Events, gatherings, & outings:
What to see and do this month
Susan Hellmann’s interest in art, design and fabrication began at a young age. “My home environment was a breeding ground for a developing artist. There was always some creative activity in the mix at home. Both my parents were very resourceful and influenced my skill set greatly. My mother was an important influence, an artist herself; she supported and encouraged me to express my creativity. Dad was a plumber by trade but was skilled in all phases of construction. I learned my carpentry skills from watching him.”
Susan has taken multiple courses and classes in design, art, fashion design, pattern drafting, drawing, and CAD at Boston University, Cape Cod Community College and Post Jr College in Waterbury CT. She majored in psychology at Cape Cod Community College and earned a BS degree in Occupational Therapy at Boston University in 1997. Art classes at Cape Cod Art Association helped shape her painting skills. Susan has had solo shows at Cornwall Library and Cape Cod Cultural Center.
For most of her career as an Occupational Therapist Susan specialized in the field of mental health and practiced at Cape Cod Behavioral Healthcare in Hyannis, MA. She used art as a tool to teach clients ways to manage symptoms, and tolerate distress and claims it to be the most successful way to change mood and experience a sense of accomplishment.
As an Occupational Therapist Susan assessed client’s sensory preferences and how they respond to the environment. She has found that shapes, lines, patterns and color in design can calm or alert the senses and affect mood. She takes this into consideration when creating a painting. “Art should evoke emotions.”
Prior to obtaining her degree in OT Susan designed and built a tree house that was published in Tree Houses You Can Build by David and Jeanne Stiles. Other creative entrepreneur ventures include Cape Cod Cookies, a wholesale cookie business, and a tailor shop where she designed clothing and costumes. She has won awards for her designs.
Open on Thursday to Sunday, 11 am – 5 pm.
The Souterrain Gallery
The Wish House
413 Sharon Goshen Turnpike
Byrde + the b is pleased to announce an art exhibition of artist Sebastian Tillinger’s latest paintings. Tillinger’s abstract paintings explore man’s relationship to the universe. Tillinger has written: “It’s difficult to find the wholeness of a person. I mean, whatever they produce can only represent a tiny fraction of the whole experience. It’s a minute minute!” Tillinger is both an artist and an actor and has appeared in such notable Hollywood films as “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “The Aviator”. Painting is another outlet for his expressive nature. His work is a subtle blending of color and form which gives the viewer an intimate glimpse into the artist’s world view. Exhibition runs through November 11, 2017.
Artist’s website www.sebadness.com/index/
Opening: Friday October 6, 6 – 8 pm
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Rd
Peruvian Artist Marisabel Artieda
The Loft Gallery welcomes a new exhibition of paintings and drawings by Peruvian artist Marisabel Artieda. In 2000, with art degree in hand, Marisabel Palomino Artieda relocated from Peru to Washington Depot, where she found mentorship and encouragement in her new backyard at the Washington Art Association. Marisabel was born in Lima, Peru and started drawing and painting at a very young age. She studied art and graphic design at The Institute of the Andes where she earned her BA degree. In 2001, she married and moved to Washington Connecticut, where she joined the local art association finding the supportive network that she was looking for. Marisabel has since focused on atelier style of oil painting with her mentor and friend, Patty Fogle.
In addition to raising her two daughters, making art is a priority and daily routine in her life. “Art has become for me a lifetime experience that never ends.” She describes her process in her home studio and at class as “a vitamin for my soul and heart. It starts with objects that catch my attention from the gut in response to their color and form in a path of light. Next, I develop a composition through sketches and drawings that becomes the value pattern, or bones of the artwork. The paint follows, influenced by the warm earth colors deeply rooted from my youth in Peru.”
“Here and There” expresses Marisabel’s love for her land that reflects the Peruvian culture and people. This exhibit will include recent drawings in charcoal, and her most recent series of still life paintings and landscapes of Connecticut and Peru.
