Hotchkiss Fyler House is open for the season

The Torrington Historical Society, located at 192 Main Street, is open for the season and will remain open through October 31st. The Society is home to three cultural attractions: the Hotchkiss-Fyler House Museum, the permanent exhibit, No Place Like Home: The History of Torrington, and the Hendey Machine Shop exhibit Pursuit of Precision: The Hendey Machine Shop 1870-1954. The Hotchkiss-Fyler House Museum and the two exhibit areas are open to the public Wednesday – Saturday, 12-4 p.m.

1835057

Fodor’s Guide to New England described the Hotchkiss-Fyler House Museum as “one of the better house museums in Connecticut”. Built in 1900, this grand Victorian mansion was commissioned by Orsamus and Mary Fyler and was designed by New Haven architect William H. Allen. The house was built by Hotchkiss Brothers Company, a Torrington firm. The Torrington Historical Society acquired the home in 1956 when Gertrude Fyler Hotchkiss, daughter of the original owners, bequeathed the house and its contents to the Society.

Today, visitors to the Hotchkiss-Fyler House Museum can see the home as it was when last occupied by Gertrude Fyler Hotchkiss. This grand home is rich in details: mahogany paneling, ornate carvings, stenciled walls, murals, parquet floors and ornamental plaster. Family furnishings include impressive collections of porcelain, glass and oriental carpets as well as paintings by Ammi Phillips, Winfield Scott Clime, E. I. Couse, George Lawrence Nelson and Albert Herter. Guided tours of the house museum are available for $5 per person; children 12 and under are free. Hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 12-4; the last tour is at 3:30 p.m.

Hotchkiss Fyler House Museum, Torrington CT

The Torrington History Museum, adjacent to the Hotchkiss-Fyler House Museum, contains an award-winning permanent exhibit, No Place Like Home: The History of Torrington. This self-guided exhibit explores the city’s history while showcasing photographs and artifacts from the Society’s collection. Audio and video components and hands-on interactive stations are featured in this exhibit. Admission is $2; children 12 and under are free. Another exhibit, Pursuit of Precision: The Hendey Machine Company 1870-1954, is located in the Carriage House. This exhibit features an operational belt-driven machine shop, a video kiosk, and a photographic history of the Hendey Machine Company, a former Torrington manufacturer of lathes, shapers and milling machines. Admission is free.

3604857

The John H. Thompson Memorial Library houses archives pertaining to Torrington history. Researchers may visit the library Wednesday-Friday 1-4, or by appointment. For more information about the Society or to become a member, please visit www.torringtonhistoricalsociety.org or contact the Society at (860) 482-8260.

A Trio of Performances at the Gary the Olivia Theatre in Bethlehem

On the grounds of the Abbey of Regina Laudis in the quite town of Bethlehem Connecticut the Clay and Wattles Theatre Company has planned two exciting performances this summer at the Gary the Oliva Theatre located on 249 Flanders Road.

The first show is “The Trip to the Bountiful that will take place from June 12 through June 21 with Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and a Sunday matinee at 2:30 p.m.

sideviewtheater-250x200

The Trip to Bountiful” finds a perfect home here, on the grounds of the working farm run by the Benedictine nuns at the Abbey. The roofed, open air theater was built with the vision of former actress and now Benedictine Nun, Mother Dolores Hart, and the generous support of Oscar winning actress Patricia Neal, and has a rich history. The June 12 opening night performance of “The Trip to Bountiful” at The Gary-The Olivia Theater will include a reception during intermission featuring local wines and cheeses.

The musical for the 2015 season is the Tony Award winning “Man of La Mancha.” It is the unforgettable story of the “mad” knight, Don Quixote, as a play within a play, performed by Cervantes and his fellow prisoners as he awaits a hearing with the Spanish Inquisition. It will play from August 1-16 at The Gary-The Olivia Theater, with Friday and Saturday performances at 7:30 pm and Sunday matinees at 2:30 pm.

A third performance, a Concert/Fundraiser for Clay & Wattles Theater company at The Gary-The Olivia Theater entitled “From Rags To Riches” will take place on Saturday, September 19 from 3-6 pm with special guest artists performing scenes, songs and dances from your favorite American Musicals and a dramatic reading from Mother Dolores Hart. The concert will be followed by a wine, cheese and chocolate reception with a meet and greet the performers.
The new season offers subscriptions for groups and individuals, and special rates for seniors. For ticket information and more details on the Clay & Wattles Theater company’s 2015 season, visit www.thegarytheolivia.com, or call 203-273-5669, or email info@thegarytheolivia.com.

