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.

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.

100th

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

Explore your inner artist with a pro at Karen Rossi Studios

Karen Rossi Studios is sure to bring out the inner artist in you no matter what your artistic ability is. Karen is a highly regarded artist well known for her original metal sculptures. Rossi also licenses and imports her whimsical characters of hobbies and professions, known as Fanciful Flights™. A growing brand, Rossi Studios is constantly introducing many programs. The newest additions include Aviv Judaica, and puzzles by Ceaco, Stave and Ravensburger.

Holiday shopper EMAIL

In Litchfield Hills at Rossi’s newly opened studio in Torrington located on 27 East Main Street in the historic Allen Building she has organized a series of classes for the month of November that are sure to delight young and old.

BlueMermaid

On November 1 Rossi is offering a Mermaid Fanciful Flights workshop. Participants will make their very own mermaid by painting the beauty first, and then attaching charms to tell the story of your sea creature. Materials are included, but you’re invited to bring old broken jewelry, sea glass& shells. $30.00 (Regular $40.00 per person).

Magic Mosaic Boxes are the highlight of the class on November 6 where participants will create a very special box for all their tiny keepsakes. In addition to mosaics, there are lots of mixed media in the studio to help make your piece unique. All materials supplied, but you’re invited to bring your old China plates to smash up! Making mosaics is a great way to let out stress and relax. $25.00 (Regular $40.00 per person).

Peppermint Cat

Shelf Sitters that sit on a table, shelf or desktop replete with dangling legs and shoes will be made on Nov. 8. This workshop is $50 (regular $40).

Sure to be favorites, on November 15 participants will make Christmas Dogs and Cats ($25/$40) and will personalize each one for a one of a kind keepsake. On November 22 participants will Make their own Menorah ($35/$55) and will be able to choose from one of Karen’s lasercut designs. You’ll be given a white menorah to fill with color, add beads and candle cups and you’ll be ready for Chanukah.

For more information and to sign up for one of these fun and affordable classes visit http://www.karenrossi.com. For information on Litchfield Hills www.litchfieldhills.com

Railway Post Office Dog Day at the Danbury Railway Museum

On Saturday, July 19, the Danbury Railway Museum will host a celebration
honoring the legacy of Owney, the Railway Post Office dog. A centerpiece
of the day will be the museum’s fully-restored Pennsylvania Railroad
circa-1910 Railway Post Office (RPO) car. The museum at 120 White Street
is open from 10am to 4pm. Admission for this event is $8.00 (under 3 is
free) which includes a train ride, access to all activities, and a free hot
dog!

Owney_the_Post_Office_Dog

Owney was a stray dog which found its way into the Albany, NY post office
in 1888 and was soon adopted by the Railway Mail Service clerks and became
the mascot of this elite government service. He traveled throughout the
state, and then all over the country, in the RPO cars, eventually venturing
around the world as a U.S. Post Office Department “emissary” in 1895. In
2011, the U.S. Postal Service issued a postage stamp to honor him. Owney
has been preserved and is on display at the National Postal Museum in
Washington, DC. Visitors to the museum on the 19th will hear the true
story of Owney, the mascot of the U.S. Railway Mail Service, and can tour
the lovingly-restored RPO car.

The “Railyard Local” – a short train ride in a 1920’s passenger coach or a
vintage caboose pulled by a 1947 GE “44-Tonner” or ALCo RS-1 locomotive –
will take visitors through the historic rail yard and past over 60 vintage
railroad cars and locomotives, including a Boston & Maine steam locomotive
built in 1907. Riders will have an opportunity to “go for a spin” on the
operating turntable. Trains depart hourly from 10:30 to 2:30. Of course,
the fascinating exhibits inside the restored 1903 Danbury station will be
open, along with a fully-stocked gift shop. The model train layouts inside
will also be operating.

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, email to
info@danburyrail.org, or call the museum at 203-778-8337.

Beautiful Dogwood Festival Blossoms Help Celebrate 375th Anniversary of Fairfield, in Western Connecticut

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A steepled church, a village green, and colonial homes enveloped in clouds of pink blossoms are a traditional sign of spring in Fairfield, one of Western Connecticut’s oldest and loveliest towns. Fairfield’s Dogwood Festival has been a tradition for 79 years, celebrating the hundreds of trees that light up the lanes of the town’s historic Greenfield Hill neighborhood. This year’s event takes place Friday May 2 through Sunday, May 4.

But Greenfield Hill is just one of three historic districts in this Fairfield County town celebrating an impressive 375th anniversary this year. So after enjoying one of spring’s most colorful celebrations, visitors can enjoy the celebration taking place in the rest of the town.

The Dogwood Festival

Fairfield’s first dogwood trees were planted back in 1705, when Isaac Bronson, a retired Revolutionary War surgeon-turned-farmer, decided his Greenfield Hills property would be enhanced if he transplanted some of the native wild dogwood trees blooming in the nearby woods. Bronson propagated and so did his trees. By 1895, the blooms were so outstanding that the Greenfield Hill Village Improvement Society took on care of the dogwoods as an official project, adding many new plantings that continue to grow.

In 1935 the Greenfield Hills Congregational Church held the first Dogwood Festival, and like the trees, it has grown prodigiously with time. Besides taking in the beauty of the blossoms, guests can visit tents where some 40 juried New England artisans and crafters will be showing their creations, see an art show, hunt for treasures at a tag sale, enjoy free musical entertainment and pick up prize plants that make perfect Mothers’ Day gifts. Walking tours of the historic lanes will be available and kids will have their own craft tent, bounce house, and face painter, plus cotton candy, and carnival games with prizes. Proceeds from the festival benefit more than 30 local, national and international charities. For details, see www.greenfieldhillschurch.com

The 375th Anniversary

In the second historic district in the center of town, the first sign of something special going on this year will be the fire hydrants, painted in historic garb like the Colonial soldiers who once marched here.
At the Fairfield Museum and History Center, a new hands-on exhibit explores the doings in town over its colorful past. Creating Community: Exploring 375 years of Our Past lets visitors look inside a Native American wigwam, climb into an American Revolution fort, watch a video depicting the Burning of Fairfield by the British in 1779, decipher a spy code, and sit on a 19th century trolley. In six chronologically organized sections, it shows how people worked, lived, and built communities over time by exploring original objects, individual stories, and engaging activities like trying on wardrobes from different periods.

The corner of the Museum block, Beach and Old Post Road, was the center point of the original “four squares” of the town laid out in 1639. Only four original homes survived the British fires, but a pleasant hour can be spent exploring the area’s many beautiful post-Revolutionary homes, historic churches and the town hall, whose central section remains as it was rebuilt in 1790

Southport, the picturesque harbor area, is the third historic area. Boats laden with onions from Greenfield Hill farms used to sail out of this harbor before the British did their damage. Now it is home to yachts and country clubs and exclusive residential areas in the hills surrounding the tiny village.

Fairfield is planning many special events in the months ahead to mark its special birthday. See http://www.fairfield375.com for a complete calendar.

For more information about lodging and other activities in the area and a free copy of UNWIND, a full-color, 152-page booklet detailing what to do and see, and where to stay, shop and dine in Fairfield County and the Litchfield Hills of Western Connecticut, contact the Western Connecticut Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, (860) 567-4506, or visit their web site at www.visitwesternct.com