New Art Show @ Carole Peck’s Good News Cafe

Carole Peck’s Good News Cafe located on 694 Main Street South in Woodbury is hosting a new art exhibit by Sebastian DiStefano that will run through November 21. DiStefano’s work from the 1960’s to the present includes watercolors, oil on Masonite, and acrylics which depict how he explores color, line, and composition. These paintings, that are the product of five decades of work depict a full expression of the emotional experiences of his life. “I love the elements of painting; it sets my mind in motion where I am seeking the balance even if the piece ends up unbalanced. I don’t speak for my paintings they speak for me.”

Mr. DiStefano was a Waterbury native. He spent his life painting abstract and non-objective art, a medium where he felt most comfortable. Color and balance were two focal areas for him. He was inspired by the Abstract Expressionists and Color Field artists and is also moved by Baroque painters. The incorporation of light and dark contrasts are woven into his works; and, as he painted, he continually turned his pieces around to seek balance. Even in the pieces that appear unbalanced, balance is found. This allows many of his works to be viewed from different perspectives, even though he had seen it in one particular orientation and allowing any owner of his works to hang these pieces from their own perspective.

Mr. DiStefano graduated from the University of Connecticut with a BA in Art and continued his studies at the Tyler School of Art, Temple University. He returned to Waterbury, Connecticut where he stayed the majority of his life until moving to Cheshire. Mr. DiStefano was a true artist and found artwork his expression from within. Rather than being driven to sell his artwork, Mr. DiStefano saw his work as an extension of himself. As a result, this collection remains intact today; as the family states, this show represents the true heart of the artist he was throughout his life. His work has been exhibited at Gallery 53-Meriden Arts and Crafts Association, Sharon Creative Arts Foundation, Mattatuck Community College, The University of North Dakota, the Waterbury Arts Festival, Slater Memorial Museum, Silvermine Guild of Artists, and previously before at Good News Restaurant & Bar.

Carole Pecks is open from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, from 12 noon to 10 p.m. on Sunday and is closed Tuesdays.

House Tour in Watertown Sept. 30

The 12th Annual Watertown House Tour will take place on Saturday, September 30 from 11am to 3pm, rain or shine. Five fabulous properties will be featured in this year’s tour including The Buell H. Heminway House at 305 Main Street, The Copper House at 28 Nova Scotia Hill Road, The Henry Long House at 423 Northfield Road, The Boone House at 561 Winding Brook Farm Road, and The Barrett House at 53 Hamilton Avenue. The Nova Scotia Schoolhouse at 22 DeForest Street will also be open for viewing.

Advance house tour tickets are $25 per person, and will be $30 the day of the tour. Tickets for this self-guided house tour and are non-refundable & can be purchased by mailing a check or money order to: Watertown House Tour P.O. Box 853 Watertown, CT 06795 Checks should be made payable to the “Watertown Historical Society”. Tickets can also be purchased online with a credit card or Paypal at: www.watertownhistoricalsociety.org Requests for tickets after Friday, September 22 will be held for pick-up on the day of the tour at the Nova Scotia Schoolhouse at 22 DeForest Street.

Call the Historical Society at 860-274-1050 or view www.watertownhistoricalsociety.org for more information. New this year, Sunset Grille, located at 834 Northfield Road in Watertown, is offering a special luncheon for attendees of the house tour. Present your house tour ticket for the purchase of lunch at a special house tour price.

About The Tour
The Watertown House Tour is a benefit for the Watertown Historical Society and Museum in Watertown, CT. The Watertown Historical Society is a private, nonprofit, all volunteer organization dedicated to collecting, preserving, and sharing Watertown’s and Oakville’s history.

Last Taste of Summer in Greenwich

The Last Taste of Summer Craft Beer Fest takes place this year at the scenic Roger Sherman Baldwin Park in Greenwich, overlooking Greenwich Harbor on September 30 from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The gates will open at 12 noon for VIP ticket holders. Early bird tickets are available online and at the gate on the day of the event.

Festival goers will enjoy a fabulous afternoon with family and friends at this zero-waste, craft beer festival that features brews and pours from over 30 of Connecticut’s finest craft breweries, live music, a variety of delicious food, an array of exhibitors, games and activities, making this the perfect finale to the summer craft beer festival season.

Confirmed Brewers include: Armada Brewing, Ballast Point, Charter Oak Brewery, Lock City Brewing Company, New England Cider, New Belgium Brewing, Owls Brew Raddler, Shiner, Spiked Seltzer, Stony Creek, Tito’s Vodka, and Thimble Island. It is best to check the website for updated lists of breweries.

