Hera @ Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum located on 258 Main Street in Ridgefield is pleased to present Tony Matelli’s Hera, a monumental sculpture, as part of the Main Street Sculpture series, which offers an opportunity for artists to create site-specific work for The Aldrich’s most public site, the front lawn.

Matelli singular, larger-than-life-size outdoor figurative sculpture will be on display through October 21, 2017. This work is an extension of Matelli’s Garden Sculptures series, initiated in 2015, in which he defaces garden statuary of classical or religious icons and subverts material expectation. Based on an ancient Greek statue of Hera and poised atop a pedestal, the statue, fabricated out of cast stone, is painstakingly aged to mimic a centuries old patina. An imposing nine-feet tall and sited on a three-foot tall pedestal, the neo-classical figure will be juxtaposed with flawlessly hand-painted cast bronze watermelons, whole, halved, and quartered, that balance upon her head, within the creases and folds of her drapery, and at her feet. These faux-perishables, poised upon the intentionally eroded and debased figure, are presented in an eternal state of freshness. In doing so, Matelli stages opposing entropic forces, the synthetically preserved, and the forcibly decayed.

Spanning sculpture and painting, Matelli’s hyperreal practice embodies the human condition. Suspended in changing physical states or transformative stages of existence, his work concerns the very circumstance of actuality, joining the ordinary with the speculative in order to assess cultural worth: what people keep or abandon, what appears to be in or out of place, and what seems pleasing or distasteful. Often provocative and hallucinatory, Matelli’s work expresses excess, neglect, decomposition, and regeneration, the upturned and the adrift, the romantic and the surreal. At The Aldrich, Matelli’s colossal sculpture of a familiar mythological figure may read as a modern memento mori, or as a devotional offering to a saccharine present, cast against a corrosive past. Ridgefield, a Revolutionary-era Colonial town with a landmarked Main Street, is a befitting location for this tragicomic siting, as Matelli’s ancient giant testifies to history as theatrical backdrop.

Tony Matelli (b. 1971, Chicago) received his BFA from the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design in 1993 and his MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1995. Recent solo exhibitions include the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia; the Davis Museum, MA; Künsterlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin; and the Palais de Tokyo, Paris. A mid-career survey, Tony Matelli: A Human Echo, premiered at the ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Denmark in 2012 and traveled to the Bergen Kunstmuseum, Norway in 2013. His work is in numerous public collections including the FLAG Art Foundation, NY; ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Aarhus, Denmark; and the National Centre of Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia, among others. He lives and works in New York City.

Celebrate CT Historic Garden Day June 25

Summer in Litchfield Hills and Fairfield County is awash with the colorful blooms of summer and the Connecticut Historic Garden Commission that cultivates our love of historic gardens has declared June 25 as Connecticut Historic Garden Day! This special state-wide celebration will take place rain or shine from 12 noon – 4 p.m. The historic gardens in Litchfield Hills and Fairfield County are planning special events and activities to celebrate their gardens and to make your visit even more fun. Below is a list of historic gardens that are celebrating the wealth of CT’s beautiful blooms!

Bethelehem, Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden. Discover the treasures of the Bellamy-Ferriday estate. Stroll through the formal parterre garden designed by Eliza Mitchell Ferriday between 1915 and 1918. Grounds admission is free; regular admission applies for historic house tour.

Woodbury, Glebe House Museum and The Gertrude Jekyll Garden, Garden volunteers will be giving tours through the Gertrude Jekyll Garden and answering your questions about Miss Jekyll’s design and the history of the garden at The Glebe House Museum. Admission to the garden is free, but donations are suggested. Refreshments will be served. Call 203-263-2855 for more information or visit www.glebehousemuseum.org.

Derby, Osborne Homestead Museum. Visitors can enjoy tours of the museum’s lovely Colonial Revival gardens and learn about flower and tree legends and Frances Osborne Kellogg’s favorite flowers. After strolling through the gardens, visitors can visit the historic house museum and learn about Frances Osborne Kellogg’s passion for gardening and land conservation. Complimentary museum and garden tours will be offered every half hour on the hour.

