Danbury’s Accessible Art!

Eight exhibitions, currently running through Friday, April 14th, mark the first of five rounds of this year-long, multi-site program joining Business with Art in Danbury. The year’s schedule plans for 39 exhibitions showing through Friday, December 29th.

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This year’s premier Accessible Art mounting highlights the works of Brian Bardo (Danbury), Debra Burger (Danbury), Ted DeToy (New Fairfield), Maressa Gershowitz (Danbury), Renato Ghio (Danbury), Toni Miraldi (Sandy Hook), Helga Ruopp (Hawleyville), and Tara Tomaselli (Newtown). Hours at the venues vary, so call ahead. For more information about Accessible Art, call (203) 798 0760 or visit www.artswesternct.org All exhibitions are subject to change.

Brian Bardo
INTERACTIONS: A photographic essay portraying the dignity of people who have multiple disabilities
YMCA’s ESCAPE to the Arts, 293 Main Street, Danbury, (203) 794-1413

Brian Bardo is a retired Special Education Teacher with 39 years of experience in Danbury area. He was named Teacher of the Year in1986 for Unified School District #3, Connecticut State Department of Developmental Services. He has exhibited at the State of Connecticut Capital Building in Hartford and the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, DC, sponsored by CT Senator Lowell Weicker, and the Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC, sponsored by CT Representative William Ratchford.

Debra Burger
Bethel Public Library, 189 Greenwood Ave, (203) 794-8756

Throughout the years, Debra Burger has been capturing images from her other creative passion – her garden. Challenging herself to create a body of work from the objects in her garden, she has created larger-than-life images that examine the color, shape, texture, and life of each plant and flower. They provide the viewer with a unique perspective on the fragile, yet bold impression each flower offers. She is President of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, Western New York Chapter.

Ted DeToy
Mothership Bakery & Cafe, 331 Main Street, Danbury, (203) 417-6914

Ted DeToy’s paintings in acrylic on canvas offer sharp and colorful encounters with familiar imagery related to pop culture, race and gender, American politics and daily life. Rendered in expressive primary colors with contemporary neo-cubist flair, DeToy takes an innovative approach to painting, drawing from books, magazine, movies and the internet as he allows both the most intimate and the most universal aspects of modern existence to influence his art.

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Maressa Gershowitz
Can Imagine That
Danbury City Hall, 155 Deer Hill Avenue, (203) 797-4511

Maressa Gershowitz claims her story is the same as always. “No photoshop, no flash, no strobes, just me and the camera looking at the world,” she says.

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Renato Ghio
CityCenter Danbury, 268 Main Street, (203) 792-1711

Renato Ghio’s collection is inspired by his continued fascination with mobile photography. He says, “My goal is to demonstrate that mobile devices are an extension of photography as an art form. I enjoy pushing the limits of what’s possible with mobile-created imagery by transforming seemingly normal snapshots into another world. All the photographs in this exhibition were taken and edited on my phone.”

Toni Miraldi
Hodge Insurance Agency, 283 Main Street, Danbury, (203) 792-2323

Toni Miraldi writes, “As a mural artist, my mission is to transform plain walls into stimulating walls. I believe our attitudes are subtly influenced by our environs. If we surround ourselves and our communities with small positive messages–whether they be art, nature, inspiring architecture or kind words–we will see the world differently than if we are surrounded by suspicion, fear and despair. This is why I love murals. They take a thing that literally surrounds us–a wall–and turn it into an encouragement.”

Helga Ruopp
Danbury Public Library, 170 Main Street, (203) 797-4505

Helga Jensen-Ruopp was born in a refugee camp in Czechoslovakia into a family displaced after WWII, Helga eventually emigrated to the USA. Since she didn’t understand English, she took to art as a way of expressing herself. Later, she attended Adelphi University receiving Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in Education with a concentration in Fine Arts. She has taught at Danbury High School, Western Connecticut State University, and teaches cooking and painting to children at YMCA’s Escape to the Arts.

Tara Tomaselli
Filosa/Hancock Hall, 31 Staples Street, Danbury, (203) 794-9466

Tara Tomaselli is a fine art photographer with over 20 years working in the industry. Primarily self-taught in photography, she has been professionally exhibiting and selling her photographs since 2012. She notes,”When I come upon an interesting subject, I like to observe and take it in from all angles, then I hone in on what I feel is the most appealing part – most often a close up view of an object or section of something larger. I want to show the beauty in things no matter their current state, objects that are old, discarded, junked, rusted, decayed, interesting. Many of these rusty relics are transportation-related, exciting to find, and windows into the past.”

Three entertaining events @ New England Carousel Museum

The New England Carousel Museum located on 95 Riverside Ave. in Bristol has organized three fun events in March that are sure to chase away the winter doldrums!

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The Chaparrals will perform live at the museum on March 18 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. and the cover cost to hear this indie rock quintet band that is based out of Boston. Their music is best described as being strongly melodic with an emphasis on reflective lyricism and instrumental thematic parallelism, Chaparrals weave organic and synthetic sounds alike in and out of a lush sonic backdrop of ethereal and haunting beauty. This is the perfect time of year to get out with friends and enjoy a night of music and dancing on the museum’s large wooden dance floor. Call 860-585-5411 to reserve a table or pay in advance.

