Waveny Park Then and Now

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Town of New Canaan’s acquisition of 300 acres from former resident Ruth Lapham Lloyd, the New Canaan Historical Society is proud to announce Waveny Now and Then.

This lovely park in New Cannan’s centerpiece is “the castle” built in 1912 built by William Tubby and that is surrounded by 300 unspoiled acres of land that was landscaped by Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. The house was built for Lewis Lapham, one of the founders of Texaco who spent many summers here with his family. The family gave the Town of New Canaan most of the estate land and sold the estate to the town in 1967.

The house was used for exterior shots for the fictional ‘Cortlandt Manor’ on the soap opera, All My Children for many years; exteriors of the estate were also used in the 2004 remake film, The Stepford Wives.

This art exhibit features drawings, paintings, photographs and sculpture of work inspired by and/or created in Waveny Park. Mark Markiewicz, Torrance York, Antonia Betancourt, Dmitri Wright, Audrey Klotz, Drew Klotz and Jeanna Shepard will have work on display. The art will be for sale with a portion of the proceeds going to the Historical Society. The show will run through December 22.

Nostalgia On Display at the Maritime Garage Gallery’s New Exhibit

Favorite memories, reminders, and images of home will be on display as the City of Norwalk Parking Authority’s Maritime Garage Gallery presents its new exhibit “Memories of Our Town” this fall. The exhibit will run through January 5, 2018.

“Memories Of Our Town,” features art in a variety of mediums that represents the unique memories of the place we call home: places, people, sounds, smells, events, etc. that are personally significant to the artist. Contributing artists include Eric Chiang of Westport, Cindy Sinor, Wilton, Al Coyote Wiener of Fairfield, Tania Canteli of Beacon, NY and Mary Mattingly of New York City, among others.

“Each piece in this exhibition is a materialization of memories of the places our hearts belong,” says curator Nadia Martinez. “We are excited to be showcasing the work of some of the area’s finest artists and their visions of home.”

The Maritime Garage Gallery is part of the Parking Authority’s “Art in Parking Places” initiative, an effort to support art in public spaces, making Norwalk a more vibrant destination. The gallery is located in the Maritime Garage at 10 North Water Street in Norwalk. The exhibit is free and open to the public from 9:00am -5:00pm, Monday through Friday. For more information, call 203- 831-9063, or visit www.norwalkpark.org/public-art

5th Annual Kent Holiday Champagne Stroll

Skip the mall and head to Kent for a weekend of shopping, dining and champagne sipping. What better way to experience a quintessential New England town during the holidays than to come to the 5th Annual Kent Holiday Champagne Stroll, November 24 & 25, from 4:00 – 7:30 pm?

Considered the benchmark for all holiday strolls, the town of Kent offers 30 shops serving 30 champagnes and bubblies, and offering 30 different promotions and sales. Kent has distinctive shops operated by the owners themselves. You can find everything from antiques, stylish clothing, teas and coffees, jewelry to cowboy boots. Many of the shops are featuring special sales and promotional events.

The event coincides with Small Business Saturday, a marketing event campaign created by American Express, celebrating the small businesses that are the backbone of local economies.
Strollers have two options for check-in this year: The Swift House, 12 Maple Street, or at SoDelicious HomeMade Bakery, 1 Kent Green Blvd. You can purchase tickets in advance by visiting http://www.kentstroll.com or purchase tickets on the day of the event. Ticket price is $22 for advanced registration; $25 on the day of the event. Pre-registration guarantees you a spot in the event of a sell out. Also there will be a separate line at check-in for pre-registration to speed you through and get you strolling! Check in begins at 4:00 PM where you will pick up a champagne flute and map to use for the evening.

The map divides the town into four zones. Visit at least three businesses in each zone, get your map stamped and your name will be entered into the drawing for one of three great bottles of champagnes. Once you have strolled, shopped and tasted, head to one of Kent’s fine restaurants for dinner where you will find unique menu items to complement the weekend as well as more champagne. Everyone is welcome, but you must be 21 years of age and present valid ID at check-in to get a flute & map. For more information, contact the Kent Chamber of Commerce, 860-592-0061.

The Dramalites of Washington

The Gunn Historical Museum’s Washington History Club at Night will meet in the Wykeham Room of the Gunn Library on Tuesday, November 21 at 6:30pm. The topic of discussion will be The Dramalites. Many residents have been involved in this long existing community performance group which has provided a theater experience for generations of Washington’s residents. Join us for a lively conversation about its history, those who were involved in the organization, and the plays they performed. Bring your favorite stories and memories to share!

The Dramalites performing “The Mikado” in Washington, Connecticut in August of 1954. Front row, left to right: unknown, Babette Cranston, Jean, Betty Hempstead, Libby (the director). Back row, left to right: Frank Belfiore, Hughbert Kenny, Jack Fors, Bill Mann. Photograph from the Collection of the Gunn Historical Museum.

The Washington History Club at Night is a program of the Gunn Historical Museum and meets the third Tuesday of the months of November, February and May at 6:30 pm in the Wykeham Room of the Gunn Library to discuss the history of Washington, Washington Depot, Marbledale, New Preston and Woodville. Share your stories with the group or just come and listen to the fascinating conversation about our town’s past. Bring your photos and objects for show and tell!

Everyone is invited to attend this free program. The Gunn Library & Museum is located at 5 Wykeham Road in Washington. Call the Gunn Museum at 860-868-7756 or view http://www.gunnmuseum.org for more information.