Bridgewater, Promisek at Three Rivers Farm. Promisek gardeners will be on hand to answer questions about the Beatrix Farrand-designed garden and the history of the land. Violinists from The Hartt School will perform from the garden terrace, and iced tea will be provided. For those wishing to sketch, draw or paint, please do! Admission is $5 per person.

Wilton, Weir Farm National Historic Site. Celebrate Connecticut’s Historic Gardens Day at Weir Farm National Historic Site, where gardens and art go hand-in-hand! From 12pm to 4pm, park staff and Garden Gang volunteers will offer short informal talks in the Sunken Garden and Secret Garden about each garden’s history, flowers, restoration, and ongoing preservation. In addition to the talks, visitors can spend an afternoon painting en plein air in the only national park dedicated to American painting. Join a professional art instructor from 1 to 4pm for informal art instruction using the park’s free-to-use watercolor supplies! Be sure to see inside the visitor center for a special exhibition featuring contemporary paintings, photographs, and prints inspired by the park’s gardens, buildings, and landscape.

The Norwalk Art Festival — June 24 & 25, 2017

Over 100 artists showing one-of-a-kind ceramics, wearable art and a wide variety of other fine arts and crafts will be featured at the 5th Annual Norwalk Art Festival on Saturday and Sunday, June 24 and 25, from 10 am to 5 pm, rain or shine. Juried exhibitors, many new to the show, will share their unique talents and creativity in painting wood, wearable and decorative fiber, metalwork, leather, paper arts, glass, ceramics, jewelry, photography and more at this nationally recognized event. The Festival is held on the beautiful grounds of Matthews Park at 299 West Ave. in Norwalk, Connecticut. All works exhibited are available for purchase.

The 5th Annual Norwalk Art Festival includes fun, educational activities for children, international cuisine, and live music performances. Ed Wright performs his original guitar music on Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Annalisa Ewald also performs both days. On Saturday, June 24, students of Becki Christensen’s will participate in a recital by the Suzuki Violin Method Open House from 12:00 am to 1:00 pm in the Children’s Art Area. At 1:00 Mayor will open the Annual Art Festival with a creative experience. This year the Mayor will be the subject of a Poetic work at the Poets Corner.

A new highlight of the Festival will be the “Poet’s Corner” stage, featuring improv poetry writing and a special array of writers and performers on going each day. Patrons will hear Connecticut Poets read their most outstanding work on the stage. While visiting, enjoy a personalized poem written just for you at the “A Poem Tailored Just for You” Desk. Participate in a Group Recital of Poems Written by World Renown Artists led by Local Poets in the “Poetry Flash Mob” Coordinated by Jerry T. Johnson: Poet, Danbury CT. Featured Poets include: Laurel Peterson: Poet Laureate Norwalk, CT, Tarn Granucci: Poet Laureate Wallingford, CT, Mark Saba: Writer, Poet, Artist, Filmmaker, Richard Duffee: Writer, Poet, Stamford CT, Jerry T. Johnson: Poet, Danbury CT.

Artists will feature demonstrations and text to educate and share their process of creating art. All exhibitors are present to show their own work and enlightened then audience about their process. Hands-on craft activities for all ages are available at no additional charge in the Children’s Art Area, and the Newly remodeled galleries of the Center for Contemporary Printmaking will be open. The weekend features the Mini Print Show and Sale. CCP Galleries will be open during the weekend.

Admission to the Norwalk Art Festival is free. and includes all Festival activities. Lockwood Mathews Mansion Museum will be offering a Mini tour for a special $5 admission which is open to the public during Festival hours. At the Art Festival entrance, visitors will be able to join the area Museums and Local Art Centers at a discount, and will receive free admission and many instant discounts at the Festival.

