised in New York where he attended The Ethical Culture School and the highly selective High School of Music and Art, now LaGuardia High School. He went on to study painting at the Art Students League, fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and earned a degree from the New York School of Interior Design. From painting in pre-school to designing textiles and surfaces

In adulthood, Ken returned to painting and creating art. Cornet’s design collections were licensed by major home furnishing companies around the world under the Ken Cornet brand. While always mindful of the past, his style is contemporary and always innovative and playful. Cornet’s licensed product areas included apparel, bed and bath fashions, home textiles and wallpapers, rugs, ceramics, dinner and gift ware, and paper and party goods. His artistic versatility resulted in the New York State Department of Labor labeling his work as “art miscellaneous” in late 1960’s. Editors and buyers labeled his design collections as “contemporary classics” in the late 1980’s and into the 1990’s.

Ken Cornet, Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition, 2014, 11 x 8.5. Gouache collage on Paper.

Ken Cornet, Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition, 2014, 11 x 8.5. Gouache collage on Paper.

Tyler Farmen was born in Washington, CT in 1982. He received a BA in Industrial Design from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn NY in 2004. Tyler lived and worked as a designer in New York until 2006 when he moved back to CT, where he is currently Head of The Fine Arts Department at Rumsey Hall School and working on various creative projects.

In addition, Farmen runs a small art gallery in Lakeside, CT called The Gallery, which features local and national artists as well as a one of a kind gift shop. Tyler has a wide range of work from painting and sculpture to graphics and fashion. His ambition is to make people approach what they look at every day with new value. Referring to his latest oeuvre, Farmen says, It “consists of reinterpreted items that have been discarded by society and consumed by nature. Captured in time, these items are locked in a patina of eternal beauty.

Tyler Farmen, Red Oil 2

Tyler Farmen, Red Oil 2

My artwork is a combination of the many people, places and feelings that I experience in everyday life. “I started painting and creating to break the confines and guidelines of my career as a designer. I don’t restrain myself to one medium or process. I enjoy exploring all avenues of creating taking the pain and anguish that I feel in the universe and portraying it in a positive light through my paintings and sculptures. My work combines the real and tangible, however it gives the feeling of a surreal fantasy. My intention is to provide viewers with a sense of comfort and at the same time question.”

The Silo Gallery and Store are open Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, please call Liba Furhman at (860) 355-0300 or visit www.hunthillfarmtrust.org.

For area event information on the Litchfield Hills www.litchfieldhills.com

Catch the BIG ONE at the Riverton Fishing Derby on the Farmington River

April 11, the official opening of the fishing season in the Nutmeg State is the day when fly-fishing aficionados from near and far flock to the Annual Riverton Fishing Derby in the Riverton section of Barkhamsted, located in the beautiful Litchfield Hills.

fishing derby

The day starts before daybreak with a hearty breakfast beginning at 4 a.m. at the Riverton Fire Department on 3 Riverton Rd. in the center of town. Breakfast, lunch and snacks will be available at the Riverton General Store located in the center of town in a mid.-19th century building that is the hub of activity for this village. Green mountain coffee, made to order sandwiches, homemade soups, chili, salad and pastries are just some of the things offered here. For more information on Riverton General Store www.rivertongeneralstore.com.

This exciting Litchfield Hills event takes place on April 11th on the West branch of the Farmington River, a Nationally designated “Wild and Scenic” river that is known to host an abundance of rainbow, brown and brook trout. As a matter of fact, on Friday afternoon before this event, over 100 fish are purchased and released into the Farmington River adding even more incentive to catch the “big one.” The contest, complete with prizes, begins at 6 a.m. and lasts for about four hours, ending at 10 a.m. and it’s all-free; and there is no registration or fee required.

