New Show at Torrington’s Five Points Gallery

Five Points Gallery, Torrington, will open a new show on August 7th which will run through September 6th. The work of four artists will be featured: Kathryn Myers, Stass Shpanin, Ebenezer Singh and Jason Wallengren. There will be an artist talk held on August 22nd at 6 pm. The public is encouraged to attend both events.

Stass Shpanin | The Last Sigh of Sleipnir | Oil on Canvas | 64 x 94 | 2013

Stass Shpanin | The Last Sigh of Sleipnir | Oil on Canvas | 64 x 94 | 2013

“Displacement”, an exhibition featuring the work of Stass Shpanin, will be the show in the East Gallery. Shpanin, a native of Azerbaijan, attended the Hartford Art School , where he graduated in 2012. He has been the recipient of numerous awards including a Fulbright scholarship. Shpanin has exhibited his work around the world and is represented in various public and private collections.

The West and TDP Galleries will showcase the work of three artists: Kathryn Myers, Ebenezer Singh and Jason Wallengren, in an exhibit titled “When Marco Polo Saw Elephants”. Myers’ paintings in gouache and oil, as well as her recent works in video, have been inspired by her interest and research on the art and culture of India. She has exhibited her work widely in the United States and India and has received numerous grants including: Fulbright Fellowships to India; Connecticut Commission on Arts and Culture grants, and the Marie Walsh Sharpe space program grants. Myers received her BA from St. Xavier College in Chicago, an MFA in painting from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and has been teaching painting and drawing at UConn since 1984.

Kathryn Myers | Ascendance | Gouache on Paper | 8 x 5 | 2013

Kathryn Myers | Ascendance | Gouache on Paper | 8 x 5 | 2013

Ebenezer Singh was born in India and studied at the Madras College of Art and at Kingston University in Surrey, U.K. He constructs images with allegorical and religious references, many of which reference several cultures. Singh has exhibited widely in galleries and India, Europe and the United States and his work is in public collections in Germany and India. He has been the recipient of grants, participated in Jason Wallengren is a conceptual artist who divides his time between Nurnberg, Germany and Connecticut. He received an MFA in Visual
Arts from the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University. Wallengren has exhibited in the United States and abroad.

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

History comes alive in Litchfield Connecticut this August!

The Litchfield Historical Society located on the corner of the village green and Rte. 63 south has planned a trio of events for lovers of this historic town. On August 20 for example, the Leather Iron Book Club meets at the society from 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m. and will discuss this month’s book, Remembrance written by Theresa Breslin. This activity is perfect for kids 9 years or older. Remembrance is set in 1915 Scotland, and chronicles the experiences of young Red Cross nurses as they struggle with changes brought on by the Great War. Following the discussion of the book, games and crafts relating to the story will be offered. Register by August 9th to receive a copy of the book.

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An event not to be missed on August 23 at 10 a.m. is the walking tour of West Street, a centerpiece of Litchfield History. The walk begins at 10 a.m. at the Historical Society and is $10 for non-members. Participants will find out about the playhouse that was once on Litchfield’s West Street and learn about this bustling business center and the surrounding area. A tour guide will discuss the street’s residents, summer destinations, stores, and how the area has changed over time.

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On August 29 at 6 p.m. the Historical Society is offering a lecture and guided tasting of the Forgotten Drinks of Colonial New England. The lecture will take place on the lawn of the Tapping Reeve House and Law School located on 83 South Street (Rte. 63 south) and is $20 for members and $25 for non-members. Corin Hirsch, award-winning food and drink writer, will be discussing about her new book “Forgotten Drinks of Colonial New England.” Tippling was a common activity in colonial New England, and Hirsch has resurrected some of these delicious libations in her new publication. She will mix up drinks like flip and grog for participants to sample.

The Litchfield History Museum’s exhibit, The Lure of the Litchfield Hills through November29, 2015 explores the Colonial Revival Movement in Litchfield. This exhibit explores what was behind the Colonial Revival Movement, how the residents of Litchfield embraced their ancestral past and how the community came to look the way it does today. Visitors are invited to join in exploring his social movement that touched all aspects of American life from architecture and landscaping, to fashion, home decoration and beyond.

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For more information about the Litchfield Historical Society visit www.litchfieldhistoricalsociety.org. For information about Litchfield Hills www.litchfieldhills.com

Being, Nothingness and More: Roz Chast Beyond the New Yorker at the Bruce Museum

The Bruce Museum located on One Museum Dr. in Greenwich is presenting a new exhibiton of 30 works by the well known Roz Chast. A highlight of this exhibition will be examples of of Chast’s iconic work from The New Yorker magazine, as well as prints and drawings from other projects. Also on display will be tapestries and painted eggs in the pysanky tradition decorated with the artist’s signature images. The Show runs through October 19.