Visitors are asked to park in Mathews Park and will be directed in. Mathews Park is located just off exit 14 or 15 off I-95. The Park is a short ride from MetroNorth’s South Norwalk railroad station. Or enjoy a scenic walk along the River from downtown SoNo Parking Garages. For information, visit www.NorwalkArtFestival.org, or call (518) 852-6478.

New Sculpture @ Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum is presenting Tony Matelli: Figure, a monumental sculpture, as part of the Main Street Sculpture series, which offers an opportunity for artists to create site-specific work for The Aldrich’s most public site, the front lawn through October 22, 2017.

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Matelli will debut his singular, larger-than-life-size outdoor figurative sculpture on May 6, 2017. This work is part of Matelli’s Garden Sculptures series, initiated in 2015, in which he defaces garden statuary of classical or religious icons and subverts material expectation. Based on ancient Greek and Roman statuary and poised atop a cast concrete pedestal, the statue will be sandblasted to expose the concrete’s aggregate innards, forcing decay on presumably permanent concrete. Matelli then stages trompe l’oeil edibles—such as immaculately ripened melons, avocados, blackberries, and asparagus, as well as ready-to-eat cocktail shrimp, crab claws, and sausages—upon the weathered ruins of symbolic effigies, such as those of Jesus, Buddha, and Hermes. These flawlessly painted cast-bronze perishables, presented in an eternal state of freshness, balance upon the intentionally eroded and debased concrete figure’s creases, folds, and at its feet. In doing so, Matelli stages opposing entropic forces, the synthetically preserved, and the forcibly decayed.

Spanning sculpture and painting, Matelli’s hyperreal practice embodies the human condition. Suspended in changing physical states or transformative stages of existence, his work concerns the very circumstance of actuality, joining the ordinary with the speculative in order to assess cultural worth: what people keep or abandon, what appears to be in or out of place, and what seems pleasing or distasteful. Often provocative and hallucinatory, Matelli’s work expresses excess, neglect, decomposition, and regeneration, the upturned and the adrift, the romantic and the surreal. At The Aldrich, Matelli’s colossal sculpture of a familiar mythological figure may read as a modern memento mori, or as a devotional offering to a saccharine present, cast against a corrosive past. Ridgefield, a Revolutionary-era Colonial town with a landmarked Main Street, is a befitting location for this tragicomic siting, as Matelli’s ancient giant testifies to history as theatrical backdrop.

Tony Matelli (b. 1971, Chicago) received his BFA from the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design in 1993 and his MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1995. Recent solo exhibitions include the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia; the Davis Museum, MA; Künsterlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin; and the Palais de Tokyo, Paris. A mid-career survey, Tony Matelli: A Human Echo, premiered at the ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Denmark in 2012 and traveled to the Bergen Kunstmuseum, Norway in 2013. His work is in numerous public collections including the FLAG Art Foundation, NY; ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Aarhus, Denmark; and the National Centre of Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia, among others. He lives and works in New York City.

A wee bit o’ Scotland comes to Litchfield Hills

This summer a wee bit o’ Scotland comes to the Litchfield Hills on June 25 at Lime Rock Park when the Round Hill Highland Games takes place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. This annual festival celebrates Scottish heritage and culture; a highlight of this event is the traditional traditional professional and amateur highland game competitions. The Round Hill Highland Games are the third oldest in the United States and this is the 93 year this event has been organized.

This tradition dates back to King Malcolm III (1057-93) who started the Scottish Highland Games nearly a thousand years ago at Craig Choinich by Braemar near Balmoral, in order to sort out the smartest, swiftest, strongest, most nimble, accurate, agile and coordinated Cumbrians with the most prowess, endurance, stamina and character from amongst his subjects! These subjects became the King’s Royal Inner Circle of protectors and couriers when going into battle.

Scottish and Scottish at heart are welcome to attend and will enjoy traditional piping and drumming competitions, pipe major competitions, pipe band competitions, Scottish country dancing, heavy athletic competitions, races and amateur sports for the whole family and children’s games & crafts. There will plenty of Scottish entertainment and folk music to add to the fun as well as fabulous Scottish food and drink plus vendors offering a wide assortment of Scottish merchandise.