First Book on Connecticut’s First National Park- Weir Farm

The first book about Weir Farm National Historic Site, Connecticut’s first national park unit and the only one dedicated to American painting, will be authored by Xiomaro, the park’s Visiting Artist, in a deal he signed with Arcadia Publishing. About 150 of Xiomaro’s photographs will be accompanied with captions that, he explains, “tells the big story of a small park.” The 60-acre site, nestled in Wilton and Ridgefield, is where J. Alden Weir (1852-1919), the father of American Impressionist painting, lived and created iconic works now seen at the Met, the Smithsonian and other world-class museums.

© 2017 Xiomaro.com

“Openings into the soul of the painter,” was how Xiomaro’s images were described in 2013 by Hildegard Cummings, an art expert who authored a book about Weir. Since 2012, Xiomaro (pronounced “SEE-oh-MAH-ro”) has been creating fine art photographic collections of Weir’s house, studios, landscape and gardens under several commissions.

The best of his photographs plus vintage snapshots will be featured in the book along with approximately 11,000 words of captions. “It’s about the classic American story of transformation,” said Xiomaro, who – after overcoming cancer – also made a transition from being a music lawyer to an artist. “Weir hated Impressionism, then championed it. His property was threatened by development, then got preserved as a national park. And the dramatic before-and-after renovations of the buildings will be seen in my images.”

The book taps into a growing trend: “heritage tourism” – travelers visiting historic house museums and gardens – ranks only third behind shopping, according to The National Trust for Historic Preservation, in Washington, DC. The book will also cover the women of Weir, the buildings’ decorative treatments and architecture and “the landscape where one literally steps into a painting,” revealed the artist.

“The best thing is that the book will celebrate the park in time for the striking of the special Weir Farm quarter,” announced Xiomaro. In 2020, the park will be depicted as part of the US Mint’s “America the Beautiful” series. The Mint’s website says the series “captures the breathtaking beauty of America’s natural landscapes that have inspired countless poets, adventurers, and artists. Today, these hallowed sites are… enshrined” through the quarters designed by the Mint.

The worldwide deal with Arcadia Publishing will release the book as part of the Images of Modern America series, which the company website describes as uncovering “amazing aspects of American history that are all too often overlooked by standard texts” and “filled with expertly penned content and stunning full-color images.” Arcadia, based in Charleston, South Carolina, is the leading publisher of local and regional books in the United States with a library of more than 14,000 titles.

Xiomaro is an internationally-recognized artist, writer, speaker and curator whose photography has been covered by The New York Times, CBS Eyewitness News, News 12 and The Huffington Post. His work has been widely exhibited at venues such as Harvard University, Fruitlands Museum, the State Capitol in Hartford and Congressman Jim Himes’ Bridgeport and Stamford offices.

A free photo e-book about Weir Farm is available at www.xiomaro.com while supplies last. For information about visiting Weir Farm National Historic Site, go to www.nps.gov/wefa.

Connecticut Master Chorale Holiday Prelude Concert “A Celtic Christmas” and More!

The Connecticut Master Chorale, under the direction of Tina Johns Heidrich, will present its annual Holiday Prelude Concert on Sunday, November 19, at 3 pm at the First Congregational Church, 164 Deer Hill Avenue, Danbury. Ring in the season with a glorious selection of outstanding choral music reflecting many cultures, featuring “A Celtic Christmas”, and music for Thanksgiving, Advent, Hanukkah and Christmas and more! Opening with a resplendent brass fanfare, jubilation and majesty combine in a dramatic new “Gloria in Excelsis Deo!”.

The program also features “A Celtic Christmas”, an eclectic grouping of three Celtic pieces, and “Christmas in the Great Hall”, a majestic choral fantasy featuring unique arrangements of seven time-honored carols. “African Star Carol” from South Africa and “La Trulla” from Puerto Rico and “Believe” from the movie “Polar Express” will contrast with the jazzy standard “That’s What I Want for Christmas”, first made famous by Ella Fitzgerald and a Big Band version of the spiritual “Mary, Mary!”.Also included are works by Dan Forrest, Ridgefield’s Stephen Schwartz, and a gorgeous musical setting of a Rachael Field poem, along with many other festive selections that will assure a joyous and memorable start to the Holiday Season.

An exhilarating retelling of the Christmas story, “Down in Bethlehem!” will close our program with the spirit of joy, energy and excitement found only in gospel music!

The Connecticut Master Chorale is an ensemble of 55 vocalists in their 19th year of singing in Western Connecticut. They will be accompanied by the Connecticut Master Chorale Holiday Brass and Joseph J. Jacovino on piano and organ.

Admission to the concert is $20 in advance and $25 at the door. The venue is handicap accessible and doors will open at 2:15. Please call (203) 743-0473 for ticket purchase and visit http://www.cmchorale.org for additional information.

Bizarre Bazaar @ The New England Carousel Museum Nov. 18

The New England Carousel Museum located on 95 Riverside Ave. in Bristol will hold its 3rd annual Bizarre Bazaar Art and Craft Fair on Saturday, November 18th 10 AM – 4 PM. This juried holiday craft fair will feature a variety of items available for purchase by talented artists and artisans. Get a jump start your holiday shopping and find beautiful, unique gifts for loved ones, or purchase something special for yourself.

There will be two floors of over 50 exhibitors showing off their art, homemade crafts, delicious treats, and holiday gifts. Vendors include many favorites from previous years, as well as some exciting new additions. Wares include blown glass by TSP Uncommon, woodcarvings from CT Woodcarvers, Ashley Lodovico Watercolors, custom jewelry, children’s books, photography, and more!

Bringing the kids? There will be an arts and crafts area for children to enjoy. Admission to this event is only $1 and includes free carousel rides for children throughout the day.