Roz Chast Painted Egg © Roz Chast

Roz Chast
Painted Egg
© Roz Chast

Roz was born in Flatbush Brooklyn and graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design. Her cartoons first began appearing in New York City in publications includingThe Village Voice.
Since the late 1970s, her work has been featured frequently in The New Yorker, and in 1986 her work was featured on the cover of that magazine for the first time. She has written or illustrated more than a dozen books, includingUnscientific Americans, Parallel Universes, Mondo Boxo, Proof of Life on Earth, The Four Elementsand The Party After You Left: Collected Cartoons 1995–2003 (Bloomsbury, 2004). In 2006,Theories of Everything: Selected Collected and Health-Inspected Cartoons, 1978–2006 was published, collecting most of her cartoons from The New Yorker and other periodicals.

Roz Chast Peas and Carrots Textile © Roz Chast

Roz Chast
Peas and Carrots
Textile
© Roz Chast


Her most recent book, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant (published in May), chronicles her relationship with her parents as they each approached the end of life.

The Bruce Museum is open Tuesday – Saturday 10 am – 5 pm, Sunday 1 pm – 5 pm, Doors close 1/2 hour before closing, and the last admission 4:30 pm. For more information about the Bruce Museum visit www.brucemuseum.org

19th Annual Litchfield Jazz Festival

The Litchfield Jazz Festival continues a time honored tradition of showcasing jazz legends and fostering up-and-coming talent that has been in place since our first festival in 1996. The Litchfield Jazz Festival is taking place once again this year on Friday August 8 – Sunday August 10 at the Goshen Fair Grounds, Rte. 63 Goshen Connecticut.

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Celebrate the kick off of the 19th Anniversary of the Litchfield Jazz Festival at the Goshen Fairgrounds on Friday, August 8th. The party is the event of the season where you’ll enjoy fine foods, private reserve French wines courtesy of Vandoren Vineyards, microbrews by the Olde Burnside Brewing Company and music all night long.

The Gala begins at 5:45 p.m. and the music starts at 7:45 p.m. with Cécile McLorin Salvant who was the youngest finalist ever in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition in 2010. At 9:15 p.m. the virtuosic and playful, pianist Cyrus Chestnut’s hard swinging, soulful sounds have become a staple in the jazz community. Blending contemporary and traditional jazz with gospel and occasional seasonings of Latin and samba, Chestnut gives himself plenty of freedom to explore different emotions, while keeping his music in recognizable form.

On Saturday, August 9 the day begins at 12 noon with Carmen Staaf the winner of the 2009 Mary Lou Williams, t Women in Jazz Pianist Competition. Most recently she was chosen as the pianist in the prestigious Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz Performance at UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music for the fall of 2014. She was featured on NPR’s JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater, with clips of her Kennedy Center performance at the 2010 Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival and She was the guest soloist with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra on a Jazz for Young People program about Duke Ellington.

At 1:45 Grammy-nominee Claudio Roditi takes the stage and plays both the trumpet and the flugelhorn with power and lyricism. Rodti integrates post-bop elements and Brazilian rhythmic concepts into his palette with ease.

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At 3:30 Curtis Fuller performs. Fuller has close to 100 recordings on major labels with Kenny Dorham, Gil Evans, Jimmy Heath, Clifford Jordan, Quincy Jones, Art Blakey (he appears on the iconic Ugetsu), Lee Morgan and others too numerous to list. Fuller will be accompanies by Drummer Joe Farnsworth, Kris Jensen on sax and Rick Germanson on piano.

Anthony Strong performs at 6 p.m. and makes his US debt at the festival. He is a product of London’s renowned Guildhall School of Music where he paid his way with gigs and sessions with artists like Michael Bolton, Marti Pellow and Beverley Knight. He also spent nine months in the West End as Jerry Lee Lewis in Million Dollar Quartet, performing to thousands of theatre-goers, one of them Rod Stewart, who came back the following day and called Strong’s performance “(expletive) Amazing!!” BB King called it, “Real great music.”