Festival goers will not go hungry with a line up of five of the state’s top food trucks including Bobby Q’s, Cowabunga, Lobster Craft, Melt Mobile, and Wendy’s Weenies. To add to the fun, participants will listen to the cool summer sound of Wilton Steel Community Band, blues, funk and rock & roll from The Clams, and Sacred Fire a Santana tribute band. Try your hand at games and activities, visit exhibits and enjoy the picturesque views of Greenwich Harbor. The Last Taste of Summer is the perfect finale for the Summer Craft Beer season.

Parking for this event is free at Island Beach and Horseneck Parking lots, Greenwich Plaza and all street parking in the area. The event is three blocks from Greenwich Metro North Station. Everyone should have a photo ID for admittance and must be 21+ for tastings.

To sign up for an area event newsletter visit www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com

Loved and Lost – The Sherman Players

On Friday, September 22, The Sherman Playhouse will debut its fall production of Howard Richardson and William Berney’s Dark of the Moon, an eerie tale of forbidden love, set against the backdrop of the Smoky Mountains and the supernatural world. The curtain rises at 8:00 p.m. for a four-week run.

Dark of the Moon is based on the haunting folk ballad of “Barbara Allen” and recounts the story of John, a strange “witch boy” who upon first beholding the beautiful Barbara Allen immediately falls in love. He is given human form to woo and marry her on the condition that she remains true to him. Whether or not the rural, God-fearing townsfolk will allow this union to take place is the question that will plague them all “until death to them part.”

“Dark of the Moon is an interesting and inspiring look into the universality of the human condition,” said director, producer, and set designer Robin Frome of New Milford. “It delves into prejudice, religious morals and conventions, the verisimilitude of folklore, and the eternal struggle of partners in love against a disturbing and restricting environment. We have brought this production to a work of art utilizing a provocative set, sound, and lighting design.”

The production features a large cast of area actors: John Squiers (Pawling, N.Y.), John Fabiani (Watertown), Judy Sullivan (Roxbury), Paige Gray (Danbury), Michael Wright (Newtown); Patrick Kelly, William Kenyon (both Ridgefield); Kate Morris, Jeff Rossman, Bailey McCann (all New Fairfield); Rufus de Rham, Katherine Almquist (both Kent); Phair Haldin, Keli Solomon, Meg Jones, Lynn Nissenbaum (all New Milford); Jessica Gleason, Michael Schaner, and Chris Marker (all Sherman).

Besides Frome, the show’s crew consists of lighting designer Al Chiappetta, sound designer David White, costumer Lisa Bonelli, choreography Marissa Caron, cast musician John Bolster, and stage manager David Almquist.

Dark of the Moon made its Broadway Debut at the 46th Street Theatre (now the Richard Rodgers Theatre) on March 14, 1945. The New York Times called the play “a provocative mixture of fantasy and earthiness…the color of folklore and the pathos of human yearning are effectively combined.”

Dark of the Moon runs September 22,23 29,30, October 1 6,7,8 13,14,15 at 8:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. There will be three 2:00 p.m. Sunday matinees on October 1, 8 and 15. Tickets are $24 for adults and $12 for children 12 and under. On Thursday, September 21, all patrons are invited to attend a “Half-Price Preview Night” at 8:00 p.m., where tickets are only $12. Students may see any performance for $12 if they carry a valid student ID.

Reservations can be made online at shermanplayers.org or by calling the box office at (860) 354-3622. The Sherman Playhouse is a non-Equity theatre company located at 5 Route 39 North (next to the firehouse) in Sherman, CT.

Recent Acquisition at the Wilton Historical Society

A spectacular fire-engine red c. 1885 road cart with racing stripes has made its way from the Gregory barn on Belden Hill Road, to Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania for restoration, and on to the Wilton Historical Society located on 224 Danbury Road in Wilton CT. The road cart, with its unusual seat suspension, was the Lamborghini of its day, and was given by Margaret Gregory in honor of her husband, the late Julian A. Gregory (1912-2002).

“This gift is the most important collection piece accessioned for the Society’s permanent collection in the past decade” said Executive Director Leslie Nolan, “the Road Cart’s ties to the illustrious Gregory family make its Wilton connection and educational value of the history of transportation in a small New England town, invaluable.”

According to the restoration specialist, Double E Carriages of Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania, “Road carts were designed to be a lightweight, economical, means of transportation, usually for one or two passengers. This cart has the somewhat unusual seat suspension, where the seat is mounted on wooden bars that pivot in the center with the front ends supported by leaf springs, to give a smoother ride for the passengers. This suspension is similar to the carts manufactured by the Coldwater Road Cart Co. and was also patented by then.”

About the Gregory Family

The Gregory family’s roots in Wilton go back to the very beginning. Jachin Gregory II moved to Wilton from Norwalk in 1718, and was a signer of the 1726 petition to make Wilton Parish a separate entity from Norwalk. The family home at 169 Belden Hill Road was built in 1740 by Matthew Gregory, and the family still resides there, 277 years later. Julian A. Gregory, Sr. was a founding member of the Wilton Historical Society, February 1938, and elected its first president. His son, Julian A. Gregory, established the prominent law firm of Gregory and Adams in 1964. The Gregory family has been a pillar of the Society. Their support and many contributions of important artifacts have helped preserve Wilton’s history for future generations.