FREE ADMISSION ON FATHER’S DAY FOR SPECIAL CAREGIVER AT STEPPING STONES

Stepping Stones Museum for Children recognizes that many special people may play the role of dad in children’s lives, and that “dad” can mean different things to different people. That’s why, for the first time ever, one caregiver per family gets into the museum in Norwalk for FREE on June 18th – not just dads!

Children can honor someone special by creating a “You’re Worth Every Penny” greeting card during their visit from 11:15 – 11:45am, or a personalized #1 Dad Cheer Finger from 1:15– 1:45pm. While supplies last.

Also from 11:15 – 11:45am everyone can make Hulk-inspired Gamma radiation slime! Limited Space – Ticketed. 2 sessions of 12 participants.

The weekend fun actually starts on Saturday, June 17th when parents and kids are invited to explore music and movement through song, dance and the playing of instruments at Around the World: Performance Series from 2:00 – 3:00 pm. Folklore Urbano NYC will perform Cumbia for Kids, an interactive dance performance featuring Colombian music. Songs in Spanish are based on rhythms from the region like bambuco, pasillo and torbellino.

In addition to the many fun and educational exhibits, families can check out the travelling Healthyville exhibit that teaches children and adults about fitness and nutrition. It offers hands-on opportunities to explore topics in ways that helps kids understand their bodies, the importance of making healthy choices and apply concepts in everyday situations.

One free adult admission per family and the adult needs to be at least 18 years of age. Cannot be combined with other offers.

ABOUT STEPPING STONES MUSUEM FOR CHILDREN
Stepping Stones Museum for Children is an award-winning, private, non-profit 501 (c)(3) children’s museum committed to broadening and enriching the lives of children and families. For more information about Stepping Stones, to book a field trip or schedule a class, workshop or facility rental call 203-899-0606 or visit http://www.steppingstonesmuseum.org.

Stepping Stones Museum for Children is located at 303 West Avenue, Norwalk, CT, exit 14 North and 15 South off I-95. Museum hours are: Labor Day through Memorial Day, Tuesday-Sunday and holiday Mondays from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm; and Memorial Day through Labor Day, Monday-Sunday from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Admission is $15 for adults and children and $10 for seniors. Children under 1 are free.

Father’s Day Cartooning Workshop for Kids @ Wilton Historical Society

On Saturday, June 17 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 pm. the Wilton Historical Society located on 224 Danbury Road is hosting a special Father’s Day program for kids on one of their favorite topics…cartoons! When people think of cartoons, they may think of comic books, political cartoons and “the funnies” in the Sunday newspaper when they were kids. But cartoons have been around in print and visual media for several hundred years; some of the earliest date to the 18th century in Britain.

Museum Educator Lola Chen will be discussing how cartoons evolved, and will use the Society’s current exhibition Dr. Seuss, Political Cartoons and the Battle Over Isolationism vs Intervention to show some examples. From the start, cartoons have been a way to lampoon and poke fun at the establishment and government. The kids will have a chance to draw their own cartoon, which may be a great gift for Father’s Day! Snack included, which the children will help prepare.

Suggested for ages 6 – 12. Wilton Historical Society members $10 per child, maximum $25 per family; Non-members $15 per child, maximum $35 per family. Please register: info@wiltonhistorical.org or call 203-762-7257.

Did You Know?
“The cartoon art form began with ‘caricatura’. A caricature – from the Italian caricare, to load or exaggerate – is a drawing that gives weight to the most striking features of its subject for comic effect. The great Italian masters such as Leonardo da Vinci, Annibale Carracci and Gian Lorenzo Bernini, all drew caricatures. These were technical exercises in virtuosity with the aim of defining the essence of a person in a few deft strokes of the pen.” — The Cartoon Museum, London