Clare Romano & John Ross: 70 Years of Printmaking at Center for Contemporary Printmaking

The fall exhibition, featuring a sampling from the extensive collection of original prints by Clare Romano and John Ross, at The Center for Contemporary Printmaking (CCP), 299 West Ave., in Mathews Park, Norwalk, runs through Sunday, December 14, 2014.
Gallery visitors have the opportunity to view original prints made by these preeminent printmaking artists, educators, and authors—husband and wife, each with their own acclaimed individual careers—who have made the fine art of printmaking, with a particular emphasis on the art of the collagraph, their life’s work.

John Ross, "Duomo"

John Ross, “Duomo”

Clare Romano and John Ross had a major influence on the art printmaking and printmaking students. For many, their text, “The Complete Printmaker”, represented the next wave in printmaking. The exhibition showcases landscapes and cityscapes, lithographs, etchings, silkscreens, woodcuts, letterpress and, of course, collagraphs. Visitors will discover novel and innovative images using silk aquatint, asymmetrically cut plates, and the combination of intaglio and relief on the same plate.

The Center has scheduled an Artists Talk and Book Signing with John and Tim Ross for December 10 from 7 to 8:30 pm. Clare Romano and John Ross wrote and illustrated a number of books together, the first entitled Manhattan Island (1957) and the most important publication, The Complete Printmaker, originally published in 1972 is now in its second edition with Artist/Printmaker and Educator Tim Ross joining his parents as co-author. The Complete Printmaker is still used as a printmaking text in college classrooms today.

Clare Romano, "Silver Canyon"

Clare Romano, “Silver Canyon”

Normal hours are Tuesday through Sunday 9 am to 5 pm. The gallery is closed on Columbus Day, Veterans Day, and over the Thanksgiving Day weekend. Admission is free, and the gallery is handicapped accessible. For more information visit http://www.contemprints.org.

Antarctic Photography Exhibition Opens at the Bruce Museum

A new exhibition is opening on October 28 at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich called Antarctic Photography: Selections from Gondwana: Images of an Ancient Land. This exhibition features a selection of large-format photographs by Diane Tuft, a New York-based mixed-media artist and photographer.

Wind Formation, Victoria Lower Glacier. Photograph by Diane Tuft

Wind Formation, Victoria Lower Glacier. Photograph by Diane Tuft

In 2012, Tuft traveled to Antarctica after receiving a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists and Writers Program. Her images chronicle the extraordinary results of that expedition with stunning photographs that capture Antarctica’s raw, untouched splendor with colors, textures, and compositions that verge on the surreal.

The exhibition will also include a few specimens, on loan from Yale’s Peabody Museum of Natural History, representing some of the amazing life forms recently found in the Antarctic waters.

Snow Folds, Scott Base Pressure Ridges Photograph by Diane Tuft

Snow Folds, Scott Base Pressure Ridges
Photograph by Diane Tuft

The selected images are highlights of Tuft’s 2014 book Gondwana: Images of an Ancient Land,named for the mega continent that once contained what is now Antarctica, and present her vision of the continent as a living abstract reflection of hundreds of millions of years of Earth’s history. This exhibition runs through February 1, 2015. For more information about the Bruce Museum visit https://brucemuseum.org. The museum is open Tuesday – Sunday 10 am – 5 pm. Doors close 1/2 hour before closing, Last admission 4:30 pm . For area information www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com

Diane Tuft

Diane Tuft is a New York-based mixed-media artist who has focused primarily on photography since 1998. She earned a degree in mathematics at the University of Connecticut before continuing her studies in art at Pratt Institute in New York. She has always been fascinated by the mystery of what exists beyond the visible; capturing this through her camera—often traveling to the world s most remote places to do so—has been a guiding principle of her work. Tuft has had solo exhibitions at Marlborough Gallery, Ameringer-Yohe Gallery, and Pace Gallery in New York City, as well as The Kimball Art Center in Park City, Utah. Tuft’s work can be found in the permanent collection of The Whitney Museum of American Art and The International Center of Photography in New York City, as well as numerous private collections and museums throughout the country.

Holidays with the Bridgeport Symphony

The Bridgeport Symphony Orchestra has an exciting holiday season planned and tickets are selling fast. Once again this year, the orchestra is returning to Saturday night concerts beginning at 8 p.m. with a special optional 7:00 PM pre-concert open to all ticket buyers. Pre-concert attendees will hear the stories and letters that have inspired the repertoire for each concert by invited narrators. Pre-concert events also allow participants closer interactions with conductors, soloists and other musicians as well as the visuals that enhance each live performance.

