April Fun at Audubon Greenwich

Spring gets into full swing in April at Audubon Greenwich. There are many family fun events taking place here that will provide fun for the whole family.

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On Saturday, April 12, for example,two exciting walks are planned. The Ponds and Vernal Pools walk will teach you how to search for salamanders, frogs and more and will take place from 2 p.m. – 3:30. All ages are welcome on this walk. RSVP is required so call Ted Gilman at 203-869-5272 x230 to reserve your spot.

There is also a springtime sunset and moonlight walk from 7:45 p.m. – 9:15 p.m. Participants will seek out the sights, sounds, and smells of a spring evening visiting field, pond, forest, and lake in search of wildlife. Participants will also listen overhead and look up at the moon in search of silhouettes of night-flying springtime bird migrants. This walk is good for kids Ages 7 and up. Space is limited and an RSVP is required to Ted at 203-869-5272 x230.

greenwich audubon hike

The month of April is ends with two events. The first is a documentary film, called Unacceptable Levels from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. on Saturday April 26. Learn more about common chemicals, how their effects can be more profound on children than on adults, and how the Conn. General Assembly’s Children’s Committee has proposed legislation, “An Act Concerning Children’s Products and Chemicals of High Concern,” which, if passed, could authorize studies that will guide recommendations to protect children. This event is suitable for adults and interested youth. Location: Cole Auditorium, Greenwich Library (101 W Putnam Ave). Call Jeff Cordulack at 203-869-5272 x239 with questions and RSVPs are appreciated to greenwichcenter@audubon.org.

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On Sunday, April 27, there will be a Nature Art Class with Adriana Rostovsky from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. This class will show participants how to create textures and collages with nature’s treasures found outdoors. These sessions will focus on using natural items like cones, pods and seed heads to create nature-themed decorations. All ages’ welcome. $25 for first two people; $5 per additional participant. RSVP and advance payment required to greenwichcenter@audubon.org or Jeff at 203-869-5272 x239.

The Audubon Greenwich is located on 613 Riversville Rd. For more information greenwichcenter@audubon.org

Spring Programs for Gardeners at Greenwich Garden Education Center

The Garden Education Center of Greenwich located on 130 Bible Street in Cos Cob is a non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to promoting horticulture, conservation and the arts through educational programs, outreach activities and special events. In March and April, the Center is offering a series of programs perfect for the home gardener.

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On March 27, for example, from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. the Center and the Greenwich Land Trust have partnered to bring Charles Day, a former commercial fruit-grower to explain this ancient craft and demonstrate the techniques involved. In this 3-hour session he will teach participants about the collection and storage of scion wood, rootstocks and their function, different types of grafts and the reasons for using them and the art of tying and waxing. Participants will have the opportunity to hone their grafting skills on real trees in one of the Greenwich Land Trust’s beautiful orchard preserves. Registration is required and the material fee is $5; registration for members is $35 and $45 for non-members. It is suggested that you dress for the outdoors and bring your lunch; the Center will provide drinks and dessert.

On April 2, from 10 a.m. – noon, there will be another grafting class this time on tomatoes with local horticulturist Alan Gorkin. Grafting plants is another form of propagating herbaceous, fast growing plants such as annual vegetables. Gorkin will discuss the relatively “new “ process of grafting tomatoes, and why we do it and participants will practice the technique in class and take materials home to grow in their own garden. The materials fee for this class is $7.50 and registration for members is $25 and $35 for non-members.

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If you want to learn how to simplify gardening to fit your lifestyle, don’t miss the program by Kerry Mendez on April 24 at 10 a.m. This inspiring lecture provides easy-to-follow downsizing strategies, recommended no-fuss plant material, and design tips for stunning year-round gardens that will be as close to autopilot as you can get. Registration for this lecture is required and registration for members is $35 and $45 for non-members.
Also on April 24 is a “Girls Night Out” with cash and carry flowers from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. This informative workshop has many tips on how to choose and arrange store-bought flowers with expert floral designer, Miriam Landsman. Reservations for this evening are required and the cost is $30 for members and $40 for non-members. A light dinner and dessert will be provided, bring your own beverage.