The public is always welcome to attend this event and to cheer on their favorite fisherman. Last year some 500 enthusiasts participated in the derby. An even bigger crowd is expected this year. Prizes include items donated by local merchants as well as by Orvis, and Cabela’s. The coveted grand prize is a village chair of Riverton donated by the Hitchcock Chair Company. The Hitchcock Chair Company Store is located in Riverton and stocks an excellent selection of this classic hand stenciled furniture. For information about the Hitchcock Chair Company visit www.hitchcockchair.com.

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A bit further upriver a section of the flowing waters especially stocked for the occasion, is set aside for the “Kid’ Derby”. Any tot under 16 who is able to hold a fishing pole, can join in the fun. Special prizes are awarded to kids.

To find out more about the Fishing Derby and other events in Riverton, visit http://rivertonct.com.

The easiest way of getting a fishing license is to visit the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s online sportsmen licensing at https://ct.outdoorcentral.net/InternetSales. Fishing licenses are also available from town clerks and this website has a complete listing of town clerks and businesses that sell fishing licenses. The website also has a weekly fishing report that runs from opening day through the end of November. The report is a summary of fresh and saltwater fishing activity in the state as reported by tackle stores around the state.

For more information on Litchfield Hills, where to stay, dine and what to see and do visit www.litchfieldhills.com.

My Sky at Stepping Stones Museum for Children

The Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk has a fabulous new exhibit through Memorial Day called My Sky that is funded by NASA and created through a partnership between Boston Children’s Museum and Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.

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My Sky is an exhibit about the universe. But it is also about each of us, and how the sky above impacts our lives here on Earth. The sky is, after all, universal. It is something we all share. My Sky invites children and adults to explore the Sun, the Moon and the stars together in an immersive, inviting environment. Families are encouraged to “look up” not only when they visit the exhibit, but also in their everyday lives. And My Sky gives families the chance to practice science skills like observing, communicating, noticing patterns, predicting, imagining and more — science skills that are fundamental to astronomy, and skills that scientists and engineers use every day.

The sky is also a source of endless inspiration for people from all walks of life, and My Sky introduces us to a few of these people. From scientists and astronomers who work to investigate and understand the universe; to artists and sculptors who create monuments and representations of the awesome and the serene; to writers and musicians who capture, through words and melody, the feelings that arise when we gaze up at the Moon, or stare silently at the stars. The universe is inspiring. It is mind boggling. It is full of wonder. My Sky invites you to feel all of that.

For more information http://www.steppingstonesmuseum.org. For more area event information www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com

Greenwich Historical Society – Over Here and Over There: The Popular Music of WWI

On February 26, 2015, 7:00 pm and Sunday, March 1, 2015, 4:00 pm the Greenwich Historical Society is presenting a program on music during WWII. The Society is located on 39 Strickland Road in Cos Cob. The event will take place in the Vanderbilt Education Center on the grounds of the Society. Tickets are $10 for members and $15 for nonmembers. Purchase tickets at http://greenwichhistory.org or call 203-869-6899, Ext. 10.

warposters

Music played a key role in the development of popular opinion during WWI. Lyrics and sheet music art were often designed to influence public opinion As the political climate shifted from neutrality to support for the allies, so did mainstream music.

Prior to US involvement in 1917 many songs supported neutrality with more than one song invoking a mother’s love as a reason enough for a son to stay at home. After 1917, when the United States joined the conflict, patriotic themes became more popular.

Led by Stefanie Kies and Bea Crumbine, the program will juxtapose performances of period music with background information and slides. Also, performing are vocalist Dan Swartz and John Goldschmid on piano.

Curator for a day in Litchfield Hills and more

February is a busy month at the Litchfield History Museum. On February 22 for example, at 3pm a lecture, The Colonial Revival as Collective Memory and Consumer has been scheduled. The lecture will be presented by Thomas Denenberg, director of the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, VT. The development of a culture of consumption in the decades that bracketed the turn of the twentieth century created unprecedented opportunity for the dissemination of images, objects, and texts that engendered historical consciousness in the United States. Antiquarian activities, the province of social outliers, the wealthy, or the creative such as the painter Edward Lamson Henry (1841-1919), became normative behavior in the new middle-class America.