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On November 15 at 8 p.m. the concert called Dream of Dances will feature György Ligeti – Old Hungarian Dances, Igor Stravinsky – Suite from Pulcinella, Ludwig Beethoven – Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Opus 92. The conductor, Jacomo Rafael Bairos has been described as “expressive and passionate” [Malaysian Straits Times], and lauded by the Leipziger Volkszeitung as an “impressive conductor… who is elegantly demanding”, Mr. Bairos enjoys an emerging career as an imaginative and inclusive conductor, dedicated collaborator and educator, and ardent champion of living American composers.

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On December 6 the orchestra has planned a special holiday concert that will also begin at 8 p.m. whose theme is A Folk Christmas. This concert will feature the work of Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky – Serenade, opus 48; Antonio Vivaldi – from The Four Seasons; Carols and folk songs and the conductor is Eric Jacobsen. This promises to be a night of holiday cheer!

In addition, the holiday concert will highlight a performance by the Fairfield County Children’s Choir conducted by Jon Noyes, Musical Director. The Fairfield County Children’s Choir (FCCC) is a community-based choral program made up of 300 children in grades four through twelve from communities in and around Fairfield County, Connecticut. The FCCC was founded in 1995 to provide children the opportunity to participate in a musical experience which is challenging, rewarding and enjoyable. The FCCC has performed throughout New England as well as in New York, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Maryland, New Orleans, San Francisco, Oakland, Hawaii, Canada, England, Ireland, Austria and the Czech Republic. The group has shared the stage with such artists as Renee Fleming, Charles Strouse, Stephen Schwartz, Lawrence Gilgore, Sam Waterston, Christopher Plummer, Nick Page, Ivan Rutherford, Michelle Mallardi, Henry Leck, Bob Chilcott, Jean Ashworth Bartle, Tom Chapin and Rob Hugh. We welcome FCCC back to perform a 2nd time with GBS!

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There will also be a performance by Sara Watkins who plays the fiddle and has spent nearly two decades, as singer and fiddle player for the Grammy Award–winning, bluegrass-folk hybrid Nickel Creek, a trio she’d started performing in when she was a mere eight years old. As a solo artist as the BBC put it, “Watkins’ time in the spotlight is a triumph with her agile playing and the kind of voice that gives your goose bumps the shivers.”

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The final performer is Aoife O’Donovon, best known as the founder and frontwoman of the string band Crooked Still. She is also one-third of the female trio Sometymes Why, and has appeared on the Prairie Home Companion radio program. She has collaborated with artists as varied as jazz trumpeter Dave Douglas, Yo-Yo Ma’s Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile’s Goat Rodeo Sessions band, the Boston Pops Orchestra, and Olabelle, to name just a few.

All performances are at the Klein Memorial Auditorium on 910 Fairfield Ave. in Bridgeport. For ticket information call 203-576-0263 or visit http://www.gbs.org.

Delightful, Delicious, Disgusting: Paintings by Mia Brownell 2003-2013 at the Housatonic Museum of Art

Twenty-eight of Mia Brownell’s paintings will be on display at the Housatonic Museum of Art in the Burt Chernow Galleries from through November 17, 2014. Luscious and sensuous, Mia Brownell’s paintings invite us to indulge in “earthly delights” and are themselves ripe with sexual innuendo.

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What Brownell asks us to contemplate is the brevity of life. “We begin in the madness of carnal desire and the transport of voluptuousness,” wrote the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, “we end in the dissolution of all our parts and the musty stench of corpses.” Seventeenth century Dutch still life paintings of tables laden with gastronomic delights served to remind viewers that all things perish but Brownell’s fruits invite us to relish the sweetness of now.

Although Mia Brownell’s paintings “may recall classical Vanitas paintings, her food-based compositions also invoke contemporary food politics. A critic of the food industrial complex, Brownell creates a juxtaposition between the natural and artificial, modeling her opulent still-lifes after molecular structures. Her depictions of shiny apples, bead-like caviar and juicy grapes look almost too good to be edible, hence the title of her upcoming traveling solo show, Delightful, Delicious, Disgusting.

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The exhibition, which premiered at J. Cacciola Gallery in New York, is a ten-year survey of Brownell’s paintings (2003-2013) travelled to the Hunterdon Art Museum in Clinton, New Jersey, Juniata College Museum of Art in Pennsylvania and the final stop at Housatonic Museum of Art in Connecticut.”

Gallery hours: Monday- Friday from 8:30am until 5:30pm, Thursdays until 7pm, Saturday from 9am until 3pm and Sunday Noon until 4pm. Please note that the Gallery will be CLOSED Monday. October 13th. For more information visit http://www.housatonic.edu/artmuseum/index.asp

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