To register for these programs visit www.gecgreenwich.org. For information on Fairfield County visit www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com

In the Dark at the Bruce Museum

The dark is a place of mystery. Sometimes scary, always intriguing, the darkness inspires the imagination and encourages exploration.

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Darkness is also a natural evolutionary selective pressure that has caused plants and animals to adapt to dark ecosystems like caves, the forest and desert at night, and underneath the ground.

In the Dark: Animal Survival Strategies, on view through April 13 at the Bruce Museum, located on One Museum Drive in Greenwich invites visitors to explore different environments of darkness and the unique life forms that inhabit them through a combination of hands-on and whole-body interactives, specimens and walk-through dioramas.

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Since prehistoric times, humans have sought to understand the function of darkness and have invented ways to change it. With this immersive, entertaining and family-friendly exhibition that explores four environments – fragile caves, deep soil, and the forest and desert at night – people of all ages will discover how animals adapt to living in the dark and learn how we can help preserve fragile worlds without light.

March Programs

Look & See: In the Dark!
Wednesday, March 12; 12:30 – 1:15 pm
A program especially designed for children ages 3-5 years and their adult caregivers, who will explore the Museum’s exhibition through hands-on experiences, stories and more. Children will explore the exhibition and then make their own animal of the dark! $5 for members and $7 for non-members per child, per class. Parents/guardians are free. Please make reservations by calling the Museum at 203 869-0376.

Animals of the Dark Family Day
Sunday, March 30; 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Explore the exhibition to find out which animals survive best at nighttime! Make your own night-creature crafts in the workshop! At 2:00 pm and again at 4:00 pm, Live Night Creatures with animal specialist Rob Mies from the Organization for Bat Conservation, who will teach us all about some animals that live in the dark such as owls, bats and sloths. All activities are suitable for students of all abilities ages 5 years and up. Free with Museum admission.

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About the Bruce Museum: Explore Art and Science at the Bruce Museum, located at One Museum Drive in Greenwich, Connecticut. The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday from 1 pm 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 under 5 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://www.brucemuseum.org.

Inside the Artists’ Studios: Small-Scale Views at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich CT

If you have ever wished you could observe artists engaged in the process of creation, Inside the Artists’ Studios presented by the Bruce Museum on One Museum Drive in Greenwich allows you to explore the individual investigations and analyses of four artists through their paintings, prints, photographs and three-dimensional miniature constructions. This exhibit runs through March 9 and features a Guide-by-Cell Audio Tour that is free of charge and may be accessed simply by using your cell phone.

The artists participating are well known and bring special skills to this exhibit.

Perspective Box Jimmy Sanders (American, b. 1963) Perspective Box, 2007 Wood, oil paint, 28 x 36 x 28 in. New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT Photo courtesy of Hirschl & Adler Modern, New York
Perspective Box
Jimmy Sanders (American, b. 1963) Perspective Box, 2007
Wood, oil paint, 28 x 36 x 28 in.
New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT Photo courtesy of Hirschl & Adler Modern, New York

Jimmy Sanders, for example has been influenced by the work of 17th-century Dutch painters, most notably in his Perspective Box, Studio in Florence, which he modeled after his own Florentine studio. Sanders traveled in Europe in the late ‘90s and, after seeing Hoogstraten’s A Peepshow with Views of the Interior of a Dutch House (c. 1655-60; The National Gallery, London), was inspired to create a contemporary version of this Old Master creation.

Lori Nix Studio Lori Nix (American, b. 1969) Lori Nix Studio, 2013 Chromogenic print, 42 x 69 in. Courtesy of the Artist © Lori Nix
Lori Nix Studio
Lori Nix (American, b. 1969) Lori Nix Studio, 2013 Chromogenic print, 42 x 69 in. Courtesy of the Artist
© Lori Nix

Describing herself as a “non-traditional photographer,” Lori Nix constructs her sets and then photographs them. After photographing the “scene” she has laboriously
constructed, Nix dismantles the diorama, leaving the photograph as the ultimate creative object. Her latest project is a self-reflective examination of her own crowded living/work space.