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 7, 4 – 6 pm
The Smithy Store
10 Main Street
At Historic Whiting Mills
An art exhibit of two-dimensional and three-dimensional work inspired by the theme
“Art of Work.” Presented by the American Mural Project, in collaboration with Whiting
Mills, Winsted. There will be a reception with live music, refreshments and a hands-on art activity as we celebrate the art of Work in the Laurel room at historic Whiting Mills.
Opening Reception: October 14, 4 – 6 pm
The Laurel Room
100 Whiting Street
Eckert Fine Art is pleased to present Eric Forstmann – Still Workings, a solo presentation of artist Eric Forstmann’s latest paintings. The opening event with the artist will be held from 4-7pm on Saturday, October 14 at 12 Old Barn Road in Kent, Connecticut. The exhibition will continue through November 26, 2017. This is the artist’s 15th solo exhibition with the gallery.
This exhibition is distinguished by a notable change of venue for the artist. A native of Northwest Connecticut, Forstmann has for years focused on the splendor of the local terrain and the characteristics of quintessential New England interior, bric-à-brac, and curio. Of late though, the artist has been working exclusively from a new studio in the revitalizing downtown scene of Torrington, Connecticut. With a studio perched to overlook the main intersection, we see new indicators through Forstmann’s work that change is underway.
As a young person in the late 1960s, Forstmann recalls coming to Torrington for the mundane and relatively colorless activities of finding a new pair of shoes or slacks. It was the antithesis of exerting creative energy. Today, the artist ironically finds himself back there with a completely renewed purpose, to occupy one of many new artist studios found above the recently launched Five Points Gallery on Water Street. Still Workings is almost completely produced in either No. 5 or No. 21 Water Street, and meditates heavily on what once was, and what shall become of the area.
As artists are classically the pioneers of gentrification, we need to look no further than recent articles by Vanity Fair and the like pitching Litchfield County as the exciting go-to retreat for New York City finance, art, and fashion types. In contrast, this excitement is a long time coming for reasons obvious to anyone familiar with the past 40 years in the area, especially Torrington and its loss of industry. Forstmann honors these years of perseverance and grit by creating a new body of work that captures the current vacancy of the remaining rooms in his building as they await their renewed purpose.
Of note is Forstmann’s new oil painting Oddfellows Ballroom, 2017. Built in 1916, this grandiose space staged the extracurricular activities of the bourgeoisie, but has for years been put on perpetual hold. Seated unbeknownst to many, numerous floors above the intersection atop a building on Water Street, Forstmann has meticulously painted the ghostly space – floorboards and all – that once saw regular heights of action. One may recall the famous Impressionist painting Les Raboteurs de Parquet (The Floor Scrapers) by Gustave Caillebotte. Painted in 1875, light pours across the floor from the window in the background as three laborers manually scrape the varnish away from the floorboards, not afforded the luxury of yet-to-be invented power tools to expedite the process. Referencing Caillebotte’s masterpiece, Forstmann does well to dutifully depict the light across the floor, but his environment is hollow – well beyond the industrious yesteryears – and we are left with not much more than two empty chairs and a few buckets.
Further to the rumination on the past, present, and future, Forstmann goes beyond his literal surroundings to comment on society’s lost art of looking. A group of paintings that depict blown-up versions of everyday objects has been prepared for Still Workings, and comments on the zooming in we do all day, as we “look into” images on our devices. Forstmann’s message warns us of the observational blight taking hold on our culture, and questions its implications. Painting large-scale still-lives of pears or radishes in hyper detail with dark backgrounds, Forstmann’s images reference the work of Raphaelle Peale, who is considered the first professional American still-life painter. An allegory for our phones and computers, Forstmann shares his sentiments that early Realist paintings are essentially “our first screens”.