Saturday ends with a performance at 7:45 p.m. with Kirk Whalum, well known for his smooth jazz saxophone. With a career that spans decades, he is an 11-time Grammy nominee and the winner of the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Gospel Song (Its What I Do, featuring Lalah Hathaway) alongside his lifelong friend songwriter, Jerry Peters.

photo: antonio monteiro

photo: antonio monteiro

On Sunday, August 10 at 12 noon Doug Munro takes to the stage. The LJO features-a who’s who of the biggest names in the music industry including: Trumpets -Dave Ballou, Russ Johnson and Nick Roseboro; Trombones – Peter McEachern, Nicole Connelly, Daniel Simms; Saxes – (alto) Kris Allen, (alto) Caroline Davis, (tenor) Don Braden, (tenor) Tom Finn, (bari) Andrew Hadro; Bass – Avery Sharpe; Drums – Robin Baytas; Guitars – Doug Munro, Ken Ross; Violin – Andrei Matorin.

At 1:45 p.m. Bassist/composer Mario Pavone takes to the stage. He has 17 recordings as a leader/co-leader, including his acclaimed 2006 release, Deez to Blues, on Playscape Recordings. Among his awards are a NewWorks grant from Chamber Music America/Doris Duke Foundation and a Distinguished Artists Grant from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts. In addition to his ongoing activities as a bandleader, Pavone’s artwork and photography have graced the covers of dozens of recordings.

LitchfieldJazzFestAudience_byStevenSussman

The Jimmy Greene Quartet performs at 3:45 p.m. The Jimmy Greene Quartet performs regularly in jazz venues, festivals and clubs worldwide. Jimmy appears on over 70 albums as a sideman, and has toured and/or recorded with Horace Silver, Tom Harrell, Freddie Hubbard, Harry Connick, Jr., Avishai Cohen, Kenny Barron, Lewis Nash, Steve Turre, the New Jazz Composers Octet and the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, among many others. As a member of Harrell’s quintet, Greene was featured on CBS’s news magazine, 60 Minutes. As a member of Harry Connick Jr.’s Big Band, he is a featured soloist on two DVD releases, Harry for the Holidays, and Only You, and NBC He was holiday special and the Today Show.

At 5:30 p.m. Mike Stern band featuring Janek Gwizdala on bass, Bob Franceschini on sax, and Lionel Cordew on drums takes to the stage. Stern has been in the jazz business three decades and he has played with everybody anybody in jazz would have loved to have played with. He is a multi-Grammy nominated guitarist and was named one of the 75 best guitarists of all time by DownBeat Magazine in its 75th anniversary issue.

The festival ends with a performance by Jane Bunnett and Maqueque at 7:15 p.m. Soprano saxophonist/flutist/bandleader Jane Bunnett has built her career at the crossroads of Cuban music and jazz. A two-time Grammy nominee and multiple Juno Award winner, and recipient of an honorary doctorate from Queen’s University, Bunnett has turned her bands into showcases for the finest talent from Canada, the U.S., and, particularly, Cuba. She is responsible for introducing, over two decades, Cuban musicians who are now almost household words for American Jazz audiences– Dafnis Prieto, Pedrito Martínez, David Virelles, Hilario Duran, among others.

To reserve your tickets visit http://litchfieldjazzfest.com/festival. For area information on the Litchfield Hills www.litchfieldhills.com

Photo: Steven Sussman

Quintessential Quilts at the Danbury Museum and Historical Society

The Danbury Historical Society’s exhibit called Quintessential Quilts runs through November 1 and focuses on the amazing collection of handmade quilts in the museum’s collection. The exhibition opens with the roots of the craft in the 18th and 19th centuries and moves on to highlight the rising popularity of quilt making as an artistic endeavor in the 20th century.

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All the quilts on display were made between the 18th and 19th century by the local citizens of Danbury area and tells a story of the people of this that made them.

One particularly interesting quilt, crafted by sisters Laura and Flora Morgan of Bethel was made from Danbury hat factory scraps and is known as the “crazy quilt”. This particular piece is believed to have been made between 1875 and 1910. Laura Morgan was employed by a Danbury hat factory and was allowed to bring home silk lining scraps. Together the sisters added these to a variety of velvets: cut, uncut, and voided. The scraps were pieced together on foundation fabric and made nine blocks embellished with beads, embroidery, and sequins. It is thought that this quilt was a gift from these two unmarried sisters to their helpful cousin.

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In conjunction with this quilt exhibition, the Danbury Museum and Historical Society is hosting several movies and lectures on quilting. On August 9 at 2 p.m. the movie, Quiltmakers of Gee’s Bend will be shown in Huntington Hall; admission is free and the public is welcome to attend.

On August 16 there will be a quilting fabric swap from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. There is a $10 admission at the door for this fun fabric exchange.

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The quilting fun continues in September with a free movie on Art of Quilting beginning at 2 p.m. in Huntington Hall on the campus of the Historical Society.

