The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum Opens new Installation by David Brooks

The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art located on 258 Main Street in the heart of Ridgefield is has commissioned a new installation by artist David Brooks that will run through February 5, 2017. This marks the artist’s first solo museum exhibition. Throughout his practice, Brooks investigates the tenuous relationship between our ecological life and technological industry.

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Brooks (born 1975, Brazil, Indiana) will present every single part of a used 1976 John Deere 3300 combine harvester at The Aldrich, with the components laid out in varying degrees of disassembly in a procession from the front plaza through the Leir Atrium and Leir Gallery and out into the Museum’s sculpture garden. Distinctive elements like the corn head and cab remain unaltered in a weathered John Deere green, while other parts are sandblasted, removing rust, paint and all traces of wear and tear; still others, like pipes and fittings, are brass-plated and housed in museum vitrines, the traditional trappings of highbrow art objects or precious natural history displays.

A combine is the ultimate example of agricultural technology, the otherworldly design of its bulky metal body concealing the integration of all stages of the harvesting process into one machine designed to reap grain, a resource that the efficiency of a combine allows us to take for granted as eternally and inexpensively available.

The stunning array of dismantled machine parts, exhibited in a diverse system of presentation, are designated according to the ecosystem service they represent, making it impossible to conceive of the combine in its entirety or to determine the machine’s complete functionality; similarly, an ecosystem integrates innumerable processes, many of them intangible or undetectable, into one whole, making it impossible for us to conceive of a life unfolding within it.

This installation, Continuous Service Altered Daily asks us to reexamine our perception of products reaped from the landscape, oftentimes those too easily interpreted as “services” for personal use: water, food, clean air, climate, energy—things we have come to expect to be delivered to us forever.

The Aldrich is located at 258 Main Street, Ridgefield, CT. For more information, call 203.438.4519 or visit www.aldrichart.org. For more area information www.litchfieldhills.com

The Museum
Founded by Larry Aldrich in 1964, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum is dedicated to fostering the work of innovative artists whose ideas and interpretations of the world around us serve as a platform to encourage creative thinking. It is the only museum in Connecticut devoted to contemporary art, and throughout its fifty-year history has engaged its community with thought-provoking exhibitions and public programs.
The Museum’s education and public programs are designed to connect visitors of all ages to contemporary art through innovative learning approaches in hands-on workshops, tours, and presentations led by artists, curators, Museum educators, and experts in related fields. Area schools are served by curriculum-aligned on-site and in-school programs, as well as teachers’ professional development training.

Sessions Woods is calling all runners!

If you enjoy walking and running on beautiful nature trails then join the Connecticut Forest & Park Association (CFPA) for the 3rd. Annual Run for the Woods on Saturday, September 19 at Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area located on Rte. 69 about three miles south of Rte. 4 in Burlington Connecticut.

courtesy Miranda Linsky
courtesy Miranda Linsky

CFPA advocates for people that love the outdoors with the support of the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection have organized a 10K Trail Race that begins at 8:30 a.m., a 5K Trail Race at 9 a.m. and a 5K walk at 9:00 a.m. at Sessons Woods.

Participants will walk or jog on beautifully maintained trails and will pass by wetlands, meadows, and a beaver pond. Lucky participants may even catch a glimpse of a pileated woodpecker, white-tailed deer, wild turkey, ruffed grouse or a majestic broad-winged hawk.

Registration fees are $25 for the 5K run or walk, and $35 for the 10k run. On the day of the race registration increases by $5. Check-in begins at 7:30 a.m. on the day of the race. If you can’t join in the events, and love the outdoors, you might consider making a general donation to CFPA or dedicating it to one of the runners or walkers. All donations go to the protection of Connecticut forests and trails. For more information, registration, and pledging guidelines visit http://www.ctwoodlands.org/run-for-the-woods

This year CFPA’s Run for the Woods has joined the Blue-Blazed Trail Running Series. The races, which are run primarily on the Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails (BBHT), are organized and directed by a variety of running enthusiasts and clubs across the state. The Connecticut Forest & Park Association (CFPA) is grateful for their cooperation and support in making this series possible. The goals of the series are to promote and create greater awareness of trail running on the BBHT System, attract more runners to Connecticut trail running races, strengthen the running community, raise awareness for CFPA’s trail maintenance efforts and enhance the experience for the runners who already support our races through series points and recognition. To learn more about the Blue-Blazed Trail Running Series, please visit www.ctwoodlands.org/TrailRunning.

