Through the Lens: Torrington Photographs 1870 – 1970 @ Torrington Historical Society

Photography takes an instant of time and captures that moment forever. Historical images bring us back to the time and place where they were taken, they are the essence of an areas’ cultural heritage. A new photography exhibition has just been mounted by the Torrington Historical Society that will be on display through October 31, 2019, called, Through the Lens: Torrington Photographs 1870-1970.

This exhibition focuses on the works of several local photographers, both professional and amateur, which are well represented in the Society’s collections. Included in the exhibition is the work of Christie Siebert, F.O. Hills, Sidney Jennings, and Thomas Wootton. Also featured in this exhibit are images from the Charles Harris Photo Album, acquired by the Society in 2018. The album features approximately 80 photographs of downtown Torrington from the late 1900s through the early 1930s.

The highlight of this exhibition is that many of the images have been recently acquired by the Torrington Historical Society and are on display for the first time. Visitors will find images that depict scenes of daily life that include downtown Torrington in the 1870s with its wooden buildings, dirt roads, and early factories. Other images give visitors a bird’s-eye views of Torrington; a turn of the 20th-century birthday party; O&G truck moving a small building along a north end street as neighborhood children look on, and photos of various businesses from the late 19th century through the 1970s.

The exhibition will be of special interest to photography buffs because of the variety of photography mediums on display. Original images, including albumen prints, glass-plate negatives, black and white prints, and color slides that were digitized and enlarged make it easy for visitors to study the fascinating details of these historic images.

The Torrington Historical Society is located on 192 Main Street and is open Tuesday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For additional information visit their website.

Native American Green Corn Festival August 3 @ Institute for American Indian Studies

The Green Corn Ceremony is one of the most important celebrations in Native American life because corn is an integral part of religious and ceremonial life that brings communities together. The Institute of American Indian Studies located on 38 Curtis Road in Washington, Connecticut is holding their 15th annual Green Corn Festival on August 3 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. to observe this time treasured tradition.

Join Museum Staff, Members, and Friends as they welcome the first corn of the season with music, drumming, dancing, children’s activities, stories by a professional Native American Storyteller, and much more! Wander the trails to our 16th century replicated village, tour our museum to learn about Native Cultures, check out the crafts in our gift shop, and try your hands at corn-centric crafts. A special treat is the powwow styled food such as frybread that is not to be missed.

A special highlight planned for this year’s event is a performance of the Native Nations Dance Troupe led by Erin Lamb Meeches, Schaghticoke Tribal Nation. These traditional dances evoke the beauty, honor, and tradition of Native People.

About Green Corn

The expression “Green Corn” refers to the first ripened sweet corn that you can eat. The Green Corn Ceremony is marked with dancing, feasting, fasting, and religious observations. In the Eastern Woodlands Native people depended on three staples – corn, beans, and squash. These food items were called “The Three Sisters.” The Three Sisters were mixed together to make a vegetable dish called succotash that is still popular today.

Admission for this event, held rain or shine is $10 for Adults; $8 seniors; and $6 for Children.

The Institute for American Indian Studies

Located on 15 woodland acres the IAIS preserves and educates through archeology, research, exhibitions, and programs. We have an outdoor replicated 16th c. Algonkian Village and Wigwam Escape and a Museum with temporary and permanent displays of authentic artifacts from prehistory to the present that allows visitors to foster a new understanding of the world and the history and culture of Native Americans. The Institute for American Indian Studies is located on 38 Curtis Road in Washington Connecticut.

Be a Winner @ Norfolk’s Weekend in Norfolk Aug 2-4

On August 2, 3, and 4 everyone is a “winner” in Norfolk. Fun for all is the watchword in Norfolk, Connecticut during the town’s Fourth Annual three-day, town-wide festival, A Weekend in Norfolk, better known as WIN. https://weekendinnorfolk.org. Everyone’s invited to come with family and friends to enjoy more than 80 events—mostly free—that Norfolk’s organizations, businesses, and individuals will be putting on to welcome visitors to their town.