On October 25, a few days before this exhibition comes to a close, there will be a lecture by Sue Reich, a well known quilt expert. The lecture is free and will begin at 2 p.m. in Huntington Hall. The focus of the lecture will be quilts and quilt makers covering Connecticut.

The Danbury Museum and Historical Society located on 43 Main Street in Danbury is open Wed. – Fri. 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sat. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. For addition information visit http://www.danburymuseum.org.

For area information www.litchfieldhills.com

Concerts at Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk

Each Wednesday night throughout the summer, music lovers can head to scenic Calf Pasture Beach on Calf Pasture Beach Road in Norwalk (06851) to enjoy an evening of free musical entertainment. If you don’t have a parking sticker for this beach, not to worry, there is a nominal $5.00 parking fee charged for cars without a Norwalk beach sticker.

Cash Kings

Cash Kings

To start off the month of August at 7 p.m. Cash is King is performing. Fans of the Man in Black will enjoy this recreation of performances by Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Three with June Carter Cash.

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The Classic Car Show is back on August 13 and begins at 6 p.m. This gathering of than 100 vehicles is hosted by the Coachmen Rod and Custom Club, an organization of men and women who enjoy classic cars. Owners of 1981 and older cars can participate in the shows, which attract owners from throughout the tri-state area. Each car show participant is asked to contribute canned food or make a donation to the St. Vincent De Paul food bank. At 7 p.m., Deja Vu will entertain the crowd. For ten years, this popular group has been performing “golden oldies” at events from New Haven to New York. The group includes Dominick Muro (lead vocals), Tony Masi (keyboards/lead vocals), Arthur Armstrong (lead vocals), George Gionios (saxophone/vocals), Rocco Castango (drums/vocals), John Skrensky (bass guitar/vocals) and Sal Salta (lead guitar/vocals).

Desert Highway

Desert Highway

Curious Creatures kick off the August 20 event at 6:30 p.m. and is followed by a concert by Desert Highway. This is a passionate group of six talented professions who perform the rich vocal harmonies and intricate guitar styles made famous by The Eagles. The band includes Mike Green (lead vocals, guitars), Larry Lippman (lead vocals, drums), Carl Bova (bass, vocals), Rich Naso (guitars), Ed Betancourt (guitars, vocals) and Mitch Lieb (keyboards).

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On August 27 at 7 p.m. Back to the Garden 1969 will entertain concert goers. Spotlighting music from the Woodstock era, these seasoned musicians have toured, performed and recorded nationally. Each member of the band – Gary Adamson, Bob Fonseca, Mike Garner, Larry Kelly and Annie Masciando — plays multiple instruments and also is a lead vocalist.

For area information visit www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com

August at the Beardsley Zoo

August at the Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport on 1875 Noble Ave. has a host of activities that promises fun for the whole family. Take the Rainforest Reptiles for example that are back at the Zoo by popular demand from August 1-17. These reptile shows feature exotic crawlers, unusual slitherers, and fascinating creepers, all of which are creatures of the rainforest. Participants will experience direct contact with live animals, artifacts, and hear fascinating stories about these unusual animals and their natural habitats. There are two shows daily Tuesdays – Thursdays and three shows on Friday – Sunday.

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There are two sessions of “Zoo Patrol”, the first from August 4-8 and the second from August 11-15. The Zoo Patrol offers children ages 6 – 8 the opportunity to participate in keeper talks, behind-the-scenes tours, animal related games, and crafts. Hands-on lab activities and nature studies may also be a part of the program. Sessions run on zoo grounds Monday through Friday. Each week is $140/child for Zoo members and $165/child for non-members.Advance registration is required. For more information and to register, please call 203-394-6563.

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On August 20, the Zoo is hosting a special evening lecture at 7 p.m. on Tree-Top Hideaways. Participants will learn about monkey movement and behavior with this month’s guest lecturer Kevin McLean. A highlight is the rush hour report from Panama – it’s a jungle out there! The suggested donation is $5. Refreshments will be served. This lecture, taking place in the Hanson Exploration Station, is part of the Evening Lecture Series, sponsored by Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo Volunteer Association.

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On September 1, Labor Day, Zoo goers will bid farewell to the Zoo’s summertime guests, the three visiting camels.

About Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo
Unplug and explore Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo! Connecticut’s only zoo features 300 animals representing primarily North and South American species. Visitors won’t want to miss our Amur (Siberian) tigers and leopard, Brazilian ocelot, Mexican wolves, and Golden Lion tamarins. Other highlights include our South American rainforest with free-flight aviary, the prairie dog exhibit with “pop-up” viewing areas, the New England Farmyard with goats, cows, pigs, sheep, and other barnyard critters, plus the hoofstock trail featuring bison, pronghorn, deer, and more. Visitors can grab a bite at the Peacock Café, eat in the Picnic Grove, and enjoy a ride on our colorful carousel. For more information, visit www.beardsleyzoo.org. For area information www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com

Celebrate Green Corn in Litchfield Hills

The Institute for American Indian Studies Museum and Research Center in Washington CT is hosting it’s Annual Green Corn Festival on Saturday, August 2 from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm on the grounds of the Museum located on 38 Curtis Road. The event will be held rain or shine. Adults: $10; children: $6.