About Sessions Woods

The biggest threat facing CT’s wildlife is the loss of habitat. Since more than 90% of land in CT is privately owned, the Wildlife Division established the Sessions Woods Management Area to begin to meet the needs of the State’s wildlife.

Sessions Woods is more than a tract of natural land set aside for wildlife, it also introduces visitors to wildlife and natural resources management through a variety of educational programs, demonstration sites, displays and self-guided hiking trails.

When you walk the trails here, you experience more than just the benefits of a healthy hike in the fresh outdoor air. Along the sides of the Beaver Pond Trail, Forest Meadow Trail and in the Backyard Habitat Demonstration Area you will find demonstrations of wildlife and habitat management practices.

About CFPA

The CFPA is Connecticut’s first nonprofit conservation organization that was established back in 1895 and is best known for maintaining the 825-mile Blue Blaze hiking system. Their mission is to protect forests, parks, walking trails, and open spaces for future generations by connecting people to the land. CFPA directly involves individuals and families, educators, community leaders, and volunteers to enhance and defend Connecticut’s rich natural heritage. CFPA is a private, non-profit organization that relies on members and supporters to carry out its mission.

CFPA envisions Connecticut as a place of scenic beauty whose cities, suburbs, and villages are linked by a network of parks, forests, and trails easily accessible for all people to challenge the body and refresh the spirit. They picture a state where clean water, timber, farm fresh foods, and other products of the land make a significant contribution to our economic and cultural well being.

Hotchkiss Fyler House is open for the season

The Torrington Historical Society, located at 192 Main Street, is open for the season and will remain open through October 31st. The Society is home to three cultural attractions: the Hotchkiss-Fyler House Museum, the permanent exhibit, No Place Like Home: The History of Torrington, and the Hendey Machine Shop exhibit Pursuit of Precision: The Hendey Machine Shop 1870-1954. The Hotchkiss-Fyler House Museum and the two exhibit areas are open to the public Wednesday – Saturday, 12-4 p.m.

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Fodor’s Guide to New England described the Hotchkiss-Fyler House Museum as “one of the better house museums in Connecticut”. Built in 1900, this grand Victorian mansion was commissioned by Orsamus and Mary Fyler and was designed by New Haven architect William H. Allen. The house was built by Hotchkiss Brothers Company, a Torrington firm. The Torrington Historical Society acquired the home in 1956 when Gertrude Fyler Hotchkiss, daughter of the original owners, bequeathed the house and its contents to the Society.

Today, visitors to the Hotchkiss-Fyler House Museum can see the home as it was when last occupied by Gertrude Fyler Hotchkiss. This grand home is rich in details: mahogany paneling, ornate carvings, stenciled walls, murals, parquet floors and ornamental plaster. Family furnishings include impressive collections of porcelain, glass and oriental carpets as well as paintings by Ammi Phillips, Winfield Scott Clime, E. I. Couse, George Lawrence Nelson and Albert Herter. Guided tours of the house museum are available for $5 per person; children 12 and under are free. Hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 12-4; the last tour is at 3:30 p.m.

Hotchkiss Fyler House Museum, Torrington CT

The Torrington History Museum, adjacent to the Hotchkiss-Fyler House Museum, contains an award-winning permanent exhibit, No Place Like Home: The History of Torrington. This self-guided exhibit explores the city’s history while showcasing photographs and artifacts from the Society’s collection. Audio and video components and hands-on interactive stations are featured in this exhibit. Admission is $2; children 12 and under are free. Another exhibit, Pursuit of Precision: The Hendey Machine Company 1870-1954, is located in the Carriage House. This exhibit features an operational belt-driven machine shop, a video kiosk, and a photographic history of the Hendey Machine Company, a former Torrington manufacturer of lathes, shapers and milling machines. Admission is free.

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The John H. Thompson Memorial Library houses archives pertaining to Torrington history. Researchers may visit the library Wednesday-Friday 1-4, or by appointment. For more information about the Society or to become a member, please visit www.torringtonhistoricalsociety.org or contact the Society at (860) 482-8260.

Walls of Color: The Murals of Hans Hofmann at the Bruce Museum

This spring and summer the Bruce Museum located on One Museum Drive in Greenwich will be awash in the vibrant hues of
Abstract Expressionist Hans Hofmann.