Eric Forstmann studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston under the tutelage of Barnett Rubenstein and Henry Schwartz. In addition to his many solo exhibitions, he has had four one-man shows, all before the age of fifty, at the following institutions: The Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio; The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Missouri; The Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science in Evansville, Indiana; and the Mattatuck Museum of Waterbury, Connecticut. Slated for 2018, Forstmann has an upcoming solo exhibition to be held at the Brenau Galleries at Brenau University in Gainesville, Georgia. Eric Forstmann’s work is proudly held in many public and private collections.
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 14, 4 – 7 pm
Eckhert Fine Art
12 Old Barn Road, Unit 1
The Photographs of Matt Magee
Darren Winston, Bookseller, a vintage bookstore and gallery in northwest Connecticut, will host a reception for Signs, an exhibition of photographs by artist Matt Magee.
Matt Magee has never been tied to one medium; even as a graduate student at Pratt his work fell into the category of “New Forms,” instead of the traditional discipline of painting or sculpture. He has continued these explorations throughout his career as an artist, masterfully making oil paintings, lithographs, and found object sculptures. He has also dabbled with the camera for decades, though he has only recently begun exhibiting his photographs.
Taken largely in the areas surrounding his current home of Phoenix, Arizona, and farther afield in places such as Cairo (a world traveler, he was born in Paris and spent part of his childhood in Libya), these photographs capture the world the way Matt Magee sees it. They have an immediacy about them; while his paintings are the product of many hours of meticulous work, these images are the result of a single instant, capturing the perfect juxtaposition of a cactus and a lamppost or a bridge bisecting the sky. The images in his photographs come ready-made, requiring only his unique vision and a quick trigger finger.
His works are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the University of New Mexico Museum, the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, and others. He has been exhibiting his work for over thirty years, and has recently had solo exhibitions at inde/jacobs in Marfa, Texas and at John Molloy Gallery in New York. He currently lives and works in Phoenix, Arizona.
Signs is presented by Darren Winston, Bookseller in his Modernist-style showroom at 81 Main Street in Sharon, Connecticut. Winston began his career in New York City in 1995 and opened his shop in Sharon in 2009. The space is well-known for its unique take on the vintage bookshop and the traditional gallery. For more information about the event or for contact details, please visit darrenwinstonbookseller.com. Store hours are Thursday through Sunday, from 11am to 5pm, and by appointment.
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 21, 6 – 8 pm
Darren Winston, Bookseller, IOBA, SNEAB
81 Main Street
at Five Points Gallery
Five Points Gallery presents three new solo exhibitions featuring the work of three Connecticut artists, Janet Lage, Sarah Paolucci and Gil Scullion. Altek Electronics Inc. sponsors the three exhibitions.
Janet Lage’s show, entitled “MUCK – xo,” will be featured in the Five Points West Gallery. In writing about her paintings, Lage explains: “I weave a story of personal, intimate experiences. Rather than telling a complete story, I leave room for the viewer to form his or her own narrative.” Working with oils, ink and graphite in her studios in Old Lyme and in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, Lage incorporates images with lines and words to create bright, abstract stories on canvas. The recipient of numerous awards, she was selected as the winner of a solo exhibition in Five Points Gallery at the New Britain Museum of American Art’s 2016 Annual Nor’Easter juried exhibition. She has had numerous solo shows including Amy Simon Fine Art gallery in Westport, the EBK Gallery in Hartford, and the William-Scott Gallery in Provincetown, Mass. In 2010, she was awarded a Connecticut Artist Fellowship for painting.
Sarah Paolucci is a figurative painter whose show, “Hands of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra,” will be on display in the Five Points TDP Gallery. In preparation for her “Hands” series, she attended several HSO rehearsals to observe up close the dexterity of the musicians’ fingers. “Focusing solely on the hands brings attention to personal preferences; how they hold their instrument, the callus they have on a finger, how they hold their pinky on that one note,” the painter writes about the experience. If the orchestra is the result of many hands working independently to create a whole, her finely rendered oil paintings offer an intimate look at the individuals who make up that whole. She has exhibited in juried and group shows including Artspace in Hartford, the Mattatuck Museum and the New Britain Museum. Paolucci earned a BFA in illustration (Magna Cum Laude) from the University of Hartford, Hartford Art School, and is an adjunct professor there while working on her MFA .