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Green Corn Festivals are held all over Native America between May and October. The events are both a celebration and a religious ceremony. They celebrate the ripening of the first corn of the year depending on geographic location. The whole idea is to give thanks to the Creator, the Great Spirit, for the corn, the rain and sun that nurture it.

Traditionally corn has been an integral part of the annual cycle of life for Native American People and this Festival celebrates the first corn of the season. Fun filled activities for the whole family including drumming, dancing, face painting, kids’ crafts, and more make this event memorable.

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Highlights of the event include exciting Native American ceremonies including traditional Eastern Woodland song & dance with the Native Nation Dancers, Schaghticoke, Objiwa and Lumbee, dancing both Northern and Southern Traditional styles. A highlight this year will be the all female drumming group, Spirit of Thunderheart of Schaghticoke, Mohawk, Blackfoot, Cree and Cherokee ancestry; other performers include musician Allan Madahbee, Ojibwa; Storyteller Janis Us, Mohawk-Shinnecock descent, and Abenaki Chef and Author, Dale Carson.

A favorite of young and old alike are the Native American folktales told by storyteller, Janis Us of Mohawk-Shinnecock descent. Kids will enjoy Native American inspired crafts and facepainting.

Two not to be missed features of the Festival are the crafts for sale by local Native American artisans and a taste of traditional cooking including Pow-wow style food for sale in the outdoor Algonkian Village hosted by Dale Carson, of Abenaki descent.

About the Institute for American Indian Studies Museum and Research Center
The focus of the Institute has always been stewardship and preservation. In 1991, the name was changed to the Institute for American Indian Studies. With the name change there was a shift in focus to include education in conjunction with research.

The ethnographic collection of the Institute for American Indian Studies contains over 6,000 cultural items. While focusing on the Eastern Woodlands Peoples, the collection represents indigenous communities throughout the western hemisphere. Items vary in raw material composition – textiles, wood, stone, clay, glass, shell and semi-precious jewels – function and style from moccasins, rugs, baskets and leggings to containers, weaponry, personal accessories, recreational objects and fine art.

The Research & Collections Building is artifact-friendly with a climate controlled vault and spacious laboratory. It is home to an abundance of collections, both ethnographic and archaeological. It also houses both an education and research library, containing over 2,000 books and journals and is open only by appointment (860-868-0518 ext.109).

For Museum hours and other special events visit: http://www.birdstone.org. For information on Litchfield Hills www.litchfieldhills.com

Summer exhibitions at the Mattatuck Museum Waterbury

This summer, the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury Connecticut is presenting an art show called Haven and Inspiration that runs through August 24. This fascinating exhibition traces the evolution of the Kent Connecticut Art Colony.

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Haven and Inspiration explores the wide range of artistic styles and subjects produced by the art colony’s founding members: Rex Brasher (1869-1960) Eliot Candee Clark (1883-1980), Carl Hirschberg (1854-1923), Francis Luis Mora (1874-1940), G. Laurence Nelson (1887-1978), Spencer Baird Nichols (1875-1950), Robert Nisbet (1879-1961), Willard Paddock (1873-1956) and Frederick Judd Waugh (1861-1940). Of all the villages in Connecticut, Kent attracted the most permanent colony of artists and developed the only artists’ organization that exists to this day. It remains, until now, however, the one least examined.

Building upon the scholarship of Robert Michael Austin, whose publication, Artists of the Litchfield Hills devotes a chapter to the Kent Art Colony, this exhibition focuses on the period 1910 to 1930. Robert Nisbet moved to Kent in 1910; shortly after, like-minded artists who started as visitors became neighbors. By the summer of 1922, there were enough artists in Kent for them to consider organizing into a group. While landscape was the primary subject, they also painted portraits, genre scenes and still lifes.

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Another exhibition at the Mattatuck, The Way We Worked that runs through August 3 explores how ork became a central element in American culture by tracing the many changes that affected the workforce and work environments. The exhibition draws from the Archives’ rich photographic collections, covering more than 150 years to tell this compelling story. Why, where, and how do we work? What value does work have to individuals and communities? What does our work tell others about us?