The Wilton Historical Society, 224 Danbury Road, Wilton CT 06897 http://www.wiltonhistorical.org

Celebrating 25 Years of Open Farm Day at Sunny Valley Preserve

Stepping onto The Nature Conservancy’s Sunny Valley Preserve on 8 Sunny Valley Lane in New Milford is like stepping back in time. It is a picturesque setting of rustic, working farms that produce fresh, sustainable food for local residents and visitors alike. Once a year, the community and visitors from far and wide join to celebrate this special place during Open Farm Day—an event that is now in its 25th year. It’s a Conservancy tradition providing a chance for every member of the community to celebrate conservation and Connecticut’s agricultural history—and to see how agriculture will continue to play a role in the state’s future.

There is evidence of farming here that stretches back almost a thousand years, and at Open Farm Day, visitors are treated to a host of activities inspired by this history: wool-spinning, maple syrup-making, pumpkin painting and more. Antique and new farm equipment are on display and there’s even a petting zoo for children to meet farm animals.

Attractions
This year’s Open Farm Day there will be more attractions than ever before, including:
Pony rides
Petting zoo
Border Collie herding demonstrations followed by a meet & greet of the dogs and ducks
Kids “barnyard” where they can collect eggs from chickens and milk a cow
Oxen demos
Sheep-shearing demos
Chainsaw wood carvings
Pumpkin painting
Hayrides
And much more!

Visitors can also hike on trails and learn about nature, land management, and environmentally compatible farming at several observation sites on the property’s 1,850 acres of farmland, forests, wetlands and meadows.

About
The land, donated by George D. Pratt Jr. in 1970, was conserved under the condition that the farms be kept in agriculture as long as possible. Today, about 650 acres of the preserve are in active agriculture.

For a newsletter on area events www.litchfieldhills.com

Torrington House Tour Sept. 23

On September 23, 2017, from 10 am – 3 pm. the Torrington Historical Society is hosting the Torrington House Tour that will highlight six historic homes and one garden. Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 the day of the tour. Tickets may be purchased online at www.torringtonhousetour.org

The Torrington House Tour provides a unique opportunity to learn about Torrington’s history and to see how historic homes have been preserved and adapted for the 21st century. The house tour is also designed to highlight positive achievements in the community and increase awareness of the city’s heritage.

The homes and garden that will be open to the public on September 23, 2017 include:

Owen Cummings House located at 251 Crestwood Road
This Tudor-revival house constructed in 1938 is impressively sited on a large lot with a beautifully landscaped back yard and patio. The current owners have preserved the home’s exterior charm while adding more living space and a modern kitchen.

William Danaher House located at 54 Adelaide Terrace
This “California-Modern” home was built in 1974. The open, yet cozy first floor opens onto a patio and inground pool. The house has many original interior details including a double-sided fireplace and cathedral ceiling in the living room.

Hotchkiss-Fyler House located at 192 Main Street
Built in 1900, this grand Victorian-style home has been operated by the Torrington Historical Society as a house museum since 1956. The home is remarkably well-preserved and is furnished as it was in 1956.

William Burns House located at 17 Wilson Avenue
This house was built ca. 1895 as a clapboard-covered wood frame house. In 1926 it was totally remodeled according to plans drawn up by noted Torrington architect William E. Hunt and a brick façade was added. The house retains many of the interior details designed by the architect.

William E. Hunt House located at 59 Wilson Avenue
This gambrel-roofed home was built in the late 19th century but was totally remodeled by William E. Hunt when he purchased it in 1920 for his private residence. The exterior has been restored by the current owners and the interior is well preserved featuring many of the architect’s signature touches.

First Church Parsonage located at 380 University Drive
This historic Greek-Revival style home was constructed as the parsonage for the First Congregational Church in 1845. The current owners have retained the clapboard exterior and original window sash while adding a new kitchen, large family room and master bedroom suite.

Edmund Wooding House 1845 located at 52 Norfolk Road
GARDENS ONLY
This historic home is situated on the West Branch of the Naugatuck River. The gardens are behind the house and along the river. These formal gardens have a park-like setting with stone walls, boxwood topiary and yews. The gardens have a European feel and can be enjoyed year-round.

Tour participants can take a shuttle bus or drive their own vehicles. The tour begins at the Chamber of Commerce at 333 Kennedy Drive where participants will receive a program guide and map. On Friday, September 22nd a House Tour Preview Party will include a bus tour of the 6 homes from 5-7 p.m. followed by a reception with refreshments and entertainment from 7-9 p.m.