Historic House Tour in Kent

A special November tour is taking place in the charming town of Kent that is hosted by the Kent Historical Society on November 9 from 12 noon to 4:30 p.m. Houses on the Kent Historical Society’s House tour will feature the architecture of Sherwood Mills and Smith AIA. Tickets are $50 in advance and $60 on the day of the tour. For your tickets click here.

This tour features six of Kent’s architectural gems that have been preserved with great care. This house tour will give residents and visitors an inside look at homes and structures built in the first decade of the 18th century through a modernist mid-century and help them understand how people lived and are living in this bucolic community.

There is an interesting variety of home on the tour. Some were grand dwellings in their day, others were much more modest. The highlight is that the variety of homes offer a number of curiosities and beauty that tour-goers will appreciate on this journey into the past.

The tour starts at Seven Hearths Museum on 4 Studio Hill Road in Kent, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Ticket holders will get a map and a description of the houses and are free to go on a self-guided tour of the homes. Tickets may also be purchased that day at the Seven Hearths from 11 a.m. through the afternoon. It promises to be a fun event — who doesn’t like peering back in time in old houses?

Annual Spring Show of the Kent Art Association in Litchfield Hills

The Kent Art Association was founded in 1923 by nine well established artists who knew each other when they lived in New York before moving to Kent: Rex Brasher, Elliot Clark, Floyd Clymer, Williard Dryden Paddock, F. Luis Mora, George Laurence Nelson, Spencer Nichols, Robert Nisbet and Frederick Waugh. Six of these artists were National Academicians.

Daskam Dock and Dory
Daskam Dock and Dory

When the Kent Art Association was first founded, these nine artists held an annual show in which only their work was exhibited. Later, more artists were accepted into the Association and others were invited to be associates. Today the Kent Art Association invites emerging and established artists to display their artwork to a wide audience in their gallery’s several times a year.

Inside this well lite and spacious gallery, located on Rte. 7 (Main Street) in Kent about 100 yards south of the intersection of Rte. 7 and Rte. 341, you will find two stories of exhibition rooms. In addition to the works exhibited on the walls, all of which are for sale, there is a Portfolio Gallery offering unframed work by members of the Association.

To kick off spring in the beautiful Litchfield Hills, the Kent Art Association is holding its first juried show of the season that runs Sunday, April 21 through Monday, May 27. The Gallery is open April- May 17, Friday – Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and May 21 – Oct. 18, Thursday – Sunday from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

The Awards Reception is scheduled for Saturday, April 27 from 2 to 4 pm with awards presented at 3 pm. Refreshments will be served and the public is invited to attend.

Visitors will also enjoy the work of Juror Rick Daskam, chairman for Oils at the Hudson Valley Art Association and a a graduate of Paier College of Art in Connecticut where he studied with Rudolf Zallinger and Ken Davies. Daskam was honored with the “Most Outstanding Illustrator Award in addition to the Dumond Award from the Hudson Valley Art Association, Collectors Award from the Butler Art Institute, and the Larry Newquist Award for Excellence at SCAN.

The Judges for this exhibition are Marc Chabot, Diane Dubreuil, and Rick Daskam and $1000 in prizes will be awarded. All work must be original and for sale. A copy of the prospectus can be found at www.kentart.org. For more information call the Gallery at 860.927.3989. For area information visit www.litchifeldhills.com

Kent Singers Concert Celebrates Spring

Kent Singers

The Kent Singers return for the Spring Concert of the 39th season on April 15, 2012, at St. Andrew’s Church in Kent, and on April 22 at St. Mark’s Bridgewater. Both concerts are scheduled for 3 p.m.

The highly acclaimed group features singers from throughout Northwest Connecticut performing mostly four-part classical compositions. They have built a reputation for presenting some of the finest choral music. They are all volunteers, including Music Director, Mark Brooks.

The April 2012 concert features a mixed theme of Easter, Love and new life in Spring. Johann Sebastian Bach’s Motet 3, “Jesu, meine Freude” (Jesu, my great pleasure), sung in English, reflects the Easter theme. Bach wrote six motets and this one, Motet 3, is unique amongst all the others as it is a “Chorale” motet, using popular hymns of his day with texts from the Eighth Chapter of St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. Bach’s musical genius rested on a theological foundation and he has been referred to as “The Fifth Evangelist.”

The remainder of the program will be songs of new life, spring and love featuring great poets John Donne, Ronsard, Octavio Paz, Joseph Machlis, George Herbert, Robert Bridges and James Agee, with music by Dominick Argento, David Dickau, Hans Hassler, Orlando diLasso, Eric Whitacre, Williametta Spencer, Norman Dello Joio, William Bolcom and Samuel Barber.

The Kent Singers have performed in Kent, New Preston, Bridgewater, Sharon, Sherman, Washington and New Haven. They have expanded from a single concert in the fall and spring to five concerts per year.

The next performance will be the Faure Requiem with the Sherman Ensemble on June 10 at the Kent School Chapel in Kent, Conn.

Tickets for the April concerts are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and young adults, and children under 12, free. For more information call 860-619-8110, email info@kentsingers.org, or visit www.kentsingers.org.

Belgique Opens Second Store in New Canaan, CT

Belgique Patisserie & Chocolatier, best known for its delicious handmade Belgian chocolates, has opened a second location and is changing its name to Belgique Chocolatier to reflect a new primary focus on chocolate.

The new store opened on September 16 and is located at 88 Elm Street in the middle of downtown New Canaan. It is open Wednesdays through Sundays. The Gilissens have taken great pains to make the façade look as much like the Kent store as possible, with the familiar yellow clapboards, rounded red awning, and Belgian cobblestone front.

Connecticut Magazine has named Belgique chocolates as the best in the state 3 years in a row (2008, 2009, 2010). Belgique also had the prestige of providing its chocolates to royalty such as Queen Elizabeth II at a state dinner in Washington, DC in 2007, and over the years Belgique has been featured in such notable publications as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Chocolatier Magazine, and Conde Nast Traveler Magazine. Its authentic Belgian hot chocolate was named as “one of the best 7 hot chocolates in the world” by Vivre Catalog in 2004.

Before opening Belgique in the year 2000, Chef Gilissen served as Executive Chef & Manager at The Residence of The Netherlands Ambassador to the U.S. in Washington, D.C. Prior to that, he worked in Washington as Sous Chef for the British Ambassador to the U.S. Gilissen’s job was to prepare all meals, receptions, teas, etc. for these Ambassadors, their families and up to 1,000 guests. Working for embassies gave him the opportunity to cook for such notables as Queen Elizabeth II, President George H.W. Bush, Princess Diana, Margaret Thatcher, Hillary Clinton, Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands, King Hussein of Jordan, and violinist Isaac Stern. His particular passion for chocolates began during his time in Washington, D.C. He received his culinary education at Belgium’s École Hôtelière de Libramont after four years of study emphasizing gourmet cooking, restaurant/hotel management, pastries and wine. While in Belgium, Gilissen worked at Michelin 2-star hotel/restaurant Le Moulin Hideux in Noirefontaine, Belgium and Auberge de Lavacherie in Lavacherie, Belgium.

Belgique Chocolatier is located at 1 Bridge Street in Kent (860) 927-3681. The phone number for the New Canaan store is (203) 801-0538.