Included in this exhibit are paintings by Anna Held Audette and Duvian Montoya. Audette is a contemporary woman artist who paints industrial ruins and abandoned machinery and Montoya’s painting’s act as a personal journal of observations made during his travels, childhood, and life experiences.

A third exhibition that runs through August 31 and is titled Steel Garden showcases the work of Sculptor Babette Bloch. Considered a is a pioneer in the use of laser-cut and water jet-cut stainless steel in creating works of art, Bloch’s sculptures explore form and the interplay between object and light, reflect their environments, and expand the ways in which stainless steel is used in contemporary art.
Bloch’s works of art embrace her eclectic tastes, her pleasure in aesthetics and her technical curiosity. Drawing on several traditions in American art, she creates works that touch on Modernist abstraction, the cut outs and collage found in Pop art, and the long-standing practice of storytelling in art. In cutting, shaping, burnishing, and grinding stainless steel, Bloch has developed the material’s natural properties of brightness and reflectivity while making the dense metal seem nearly weightless and ethereal.

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A not to be missed continuing exhibition, Fancy This: The Gilded Age of Fashion displays beautiful, rarely seen costume pieces from the Mattatuck’s collection. Many of these delicate objects have not been on view for decades. Guest curator Mary Daniel is the winner of the 2013 Summer Fling “Curator for the Day” auction prize and has been working with the Museum’s curatorial department to organize this exhibition which also includes accessories such as shoes, purses, fans and gloves.

The Mattatuck Museum is located on 144 West Main Street, Waterbury CT. The museum is open Tues. – Sat. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sundays from 12 noon to 5 p.m. and open late the first Thursday of the Month until 7:30 p.m. For additional information https://www.mattatuckmuseum.org.

For information about the Litchfield Hills www.litchfieldhills.com

Summer Cruises to Sheffield Island

The recipe for a perfect summer night out is available every Friday night in July and August thanks to a partnership between the Norwalk Seaport Association, Mama’s Boy restaurant and the Norwalk Parking Authority. “Maritime Cruise and Cuisine” Fridays are returning for a third year offering participants a cruise around the Norwalk Islands followed by dinner at Mama’s Boy and convenient, safe parking at the Maritime Garage.

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The Maritime Cruise and Cuisine package includes a Norwalk Harbor sunset cruise with the Norwalk Seaport Association’s “CJ Toth” ferry, leaving from Sheffield Island Dock (located on the corner of Water St and Washington St) at 6:00 pm and returning at 8:00 pm. Guests then walk one block to Mama’s Boy Restaurant, featuring a gourmet twist on Southern food, located at 19 North Water Street, for a three-course meal. The package price is $57 per person plus reduced price parking of $2 for the evening at the Maritime Garage. Cruise and Cuisine Fridays run through August 29th.

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The Norwalk Seaport Association is also offering up plenty of family fun in late July and early August with the pirates at the lighthouse! The Pirates are coming to Sheffield Island on July 26 and 27 and August 2 and 3. Pirate Weekend activities are free, but participants must purchase round-trip ferry tickets to Sheffield Island. Tickets to the island are $22.00 for adults, $12.00 for children ages 4-12 and $5.00 for children age 3 and under, plus applicable service charge.

Bird watching Tours run through August 10 that offers visitors the experience to understand and explore the importance of Norwalk Islands and it’s many migratorial bird species. Larry Flynn, a master wildlife conservationist with DEEP will conduct these informative tours.

Scenic Cruises to Sheffield Island are offered through September. Trips to the island take visitors through the historic Norwalk Harbor area to the Island that offers unique views of the shoreline, a tour of the lighthouse and the chance to explore the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge or picnic on the beach. Tickets can be purchased online or at the dock. Remember to wear comfortable shoes with a closed heal or back strap; flip-flops are not allowed due to safety concerns.

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The boat leaves from the Sheffield Island Lighthouse dock located at the corner of North Water Street and Washington Street in Historic South Norwalk. Parking is available adjacent to the dock and at the Norwalk Maritime Center Garage.

For information and reservations, please call the Norwalk Seaport Association, 203-838-9444 or buy tickets online at www.seaport.org.

Vintage Children’s Book Fair in Southport

Over 300 vintage children’s books from the early-19th – mid-20th centuries will be included in Pequot Library’s 54th Annual Summer Book Sale, including more than 100 different editions on Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe. Variations on this classic children’s book offered at this sale include multiple versions produced by different publishers of Robinson Crusoe rewritten in one syllable words, as well as unusual adaptations of the story, including Dog Crusoe, Little Robinson Crusoe of Paris, and Arctic Crusoe. Typical of what is being offered is a beautifully illustrated 1882 edition.