Walls of Color: The Murals of Hans Hofmann, is the first ever exhibition to focus on the artist’s varied and under-appreciated public
mural projects that will be on view at the Bruce Museum through September 6. The show will then travel to The Patricia
and Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University, Miami, FL (October 10, 2015 to January 3, 2016), and to the Ackland Art Museum, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC (January 22 to April 10, 2016).

Awakening Hans Hofmann (1880-1966) Awakening, 1947 Oil on canvas, 59 ¼  x 40 ¼ in. Private Collection Photograph by Paul Mutino  Works by Hans Hofmann used with permission of the Renate, Hans and Maria Hofmann Trust
Awakening
Hans Hofmann (1880-1966)
Awakening, 1947
Oil on canvas, 59 ¼ x 40 ¼ in.
Private Collection
Photograph by Paul Mutino
Works by Hans Hofmann used with permission of the Renate, Hans and Maria Hofmann Trust

A towing figure among the New York School painters and one of the most important teachers and theoretician of the Abstract
Expressionist movement, Hans Hoffman is well known for his dynamic approach to color. The centerpiece of Walls of Color: The Murals of Hans Hofmann will be nine oil studies by Hofmann,each seven feet tall, for the redesign of the Peruvian city of Chimbote. This was Hofmann’s extraordinary collaboration, in 1950, with Catalan architect José Luis Sert – the man who designed the
Spanish Pavilion at the Paris World’s Fair in 1937, for which Picasso’s great mural Guernica was conceived. Although never realized, this visionary project was to include a huge mosaic wall – a freestanding bell tower in the town center – designed by Hofmann, which would incorporate not only his own highly evolved notions of Abstract Expressionist visual dynamics, but also forms symbolic of traditional Peruvian culture, religion and history.

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Although now nearly forgotten, Hofmann also created two huge public murals in Manhattan. In 1956, for the developer William Kaufman, and in collaboration with the noted pioneer modernist architect William Lescaze, Hofmann created an astonishing, brilliantly colored mosaic mural, wrapped around the elevator bank in the main entrance hall of the office building at 711 Third Avenue. Two years later, in 1958, commissioned by the New York City Board of Education, Hofmann created a 64-foot long and
11-foot tall mosaic-tile mural for the High School of Printing (now the High School of Graphic Arts Communication) on West 49th Street.
These large scale stunning works will be brought back to life at the Bruce Museum via varied painted studies, mosaic maquettes, photos, and ephemera – as well as studies for a mural for an unrealized New York apartment house of the same period – which will show Hofmann’s working methods.

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A scholarly catalogue has been created for the exhibition, with a foreword from the Renate, Hans and Maria Hofmann Trust, and essays by Curator Kenneth Silver and Mary McLeod, Professor at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University. Public programming planned for the exhibition includes the 2015 Bob and Pam Goergen Lecture Series, with lectures by Curator Kenneth E. Silver on Tuesday, May 5; Stacey Gershon, principal at Stacey Gershon Fine Art/MLG Art Advisory on Thursday, June 11; and Mary McLeod, Professor at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation, Columbia University, on Thursday, June 25. All lectures will be held at the Museum and will begin at 7:30 p.m.

About the Bruce Museum
The Bruce Museum is a museum of art and science and is located at One Museum Drive in Greenwich, Connecticut. The Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm; closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for students up to 22 years, $6 for seniors and free for members and children less than five years. Individual admission is free on Tuesday. Free on-site parking is available and 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://brucemuseum.org. For area information www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com

National Train Day and Mother’s Day at the Danbury Railway Museum

The Danbury Railway Museum has joined in the celebration of National Train Day on Saturday, May 9. At the Danbury Railway Museum this promises to be a day full of educational activities and FREE train rides for the whole family. The fun will begin at 10:00am and end at 4:00pm. Museum admission is $6.00 for adults; $5.00 for seniors; $4.00 for ages 3-12; under 3, free. However, current and former railroad employees will receive free museum admission (proper ID required). Trains will begin running hourly at 10:30 with the last train departing at 2:30.

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The museum’s Rail Yard Local will be operating — a short trip on a vintage train pulled by a 68 year old locomotive, with locomotive cab rides also available. As a National Train Day gift to all the friends of the Danbury Railroad, all train rides will be free on this day! As a special educational treat, periodically during the day, demonstrations of railroad signaling and coupling/uncoupling train cars will take place, and other educational talks will be given. In addition, the historic New Haven Railroad Cedar Hill forge is expected to be operating with a blacksmith making various items, and train riders will have an opportunity to take a spin on the operating turntable, followed by a tour of the water tower pump house.