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Gathering, collecting, and sorting historical material culture, once an end unto itself in the nineteenth century, gave way to the creation of a widespread aesthetic that prized idealized “native” forms. Entrepreneurial individuals, including the minister-turned antimodern colporteur Wallace Nutting (1861-1941), employed the very modern platforms of advertising, publishing, department stores, and mail order merchandising to encourage and fulfill middle-class desires for objects and myths that answered contemporary social needs in an era of rapid economic and geographic change.

Often termed “the” Colonial Revival—an aesthetic assumed to be, monolithic, sui generis, and whole upon arrival, this illustrated lecture will look at the phenomenon as a complex and carefully constructed collective memory that matured over time. This program is free for members and $5 for non members. Register at registration@litchfieldhistoricalsociety.org.

If you have ever wondered what it’s really like to be a curator at a history museum, you are invited to shadow the curator of the societies collections on February 26 from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Participants will study artifacts from the Historical Society’s collections, get a behind-the-scenes peek at object storage, a hands-on experience with some of a curator’s day-to-day work, and assemble a hypothetical exhibit. Please register for this program by Tuesday, February 24. Non-members are required to pay the registration fee in advance of the event. Your registration will not be considered complete until we have received payment and the cost is $10 for members; $15 for non-members. Register at registration@litchfieldhistoricalsociety.org.

For more ideas about what to do and see in Litchfield Hills visit www.litchfieldhills.com

Rick Shaefer Draws the Line at Housatonic Museum of Art

The Housatonic Museum of Art presents Rick Shaefer: Drawing the Line on view in the Burt Chernow Galleries, 900 Lafayette Blvd., Bridgeport, CT, from February 12 through March 27, 2015 with a reception open to the public on February 12 from 5:30-7:00 pm. The Burt Chernow Galleries are free and open seven days a week. Visit the website, www.HousatonicMuseum.org for gallery hours.

LIVE OAKS

Drawing is essential to the training of an artist. It is the most direct medium between the artist and his observations, thoughts, feelings and experiences—serving both as a record and as a revealer of truth. Drawing is both a cognitive and manual process that provides the foundation for painting, sculpture and architecture. Fairfield artist Rick Shaefer’s monumental, breath-taking drawings offer viewers an adventure in looking with his technically precise and visually poetic drawings of animals and nature.

At first glance, it is clear that Shaefer has more than a passing acquaintance with works of art across time. Of all the masters he has studied, it is Albrecht Durer that has influenced him most. In the 16th century, the natural world of animals and plants had become the focus of scientific and cultural interest as explorers returned from far-flung places carrying examples and illustrations of exotic new species. One of Durer’s best known pen drawings, Rhinoceros, 1515, demonstrates the artist’s fascination with recording the curiosities and wonders of the world. Paradoxically, Shaefer’s own African Rhinoceros, beautifully rendered in rich charcoal on vellum, comes full circle by documenting what now may be the waning days of these magnificent beasts.

BELGIAN BLUE

Shaefer’s trees, crowned with leaves or barren and in varying states of decay, are densely detailed and sensitively modeled through the use of tonal gradations. Majestic oaks and tangled vines allow the artist to mine the sculptural properties of a charcoal line, expressing not only what he observes but how he feels. A dramatic narrative unfolds before the eye, compelling the viewer to travel along through the light and into the shadows.

And, like the rhinoceros, these powerful and confident drawings circle around a common theme: the effects of human activity on nature. Climate change specifically could lead to the massive destruction of forests as well as the extinction of countless species. Global warming has led to the increase of forest fires as well as a proliferation of pests and diseases. Rick Shaefer: Drawing the Line looks to the rich tradition of drawing in order to explore the critical issues of our time.

For area event information www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com