The Art of Painting Richard Haas (American, b. 1936) The Art of Painting a.k.a.The Allegory of Painting, 1968-69 Wood, cardboard, cloth, paper, acrylic, pencil, masonite, lights, 221/2 x221/2x221/2in. Courtesy of the Artist Art © Richard Haas/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
The Art of Painting
Richard Haas (American, b. 1936)
The Art of Painting a.k.a.The Allegory of Painting, 1968-69 Wood, cardboard, cloth, paper, acrylic, pencil, masonite, lights, 221/2 x221/2×221/2in.
Courtesy of the Artist
Art © Richard Haas/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Richard Haas began exploring the artist’s studio environment in the 1960s. He started with iconic masters, then moved into creating dioramic boxes of his contemporaries’ studios – including Jackson Pollock and Franz Kline – as well as views from his own 12-foot studio windows in New York’s then-gritty and industrial SoHo.

ack the Dripper Joe Fig (American, b. 1968) Jack the Dripper, 2006 Cibachrome print, Ed. of 10, 16 x 20 in. Courtesy of the Artist and the Tierney Gardarin Gallery, New York
ack the Dripper
Joe Fig (American, b. 1968)
Jack the Dripper, 2006
Cibachrome print, Ed. of 10, 16 x 20 in.
Courtesy of the Artist and the Tierney Gardarin Gallery, New York

Examinations of artists’ working lives also inform the pieces created by Joe Fig. Like Haas, Fig moved to the representation of contemporary artists’ spaces, interviewing artists before recreating their studios in miniature. Fig’s intimate views clearly appeal to the viewer’s desire to sneak a peek into the artistic process of artists such as Chuck Close, Ross Bleckner, Eric Fischl, April Gornik, Bill Jensen, Ryan McGinness, Philip Pearlstein, James Siena and Joan Snyder.

About the Bruce Museum: Explore Art and Science at the Bruce Museum, located at One Museum Drive in Greenwich, Connecticut. The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday from 1 pm 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 under 5 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 www.brucemuseum.org. For area information www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com

Closer: The Graphic Art of Chuck Close at The Bruce Museum

The Bruce Museum in Greenwich is presenting Closer: The Graphic Art of Chuck Close in the main Love, Newman Wild Galleries through January 5, 2013 with a portion on view in the Lecture Gallery through January 26.

With a body of work composed almost entirely of portraits, the American artist Chuck Close has been astounding us with his artistic verisimilitude for more than four decades. His prints, especially, are adventures in problem solving: working from the particularities of each print medium – woodcut, etching, silkscreen, linocut, aquatint, pulp-paper multiple – he gives his imagination free rein to reconceive their aesthetic possibilities. Although a spirit of experimentation characterizes Close’s work across all media, it is particularly evident in the wide-ranging scope of his printed production.

Chuck Close announced his arrival on the contemporary art scene with his large-scale, black-and-white airbrushed heads, paintings based on photographs he had transferred to canvas by means of a grid. Recognition came quickly: his work was shown at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, in 1969, followed by a solo exhibition at New York’s Bykert Gallery in 1970 and a one-man show at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1971. In 1972 he created the first print of his professional career, a mezzotint, which began a life-long engagement with the aesthetics and technology of printmaking. The collaborative nature of this work has been vital to the artist’s creative process: working with master printers, Close alters one or several variables to create endless permutations in a wide variety of print techniques, usually recycling past portraits of himself, his family, and his friends.

The Bruce Museum is also sponsoring a lecture on Dec. 12 beginning at 7:30 p.m. It is titled Closer: The Art of Chuck Close in the Context of the 1970s that is being led by Kenneth Silver, PHD, Professor of Art History, New York University, Adjunct Curator of Art, Bruce Museum. There will be a dessert reception for both lectures from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. and reservations are required. Visit www.brucemuseum.org to make reservations.