Robinson Crusoe was first published on April 25, 1719. The first edition credited the work’s fictional protagonist Robinson Crusoe as its author, leading many readers to believe he was a real person and the book a travelogue of true incidents. Despite its simple narrative style, Robinson Crusoe was well received in the literary world and is often credited as marking the beginning of realistic fiction as a literary genre.

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Pequot Library’s 54th Annual Summer Book Sale runs from Friday, July 25 – Tuesday, July 29, 2014. It is known as “The Best Book Sale in New England.” Admission is free and all Sale proceeds help fund Pequot Library’s over 400 yearly inter-generational programs and events. High quality books at reasonable prices, with Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express accepted.

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Over 40 categories, including the favorites: Children’s Books; Art and Photography; Business; Biography; Several sections of History (USA, European, World, and Military); Computer Software and Books; Cooking; Crafts and Style; Foreign Language; Gardening; Mystery and Thriller; Romance; Science; Sports; Science Fiction; Current Fiction; Classic Fiction; Poetry and Drama; Trade Paperbacks; CDs, DVDs, records, tapes, and Audiobooks; Sheet music, music books, comic books, prints.

Please visit http://www.pequotlibrary.org to learn more about this vibrant library, educational, arts and cultural institution. All classes and programs are open to everyone. For information: (203) 259-0346 ext. 15. The Pequot Library is located on 720 Pequot Rd. in Southport, CT.

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After enjoying the book fair, be sure to stop in at the Delamar in Southport http://delamarsouthport2-px.trvlclick.com/dining.html for lunch, dinner or a thirst quenching beverage! The restaurant combines local, seasonal flavors through New England inspired cuisine. Dine in the elegant yet relaxed dining room or on the outdoor patio with a lovely garden that is the perfect place for dining al fresco. For more information 203-307-4222.

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Beatles festival “Danbury Fields Forever” at Ives Concert Park

The New York/New England regional Beatles festival, “Danbury Fields Forever,” will “come together” Saturday, July 26 & Sunday, July 27, 2014 at Ives Concert Park in Danbury, Connecticut. Doors will open at noon, and the music will continue until 8pm daily.

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The Music, Foods & Arts Festival is in its third year, with 10 bands per day playing the music of The Beatles, solo material and songs from the 60s. The full line-up of performers has been announced. Acts include The Hofners, The Oh-Nos, The Mystery Tour, AfterFab, Fools On The Hill, Charlie Guitar, Studio Two, Beatlehead, Thunder Road, The Way-Back Machine, Rotary and the national touring group Beatlemania Again. There will be live tributes to George Harrison by Pete Santora (formerly of Broadway’s “Beatlemania”), Sir Paul McCartney by Mike Miller’s “One Sweet Dream,” John Lennon by Dave Pal in his “Lennon Legacy” show and to Elton John by Bill Connors. Students from School of Rock in both New York and Connecticut will have their star students performing sets of Beatles classics. Also, the winners of the web talent search project StarOnTheWeb.com will be performing.

To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of The Beatles’ U.S. arrival in 1964, one-day “Ticket to Ride” admissions to the Festival start at only $19.64, but these special discounted early-bird advance prices are good for a limited time only. Advance ticket available at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/danbury-fields-forever-iii-tickets-11495548495. There are also V.I.P. tickets available, discounted two-day passes and hotel packages. Tickets will be higher at the door. For guests staying overnight, there is a reduced rate hotel package.

Ives Concert Park is located at 43 Lake Avenue Ext. on the campus of Western CT State University in Danbury, CT. This year there will be more Beatle and memorabilia dealers and vendors, exhibitors, along with a larger variety of food options available.

“Danbury Fields Forever lll” is presented by Charles F. Rosenay!!!’s Liverpool Productions, the same company that presented “NYC FAB 50,” The Beatles’ 50th Anniversary Celebration in New York City in February, and organizers of the annual Magical History Tours to Liverpool & London (www.LiverpoolTours.com). A portion of ticket proceeds will benefit a designated charity.
For further info, visit website: www.Fab4Musicfestival.com, or phone (203) 795-4737.