The Five Points East Gallery will showcase Gil Scullion’s “Empty Spaces/Fear Nothing.” The show features unoccupied rooms whose furnishings only hint at human presence. Scullion suggests that the scale of the images and objects in these virtual stage sets — they remind him of the facades of buildings in old Hollywood westerns — invites viewers “to project themselves into the settings, to provide the narrative.” For his current project, the artist points out that none the materials he uses is archival: In sculpture, he works with cardboard; for paint, he chooses commercial acrylic house paint. “The paintings themselves are produced through the use of stencils, which challenges the conventional notion of the original,” he says. “They are an absence masquerading as a presence — which is the central preoccupation of my work.” Scullion has exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the United States.
Artists’ Panel Discussion: Friday, November 17, 6 pm
Five Points Gallery
33 Main street
The Community Culinary School of Northwestern Connecticut will host our Community Harvest Breakfast, a fundraiser to support our student sponsorships and highlight the many wonderful local farms and food producers in the region. The event will feature a delicious, farm-to-table breakfast with local, seasonal ingredients (roasted root vegetables! apples! pumpkins! eggs! and more!), made by our culinary students. Here is the menu:
• Scrambled eggs featuring Tamarack Farm eggs
• Roasted root vegetables featuring Fort Hill Farm, Tamarack Farm, and Waldingfield Farm
• French toast, featuring bread from Bantam Bread Company and Maywood Maple Syrup
• Apple Compote featuring Averill Farm Apples
• Coffee cake & muffins
• Coffee, tea, and apple cider (from Averill Farm!)
Please Note: We strongly encourage that you purchase your tickets online (see below). However, you may pay at the door of the event – if doing so, you must RSVP: email@example.com or call 203-512-5791.
Thursday, November 2, 8 – 9 am
The Community Culinary School of Northwestern Connecticut
7 Whittlesey Avenue
This beloved local artist will have some favorite still life subjects, as well as the scenes he paints of life in the big city. Also in this show will be his new series, which are small paintings on the back of classic tarot cards. The show runs from November 4 to December 9.
Opening Reception: Saturday, November 4, 2 – 4 pm
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
(at route 47)
Join Doug Winkel for this exciting three-part look into the life, career, and films of Charlie Chaplin.
Saturday, November 4, 1:30 – 3 pm
Minor Memorial Library
23 South Street
at Plain Goods
Meet international photographer Miguel Flores-Vianna at Plain Goods. Miguel will be signing Haute Bohemians, his latest book chronicling the lush and layered homes of his friends and acquaintances. Born in Argentina, Miguel has been an editor, writer, and photographer for more than 25 years. His photographs regularly appear in T, AD, World of Interiors, Vogue, and Town & Country.
Saturday, November 4, 2 – 5 pm
1 New Preston Hill Road
Cub historian and treasure hunter Greg Van Antwerp brings to life his unique approach to the weekend garage, tag and estate sales that dot the Connecticut landscape. “Signs and arrows strategically placed on familiar corners might lead to a few faded lawn chairs and a rusty barbecue grill – or just maybe – intriguing evidence of a life-affirming story of struggle and survival from generations past.” Each weekend Greg can be found seeking out a story in a box of old paper or the endless nooks and crannies where keepsakes were lost or stored and forgotten.
Thursday, November 9, 6:30 – 8 pm
Minor Memorial Library
23 South Street
Sip, Shop and Be Local
A holiday shopping event featuring local artisan made products. Also a sip and sample tasting will be available at their wine tasting bar, paring three wines with selected cheese and chocolate.
