Celebrate Art at The Norwalk Arts Festival

Lockwood Mathews Mansion Norwalk
Lockwood Mathews Mansion Norwalk

An exciting new festival is happening this year in Norwalk — the 2013 Norwalk Arts Festival. This event is slated to take place on June 29 and 3o at Mathews Park conveniently located on West Ave. off exit 15S and 14N on I-95. Even better, this event is free and open to the public both days from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information call 518-852-6478 or visit www.gordonfinearts.org or norwalkartfestival.org.

This juried fine art and craft festival, will bring over 75 of the country’s top artists and craftspeople to Fairfield County along with several outstanding performing artists. A children’s art project and a creative arts area rounds out the event with fun for the entire family.

The Norwalk Art Festival provides the perfect opportunity to find an original painting for the empty corner of a family room, the perfect birthday or wedding gift as well as the chance to just get to know the artist before you bring your newly found treasure home.

Center for Contemporary Printmaking
Center for Contemporary Printmaking

In addition to the artwork featured at the festival, don’t miss the opportunity to visit three museums that call the park home. The Center for Contemporary Printmaking, http://www.contemprints.org, located in a 19th c. stone carriage house offers quality original artwork and printmaking. The Lockwood Mathews Museum, http://www.lockwoodmathewsmansion.com, a National Historic Landmark built in the Second Empire Style has a special exhibit that focus’s on the “futuristic” discoveries of the Victorian Era that are still relevant today. The award winning and recently expanded Stepping Stones Museum for Children, http://www.steppingstonesmuseum.org, is featuring the Dinosaur Revolution in their traveling exhibit section that let’s kids become junior paleontologists through the discovery of fossils and facts about these magnificent beasts among their many fascinating exhibits for kids.

Gourmet food trucks and vendors have food at the ready so don’t forget your blanket and lawn chairs.

For area information www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com.

Bruce Museum’s 31st Annual Outdoor Arts Festival Saturday and Sunday, October 6 and 7, 10 am to 5 pm

10 Savrda

The Bruce Museum’s 31st Annual Outdoor Arts Festival takes place rain or shine on the grounds of the Museum on Columbus Day weekend, Saturday and Sunday, October 6 and 7, from 10 am to 5 pm. The Festival is a juried event featuring more than 85 artists selected from across the country. Paintings, photography, drawings, prints, sculptures, and mixed media pieces are all available for purchase. The Festival also includes live music on both days as well as many fun, educational family activities, and a variety of food choices.

On Saturday, live performances include the dance-inducing rhythms and sultry harmonies of the Connecticut-based band The Juicy Grapes from noon to 4 p.m. and, at 2 p.m., an oil pastel demonstration by Carol Boucher on the front steps of the Museum.

On Sunday, world-class instructors from Dance With Me Stamford, part of the chain of ballroom dance studios that are home to ABC’s Dancing with the Stars professionals Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Valentin Chmerkovskiy and Tony Dovolani, will teach a dance class and give a dazzling ballroom performance in the Lecture Gallery from noon to 2:00 p.m., and Carol Boucher will repeat her oil pastel demonstration at 2 p.m.

11 Serbin

Exhibitors compete for cash prizes in six categories: oils and acrylic on canvas; watercolor and acrylic on paper and under glass; graphics and drawings; mixed media; sculpture; and photography. In addition to individual category prizes, there are two major awards given: “Museum’s Choice Award” and the top prize of “Best in Show.” One of the Bruce’s most popular events, the event annually draws thousands of visitors.

The Bruce Museum is open during Festival hours and will feature new exhibitions highlighting the sculpture of Gaston Lachaise, recent gifts to its collection, and desert habitats.

Festival admission is $8 and includes general admission to the Bruce Museum. Admission is free to members and children under 5. The Bruce Museum is located at One Museum Drive in Greenwich, Connecticut. The Museum will be open for the Festival from 10 am to 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday. The Museum galleries will also be open for the Monday Columbus Day holiday. Festival parking is available in the Island Beach parking lot at Arch Street and Steamboat Road. The Museum is accessible to individuals with disabilities. For additional information, call the Bruce Museum at (203) 869-0376 or visit the website at http://www.brucemuseum.org.