SummerFest – Rewind in Ridgefield July 18 & 19

This year the theme for Ridgefield’s “Summerfest” is 1964 and it will take place in Ballard Park on Friday and along the Main Street on Saturday. This fun filled family event kicks off on Friday, July 18 in Ballard Park at 5:30 p.m. with Sgt. Leffert’s Phoney Hearts Club Band that will perform Beatles music until 7 p.m. If you are ready to dance, the Fred Astaire Dance Studios will perform dances of the 60’s from 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. that are sure to inspire you. The Groove Zone featuring the sounds of Motown will entertain festival goers from 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. and the night will finish off with a movie from 1964 at the “lawn blanket drive -in” from 8:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

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On On Saturday, the Main Street comes alive with shops decorated to re-create Ridgefield in 1964. Festive retro windows, great sales and special discounts will abound. Look for the merchants that will be offering special retro merchandise from the period including recreated jewelry that Jackie O wore! Pop-up shops and art booths will also feature vintage style artwork, paintings and much more.

There will also be a car show that will feature Mustangs, Corvairs, MGs, Studebakers, Jaguars, hot rods and other great vintage autos. Restaurants will even offer vintage items on their menus—some at vintage prices. The Main Street Stage will feature live 60s music, along with dance instruction (want to Frug and Watusi?), karaoke—and polish your go-go boots for the costume contest. There will also be a 1964 swap meet with great vintage items, including donated goods whose proceeds will support promoting Ridgefield tourism. Enjoy vintage candy and Good Humor bars, and get your snapshot from the photo booth.

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For an up to date event schedule visit http://www.destinationridgefield.com/july-18th-to-19th-summerfest-64-ridgefield-rewinds. For area information www.litchfieldhills.com

Westport Arts Festival July 19 & 20

This year marks the 41st for the popular Westport Arts Festival that is taking place this year in the center of Westport in Parker Harding Plaza and on Gorham Island on July 19 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on July 20, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Festival goers can expect original juried works in Painting, Watercolor, Photography, Sculpture, Drawing, Printmaking, Mixed Media, Glass, Ceramics, Fiber, Jewelry, Wood and Digital Art dispayed along the lovely Saugatuck River in the heart of this charming riverside community.

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Best of all, visitors will experience more than just the visual arts at the Westport Fine Arts Festival: there will be unique street performances, live music, hands-on art activities, and delicious food from local restaurateurs. As for kids, they will enjoy the special Beach Bonanza Children’s Tent Zone provided by the Westport Arts Center. This area will feature both collaborative and individual hands-on projects, all with a seashore inspired theme! From string murals to large-scale jellyfish, kids will be sure to have a blast; just look for the the palm trees to find the Kid Zone.

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As for entertainment, there is plenty with an exciting line up as follows:

Saturday July 19
10:15 – 11:30 Chris MacKay and the Tone Shifters

11:45 – 1:00 Shiny Lapel Trio

1:15 – 2:30 Paul Brockett Roadshow Band

3:00 – 4:30 Mill River Band

5:00 – 6:30 Dr. B and The Brotherhood

Sunday July 20

10:15 – 11:30 Josi Davis and Hot Damn!

11:45 – 1:00 Pete Herger Band

1:30 – 2:45 Dylan Conner

3:10 – 4:30 Washboard Slim and the Bluelights
For More information visit www.westportfineartsfestival.com. For area information www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com

Tips on NYC at Lockwood-Mathews Mansion

On Wednesday, July 16, 2014, 11 a.m. at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, 295 West Avenue in Norwalk, CT, urban historian Justin Ferate will give a talk entitled, Nooks and Crannies of New York City. Based on his popular tours, this lecture will explore some of New York City’s great, but often overlooked, treasures.

Fonthill Castle.

Fonthill Castle.

Mr. Ferate will take attendees on a virtual tour through some of New York City’s rich, secretive landmarks, many unknown to even the most diehard New Yorkers. He will reveal fascinating, yet lesser-known points of interests in one of the most iconic cities in the world, including some of New York’s more offbeat treasures, secret gardens, hidden houses, and covert byways.

Justin Ferate is an internationally known guide and the Director of Tours of the City, a specialty tour company that has created educational tours of New York City, focusing on the architectural, social, ethnic, literary, and cultural histories of New York for over 30 years. He has a background in Architectural and Social History with a B.A. in Education from Antioch College with subsequent studies in Architectural History at the University of Washington, University of London, University of Pennsylvania, and Salve Regina College. Recently The AAA Guide to New York rated Ferate’s weekly tour of the Grand Central Terminal neighborhood as New York’s “Best Walking Tour!” The New York Times described Justin Ferate as New York City’s “revered city Tour Guide among Tour Guides.”

The lectures are $25 for members, $30 for non-members per session. Please RSVP by Friday, July 11, 2014. The price includes lecture, lunch and a first floor Mansion tour. Lunch is courtesy of Michael Gilmartin’s Outdoor Cookers. The chair of the Lecture Committee is Mimi Findlay of New Canaan. Please contact info@lockwoodmathewsmansion.com or 203-838-9799, ext. 4.