To usher in spring, the New England Carousel Museum is hosting a spring ball with Al Fenton’s Big Band on March 25. Tickets are $15 and pre-paid tables of 8 or more may be reserved ahead of time.

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This is a BYOB event and snacks and set-ups will be available for purchase. Dress to impress and get out on the museum’s large wooden dance floor in their ballroom as you swing, dip and jive to the live music. The Al Fenton Big Band performs a variety of music including blues, jazz and swing. This music lends itself to many styles of dancing, either alone or with a partner. This will be a night to remember, as you swing and jitterbug the night away. The museum will be filled with lights, music and, as always, their beautiful carousel animals. There will be many opportunities for fun festive photos and memories to cherish for years to come!

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The month of March concludes with children in mind. On Sunday, March 26 the Princess Tea will take place at the Museum from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. This is a tea perfect for a princess! There will be face painting, dancing, story tellers and rides on the carousel and delicious snacks. Children are encouraged to wear their favorite princess dress and tiara…they will be treated like royalty!

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Prints that Work @ Housatonic Art Museum

The Housatonic Museum of Art, located on 900 Lafayette Blvd. in Bridgeport is opening the spring season with a new show called PRINTS THAT WORK. The focus of this exhibition is to show printmaking in the service of a bigger picture!

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“Prints that Work” features the work of four artists offering unique perspectives on printmaking and includes: Roxanne Faber-Savage, Kelsey Miller, John O’Donnell and Neil Daigle-Orians. There will be a range of subjects highlighted in the show including wildlife trafficking and conservation, sexuality, religion, gender and the illusion of domestic bliss.

The exhibition, which will remain on view through March 25, is curated by Leslie Giuliani. A panel discussion featuring the artists will take place on Wednesday, March 22. The Housatonic Museum of Art is located at 900 Lafayette Blvd. in Bridgeport, CT.

The gallery is open:Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Thursday evening until 7 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. (call for holiday times) and is closed Sundays.

To sign up for a monthly newsletter on Litchfield Hills or Fairfield County www.litchfieldhills.com or www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com

The Churches of Washington in the Litchfield Hills

The Gunn Historical Museum’s Washington History Club in the Morning will meet at the Washington Senior Center on Monday, March 20 at 10:00am. The topic of discussion will be Washington churches past and present including the old Methodist Church, First Congregational Church, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Salem Covenant Church, Trinity Lutheran Church, New Preston Congregational Church, New Preston Stone Church, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, and The Greater Washington Coalition for Jewish Life. Local clergy, including The Rev. Linda Williams, The Rev. Susan McCone, The Rev. Cheryl Anderson, and more will be present to join in the conversation and share the history of their houses of worship.

The Stone Church of the First Ecclesiastical Society of New Preston at 100 New Preston Hill Road. Photograph by Joseph West in 1899. From the collection of the Gunn Historical Museum.

The Washington History Club in the Morning is a program of the Gunn Historical Museum and meets the third Monday of the months of March, June, September, and December at 10:00am at the Washington Senior Center to discuss the history of Washington, Washington Depot, Marbledale, New Preston and Woodville. Share your memories and 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 Washington Senior Center is located at 6 Bryan Hall Plaza, Washington Depot, CT 06794. Call the Gunn Museum at 860-868-7756 or view http://www.gunnmuseum.org for more information.

Well Heeled @ the Norfolk Library through March

The Norfolk Library located on 9 Greenwoods Road in this bucolic town located in the Litchfield Hills is hosting an unusual exhibition of the art of Linda Filley. Filly has been has been making her Paper Creations for over 12 years. They grew out of display work she was doing for the store Paper Trail in Rhinebeck, New York. Her Shoes evolved from the signature Paper Dresses she created for the store’s front window.

The Shoes are a transformation of everyday materials such as cardboard, brown paper, wallpaper, old maps and sheet music. Sometimes these are new and sometimes vintage; it depends upon the inspiration. Her work speaks to many themes: recycling, history, and nature with an eye to fashion and whimsy.

Linda is a self taught artist who was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and grew up in Montreal, Canada. She currently lives in the Hudson Valley.

The library is open Mon. and Thurs. from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Tues. and Wed. from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Canvas and Cast: Highlights from the Bruce Museum’s Art Collection

In October 1912, the Bruce Museum hosted its first exhibition of art. At the time, the Greenwich Press noted that it was a welcome change to see “a long gallery hung with paintings from the best works of local artists.” This exhibition runs through June 11, 2017.

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Since then, the Bruce Museum has not only exhibited many paintings and sculptures by local artists who were influential in establishing the American Impressionist movement, such as Theodore Robinson, John Henry Twachtman, Leonard Ochtman, and Frederick Childe Hassam, but has also acquired works that represent significant moments from the history of art.