Saturday, November 11, 12 – 7 pm
Hopkins Vineyard LLC
25 Hopkins Road
New Preston (in Warren)
to Benefit Roxbury Library
The Roxbury Public Library Board of Trustees and the Friends of the Roxbury Library are pleased to present a tour of six private kitchens in Roxbury and Woodbury. Proceeds from this fundraising tour will benefit the improvement of the Roxbury Public Library’s Community Studio. The Connecticut Community Foundation is the tour sponsor. Area businesses have generously donated select raffle items.
Views of spectacular Roxbury landscapes are matched by the promise of cozy family times and convivial entertaining as each kitchen reflects its owners’ personalities and interests. From a custom-built beehive oven perfect for making pizza, or a soaring grand kitchen-living area, to a simple farm house built in the 1770s, and from elegant renovated kitchens to purpose-built contemporaries, the “heart of the house” will inspire and entice visitors.
The self-guided tour will begin at the Library with morning coffee and refreshments, where ticket holders will pick up their programs and directions to the homes. Between 11am and 3:30 pm six kitchens, ranging in style from an antique colonial to a recently renovated contemporary, will be open for tours. The tour concludes at the Library with a champagne reception and raffle from 3:30 until 4:30pm.
Champagne Reception and Raffle: Saturday, November 11, 3:30 – 4:30 pm
Tickets: $45; $50 day of
Minor Memorial Library
23 South Street
At The Hickory Stick
Ann Hodgman returns to The Hickory Stick Bookshop to sign copies of her latest cookbook, Vegan Food for the Rest of Us: Recipes Even You Will Love (Rux Martin, $22). Recipes for regular people who love great food by “a humorist and cookbook author whose recipes really work.”
To create her very best recipes for Beat This, a cult favorite and a hilarious book full of seriously delicious recipes, Ann’s formula was simple: “Double the chocolate and add bacon.” But when she decided to go vegan, what in the world was she going to put in her pound cake—buttons?
For a while, her kitchen resembled a molecular gastronomy lab. After a hellish incident with seitan, she made a decision: No more foods that made her hungry for her former life. No recipe would make the cut in her new life unless her husband liked it enough to beg for second helpings. More than 100 Hodgman-family-tested recipes later, Vegan Food for the Rest of Us was born, full of brilliantly original culinary discoveries, honest and funny writing, and yes, the very, very best recipes.
“The gold standard is Ann Hodgman who offers laugh-out-loud commentary in all her fabulous cookbooks.” –Novelist Elizabeth Berg
“If you like reading cookbooks for more than the recipes, you need to read Ann Hodgman, one of the few cookbook writers whose introductions (we call them headnotes) and even recipe names regularly make me chuckle, if not guffaw. Her latest book, Vegan Food for the Rest of Us is no exception, except now, as you can tell by that title, Hodgman, 60, is bringing her matter-of-fact sense of humor to the topic of vegan cooking, something she has been trying to master since becoming vegetarian in 2009.” -Joe Yonan, Food and Dining Editor, The Washington Post
Ann Hodgman is the author of the Beat This! and Beat That! Cookbooks and One Bite Won’t Kill You. She has also written fifty children’s books, including The House of a Million Pets and How to Die of Embarrassment Every Day. She lives in Washington, CT.
If you are unable to attend this event, you may reserve a signed copy of Vegan Food for the Rest of Us by calling The Hickory Stick Bookshop at 860.868.0525.
Saturday, November 11, 4 pm
The Hickory Stick Bookshop
2 Green Hill Road
Talk & Signing
Gunn Memorial Library is pleased to welcome author Fiona Davis, for a talk and signing of her latest national bestselling novel, The Address, on
Ms. Davis, author of The Dollhouse, returns with The Address, a compelling novel about the thin lines between love and loss, success and ruin, passion and madness, all hidden behind the walls of The Dakota, New York City’s most famous residence. Fiona tells two, eventually intertwining, stories that take place 100 years apart. With rich historical detail, nuanced characters, and gorgeous prose, Davis once again delivers a compulsively readable novel that peels back the layers of not only a famed institution, but the lives –and lies–of the beating hearts within.
