It’s a Matter of Scale – New Show @ Sharon Historical Society

The Sharon Historical Society & Museum has opened the next exhibit in Gallery SHS, of contrasting works by the two local artists KARIN WEXLER and INGRID FREIDENBERGS at the Sharon Historical Society & Museum Art Gallery through July 12.

Karin’s work is inspired by the rhythms and patterns of nature. Working in oils on large canvases, she begins each painting with a color scheme that dictates the mood or expression of the painting. The works hint at an observed landscape or seascape but are abstracted to capture not the physical reality but a fleeting moment in time, a mood, a feeling. A thirty-year resident of Sharon, Karin’s paintings are informed by her private practice in Healing Arts and Feng Shui.

Ingrid, a Lakeville resident, has exhibited her work in numerous solo and juried exhibitions. Born in Latvia during the Second World War, she has made sense of a shattered world by constructing collages of fragments of fabric, images and found objects that are both formally beautiful and evocative of the past. Working here on a very small scale and in what the New York Times called “the most exquisite and sensitive layering of found materials,” Freidenbergs’ jewel-like works invite close contemplation.


Both artists invoke memories – of landscape or a mysterious past – to create works of great sensitivity by employing color, texture, and form, albeit on very different scales. A portion of all purchase proceeds will support the Sharon Historical Society & Museum’s mission.

Gallery SHS is located in the Sharon Historical Society & Museum at 18 Main Street in Sharon, CT. Museum hours are Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from noon to 4:00 PM, Saturday from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM and by appointment. For more information and directions to Gallery SHS, call (860) 364-5688 or email director@sharonhist.org. For additional information about the Sharon Historical Society & Museum, visit www.sharonhist.org.

Strawberry Moon Festival June 15 @ Institute for American Indian Studies

In honor of the Strawberry Moon that will shine brightly in the sky this June the Institute for American Indian Studies on 38 Curtis Road in Washington Connecticut is holding a Strawberry Moon Festival on June 15 from 12 noon to 4 pm.

Early Native Americans didn’t track time by using the Julian or Gregorian calendar. For millennia, many Native American communities kept track of time by observing the change of seasons by following the lunar full moon cycle. American Indians named each full moon cycle after activities or events that they associated with that time of year that reflected the season. Colonial Americans adopted some of the Native American full moon names and applied them to their own calendars. These descriptive names are still in use today.

The Algonquin’s of Connecticut named June’s full moon the “Strawberry Moon” because of the red strawberries that began to ripen at this time of year. This is the most colorful of all full moons because things are lower in the sky. The shallow arc of the June full moon means moonlight must travel through more of the earth’s atmosphere, which filters out all the colors of the moon’s spectrum except the oranges and yellows. Best of all no telescopes are needed, just look up!

It is difficult for most of us to resist a perfectly ripe strawberry; which is one of the most popular fruits in the world. There are ten varieties of strawberries that differ in flavor, size, and texture and yet all of them have the same heart shape and leafy green cap. To fete the strawberry, that has a long history in Native Culture, the Institute for American Indian Studies is hosting the Strawberry Moon Festival on June 16 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., a delicious celebration not to be missed! This year the Strawberry Moon will be 100% illuminated on Monday, June 17, 2019.

To celebrate the Strawberry Moon, the Institute for American Indian Studies has organized games, food, and stories that honor the importance of this season to Native American culture. Strawberries have been used for centuries as medicine, in cuisine, and ceremonially by Native Americans. Strawberries generally represent life and good health.

At the Strawberry Moon Festival, visitors of all ages will enjoy traditional Native American Music, and stories told by a traditional Native American Storyteller. These stories are life lessons that teach the importance of giving thanks to the bounty of the Earth. A highlight of this event will be samplings of complementary food such as strawberry tea and strawberry bread made from locally grown fruit. Special activities for children are planned from 12 noon to 4 p.m. There will be live music from 1 p.m. to 3 pm.

The cost of this event is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $6 for children.

Back By Popular Demand – Docktails and Oysters A Special Event Hosted by Seaport Association, Norwalk

It’s that time of year again to put on your best Hawaiian shirt and join the Seaport Association at their popular Docktails and Oyster special event at Norm Bloom and Son, a fourth-generation oyster farm in Norwalk on Saturday, June 29 from 5 pm to 7pm.

This popular event celebrates the bounty of our Connecticut coastline and maritime heritage with the treasures of the sea – grown right here in Norwalk, clams, and oysters in bountiful quantities. The highlight of this event is the unlimited raw clam and oyster bar.

If you have never tasted oysters and clams literally fresh off the boat this is an unforgettable opportunity to eat your fill of them, our advice is to come hungry! It’s fun to watch the pros shuck the oysters before your eyes (they make it look so easy) and set them on trays with lemons and an assortment of sauces.