Featuring 35 paintings and 7 sculptures from the Bruce’s growing collection, Canvas and Cast celebrates long-time favorites and many recent acquisitions representing significant moments in the history of art from the 16th through the 20th centuries. This exhibition, organized by Peter C. Sutton, The Susan E. Lynch Executive Director, and curated by Courtney Skipton Long, Zvi Grunberg Postdoctoral Fellow 2016/17 at the Bruce Museum, examines art historical themes including sculpted and painted portraits, narrative scenes and statues, landscapes, still lifes, and genre scenes.

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Canvas and Cast explores artists’ handling of different media – bronze, marble, oil, pastel, acrylic and collage – through examples of 16th-century Dutch portraiture, 19th-century American figural sculpture, academic style painting, and French and American landscapes from the turn of the 20th century.

Exhibition Programs for Canvas and Cast: Highlights from the Bruce Museum’s Art Collection

Thursday, March 29, 6:00-8:00 PM. Evening Lecture

Peter C. Sutton, The Susan E. Lynch Executive Director of the Bruce Museum, will provide a lecture in conjunction with the Bruce Museum’s exhibition Canvas and Cast: Highlights from the Bruce Museum’s Art Collection. Advance registration on Bruce Museum Eventbrite required.

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Sunday Afternoon Lecture Series

Sunday, March 12, 3:30 – 4:30 PM. Childe Hassam & American Impressionism on the Connecticut Coast by Dr. Jenny Parsons, Assistant Curator, Florence Griswold Museum. Parsons will focus on Childe Hassam’s art production in Cos Cob and Old Lyme and explore the importance of Connecticut art colonies for the development of American Impressionism. Free and open to the public. Reservations suggested on n Bruce Museum Eventbrite.

Sunday, April 2, 3:30-4:30 PM. Peppermints and Whiskey: Edward Fuller Bigelow, Paul Griswold Howes and the Formation of the Bruce Museum by Tim Walsh, Manager of Natural History Collection and Citizen Science, Bruce Museum. Walsh will discuss the 1908 bequeath of a Victorian stone mansion to the Town of Greenwich for the purpose of a museum for natural history, history, and art, and chart the historical progression of transforming a house into a museum. Guests will learn about the two men who compiled the collections and introduced our unique institution the Greenwich community. Free and open to the public. Reservations suggested on Bruce Museum Eventbrite.

Sunday, April 9, 3:30-4:30 PM. Hidden Treasures: Lessons from the Bruce Museum’s Art Collection by Dr. Courtney S. Long, Zvi Grunberg Postdoctoral Fellow and Curatorial Assistant, Bruce Museum. Long will discuss lessons learned from the Bruce Museum’s Art Collection by focusing on the relationships between artists and objects that help to narrate the history of art. Free and open to the public. Reservations suggested on Bruce Museum Eventbrite.

Street Smart: Photographs of New York City, 1945-1980 @ Bruce Museum

A new exhibition, Street Smart: Photographs of New York City, 1945-1980 is on display at the Bruce Museum located on One Museum Dr. in Greenwich through June 4. This exhibition provides a glimpse at life in the Big Apple during the post-war period. Featuring 30 black-and-white works drawn from the Bruce Museum’s permanent collection, the show records both cacophonous scenes of urban life and moments of quietude and respite from the chaos. The Museum is open Tues. – Sun. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Leon Levinstein (1910-1988) Man Holding Cup, no date Gelatin silver print, 10 x 13 ¼ in. Gift of Peter and Barbara Noris,  Bruce Museum Collection

Leon Levinstein (1910-1988)
Man Holding Cup, no date
Gelatin silver print, 10 x 13 ¼ in.
Gift of Peter and Barbara Noris,
Bruce Museum Collection

In the decades that followed World War II, New York City was a world cultural center hosting a whirlwind of activities from protests and race riots to jazz performances. At the same time, the role of photography in American life was changing. As exposure to wartime propaganda made the public question the objective truth of photographic imagery and as cameras became more affordable and easier to use, many American photographers began to imbue their pictures with a more personal approach. The exhibition features works by the 5 photographers Larry Fink, Herman Leonard, Leon Levinstein, John Shearer, and Garry Winogrand, who record in intimate detail how street-savvy New Yorkers navigate the bustling landscape.

In photographs like Stan Getz, Birdland, from 1949, Herman Leonard places the viewer in the center of the action, in the audience or right on stage,to see some of the most important musicians in American history perform. “The vibrancy and the excitement in the jazz clubs are palpable’” explains Mia Laufer, exhibition curator and PhD candidate at Washington University in Saint Louis.

In pictures of anonymous strangers like Leon Levinstein’s Man Holding Cup, where the heads are cropped and the camera angle tilted, the impression may appear candid and off-the-cuff, but Levinstein carefully composed this photograph to create the impression that we are walking down the street ourselves.
“Photographers working in New York were fascinated by both the glamorous lives of the rich and famous, and the darker undercurrents of urban poverty,” notes Laufer. “Despite the drastically different settings and circumstances surrounding their work, the photographers whose pictures are showcased in this exhibition.