“Davis has folded together two historical eras in this breezy historical novel that jumps between Gilded Age and Reagan-era New York City…[she] overlays the two histories beautifully…The book, rife with historical description and architectural detail, will appeal to design and history buffs alike.”—Publishers Weekly
Fiona Davis was born in Canada and raised in New Jersey, Utah, and Texas. She’s a graduate of the College of William & Mary and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. The first ten years of her career was spent as an actress in New York City. After ten years she changed careers, working as an editor and writer, and her historical fiction debut, The Dollhouse, was published in 2016.
Hickory Stick Bookstore will provide books for sale and signing following the talk.
Sunday, November 12, 2 pm
Registration is requested
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
at Route 47 on the Green
Civic leaders will host a Public Forum with Norman Siegel, Civil Liberties and Civil Rights Attorney, and Former Executive Director of New York Civil Liberties Union
On The Constitution and Trump. The forum with Norman Siegel, which will be hosted by Western CT Civic Action, will provide an opportunity to hear and discuss how the Constitution can be a road map to opposing and resisting the multiple ways in which Trump and his policies challenge long cherished principles and values in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence.
Siegel will explain what Declaration 17 (www.declaration17.com) is and how it should give us hope to speak up, not to give up. Declaration 17 is an open alliance of private individuals who have joined in opposition and resistance to the policies and practices of President Trump.
Topics that Siegel will address include the more than 20 federal cases brought against Trump and his administration challenging his policies on the travel ban, sanctuary jurisdictions, the transgender military ban, the voting rights fraud commission, DACA, and the Constitution’s 25th amendment and emoluments clauses.
In addition to taking questions from the public, Siegel will also discuss the legal justifications and feasibility of two bills of impeachment introduced by Democratic congressmen.
Western CT Civic Action (@WestCTCivicAction on Facebook) is a community based civic action group whose goal is to educate, support and act to defend the United States Constitution for the good of all. The group meets once a month and currently has hundreds of concerned citizens who participate in its meetings, help organize events, and dedicate time, effort and brain power to resist, build and rise.
Sunday, November 12, 4:30 – 6 pm
Washington Montessori School Theater
240 Litchfield Turnpike / Route 202
The CultureMAX awards will be presented at an event hosted by the Northwest Connecticut Arts Council at The Warner Theatre. The aim of the annual CultureMAX awards is to recognize individuals and businesses who exemplify excellence in the cultural field or in serving the cultural community within the Council’s 25-town service area.
The 2017 CultureMAX honorees are Susan Becker Aziz – artist, Adam Atkins – arts educator, Mark McEachern – history professional, Ellen Paul – volunteer, TheatreWorks New Milford – cultural organization, Torrington Savings Bank – culture-loving business, and Tim Prentice – life-time achievement award.
Tuesday, November 14, 5:30 – 8 pm
Tickets: $25 Arts Council Member, $30 non-member, group tickets available
Romantic Chamber Music
Clarinetist Dr. Vincent de Luise, Soprano Becky Nesmith and Pianist Jenny Li will perform a classical chamber concert titled An Afternoon of Romantic Music. The Romantic period was one of the most innovative in music history, characterized by lyrical melodies, rich harmonies, and emotive expression. The ensemble will perform masterpieces by three illustrious romantic era composers of the 19th century Louis Spohr, Johannes Brahms and Franz Schubert. Their selections include three German Songs (from the sechs deutsche Lieder, Op. 103) by Louis Spohr; the poetic second sonata for clarinet and piano by Johannes Brahms (Eb major, Op 120 no. 2); and the glorious “Shepherd on the Rock,” (Der Hirt auf dem Felsen) by Franz Schubert.
Sunday, November 19, 2 – 3 pm
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road