In addition to the unlimited clam and oyster bar, this Luau-themed event complete with ukulele music also offers passed and tabled appetizers. In keeping with the island vibe appetizers will include La Cochina Mojo roasted pork in mini taco’s with pineapple salsa, Kings Hawaain beef brisket sliders, gulf shrimp gazpacho shooters, smoked salmon on cucumber with smoked Vidalia aioli plus chorizo and vegetable empanadas.

Another added bonus is the opportunity to explore the dock at Norm Bloom Oysters and Son, one of the few remaining traditional oyster farms in the United States to learn about how these oysters are grown and harvested. Some of the oysters are incubated under the dock and, afterward planted on the sandy bottom of the sea that is all around you. Because of the meticulous process of the way these oysters are raised, Norwalk oysters are prized worldwide and known for their sweet briny flavor and plump meats.

As a maritime organization, the grand finale of this event is the annual Blessing of the Fleet. Tracing its origins back centuries to Mediterranean fishing villages, the annual Blessing of the Fleet ceremony hosted by the Seaport Association is based on a tradition meant to ensure a safe and bountiful season for the area’s commercial fishing community as well as for the Seaport’s vessel, C. J. Toth, that offers cruises to Sheffield Island from May through September.

This unique experience is limited to only 200 special guests so be sure to get your ticket early as this event is expected to be a complete sellout. Tickets are $75 online and, at the door if space permits. This event welcomes adults 21 and up only. For Tickets click here. And, after this fantastically fun event, there is still time to explore all that Norwalk has to offer.

About the Seaport Association

Formed in 1978 by a group of local citizens the Seaport Association offers a cultural, environmental, and historical journey to the Norwalk Islands. The Sheffield Island Lighthouse and the Light Keeper’s Cottage provides a unique historical and educational landmark that strives to increase awareness, appreciation, and consideration of our environment and how the preservation of historic buildings and nature contribute to our quality of life.

It is our belief that preservation strengthens the perpetual partnership between the past, present, and future. As an Association, we are dedicated in our efforts to preserve our maritime heritage, the environment of Long Island Sound, and helping children experience our 150-year-old lighthouse on Sheffield Island.

About Copps Island Oysters

Norm Bloom and Son founded in 1994 have spent countless hours on the water doing what they love most, harvesting and farming oysters. The Bloom family has been involved in the oyster business since the 1940s and today, Norm Bloom and Sons is one of the largest oyster farms on the east coast.

With an eye to the future, Norm Bloom and Sons have teamed up with marine biologists and local oystermen to preserve Long Island Sound in order to create a sustainable breeding and farming environment for the shellfish industry

The Story of Henry ‘Opukaha‘ia and Alfred Afraid @ Torrington Historical Society

A program of great local historic interest is being hosted by the Torrington Historical Society. This program is slated for Wednesday, June 5 at 6:30 pm and is titled The Long Journeys Home. The presenter, Nicholas Bellantoni, Emeritus Connecticut State Archaeologist will be the guest speaker at this lecture that is $5 per person. Dr. Bellantoni will share the story of two indigenous men who came to Connecticut – Henry ‘Opukaha‘ia (ca. 1792-1818) and Albert Afraid of Hawk (ca. 1879-1900).

Both men died young and were buried in Connecticut cemeteries but in 1992 and 2008, descendants of these men began the process to bring their ancestors home. Dr. Bellantoni oversaw the archaeological disinterment, forensic identification and return of the skeletal remains back to their Native families and communities. This fascinating story is recounted in his book, The Long Journeys Home: The Repatriations of Henry ‘Opukaha‘ia and Albert Afraid of Hawk. The book will be available for purchase at the program.

All programs will be held at the Torrington Historical Society Carriage House located on 192 Main Street in Torrington.

A new look @ Gardens @ Lockwood Mathews Mansion in Norwalk

The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum located at 295 West Ave., Norwalk, CT has opened an exhibition entitled, Historic Grounds & Modern Gardens. The show will run through June 23, 2019.

The exhibition has been juried by artist and Trustee Gail Ingis. “I am very pleased by the number of submissions we received and the quality of the work presented. Submissions come from very diverse regional areas including N.Y., Greenwich, Norwalk, Westport, and Old Saybrook, to name a few,” said Ms. Ingis. “Works range from realism to post-impressionism that fit well with the exhibit theme and the history of the Mansion.” The exhibition will feature more than thirteen artists including Cindy Bernier, Christopher Breining, Richard Koleszar, Kara LaFrance, Laura Levine, Werner Liepolt, Anthony Santomauro, Marjorie Sopkin, Lee Skalkos, Clarice Shirvell, Jayson Tobias, Maxwell Wiesen, and Gregory Ziebell.