Closer: The Graphic Art of Chuck Close is accompanied by a generously illustrated catalogue by the same title. A lecture series and film series will also complement the exhibition.

About the Bruce Museum
Explore Art and Science at the Bruce Museum, located at One Museum Drive in Greenwich, Connecticut. The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday from 1 pm 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 under 5 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 www.brucemuseum.org.

Get Real at the Bruce Museum

Martin Lewis (American, 1881-1962) Above the Yards, Weehawken, 1918 Aquatint and etching, 17 ½ x 23 ¼” Collection of Dr. Dorrance T. Kelly ©Estate of Martin Lewis
Martin Lewis (American, 1881-1962)
Above the Yards, Weehawken, 1918
Aquatint and etching, 17 ½ x 23 ¼”
Collection of Dr. Dorrance T. Kelly
©Estate of Martin Lewis

Highlighting the work of nine American artists who at the beginning of the twentieth century were inspired by the world around them to realistically depict everyday scenes, the Bruce Museum presents the new exhibition Telling American History: Realism from the Print Collection of Dr. Dorrance T. Kelly from August 31 through December 1, 2013.

The show features more than 40 original fine art prints including lithographs and etchings that chronicle daily life – the bustle of urban streets, boisterous moments of leisure, modern modes of transportation, and bucolic rural images – by leading artists who approached their subject matter through the lens of realism: George Bellows (1882-1925), Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975), Edward Hopper (1882-1967), Martin Lewis (1881-1962), Reginald Marsh (1898-1954), John Sloan (1871-1951), Benton Murdoch Spruance (1904-1967), Stow Wengenroth (1906-1978), and Grant Wood (1891-1942).

The artworks present visitors with a snapshot of America from 1905 through 1967. Each print featured in the exhibition was chosen for its subject matter and artistic merit and placed together they present windows into scenes of America’s past. Set amid a backdrop of events such as World War I, the Great Depression, New Deal programs, and World War II, the country was experiencing changes in its cultural, geographic, and demographic nature. The nation experienced a great upheaval as citizens and immigrants alike flocked to urban areas in hopes of greater economic prospects. At the same time, advances in technology and transportation were transforming rural regions.

Wengenroth_Grand Central Stow Wengenroth (American, 1906-1978) Grand Central, 1949 Lithograph, 8 ½ x 15 ¾” Collection of Dr. Dorrance T. Kelly
Wengenroth_Grand Central
Stow Wengenroth (American, 1906-1978)
Grand Central, 1949
Lithograph, 8 ½ x 15 ¾”
Collection of Dr. Dorrance T. Kelly

Drawn from different areas of the country, the artists shared a similar goal of creating artwork that was available to all. They embraced realism, using it to capture images of modern American society as it quickly changed around them. This distinguished their work from the traditional, idealized and romanticized work of European art. By illustrating everyday scenes, the artists featured in this show created connections for the average American and invited them to become part of the artistic dialog,because their images appealed through accessible subject matter and to the pocketbook of the everyday person.

A fully illustrated catalogue of the show will be available in the Bruce Museum Store. A series of public programs will be offered to complement the show, including Monday morning lectures, hands-on printmaking workshops for adults and students, a program for families with toddlers and one for seniors suffering from memory loss, as well as school tours.

Lewis_Misty Night Martin Lewis (American, 1881-1962) Misty Night, Danbury, 1947 Lithograph,11 x 15 ¼” Collection of Dr. Dorrance T. Kelly ©Estate of Martin Lewis
Lewis_Misty Night
Martin Lewis (American, 1881-1962)
Misty Night, Danbury, 1947
Lithograph,11 x 15 ¼”
Collection of Dr. Dorrance T. Kelly
©Estate of Martin Lewis

About the Bruce Museum
Explore Art and Science at the Bruce Museum, located at One Museum Drive in Greenwich, Connecticut. The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday from 1 pm 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 under 5 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 www.brucemuseum.org.

For area information www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com