On Friday, August 2, take a tour to see the magnificent Tiffany stained glass windows at the Immaculate Conception Church and in the Battell Chapel. If you are in a romantic mood, head to the picturesque village green to get married or to renew your vows, the organizers of WIN have bouquets, ring bearers, and witnesses standing by on the Village Green. There are also artisan demos, and the opening reception for the Norfolk Artists & Friends 11th annual exhibition, plus concerts at Infinity Hall and the Yale Music Shed. For literary lovers, there is a celebration of Walt Whitman’s 200th birthday at the Norfolk Library. If you like nature and are strong of wind and sound of heart, enter in the hike the peaks challenge, which is a three-day, six peak hiking challenge organized by the Norfolk Land trust.

The pace picks up on Saturday, August 4, with continuing art events, a furniture making demonstration, tours of Tiffany Stained Glass Windows, and multiple concerts, including a free concert at the Music Shed. The Norfolk Farmers Market is celebrating the day with a variety of special events for young and old alike including chef demonstrations. If you are a history buff, don’t miss a walk through Norfolk’s Industrial past with historian, Richard Byrne. On this walk, you will learn about the once thriving mills and factories on the Blackberry River. The popular kids’ fire hose water soccer event will take place from 12 noon to 3 pm. The day winds down with a Taste of the Town from 5 pm to 7 pm at the Manor House, and Family Fun Night at the Botelle School from 6 pm to 10 pm that will feature a DJ, field games, an outdoor movie, and food for sale. If just music is more your style there is a Debussy, Strauss and Shubert Concert at Yale Music Shed from 8 pm to 10 pm.

Sunday, August 5, is no time to go home—there are more tours including the Whitehouse (former Stoeckel Mansion), samples of a getaway day at Mountain View Green Retreat, Tiffany Stained Glass Window tours, farm tours, and an open house at the Norfolk Country Club with the chance to see its famed 9-hole golf course. In addition to the music and art shows, there will be a hot dog eating contest, a demonstration of fly tying and casting on the green, and a 5K- trail run.
For up to the minute information on WIN, Weekend In Norfolk, visit https://weekendinnorfolk.org for details.

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.

A Trio of Performances at the Gary the Olivia Theatre in Bethlehem

On the grounds of the Abbey of Regina Laudis in the quite town of Bethlehem Connecticut the Clay and Wattles Theatre Company has planned two exciting performances this summer at the Gary the Oliva Theatre located on 249 Flanders Road.

The first show is “The Trip to the Bountiful that will take place from June 12 through June 21 with Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and a Sunday matinee at 2:30 p.m.

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The Trip to Bountiful” finds a perfect home here, on the grounds of the working farm run by the Benedictine nuns at the Abbey. The roofed, open air theater was built with the vision of former actress and now Benedictine Nun, Mother Dolores Hart, and the generous support of Oscar winning actress Patricia Neal, and has a rich history. The June 12 opening night performance of “The Trip to Bountiful” at The Gary-The Olivia Theater will include a reception during intermission featuring local wines and cheeses.

The musical for the 2015 season is the Tony Award winning “Man of La Mancha.” It is the unforgettable story of the “mad” knight, Don Quixote, as a play within a play, performed by Cervantes and his fellow prisoners as he awaits a hearing with the Spanish Inquisition. It will play from August 1-16 at The Gary-The Olivia Theater, with Friday and Saturday performances at 7:30 pm and Sunday matinees at 2:30 pm.

A third performance, a Concert/Fundraiser for Clay & Wattles Theater company at The Gary-The Olivia Theater entitled “From Rags To Riches” will take place on Saturday, September 19 from 3-6 pm with special guest artists performing scenes, songs and dances from your favorite American Musicals and a dramatic reading from Mother Dolores Hart. The concert will be followed by a wine, cheese and chocolate reception with a meet and greet the performers.
The new season offers subscriptions for groups and individuals, and special rates for seniors. For ticket information and more details on the Clay & Wattles Theater company’s 2015 season, visit www.thegarytheolivia.com, or call 203-273-5669, or email info@thegarytheolivia.com.