In the Danbury museum building, visitors can explore railroad history exhibits, operating electric train layouts, static model displays of the station and railyard, many one-of-a-kind artifacts of railroading history, a wonderful gift shop, a coloring table and other children’s activities, and many other items of interest. The museum’s Research Library will hold a used book and model sale with some great bargains. Outside in the historic railyard, guests will find walk-through exhibits, and a vast assortment of train cars and locomotives –
many that ran in Danbury during its railroading heyday.

On Sunday, May 10, the Danbury Railway Museum is offer free rides on the Rail yard local to commemorate –Mother’s Day. Trains will run from 12 noon to 4 p.m.

The Danbury Railway Museum is a non-profit organization, staffed solely by volunteers, and is dedicated to the preservation of, and education about, railroad history. The museum is located in the restored 1903 Danbury Station and rail yard at 120 White Street, Danbury, CT. For further information, visit the Web site at http://www.danburyrail.org, or call the museum at 203-778-8337.

For area information www.litchfieldhills.com

Eye Candy kicks off the Silo Gallery Spring Season

The Silo at Hunt Hill Farm’s upcoming gallery exhibition, ties together the works of Washington artists Ken Cornet and Tyler Farmen with works that entice the eye. The exhibit runs to May 5, 2015.

Tyler Farmen, Blue Drip
Tyler Farmen, Blue Drip

The exhibit is aptly named, as Cornet describes his work as enticing “the eye through color and movement either with free forms or structures to create a feeling of excitement or serenity, thereby instilling a sense of fun, comfort and well-being.” Farmen says, “My work combines the real and tangible, however it gives the feeling of a surreal fantasy. My intention is to provide viewers with a sense of comfort and at the same time question.”
Ken Cornet was born and raised in New York where he attended The Ethical Culture School and the highly selective High School of Music and Art, now LaGuardia High School. He went on to study painting at the Art Students League, fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and earned a degree from the New York School of Interior Design. From painting in pre-school to designing textiles and surfaces

In adulthood, Ken returned to painting and creating art. Cornet’s design collections were licensed by major home furnishing companies around the world under the Ken Cornet brand. While always mindful of the past, his style is contemporary and always innovative and playful. Cornet’s licensed product areas included apparel, bed and bath fashions, home textiles and wallpapers, rugs, ceramics, dinner and gift ware, and paper and party goods. His artistic versatility resulted in the New York State Department of Labor labeling his work as “art miscellaneous” in late 1960’s. Editors and buyers labeled his design collections as “contemporary classics” in the late 1980’s and into the 1990’s.

Ken Cornet, Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition, 2014, 11 x 8.5. Gouache collage on Paper.
Ken Cornet, Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition, 2014, 11 x 8.5. Gouache collage on Paper.

Tyler Farmen was born in Washington, CT in 1982. He received a BA in Industrial Design from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn NY in 2004. Tyler lived and worked as a designer in New York until 2006 when he moved back to CT, where he is currently Head of The Fine Arts Department at Rumsey Hall School and working on various creative projects.

In addition, Farmen runs a small art gallery in Lakeside, CT called The Gallery, which features local and national artists as well as a one of a kind gift shop. Tyler has a wide range of work from painting and sculpture to graphics and fashion. His ambition is to make people approach what they look at every day with new value. Referring to his latest oeuvre, Farmen says, It “consists of reinterpreted items that have been discarded by society and consumed by nature. Captured in time, these items are locked in a patina of eternal beauty.

Tyler Farmen, Red Oil 2
Tyler Farmen, Red Oil 2

My artwork is a combination of the many people, places and feelings that I experience in everyday life. “I started painting and creating to break the confines and guidelines of my career as a designer. I don’t restrain myself to one medium or process. I enjoy exploring all avenues of creating taking the pain and anguish that I feel in the universe and portraying it in a positive light through my paintings and sculptures. My work combines the real and tangible, however it gives the feeling of a surreal fantasy. My intention is to provide viewers with a sense of comfort and at the same time question.”

The Silo Gallery and Store are open Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, please call Liba Furhman at (860) 355-0300 or visit www.hunthillfarmtrust.org.

For area event information on the Litchfield Hills www.litchfieldhills.com