The award-winning Laura Levine has been featured in exhibitions at galleries and cultural centers in New York and Connecticut including Gallery East in East Hampton, New York; Mill Gallery in Guilford, Connecticut; Munson Gallery, John Slade Ely House and Ives Library in New Haven, Connecticut; Cooley Gallery in Old Lyme, Connecticut, to name a few. Her work was selected by the Connecticut Commission on the Arts for exhibitions at the Capital Building and the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.
Richard Koleszar studied at the Silvermine Guild Arts Center and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Syracuse University. He started painting at the age of 7, encouraged by his father, and later embarked in an advertising career. His passion for art led him to return to painting in the 1980s and since then, he has won numerous awards including, most recently, Best in Show at the 2016 Brushwork Exhibition at the Rowayton Arts Center.

Gregory Ziebell graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a major in Fine Arts and continued his studies at the GSAA Commercial School of Art where he obtained a degree in Advertising Art, Layout and Design. His graphic design work has been featured in Computer Currents magazine and Ad Week.

Kara LaFrance is a fine artist and graphic designer living in Tuckahoe, N.Y. with a BFA in Graphic Design from the Rochester Institute of Technology. An acromegaly patient and advocate, she spreads awareness of this rare disease and chronic illness through her art.

Maxwell Wiesen paints largely with oil, on canvas and sometimes on metal panels, and has been developing his own “voice” and “continuing to see the beauty in each and every day…. recorded in landscape and still life.” He has exhibited in several juried shows sponsored by Greenwich Art Society, Greenwich Arts Council, Old Greenwich Art Society, Stamford Art Association, Silvermine School of Art, and solo shows at The Bendheim Gallery in Greenwich.

The contemporary art exhibitions are sponsored in part by Gail Ingis and Tom Claus. The Museum’s 2019 cultural and educational programs are made possible in part by generous funding from LMMM’s Founding Patrons: The Estate of Mrs. Cynthia Clark Brown, LMMM’s 2019 Season Distinguished Benefactors: The City of Norwalk and The Maurice Goodman Foundation. The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum is a National Historic Landmark. For more information on schedules and programs please visit www.lockwoodmathewsmansion.com, e-mail info@lockwoodmathewsmansion.com, or call 203-838-9799.

DOGS: More Than Pets Exhibit at Stepping Stones Museum for Children

DOGS: More Than Pets, a limited-time, hands-on exhibit that immerses visitors in the incredible world of one of the noblest animals on Earth, the Dog, will debut at the award-winning children’s museum. From April 6 – July 7, museum visitors will get to bone up on man’s best friend with this new traveling exhibit that takes visitors inside the science, history, DNA, folklore and pop culture of dogs.

DOGS: More Than Pets is interactive, hands-on and filled with photo opportunities and hundreds of fascinating facts. Did you know a dog named Marjorie helped scientists discover insulin? Or that dogs were the first animals to orbit Earth in space? During its 3-month run at Stepping Stones, you’ll uncover these facts and so many more that will make you say “bow-wowzers.” You’ll explore human-canine cultural connections through hands-on activities like domestication, dog adoption, sensory activities, service dogs, and more. Find out what kind of dog is right for you based on friendliness, size, grooming, independence, barking and exercise. Meet some real, live dogs during at select presentations at scheduled times. And during a few special events during the exhibit’s run at Stepping Stones, meet some real, live dogs… SOME THAT YOU CAN ADOPT!

“Kids dig dogs,” said Brian Morrissey, Director of Exhibits at Stepping Stones Museum for Children. “Animals can teach children important social and emotional skills such as effective communication, empathy and how to manage emotions. DOGS: More Than Pets will help the museum showcase the importance of pet-friendly play and the learning opportunities provided by our pets.”

“We’re so thrilled here at Stepping Stones to be among the first to host DOGS: More Than Pets,” Morrissey continued. This limited-time exhibit offers something for every dog lover, from fun activities like “Be a Bloodhound” to Dog or Not a Dog, adults and children are going to have loads of hands-on, minds-on fun in this exhibit. Beyond the exhibit, we’re looking forward to the special, dog-related ‘treats’ that we’ve planned with our sponsors and community partners to coincide with its three-month run here. Whether you are a youngster or simply young-at-heart, this is certainly something that you don’t want to miss.”

Here are just a few of the many special programs the museum is hosting as part of the DOGS: More Than Pets exhibit experience at Stepping Stones. Be sure to visit us often!

Check in often because Stepping Stones have more “doggie treats” in store! For the most up-to-date information on program schedules and times, go to www.steppingstonesmuseum.org/dogs.