ArtFest at Silvermine Arts Center Sept. 15

Howard Fishman and the Biting Fish Brass Band

The lush grounds of the Silvermine Arts Center, located in New Canaan will host the second annual ArtsFest on Saturday, September 15th from 2pm to 4pm. Participants will enjoy a fun-filled day of music, puppet shows, and hands-on art activities at this free outdoor event.

Silvermine’s popular Sculpture Walk can be enjoyed by young and old in addition to listening to the music of Howard Fishman and the Biting Fish Brass Band, a five-piece New Orleans-style brass band. This high-energy, contagiously exuberant band will perform originals, mixed with a classic brass band repertoire of spirituals, blues, gospel and funk. Howard Fishman is a critically acclaimed singer, guitarist, composer and bandleader.

Fishman’s Biting Fish band is a tribute to the Big Easy, his former home, which features the singer-songwriter along with his band members on tuba, trombone, trumpet, drums and vocals performing an eclectic, funky repertoire that careens from street-beat style traditional gospel, to surprising covers, to Fishman’s own quirky, fun originals. Fishman has headlined in some of the most prestigious venues in the U.S. and abroad, including: Lincoln Center, The Steppenwolf Theatre, the Blue Note, the Great American Music Hall and the Le Petit Journal in Paris. A testament to his wide-ranging appeal, Howard Fishman has appeared on bills with such diverse artists as Odetta, Yo Yo Ma, Madeleine Peyroux, Allen Holdsworth and Nellie McKay. You won’t want to miss this wonderful opportunity to see and hear this small band with a mighty, infectious sound, suitable for both happy listening and ridiculous dancing.

In addition to music, kids of all ages will enjoy the puppetry of WonderSpark Puppets, who will perform “Kid Lancelot’s Birthday Quest” at this year’s ArtsFest. Once upon a time, there was a brave knight and a beautiful princess who bravely saved the Kingdom of Lockheart! It’s up to Kid Lancelot or Princess Petunia to defeat bullies, help wizards, ride a dragon and save the day. This medieval adventure includes lots of laughter and a cast of hilarious characters. Founded by husband and wife team Chad Williams and Lindsey “Z.” Briggs, WonderSpark Puppets infuse fun and whimsy into all their performances. “Z” Briggs has been a professional puppeteer for the last 7 years as a performer and builder on numerous projects. Chad Williams is a filmmaker turned puppeteer, and has shot and edited two puppetry documentaries. WonderSpark Puppets present the sweet, funny puppet shows that engage the imaginations of kids and adults alike!

Other happenings of the day will include a variety of hands-on activities for children and adults led by the distinguished faculty of the School of Art.

And, of course, there is the opportunity to see the end of summer exhibits in the Silvermine Galleries that will run through September 16th. The exhibits during ArtFest feature a juried Guild show, “Collective Vision,” a Historical Exhibition, “Silvermine, Milestone Graphics and the American Print Renaissance, 1979-1989,” and “Full Tilt” a solo exhibition of the works by Silvermine Guild artist Robert Gregson.

For more information about ArtsFest, call 203-966-9700, ext.22, or visit www.silvermineart.org. For area information visit www.visitfairfieldcountryct.com

About Silvermine Arts Center

Silvermine Arts Center located in New Canaan, Connecticut is one of the oldest artist communities in the United States. Located on a four ½ acre campus, the center is comprised of a nationally renowned artist guild; award winning school of art offering multi-disciplinary art classes for ages 2 to 102; and a gift shop and galleries, offering over twenty contemporary and historic exhibitions annually. The center also provides innovative arts education in Norwalk and Stamford schools through its outreach program, Art Partners, and hosts a lecture series and special programs throughout the year. Silvermine Arts Center is a nonprofit organization.

Silvermine Arts Center Mission

Grounded in the belief that art is vital to the spirit, creativity and wholeness of human beings, the mission of Silvermine Arts Center is to cultivate, promote and encourage growth through the arts; to showcase and serve artists; and to foster arts education and appreciation opportunities for the greater community.

Gallery Hours: Silvermine Galleries are open Wednesday through Saturday, 12p.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1pm to 5 p.m. For more information, call (203) 966-9700 ext. 20 or visit the website: http://www.silvermineart.org.