John Funt and Gerald Incandela to show at Five Points Gallery

Five Points Gallery, located in Downtown Torrington, will open a new exhibition “John Funt and Gerald Incandela at Five Points” on Thursday, May 28th. The show will run through June 27 and will be open Thursdays through Sundays from 1-5 p.m. Five Points Gallery is free and open to the public. An opening reception will take place on Friday, May 29 at 6 p.m. and an artist talk with occur on Friday, June 12 at 6 p.m. The public is encouraged to attend both events, which are sponsored by Burlington Construction.

John Funt Waterfall

John Funt Waterfall

John Funt studied art with sculptor Rhys Caparn at the Dalton School in New York and with painter Joseph Slate at Kenyon College in Ohio. He has had solo exhibitions at Nelson Macker Fine Art, Morgan Lehman Gallery, James Graham and Sons and the Norfolk Library. Funt has worked as an event designer for the Metropolitan Museum of Art and a Designer and Display Director for Tiffany & Company but for the past decade, has devoted himself full-time to painting.

Commenting on Funt’s work, The New Criterion wrote: “John Funt turns the dynamics of landscape around.” Another review from The New Yorker described his work as follows: ” The wide-screen format announces representational intent; the jewel-like undertones and simplified forms reveal the fundamental decorative impulse.”

Incandella Card

Incandella Card

Gerald Incandela is an American artist, born in Tunisia. Incandela received a philosophy degree in 1969, then moved to Paris where he studied art history. In 1974, Gerald Incandela began to photograph and soon after learned photographic printing. He is recognized for his unique photographic process, by which he conceptually merges drawing and photography. During the course of developing the large format, black and white prints, Incandela selectively applies developer and fixer on paper with a brush as to reveal and animate selected elements of the captured image.

His work is in numerous collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Incandela has had numerous solo exhibitions in the United States and abroad and has also taken part in numerous group exhibitions. In his recent body of work, Gerald Incandela has transitioned from drawing with the photographic medium to painting with it. The tones and colors are the result of the action of regular light oxidizing the silver in the paper before fixing the image. It is not a tinted or colored silver print and therefore not “mixed media”. Each one is unique because Incandela applies selectively the solutions onto the paper instead of immersing the paper evenly in the solutions.

Five Points Gallery is located at 33 Main Street, Torrington, CT. Hours are Thursdays through Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. The gallery is also open by appointment. For more information please visit www.fivepointsgallery.org.

For more event information www.litchfieldhills.com

National Train Day and Mother’s Day at the Danbury Railway Museum

The Danbury Railway Museum has joined in the celebration of National Train Day on Saturday, May 9. At the Danbury Railway Museum this promises to be a day full of educational activities and FREE train rides for the whole family. The fun will begin at 10:00am and end at 4:00pm. Museum admission is $6.00 for adults; $5.00 for seniors; $4.00 for ages 3-12; under 3, free. However, current and former railroad employees will receive free museum admission (proper ID required). Trains will begin running hourly at 10:30 with the last train departing at 2:30.

100th

The museum’s Rail Yard Local will be operating — a short trip on a vintage train pulled by a 68 year old locomotive, with locomotive cab rides also available. As a National Train Day gift to all the friends of the Danbury Railroad, all train rides will be free on this day! As a special educational treat, periodically during the day, demonstrations of railroad signaling and coupling/uncoupling train cars will take place, and other educational talks will be given. In addition, the historic New Haven Railroad Cedar Hill forge is expected to be operating with a blacksmith making various items, and train riders will have an opportunity to take a spin on the operating turntable, followed by a tour of the water tower pump house.

In the Danbury museum building, visitors can explore railroad history exhibits, operating electric train layouts, static model displays of the station and railyard, many one-of-a-kind artifacts of railroading history, a wonderful gift shop, a coloring table and other children’s activities, and many other items of interest. The museum’s Research Library will hold a used book and model sale with some great bargains. Outside in the historic railyard, guests will find walk-through exhibits, and a vast assortment of train cars and locomotives –
many that ran in Danbury during its railroading heyday.

On Sunday, May 10, the Danbury Railway Museum is offer free rides on the Rail yard local to commemorate –Mother’s Day. Trains will run from 12 noon to 4 p.m.

The Danbury Railway Museum is a non-profit organization, staffed solely by volunteers, and is dedicated to the preservation of, and education about, railroad history. The museum is located in the restored 1903 Danbury Station and rail yard at 120 White Street, Danbury, CT. For further information, visit the Web site at http://www.danburyrail.org, or call the museum at 203-778-8337.

For area information www.litchfieldhills.com

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.

Jacobson+Not+a+Nosegay+12x12

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.

home-inn

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.

riverton fishing derby 2

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.